Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Blanket From Hell

Over the couch and the coffee table, 7 feet wide
I've mentioned a few times over the course of this blog that I enjoy various forms of needlepoint and crafting including but not limited to crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, sewing, drawing, painting, I even spent a spell refinishing furniture.  So two years ago I decided that I wanted a new crocheting project so I took my book of patterns to Snack Monkey and told him to pick something out for me to make for him.  In true Snack Monkey fashion he picked the most complicated difficult pattern in the book and asked me to make it even more complicated by turning a two-color blanket into a three-color blanket.  Now let me clarify why this is the most complicated pattern in the book: it's not that there are any complex stitches, in fact it's all single crochets; the problem with this blanket is that you have to run two colors at the same time row-by-row.  That's right, you're actually running a strand of one color through the blanket as you crochet over it with the other color and then swapping back and forth every 1 to 7 stitches depending on where you are in the pattern.  Confused?  So was I at first.

The top with our names on it
But then it gets worse; I do the 246 chains called for by the pattern and he says "that's not long enough can you make it longer?"  So I add another 100 chains and start working on it.  Now there are two primary ways to make a blanket, the first is to just start a row and then keep building on it and building on it until you have a blanket and the other is to make strips of 15 or so rows each and then sew them all together when they're done.  Anyone who's tried the first method knows that eventually the blanket gets really heavy and bulky and hot and hard to work on.  Well this blanket was all single crochets, which seems like it would be easier but actually became time consuming, monotonous, and boring.  I get 7 strips done and decide that the blanket is just too big to make all in one piece so I tied the first panel off and started on another one.  When I got the second panel done Snack Monkey decided that the blanket was too narrow compared to the modified length so I began a third panel.  Part of the way through the third panel I ran out of one of the colors and went to the store to buy more only to find out they didn't carry it anymore.  We went to a half-dozen stores, minimum, looking for this color and no one had it anymore so I buy a roll online.

The bottom with the pet's names on it
I finish the third panel and then Snack Monkey wants to know if I can make a strip across the top and the bottom of the blanket and use my newly discovered two color pattern technique to create our names and the names of our pets in the blanket, sure why not.  Get those done, finally, and start stitching the whole thing together.  First I realize that the first and second panels are inverted so the patterns don't line up so I have to take them apart, flip them around, and sew them back together.  Then I go to sew on the third panel but the whole thing is just too big and bulky so I lay it out on the floor, get half way through and realize that the connective stitching will be on the back of the blanket instead of the front so I take it apart, flip it around and start over.  Get the three panels together and go to put the first name-strip on and realize that the blanket is two stripes wider than the name strip.  How did that happen?  Turns out two of my panels were 7 stripes wide but the third was 9 ... I have no idea why I did that.  So I unravel the name-strip from the blanket then unravel the third panel from the first two, then unravel the two extra stripes in the third panel so that it's 7.  Then I start all over attaching the third panel to the first two, then go back to work attaching the name-strips to the top and bottom.  I finally finished it off with a border around the whole thing and I FINALLY finished this monstrosity of a blanket last night at 11:30 p.m.  YES IT IS DONE! FINITO! OVER! FINISHED!

8 glasses of water
1 Fiber One bar
1 slice leftover pizza
1 chicken quesadilla
1 serving apple crumble (recipe from the book, not great)
Daily Caloric Intake: 1532

Treadmill: 3 miles @ 3.2 mph w/30 % incline


  1. Ha! Wouldn't it suck if you misspelled a name?

    Nice pattern though, Snack Monkey has good taste, and an excellent seam/crochet-stres.

  2. WoW that is quite the podject..Something that you guys will have forever!! I have always wanted to learn how to crochet. I started to learn. I was watching videos on youtube and would do what they do. But I dont know how to read what is in a book.

  3. Most pattern books translate their codes but I can give you some examples: YO stands for Yarn Over which basically just means wrap your yarn around your hook once (unless it's "YO twice" and then you would wrap your yarn around your hook two times). Ch means chain, this is usually the first step to any project and means yarn over once and pull through, yarn over once and pull through, etc. SC means single crochet which is a type of stitch where you put your hook through a hole in the blanket, snag your yarn and pull it through the whole so there are two loops on your hook, then yarn over once and pull the two loops at the back of the hook over the one at the front. DC is double crochet, in this one you yarn over once, put your hook through the hole grab your yarn and pull through, then yarn over again and pull the two middle loops off the hook, yarn over again and pull the two back loops off the hook. TC is tripple crochet, it's a rare stitch that you don't see often and is basically the same as DC except that you yarn over twice before putting your hook through the blanket.

    So a pattern may say: Ch 254
    DC on fourth chain from hook and across.

    This means make 254 chains, then count three chain holes from the hook and do a double crochet in the fourth hole. The three holes you skipped actually become your first stitch and the first dc you make is the second stitch. In this scenario your blanket would be 252 stitches long. 254 chains minus the three you skipped = 251 but then you have to count the three chains that you skipped as your first stitch so 252. Confusing? If I were a righty or you were a lefty I'd try to use Snack Monkey's phone to make video examples of all this gibberish but lefty's trying to teach a righty to crochet is a nightmare! I've tried.

  4. looks great, you have an amazing talent, i can only crochet one long line