For a couple of months now I have had an ongoing crochet project based on the lovely Granny Crochet Hexagon pattern from Lucy of Attic24 (Click here for the original pattern, and definitely visit Attic 24 if you haven’t before, it’s fabulous!)
My previous attempts at crochet have been… less than successful. I have made a rather gappy Giraffe, a beanie hat that is hilariously far too big (gauge not checked. doh!) and an ‘Ugly Bunny’ pincushion that I lost interest in. It dawned on me that I do not sew a lot and so a pincushion is not really a must-have item at the moment.
I should have added something in the piccy for scale.
This ‘hat’ could quite comfortably house a family of 4 on a camping trip. Cosy!
I decided that, as a relative newcomer to the crochet world, It would be very sensible to start with a project that was:
Having only just begun to learn the processes and techniques involved in crochet, I wanted a project that would suit my beginner status. I found this pattern very easy to follow as it is described more like step-by-step instructions, rather than a crochet chart. I have since learned how to read charts, but to the novice they can be an intimidating jumble of letters and numbers!
• Repetition based
Dull as it may become, repetition seems to be the key for me when learning new skills. Sure, I could probably fluke a one-off hat or amigurumi piece, but I wouldn’t be able to do it again without re-learning the steps. I decided a hexagon blanket would be perfect as it is all made up of small pieces and so would keep my attention and would also be easy to put down and pick up when I feel like it.
I can think of nothing better than cuddling up with a blanket, ice cream and a good film on the telly-box. Imagine how amazing it will feel to cuddle up with a blanket that is entirely handmade! Much better than another teddy bear to add to the slightly shameful collection that is already too large for any 25 year old. (actual watery eyes at the thought of parting with them. How silly!)
This one was obvious. If I was going to invest so much of my time on a project I would have to love the outcome. The colours and design would have to be perfect in order to take pride-of place in our living room.
So… With all of this in mind, I settled on the blanket. I trotted down to the local discount shop and selected my yarn. I chose some beautiful shades of Chocolate, Cream, Turquoise and Dark Magenta. The perfect colours for our space.
Just out of shot: all the mess! This must be the tidiest corner of our house.
I began! After following the pattern for two or three repetitions I could create hexagons from memory perfectly and with that I found this blanket a really fun experience It takes me around 20-30 mins to create one hexagon, so picking this up between cooking, or while watching television or even while nattering away at my monthly ‘Stitch and Bitch’ with friends was oh-so easy to do. I was loving it 🙂
Twenty-odd hexagons later, and something was beginning to become apparent. I was going to need more yarn.
Having only worked on small projects before, I honestly had not anticipated the volume of yarn needed for a project like this! This was my mistake. And wow did I pay for it!
Off I went, back to the shop I first got my amazing colours from. Oh no, they don’t have it any more. hmm… And after trying a few more shops it became apparent that nobody did.Pants. I was unwilling to buy online as, firstly, I could not guarantee that the colours would match without buying them together. Secondly, I did not keep the labels and so was unsure of what brand of yarn I had purchased, let alone colour, type or weight! (Not keeping the label… good grief.)
OK. Lesson well and truly learned! With a heavy heart, I realised that this pile of loose hexagons was now never going to become a blanket suitable for any adult human.
And so I stopped.
I began a crochet-based grump that lasted much longer than it should have. After a while, I decided that letting all that work go to waste would be a shame. After all, I was still very proud of my little hexagons. So I had a long think about what they could become instead.I found some rather interesting patterns for bags, slippers and even a rather lovely looking bear. But in the end I settled on the idea of Cushion covers. This way, they would be comfy and on display. Pretty much the closest thing to a blanket you can get!I purchased a couple of neutral
I purchased a couple of neutral coloured cushions from Wilkos (no expense spared!) and pinned the hexagons in place over and over and over again until the pattern was exactly how I wanted it.
Only three more hexagons needed. Hoorah!
I was quite pleased to find that once all the hexagons were arranged I only had to make u a few more colour variations to fill in the pattern gaps. I had more than enough yarn left for that. Hoorah!
All pinned in place. Starting to get exciting now!
Now, what to do with the gaps left at the edges? Half Hexagons of course! Attic24 does not list a pattern for the half hexagon to go with the original pattern but I decided that, by now, I was confident enough to make it up on the fly. I followed the original pattern but only half of each row, as follows:
Half Hexagon Crochet Pattern:
Chain 3 and join to make loop.
Chain 3 (in place of first tr) and then tr 5 times into loop. Turn.
In new colour, ch3 and htr into first st (to act as first ‘bobble stitch’), ch1, then (bobble stitch, ch1) into remaining 5 stitches. Turn. (note: bobble stitch is explained fully on Attic24’s original post)
In new colour, chain 3 into first st (to act as 1st tr) then tr 2 into first bobble space. ch1 and tr 3 times into each bobble space. Turn.
In new colour, ch 3 and sl st into each ch1 gap of previous round. Turn.
Chain 3, then tr2 into ch3 space of last round, *3 tr in next space. 3tr, ch2, 3tr in next space.*
Repeat * to * until done! (you’ll know when it’s done)
These instructions leave much to be desired, I know! I’m sure most beginners will be able to figure it out from the original anyway. If there are any glaring mistakes or if you have any questions then please, ask away 🙂
I forgot to take a ‘work in progress’ shot of the half hexagon. But you can hardly tell… 😉
I could now see the finish line. It was so close! I grabbed my darning needle and started to sew the little hexagons together as quickly as I could. Seeing the design start to pull together was very, very exciting.
After all the hexagons were sewn together, I removed the cover from the cushion I had bought and started attaching it to the front panel along the seams. the hexagon panel had ended up fractionally too big for the cover, but only by a little. So while sewing it on I had to kind of ‘
‘ it a little every now and then. I believe sewing pros may call this ‘easing in’. it didn’t take much to get it looking perfect.
And then… It. Was. DONE!
I toyed with the idea of adding pom-poms along the edge. But decided against it as, to me, it was perfect already!
I love my granny hexagon cushion so much. every time I look at it I have to smile a little. I do have to keep poking in the yarn ends that continue to try and escape, but I guess tat is the charm of Handmade.
1. Buy LOTS of yarn when starting a large project. Check how much the pattern recommends and perhaps get a tiny bit more in case of mishaps.2. Note down every brand and
2. Note down every brand and colour code of yarn used. If you do need more then this way you can be certain and even take the plunge and buy online to save time and some moolah. I have read that you need to get the same dye-lot batch numbers to prevent slight colour variations. But to be honest, the same brand and colour would have been more than acceptable for me earlier on in this project.3. A large project made up of smaller component pieces is perfect for a beginner who wants to end up with something impressive. After all, it’s always nice to create something that can be admired all year long. You certainly
3. A large project made up of smaller component pieces is perfect for a beginner who wants to end up with something impressive. After all, it’s always nice to create something that can be admired all year long. You certainly can’t do that with another big beanie!
4.If all else fails, a good old pen and paper can get your ideas straight and move you forward from a stand-still. Once I had decided on a cushion I broke out the trusty notepad and drew out my design. Things in our house inevitably end up getting dumped on the floor and so this way I would never lose or forget the design I had settled on. It also helped to get the symmetry right in the pattern AND now I also have a guide for any future incarnations of the same cushion.
5. If a project goes wrong or starts to get you down there is absolutely no shame in taking a break or even starting something new. Nobody is chasing you and there is no point spending your hard-earned free time stressing out over a pile of wool. Enjoy what you do, or don’t do it!
What happened next? Well I went online and purchased A LOT of yarn in similar colours ready to take another swing at a blanket. (details to follow in future post. Needless to say I have found a GEM of a yarn supplier) I may try a different pattern this time though. I’m feeling adventurous.
I’d love to hear from you if you got yourself into a situation similar to this while starting out in the world of crochet. If you would have approached the set-back differently, what would you have done?. Get in touch!
Thank you so much for reading 🙂
Beccy May xx
- Attic 24 – The inspiration for this project and original creator of the pattern shown throughout this post.
- Pinterest – A great source of inspiration when it comes to crochet designs and ideas.
- Ravelry – My fave place for patterns. A huge library of both free and Paid for patterns. Knitting and crochet.
- Crocheteverafter – Amazingly clear tutorials. no nonsense explanations, and the creator of the hat pattern featured at the beginning of the post. (gigantification optional and not advised!)