Seven stripes to go on my Blooming Stripes blanket

When I saw the email from Bendigo Woollen Mills showcasing a new pure wool yarn I knew I wanted to make a big blanket using eight of the nine available colours.  I ordered a ball of each that day and then began designing my blanket.  I wanted to try a striped blanket after my last one of 100 squares and all that joining.  Bloom is a variegating wool that has nice long sections of of dark, medium and light shades of a rich colour so I decided on a queen size topper blanket approximately 180cm square would be perfect.  I choose the shell stripes pattern from a Jan Eaton's 200 Stitch Patterns for Baby Blankets I have owned for many years hoping I would one day learn to crochet.  I did a test run with hooks and chain lengths and got started.  I weighed balls and my work after every 2 rows so I had an idea of yarn usage.  I did some more calculating and with the aid of the Biscuits and Jam random stripe generator tool I had my design worked out.  I settled on stripe widths and ordered 4 more balls of wool now I knew exactly ow much yarn my blanket would take to complete.

A snap of the stripe generator pattern I settled on.

So keen to see all the colours used once, I crocheted faster and faster.

Finally all the colours.

I wanted new hooks because my with my wonky finger I just wasn't comfortable or able to really crochet quickly and effortlessly with my Clover Soft Touch hooks.  I found this rainbow set of Clover Amour locally and boy can I crochet fast now and in complete comfort!  Highly recommend these hooks to anyone.  You can buy them individually or in a set.

Growing and looking very Mexican fiesta-ish.

I sit in bed most nights working away, just a few rows every day and it's growing steadily, won't be long and I'll be cosy and warm under my cheery blanket.

I never thought I would ever love crochet but I really do now!

*please excuse the poor quality iPhone photos in this post

Today I searched for a pattern similar to mine to share with you all and I found this lovely Oceanic Baby Blanket pattern that comes in ten sizes.  Amazingly their QS design has exactly the same number of chains in the starting chain, 332 which was a bit painful to count and get the first row correctly set up.   A free pattern in US crochet terms.