Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Comfy Make: Stripy Crocheted Lap Blanket

As promised in my last post, here's the pattern for the stripy lap blanket I designed myself.  I'll try and work up the pattern for the circular one as soon as I've finished the darned thing…
My stripy lap blanket in situe on our dining room sofa.
The crocheted bag to the left of it contains numerous unfinished projects!
The cushion is one of my favourites by Louise Brainwood, and the poster of
'The Tiger Who Came To Tea' was given away in a newspaper years ago.

And here it is draped artistically on our former church pew in the hall!
Lampshade here also by Louise Brainwood

The half treble stitches close up: the stitch is tight enough to make for a good looking, 
snug blanket, and gives quick results

This lap blanket is incredibly simple - even those with the most basic of crocheting knowledge will have it whipped up in a jiffy - and it's a huge amount of fun to make and looks fantastic once complete.  It's also a very versatile pattern - I've gone for a palette of nine colours, and crocheted in random coloured stripes of 4 rows each, but you could do your stripes as deep or as colourful as you wish.  And it's a great way of using up wool remnants from previous projects.  My blanket measures approx 110cm square, but you can adapt the pattern to make it as small (baby cot?) or as large (double bed?) as you like.  I figure my blanket, materials wise, cost no more than around £7 in materials to make, so it's also cheap as chips.

Materials
Wool: double knit (DK), in as many or as few colours as you like
4.5mm crochet hook
Needle to weave in ends / scissors

Notes before we start
Stitch-wise, we're going to be using the half treble crochet stitch for the main body of the blanket, and the double crochet stitch to do the edging at the end (UK terminology):

HALF TREBLE CROCHET:
Yarn over hook, insert hook into stitch, yarn over hook, bring back through stitch to give 3 loops on hook; yarn over and bring hook through all three loops.

DOUBLE CROCHET:
Insert hook into stitch, yarn over hook, bring back through stitch to give 2 loops on hook; yarn over and bring hook through both loops.

HOW TO CHANGE COLOUR:
1. Follow these simple instructions and photos to help you.  At the end of your row, snip your wool leaving a tail approx 7cm long.

1.

2. Get your next colour and knot these two ends together, making sure that the knot sits as tight to the crochet as possible.

2.


3. Ch2 and turn your piece.

3.

4. I always crochet the ends of the wool into the piece at this point - it's simple and effective and saves on hours spent weaving in the ends of the wool once you've finished your rows. To do this, lie the two ends on the edge of the row you're about to crochet. As you do your stitches, ensure that the ends stay on the edge of the row and they will become enclosed in your new stitches.

4.

5. They add little to no bulk to your row, and become hidden in the new stitches. Result!

5.

CROCHET TENSION:
I've produced this pattern based on my crocheting tension; it will produce a lap blanket of
approximately the dimensions as stated above.  If you want to do a smaller or a larger
blanket, I suggest you do a test piece to see how many stitches you need in your stripy
rows.  Also remember that the border of the blanket measures approximately 3cm each
side, so you need to take this into account when deciding on how many stitches you need
for your rows - otherwise your blanket will be 6cm wider and longer than you expected it to
be!

STARTING EACH ROW:
Be extra careful to start in the 3rd st from your hook each row, otherwise you could end up
with a wonky sided blanket.
   
I've captioned the 1st, 2nd and 3rd stitches from the hook on this photo -
you're aiming to crochet into stitch 3, where the pencil is pointing

If you're unsure, try a test piece first - ch no more than about 20st, then practice starting
each row in the 3rd ch from your hook. After about 6 rows, check your piece - is it wonky?
Are all your rows looking uniform and aligned?  If not you may be doing something wrong.
Double check where you're starting from against the photo and trust me, you'll get it in no
time, it just takes a bit of practice (take it from someone who has produced more than one
wonky sided blanket in her time!).

Are you ready?  Here we go!


Pattern - Stripes
Using the colour for your first row, ch152.
  • Row 1: starting in the 3rd ch from your hook, 1htr in each stitch to end (150st). Ch2. Turn work.
  • Row 2: in the 3rd st from your hook, 1htr in each stitch to end (150st). Ch2. Turn work.
…and so on, until your blanket is as short or as long as you want it.  For my lap blanket, I completed 30 stripes of 4 rows each which, by my reckoning, is 120 rows in total. 

Pattern - border
  • Choose which side of your blanket you would like to be the 'front'. With this facing you, and using your border colour, attach your wool to any stitch along the top edge of your blanket (i.e. not to a side edge).  1dc in each stitch until you reach your first corner.
  • 3dc in corner stitch. Continue down the side of the blanket - this is trickier as you're working into the ends of each of the stripy rows, but as a guideline, I put five dc into each of the stripes, giving me approx 150 stitches down each side.  When you reach the next corner, 3dc in corner stitch.
  • Along the next edge - 1dc in each stitch. Next corner - 3dc in corner stitch.
  • Along the next (side) edge - 5dc in each colour band. Next corner - 3dc in corner stitch.
  • 1dc in each stitch until you're back where you started. Slip stitch to 1st st in your row to join.
  • Next row: *Ch 1. 1dc into same st. 1dc into each st around, except for corners (3dc into each corner st). Sl st to join row.*
  • Repeat from * to * for another 2 rows, giving 4 rows in total. Finish off and weave in ends.

And there you have it!

One cosy, colourful lap blanket, all ready for snuggling under with a hot chocolate and a good book or film. Or let the kids use if for making a den. Or make a smaller one for a new arrival. Or make a mahoosive one for your bed.

Blanket + cushions = happy me


Blanket on lap. Soooo cosy!

Let me know how you get on - a comments section is below.  Happy crocheting!

Bye for now xxx

Pattern and photos (c) Comfy Marmalade 2017

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