Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Circus Patchwork Blanket Ta-dah.......

So.......

.....the reason for my absence......



.....was that, in amongst all the daily chores that seem to ALWAYS be getting GREATER and GREATER.....

.....I have been trying to finish my little blanket for Baby Bear.



It's funny.....I started this last year. I put it down and had no inclination to start it up again. I have a little notebook that I write down the important information on the projects that I am doing. I found, because of this project, and others, that I would start something on a complete whim and then put it down for a long time. When I went to pick it up again, I would forget which size hook I was using, what the pattern was (if i'd just made it up from my head), and what specific yarn colours and brand I was using. I think this is what kept me away from it for so long. I did remember the hook size, but i'd totally forgotten how i'd put it together and was just so lazy to have to deconstruct one to find out all over again. (Seriously, I should have spent a few minutes looking up hexagon patterns on the net as it would have been far quicker and easier! Sometimes I just seem to go the REALLY LONG way round to achieving something!)




Going away and discovering my 'inspiration' for it again, thrust it back into the limelight. As I worked on it, I started to get really obsessed with getting it finished as quickly as possible. Baby Bear decided he REALLY liked it and wanted it on his bed ASAP, so I needed to put everything else aside and just concentrate on it. By the time it came to putting the border on, I was like a woman posessed. I had so many ideas I wanted to try.

So.....here it is.....the finished article.......


The Circus Patchwork Crochet Blanket






I LOVE it. I TRULY love it. And Baby Bear gave it the thumbs up too! Phew! It has been well used.......and abused! The pictures I took were hurridly taken whilst there was a brief rain respite, and the sun sheepishly poked his head out of the grey clouds. But it was really windy and it was very hard to keep the thing from blowing everywhere. I also had to prise it from Baby Bear to get some shots. So please forgive the ruffled-ness of it. It did lie flat and look decent when I had finished it. But, so what. It was made to be used and abused by a five year old!



Okay.......so.......I know that some of you have wanted the pattern and/or a tutorial. Well, I have said on many occasion, that i'm pretty pants at that sort of thing. I make it WAY too complicated and get myself in a muddle. You know, this was a pretty standard hexagon, and I was sure that I could find something that had already been done online to point you in the direction of.



So......after a search.....what did I come to? Well, the very lovely Lucy of Attic24!  I'm laughing! I should have visited Lucy right from the very beginning! Her hexagon is very similar to the one I used. The difference being these little ones:



I used a 3mm hook to make my hexagons very tight. I wanted a tighter, thicker look to a block this time round. I have found that vintage crochet blankets seem, more often than not, to be quite compact and crocheted on smaller hooks. This is what I was aiming for.

In round 4 - instead of doing 3 chains and then single crocheting in every cluster space, I alternated with 3 chains and then 5 chains. The 5 chains became the corners of the hexagon in round 5.

In round 5 - I did 4 UK TR per cluster and not 3 as Lucy did. This just made it more compact.

So, that was my version, but I would highly recommend Lucy's pattern, as it is wonderfully written and so easy to follow.

Now, I also had the idea that I wanted to have all the sides to be squared off. I wanted a border, and for what I had in mind, the sides HAD to be straight. This meant I had to learn how to make a half hexagon for two sides and a sort of hexagon 'tip' for the other two sides.



Wow, my brain had to work hard! The half hexagon was okay. It was just a case of cutting the pattern in half, allowing for uk trebles to join your blocks to each other. After working a few, I sort of got what I was doing, but I think some varied ever so slightly!!!!!! The hexagon tips needed slightly more brain thought. I just looked at the hexagon tips to work out what stitches I needed, then worked it up. It was trial and error really, and as I working on a small hook with a lot of stitches crammed in together, it took a bit of time to be happy with the result.



A part of me REALLY wanted to go to town with the border. The patchwork colours were bright and eclectic. A bit mad really, and I thought about making a border equally as mad. But, common sense prevailed and I settled for a fairly colourful one, but one that didn't distract from the bright hexagons.

I loved this blanket for the fact that there was a lot of colour, yet there were minimal ends to sew in. I am used to having hundreds of the little blighters to sew in, but this was super quick for me. The only one thing that seemed to bother me a little bit, was that, because the the hexagons were full and half when doing the first row of my border, it made the stitches 'craggy' and not fluid. In my perfectionists eye, it bothered me, in my it's handmade and original eye, it was ok. So it's not a big issue, but that was my only gripe!



I used scraps of yarn to make this. That's why it is so eclectic! All dk and acrylic mixes in many brands.

So..... I managed to pull a patchwork blanket out of the bag.....and more importantly, Baby Bear has a huge love and affection for it. So job done! It looks lovely on his bed and I now have an idea burning to revamp something to sort of match with it, in an un-matchy kind of way! More on that when I get round to it!



It's not a blanket that is everyone's cup of tea. Mr H finds it a hard one to love! Good job it's not on our bed then! he he!



Right....I think I have waffled on for quite a bit.

I was working two other projects alongside this one, one of which is finished too. So when the weather gets a little better, I shall do a ta-dah for that also. I have a bit to go to get the third one done, but my enthusiasm has rocketed now this and the other one have been completed. Wow, maybe three ta-dahs in as many weeks!



Have a beautiful day all



xxx

63 comments:

  1. I think it's beautiful. :-D It's inspired me to start on a blanket for my own small person's bed!

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  2. Got to love a hexie in any form Vanessa!!
    Also isn't it lovely how much wee boys enjoy a crochet blanket? It's very gratifying.
    xx

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  3. Gorgeous looking blanket!!

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  4. Vanessa, it's absolutely GORGEOUS! i love the vintage feel to it, and how wonderful that Baby Bear loves it so much too. I had been pondering a hexie blanket with my odds and ends and now my mind is set! Perfect for a little boy's bed.

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  5. I know I commented on Instagram but again, this blanket just thrills me! Beautiful. Such lovely vintageness.

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  6. It's beautiful! Love the colors :-)

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  7. What a beautiful blanket Vanessa! The colours are simply gorgeous!
    Victoria xx

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  8. It's an absolute stunner, a real labour of love and I'm so pleased your son adores it xox

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  9. I'll be honest, this blanket wasn't one of the ones I totally coveted when it was in the making. "Thank heavens she hasn't made yet another thing I want to copy exactly" I thought....until now. Damn you Ness!!!!!! You and your magic fingers and exceptional taste. You rotter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    xxx

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  10. This is a gorgeous blanket!!! Think Mr H may need a visit to the optician ... what's not to love???? I've been doing a stripey blanket but may have to make a few hexies now....!!! xxx ♥

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  11. Oh. My. God. I am currently in the process of making my first ever crochet blanket (it's taking forever, I'm not the best crochet-er! Knitting is much more my thing!) but this just blows my efforts out of the water! It's so beautiful, I will definitely try and give this pattern a go if I ever finish my first blanket :)

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  12. I love your gorgeous blanket! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has trouble remembering hook size and patterns, I forget from one day to the next! I do write it all down in a notebook now.

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  13. Great blanket....I am definitely with you on starting something, putting it down and then forgetting what I was doing....the number of times I've tried the same project on different hooks and never being quite convinced it is the same.....I must get a book, that is a genius idea!

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  14. Wow, your blanket is properly lovely! The photos are gorgeous too :o) I don't think I'll be making any hexagons soon as I have a HUGE ongoing blanket with granny squares that will take at least another five or six years!

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  15. I really love those hexagons Vanessa! You've done a lovely job and so much patience too. I often put things aside for so long that I've forgotten how I was making it but since I've joined Ravelry, it's made me actually write down what I'm doing for once! :)
    Jess xx

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  16. Love it! The colours work beautifully together and really do give it that vintage feel. I also love the border, it doesn't take away from the hexagons at all. You have given me renewed interest in my hexagon blanket which I cast aside a few weeks ago. I will have a go at making half hexagons too as I am thinking of straight edges, but I might change my mind (especially if making half hexagons makes my brain hurt!). No wonder your little boy loves it so much. Well done. x

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  17. AMAZING! I love how the hexagons are all one color too! Very nice!! You did a great job with it!!

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  18. Beautiful! It looks so perfect and how lovely that your little boy already loves it.
    I've been working on the hexagons from Lucy pattern and was unsure if I liked the shell border on mine, but I might have to copy your border now!!
    It really is wonderful!

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  19. It's beautiful Vanessa, perfect for your little bear!
    I think the border balances with the colourful hexies really well!
    Rachel x

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  20. helloooo lovely!!...i do adore your crochet blankets, so beautiful- i think the colours are stunning and vibrant. what a snuggly dream land the little bears will have snuggled up in it ;0)
    oh' blissful.... xxxx

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  21. Well done for finishing your blanket it is apsalutely gorgeous ,i love it ,i can just do granny squares ,anything else i get too muddled with ,would love to try something different but i find patterns too confusing ,lovely pictures xxxx

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  22. Such a fabulous blanket. I love the colour combinations and the border looks amazing, too!
    So glad your little one loves it- it makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it?!
    Have a super week and enjoy working on your new projects.
    Xx

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  23. So lovely Vanessa.....and so clever to be able to deconstruct to figure our what you'd done, and to make up the little half hexies.....I can crochet the stitches, but can't seem to make up patterns or see what I've done, or where I've gone wrong.....I'm currently.....slowly....making my first ever crocheted blanket in a vintage stripe....but it's using sooooo much yarn.....I love the way you've done the border too....and how the hexies look lacy.....I think I'd quite like to do one having seen your beautiful one.....but use real pretty girly colours......I think you've inspired me to try that next.....have a lovely day -xxx-

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  24. Me too, me too!! I love, love, love it!!
    Blessings, Esther

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  25. Oh it's gorgeous, I love it!!!!! Isn't it funny how boys love homemade blankets I was worried having boys I wouldn't be able to share my crafts but joshy and Sam both seem to love the things I make and always ask if they can keep them! Xxxxxx

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  26. Your blanket is so georgous, your a clever lady.

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  27. I bet he loves it too!!
    its so colorful and lovely...Have a great week!

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  28. I love it!!! It is a HAPPY one !! X Claire

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  29. It`s a very beautiful and inspiring artwork! I felt like going back to crochet :)

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  30. As usual, gorgeous use of colors and gorgeous border! :)

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  31. It's a wonderful blanket and so colorful. Love it.

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  32. Wow! This is so adorable. Great job! And the best part is that your little one loves it! xoxo Debbie

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  33. How can someone NOT love this one? I think it is extremely gorgeous. Well done... Mine is still folded up in a box untouched, far from finished... I am not sure if it will ever be finished but as I see yours I really should make an effort. I would love for my blanket to look just like that and I am using pretty much the same type of crazy color mix... Love the border too. Very nice. Well done finishing this one. I am so crap at finishing projects...♥♥♥

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  34. It is beautiful!! I love the hexagons!! Great job!! So happy your little one loves it, too!! Have a beautiful day!! xo Heather

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  35. Wow! Your blanket is entirely fabulous! You must be in complete love with it.
    Claire

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  36. Totally and utterley fabulous!
    Must get my granny(WIP)blanket out and FINISH it,and then I can do a Ta Dah like you! :0)

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  37. WOW..WOW...WOW...WOW..WOW..that is truely gorgeous no its stunning ;-) I love everything about it the shapes, the colours are fabulous and wow no wonder your little man wanted to use it straight away bless him what a wonderful memory filled with love you have created for him. dee x

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  38. It's wonderful. How could anyone not have love for such a beauty? Lovely colours and I love that you've filled in all the hexagons down the sides, a lovely touch! Well done :)

    Sandra x

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  39. Your blanket is absolutely amazing hon - you must be so very proud of it! Gorgeous hexies and a fabulous border - I am having complete and utter blanket envy!

    Have a fab week hon,
    Leah
    xxxx

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  40. Oh my the colours are so amazing...I love it! Well done my friend. xoxoxox

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  41. Oh wow - respekt! What a great job! how much work.... lovely great from Germany, Petra and cat Jacky

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  42. It's beautiful! It's made even more special that your little one loves it. What better reason to sit and make than to make your little one smile :0)
    Kandi x

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  43. What a wonderful blanket! It's so lovely when our little ones appreciate what we make for them! So glad Baby Bear loves it.

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  44. I truly love it too!!! It really is the sweetest little blanet I have ever seen! I can't imagine all the time & love you poured into it & the colors are just perfect!!!

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  45. I think it's such a great idea how you log everything into your notebooks. We, mums, are so busy and pulled in different directions all the time yeah? I log notes into Ravelry since my iPhone is practically attached to my hip.
    You did such a wonderful job on the blanket. It's so fun to look at. Love how your son adores it.

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  46. This is wonderful. I just learned to crochet last year and am still pottering away trying to finish my first cushion. Can't wait to have it done so i can start on a beautiful blanket

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  47. Love it!! Thanks for posting this, I always love to see a *finished* crochet blanket.

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  48. Stunning! I love how you finished up the hexagon 'bits' - really, really lovely!

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  49. Such a beautiful blanket Vanessa and gorgeous colours - I wish I could get my act together and get back in to making.....something!

    Hey, ho - Nina xxx

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  50. So beautiful! I love the color block look, and the border is perfect. I'm inspired now. :)

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  51. The most beautiful blanket I've ever seen I think. A very special one.
    Talitha

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  52. Its amazing congrats ;)http://sewinglovers.blogspot.pt/

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  53. Hello, I have admired your blanket for many months now and am making myself one finally. I also worked out the patterns and blogged them, I have linked to you, I hope you don't mind. If you are in any way uncomfortable with that then I shall take the post down at your request.

    Meanyjar x

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  54. Oh my goodness, this is so lovely! Thanks so much for sharing it!

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  55. It is so beautiful. I also want to thank you for sharing it.

    Lisa

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  56. I love this pattern! The hex's are both heavy and delicate with those cutouts. The colors you chose are really lovely too! Really nice work!

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  57. It is just lovely and such a great way to use of little bits of yarn. thanks for sharing.

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  58. Gorgeous :)
    I love the colours, the pattern and the works. Great job :)
    Greetings from Norway :)

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  59. Это бесподобно!

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  60. I love the colour combination, and the 'denseness' of the hexxies. Greatest admiration for your tenaciousness in sticking out such a big project!

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