The boxes of yarn and crochet hooks found in the attic have challenged me to finish projects long abandoned by relatives. I can’t just throw this yarn out! For starters – waste not, want not. Yarn is expensive but you can work your craft on the cheap if you keep your eyes peeled for unfinished projects and leftovers at garage sales or your local resale shop. Finding grandma’s yarn project supplies in a box was a real gift that went from an effort to be responsible with its disposal (crochet it into something useful!) to becoming a full time addiction which required the acquisition of even more yarn and crochet hooks and patterns. Some of her projects were above my skill level, so they were best completely dismantled and given a new start. I made a whole bunch of hats. Here are two of them:
Last year, I decided to make a large blanket with all of the bulky yarn found stored in the attic. It was a disaster! I failed to attach large slabs of heavy crochet rectangles and squares together properly. I had not mastered the art of squared or rounded corners. My gauge was uneven. I ran out of colors and randomly continued with other colors and textures that just. did. not. work. It weighed 5 million pounds and did not fold nicely. All I really meant to do was to make use of all of this yarn and fulfill it’s textile destiny.
As I was registering dismay for the monstrosity I had created, the below zero freeze hit Michigan and it was COLD inside and out. The Polar Vortex had stretched its frigid fingers over us and it wasn’t letting go. Even as the furnace chugged to keep up, you could see your breath in the back rooms of this house. At the time, we had no insulation in the walls. At night, I remember donning 2 layers of clothing and covering myself with three cotton quilt blankets to beat the cold. I dragged the crappy afghan out of the closet and threw it over the bed, then crawled under and hid. That heavy bulky yarn afghan surprised me. Something about the weight of the blanket felt very relaxing. I slept like a log that night! I remember when I awoke, I turned to my dog and said, “It’s like a…… thunder blanket!”
OK, she is deaf, but she knew I was referring to the Velcro grey sweaters that she wears when it is time to calm down during a thunder storm. The sweater hugs her snugly, like when you swaddle an infant, giving her a heightened sense of security. Hugs do that. The magical effect of this heavy slab of crocheted yarn seemed to have the same effect on me. I guess that there are weighted blankets on the market that are used by other people for a variety of reasons. I have heard them called, “anxiety blankets” and “weighted blankets”. From then on, I called my ugly weighted blanket, my Thunder Blanket.
Last fall, I could not take the ugliness of my thunder blanket any more. I knew that winter was coming, so I dismantled the entire thing and started over. I used a box stitch and learned how to crochet a straight edge. Whew!
I am not finished yet. I have had to track down extra yarn on the Internet since local resources no longer carried these colors. True to form, I confess that I have been sloppy by magic knotting on the color changes instead of weaving in the ends. A clever border may hide the knots in the end, but if not, I’ll just consider them a part of the blanket’s landscape.
It currently weighs 7.2 pounds. That’s a lot of yarn! This is what I used to make it thus far – I will add the final quantities when the blanket is completed:
Hometown USA Lion Brand 100% acrylic yarn in these colors:
Fort Worth Blue
I have completely forgotten how many chains with which I began, but that’s okay. You can make your thunder blanket any size that suits you. I am 5 feet 9 inches tall and I want my blanket to reach from my neck to below my feet. I also made it wide enough so that it would stay on me when I twist and turn in my sleep. The beginning chain was figured to allow for one or more borders around the blanket. I am hoping to make the minor colors pop on the border. Who knows where this is headed? So, go figure.
I found this amazing chart on Pinterest that simplifies how to do the block stitch. After the 3rd row, you will be doing it with your eyes closed. It is just that easy!
Stay tuned for more images of my crocheted weighted blanket as I work along! And thanks for visiting TheMichiganAttic!