Two Scarves and a Blanket

The casual crocheter is back for another season's roundup of projects. I was really feeling the yarn crafts this year and managed to complete four projects! Definitely a record for me. On top of the baby cardigan I made my niece, I also made two scarves and a blanket for myself. And after you hear the roller coaster ride I went through in the process, you'll understand why I'm happy to tuck my hooks away for another year. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have read the saga of this scarf already. Basically, it began as an exact replica of the Daisy Farm Crafts modern moss-stitch blanket, but a quarter of the way through, I realized that I was only a quarter of the way through, and thus needed a lot more yarn. I had also realized by this point that I had made a poor choice in yarn, because although it was incredibly soft and spongey merino, it was handwash only, and ivory, for a blanket that will get used every day. I don't know what I was thinking! Anyway, I slung the luxurious thing around my neck and puttered around the house while contemplating both the fate of the blanket and the state of my mind, ultimately deciding that I quite liked it around my neck. Maybe around my neck was where it should stay. That it did, and it kept me toasty on many snowy walks this winter.

But what happened to my big blanket plans? Well, once I realized that I would need at least three times the amount of yarn than I thought, thus making this a very expensive blanket, it was debated long and hard with my husband (who is the one who wanted this blanket to begin with). I eventually convinced him that this would be the warmest and coziest blanket of our dreams, but he insisted on a few caveats: that it not be white, that it be machine washable, and that I agree to watch all three Godfathers with him while I crocheted. Ha! Compromise. The secret to a happy marriage and a happy maker.

We picked out the yarn together: Cascade Longwood in heathered grey and white. After multiple re-stocking trips to Handknit, I lost track of how many balls I bought, but I think it was 10 grey and 2 white. 

Keep in mind, it is an unusual size for a lap blanket. My husband wanted it to be at least 6 feet long, enough to cover his whole body, or for two people and a cat to comfortably share. That's already long, and then it stretched. Oh did it stretch. From 72" to 84", to be exact. This pattern is worked lengthwise (also unusual), so there was nothing I could do about the length unless I wanted to completely start over. I was about halfway through and I honestly thought about it, thinking about the yarn savings, but once I calculated that I would only save one ball of yarn, it didn't seem worth all the many hours of work. It actually fits perfectly across a queen size bed. And, honestly, who every complained about having too much cozy blanket around them? Not me.

The pattern was just about as easy as it gets, but the simple design is what I loved most about it. And I found the mindless repetition to be quite calming and meditative. Perfect for long winter evenings watching movies. (Godfather II was the best Godfather, by the way.)

It was quite the journey, full of debate, indecision and compromise, but we got there in the end. And it is honestly the warmest and softest blanket ever. We have enjoyed snuggling under it every night since it was finished. And that is worth every laboured stitch.

Believe it or not, my final project also had a dramatic life story. Do you remember how I tried to crochet a cat cave last year? Well it didn't turn out great and the ungrateful prince only sat in it once, so I decided to unravel it and make something for someone that would appreciate it... myself! I fell in love with the vintage bullion scarf pattern, which seemed like a perfect fit for my bulky yarn. The pattern sample was even the same colour. It was too perfect to resist.

It was an interesting and fairly quick project to work on as the nights turned colder. I had never made a bullion stitch before and it was fun. You basically wrap the yarn around your hook eight times and then pull through them all! Tough on the hands, but super cool effect.

The scarf turned out beautiful and incredibly warm. It's so firm that it basically forms a wall around my face. Perfect for those really blustery days. Unfortunately, the yarn is on the scratchy side. Great for cat beds; not so great for human necks. So it didn't get much wear this winter. It might work better wrapped around the outside of my coat. I'll give it another season to see how much I use it. Otherwise, it may get a third life as a pillow! Haha! I'll keep you posted.

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