Hello!! I have been torn in two sitting here uploading pictures for today's Moorland installment, it is such a bitter sweet feeling writing the last part of this Crochet-A-Long. I have honestly loved every single part of designing, making and sharing this blanket, and now it is finally finished (and wrapped around my shoulders right now as I sit at my desk), I am really sad that the journey is over.
I have to tell you.......I have developed a seriously deep crush on my Moorland blanket, and although I dearly love all my blankets, this one has taken over rather a large part of my heart. Thank goodness I don't have to ever part with it, I really think I would cry if I couldn't smooch with it every single day.
But anyhoooo, enough of the emotional stuff, shall we get on with talking about the final part of the blanket? Today is all about the Border of course, and I am really excited to share this with you. Before we start though, I just want to remind you all to have a look at the final Cloud Blue stripe at the top of your blanket and make sure you followed instructions given in Part 6 of the CAL to make your top edge straight. You will also need to have all your ends securely darned in before you get going along the edge.
I took the above photo to show you what my yarn bag looked like once the 115 stripes in my blanket were complete. It still looks quite full, don't you think?
It turns out that my Moorland Blanket used approximately 70g of each colour, leaving plenty left over to work the border and possibly a few cushions too (I'm thinking a Blooming Flower cushion would look awesome in these colours). The best way to assess your yarn quantities at this stage is to use digital kitchen scales - if you followed my tension/size guidelines in the Neat Wave tutorial, you should have at least 20g of each colour left to play with for the border.
Originally, I had planned on keeping the Moorland border very narrow, just using two colours (Storm Blue and Lime). The first round of any border is often quite a tricky one to crochet - it has to do a good job at disguising the inevitable lumps and bumps sitting along the blanket edge, as well as creating a neat and straight foundation for the rest of the border rows. For the Moorland Edging, I used double crochet stitches worked into the actual post of the stitches at the end of each stripe. Working into those stitches isn't an easy thing to do, but it is definitely worth the extra hook-wiggling effort. The results are neat and understated and go a long way towards smoothing everything out at the ends of those striped rows.
Once that first row has been nailed down and you have recovered from it (cake helps!), the subsequent rows are an absolute breeze. I love the way the thin rows of colour manage to keep a gentle hold on the Moorland landscape without distracting from it in any way.
In fact, for a few weeks I kept the border this way and pondered on whether these two rounds were enough. I thought it over a whole lot, but in the end I decided that nope, it just wasn't quite enough. I would need to select two more colours. Naturally, I thought a lot about the overall Moorland colour story, about the earth, moss, grass, heather and sky, and how best to carry that story through to the border design.
I decided to choose one shade of grass green.....
....and one shade of heather purple.
I wonder which are your favourites? Which would you go for?
After much deliberating, I settled on Cypress and Grape. To me, these were the colours that most represented the grass and heather, and seeing all four colours together made me very happy.
I would love to encourage you to think about your own choice of border colours, and not feel that you have to follow me exactly if you don't want to. Maybe you would prefer the depth of Plum instead of Grape, or maybe you would like to add soft Sage instead of Cypress. Maybe you prefer a lighter approach and opt for Lavender and Duck Egg to add a bit of summer sky to the border.
Just remember that you need approximately 20g of a colour to work one round of the edging.
I decided to make my corners rounded on this blanket, the softness seemed appropriate and provides a visual link to the undulating waves of the stripes. I have to say I really love the effect (I am usually one for perfect perky, pointy corners), plus it makes the whole edge an absolute doddle to crochet.
The final (4th) round of the border is worked as a whole round of slip stitches - I am so so pleased with how this turned out. I sampled a hummungous number of ideas for the edge-of-the-edge, with plenty of failed picots, a whole host of wave effects and some more loopy, decorative ideas tried, tested and frogged. In the end, I settled for this simple approach which pleases me no end. I love the way that the slip stitches create a neat surface chain that nestles into the row below - it's quite textural and feels almost like a braid running around the edge. It's the heather sitting in amongst the tall summer grasses.
The finished effect is exactly what I was after - this border is strong yet subtle, a beautiful framework but not a distraction.
Borders and edgings can be tricky things to balance and get right, that's for sure. Mind you, it's also quite a personal thing too, so please don't be afraid to make your border wider if you wish, by adding more rows/colours (this is especially the case if you've made your blanket double bed size). Please do feel you can use my edging pattern as a guideline or a starting point and have confidence to make it your own. After crocheting with these colours for the past two months, I'm sure you'll have your own favourite combo's!
As you would expect from me, I've written a complete tutorial for working the Moorland edging, with the usual gazillion photos and plain English explanations. You can find it in the sidebar of my blog, or click on the following link >>
Although I've now finished my Moorland blanket, and many of you will be finishing your own too, I am planning one more installment. I'm going to write a Grand Ta-dah post as I don't feel quite ready to let this CAL go. Nope, definitely not ready....I still have things to say, more pictures to share, more celebrating to do!!
The past few months have been extra special for me, and so much more than just sharing a free pattern and making a blanket. The strong sense of community and friendship which bloomed over the Moorland has been overwhelmingly lovely and quite emotional for me, and I am so grateful for you all.
I hope with all my heart that this journey has been as delightful for you as it has for me.....I am looking forward to ta-dahing!!
Here are the links you might need ...