"A crocheted blanket!" she shouted excitedly, over vehement protestations from her wrists.

comments: 31

Livingroom2 Okay, so, then. This is an idea that has been in my mind for a long, long time, but I have been thwarted by the equally overwhelming idea of how much it would cost. As I mentioned a few days ago, I am so spoiled that I will only work with yummy yarn. Yummy yarn tends to be expensive yarn. We all know that, when making things for other people, it is sadly much more important that we love the yarn we choose than it is that they love the yarn we choose. It is also more important that we love the pattern we're using, and most of all that we love the experience itself, because (sorry to say) we've all slaved over something that we thought would be absolutely perfect for someone else only to hear them say upon receiving, "Oh. Thanks. Wow. You shouldn't have." And they truly do mean "you shouldn't have." And then, the deafening silence, broken only by the sound of our inner voice screaming, "Give it back! Give it back!"

Tulipsandyarn3 Grab it and run. Kidding. But seriously, we generous yarn-obsessed types eventually do get to the bottom of the list, where our own names patiently wait, eager for a scarf, a hat, even a sweater maybe. Surely we don't deserve something as monstrously indulgent, as decadent as an entire blanket, do we? Of our very own, to snuggle under on the sofa, cozy in its Cashmerino folds?

Well, I know I don't deserve it. But I'm doing it anyway. I have, over the years, bought a skein here and a skein there of enough Baby Cashmerino to make a whole blanket (and please note I say blanket rather than throw, as I can't say "throw" without the feeling of toes popping  out from under because the thing's not long enough and that drives me kickingly insane). I'm calling this blanket Faded Tulips, and my plan is to have it finished by the fall, six months from now, so that by the time I'm planting tulips, I can come in and coze up underneath it after a hard day in the autumn garden. It was inspired by these, the fading tulips on the coffee table, which take on a sort of grayish, silky cast that is so lovely. I plopped all my yarns out next to this shabby bouquet yesterday and thought about them. The plan is to crochet up big nine-inch two-color-striped squares, put a solid-color border around each, and patch them together like a quilt. One square is done. I'm so on my way! Har.

TulipsandyarnI had spent the afternoon picking out new carpet for the stairway and upstairs hallway (so many colors when you start, so few [tweedy, dark, and unstainable] when you end). I had spent the morning discussing color with my sis, who is rearranging her house for the _____th time and moving her office into the dining room. Repainting that. I pointed her toward the article about cafe au lait bowls in the September '05 issue of MSL, that little nutmeg-brown kitchen with the pale, matte pink chairs and shelf? Adorable. Not what she'll do, but still adorable. I thought about the value (or, relative light- or darkness of a color) of the colors that I tend to choose -- all very much the same value. All the time. A conservative, too-careful habit of mine. I shuffled through the color-library of my mind for a color that I would add to this pile to shake things up. To take it from "nice pastelly quilt" to "sharp! ". Most of these yarns are Baby Cashmerino. Some, colors like the mustard yellow and pale gray, are Debbie Bliss Cathay. I want one or two more colors that are totally edgy and unexpected, but being the predictable bore that I am, I can't think of what they would be. Red? Chocolate brown? Kelly green? Snore. Help!

Can you see Cassi's little pincushion down there? Jeez. Cassi, you do beautiful work. I will never, ever, ever stick a pin in this thing. Ev-er.


I'd keep to the colours that inspire you initially, ie the vase and the tulips, and perhpas take in some of the deeper shades. So I'd include a good bluebell blue or vibrant aqua blue, a violet, an orange and some lime (as in tulip leaves and stems) as well a a rich pink or two.

Sounds like a great project and I'm sure you'll make it beautiful whatever colours you choose.

Oh my! What could be more wonderful than a big, yummy, crocheted blanket in fading tulip colors? The blankets in New Country Style: England inspired me too, though only to dream, as my granny squares all come out lopsided.

i have to say that i adore your color palette, and think most everything you do is "sharp!" and not just "pastelly." so i'd say trust your instincts, and of course listen to Jane who has wonderful color sense too.

I love the shot of the yarn and tulips. The colors are beautiful.

Oh my, I laughed out loud when I read your description of the "grateful" recipient of a crafty gift. There's a quilt I made for my mother-in-law I'd still like to get my hands back on, but she gave it away to another relative before I could snatch it back.
Looking at the photo above, I think you could get further inspiration from your fading blooms. The strong yellow and orange would add some punch to the mix, as would a deeper version of the greeny blue vase. (All visible in the wonderful pincushion right next to the softer yarns.) Maybe a vivid stripy yarn to echo the Rembrandt tulips?

See, and I don't think you should ever knit or crochet anything as big as a blanket for anyone other than yourself, unless they are another knitter who will cherish and appreciate it their whole life, or one of your own children, who will be forced to cherish and appreciate it! :) But then, I rarely knit even small things for other people! Glad to see you're making something for yourself!

Oh I can not wait to see it finished! My thought on color additions is Lime Green. The color of the tulip stems. A little out there but not too too crazy that you might regret it later (although I doubt you ever regret any of your creations)! I am looking forward to the day when I get to pick out a projects just for me. Getting the yarn for my sis' new baby blanket tonight *smile*.

Have a great day!

*sigh* ohhhhh a whole blanket of Cashmerino *drool* I have to confess, I'm a major yarn snob too, only yummy yarn will work!

I can't wait to see the finished blanket... those tulip inspired colors are so fantastic!

I have to tell you how in love I am with your curtains too... everytime I see that print on a bag or pillow I want to just snatch it up... Lovely!

Chris Howard says: April 18, 2006 at 10:04 AM

I am sooo with you on the gift giving thing. I am a cross stitcher, and it can take me MONTHS to finish one small design. I once gave a dear friend a "Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech" because he was a Tech student at the time. He looked at it, and sniffed "It looks like a possum on a tractor". I later found it discarded on the floor of his room, covered in dirt and dust. Since then, I've only given my Mother some of my cross stitch, and I come to her house and scrutinize it all carefully! Poor Mom ;)
Since you are making the quilt for the fall, why not experiment with some muted golds, browns and oranges? A nice deep leafy green would be good too. For inspiration on those colors and working them in with pastels try looking at some of the designs here:


Did you see the Ort Box there? EVERYONE needs a halloween ort box.

Lest you think I'm a complete curmudgeon, my best friend just announced that she is having her first baby in October. It looks like I am going to have to learn how to sew, crochet and knit for this little one, because his/her Momma is gonna be way too busy!

Chris Howard says: April 18, 2006 at 10:06 AM

ooo I forgot to add that I snatched up two of Cassi's lastest batch of pin cushions. I got the daisies on the dark blue background, and the one that is "sister" to yours (multi flowers on a dark green background). I am sitting here looking at them with greedy little glint in my eye. Oh they make me SO happy!

look at how gorgeous your living room is! wow! and the colors for the blanket are yummy.

I had to laugh at the little scenario between the gift maker and receiver. I enjoy how truly honest your writing can be.
As for the color, I think chocolate brown would be a pretty border color.

i have to agree with the chocolate brown - the color of soil - and throw in the limey green of the stems as a bright balance... looking forward to seeing the blanket in the fall...

I love that entertainment center! Where 'o where did it come from? I need one!

Absolutley adorable! A nice deep rich charcol gray used delicately with the other soft colors could be nice. Enjoy your project.... Make the blanket of your dreams.

yay! we will be cheering you on as you take on this gigantic project!--(that was meant to sound encouraging...)
Make it, treasure it and wrap your little toes in it all winter long.

I just have to say that I was at the thrift store a few weeks ago and there was a GIANT (as in easily big enough for a double bed) knitted patchwork blanket on the rack for $5...I wasn't even crazy about the colors, but I still took it home because i couldn't stand the fact that someone poured so much work into that blanket, and now it was sitting in a goodwill for a measley five bucks. (I think I may have actually spoken to the blanket when I purchased it, "i'll give you some love, little blanket...")

So-I'm glad you're making aand keeping the blanket so that it will get all the appreciation and love it deserves!

I vote for RED!

How beautiful your blanket will be! I just bought a ton of Cathay for a shawl that I can't wait to wear (next fall..lol) so I can imagine how soft your blanket will be. I LOVE the colors. I don't think chocolate brown is the most UNEXPECTED but I do think it would be really beautiful! I vote for that! :) And BTW, I gave a hand knit scarf away this morning as a gift and you pretty much described how it was in your first paragraph. Argh.

I can't wait to see it Alicia! I like what others have suggested for color. As I took a close up look of your tulips and yarn photo (the last one), maybe a deep fushia,a darker creamcicle orange and lime green can punch it up, but I do like the colors that you chose very much.

I also love your color combos, but I can also relate to the "ohmygosh - I'm always making the same thing - I should try adding some new color action" so...

A deep, juicy aqua or teal, or vibrant purple (or both) would be my thoughts. I might also be careful to plan to add only small bits of them to splash in - like maybe a little row of single crochet around some of the squares before you add the sashing or as a stripe in the middle of the sashing.

Also, remember, you're making it for yourself - I know you're trying not to think of how much the total project will cost you, but you really, really don't want to make yourself the luxury blanket of your dreams and then always hate that you felt you had to add in an extra color. Just play with it enough to get it just right.

Alicia, thanks so much for the mention and it makes me really happy that you like the pincushion so much :) Pins won't hurt it though, I promise! You've already selected such gorgeous colors for your blanket but I thought I'd throw in my 2ยข as well. I'd take my clues from the tulips and add a lime green and a lemon yellow, and if you wanted a third, turquoise. Can't wait to see the end product, with you as the creator it can't help but be gorgeous!

I don't know about color suggestions, but I do know that I love these little peeks into your home!

Alicia, in reading your lovely post, looking at your lovely house pictures, one thought keeps pulsing through my mind and its the only thing I can comment on...

you have the very pincushion I wanted to snag from Cassi.

I dont' think we can be friends anymore, it would be too painful.

beautiful colors I don't really think you need more - can't wait to see you all curled up under it this fall!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.