WIP (work in progress)
I usually wait until a project is complete to blog about it so I thought I would start writing about some while in progress. I was commissioned by a friend to make a crochet edge flannel baby blanket that will be given in a baby shower gift. The first time I saw this type of blanket here at Purl Bee I was amazed at how beautiful it turned out.
This one was different from others I had made in that she asked 2 fabrics be used instead of just 1 flannel. Using 2 fabrics together made the blanket reversible and thicker than a regular receiving blanket. I just had to figure out how to best join the 2 together.
One of the first steps for me when working with baby fabrics is pre-washing. Not only is it important to launder for shrinkage but also allows the items to be used right away instead of burdening a new mom with washing a new item.
Here are both fabrics (1 yard each) washed and ironed. These complimentary prints in shades of purple make a pretty blanket for a little girl.
I decided instead of joining the two with a straight stitch to use my overlock machine and serge around. This made it easy to take care of the frayed flannel edges and join the 2 seamlessly. I did use a lot of pins to keep the fabrics lined up and to avoid any ‘bubbles’ from forming.
…and then and another 1/4 inch in preparation for a straight stitch
Looks like this once the edges are all nicely ironed down. This step is probably not necessary but I really like the crisp and clean look it gives the blanket edging.
Now it was time for a quick strait stitch over the top.
This would make a great blanket at this stage but I love adding the crochet edge to make it special. What I love the most is that I don’t have to crochet an entire blanket! It’s the convenience of sewing with fabric while still being able to add a crochet touch. Flannel receiving blankets are very popular for new babies and are also great for warmer months.
Part 2 of this project is adding the crochet edge. I had the perfect plum-colored yarn to match the shades of purple in the print. I find that using a size 3 (light) yarn or even a 2 (fine) works best. Crochet thread could also be used. I just make sure I am using something that is baby friendly, soft, and washable.
There are a few methods to do an edging on any blanket. Ranging from fancy gadgets that punch holes in fabric as it rolls over, to using an exacto knife to slice thru. I go simple and old school. I don’t have a special “sharp” hook but I found that my size 4/2.00 steel hook has a sharp enough end that it punches thru flannel fabric. This time, the 2 layers of fabric proved to be a little tougher but with a little muscle, the hook went thru every time.
I started about 1.5 inches from an edge. After “punching” thru both layers of fabric, I started with my yarn.
2 more single crochets in same stitch, making a cluster of 3 single crochets in same space.
I started the next cluster of single crochets about 1/2 inch apart from the other. I could have easily marked these spaces beforehand with chalk or another washable marker, but instead I chose to eyeball it. I recommend marking the spaces if you are not yet comfortable with estimating the distance. Enough of these beauties has given me enough practice to estimate.
Continue with 3 single crochets in each space followed by chain 1
Isn’t it better than just leaving the blanket plain? This is a fairly quick project to make up. The edging can take 1-2 hours, depending on interruptions. In the crochet world, that’s a fast project! I will be turning this blanket over later this week and am reminded how much I love making these.