Saturday, 25 April 2015

Borders, Bobbles and Procrastinating

You may remember that in January I launched into hooking two blankets at the same time for using in my up-and-coming retreat space, which is shortly due to become a reality in my garden. I don't know why I can't just do one thing at a time but, it seems, I can't. And although it was, may be, a little on the ambitious side, I haven't fallen by the wayside too much on getting on with them. In fact, the body both of my stripy Handmade Glamping Sampler blanket and my Painted Roses blanket was finished before Easter. Good news! And you'd think with the end in sight I'd have got on with the borders but, somehow, I've kept putting them off.

Borders intimidate me slightly. We don't get on very well for various reasons:
1 I am never quite sure I have enough yarn to complete them and dread having to frog a whole round on a big blanket;
2 because my arithmetic is so erratic, I have no idea whether my stitch count is going to work with a particular border;
3 while I find crocheting along the top and bottom edges of a blanket is quite easy, going down the sides of rows and trying to make sure the stitches look evenly spaced is not at all easy. "Cats' teeth" stitches anyone? Mine sometimes look less like cats' teeth and more like crocodile bites and dearly though I love crocodiles, and I do, (more on that idiosyncracy at some future point, perhaps), borders that resemble crocodile toothmarks are not quite what I am after, in my hooky endeavours;
4 my creative momentum seems to give out with the last stitch of the final row, or the final join of a block, leaving not much mojo left for a border; feeble, I know, but there it is;
5 I underestimate what a difference borders make to a blanket and secretly wonder if I can get away without bothering; "No, you can't, Mrs T!"

This is all rather foolish and I felt I really must get my act together. I began with the stripy affair because that was pretty big to begin with and didn't need much of a border - just something to enclose the stripy, bobbly rows nicely, and in which to hide all the yarn ends, so I filleted a few rows out of the border pattern as given in Handmade Glamping and kept it simple - one "granny row" of groups of three double crochet stitches (trebles in UK terms) and then a couple of rows of single crochet stitches (doubles in UK terms) to finish.

Done! And even in its simplified form, it's really pulled the whole blanket together.

What was so difficult about that, Mrs T?!

The border on the other one is still, ahem, in progress but in my defence I can at least say I have started on it!

Here is the finished one:

I love the bobbles!

... and the soft cosiness of the wool and cotton mix yarn* ...

... and the stripes...

Did I say, I love the bobbles? I really do!

But I love the colours, almost as much as I love the bobbles ...

... and the way it tumbles and riots cosily...

... I love the whole thing, in fact, border included!

*The yarn is Spud and Chloe's Sweater, if you're interested, which is expensive but an absolute dream to crochet with and the colours are amazing. It's an American yarn, but if you're in the UK, you can get it at Mrs Moon's wonderful On-Line shop here (where I see it's on special offer at the moment).  I wouldn't normally use such an expensive yarn for a blanket but this is an exception and I hope to enjoy it for many years to come, before handing it on to another Mrs Tittlemouse perhaps, to enjoy in a future generation.

The colours I've used are:
jelly bean
ice cream 
tiny dancer
and lilac

Can't think why I put off finishing it. Anyone else do this, get to within an inch of finishing a project and find the last lap a real effort, that you put off and put off and once it's done, wonder why it took you so long?!

Wishing you all a happy weekend 
with finishing-off mojo coming your way, 
if you're like me and have a tendency to procrastinate!

E x


  1. A very impressive finish its look delightful. Love the colour combination and like you the bobbles, stunning.

  2. Loving your bobbles, drooling over your colors, liking the looks of the blanket, and admiring your over all blanket lovliness, who cares if it took a while to create it? Fantastic job.

  3. Beautiful!!! I am with you on all that you said about borders, they really make for a great finish, but gosh those sides can be tricky cant they. Once you get the first row done it is fine, but gosh the teeth effect, I can totally relate to that! You did so very well though and it fantastic!!! xx

  4. Your blanket is gorgeous and the border was well worth doing - it finishes it off perfectly. Once the initial row is done, I quite enjoy borders; I love the way they pull it all together like a picture in a frame. I can't wait to see your next blanket. xx

  5. The blanket is so beautiful. The pattern is so fantastic and those bobbles add so much. I feel the exact same way about borders. I often feel lucky to have not screwed things up with a blanket and am so afraid I am going to ruin everything with the border.

  6. Oh those lovely colors!! I have decided that you just have wonderful taste - based on the fact that I love what you do - totally unbiased critique! :) I too just dread the sides on the borders, but once the first row is done I'm ok. Beautiful blanket!

  7. Hello E - Those colours remind me of ice cream on Brighton prom when I was a child!!! Also love the bobbles - i used them quite effectively when I made a hot water bottle cover - they just give a crochet piece such texture!!! So glad you got the border done cos I too get to that last hurdle and somehow collapse in a heap on the floor! Can't wait to see the other blanket really soon! xxx

  8. Morning E - I can't believe when I saw this post - I'd just published a post about struggling with finishing things off - and I also nearly called it "The eternal problem of procrastinating projects" too! Yes, I really get fed up with getting 90% of the way there and then just not finishing them off. And I didn't like to border blanket either but all of the blankets I've done recently I have made myself put a border onto - even if it's a simple one it really completes the look of the blanket. I think your blanket is beautiful by the way - you are a skilled crochet-er! Love Judy.

  9. In the time you finished one and nearly finished a second blanket I have been procrastinating over a single one.... It is now getting to the stage where I can maybe get away with declaring it large enough.... the border will take another 6 months. Your blanket looks so lovely and fresh, it is well worth using a yarn that you really like for such a masterpiece. Good luck with the second border. x

  10. Your blanket is beautiful I love it and yes I know where you are coming from with the borders working down the sides can be tricky but you have done a perfect job the border looks great. :) x

  11. It's amazing how much difference a border makes but oh dear, the trials and tribulations of actually getting it right. Mine tend to take on either a wavy frill like effect or a too tight band. One day ...

  12. hello! I really like your blog, I'm Italian and I've recently started a blog on knitting and crochet .. I hope you will give me a greeting on my blog. see you!!!bye!

  13. Thank u so much for your comment in my blog.. you speak a good italian :) dont'worry... ♥

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  15. Dear Elizabeth, I haven't read your blog for such a long time now! I started to update myself and you have finished so many beautiful things by now. Your washing line baskets are gorgeous, I will give this idea a try - one day! And this blanket is beautiful, the colours match nicely and I love the bobbles very much, as well. I have to confess that I never tried to crochet them because I fear it is much too difficult for me, I guess it is nonsense but somehow I am always awstruck looking at this stitch. In one of your last posts you wrote about the Lily Pond blanket and as soon as I looked at it I new that I would have to make it. I already ordered yarn but I haven't started yet. I am very curious to see the first stitches of your blanket. I wish you as nice and sunny Sunday, Viola


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