Whilst visiting a friend recently, over the other side of the Pennines, I went for a visit to a local yarn store. This was the first time I had been in another yarn store since I had closed my down and it turned out that the lady was closing hers down too.
The yarn store was Yarnbirds in Whaley Bridge. It was such a lovely shop, with oodles of beautiful yarn and a shame to see it close, but the owner, a lovely lady called Claire, had her reasons. Anyway, we had a good old natter, as you can imagine yarn shops owners are good at chatting and before I left Claire very kindly gave me a ball of Caron Simply Soft yarn, for free, to try because I had mentioned that I had always wanted to try working with it.
It was baby pink. So, what to do with it?
I pondered the idea of a baby blanket. I wondered if you could squeeze a whole blanket out of one ball. They are 170g afterall. I thought it might be pushing my luck, as it is aran weight and probably won’t go that far. But started crocheting anyway. As usual, I changed my mind several times about the size and the shape and the stitch. I didn’t get far that night.
I thought a really simple pattern would be nice, which focused on the texture. A little bit old fashioned maybe, but with a bit of a modern edge to it. Next morning was knit and chat morning in the cafe, so I took it with me and things progressed a little faster.
I think I probably spend too much of my time in the cafe, eating cake, drinking coffee and knitting or crocheting. It’s a bad habit.
It made my blanket grow faster.
Unfortunately it made me use up all the yarn really quickly too. It turns out that you definitely can’t get a whole baby blanket out of one ball of Caron Simply Soft. (Unless you want a rather small blanket). So, then I had to go on an internet search for more. Which also means that my experiment was no longer a free experiment!
So, a few days later, my yarn turned up and I could continue. I was rather surprised to find that it was vacuum packed. I have heard that lots of sellers are doing this to ship yarn these days, but I hadn’t actually seen it for real. Until now.
It was flat. Totally flat.
It was almost fun opening it and watching it grow before my eyes, like one of those expanding fish toys for kids that you soak in water over night and they quadruple in size.
I was pleased to find that it returned to it’s normal shape with absolutely no sign whatsoever that it had been squashed flat. (I must make a mental note to ship stuff like this in the future).
So, back to work and two more evenings and the blanket was finished. Did I mention that it is quite a quick pattern?
The stitch I used is sometimes called a V stitch, as it looks a little like rows of Vs. To be honest, I really, really like the effect it gives. I think it’s a great texture for a baby blanket and would work with any colour.
The Caron Simply Soft worked really well too. I don’t normally like acrylic yarns much, but this one is lovely and soft. It has a gentle sheen to it too and is quite heavy, so the blanket has a lovely floppy drape to it. You don’t often get that with acrylics, I think they can be a bit rigid when crocheted sometimes. So, all in all, it cost me money in the end, but it was a fun experiment and I have now written the pattern up to share with the World.
If you would like the pattern, it’s called Sweetie Pie and it’s available from my Etsy shop. Of course you can crochet it in whatever yarn you like. It would be interesting to see it done in something else.
I think I might try one in another colour now…