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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

MY PEACOCK BLANKET




MY PEACOCK BLANKET

Yet another blanket pattern that is freely available via the Red Heart pages that was just too good to miss out on.

I actually am not too keen on motifs and granny squares – I love their creation and design (as that’s the lovely bit), but their joining and weaving in of ends and  neat finish / presentation… oof, don’t quite like that bit!
One little end sticking somewhere and that’s it.. the whole project can look shabby – so I usually stay away from these two types of projects. 
That said, off late I seem to have done a lot of these two projects.. and I’ve loved each and every one of them!

The original pattern is called Retro Ornament Throw and is available at http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/retro-ornament-throw (Photo below)

I have, however, tweaked it just a bit.. so I’ll just add my notes here and give you, yet again, choices n decisions


Materials used : Today I’ve used our lovely Indian Vardhaman millennium DK ply acrylic yarn with a 4.5 mm crochet hook

I made my blanket with the four peacock colours I could find, starting with a 
Purple / Lavender centre, then a lovely Firozi (Turquoise) , followed by a bright yellow and ending my peacock feather with an Emerald green.  I then finished this all off with a pure white like the designer has.  White just brings the whole thing together, I think.

I mulled over the colour rounds and did two swatches, finally settling on my color combination.



 Stitches used :

Magic circle : To refresh your skill, please view this easy video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLuSVyKvoUg

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual start with ch 2 or ch 3,I’d like to introduce a lovely way of starting a double crochet row.  Do take a look at this self explanatory super video
In case you are unhappy with this start, or do not like it, do continue with the usual ch-2 or ch-3 start.  However, all instructions will be given assuming that you are using this chainless dc start.

Bphdc : Explained on the main instruction paper – but this is a hdc done in the back posts

How to do a picot : We will use a 3-ch picot for our border. So that’s (ch 3, sl-st into the 1st ch) in each dc of the border round.
A quick refresher at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GGlzZZl3I8


Abbreviations used :
lp(s) : Loop(s)                                                                sc : Single crochet
dc : Double crochet                                                            sp : Space                                 
sl-st : Slip stitch                                                             fdc : Foundation Double Crochet
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                                             hk : Hook
yo : Yarn Over                                                             ch : Chain
bphdc : Back Post Half Double Crochet       sk : skip
sc-blo : Single crochet back loop only


The designer instructions are self-explanatory. 
My notes here are only for the small start change, the use of the wonderful chainless dc start, and a finishing idea / difference, in making this a square blanket.

If you see the original pattern, we have a lovely wavy edged finish.  I felt this was ideal for an afghan.  I am, however, using this pattern to create a smaller baby blanket , so this is my change for that.

I started with a magic circle instead of the ch 4 start… however, this is just a choice.

In Round 3, I worked my 2 dc in the ch-1 sps rather than in the hdc. 
I am not sure if it’s my yarn or looseness of st, but the ch-1 sp was showing through when I followed designer instructions (and used the hdcs) , so I thought I’d use the ch-1 sp instead.

Strip : My strips are of 4 “ornaments” in one row, and 3 “ornaments” in the next row alternating till the end.  I’ve done five rows in total.
My tweak here was to do a ch 5 start, then add on the first ornament, and end with a ch-6, turn and work sl-st in each ch, and then work sl-st in each st on the other side of the ornament.

So what does this mean ? The designer starts Round 1 with a ch 1.  I started with ch 5.
I then sl-st in the 3rd trc (of the 4 set) and then worked all the way down till the end as per designer instruction.  The designers then asks that we do a ch-5 and add on the next ornament.  So continue that till you have as many ornaments as you want.  At the end, I did a ch 6 , turn and working back on the ch-6 we’ve just done, sl-st in the next 5 ch (the 1st ch being a turning ch).
So this way you start and end with a ch 5, and have your ornaments dangling in between on this first round.

Round 2 then starts (if you’re using my instructions) with a sl-st in the 1st 5 chs, then working as per designer instruction till the ch-5 at the other end.  I then did a dc in the first 4 sts, and 3 dc in that end st (thus helping us turn around neatly).  Continue down the other side working the dc’s as per designer instruction till we reach our 1st ch-5, and we do a dc in the last 4 dc, and 2 dc in that 1st dc.
This way you have a longish end at both ends of this strip.

One other thing that I did was use the sts of Round 5 of the ornament, (which in my case is the emerald green round), when working this round.  The first round of the strip is the sl-st round in white.  That sits on top and gives our ornaments this lovely raised edge, so go under that stitch into the lower sts for this round.

Finally stitch explanation.  In Round 1, we’ve done a set of 25 sts along one side, and then that ch 5 to add on the next ornament.  So in this round, we will need to work on 25 sts. 


(So initially I started with a row of 5 ornaments, found it was too large for the blanket size I wanted, and frogged it down to 4 ornaments on that centre row)

As I wanted a square blanket, I changed the order of attachment.
I figured that I needed only 4 ornaments to make up the width for my little blanket, so I thought of doing it this way – and I love the way this has turned out.



To make a larger square blanket, just start with more ornaments in that centre row and decrease as you go along.

This blanket could be finished as is.. but I want a small border – so here’s what I’ve done for the border.


Border : For our border I have thought of a shell-like finish, which also looks a little peacock-y.


Our border repeat is in multiples of 5. 

Round 1 :  sc in the 1st st ; 
*ch 5, sk next 4 sts , sc in the next st* ; 
rep *to* all around till last 5 sts ; 
ch 3, dc and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.
(You are now in the centre of that last ch-5 sp)

Note :  Ensure you have an even number of ch-5 sps.

Round 2 :  sc in the 1st ch-5 sp ; ch 5, (dc, ch 3, dc) in next ch-5 sp ;  
*ch 5, sc in the next ch-5 sp ; ch 5, rep (to) in the next ch-5 sp* ;  
rep *to* all around ; 
ch 5 and join with sl-st to the 1st sc.

We will now work in the ch-3 sps between the 2 dcs.

Round 3 :  sc in 1st sc ;  
*ch 2, sk next dc , (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in the next ch-3 space ; ch 2, sk next dc , sc in next ch-5 space* ;  
rep *to* all around ; 
ch 2 and join with a sl-st to the 1st sc.

We will use a 3-ch picot in the following round. So that’s (ch 3, sl-st into the 1st ch) in each dc of this border round.

Round 4 : sc in 1st sc ;  
*ch 1,  (dc in next dc, picot) ; rep (to) 2 times in the next 2 dc ; rep (to) 3 times in the next ch-3 sp ; rep (to) 3 times over the next 3 dc ; ch 1, sc in the next sc* ;  
Rep *to* all around ; 
ch 1, and join with a sl-st to the 1st sc.

You now have several choices for your blanket.. and whatever you choose to do, you will have one really cute project at the end of it all J

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Have a great day and see you soon. J

You may want to take a look at these beautiful and unusual free blanket and afghan square patterns as well