Friday, June 1, 2012

Beach Stripe Surf Blanket

In a burst of Kaffe Fassett-induced color mania, I finished the last third of this blanket, and now it’s cold and pouring rain, so I’m just in time. 
A big project like this seems like its going to last forever, until that moment where I hold it up and suddenly realize it’s almost finished, and I can count the remaining rows, and the remaining yarns will all fit in the basket together.  Then it kicks into high gear, and everything else falls temporarily to the side. 
These stripes make me think of beach umbrellas, and rows of surfboards leaning against a palm-roofed shack.   Santa Cruz, and Cocoa Beach.  That coconut-scented Coppertone suntan oil we always bought at the grocery store when I was young, back when SPF was not a thing and nobody would have wanted sun protection anyway because we were all trying to achieve that sweet copper Farrah Fawcett glow. 
As I work, each color decision feel so momentous.  I plan about five or six colors ahead, and those yarns go in the basket, and as I get near the end of those, I plan the next five, and the whole time, I’m keeping my rules in my head:  blue and pink never sit together, all three primary colors can’t be anywhere in any project at the same time, and there must be a few darks, along with a few neutrals now and then.  Beyond that, I go by instinct, and I second-guess every decision, and I change my mind and tear out a bad choice, and I periodically step back and study the whole thing at once, sometimes in a mirror, which turns out to be the best way to see what I’m doing—just looking at it on my lap never tells me anything.  I worry about these things, and I lie awake at night, thinking, Is that turquoise too close in value to the foam green?  Should I tear it out and try the mocha?  Where can I fit in another row of teal?
It looks like a giant beach towel, which is making me badly want to go sit in the sand next to the surf and drink a fruity drink with a hibiscus flower in it. 
This blanket is done in woven stitch (photo tutorial here), which is nothing more than sc, ch1 across, and then on the next row, the single crochets go in the ch1 spaces, and the chain 1s go above the single crochets.  For a whole blanket worked in single crochet, this went amazingly quickly, and I never got bored with it, ever.  I worked eight rows of each color, and I wove in my ends as I went.  The edging is just one round of single crochet, which wasn’t my original plan, and to which I might add a few other colors later, I don’t know.  But when I got to the end of it, the blanket sort of told me it was all done, so I stopped. 
Wow.  I love that. 
If you’d like to make one of these yourself, I’ve written the whole thing down and made a PDF out of it.  You can download that pattern here free, from me to you.  Thank you for hanging out here with me. I do appreciate it, so much. .