Sunday, July 23, 2017

Alley Cats...

My Alley Cat Kitty Cat Afghan is finished!  I love how simple this pattern was to do, and how fun the finished design is.  I've dubbed it Alley Cat because the variegated gray I used for some of the rows makes me think of tattered, gray alley cats.  It's a yarn I almost got rid of once upon a time because I didn't like how it looked crocheted up.  I'm glad I kept it, though, because I think it found its destiny in this blanket.   Now, I LOVE it.


After searching and searching for a border I liked, I finally just made up something.  I needed the border to be simple, but interesting.  I think this fit the bill: 

My border was made thus (to the best of my ability to remember and see what I did):

First, with the lighter variegated gray, I slip-stitched a foundation row down both sides of the blanket, taking care to crochet into only one loop for a smoother look on the "back side".  Note:  the ends of the blanket don't require a foundation row  - and in my opinion, you don't want to do a foundation row on the top and bottom edges or you'll have a thicker border there - because the slip stitches virtually disappear along the sides when you single crochet into them.

Then I did a round of single crochet stitches all the way around.  It appears that I did 3 sc's in each corner - my goal here was to just create a pleasing shape at each corner, so I suggest doing whatever number of sc's does that for you.

Then I did a round of half-double crochets in every single crochet stitch, making 4 or 5 hdc's in each corner (again, whatever number created a pleasing shape around the corner).

Finally, for the last round, I switched colors to the darker gray and crocheted around the hdc's of the row below - alternating front-post double crochet stitches and back-post double crochet stitches (just to provide a bit of textural interest) doing 5 dc's in each corner.  Note:  I had to fudge a couple of times as I approached the corners.  The best look here is to do a front-post double crochet bordering both sides of the 5 dc's in each corner.  Here's a super close-up of the corner detail:

And that's it!  Super simple.  It feels like the perfect border for my Alley Cat Blanket.  Simple, but full of texture.

As for the "running stitch" that was formed on the "back side" (when I slip-stitched into one loop on the "front side"...  it looks completely fine (as you can see in the above photo).  In fact, I took a whole set of pictures with that showing as the front side and I didn't even notice until I downloaded the pictures and starting looking for the running stitch.   I couldn't tell the difference which side was the "front" and which side was the "back" until I studied the pictures closely.  To be clear, I've written "front side" and "back side" in quotation marks because there really is no front or back to this.  You really can't see an appreciable difference when it's all finished.

This was a stash-buster  for me and the yarns I used were:
Premier Dream in Baby Fern
Red Heart Super Saver in Dove (the variegated gray)
Vanna's Choice in Charcoal Grey
Vanna's Choice in White

I love this blanket and can imagine making more (it's so easy and gratifying).  And I really love having discovered a new way to make a foundation row around the blanket before adding the border. I look forward to using this technique in some of my future (multi-colored) blankets.   If you missed it above, there is a link to a video tutorial in last week's post showing this slip-stitch border-foundation row technique.

~~~~~

And as I wrap this week up, I'll just give you a tease as to what new project I started this week:


It's the beginning of the Uwila Shawl.  So far, it's working up perfectly.  I think I'm about half-way (row-wise) to the cabled owl border.  I say "row-wise" because as a crescent shaped shawl, the rows are getting longer and longer, and it's going to just get slower and slower to complete those rows.  I've got a feeling this could take a while...

To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.



18 comments:

  1. Terrific finish on the alley cat blanket! The color scheme is spot on. I love your shawl WIP too. Gonna check out the pattern.

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    1. Thank you, Stefanie. I just got to the owl cables last night. They are a bear. I'll be posting more info on that soon, I imagine.

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  2. Great jb on the kitty border. Goes so well with hw blanket. I love the shawl pattern. It has just been put on my library.

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  3. Love how your Alley Cat blanket turned out Becki. It looks like such an interesting blanket. I'm going to have to remember this one and doing the foundation row for when it comes to tidying up and finishing my blankets. Can't wait to see more of your shawl, the stitch used in it looks so interesting!

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    1. Thank you, Ruth. This slip-stitch foundation row is game changing - especially for a multi-colored blanket.

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  4. Your blanket turned out beautiful and what a gorgeous border....you lost me on the front post/back post jargon but when I get to that part I will return and study your instructions! I love the colors you used....you have such a good sense of color and combining colors. Great job!
    Oh, look at your new one! Lovely color and what a cute pattern that is! I can see my crochet project list growing! LOL! I think I need to try and be more monogamous...I think it pays off in the end. Have a great week!

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    1. Sam, when you get to that spot and if you want to do the same/similar border, let me know if I need to clear anything up. It's really a very simple border. My wordiness may have made it look more complicated than it is. ;^)

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  5. Oh I love this, Becki. The border is perfect you are right to be pleased with it.

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  6. That's one of the prettiest kittens in a row blanket I've seen. Love it. The border finishes it off nicely and how you worked that foundation round sounds interesting. Must try that next time I'm doing a border on something.

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  7. This blanket is so cute! Being a cat person, the design is charming and the colors are perfect. The border you designed really sets it off. And, your shawl is so pretty, too. Pat

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  8. I am definitely queuing that kitty blanket. And your border is perfect, as are your instructions. Well done. I will bookmark this for when I find the perfect yarn to make my own.

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  9. Hi Becki!! :) I LOVE the alley cats!!! You do such nice stitching! That shawl is going to be a gorgeous piece...again, your stitching is very impressive! :) And that blue colour is really pretty.

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  10. I love how you photographed your Afghan in the garden. It matches the grass perfectly.....and that shawl is going to be beautiful.

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  11. What a great blanket! The picture outside really makes that green pop.

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