When I have an idea I often try to make a small sample to prove to myself that my idea is sound.
This was particularly valuable in this case.
Now ever since I created my Celtic Coaster and people started asking if you could use the idea for larger items and I experimented with place mats and cushion covers and proved to myself that the same idea wouldn’t work for a blanket because the fabric would be too unstable.
Of course I added an edging to the original shape so it could be used as a blanket square but still, in my idle moments, I have toyed with the idea of creating something that would give an all over Celtic Plaitwork effect but in a way suitable for a blanket.
Since creating the Mosaic Crochet chart, my mind has focused once again on things Celtic and I finally started to build up a simple idea.
Now the chart I created for the Mosaic Crochet should have warned me that my first idea would not work. You see I was thinking of making edged shapes to fit together so you could make any shape of plaitwork, and of course using crochet squares as component parts is good because they have the same number of stitches on each side and so are easy to join together.
I had made a couple of shapes in some odd balls of yarn to prove that I join two edges to create the sense of an overlap and it seemed to work.
So I got out a ball of Stylecraft Special DK in Buttermilk that I didn’t think I would have an obvious use for, about 90g, and decided to use that to make a small continuous path plaitwork rectangle.
After a bit of experimentation with the style of square I wanted to use, I had made the four corners, six sides and seven central squares thus.
However as soon as I started working on edging one or two and seeing how they would fit together, I could see that it would not work because they needed to be longer than they were wide.
Of course the very chart I mentioned earlier should have shown me that! So it was back to the drawing board.
Although I had finished off all the ends, I undid the squares and used the yarn to make some simple strips.
Along the way I realised that with these new style pieces, although three pattern shapes were enough for a square design, I needed five different patterns for a rectangular continuous path.
Of course my experience with making the bookmarks should have told me that.
But we live and learn and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge, as they say, since then.
However I persevered and eventually produced all five of the shapes I neededin sufficient quantities and joined them together to make this. My original idea had been to use dark brown for the edging which I think would have been better than the black but I didn’t want to risk wasting the brown if things didn’t work out, as I needed it for the soil for my succulents.
I have left the little bits of red yarn attached in this photograph as they are needed to show how to fit the shapes together.
The yarn is on the second row and this diagram shows which way the rows need to go for each piece to follow on smoothly. You can see that half of the corners (and side pieces) need to have the rows starting at the opposite side. Hence the five patterns.
As I said you only need three separate patterns for squares and of course then it is possible to chose a different colour for each separate path. Also the edging, although still needed, could be done in the same colour as the pieces themselves.
As here, which is a blanket version of my cushion pictured earlier.
Here you can probably do without the arrows as each colour forms a simple loop, all the sides and corners are made in the same way and the first rows of each of the rectangles needs to be along the inner sides of the loops.
And here is my Proof of Concept piece without the marking pieces of yarn.And this is the wrong side. Of course this piece is only about the size of a place mat and a blanket would have more rows and stitches for each piece and more pieces as for example in the eight strip plan above.
Although I set out to design something that could create a rectangular blanket as well as a square, because I think that shape is more useful, I do prefer the idea of using lots of colours which of course would only work for a square.
I could move on to make a whole blanket. I have created plans for lots of different sizes and shapes but I also have a totally different idea for a blanket I would like to make and they take so long.
And of course I don’t really need another blanket. Decisions, decisions!