Friday, 29 January 2016
Marrakesh Crochet blanket
This is my second blanket from the Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghan book, although it is very different from the pattern. The pattern is by Donna Yacino and it is called Marrakesh, in Tunisian crochet. I have never tried Tunisian crochet; I have seen other people do it and it does not seem difficult. But I don't own a Tunisian crochet hook, and, as I would need several to try out the tension, I don't want to make the investment. And, where do you buy them? They are not widely available. I could get them from the internet, but I do like to see what I buy. And, it is not wise to try out a new technique on as large a project as a blanket.
So I decided to do it in a crochet stitch that look similar to the Tunisian stitch, standard double crochet. The pattern is done in three panels, presumably to accommodate the length of a Tunisian crochet hook. Ordinary crochet has no such limitations, so I did it in one. I started with a new technique for me, foundation crochet. It worked fine, and I prefer it to starting from a chain, so I will use it again.
The yarn choice started with the pink Sandnes Mandarin Soft cotton. I bought a lot of 10 balls against my better judgment, because it is a Norwegian brand. It is a very nice cotton, soft as implied by the name. Because it is loosely plied you do have to watch out that it does not split.
The second yarn came from a garment in the yarn store, this cotton chenille knitted jacket with a cable design. I bought it, not for this project, but because I liked the blue colour, and chenille gives a nice texture to knitted blankets, although it is difficult to knit with because it is non-stretchy. Here I thought it would look nice with the pink. It might be Rowan yarn and Rowan pattern, but I could not find it from a quick search. It has got the buttons you find on Rowan garments.
These two yarns are both aran weight cottons. I added other similar balls of cotton yarn from the yarn store in suitable colours. (I didn't use all the yarns in the picture.) I arranged the yarns chosen in a pleasing order and started the crochet.
I enjoyed doing this. I think because it was mindless crochet. I could pick it up at any time and keep going without thinking about pattern or yarn. There was interest in adding the next ball in a different colour. When I came to the end of one ball I added the next. I enjoyed the crochet with some yarns more than others. My favourites were Rowan Blue Jeans and an old Pingouin Coton Naturel 8 Fils. The chenille yarn was not a problem.
I did realise, not for the first time, how difficult it is to find yarns that look good together. There are a lot of yarns in the yarn store, but once you whittle them down by weight, by fibre, by shade, you struggle to get enough for a blanket and you end up with less than perfect results.
I didn't do the embroidery. It looks nice on the pattern, but I don't do embroidery. If I did it would be abstract patterns and not flowers. Any embroidery would anyway disappear in my stripes.
I like the blanket. The colours are what were available. I ran out of the pink Sandnes, as I knew I would, so I added two shades of pink. It was a struggle to find blues, too, at the end. The texture is lovely, the chenille feels so good, but so do all the cottons. It would have looked better, if I had added new yarns at the sides. Then I would have had to plan colours, and I didn't know how many rows I would get from one ball. So I would have needed more shades to make sure. And I would have ended up with scraps of yarn. This way everything got used up - except for the blue chenille and some other blue.
I decided the sides were fine without an edging. At the top I did a row of slip stitch to mimic the foundation row.
Yarn: Sandnes Mandarin Soft, cotton chenille, odd balls of cotton yarn
Hook: 5 mm
Tension: 13 sts to 10 cm
Weight: 1730 gr
Size: 125 cm by 177 cm
Made: 6 November 2015 to 18 January 2016