Category: Blankets

Star Wars Blanket

Star Wars Front

*Patterns available here!

After about a year of off-on working on this blanket, it’s finally finished! I wanted to do another blanket the same way as the Avatar blanket, using double knitting (Check out the Avatar post if you want more detail on how to make a blanket like this, there wasn’t really anything new this time around!). Star Wars lent itself really well to double knitting, with black and white being an easy choice for the icons’ colors. I found pictures of other Star Wars blankets online that used many colors, but I decided that too many colors would distract from the simplicity at the core of the series.

Star Wars Back
And the back!

By way of construction, this blanket was exactly the same as the Avatar blanket, I just made 9 squares instead of 4, and left out border pieces. Each square had some black on the outline already, and I figured that was enough. Plus I didn’t want to make something else on a thicker border; again, that probably would have been more distracting than I wanted.

So overall this was double knit on size 10 needles. A total of 9 individual pieces sewn together using the mattress stitch. As always, I tried to fight distortion. Each piece is still wider than it is tall, but I got a lot closer to squares on this one than I did for the Avatar blanket.

What was most fun about this blanket was really drawing up the patterns. With the Avatar blanket, I just modified other patterns I found for the big pieces and didn’t get to be really creative until I designed the border pieces. With this blanket, I got to design the whole thing from scratch, and that was really fun. To be fair, I think all of my blankets have a very similar feel to them, since I mainly stick to several squares stitched together, but drawing the patterns for the icons was especially challenging and fun this time around.

“Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” -Master Yoda

Tetris Blanket

tetris-blanket

Newest blanket here. This one was a new style for me, I crocheted 130 individual granny squares using the pattern here and stitched them together into a Tetris-inspired pattern. Making it took about 3.5 months. I used a size H hook and made 6 layers around the center hole for each square. For the colored squares, the sixth layer was in a darker color than the middle. You can see a close-up of the squares here:

tetris-close-up

I also put a small border of one layer of double crochet stitches around the edges.

What was most fun about this project was that I got to use so many bright colors. I essentially looked for the most obnoxious colors I could find at the store and put them all together.

Granny square blankets are definitely a great starter project for anyone wanting to get into crochet. Since they’re so small individually, they’re highly portable, and just by changing their arrangement when you stitch them together or by switching out yarns in the individual squares themselves, you can make some really interesting designs. I highly recommend them for anyone looking for a more relaxed, beginner project!

“If Tetris has taught me anything, it’s that errors pile up & accomplishments disappear. Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” -Mike Tyson

Pokémon Blanket

Pokemon Blanket

*Edit: Pattern available here!

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Pokémon this year, this blanket felt like a must-do. Measuring in at a whopping 48 x 65 inches, this one was actually incredibly quick to make (for me). I started it last November, so it only took 4-5 months, as opposed to my usual ~8.

Unfortunately, I did not magically get a lot faster at my crochet (boy, that would be nice). Instead, I used double crochet through the whole thing instead of single, and made each pixel 2 double crochets wide and 1 double crochet tall. So each individual Pokémon ‘square’ is 110 stitches wide and 55 tall. They’re still pretty distorted, since two dcs are wider than they are tall, but it’s not too bad. Still gunning for that ultimate dream of no distortion. One day. Here’s a closeup of Bulbasaur’s face so you can see the distortion and the stitching a bit better:

Bulbasaur's Face

Another thing I have to mention is that this blanket came out quite a bit bigger than I was expecting. I had been planning on putting a border and more fun stuff on it, but once the four pieces were done, I realized anything more would just be beyond overkill and would make the thing absolutely massive. I was going to try fringes, but I started doing them and thought they didn’t add anything. So unless I come up with something better later on, it’ll stay like this. It’s pretty simple, but I think the bright colors make up for it.

Overall, a fun project with reasonably small patterns (I did simplify the colors; mainly I took out all of the shadowing, which made life much easier). As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments below!

“We do have a lot in common. The same Earth, the same air, the same sky. Maybe if we started looking at what’s the same instead of always looking at what’s different…well, who knows?” -Meowth

DC Comics Justice League Blanket

Justice League Front

After my successful Marvel blanket, I figured it was only fitting to follow up with an equally awesome DC blanket. Plus, I really wanted to do as many logos as I could, and DC was just the perfect opportunity to do that. This blanket is a little smaller than my previous ones, at just under 4.5′ wide by 4′ tall. I started it in January 2015 and just finished, at the end of November 2015.

My favorite part of this blanket is that the colors are so bright, which makes every piece really stand out. One issue I ran into when starting was keeping certain colors from blending into the backgrounds. What I ended up doing to combat this was to enclose every pattern in a solid black line, as you can see most clearly on the Superman square here:

Superman

I tried some of the first squares without the black, but the distinctions between the colors really weren’t as clear (which surprised me, since I figured the primary colors are about as distinct as you can get), so I redid them with the black border and found that it was an important step to make the eye see the logos really clearly.

Very excitingly for me, I may have actually found a stitch I like for crocheting images. After much experimenting, I ended up using the same method I did for the Marvel blanket to make these images, except this time I actually went back and forth (like a normal person) instead of cutting the tails every time I reached the end of a row. So this blanket was done with single crochet in back loops only, front loops only, back loops only, etc. And as you can see, the distortion really isn’t that bad. You can mostly see it on the Flash and Martian Manhunter squares, which should have perfect circles instead of the more oval-like shapes they ended up with, but overall the blanket comes across as very well-proportioned, which makes me very happy. Plus, the back looks just as good:

Justice League Back

Finally, in my previous blankets, I put a lot of effort into coming up with something really cool for the borders. With this one, I didn’t want to think about it too much, so I just crocheted 5 rows of grey followed by 3 rows of black around each square, sewed them together, and called it a day. Interestingly, I think that worked out for the best because there’s just so much going on in each square and having more surrounding every square would just be too busy.

And I think that’s all I’ve got for now! Let me know if you have any comments or questions below, and thanks for reading!

“There isn’t much justice on this world. Perhaps that’s why it is so satisfying to occasionally make some” -Martian Manhunter

Marvel Comics Blanket

Marvel Full Cut

Inspired by looking back at the Avatar Blanket, I decided it was time to make another large blanket this year. This time, I took my newly acquired crocheting skills and made this monster. This project went from May 2014 to January 2015. The finished product is about 6′ x 5’6″. And I ran into quite a few problems along the way with this one.

For starters, I made this whole thing in one shot. As in, I chained 299 stitches and just crocheted off of them. No individual pieces to be sewn together, so no boring part stitching it together, right? Well, on the one hand, that’s true, but at the same time, my crocheting does not like to hold the same tension throughout. I have to say that that is one thing that knitting has over crochet–tension is just so much easier with knitting, since you can’t be any tighter than the diameter of the needles. Anyway, the tension apparently got tighter the longer the blanket got, so the top is definitely narrower than the bottom. Mostly that just annoys me, since the blanket is so big that you wouldn’t normally see the entire piece at once, but still. It’s there. On the other hand, doing it in one big piece was the only way I could think of to get all of the names on it, so it worked beautifully to accomplish what I was going for.

Marvel 1 Marvel 2 Marvel 3

Tension was my main issue, but even before I started, I struggled pretty hard trying to figure out what kind of crochet stitch to use. I was trying single crochet, double crochet, I even learned Tunisian, but nothing was giving me the look I wanted. I finally decided to single crochet in back loops only, and just cut the yarn once I got to the other end of the blanket. Which worked pretty well, since the design came out legibly, which was really all I wanted. This method gave everything a slight tilt to the right, which nicely turned out to make the names pop a bit more and look more intense and comics-like. Plus, it left fringes at the edges, which at first I figured I’d just cut later, but now I kind of like them. They give the whole blanket a more substantial, rug-like look.

My method to do color changes on this blanket was to use two colors at a time, with the hidden color going through the middle of the outer color. This is a very good method for two colors, and I strongly recommend it (just be cautious with pulling the hidden color through; if you pull too much, the whole piece gets too tight and then you end up with all the fun problems of the piece shrinking in width every time you add a layer of stitches). However, I started using this method and thinking that I could just pull as many colors through the middle as I wanted. I soon learned that you’re pretty much limited to two inner colors, max. If you try more, they just don’t fit. And if you alternate, like one row with two inner strands and one row with one inner strand, the rows turn out to be different heights. Plus, every inner color can be seen at least slightly through the outer color. So after realizing all of that in my initial experimentation, I decided to only have one inner color strung through at a time and just cut and tie the next color to it. This is how I ended up with a perfectly legible front with rows all the same height, but a back full of knots and other interesting looking things:

Marvel Back

Finally, after the troubles I had with the Avatar blanket, I thought I’d solve the distortion problem by actually paying attention to how wide and tall my stitches would be. Crochet stitches are taller than they are wide (the opposite of knitting), so I tried to measure my stitches and distort the pattern to compensate. But I think I overdid it, so this blanket also has distortion by way of being too wide. That bothered me at first, but again it looks fine thanks to what the brain is expecting to see and I’m still learning as I go.

So this is it, my most recent big project. I probably won’t be posting anything else any time soon, but I do have another blanket in the works, so check back in a few months to see it! And let me know what you think of this one, if you want to learn more, or if you have any questions regarding what I did; I’m sure I’m not nearly as detailed as I think I am on these posts.

“‘Nuff Said!” -Stan Lee

Avatar: The Last Airbender Blanket

Avatar Front

This project took place from February 2011 to November 2011. It was my first big knitting project, and I learned a lot from it. I’m not huge on posting patterns, simply because I draw them on graph paper and transferring that to a digital form may not be the easiest thing for me. Plus, this design has been done by so many people already, it’s super easy to find the element patterns elsewhere on the internet. So for now, I’ll just describe my method and what I learned from the project.

The finished product is 62″ x 49″. It’s double knit in 13 individual pieces, all mattress stitched together.

Distortion

I vividly remember finishing the first panel, looking at it, and being very disappointed. It was supposed to be a square, and it came out like this:

Water Square

As evidenced by the dimensions of the finished product (and knowing that my initial pattern was a square), knit stitches are significantly wider than they are tall! Luckily for me, the eye is very forgiving and doesn’t necessarily notice this at first glance, but it’s something I now try to keep in mind. So definitely take into account whether or not you can live with a distorted final image from the beginning.

The Mattress Stitch

I remember searching the internet, trying to find some way to attach these pieces when I came across the mattress stitch. I saw pictures of how it looked in the end and couldn’t believe there was a way to connect knitting and make it look that good. But it’s real! The only thing you can tell about it is that it leaves a slight bump in the knitting along the line where it’s made. And you kind of have to make something up like it when you’re attaching things vertically. But overall, it’s by far my favorite way to attach knitting. For reference, here are outlines of the 13 individual pieces that went into the final blanket, in the order I knit them:

Avatar Grid

If you’re surprised that those are the divisions, that’s the magic of the mattress stitch!

Double Knitting

What I really like about double knitting is it gives the final product a very clean, finished appearance from every angle, and it has even tension throughout. What I mean by that is that if you tug on it in any direction, it feels the same as a normal, one-color, stockinette piece would (as opposed to, say, fair isle, in which the piece always feels tight and unnatural. For me, anyway). Plus, the back is just as fun to look at:

Avatar Back

As for the downsides, it will feel like it’s taking twice as long to knit because you are knitting twice as many stitches. And, most importantly, you can only knit with two colors at a time (as far as I’m aware). So if you want to work with more, you’d better use a different style. Or make up some cool new way to use double knitting (and let me know).

Borders

Sometime around the end of the summer, I was just done with this project. It was taking too long, I didn’t want to work on it anymore, all the fun element squares were done, and I just had the boring border to work on. That was no fun, so I jazzed up the border! I gave myself something to look forward to by putting words on the border, rather than just solid color. And as it it worked out, the border is now my favorite part of this entire project. So keep thinking outside the box! Don’t feel like you’re trapped into a pattern just because you started it. The beauty of a project like this, which is done in pieces, is that it can be changed all the way up until it’s stitched together.

Well, that’s what I’ve got for this project. Thoughts? Questions? Leave them below!

“Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not” -Iroh