The end of May: The indigo blanket
Last day of May and here is my May blanket…
I’ve called it the Indigo blanket because of the colors.
The Indigo blanket has been a bit of an unusual one and definitely an experiment. As I have said on my previous post on Facebook I did not have a plan of what I was going to do, I started with the fabric and from that, I built up the different squares. As you know my inspiration has been Japan textiles, indigo, Japanese pottery and also the spring season too.
Scottish spring starts quite late and one of the things I like most about the month of May is the cherry blossom trees. They start around the 3rd week in April, depending on the weather, and they are in full bloom at the beginning of May. Near my house, there is an old graveyard that has the most amazing display of Cherry blossom trees, and every year I wait to see them bloom, and I found walking or sitting under them very relaxing. I hope you will not find the photo I took of the Graveyard at all offensive, or disrespectful, it is a beautiful and peaceful place.
That is why I thought cherry blossom in my blanket were relevant because they have a Japanese connection too.
In Japan, the custom of enjoying the ephemeral beauty of flowers is called “hanami” and it is an important date in the calendar of many Japanese, as, for those brief few weeks, many flocks to see the flowers and enjoy the festivals sitting, eating and drinking under the blossoms.
I know my local cherry blossoms aren’t remotely as majestic as the 1000’s of plants at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Gyoen or Ueno Park , or more so the world famous Kyoto’s Maruyama Park but nevertheless, every year, I wait to see them coming up hoping the weather is good enough to have them in full bloom even if it is just for a short time.
So let’s have a general look at the blanket then…can you see the cherry blossoms? there are 10 of them …, also there are different plain squares, some textured ones and a bit of overlay crochet.
For the overlay crochet, I bought one of CARO Created Design’s beautiful mandala patterns. I wanted something that resembles the sun and also reminded me of the decoration of a Japanese ramen bowl so I used the central part of her Mandala 6
But if you do not want to buy a pattern you can always use any mandala design you like. Interesting enough look at the back of the blanket…the back of the mandala is lovely too.
I thought even a circular simple alternate colours mandala works too.
The denim part I just cut the jeans and tried to make some pieces with neat corners. The pieces came out of different sizes and also I cut a few hexagons too. I thought that if I crocheted around the edges I could join the fabric squares to the crochet squares. I found out that it is not that easy and I ended up doing quite a bit of overlay with the different pieces, mainly because I wanted to make sure the blanket came out a neat as possible rectangular shape. also one of the characteristics of Boro textiles is different pieces overlay-ed on each other.
There is a bit of embroidery too…,
Some of the patterns are inspired by Sashiko’s geometric shapes and the little sort of stars are my answer to this amazing picture of
Japanese gold fireflies photographed by Anthony Luke.
the blanket measures 170cm x 100 cm.
I used a combination of Stylecraft JEANIE in Dixie,Menphis and Delta. fantastic yarn,Aran weight, that beautifully compliments the denim fabric.
I also used some BATIK in Indigo and Storm; some Stylecraft Special Aran and 4ply in cream;
some Sundae dk in Blueberry sorbet;
and finally some Classique Cotton both dk and 4 ply in Ivory for the embroidery.
The Batik and Sundae are used one strand of each together or , for certain squares I added a strand of 4ply special in cream, to get the same gauge of the Jeanie.
I can get in more details of the patterns if you are interested, please just let me know.