I've been itching to show off this blanket in all it's glory since before I even started it. I have shared little glimpses of it along the way as a work in progress on my instagram (you can find all the photos by searching #happyplaceblanket), but now I'm indulging in all the details of it here for anyone who is interested in the pattern, the colours and my inspiration for making it in the first place.
I'll start by saying that this blanket was supposed to be a long project. It was supposed to keep me busy throughout the spring and summer. I had visions of this blanket telling the story of our summer adventures as I added rows to it in different places we went as a family. The reality is that I was just too excited and have totally whizzed through it. I did however manage to add some ripples to it in one very special place, the place that inspired it in the first place.
As I've said, I kind of wanted this blanket to tell a bit of a story, to be a kind of family heirloom of the future, so I really wanted it to mean something to us as a family in the first place. So I decided to choose my colour scheme based on a special place. As a family we are happiest at the coast, and some of our happiest memories of just being together are from being on Mersea Island. So the colours in my happy place blanket come from that; the blues of the water and the sky, the dusty beige browns of the sandy path, the rickety jetty and the infamous Mersea mud, the yellow of the blooming rapeseed fields in the distance, the greens of the grass, the trees and the crops growing in their patchwork of fields, turning to a hazy grey colour as they reach the horizon.
I went back and forth between jumbling up the colours in a random pattern, and having them in an ombre order. And as you can see, in the end I went with the order and uniformity of travelling through the colours in sequence. I just didn't think I could actually cope with a totally random order (although I am now giving it a go by mixing up the colours on my latest work-in-progress). I love the final result, so I think I chose the right option on this project. I feel like its a very seaside-y feeling colour palette, but a very British one; you can tell this isn't based on some kind of tropical seaside scene, and I love that about it.
I went for the ripple pattern simply because it mirrors the view too. And because I knew it was a pattern with a nice rhythm to it; not so complicated that I'd have my nose in the pattern the entire time, but with enough change and interest to stop me getting bored. The pattern I followed was Attic24's ripple pattern, and I think that her tutorial is so simple that even a real beginner with only basic crochet skills could give this a go with a little practise. Once you have the idea of it and can see how the pattern is growing it's a total breeze to do. I didn't follow her pattern for the border however, I just decided to make that one up as I went along; picking five colours out of the fifteen in the blanket and creating a simple edge to finish it off.
It is just the right mixture of snugly and not too thick to make it a perfect blanket for cozying up with on the sofa in the evenings. And part of me is almost looking forward to some cooler months when we can really start to enjoy it for family movie nights and early morning weekend cuddles. When I learnt to crochet a year ago, I wouldn't have believed that I could possibly make something like this. And I'm so ridiculously proud of it.
^ all yarn is Stylecraft Special DK.
^ it was never my intention to use this as a bed blanket, but it would happily cover a single bed and it does look lovely laid out flat so that the ripples really shine.
^ in its place, ready to be called upon for chilly toes and snugly evenings.