100-hour blanket

This was a project adapted slightly from the excellent crochet book published by DK* [affiliate link].

I wanted a project that would take me from summer to winter, keeping me increasingly warm (since it was always on my lap as I worked on it) as the weather got increasingly cold! My only other goals were:

  • to choose a nice palette of autumnal/wintery colours
  • to ensure the finished blanket had a fairly even distribution of all 10 colours in the flower motifs
  • for the final project to be able to cover me from head to toe.

Step 3 was where it started to get a bit tricky. What the book doesn’t mention is that if you want the colours spread throughout your blanket more or less evenly – in other words, if you don’t want any of the flower motifs to end up with the same colour used twice or any particular colour(s) to dominate the finished blanket – you need to do some careful planning at this stage.

So I paused to do some working out…

…and then continued with round 3, adding the final concentric circle to each flower motif.

Now all the flower motifs were ready, it was time to lay them out into the final pattern and start joining them together. Again, laying them out was a bit of a logistical challenge. My aim was to ensure that each row had a flower with each colour represented in round 3. I was also trying to avoid any neighbouring flowers having the same round 2 colour. The idea was that the colours in the final blanket would look effortlessly (!) and evenly distributed. It took nearly 2 hours to lay out all 17 rows and move flowers here and there, but I was very happy with the end result!

People always ask me when I finish a project like this: “How long did that take?!” But of course, when I’m doing something for the first time just for fun and not getting paid for it, I treat it as a hobby and rarely keep track of the time! So when I started this project, I decided to actually count how long each stage took.

  • First round (centres): about 4 mins per flower
  • Second round: about 8 mins per flower
  • Third round: about 8.5 mins per flower
  • Connecting all flowers with border colour: about 7.5 mins per flower
    • = 28 mins per flower
  • Total number of flowers: 187 (190 made but only 187 selected for inclusion in the final blanket)
  • 28 mins x 187 flowers
    • = 5,236 mins for all individual flowers
  • Plus border: about 1.5 hours (=90 mins)
  • Plus learning the pattern at the start of each stage: about 5 mins per stage (= 20 mins total)
  • Plus planning (e.g. arrangement of colours): about 1 hour for planning colours + 2 hours for laying out the rows of flowers
    • = 290 mins for ‘extra’ stages

SO… grand total number of hours spent: 5,236 mins + 290 mins = 5,526 mins = 92 hours 6 mins (!)

I decided to round that up and call it my “100-hour blanket”, as it seemed to merit a grand name after all that hard work.

The final thing feels just right for a cosy living room in winter, and the flowers have a lovely 3D effect because of the stitches used, which somehow makes it even more snuggly.

*I’ve made quite a few projects from this book and always found them to be great. Like all DK books, the explanatory sections (usually at the front of the book) are super clear and guide you through the nuts and bolts of crochet with simple descriptions and helpful illustrative photos. There’s a good range of patterns for various projects, from blankets to toys to clothing, and helpful (and generally accurate!) indications of how experienced you should be before attempting each one. The pattern instructions are generally very clear and there have only been a few occasions where I’ve temporarily been a bit confused, but I was always able to resolve this. For beginner crocheters, I’d definitely recommend this book.

Update: I made a smaller version of this blanket a few months later with fewer, brighter colours for a friend’s new baby: