I was beyond excited when a customer asked me to create a blanket featuring circles in squares......no white involved, just bold, bright colours a bit like a Kandinsky work! I knew just the pattern to help me achieve it....The Gumball Blanket by Cypress Textiles although I did make a few minor changes to achieve the look I wanted (I never leave anything alone!).
It was going to be a big blanket and I needed a yarn that had some lovely brights and Caron Simply Soft fit the bill.........I used Watermelon, Pistachio, Sunshine, Grape, Persimmon, Robin's Egg and Red. I was a little worried about the red when it arrived, it is sooooooooo bright and I was concerned about colour run so I did a test wash and can confirm that this yarn is completely colourfast :)
I made 120 circles in squares to make a 10x12 blanket. My customer wanted it to have a patchwork look so after trying out a couple of joining methods she settled on what I call an invisible join which is worked on the reverse, you can find a tutorial for this on the Attic24 blog. The other join considered was tight join as you go and if I made this type of blanket again I would use that method as the only option as I think it would give a stronger overall join despite the tiny candy cane type stripe seen on the front. Don't get me wrong, the join I used is suitable but hasn't satisfied the perfectionist in me for several reasons and so with the benefit of hindsight I would join differently next time. Even after over 20 years crochet experience I am still learning!
The border was almost a project all of it's own! My customer wanted a striped border and as it is a large blanket it could take a nice chunky stripe....I did two rounds of each colour, the first round was worked in camel stitch so it gives a lovely textured look, like it's overlapping. The last round is Attic24's bobble shell egding. It has finished it off nicely!
If you decide to make a blanket just like my one and use Cypress Textiles pattern to help you don't forget to give her credit for the design. I don't claim to be a crochet designer myself, I just like to experiment however it's always nice to get a mention for the inspiration
A LITTLE UPDATE: I used the Magic Circle technique for making these circles - it was the first time I'd used it and I was apprehensive at how secure it would be and was extra careful at weaving in the ends however I won't use that method again! One of the circles came undone at the centre despite my careful weaving...I was mortified!! The good news is that I did find a fix thanks to a tip I found on Spincushions website (thank you) but it has put me off for life! I will stick to my tried and tested methods in future, they make take a little longer but they work. Sometimes shortcuts aren't all they are cracked up to be!