It's over a year since I gathered this yarn together and began to contemplate a new ripple blanket journey. Do you remember it? I wrote a post in September 2011 about choosing/buying the yarn, and I wrote another in October 2011 about the beginning of the blanket (which includes specific colour info and pattern details).
It is such enormous fun embarking on a new blanket. I always get really incredibly excited once I finally get going, especially as it usually comes after weeks of anticipating, planning and pontificating.
Working up these interlocking ripples of colour was pure pleasure. The Neat Ripple is a super-relaxing pattern - there is a mesmerising, soothing, repetitive rhythm to it which is wonderfully therapeutic.
The rise and fall of the rows does something quite wonderful to the colour play, but adding in this "interlocking" colour sequence made it even more fun. The rows are worked as either single or double width. Some rows look narrower simply because of the way they are worked back and forth. So looking at the above image which shows the start of the blanket, you can see single (red), single (turquoise), double (red), single (green), single (red), double (green). So each colour is made up of four rows (two singles and a double)
I worked my colours randomly, which in actual fact was a lot harder than I had anticipated. It was necessary to carry out some sort of yarn play as I went along though, and I generally planned out about six rows at a time. I did have a few basic rules for working "planned random" ::
1. I tried to use each of the 18 colours evenly throughout the blanket. I ended up with 44 colour changes, so each colour appeared at least twice, with 8 of the colours appearing three times.
2. I tried to balance the way I put colours together. Sometimes I would put harmonious colours together (ie blue with greens, or purples with pinks), and sometimes I would shake it all up a bit and throw some contrasting colours together (ie red next to green, or pale aqua next to the deep burgundy)
3. I tried to keep it from becoming too rainbowy. There are sections of it which do run like a rainbow, and this does add in some necessary visual harmony I think.
Working on a blanket over many months is a lovely experience, and you do really feel as if you are on a very special journey. This particular blanket took me through all four seasons of a year, and has so many memories woven into it as a result.
As it grew, I kept it sitting in my basket so that I could pick it up and work on it at any opportunity. Sometimes I would only be able to hook a small part of a row before having to put it back in the basket, but sometimes the basket would be next to me for hours and many rows would grow.
I loved working on it through the late Autumn and into Winter as it became a dream fireside project.
But through Spring and Summer it was also a joy to work on, and I have many beautiful memories of rippling al fresco....
....this is mid June, and a picnic lunch with some sunny riverside rippling.
I finally landed on the last colour change in high Summer, and the last row was made on 16th July 2012.
Even though it wasn't actually finished, the blanket was in use throughout the Spring and Summer. By then it was big enough for snuggling and the above scene really made me laugh when I came across it. Little Lady and Little B were playing some sort of peek-a-boo game together, you can just about make out their legs underneath each blanket. Big smiles all round.
Summer turned into Autumn and my beloved blanket became well and truly a part of our family life. The Little People use my handmade blankets every single day, for snuggling under and for playing with. They are comforters, body warmers, dens and ships. They are wrapped, draped, dragged (although I do get cross with the dragging), and pegged. They are hard working blankets for sure.
Now don't ask me why I didn't get around to edging this blanket straight away, why I left it unfinished for so long. I just don't know why I procrastinated over it, especially as I really enjoy working edgings. But anyhow....five months later, the day after Christmas, I finally decided it was time to get stuck in and Work the Edge.
Now before you ask.....I have to let you know that I am NOT intending to make a tutorial for making the edging. I will do my best to explain it to you, and hope that will be enough.
1. I make sure I begin and end my blanket rows in the same colour (in this case red). The first stage of the edging then, is to make a row of trebles (in red) down each side of the blanket. I like to work out of the actual stitches/chains of each end stitch, as opposed to working round "the post" of each each end stitch if that makes sense. It's harder to do, but I personally think it gives a neater finish. I work 2 trebles into the end stitch of every row.
2. The next row is the row that will "fill in" and make the rippled edge straight (in this case turquoise). I begin at the bottom right corner of the blanket and work up the right hand side (I did Half Trebles for this row). When I get to the top right corner, I work 2 htr's, chain 2, 2 htr's to turn the corner.
Now working across the top of the blanket edge (in the picture above, from right to left), the following sequence of stitches ::
dc (twice) *htr (twice) tr (four times) htr (twice) dc (six times)* repeat between **.
At the end of the row, you turn the corner in the same way as you did before by working 2 htr's, chain-2, 2 htr's. Then carry on down the left side of the blanket with htr's. The bottom filling in of the ripple is slightly harder as it's worked into the foundation chain. But it's the same principle as the top :: basically you work 6 dc's to take you over the mountain, then 2 htr's to go down the sides of the valley, 4 tr's to fill in the bottom of the valley, 2 htr's to go up the sides, then back to 6 dc's to go over the mountain again.
So after all that, you should have your blanket with straight edges, and two rows of edging.
For the final bit of my edge, I wanted to try something new. I worked on this design idea ages ago and really liked the visual effect of it, so it was just a case of deciding on which two colours to go with. I decided on the pink/blue combo in the end.....
.....it's a very easy but effective pattern. Start out by chaining 2 (counts as 1 dc + chain 1).
Skip 1 stitch, then work 1 dc into next stitch. *Chain 1, skip 1 stitch, dc into next stitch*. repeat between **.
You turn the corners by working 2dc, chain 2, 2dc into the corner space of previous row.
The second part involves exactly the same pattern, excepting that when you make your 1 dc, you make it into the skipped stitch of the (turquoise) row below. See where I've put my hook? You are pulling up a "long dc" from the row below. So this is the pattern :: Chain 1, work a long dc into skipped stitch of previous row, chain 1 etc....do you get how it works?
See how fab it looks?! Isn't it clever?
I'm so pleased with this border, it's great when a new idea for something works out so well. I really LOVE this idea actually, and have plans for a striped cushion cover using this two-colour technique. I'm mega excited about that prospect.
Well.........you know that it's pretty much time now don't you?
Yes, I think it's high time I cleared some space to lay the blanket out for you.
Need to push back the furniture.
Need to balance on the edge of the sofa on my tippy-toes.
Need to try not wobble.
Think I'm almost there with it.......
One bright, colourful, happy, glorious, beautifully edged Ripple Blanket.
Size wise, as you can see this blanket is pretty much single bed size. I think this is the perfect size for decent snuggling. Any shorter and there is always the risk of toes poking out. I measured the finished blanket just now and it measures 112cm x 180cm, so very slightly bigger than the first ripple blanket I made. It looks awesome laid out on Little B's new bed, but this blanket is well and truly a sofa blanket and will live downstairs to provide daily warmth and comfort.
I am really, really, really pleased with how it turned out. The colours worked out great. It's a lovely, warm, colourful and cosy creation that has happiness running right through it.
Now then, you may remember when I began this blanket that I was not on this journey alone. No no no, I had company on my Ripple Ride. I had my lovely friend Heather join me with her own Cashmerino blanket journey, and there was real pleasure for both of us in doing it together.
We had some really ace ripple times. I was much slower than Heather mind you, and she had to wait for me to catch up with her at the end. But eventually I did, and in July when my stripes were finished, I took both of our blankets to the park to photograph them.......
Don't they look amazing? Heather went on to add some more rows to her blanket when she realised hers was quite a bit shorter, and of course they both had edgings added too. You can read more about Heather's blanket beginnings here, and see her finished blanket here.Many of you also Rippled Along with us throughout 2012. It has been fabulous to see so many gorgeous and beautiful blankets being made, sooooo inspiring. There is a wonderful group over on Flickr with some incredible photos, please do go take a look if you have chance.
Now before I go, I shall leave you with the Riveting Ripplesome Facts ::
Yarn :: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, in 18 colours (shade info in this post)
Hook :: 3.5mm dotty spotty hook
Pattern :: Neat Ripple Pattern
Starting chain :: 227 stitches
Rows :: 176
Measures :: 112cm x 180cm
Weight :: 1430 g
Balls :: 29
Cost :: Ssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhh, don't ask bad questions.
Mileage :: 29 balls @ 125m each ball = 3625 metres = 2.25247057 miles of yarn (!)
Photo :: Little B snuggled up in the Big Chair
Blanket :: gorgeous
Me :: happy-smiley