One of my favourite birthday presents this year was an incredible yarn pack, created by my friend Ness and her daughters.
They were inspired by the colours bursting to life in the spring hedgerows on their daily walks during lockdown. They even took Ness’s yarn pegs for a walk so they could choose yarns that best matched the hedgerow colours!
I think you’ll agree that they chose well! The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK in the following colours:
Cream, Lemon, Citron, Dandelion, Mustard, Pistachio, Lime, Apple, Meadow, Cypress, Aster, Bluebell, Wisteria, Clematis, Pale Rose, Grape, Boysenberry.
With such a wonderful array of colours to work with, I knew I needed to choose a pattern that would really make them sing. I’ve long admired Lucy of Attic24 and the incredible patterns she creates. I’ve made several of them over the years and have admired her Harmony and Summer Harmony blankets, but was always slightly put off by the thought of all those ends!
But this is the pattern that really leapt out at me when I was pondering how to use my gorgeous colours, so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it!
I found that working methodically as Lucy suggests and being really disciplined with sewing in the ends they actually weren’t as bad as I feared. I rather enjoyed the production line style of working and seeing each round come together, one colour at a time.
I worked in batches of six of each colour, sewing in the ends after each batch.
I spent a lot of time on the floor working out colour combos for each round (sometimes helped by the cat. I’m sure you can imagine how that went…) I had a few vague ‘rules’ as I was choosing colours (e.g. not using the same colour twice in each square), but I mostly picked by instinct.
When I’d chosen my colours, I used safety pins to keep my selection together. Each safety pin had a snippet of yarn attached to remind me which colour I was using for the next round.
In case you missed the link further up the page, you’ll find Lucy’s wonderful pattern here, along with links to all the info you need for different parts of the pattern. If you’re planning on making your own version, I’d recommend having a proper read of her posts before you get started. Not only is it fascinating seeing her creative process and all her colourful pictures at different stages along the way, she also offers such great advice! I can’t imagine the hours of work that went into creating this pattern, then putting together such comprehensive tutorials for each round – thank you, Lucy, for so generously sharing your designs with the world!
If you fancy making a Summer Harmony blanket in Spring Hedgerow colours, I’ve kept a record of all my colour choices in the following documents, round by round. And of course, you could always play with the colours and arrange them in your own way! You’ll notice that Lucy arranged her joining rounds in a diagonal colourwash, whereas mine is more of a top-to-bottom colourwash. You could stick with a colourwash kind of look to the blanket or go with completely random – there are so many options and they would all look beautiful in these colours!
I went a little rogue on round six and didn’t follow Lucy’s pattern. Instead, I worked 1tr into each stitch of the previous round and used the PLT join as you go method by Rachele of Cypress Textiles. This is my go-to method for joining blocks as it gives a lovely flat finish and I love the stripes of the contrasting colours too! If this is a new method to you, there’s a video that may help on my IGTV channel. The squares are a different construction to these, but the method for the final round is exactly the same! Click here to jump straight to the video.
It took me a while to decide how I wanted to make the border. Initially I was going to use Lucy’s Skinny Block Stitch border in a kind of colourwash, starting with the purples, moving through the yellows and ending with greens. But as I started working the colours I changed my mind. Thankfully there were only three rounds to frog and I’m so pleased I made the decision at that point! And I just love how the border looks now, with wide rounds of green interspersed with splashes of colour, just like a spring hedgerow.
I didn’t want the border to be super wide, but I wanted to incorporate all the colours, so I chose to use two colours for each of the dc rounds between the green. I also alternated the starting points of my mixed colours to try to get a more balanced spread around the edge. So these are the colours I used and the numbers referring to which sides they are on. Side 1 (top), side 2 (left), side 3 (bottom), side 4 (right).
- Round 1: Cypress
- Round 2: Pale rose (sides 1 & 2), Grape (sides 3 & 4)
- Round 3: Apple
- Round 4: Lemon (sides 4 & 1), Citron (sides 2 & 3)
- Round 5: Meadow
- Round 6: Clematis (sides 1 & 2), Wisteria (sides 3 & 4)
- Round 7: Lime
- Round 8: Boysenberry (sides 4 & 1), Cream (sides 2 & 3)
- Round 9: Meadow
- Round 10: Dandelion (sides 1 & 2), Mustard (sides 3 & 4)
- Round 11: Pistachio
- Round 12: Bluebell (sides 4 & 1), Aster (sides 2 & 3)
- Round 13: Cypress
- Round 14: Cypress
I took Lucy’s advice and used a larger hook for the dc rounds, a 4.5mm instead of the 4mm I used for the rest of the blanket. And because I’d joined the blocks differently, my first border round was also slightly different, just working 1tr into each stitch of the previous round and 2tr, 2ch, 2tr into each of the corners. Thankfully the maths worked out so that from then on the pattern was the same as Lucy’s Skinny Block Stitch pattern until round 12. Round 13 is a repeat of round 12 (but in a different colour and working the dc stitches into the chain spaces of the previous round). Round 14 is the final round (round 4) of Lucy’s Cosy Blanket Edging – those tiny little spikes were the perfect way to finish off my glorious hedgerow-inspired blanket!
This blanket has been such a pleasure to work on. I have so enjoyed all the wonderful colour play and seeing each square form, round by round. I couldn’t resist taking it for a little photo shoot out in the wild – it looks so at home in the great outdoors!
It turned out to be bigger than I imagined – 61 inches/156 cm square in total! Big enough to comfortably cover a double bed and just perfect for snuggling under on the sofa too. And for those of you who like all the measurements, each square is approximately 5.5 inches/14.5 cm square and the border is 4.5 inches/11.5 cm deep on each side of the blanket.
If you make a blanket using these fabulous Spring Hedgerow colours (even if it’s not this pattern) I would love to see it! Tag me on Instagram @goslingandplumb or drop me an email at laura[at]goslingandplumb[dot]com. I can’t wait to see your creations!