Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Magic Hexagon Blanket




Magic Hexagon Blanket. There were times when I wondered if I would ever get this finished and give it a title, so it could appear here, not just as a long time WIP but as a finished blanket. And not just so it can have a moment of glory with it's own post, but so it could actually start being used.

But yes, at last here it is, and it has been used a lot as it is in my little ones cot - which it always was intended for. And she gave it it's name, as I was covering her up at bedtime I told her that it was a magic blanket and that when she snuggled into it she would have sweet dreams. She patted her hands on it and said 'magic crochet' (pronounced 'magit crowshay' - she's 21months old). And so it was.

I have been trying to think when I actually started it, certainly a while ago. The yarn I used is Deramores Baby DK in shades apple green, denim blue, primrose yellow, deramores pink, blossom pink, sky blue and snow white. I really love these colours, the deramores pink is my favourite and I  love love love the green!! The other week I was over on the site and I noticed they were celebrating the first birthday of this yarn's launch. Now I know I ordered the yarn when it first came out and started pretty much straight away, so therefore I started this blanket a year ago. Shame on me for taking so long to finish it!! And it's so lovely too, it has come out really fine! So what was the reason for dragging my feet?? The usual. Temptation of other projects and THE DREADED ENDS!!! Yes I didn't deal with them as I went along and there were so many to do (it's a really endy project) and each time I weaved in one end, 3 more would grow! Truth is I found it quite off-putting and it sat folded up on the chair, looking at me and seeming not particularly magical at all.

But as you can see we have a happy ending (sorry about the pun) and I got my finger out and finished this off. As it had been hanging around for centuries I did give it a go in the machine, it washes up really well, coming out brighter, cleaner (obviously) and ready for the photo shoot.


Now as I got a really positive response when I posted a photo of this on a previous post I feel I want to share how I made it, in a 'pass it on' fashion. The design is originally by Liz Mouter featured in Inside Crochet issue 39, but for some reason I didn't get on too well with this pattern and had to take some of the stitches out to make my hexies lie flatter. Now I don't want to diss the original pattern at all, it probably was my dodgy tension maybe? But here is my chart of the stitches I ended up with:


I also joined my hexies in a different way than the original pattern, and created 'half hexies' too as I like to fill in the bigger gaps left when joining hexagons. My border is also different so the whole thing has evolved somewhat from where I started. 

It took me a while to work out how to do the 'half hexies', I like to have them there though. I'll walk you through what I did with a few photos if you like?


Above is the chart of stitches.


Start with a magic loop, ch 6 (counts as 1 dtr, 2ch). (1dtr, 2ch) 6 times into loop, 1dtr. Fasten off and pull magic loop up tight. Turn work.


With new colour join in the first 2ch space (the last one you made before fastening off) ch3 and 1tr in this first chain space. *2tr in next chain space, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next chain space. Repeat from *once more. 2tr in each of the next 2ch spaces. Turn work.


Ch3, 1tr in first stitch (which is at the base of your ch3) 2tr in next stitch. 1tr in each of the next 4 stitches. (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next 2ch space (which is the corner) 1tr in each of the next 6 stitches. (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next 2ch space (which is the next corner) 1tr in each of the next 4 stitches, 2tr in each of the next 2 stitches (the last stitch is the starting 3ch which I always find tight to stitch into!) DO NOT TURN WORK FROM NOW ON. Fasten off.


With new colour join in first stitch at the start of last row (opposite end to where you fastened off last colour). Ch3 and 1tr into this first stitch. 1tr in each of next 9 stitches. 2tr in next 2ch space (corner) 1tr in each of the next 10 stitches, 2tr in next 2ch space (corner) 1tr in each of the next 9 stitches, 2tr in last stitch. Fasten off.


In joining colour (mine is white) start in first stitch at the start of last row. 1ch (does not count as stitch) 1dc, 2ch, 1dc, 2ch in this first stitch. * Skip 1 stitch, 1dc in next stitch, ch2. Repeat from * 4 more times. Skip 1 stitch, (1dc, 2ch, 1dc, 2ch) in next stitch. **Skip 1 stitch, 1dc in next stitch, 2ch. Repeat from ** 4 more times. Skip 1 stitch (1dc, 2ch, 1dc, 2ch) in next stitch. (Skip 1 stitch, 1dc in next stitch, 2ch) 5 times, and then in last stitch on this side 1dc, 2ch, 1dc, 2ch.


Continue working along the long side of your hexagon with 1dc, 2ch. You need one dc in the side of each treble that starts and finishes rows 2, 3 and 4. You also need 5dc in the side of row 1, so 2 in each of the dtr and 1 in the magic loop. I hope the above picture shows you what I mean!!! Slip stitch into first dc of round and fasten off.
Weave in ends.
Pin out on board and hold a warm steam iron over the hexagon - but not touching it. Hold there for a few seconds steaming your crochet. This helps your hexies lie flat. This blocking method is something I have learned through reading other crochet blogs, it's a great blogging world out there isn't it? :0)
Just a note to all you yarn geeks out there - I am one myself as you know. For the step-by-step instructions I didn't have enough of the original yarn so substituted it with the old faithful Stylecraft special DK in colours candy floss, spring green, denim, cloud blue, white, pomegranate and lemon. They are a great alternative and work really well.


This is turning into a rather long winded post so I think I will leave joining the hexies and doing the border to a 'part two'. Edit, part two can be found here

But I will leave you with a couple more photos to hopefully please your crochet loving eyes:





http://www.deramores.com/blog-awards   This blog entry is my submission to the Deramores Blog Awards 2014. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies. 

'till next time...
                                                                  

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