Christmas is over, the New Year’s celebrations have been and gone with a pyrotechnic bang and, as so often happens at this time of year, I’m feeling in need of a pick me up. The wine consumption is very sensibly down to zero as part of my traditional New Year austerity measures, chocolate and cake are out of the picture until the extra few pounds of Christmas indulgence is banished from my waistline. With all that in mind, and with grey skies from one horizon to the next, this begs the question of how’s a girl supposed to cheer herself up through the long dark winter? Well, of course there’s always crochet and there’s always colour, so I’ve started a brand new Blues-Chaser blanket!
While searching for inspiration I started thinking where in the world would I really like to be right now if I could get away from all this drizzly, cold, grey English weather? Mexico would be good – with it’s sunshine and super bright colour palettes that are guaranteed to put a person in a perky mood! As a trip to sunnier climes is not currently a realistic option, a quick search for ‘Mexican Colours‘ on Pinterest seemed to be the next best thing. And even though I can’t hop on a plane and be there myself, I have to say that this was nearly as good therapy. I think you’ll agree when you see some of my favorite images. Got your shades ready? Prepare to be dazzled!
And in case that’s not enough of a cheery blast for you here are some more sizzlingly gorgeous picks.Then to the yarn stash for a big rummage around to see if I could match up that Fiesta feeling. This is going to be another thrifty blanket – also part of the New Year austerity measures mentioned above, so I really can’t buy in any more balls of wool for this one. Not that that should be any kind of problem as my long term addiction to popping into any and all yarn shops I happen to pass by has always necessitated at least one 50g purchase of something soft and luscious. I must surely have enough wool around for a hundred blankets by now! (New Year’s Resolution – no more buying yarn unless absolutely necessary. New Year’s conundrum – define ‘absolutely necessary’!)
After digging deep I eventually found these lurking around and they were just right for what I had in mind.I mentioned in an earlier post about my Daisy Blanket that I wanted to make something stripy this time. Oh boy, I loved doing these stripes. They’re a very relaxing and low concentration kind of endeavor. I made a slight variation on the granny stripe theme by adding in little blips of contrasting colour in between the larger stripes. I think the smaller points of colour really zazz the whole thing up. Very happy with this so far.Then I got to thinking that it might be a bit samey after a while and that it might lose its punch a bit as the blanket grows bigger and bigger as there will be no solid blocks of colours to add impact. Lots of the images I found of Mexican textiles had plain stripes alternating with patterned stripes, which I really liked. My solution to the lack of variety was to put in a few rows of mini Granny Squares to shake things up a little.Now that the colours are sorted, the basic maths is calculated and a rough idea of a design is forming it’s time to pack up a basket with all the necessaries and get hooking!This is going to be fun. The colours make me smile just to look at them and should provide a nice fix to carry me through until the spring. Whatever the weather for the next few months the only winter ‘blues’ that are allowed around here are being crocheted into this comforting blanket.Come rain, snow, hail, gale or just plain old sombre grey skies, I’ve got me a bright and happy place to dip in and out of as and when I need it!And just in case you need another dose of Mexican colour therapy here are some pretty, eye popping pinatas. Ooh, those colours are so lush!
Question: Who put the Sombre into Sombrero? Answer: No-one!
January 15, 2015 at 5:03 pm
I love this blanket and all the colors. Beautiful idea and it makes me happy just by looking at it! Thank you!
January 15, 2015 at 5:24 pm
That’s good to hear! Thanks for dropping by!
January 15, 2015 at 7:24 pm
Loved the happy colours but Iam trying to use my stash and all the wool Ive been given the stuffI was given about 8 years ago 2 ply on cones mixed together 4 cones at a time its useable. Made 5 of your owls and 14 cupcakes also a lot of animals from a book edwards menagerie .Now awaiting summer when weekend when we open the church cafe up to now just sold my cards .Our church well its a abbey was built about the year 1100 so its a very dear place to upkeep . regards ronnie
January 15, 2015 at 7:55 pm
Wow, that’s a lot of cupcakes and owls! I hope they raise lots of money for your church. It sounds well worth preserving. What a wonderful history it must have! Keep up the good work 🙂
January 16, 2015 at 8:09 pm
LOVE the colors even though I usually tend to be more conventional/conservative with colors. I have a stack of mini granny squares in various color combinations like yours that I’ve been trying to select an edging for, and now I know what I want to do with them!
January 17, 2015 at 10:44 pm
Having trouble sending this.. Love yr blanket, can you please advise me how you incorporate the loose ends from each colour change when completing the project? Thank you so much for a great blog.
January 18, 2015 at 1:52 am
Hi Jill, thanks, I’m glad you like my new blanket, or the beginnings of it anyway! I think I’m going to be crocheting over the ends when I come to making the finishing border. I’m improvising this design as I go along so not 100% certain yet. I rather like the loose ends too and another option would be to keep them as tassels by knotting them together in little bundles and not bother with a border at all. I’ll be sure to keep you posted of all developments as I go along. This will be a learning journey for us both! I’m planning on putting up a few tutorials about the process as the project progresses, so it should be nice and easy to follow!
January 19, 2015 at 12:26 am
Thanks so much for your quick response! I’m really enjoying your blog and loving your designs. You’ve converted me to l loving these little creatures you create so beautifully. They’re on my to do list for this year.
January 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm
Loving the colours and the design. Very inspiring, even though I’m in a warm climate myself (South Africa). Thanks for sharing. I love your creativity.
January 22, 2015 at 8:27 pm
Thanks! I don’t suppose you have much call for a blanket then 🙂 We have so much grey and dreary weather here, even through the summer sometimes, this will probably get all year round use, at least in the evenings. I envy you your sunshine!
June 16, 2015 at 4:03 pm
After all these months I’ve been pondering this blanket. Do you have any specific measurements, weights, hook size etc?
June 16, 2015 at 6:16 pm
I made a blog post about the basic techniques here: http://mojimojidesign.com/2015/05/09/mexican-stripe-basic-stitches/
That will tell you what stitches I used and how I worked out the maths. For my big Mexican blanket I started by making my first granny stripe with 23 squares and went from there following the formula in this post. I improvised the colour changes as I went along but I’m going to post a picture of it all spread out when I get the chance so that you can see the colour sequence better. That will also show you how many repeats of each stripe, etc. I hope that helps a bit! I’d love to see how you get along if you feel like posting a pic on my Facebook page at any time (I’m naturally nosy!) Have fun with the hook!
June 18, 2015 at 8:50 pm
Yes it does help. Thx for taking the time to respond.