Crocheting My Way to California - Part 3

Garden Blanket

As I was looking around for anything to do not related to moving - the world ending - or packing - the world ending again - a lightbulb came on.  I decided to make a garden blanket inspired by California.  

I started this in Virginia, worked on it through out our whole journey, and finished it in California.

I started this in Virginia, worked on it through out our whole journey, and finished it in California.

I was basically trying to think as many positive thoughts about the move as I possibly could.  Trying not to think:  earthquakes…California is as far away from Virginia as we can go without falling into the ocean…earthquakes…  You know, things like that.  What positive thoughts could I have about California?  Flowers!  Yes!  Bright, colorful, happy flowers.  Whatever I ended up with, it would involve flowers.  

One great idea led to another.  I decided to use up some of the scraps and remnants of yarn in my stash.  It gave me a project to work on and would use what I already had.  I wouldn’t have to buy anything.  

Perfect plan, right?  Just start making flowers with scraps and turn them into something.  As you can see, I’ve had a little trouble thinking past the big picture that my life is turning upside down.  I started approaching my crochet the same way I did the move.  One tiny little step at a time.  Make flowers.  Turn them into something.  Ready, set, go… 

Organized Chaos

Organized Chaos

My first attempt didn't turn out very well - at all.  The flowers grew into granny squares and then into a blanket.  I used a very bright, almost neon green.  I used it for the leaves and granny squares.   It was so overwhelming and flat.  I absolutely hated it.  It was hideous.  (I’ve been struggling with the positive thoughts, just a little bit.)  I ended up frogging most of it and redoing the squares.  

I kept all of the flowers I had already made and added a few more.  I made a bunch of flowers.  Twelve to be precise.  I used patterns from lots of different places.  

Bright, colorful, happy flowers.

Bright, colorful, happy flowers.

As I started pulling everything together, I was thinking about my niece, who is 18 moths old and curious about everything.  I started to think about adding some animals to complete the garden. I thought she would enjoy finding little hidden treasure in the flowers.

The boys and I took this blanket out on one our walks and took some photographs.

The boys and I took this blanket out on one our walks and took some photographs.

I worked on this as the movers were packing up our house.  I sat at the kitchen table with my survival pack…Jane Austen and a bag of crochet.  It was everything I could do to keep it together.

Ignore the men with boxes.  Read.  Crochet.  Ignore.  Repeat... 

All four greens that I ended up using are Caron Simply Soft.  I love this yarn.  It is so soft and easy to work with.  It also isn’t very expensive.  It fits right in my comfort zone for workability and price.  I used the join as you go method that I learned in _____ to pull all of the squares together.  

The edging was completely guess work.   I just kept adding rows using the same colors I used in the flowers.  It's a ripple made out of single crochet in the back loop.

The dragonfly and butterfly patterns were from ______

I found the bumble bee on line at _____

I almost stopped with the butterfly and dragonfly.  I wanted to get it in the mail, but I just couldn't do it.  It needed the bumblebee to feel finished.

I almost stopped with the butterfly and dragonfly.  I wanted to get it in the mail, but I just couldn't do it.  It needed the bumblebee to feel finished.

As I was making the animals, I thought about my niece finding little surprises hidden among the flowers. 

Doesn't she look like the type of girl that will have fun with a garden blanket?

Doesn't she look like the type of girl that will have fun with a garden blanket?

The boys made cards and we packed everything up.  We sent it to her with lots of love.  It was a struggle for me to get through to the end, but it soothed my nerves and helped me to focus on positive thoughts about flowers, opportunity, and my precious niece.  I hope it can soothe her and bring her some joy.