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Creature Comforts and Mindfulness

When learning to crochet, one of the first patterns I learned was granny stitch. I went on a hunt for a nice baby blanket pattern and stumbled onto the granny star blanket. It is a perfect pattern when wanting to chill on the couch or when travelling.

Third times a charm, or so I hope. I have written this up twice already, but silly mistakes and site crashes mean they’re lost to the ether. Time for offline writing and auto-save before uploading to the blog.

When learning to crochet, one of the first patterns I learned was granny stitch. This is a simple repetitive pattern using 3 double crochet in groups. I have used it on many baby blankets and it is now my go to stitch when testing our a new yarn or when I want to zone out while crocheting.

Granny stitch square is the most common form you’ll see around, it is certainly a classic stitch and for good reason. Making small squares and joining means a lot of tails to sew in though; and there’s only so many continuous granny squares I can make.

Coming up to my late 20’s has meant many of my friends have been announcing babies for the last couple years. I try not to make too many blankets, because I know they’ll get many as gifts, but I still made a quite a few, along with bibs, wipes and toys. After a few complex and time consuming blankets, I was pretty worn out.

I went on a hunt and stumbled onto the granny star blanket. I tried it out with Ice Yarns Dancing baby and immediately fell in love.

(6 minute read)

Work in progress shot of rainbow crochet star blanket.
Work in Progress of rainbow granny stitch star pattern.

How could I not with the vibrant colours playing off the grouped stitches so well.

As I continued to work through, I realised I would run out of yarn before the blanket was big enough. Checking through my stash again I found Panda yarn from Big W matched surprisingly well, using the hot pink, green and yellow to finish off the blanket.

I did a row of SC around the outside to give it a little more structure and encourage the edge to lay flat. I know grabby hands will be pulling at this for years to come, so this will help it keep shape.

The colours came together wonderfully, and I have since seen this blanket in my timeline every month for a year as it became her monthly update blanket. It warmed my heart so much to see it be such a part of their lives.

Crochet baby blanket in granny stitch star pattern, rainbow colours in middle with border of pink, green and yellow.
Finished crochet rainbow start blanket with border of pink, green and yellow.

I enjoyed making this one so much that when another friend announced her pregnancy, I went stash diving again to make another star blanket. I had the perfect colour ready to go, another Ice Yarns Dancing Baby in pink and tan, which matched their nursery colours! I also had more Panda yarn from Big W which matched the colours again.

Most of my projects over the last couple years have been deliberately focused on using the yarn I already own. I fell into the trap many others have, and started buying yarn because it’s pretty, without a specific pattern or project in mind. It’s an easy mistake to made, with all marketing giving us a sense of scarcity and might as well buy it now so it’s on hand when I need it.

At some point the yarn in my stash became almost sacred, too special to use on any project. Now I’m working through it, I have come to appreciate what yarn I like using and the ones I should avoid. Back to this beautiful baby blanket. You can see the colours work really well together, almost like they were made for each other.

Finished crochet blanket in star shape of white, pink and tan, with border of brown and pink.
Finished baby blanket of star pattern in pink and brown.

I had more of the panda yarn left over still, so I make something to match the blanket. My friend have a cute puppy they adopted so it felt right having a lovey. I made a smaller version of the blanket, alternating between the brown and pink, then made the head and arms based loosely on theTommy pattern on Amigurumi Today. I love the little sleepy face!

I use hypo-allergenic polyfill stuffing from Spotlight or Lincraft, depending on which store I’m in when I need to stock up. Both the blanket and toy are made from acrylic yarn, which means it is machine washable (important for all things baby! No one has time for hand washing after every spit-up).

Crochet puppy lovey in pink and brown laying on a crochet star blanket.
Puppy Crochet Lovey on matching baby blanket

I was so happy to mail these off to their new home, knowing they would be loved and appreciated. The pattern itself is easy to follow and once I found once I was past the first repeat of the points I didn’t need to look at it any more. This makes it a perfect pattern when wanting to chill on the couch or when travelling.

I take public transport a lot, which makes it important to have a project that can be pulled out in a confined space, and a pattern that I can glance at on my phone or even from memory.

Over the last few years I have been working through various health issues (finally diagnosed this year with Endometriosis!!) which resulted in terrible depression and anxiety. Crochet has played an important role in helping me through really bad days, by giving me something to focus on outside of my mind, while keeping my hands busy so I feel in the moment.

A couple weeks ago was my brother’s wedding (which was utterly beautiful), but it was several hours away from home. We hired a car for the trip and had a wonderful time away with family and friends. By the time we were going home though, I was utterly exhausted.

While my boyfriend was driving us home, I was feeling antsy and zoning out, which makes me feel really unwell in the car. I pulled out my emergency stash (never leave home without some yarn, folks) and started on the one pattern I can rely on. Granny star blanket, of course!

Unfinished baby blanket in pastel colours rest on a dashboard
Work in progress baby blanket on my dashboard

I got a couple hours done in the car and found it helped me zone out enough to let my mind decompress from a stressful couple of days. By the time we got to the outskirts of Sydney, where I would take over the driving, I was feeling a lot better and was able to talk a bit more again.

The yarn used this time is Papatya Batik, which has a beautiful pastel rainbow. The colours are stunning and the yarn is lovely and soft. It was one of the easiest yarns to work with. 

Some days I love using complex crochet projects to focus on and work my mind a bit more – pattern writing or making plushies is what I need then. Sometimes I want to binge a TV show or stream for hours without paying attention to what I’m making – continuous granny stitch square or Jughead beanies are perfect for this. But when I need to think through recent events and find my centre again, that’s where the granny star truly shines. 

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