Crochet Project: Heartfelt Woven Blanket

Now that my family's holiday celebrations are over, I can finally blog about all the crochet project holiday gifts I made this year!

Since I unfortunately ended up with nothing but spare time on my hands early on this year, at the beginning of June (mainly out of utter boredom and frustration) I decided to attempt to crochet all of my 2012 holiday gifts... at least for the human members of my family. And since I had so much time to work on projects, I also hoped to maybe be able to make some more complex/challenging patterns for gifts.

I had a craving to crochet blankets again - even though everyone I know has lots of blankets. I love crocheting them, but have avoided making many in the last couple of years because for a long time they were the only thing I wanted to and/or did crochet. So, I set out looking for neat afghan patterns to suit each of my family members' tastes.

Unfortunately, having lots of spare time also means having very little spare money for yarn. So, in the end, I had to compromise quite a bit on my projects. I had to forgo making the most awesome blanket patterns I discovered and also forgo using some of the slightly more-expensive yarn types/brands I have grown to love working with best. Instead, I almost exclusively used some of the many boring skeins of acrylic yarn I have amassed in my stash from previous projects and my Mom's great yard sale finds.

So, anyway, on to the projects!

The first blanket I crocheted was a Heartfelt Woven blanket for my Sister:

6 photos showing the making and completed plaid-patterned blanket in various shades of blue, green, aqua, red and purples - close up of the blue mesh part of the blanket, close up of the variegated chain strand that will be woven through the holes in the mesh, close up of a chain strand being woven into the mesh, another photo showing progress on the time-consuming weaving process, and two photos of the completed blanket, one further away - showing the size and one closer up showing the woven plaid design of the blanket.

I based this blanket on this Noro Plaid scarf pattern (the same one I used for my colorful scarf I made a month or so after finishing this blanket). I worked the basic woven idea of the scarf pattern, but I used a bigger hook (size J), thicker yarn (Red Heart Super Saver in Blue and Heartfelt - which I had leftover from a badly over-estimated purchase for a project I made earlier in the year), and more stitches/repeats in order to make a blanket instead.

The mesh for the blanket (in blue) is 86 spaces wide by 102 spaces long - a good size for covering up a person on a couch or wrapping around the shoulders. I was going to just make one gigantic long chain (in Heartfelt - blues, aqua green red and purples) for weaving, but ended up dividing them up, enough for about 6 rows at a time, to make the weaving a little easier to manage. I also worked a finishing row of solid single crochets around the outside edge - using it to help anchor the 2 ends of woven chains in each row into place.

This project took a lot longer than expected to complete (nearly 3 months!), partly because I waited until I was finished with the entire mesh of the blanket before starting to weave in the chains, so I spent forever weaving them in. Maybe, if I had started weaving as I made rows of mesh, it might not have taken so very long to do.

I love how the blanket turned out though. It was easy to crochet (and easy to feel - a great pattern for blind crocheters) but it looks complex. The finished blanket measures approximately 44 inches by 60 inches.

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