Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quick, Cuddly Blanket

crocheted edging on fleece

There are many ways to make a fleece blanket, but adding a crocheted edging is my favorite. This blanket for Project Linus is about 36" by 55". The soft purple fleece is edged with 3 rounds of crochet. The first and last rounds are groups of 2 half double crochets. The middle round is one single crochet and one chain, repeated around. The variagated yarn is the color Monet in Red Heart Super Saver. The yellow was donated without a label.

crochet edging on fleece

I cut holes to crochet into with a wonderful specialty rotary cutter blade called a skip-stitch blade. You have to have rotary cutting tools, but as a quilter, I'm well equipped with rotary cutting tools.

You can order the skip-stitch blade from the manufacturer at skipstitch.com or from the Project Linus store. There are 3 varieties of skip-stitch blades. Use the "Original" skip-stitch blade on fleece.

I learned how to add an edging to fleece from this YouTube video created by one of the Chicago area Project Linus chapters.

There is also a Project Ideas page on the Skip-Stitch website. Be sure to click on the link under the video for written step-by-step instructions.

August 9, 2012 Update - The Skip-Stitch website has changed. A big Thank You to Karen C. for the heads up on the broken link. The video is now on the Skip-Stitch home page. Their Ideas page has a slide show and written directions for using the skip-stitch blade.

The Skip-Stitch site shows a foundation of single crochet and chain 1 in each hole, with extra single crochet in the corners. I usually do 2 half double crochet in each hole (4 in the corners). Depends on the look you want and the edging you plan after the foundation.

15 comments:

  1. This is a lovely idea - I could make so many more blankets.

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  2. I've never seen this skip-stitch blade. What a terrific tool - could use it for other decorative things on fleece - like threading ribbon on through.
    I like the crocheted edge on the fleece.

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  3. I just got my skip-stitch blade. What a wonderful tool. Love the idea, Pat, of using it for running a ribbon through. Just opened up a whole world of ideas for me. Thanks.

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  4. Running a ribbon through the holes is an idea for the right project and recipient.

    If you're making something for babies or small children, I would avoid running ribbon or cord through the holes or the crochet edging. Unless the ribbon is securely stitched down at short intervals, a small child/baby could pull out a loop, get it around their neck and potentially choke.

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  5. What size crochet hook did you use for the blanket pictured above? It looks so cozy!

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    1. Hook size depends on how tight or loose you crochet and what yarn you use. For example, Red Heart Super Saver is noticeably thicker Lion Brand's Pound of Love and I use different sizes with those 2.

      You need to pick a hook that works for you and your yarn and gives an edge that does not pucker or ripple. A U.S. size H is the largest that will go through the holes without undue force.

      I crochet tightly and use a G or H depending on what yarn I'm using. If you crochet with a normal or loose tension, you'll need a smaller hook.

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  6. Is it possible to do two fleece pieces this way? I tried tonight and it was horrible. The lines didn't line up, the cuts were all off. Any suggestions?

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    1. Nicole,
      The first law of fleece is that it stretches! Every time you pick it up and put it back down it will be a slightly different size/shape, so I wouldn't expect the holes to line up on 2 pieces that were cut separately.

      I don't think the skip-stitch blade will cut through 2 layers of fleece at the same time, so I would not try that. I don't think all the holes would get cut in the bottom layer.

      To create a crocheted edging on a double layer fleece blanket, I suggest you first crochet a round of edging around each piece individually. Then layer the 2 pieces together and crochet them together through the edging. You'll have to ease 1 layer into the other as you will have different numbers of stitches on the 2 pieces. (See above, fleece stretches.)

      Other than a stadium blanket for watching sports outdoors, there isn't a lot of need for a double layer fleece blanket. Two layers of fleece is pretty warm for most indoor use unless you keep your thermostat set lower than most people in the USA.

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    2. I have used this on a double fleece blanket by first stitching around the blanket with a very long machine stitch. I also round the corners of the blanket by cutting it using a saucer for the curve.

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  7. Sorry, maybe I should have mentioned that I stitch the blanket BEFORE I poke the holes in the fleece. Very Important Information.

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  8. why do you stitch around blanket before you poke the holes, this is interesting.

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    1. The comment about stitching around the blanket before cutting holes is part of the discussion started by Nicole's query about edging 2 layers of fleece.

      If you are edging one layer of fleece there is no need to stitch around the blanket.

      If you want to crochet an edging on 2 layers of fleece, the July 14, 2013 anonymous commenter said to stitch the 2 layers together before cutting the holes. This solves the problem of getting the holes to match in the 2 layers of fleece.

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  9. have made quite e few double fleece blankets and have had no trouble.. just put the edges of the 2 pieces of fleece together and run the blade across both pieces of fleece at the same time. I then put safety pins every 5" or 6" thru the holes to hold it together while I crochet around the blanket with a sc and then put some kind of edging on it...usually a shell edging.

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  10. I'm going to check out the video on the Skip Stitch page, but I did buy one a few months ago to try it out. I cut the holes so close that the fabric ripped off like a piece of perforated paper. I immediately took it back to the store and returned it. My next move is to try a "wing needle" for my machine.
    I never dreamed fleece would be so hard to poke a hole through when I bought it. The blanket was very nice once I finished it, but poking holes by hand got real old, real fast.

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    1. I believe the only place to get the Skip Stitch blade is directly from the manufacturer at skipstitch.com. They sell 3 different blades for 3 different types of fabric. Read carefully and make sure you order the one designed for fleece. The original Skip Stitch blade works well, but must be ordered online.

      I would not buy the Simplicity blade that looks similar and can be bought in stores (e.g., JoAnns). It is designed for the Simplicity Rotary Cutting Machine, not a hand-held rotary cutter. The Simplicity website says it's for creating a perforated edge on paper.

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