On Birthday Blankets

I have had this hankering to crochet a blanket lately.  I blame my mother.  She picked crochet back up around the time I was first learning, and now that she’s retired, has been turning out blankets and shawls at an alarming rate.  Unfortunately, I do not have a new home with lots of beds and rocking chairs to make throws for, and I already have an oversupply of blankets thanks to Mom’s t-shirt quilting binge last year.  I already had a more involved sewing project planned for my niece-to-be, and Mom already presented my brother and sister-in-law with a hand-made baby blanket at Christmas.  The nearest immediate family birthday is coming up soon, but is – you guessed it – my mother’s, and she needs another crocheted blanket like a pastry chef needs a cupcake.

But wouldn’t you know, my Aunt Pagie (yup – my namesake) has a mid-February birthday, and has had a pretty crazy year, so I thought she could do with a little extra birthday cheer in the form of a cozy lap blanket.  So I hit up the pattern library on Ravelry.com and stumbled across this wonderful tropical flower-y pattern, ideal for fighting off the Idaho winter.  February’s birthstone is Amethyst, so I naturally went to Hobby Lobby in search of soft, purple yarn.

Over the last couple of years I’ve discovered two particularly wonderful kinds of yarn for my crochet projects.  Yarn Bee makes a variegated wool blend called Snowflake that isn’t quite worsted weight, but it is unbelievably soft and warm, and comes in the most beautiful combinations of colors.  Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice yarns are my favorite all-purpose yarn.  They are super soft, don’t unravel, and I’ve been able to use them for everything from small amigurumi projects (size G hooks) to sweaters and blankets that call for a size J hook.  They seem to come in every color I could possibly want, so I picked up a purple, beige, and two blues (navy and sapphire) to go with the purple “Whimsy” Snowflake.*

Each flower uses three colors, so I mapped out a plan for a 5×5 arrangements of flowers, with the variegated yarn in every other flower, and no purple in the outermost row of any of the flowers along the edge of the blanket, because I then planned to make a trim row around that outer edge starting with purple.

As per the warning on Ravelry, the pattern is written in Australian terminology, so I may or may not have heavily modified the design, but I was quite happy with the finished product:

…as was Aunt Pagie.

*I promise I’m not in any way being compensated for all the brand name-dropping.  I just like what I like.


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