Sunday, January 6, 2013

Crooked Lake Cottage Blanket

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Of all the blankets I’ve made, this one comes the closest to me. It puts me in mind of 1975, and of our cottage at Crooked Lake in Northern Michigan, where my grandpa had built everything and the curtains were plastic, and all the blankets and pillowcases and quilts and dishes had come from somewhere else, the way they usually do in cottages, but especially there because an earlier, older cottage which had stood for years on that spot, was struck by lightning when I was very young, and burned to the ground. Everything in every cupboard was mismatched, all stuff Grandma didn’t feel like having in her real house. Later, after the new cottage was built, I found a bent and blackened silver spoon in the sand on the beach, the only trace of the first cottage I ever found.  There was a dinged-up fishing boat with a motor that would hardly ever start, and my brother and I slept in twin beds in a room that looked out into the woods.  Owls kept me awake at night.  My imagination ran totally amok in that place, in those woods.  I thought there were fairies everywhere, and witches and dwarves and gnomes, living under red-topped toadstools, hiding just beyond every fallen tree. 

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I wanted there to be old things, secret passageways and heirlooms and things mysterious, handed down, imbued with time.  I thought always of the old cottage I hardly remembered, imagined it brimming with big cupboards bulging with things like this blanket.  I guess that is what I am doing.  Filling the cupboards. 

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Goodness, making it was fun.  Those five-round granny squares go so quickly.  I used all scraps and leftovers, which is why the edging is a little bit scant—there wasn’t enough of much of anything to go all the way around it.  That’s okay, it’s big enough for just me; long enough to cover my toes and pull up to my chin . 

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I see I’m falling back on this picot edging pretty much all the time, which I swear I wasn’t aware I was doing.  Memo for next time:  avoid the picots, try something new, sheesh. 

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This blanket is made up of 12 columns x 14 rows of 5-round granny squares, using worsted weight wool and a US F hook. I joined the squares as I went.  There’s a good tutorial for joining as you go here, but in a nutshell, all you do is replace the chain stitch between the granny clusters with a single crochet into the corresponding space on the adjoining square.  I think it makes sense when you get there, but Lucy explains it a lot better.  Anyway, then I worked a single round of granny clusters all the way around the border, then a round of single crochet, then a round of picots, which I think in this case is something like *5 sc, (sc, ch3 sc) in next sc, repeat from * to end, making sure the corners look good.  I always just kind of fudge the picots at the corners. 

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Because these are all leftovers, this blanket goes with everything.  It just matches my whole life in this house.  Burnt orange, turquoise, taupe, peony, copper, lime, fucshia, silver gray, navy, lilac, gold, umber, eggplant, blush, geranium.  A muted folk palette.  My palette.  Which, I guess, is really why this one feels so much like me. 

55 comments:

  1. Gorgeous. We had a cottage just like that in Northern Wisconisn. You really describe the feelings it evoked. The room my brother and I shared most often had a bunk bed and a twin bed. Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

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  2. Way.To.Go. I like this one a lot! The picot edging is just dandy. Very cottage-cozy. Did you even put a dent in your leftovers?

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  3. Wow Kristen your my hero...You must crochet as fast as you knit...I love your memories..They are similar to mine our cabin was in Pennsylvania in the Pocono's but lots of similar feelings.

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  4. Another lovely blanket!!! The dot in the center with a different color give it a special touch. Really wonderful.

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  5. It really does look like it belongs in an old cottage by the sea. ...not that it looks old, but it has that homey feel that all cottages should have. Very lovely indeed. xoxo, Jess

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  6. Your palette is gorgeous! Love that blanket!

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  7. It's gorgeous Kristen! And your descriptions hits home. It reminds me of my grandparents' cabin and me as a little girl. :) Thanks for reminding me of all those thoughts and feelings.

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  8. THis afghan is absolutely beautiful and charming! Well done!

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  9. Ah, you did have a magical childhood there out in the woods! And the blanket is really lovely. Groetjes, Gerda

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  10. Gorgeous Kristen! I love how you get these beautiful projects done so quickly. I'm in awe. :)

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  11. Your granny blanket is awesome! I love all the colors and I am a bit partial to the picot edging - I use it on my corners! I love how you described the cottage.... I felt like I was right there. Thanks for sharing with us!

    Happy New Year.

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  12. Trust Kirsten to come up with a beautiful blanket like so early in the new year! And your story - you could make a short movie of it:-)
    I tried picot edging on a beanie last week and quite like it, might become My Thing for the new year! Looks very pretty on a blanket.

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  13. Just gorgeous...beautiful, elegant, magical. I love when something brings so many great memories.

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  14. What a beautiful blanket! Love the colours:)

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  15. A woman after my own heart, Kirsten. I love the blanket and the memories and imagination are magical. Keep it up! xx

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  16. A beautiful blanket with gorgeous colours and so many memories. A priceless heirloom for many more generations. Thank you for sharing with us.
    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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  17. I loved the cottage story, is it still in the family? Is the blanket going there? I also wondered how long it took you to crochet? You seem to do a reveal post every few days, I guess you don't work and craft full time.

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    1. Thanks very much! No, the cottage was sold years ago, so sad. It lives on in my memory.

      I work on lots of projects at a time, so stuff gets done on a regular basis. I'd have to scroll back, but I think this took about a month, worked alongside a bunch of other things. I actually have a full-time job, which I guess I've never mentioned. I'm just a girl who can't sit still, I guess. :)

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  18. Another gorgeous throw from you Kristen. I am making a variation on your beach stripe at present. The colours do go with everything, and I could imagine finding that in my nanna's house, full of sale finds, things she had made, things from auction houses and lovely and homely. I was also wondering if you still visit the cottage? Fiona

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  19. Lovely memories and a beautiful blanket! I really love the muted colours, there's a definite vintage feel to them.

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  20. Such a gorgeous blanket! And I loved reading about your family cottage. You really made me want to have a cottage and we already live close by the beach and in the woods. I really want to make a crochet afghan this year.

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  21. Oh to be on the lake in Michigan in the summer time! Lovely!

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  22. I don't know which I enjoyed more--your blanket or your story. Both are wonderful.

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  23. oh I really like your blancket.
    And I really love your picot edging.

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  24. So lovely kristen, you continue to amaze.

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  25. As wonderful as your projects are, the beautiful stories that accompany many of them are simply priceless.

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  26. Love this blanket and the story, priceless. We used to camp in Northern Michigan in the summers, those woods were something else, I was so scared of bears.
    hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  27. Your new blanket is really nice! And the story... lovely! Have a lovely time and happy new year! Jolana

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  28. I love the description of your old cottage - what a wonderful place to let your imagination go wild! Great that the blanket can bring you such nostalgia (and of course the colours are beautiful!)

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  29. I love this post!!! And I love the blankie too!
    Happy new year to you!
    Carly
    x

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  30. I love this so much! I'm getting ready to make a traditional granny afghan, after just finishing a giant granny afghan (all one huge square) this weekend. Yours is very inspiring.

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  31. It's so very lovely. The colours, the story, the design. I've never thought of doing a single round of one colour then four rounds of another. Heather x

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  32. Ooooohhh! Kristen ... I love, love, looooooooove your beautiful, sweet, colorful and beautiful blanket ....
    all your works are always a delight ...
    you are a great artist and I admire you.
    Your blog has been a pleasant discovery for me.
    Thanks for everything.
    Next year I will too follow your wonderful world of wool!

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  33. Thank you for sharing your lovely afghan and lovely story!

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  34. Oh my gosh, I just love your blog. I love coming over here and seeing all the beautiful things you create and they gorgeous colors! Just makes my day:) Sorry for gushing!

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  35. Your blankets always have the greatest colors. Coveting your cupboards!

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  36. I love this story. I've been feeling so nostalgic lately about my childhood summers. I grew up in Southwestern PA so I can relate to your lake cottage very well :) Thank you for sharing!

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  37. Lovely story about the old cottage.
    I'm having a bit of a catch up after some absenteeism in Blogland lately. And what a gorgeous post to catch up with.
    Beautiful blanket. Love all the different colours.
    Have a great week.
    X

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  38. What a lovely story - and a lovely blanket too! Maybe someone in years to come will remember happy times associated with this blanket too!
    Angie x

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  39. A lovely blankie! And such wonderful memories of a cottage long ago!
    xo kris

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  40. Hi Kristen,
    I think our pasts and our memories make us who we are today...and yours are lovely! Your blanket is so pretty! You'll be warm all winter with that wrapped around you. :) I am using that very same pattern for a curtain in my bathroom. I am using number 3 crochet thread in white with alternating light green and yellow centers. Hope you're having a joyful day!
    penny x

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  41. It's beautiful Kristen! Once again you blow me away with how creative and how prolific you are! Always something new to show, it bothers me that maybe you don't ever eat or sleep!!!!
    I really love the soft mix of colours here, even the names sound dreamy! And the reminiscing of your family holidays must make it an extra special one for you - filling the cupboard, replacing those old things that got destroyed - but thankfully not your memories!
    Gill xx

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  42. Lovely memories. Beautiful blanket. Wonderful colors! Definitely you! Best wishes, Tammy

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  43. Beautiful memories and beautiful blanket. You just can't help loving it all together. Today it's me who lives in the woods and just like your story the owls keep me awake at night but now I am quite grown-up and they don't scare me any more! Greetings from Germany

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  44. I am just finishing up a granny square blanket and next time I might use the join as you go method. Your blanket is really beautiful!!

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  45. I just love this blanket so much. I will have to make a start on one today. I saw a photo of it on Pinterest, via a blog. When I got to your blog, I recognised it as one I popped into yesterday. So now I will become a follower. Just love it, so simple. I rather like your colourways as well, unlike my own.

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  46. Hi!! I love this blanket since the first time I saw it!! It is wonderful, congratulations :)

    I have a question about the grannies: do you cut the yarn on each round? I don't know the way of jumping to the next round without cutting it, and that's a shame with the same color...

    Thanks a lot !! :-)

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    1. Thanks very much! No, there's no need to cut the same-color yarn between rounds. Simply slip stitch over to the next chain space and then chain 3 to begin the next round. Easy peasy! :)

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