I’ve got three things on the go at the moment, James quilt, which is making good progress so I will hopefully have something to show you tomorrow, a shirt which isn’t quite going as planned (more of that another day!!) and a ripple blanket…
Last spring I happened to see a photo of the Coast Ripple blanket, it was love at first sight! and that’s quite a thing for a non-knitter or crocheter! From that moment on I was determined to learn to crochet!! The Coast Ripple blanket is on Attic 24 web-site, which it turns out is based just up the road in Skipton.
Lucy has quite a few ripple blankets on her blog, but it was the coast one that caught my eye, she used about 15 different shades of wool, all inspired by the coast. Isn’t it gorgeous! She also has some very simple instructions on how to do the ripple pattern, so well written that even I could understand them!! You can even buy a pack of all the right colours from her.
First I had to learn to crochet, I bought a couple of books, but it’s not easy to learn from the page. As Tea and Tents, the WI camping and crafting weekend was coming up I decided to pack a ball of wool and a hook, there was bound to be someone there who could teach me…I was right! The wonderful Sarah from Seven Hills WI in Sheffield (who as Camp Mother for her WI adopted my friend and I for the week-end when our gas stove blew up on the first morning!) spent a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon patiently teaching us to crochet…and she needed a lot of patience! She taught us the basic stitches, how to do a granny square and helpful things like how to hold it.
After the weekend I decided to try crochet a scarf to consolidate what I had learnt, there was a simple looking pattern with bobbles on in one of my books. The first few inches of simple treble crochet went fine, but I got a bit lost with the bobbles. In the end I decided to abandon it, I could have undone it and persevered, but actually, I didn’t think I liked it enough to actually wear it.
Every year in Skipton there is a big wool festival called Yarndale, I’d never been before but I decided it would be a good place to find some wool for my blanket. I could have got a pack from Attic 24, but although I fell in love with the Coast Ripple, I decided I wanted a heather moorland version, all purples, plums, soft greens and the occasional bracken! Yarndale was amazing, as a non-knitter I didn’t particularly swoon over the wools, but I loved the colours! I came home with a big bag of wool!
In a corner of my sewing room I had a pack of dark blue and teal wool, I know it sounds daft, but I have no idea where it came from, whether my mum gave it to me (she’s a BIG knitter!) or I bought it during a rash moment years ago! I used this as a practice to suss out the pattern. It took me a while with crochet to be able to recognise the stitches I’d already done, but it did become much easier once I could identify the increase and decrease stitches. I’ve decided one reason I like crochet is that it’s so much easier to undo than knitting! I know that shouldn’t be a good reason to like crochet, but I’ve had lots of practice at undoing and re-stitching!! It reminds me of a conversation I had with one of the Doctors at work when I mentioned I was giving up alcohol for February, ‘Why February’ he asked, I explained that January was too soon after Christmas and February was shorter!!! He looked at me and said ‘I really don’t think that should be the reason!!’
Anyway, I decided to use all this spare wool as a first attempt ripple, get the hang of it before I start my Moorland Ripple!! It’s going to take a while as the rows are over 200 stitches long!!! At first it took about an hour and a quarter to get across, I’ve got a bit quicker as the last one took about 50 minutes! It’s meant to have over 80 stripes of 2 rows each, I don’t think I’ll have enough wool for that size but I will keep going until I use my wool up. I’ll have more of an idea when I finish my first balls of wool. I’ve only got two balls of the green, so I’m using one ball first, then I will have a long stretch of plain blue before starting green waves again at the other end.
I’m hoping to finish it in time for the Tea and Tents weekend in July. I might even be onto my Moorland Ripple by then… I might even decide to make the Coast one too, seen as was my inspiration to learn to crochet 🙂