The completed crocheted Bollywood Blanket is making its debut!
Ever since 2006, when I made the Stripes (and Stripes) Forever Scarf from Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker, I have always wanted to turn it into an Indian-inspired afghan. Then last Autumn I started seeing the cluster stitch being used a lot in all kinds of awesome designs. The shape and texture of the stitch appeared to be what I had in mind for a natural, almost stone-like, look. Stone, not to be confused with the natural, stoned-like look I often possess. The idea for the Bollywood Blanket was born!
Four months in the making! It probably could have been finished in four weeks if I hadn't taken a three month hiatus. A cluster stitch blanket is super fun, super easy, super quick, super pretty and will make you look like a superstar crocheter!
A cluster blanket like the "Bollywood" is an ideal first project for beginners because of the basic crochet involved that becomes perfect with practice:
Single Crochet Stitch (Written/Video)
Double Crochet Stitch (Written/ Video)
Changing Colors in Double Crochet (Written/Video)
Instructions on the cluster stitch and crocheting over tails as-you-go are at the bottom of this post.
Basic Blueprint for the Bollywood Blanket
Size: 37 inches wide, 72 inches long
The Stitch: Alternate Double Clusters
Odd number of sts (add 3 for foundation ch).
The Bollywood foundation chain: 249 PLUS 3.
Row 1: 3 DCTOG all in the 4th ch from hook, *1 CH, skip 1 ch, 3 DCTOG all in the next ch, repeat from * to end, turn.
Row 2: 3 CH, skip first 3 dctog, *3 DCTOG in next ch SPACE, 1 CH, skip next 3 dctog, repeat from *, end 3 DCTOG under 3 ch, turn. Repeat row 2.
Written instructions: How to Crochet a Cluster Stitch For Dummies.
Video instructions (repeat steps for larger cluster): Crochet Geek Cluster Stitch
Borderline, Feels Like I'm Going To Lose My Mind. I was going crazy deciding on a border to use on the top and bottom of the blanket. I didn't want anything too busy. The best choice turned out to be two clean lines of single crochet, much like the wider ones on the sides. Be sure to do the wide, side borders first, though.
The Yarn: Red Heart Super Savers, a Caron One Pounder and a Side of Six-Year-Old Sparkly Stash.
Red Heart Super Saver Aruba Sea
Red Heart Super Saver Buff
Red Heart Super Saver Carrot
Caron One Pound Rose
Bernat Baby Coordinates Pink Double-Stranded with:
Caron Simply Soft Sunshine
Caron Simply Soft Persimmon
Sparkly Novelty Yarns
Crocheting Over the End Tails As You Go: Or "How To Finish Your Blanket Much, Much Sooner." I haven't come across the how-to video of this technique that I learned from. Now that I know how to use our tripod (pause for laughter), I may just end up making one of my own.
A Wet Blanket. As soon as you bind off the last row, run to the nearest washing machine! The sooner you can do this, the sooner you can toss it in a dryer with several fabric softeners! Then you can spend the rest of your life squeezing the insanely soft cluster stitches.
You've Made Your Blanket, Now Lie In It. Don't just fold it over a chair and take pretty pictures of it — use it and enjoy it in every way! Sleep with it! Let the cat sleep on it! Eat a picnic and play Scrabble on it! Curl up with a cup of coffee and read Game of Thrones in it! Avoid watching full-frontal nudity and bloody beheadings on Game of Thrones by covering your eyes with it (oh, who am I kidding?)! Or even give it to someone who will love it too.