I started with this wonderfully easy pattern. I’m not a big fan of the usual pastels for baby blankets, so had always avoided using Lion Brand’s Pound of Love (as called for in this pattern) since it comes almost exclusively in standard baby colors. However, they make a lovely blue called “denim” which I thought I’d try. The initial blanket took one full skein and the Pound of Love yarn works up nice and easy and is very pleasant and soft.
I already knew I wanted to do something more with the blanket, so skipped the round 2 of the edging. I then slip stitched vertical stripes through the middle spaces in between the shell columns. For the striping, I used Lion Brand Jiffy in gold and a mystery purple yarn that I had hanging around from some other project. Then concentrating on the edging, I opted for two rounds of sc’s (see here for common crochet abbreviations) in the Jiffy gold all the way around, switched to Jiffy in grape and continued with a third round of hdc’s before working curlicues all the way around using this pattern (round 4 only).
The curlicues are more labor intensive than I thought they would be and consume a lot of yarn (in fact, I probably spent at least twice as much time on the curlicues as the entire rest of the blanket — plus planning — combined), but they’re adorable and give the blanket a whimsical flair that I really like. I also figure that they’ll be stimulating for the baby that will receive this since they’ll fit well inside a little fist and are textured and squishy.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, particularly as I just sort of cobbled together various patterns and trims as I went. The curlicues are dense and somewhat heavy for how lightweight the body of the blanket it, but the stripes help even it out so it doesn’t really seem imbalanced. It still drapes nicely and is cuddly to hold onto. Chalk this one up as a success!