Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Ripple is done

This is how it all started.  I had seen some Ripple crochet afghans around on various craft blog and I loved the way the rows undulated across the surface of the blanket.  After making a lot of prayer shawls I wanted to make something new for my queen sized bed.  I also thought this would be a way to use up some odd, balls of yarn I had already bought.  Then I found the perfect color scheme inspired by a piece of scraping booking paper I had and got the yarn I needed.  My original plan was to follow the chevron blanket pattern from Vintage Crochet which I had checked out from the library. However, I kept having problems figuring out how to actually correctly crochet the blanket from the directions in the book, and this book only had text directions without a helpful pictorial stitch pattern (often when the written directions muddle me up the chart helps me figure out what I really should be doing).   
        Then I found the tremendously helpful tutorial by one Attic 24's blog.   If you like colorful crochet check out her blog.  Lovely pictures, great for inspiration, and she also has some very well done tutorials there.  Once I discovered that the way you make your row of double crochet (or treble crochet if you are British) to ripple like the waves on the shore was to repeatedly increase and decrease your stitches then the light bulb in my head finally turned on and I could see what the directions were telling me to do. Then I hit another snag. I had been rippling away and then my sweetie looked at I was doing and mentioned that it seemed a very long blanket. "Long" I said, "no, that's the width". See I intended for the rippled stripes to run across the bed not lengthwise. Then the doubts crept in. Maybe it was a bit "long/wide"? I went to check it on the actual bed. It was hugely too wide. What I had thought was a good length with my starting chain was too too much. By this point I had crocheted a goodly amount. (See picture below)
Then I realized I had to start again.  After some wailing and gnashing of teeth, I undid all my crochet.  Then to get a proper width, I did something I felt rather smart about.  I measured my bed.  I measured the sample swatch of ripple I had made to learn the pattern (from the tutorial).  My swatch came out at about 10 inches for two and one half ripples or as the ripple afgan is done in multiples of 14 + 3 for a turning chain my swatch started with 31 chain stitches (2x14+3).  So to figure out my starting row of chains, I figured out the width of the bed (X inches) and I knew 31 chain stitches = 10 inches, so figuring out became Xinches divided by 10 equaled the number if times I would repeat my swatch.  Then I simplely multipled that number by 31.  By the end of this little math challenge I felt pretty wiped out.  However, I tried it, crocheted the first couple of rows of the ripple blanket, took it and laid it out across the bed and lo, it was the right length.  Then all the head scratching and fiddling with numbers suddenly became worthwhile.  In fact, one thing I 've learned about crochet is that as you go along in making the blanket, the added weight from additional rows will stretch out your first row of chain stitches, and even make the later ripple rows stretch a bit to.  So, if after your calculations the first two rows of ripple seem a little short (say no more than 5-7 inches) go a bit shorter and see if doesn't stretch out a bit as you go.  At least that's what I  did.  However, your mileage may vary, so doing that intial guage swatch is really helpful in getting a sense of how many stitches equals what length. 
So more about Attic 24's blog of goodies.  Not only does she have a sense of color I totally groove on, but her crochet creations including the ripple afgan are very goregous.  I may just have to make one of these a zig zag blanket with itty bitty granny squares much like she has.  I'm thinking baby/doll blanket with this one. 
 So, now I have a new blanket for the bed and I can repair and retire the quilt we'd been using as some of the vintage fabrics are just not holding up so well.  Even the husband likes it.


Mishay38 said...

I love it. You inspire me. Im going to dust off my crochet hooks today. :-)

Gledwood said...

That is an amazing blanket. Is it for sale, and if so, how much would you want for it?

I'm asking this because I came across a German lady making similarly colourful stuff last week and she said she charged just 80 euros! With talent like that, I think she's doing herself out of well-deserved profit.

All the very best to you


in London

Christine said...

Math whiz.
Beautiful work LynAnne, as usual. :)