While working on a project, I’m not sure if its just in my case, but I find it funny how one thinks back to previous projects made, trying to compare the times it took to make the previous and compare it with your current WIP. I’m constantly trying to compare and often hear myself asking “How long did that take again?”… It’s never easy being in that position (especially if you receive a reply from other voices in your head 🤣) but joking aside – the “so excited to see the finished product” feeling that spurs you on combined with the thoughts of “what a monstrous task! What was I thinking? It’ll never finish” conflicts in your mind and is a strange phenomenon…
Then you eventually get to the end – the last stitch and suddenly you think – “was that it? It cant be finished?”. Never a truer time than with Lisa’s blanket. I LOVED making this blanket and was sad when I’d finished. Mind you, making this blanket was very emotional for me and a lot of love was poured into this work so the emotions were running pretty high by the time the last stitch was made.💕
As people close to me will know, my sister was not well. She lives a long way away from me and I miss her dearly. It’s even harder being away from those you love when they are facing very challenging situations and are hurting. I wished so to wrap her up in my arms and just give her a big ‘ol hug. Sadly, again this year, she is facing more tough times and I’m instantly drawn back to the blanket and thoughts (again) of “what can I do to help?”…
I designed the blanket myself using pens & pencils in a paper notebook that I keep all my “Made by Nina” patterns in. (My scribbles and my working out’s). I went in search of and found a pattern for a heart shape Granny square on Ravelry which would be the basis of my design and it just so happened that I loved the colors used on the heart square pattern and so decided I would make Lisa’s blanket using similar colors, mix it up with other shapes and mixture of the same basic colors. I knew how to do a basic Granny Square and now had the heart pattern, but the other shapes I had to make up myself. I quite enjoyed designing new square shapes for myself and made a floral and diamond shape too. I also found a “swirly shape” Granny, but once I made one, I decided would not suit the style I was trying to achieve.
In the notebook, I played around a bit with the Granny Square shapes and how they would fit together. My notebook soon became pages worth of blanket designs. In the end I worked out a way to scatter the shapes equally across the blanket. To explain how it was “structured” if you can’t see it in the photo’s:- looking at the blanket as a whole split it through the center into quarters. The top left quarter, is the exact opposite of the bottom right quarter and the same for the top right quarter -> lower left.
I loved how this design turned out – on paper it looks like the squares are randomly placed, but in fact they are strategically placed – because I’m a control freak like that ha-ha 😂 – to spread the love equally across the whole blanket.
I divided the amount of squares I needed by the amount of shapes I had and then also had to work out the color variations to try make each round of each of the squares in a different color. Obviously some had to overlap on color variations, so I landed up with 3 or 4 of the same color squares here and there. I calculated how many of each square I needed and I even managed to calculate (pretty accurately in hindsight) how much yarn to purchase.
I didn’t tell my sister about the blanket. Kept it a secret and every time I spoke with her I would give the square I was working on a hug whilst also trying to pass a hug to her over the phone. Each square eventually became such a part of me and received so many, many positive thoughts and love for her all of which was poured into each stitch.
After making all the squares, I put them on the dining room floor (as you do when you’re stuck for large areas to work on a blanket design). I put them in the order I had on my plan, adjusting the squares by the colors so that for example, all 4 of the same color/shape Granny Square would not be in the same quarter / too close to each other and also that the overall “flow” of color was more pleasing.
I researched borders in my crochet pattern books and looked on websites with free border patterns. As with everything else on this blanket design, I took the ideas that I found and just let it run into something of my own and made up a completely unique ‘Nina’ border.
Once the final stitch was stitched and the last remaining yarn ends darned, I was quite emotional to say the least.
She visited me in June 2016 and I gave her the finished blanket and explained that it was filled with lots of love and the biggest hugs from me to her and that whenever she felt down or hurt that all she need do is to wrap herself in the blanket and know that she is loved, especially by me. ❤️
Here’s quite a few photo’s for you to peruse.. start to fin: