In the end, I don't know that it looks particularly autumn-y or Tuscany, but I love how this blanket turned out. I think this will look great on our sofa now through the Christmas holidays.
The Spice of Life pattern is well written, and has recently been "translated" into US crochet terms, and Sandra Paul has included some helpful photos to explain some of the stitch patterns. The multi-part and many-paged pattern may look a bit overwhelming at first glance, but as you read through it, the layout will make sense, I believe. I think Sandra originally put the pattern out as a Crochet-A-Long, hence the different parts. And within each part are several sections (each section being a different stitch pattern). Looking at the pattern that way helps it to make sense if it doesn't make sense at first glance. It seems like I needed to grasp that and get over it before I felt completely comfortable with the pattern. Once I did, it was truly a piece of cake.
While I heartily recommend the pattern, I will forewarn you... some of the rows "pull in" so badly that this thing takes some serious blocking prior to crocheting the edging. If you want a straight edge, that is.
If I ever make another one of these I will probably eliminate some of the worst of the rows that "pulled in". The Stacked Grannies (not to be confused with the Grannies) will definitely go and I'll probably use a larger hook on rows like the Big Zipper and Stacked Shells (though I might eliminate the Stacked Shells, too). My favorite rows are the Tulips, the Puffs, and the Waves (all featured above - if you can find them). Even with eliminating a couple pattern rows I didn't care for much, there is enough interest in the remaining rows, and enjoyable ease in the double crochet rows to keep this an interesting and fast-moving project.
And finally I added the edging. Don't let the curve in the picture above fool you. The edges are straighter than they appear above. I just didn't take the time to smooth it all out before snapping the picture.
And now that I've finally finished this project I'm already on to other things! It's always fun to start new things, isn't it?!? To see what other Yoppers are up to visit this week's thread on Ravelry.