How to Make Your First Blanket Look Like You Knew What You Were Doing

  I love making things myself (I’m sure none of you had noticed).  Making something by hand means you get to control all aspects of it…the color, the texture, the pattern…but if there’s one thing that I struggle with in making my own things, it’s this: I don’t want them to look like they were made by someone who’d never done this before.

  Sometimes it’s unavoidable.  You’re not going to be making a perfectly fitted ball gown the first time you touch a sewing machine, it takes practice!  But every once in a while you get lucky and find a way to make something so wonderful and yet so simple that you CAN do it on the first try.
  This blanket is one of those projects.  If you can do a single crochet stitch you can make this…and make it gorgeous.
  The key is to use thick, multicolored yarn.  I have serious envy over all the projects that get done over at the Purl Bee, but they are inevitably using wool or cashmere, expensive, dry clean only yarns.  We’re too hard on our things for dry clean only and I’m too cheap to drop $500 on yarn for a blanket anyhow.  I used inexpensive Lion Brand Homespun yarn.  It’s acrylic, so you can (and I do, regularly) just throw it in the washer and dryer.  Because it has variations within the skeins, your blanket winds up with subtle striping and you don’t have to worry much about dye lot numbers.
After at least 3 years of washing…these only get softer
  The whole blanket is done with rows and rows of single crochet stitch.  Obviously this is a tv-watching project, but it usually goes much more quickly than you’d expect since it’s so repetitive and simple.  Even with a fairly large crochet hook (9 or 10 mm) you wind up with a nice, dense blanket.  I’ve made at least 5 of these at this point and they’re on all of our beds, in my parents living room and draped across my couch.  You won’t find a warmer blanket, and if you’re a fan of heavy bedding, you’re in luck…these weigh a ton.
  My favorite thing about crochet is that you can see your entire project while you work on it.  Nothing gets bunched up on the needles or flipped inside out and what-not.  I don’t bother measuring or counting stitches when I make these…I simply make my first row of chaining long enough to stretch across the bed I’ll be using it on and then turn to start my second row.
  No counting, no having to buy huge amounts of supplies at the start, no fancy stitches and an end product that looks and feels downright impressive.  I love projects like this!

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