Michele's Stripey Crochet Blanket Pattern and other Wonders...

 The other day I was not feeling the greatest (grrr fibro),  so I just settled in to luxuriate in some quality bloggy day reading. I happily hopped around following links that caught my attention and all of a sudden, poof, I had been transported to crafting heaven!  OK, Michelle does LOTS more than crochet and you simply MUST take a hop over for yourself to see all the amazing tutorials she has shared thus far on making adorable yet classy items for your home - from wreaths to the more practical such as these crocheted throws below!

The instructions are below and couldn't be easier, and well up to the skills of even a beginner crocheter. The talent part comes in with the color blending, which you can follow from the photos although she does describe her technique for picking and blending the colors.

The first version













Michele's Stripey Crochet Blanket Pattern:

Except for the beginning chain row, the whole thing is worked in double crochet (dc). In terms of yarn weight, I mostly crocheted the blanket with 2 strands of a variety of fingering weight yarns because that's what I had in my stash. I mixed the yarns in order to achieve an overall neutral tone. By and large, neutral stripes contain some odd number of rows (either 3 rows or 5 rows or 7 rows etc...).  The arrangement of the neutral stripes in terms of width and colour came about organically as the blanket grew. I suggest you go with your gut on that front and let your sensibilities lead you. Between each neutral stripe, I crocheted one burgundy or red row. For the burgundy or red rows, I used 2 strands again: one strand of burgundy or red yarn combined with a second strand of some other neutrally-coloured yarn.

For The Newbie:

Start with a chain. My chain contained 203 chain stitches. The last 3 chain stitches are my "turning" chain stitches.

First row: Skip the first 3 chain stitches and then double-crochet (dc) to the end of the chain. Turn.

Second row: Chain 3, skip the first dc * do 1 dc in next dc, and repeat from * to the end of the row, working the last dc into the third chain of the turning chain. Turn.

Repeat the second row until your blanket is the length you'd like.

Note: The pattern gives sort of a lacy edge by virtue of the extra turning chain stitch. Consequently you will see  little "holes" in your edge. I meant to do that! It is NOT a mistake but part of the master plan.
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Now, just when you thought it couldn't get any better have a gander at this!
 (all photos and directions come directly from Garden Therapy)
 
I believe I mentioned recently, what with my new garden work that I needed stepping stones but they can be quite pricey.  Linda, one of my wonderful blogging friends over at Lavender Cottage had mentioned that she made some stepping stones using large rhubarb leaves... well, no more need be said!  I was off like a bunny on a quest to find some instructions - this is what I came across over at Garden Therapy: (by the way, this is another blog you just have to see for yourself)!
Using large leaves from your garden to cast concrete to
inexpensively create lots of stepping stones.
 
OK, you do have to overcome your fear of working with concrete... Oh, you don't have a fear of working with concrete?!  Lucky you! :D  I unfortunately do but to get his result I will most certainly overcome that little fear quick as a bunny... lol!
  
Hosta Leaf Concrete Stepping Stone DIY



blue big leaf hosta

 Materials:
  • dry concrete
  • wheelbarrow or large bucket
  • water source (hose, watering can)
  • tarp
  • vegetable oil or cooking spray
  • large leaves (hosta, rhubarb, gunnera, etc)
  • rubber gloves
Directions: 
1. Begin by gathering large leaves from around the garden.  Choose firm leaves without tears or holes.
2. Protect hands with rubber gloves and mix concrete according to instructions.  Choose a lightweight concrete mix (less gravel) for a smoother finished product; choose a heavier-weight concrete mix (more gravel) if the stones will be in high traffic areas. Consistency should be on the drier, firmer side.  Add more dry mix if it is too runny.
3. Working on the tarp or some plastic bags, spray the front of the leaf thoroughly with cooking spray or brush with oil.
How to Make a Large Leaf Imprint Garden Stepping Stone
 
4. Mound concrete onto the leaf and pat it all around to compress the concrete and remove air bubbles.
5. Allow to dry/cure according to concrete instructions.
6. When completely hardened, peel off the leaf and use a chisel / hammer to remove any wonky bits from the edges.

 Garden Path Stepping Stones made from Large Hosta Leaf
 
Well, that's about it for today... but now you do have two new blogs that you must go visit... I promise you won't regret it!
 
As always, Hugs and thanks for popping by for a visit...
Beth

Comments

Jennifer Shelby said…
I must admit I've been plotting a rhubarb leaf stepping stone or three...or four...for some time now. Aren't they gorgeous? I love them! Be sure to show us pictures of yours when they're done!
Kristina said…
Thanks for sharing those.
Pam said…
Gorgeous crochet throws! If only I could finish one!! :) I've seen those stepping stones before, and aren't they just so cool?! My brother made some with elephant ear plant leaves, they work well too because of their size. Best of luck on yours!!
Pam said…
Forgot to say, you can even dye the concrete and make colored stepping stones!! Not sure what kind the dye is, maybe made for concrete only. But that's another option!!
What a great idea! Now I need to get my hands on some of those great hostas! Life to the full! Melsisa @ DaisyMaeBelle
Silke said…
Dear Beth,

I just wanted to say first off how much I have loved your comments on my blog lately - they were not only heart-warming, but also so helpful! Thank you!!

And now to those stepping stones - I am afraid of concrete - or maybe I should say I've never worked with it, but I love the look of those stones! Maybe some day...

And a stripy crochet blanket is something great to make and have. I made one last year and gave it away for a wedding/baby present. I might have to make another one...

Big hugs!! Silke
111 LaLa Lane said…
Thanks Beth for the tutorial on stepping stones. I have thought about doing something like this, but didn't have the know how. I now have something else to add to my to do list.

Have a good weekend,
Laurie
Nancy Claeys said…
Your stepping stone turned out beautifully. Have you ever thought of using concrete dye to make colored ones? Have a great Sunday!
{{{Tender fibro hugs, my fellow FMSer}}}

I've always liked the look of garden stepping stones of all kinds - there's this marvelous sort of hopscotch quality to them that just makes me want to jump like a frog in a lilypad pond from one to the next, just as I used to if I encountered them in someone's yard as a youngster (these days though, I suspect there would be less leaping and more gentle stepping).

♥ Jessica

*PS* I am so happy to know that the deodorant trick did the job for your bug bites, thank you for telling me that it did. It really is amazing how effective this "treatment" is. I try to keep a stick in my purse or the glove box during the summer months in case I get a bug bite while out and out.
OH!!! I love that stepping stone! It is just super awesome!!! Thank you for sharing these wonderful blogs...I will be hopping over! I hope you are feeling better and that you have been having fun in the garden!
Carole said…
Gorgeous hostas Elizabeth and the blanket pattern is spectacular. Have a wonderful day!