Sunday, 16 May 2010

Oliver's "Rainsong" Blanket

This is the other major project that I'm working on at the moment - a blanket for my little boy, Oliver. Yes, two blankets at once - I know how silly that is - now. (And that's not even counting the other couple of blankets I've experimented with, and "sort-of" started!)

So, how did this all begin?

Well, one day, not long after I'd started on Rosie's Rainbow Ripple, I was quite surprised to hear my son say "Mum, what are you going to make
me?". I hadn't thought he'd be the slightest bit interested in my crochet or in blankets. But he actually, genuinely wanted his Mummy to make him a blankie. Which I thought was really sweet.

(You see, this is yet another thing I Never Knew, Never Expected: not only do my children tolerate me crocheting, they find it curious and interesting, they actually even like it!)

I had borrowed a book from our local library: "Best Baby Afghans" by Leisure Arts. I had been looking through it just out of curiosity, just to learn a little more and get new ideas. I showed it to Oliver and said "pick one from here if you like". He had a quick browse and chose one within a minute. "That one" he said. He liked the name.

I was of course a little cautious about starting a big project on a 6-year-old's whim, so I checked and double-checked for a couple of days. There was no changing his mind - this was the one. Okay, I said, and I started investigating yarn options online. I found something on ebay that I have been very happy with. It's been discontinued but you can still get it online here and there (more about it below).

I started this blanket while we were on holidays in Tasmania in January, 2010. Actually, you can see me working on it in my profile pic on the side bar; here's a bigger picture of me working on it:
This was taken when we were taking a break while bush-walking in Cradle Mountain National Park. Yes, I took crochet with me on a bush-walk. Hey, I have little kids, I knew we'd be having lots of rests! :-)

It's a beautiful part of the world. Have a look at some pics if you're curious: here and here.

(That's why I am wearing such warm clothes in this photo. Normally I only wear clothes like this for about 2 or 3 months of the year - in June and July, and sometimes August. Summer in Tasmania is MUCH colder than our winters in the Whitsundays!)

Anyway, I digress - sorry - back to the blanket ...

The pattern is actually quite simple: double crochets (that's a UK treble) and chain spaces, and the longer stitch is created by looping into the chain-spaces and creating a "long double crochet".

It's really quite easy once you try it. The basic repeating pattern can be found online in various places. At this link a helpful lady called Teresa shows the stitch using those pattern diagrams and also explains it in words, and over here she shows a video tutorial. Teresa calls it the "larksfoot"; Leisure Arts call their pattern "Rock-a-bye Rainsong", because the repeated pattern kind-of looks like falling rain...

This is much narrower than Rosie's Rainbow Ripple (I learned my lesson!) so I find it easier going. Also this heavier yarn makes a big difference. That said, I did put it aside for a while during summer as it was just unbearable to have it across me as I worked on it (gee, it's a hard life up here in North Queensland, all this sunny weather!) But now I am back into it. My goal is to find time to do one stripe (ie two rows) every day for the month of May. It's about 30 stripes already so that would double it and maybe almost finish it. Then I'll have to decide on an edge - the one in the pattern (which is a little bit lacy-looking) or something simpler?

Now, about the yarn. It's by Patons: Washed Haze Aran. It is 60% cotton, 40% acrylic. I think it's worsted weight, that is, it's heavier than 8ply (DK weight), and they suggest 4.5mm needles for it (I'm using a 5mm hook). It feels kinda weird while working with it, not wooly in the slightest - but also not acrylic-y - just sort-of
strange. But when the yarn is made up into the blanket, it feels really lovely: smooth and soft and warm and not at all fluffy or itchy. It think it's a great yarn and I wish it was still easily available.

And what I really like about this blanket is that Oliver still loves it! He curls up under it in front of the telly or while we're reading a bedtime story. He loves the feel of it and seems to find it so ... comforting... which is just so nice for me to see.

It seems that my kids are building up an association here: crochet = mum. And since they still think I'm awesome (they are not teenagers yet!), this appears to be leading to: crochet = mum = wonderful. :-) So nice. :-)

Hmmmm... "A stripe day in the month of May"... can I stick to my goal? At the moment I think so!

I promise to keep you posted. And, may I say, thank you
so very much for all the lovely comments people have been leaving on my blog. They cheer me up and really keep me motivated to keep going with both this blog and my crochet. I really love reading them and hearing from you all, so please keep 'em coming. :-)

Until next time,

P.S. I'll leave you with a pic of my two big projects hanging around together...

P.P.S. If you want to see other examples of this blanket, I have only found two in the general online world: here and here. Members of Ravelry can see 18 versions of it under the name "Rock-a-bye Rainsong".

Have a great day! :)


  1. Hello,
    I just found your blog from sue at quince tree and I love it!!!! When I started crochet 12 years ago I certainly was not capable of such loveliness, still attic 24 was not around. Yes I cant abide doilies and antimacassars (thing for the back of sofas)I love the granny though. I am going to watch your blog and pinch some of your ideas!! Lovely just lovely.

  2. Hi there and thanks for the comment on flickr. The pattern that I used was from a book called cute crochet for tiny tots. My tot is definately NOT tiny but my brother bought it for me and lived in hope when his tot was tiny. The pattern was for a cusion but I made a blankie. I love join as you go projects. Lovely chatting with you 'in the future' by the way!!

  3. I was so surprised to see that blanket of yours, as just today I started drafting a blog-post where I talk about making a blanket with squares almost identical to yours! So that was a groovy coincidence!

    I first saw the design on HandMaid Liset ( and I loved it right away - yes, even though it was a lacy granny square! :-)

    Thanks for visiting my blog - it's lovely to "meet" you. :-) I'm glad you enjoyed visiting here.


  4. Caz!
    Wat een mooie deken.
    Het regen patroon is erg leuk.
    ~X~ Karin

  5. Hello, I found your blog and I got the pattern for Oliver´s blanket, this must be my lucky day!
    Hugs from

  6. I'm so glad you found me, Susanne! Did you see that I was writing about your African Flowers bag in my last post? I LOVE that bag! :-)

    I'm also happy to hear that you found the pattern for Oliver's blanket, and that you like it so much. Let me know if you end up trying it.

    Caz :-)

  7. Karin: Dank je wel! (Or should I say Dank u wel?) :-) I know that is important in Holland - that you say the right one! Ik denk het regen patroon is erg leuk, ook. :-)

  8. The blankets are perfect. You are very talented!

  9. Please, don't say "u" to me.
    "Dank je wel" is oke!
    As blogfriends we can say "je".

    ~X~ Karin

  10. dear friends, you do very nice things.... like you i didnot know to do anything in crochet until i started entrying blogs and flick... you are all a great inspiration... good work... from brasil

  11. Okay, Karin! LOL I'm glad we are friendly enough to say "je"! :-D

    So, to Karin AND Lisette: Dank je wel!

    I like that there are some Dutchies visiting my blog! Wat leuk! :-)

  12. Love this blanket!! How it must warm your heart to know that your son loves it too.
    Originally the rainbow grabbed my eye, so glad I went for a closer look at Oliver's blanket, it is just so lovely
    Tassie is the last state to visit on my Bucket List or I can always add Norfolk Island and Antartica ☺

  13. Love your sons blanket!!
    I'm making a zig zag for my son but it's very slow going .
    Male type colours just don't inspire me like pretty ones ,also the pattern is done in back loops only which takes ages.
    Jacquie x

  14. Hi Maria and Jacquie, thanks so much for the lovely comments - glad you like the blanket!

    Maria: I know what you mean about colours: rainbows are bright and fun BUT sometimes subdued shades can look really soothing and calming - and GREAT! :-)

    And now Oliver wants me to edge the finished blanket in RED!! I don't think so! Better to keep it in blues, don't you?

    Jacquie: I visited your blog and saw your zig-zag blanket - it's looking great! I've also seen you on Flickr - love your work! :-)

  15. When my "boys" were little they liked me making things too. My youngest, who is now a grown man and doesn't live with us anymore....took three blankets with him when he left home. Each time he comes he looks around to see if there is another he might like. Ones children learn so much from seeing us do things "crafty"...I am sure your son will love his blanket and make many memories from having something his Mummy made, just for him.

  16. Oh no, two blankets at the same time isn't silly at all. At least, not in my opinion. I'm always working on several projects at the same time. Right now: 1 blanket (when the blister on my finger is gone though, I burnt myself), but gonna order yarn for at leat two more projects this weekend!

  17. Hello, that looks like a lovely pattern. I just found your blog. I love to crochet, so it's nice to meet you. I'll be back to check out more of your projects.

  18. Hi! Really lovely blankets you have made there! I especially love the colours of the ripple blanket. I am working on a blanket myself, but it's not a rippled one because I thought that was too complicated for a huge project like that, so I respect what you did here! Must have taken some time I guess (-:

  19. Thank you for your lovely comment to me on my blog- I love the blanket I saw this pattern on the Sarah London blog a while ago, and had it in the back of my mind to try one day. It is such a pretty pattern and it sounds as if it is quite easy to pick up!! I will check out your other links. x

  20. Lovely site. Lovely crocheting!
    Another Dutchy:))