Hello, thank you for popping in here, I'm very pleased to see you. It's stupid o'clock in the morning and I can't sleep so I'm here. I blame the new duvet: it's so bloomin' warm that I'm overheating - in December!
The other day I received the notification that Heather at Little Tin Bird had taken down her blog. This made me feel sad because Heather was one of the bloggers who inspired me to learn to crochet, and her tutorials were crucial to my actually learning how to do it. Last year I made a baby blanket using her rainbow scheme in Stylecraft Special DK colours of Lipstick, Spice, Saffron, Lime, Turquoise, Violet and Magenta, beginning with a chain of 101 and working ten rows of trebles in each colour. It's very simple but I was ridiculously pleased with myself. The Teacher was so taken with it that she asked me to make one for Tom Kitten, before we even knew that he was Tom Kitten, and it was the blanket which snuggled him up when he was a few minutes old. Fourteen months on, it has worked very hard: he has been wrapped in it, slept beneath it, played on top of it and now it goes out with him in the car and the pushchair to keep him cosy. It seems to charm all those who see it and The Teacher often passes on to me the compliments she receives from random strangers (usually older women!) when she is out and about with it. Recently, somebody even asked her if I have an Instagram account which they could follow (I don't). Get me!!
After Tom Kitten was born, The Teacher asked me to make another blanket for another friend of hers and this year I have made four more in the same size. Although the body of each blanket is identical, I use different colours for the border, which is always the Spot On edging designed by Lucy at Attic 24, really so that when Tom Kitten is out with his friends, their blankets don't get mixed up. One of his friends is a Bigger Girl, she's three years old, and when her mother asked The Teacher if I could give her "the recipe" for the blanket I instead asked if I could make one for her myself and she agreed - I had enough yarn left over in my stash and if I had known how to crochet when she was born I would have made one for her then. So I made a bigger blanket for the Bigger Girl, starting with a chain of 122 and working twelve rows in each of the seven colours. In return she made me a lovely card and her mother sent me a photo of the blanket being worn as a cape. I was thrilled. That one was rainbow blanket number eight.
One of Tom Kitten's friends, the owner of the first rainbow blanket, has a Big Sister who is seven years old. At the end of last winter, she noticed that her brother has a blanket and asked why she didn't have one. Her mother asked The Teacher if I take commissions (!) and The Teacher explained that I don't because it takes me so many hours to make things that it's not worth the money. However, how could I allow a seven-year-old to remain blanketless? That would be almost criminal, I think. I checked my stash and told The Teacher that I would make a blanket but that it would take several months because I would do it between my other projects. I said that it might not be finished before Christmas.
I decided that this blanket needed to be quite a bit bigger than the baby blankets because a seven-year-old is quite a bit bigger than a baby, and I wanted it to have some longevity as she grows, but I didn't want it to be single-bed sized because I wanted her to be able to carry it around herself, so I began with a chain of 129. I was also a bit fed up of the original pattern and I couldn't really face making it in a bigger size, but I do love the way the colours work together, so I decided that blanket number nine would be something new for me: a ripple, a rainbow ripple. Now, I should state at this point that I am not a big fan of the look of the ripple (I know, that may actually be crochet sacrilege) but I know that many other people love it, and I wanted to learn how to do it. Now that it's finished, I may have been converted; I think I love it too.
Here it is folded in half on The Teacher's spare bed. I edged this one in Storm Blue, filling in the troughs of the ripple to make straight edges. I think it is just about perfect.
So blanket number nine has been wrapped up and will be opened on Christmas Day. I have scattered nine rainbows around Shropshire and Staffordshire and number ten is on order for next spring. Perhaps I should change my name to Iris?
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x