You've seen the first blanket before here and here. Rather than do the reverse single crochet edging, I went with a picot edging.
I have to say, this pattern is so second-nature at this point that I can whip out these suckers fast; however, things really slow down the closer you get to the end: Remember, it's basically a giant granny square, so the last four or five times around (not including the colored edge) takes nearly 45 minutes per round.
The other blanket is a new pattern. Erin's mom, Susie, dug out a pattern that Erin's grandmother had used for Erin. Back in October, she described it as, "A shell pattern that's one color on one side and another color on the other side" (the Reversible Shell Baby Afghan by Lee Wards).
I know: Huh? I told her I would give it my best shot, but I was nervous.
Over Christmas break, I sat down in mom's family room while she read the pattern out loud to me (because hearing the pattern is completely different from reading the pattern). Let me tell you: Learning this pattern was a Witch with a capital B, and I nearly called it quits three rows into it. But, the prospect of quitting pissed me off so badly that my anger and fury managed to push me all the way to the end. And YES: When you don't totally screw it up, each side IS a different color!
See that? I consider the "green" side (on the left) the back and the "white" side the front. This pattern takes for freakin ever because for every row of shell that you do (ie, actual length that you add to the blanket), you have to do a row of chain loops that form the arches that hook into the bottom of every shell. The chain loops just add prettiness to the blanket ... not length. They go quickly, but when your best friend schedules her C-section two months in advance and threatens to go into labor at any moment (even though she doesn't want to just yet), it sometimes feels like you're not advancing at all. I added the reverse single crochet to the top and bottom edge and didn't bother with the sides--they look finished enough as is, and my attempt to edge them looked awful. I think they're meant to be left alone.
It should also be noted that this blanket is heavy. Really heavy. The other blankets I've made are really light weight but very warm because they're made with (don't judge me) acrylic yarn. I know the first blanket here looks "holey"--trust me, it's a very warm blanket because acrylic traps heat well. (That's why wearing an acrylic sweater is so miserable. They get all gross and sweaty too fast. Yet, an acrylic blanket? Not so bad. They're the only blankets I use at home.) The first blanket could be used year round, even in air conditioning, etc. This one may be too heavy in most circumstances after April. The pattern is really pretty though.
For whatever reason, Pearl is obsessed with this blanket. She plopped herself down on it whenever I spread it out to check my progress.
Don't worry--I eventually tossed her off and threw the blanket in the wash.
I made the care tags with some of my leftover Valentine accoutrement, but my printer's not working so I had to do the writing by hand.
The bird and flower decorations are actually Martha Stewart's adhesive border strips for scrapbook pages. You can cut them to any length you like and stick them to anything--no glue sticks required (thank you, Jesus).
Even though Erin was discharged on Wednesday, she's still at the hospital every day to see Ellie and Anna in the NICU. I'll get the blankets to her at some point ... if Pearl lets me:
* Laurie, I used the SB-700 and bounced it off the ceiling/wall for these