I came across a style of blanket I'd never heard of before while browsing various pages on Facebook and Pintrest- and I knew straight away that I had to try it. It's called a Graphgan- an Afghan made from a graph to produce a pattern or picture.
With further research I discovered that people were producing the graphs from Pearler bead patterns found on Pintrest. From what I understand, Pearler beads are a creative kit for kids to make pictures with and I believe they heat them up with an iron to fix the beads in place (correct me please if I'm wrong!)
While browsing through these patterns - I love Pintrest and could browse for hours!- I came across a lovely simple design for a baby giraffe and I knew it would be perfect for my first graphgan project.
The only problem was who to make it for? This was quickly solved when my good friend and childminder announced that she was pregnant.
There are several ways to make a graphgan, the corner to corner method is very popular, but due to the simplicity of this design I decided to make solid granny squares and stitch them together. I traced out my graph onto squared paper and worked out just how many squares would be required in each colour. Now this is just a basic design of 13 x 16, but that still totals 208 - not a number to be sniffed at.
To keep me from getting too bored I decided make a row at a time and stitch them together. The stitching was quite fiddly until I got the hang of it- I've mentioned before that I'm not as good with a needle as I am with a hook.
To keep me sane I did work on other projects between making these little squares, but the blanket steadily grew.
Then before I knew it, it was finished! Next comes the border- I found this lovely design in a book by Jan Eaton that I borrowed from the library- its called shell and lattice edging. Before the blanket part was finished my friend had announced that she is having a little girl, so I knew straight away the border would be pink.
Now, as with the corner to corner blanket I recently made, I felt it needed a little something extra to make it a complete gift. I didn't fancy a hat this time (and baby is due in June) so I decided to try a comforter instead. I found the pattern for this one on ravelry and managed to make all its limbs in just one evening.
I sewed it together and voila! all done :)
Earlier today I attended my friend's baby shower and presented her with my gift for her daughter to be. She was very pleased with it and my warm and fuzzy feeling is here again.