Babette, My Love.

Once in a while, an idea makes itself known to you in such a way that you know, without a doubt, that you can’t say no. Some ideas seem ok at first, then you forget about them. Others never appeal. But some ideas are so strikingly good, so inspirational, that you have no choice.

And often those ideas come from other people.

English blogger, Mooncalf, hit upon an idea so fabulous recently that RoseRed put it to me and we both knew it had to happen. There was not really any choice in the matter. Do you know the Babette blanket? It’s crocheted, so if you’re a knit only kind of person it might not have crossed your radar. Here’s what it looks like.

It’s a granny square blanket, basically, but with a difference. It’s filled with granny squares in a range of sizes, each placed according to a set out pattern. The original blanket is knit in 125 squares made of Koigu. Let us not discuss how much that would cost. I was never going to make it in Koigu so let’s just move right along.

The thing that is most off putting about Babette is that with all those colour changes, it’d be kind of a pain to sew in all the ends and construct it. Not to mention the way that choosing all those colours is just fraught with danger if you’re not absolutely convinced of your ability to choose matching colours. So for a long time, Babette has seemed unattainable to me.

The Ms Mooncalf had her astoundingly good idea, the kind that makes you sit up and think, hello, why has no one thought of this before?

What you do, for any granny square or other shaped blanket, is choose one of the Regia Kaffe Fasset self striping sock yarns that comes with a range of specially chosen colours. That way you know that the colour choices are bound to be genius and you eliminate the need to sew in a eleventy bazillion ends! RoseRed has started hers. True, you don’t get quite the neat and tidy beginning to each colour change, but  you know, that’s a small price to pay for what will ultimately be an amazingly good blanket (and machine washable!)

I collected my bag of ten balls of Regia from RoseRed yesterday (who had ordered it from Mooncalf’s own LYS in England for NEXT TO NOTHING – no really, this whole blanket is costing me a mere AUS$36!!) and I cast on right away.

babette1

I love it. I am utterly besotted. I’ve done nothing but crochet squares for the last twenty four hours.

babette2

So much so that I am considering dropping everything else I have planned for the next little while and focussing on this entirely.

babette

Right now, I can’t imagine anything else i want to make more. I’m even sewing in the ends as I go, after every square! I realised today that doing so is giving me a sense of ultimate control over my life. If the ends are sewn in, I feel like everything is in order. (Let’s not discuss the washing that hasn’t been folded up or the the state of the dining table). Everything is fine as long as I keep sewing in those ends.

Fourteen down. One hundred and ten or so to go.

Easy.

Bells

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41 thoughts on “Babette, My Love.

  1. Pingback: Remembering Babette « Bellsknits

  2. I just took the time out to read this properly. It is so much fun seeing the same project from different points of view.

    It looks like there might be even more than 3 Kaffe Fassett blankets judging by all the comments above 🙂

    I should probably explain that ‘my LYS’ is a very, very long way from where I live. It is 255 miles away and I’ve never been there. Well, for someone in a small country like England that is a long way!

    But if anyone else does want to crochet up an identical blanket they still have plenty of Landscape Fire left: http://www.kempswoolshop.com/wool_details.aspx?selectedItemID=793688131

  3. Pingback: ‘Til Tuesday « Bellsknits

  4. Its a great pattern, isnt it Bells? And very satisfying. Weaving in the ends was a bit of a bugger (and then my sister told me I should then sew them in too, but she is my big sister and heavy on the ‘should’). I sewed my sections up as I went along, which made the whole weaving/sewing up less daunting. I even got a bit anal about the whole thing and blocked each individual square so the whole blanket was quite symmetrical. Yours is just gorgeous, its a great colourway!

  5. That *is* a fantastic idea and we all love to not have to sew ends in. 🙂 Can’t wait to see what it looks like when you’re done. You’ve inspired me to do a bit more on my own blanket project which is sitting idle at the moment.

  6. Bravo!!! What a great project idea. Koigu!!! Honestly? When I win the lottery, I might take that on in its original form, but good on you guys for coming up with workaround — and a lovely one at that.

    Speaking of Koigu…Just laid in 8 more skeins for future sock making. Is there a better (read: cheaper, machine washable) sock choice?

  7. you’re making one too?!! squeeeeeee! The colours are beautiful – this is going to look so stunning 🙂

    now I am off to check out this wonderous magic pudding pot of yarn you enablers keep linking too!

  8. Wow. what a snap moment. I bookmarked this blog http://hpnyknits.blogspot.com/2008/05/babette-complete-and-delivered.html because it had the most amazing blanket that I wanted to make some day. I obviously am a goose because I never read it carefully enough to notice that it was crocheted – which I can’t yet do! Oh well, I’ll follow your progress then push it back further on my list of “give this a try one day”. I like your Kaffe solution.

  9. Yup. There are some horrifying examples of this blanket in Ravelry, all due to poor color choice. (Although did you see the black & white one? Stunning! Loved it!) I can’t wait to see what these look like all put together. It’s hard to picture it just from the squares.

  10. You guys! You’re going to actually make me want to crochet again. Sort of… I think I try the flowers first and see how it goes…. Love the colors of this blanket.

  11. Beautiful! I love Mooncalf’s genius idea too, and if my wrist was not still recovering from my last foray into crochet, I would be tempted to join you all! I love how crafting can make it feel like everything’s all right with the world – this is also why I love detective fiction so much!

  12. That’s a lot of squares. I want to make one, too, but it’ll have to wait for a bit. Too many other things going on and I’d want to just ‘make one more square’ all the time. The self striping yarn is such a no brainer idea. That might make a good summer project, small bits that don’t cover your lap.

    CRO-SHAY

  13. It is such an obvious idea, isn’t it?? It’s like the way for years MrsDrWho and I wrote two copies of our Learning Centres for our classes at different schools, until one day we thought to photocopy the one set and take half each!!! It was an epiphany!!
    No wonder you are obsessed with crocheting squares, they are so colourful and fabulous!!

  14. Yep. I really do need to learn how to crochet. That is looking amazing Bells… can’t wait to see how it all turns out! 🙂

  15. Projects that give you a sense of order and control are to be valued greatly. And I agree, it’s astonishing that no-one had previously thought of making ‘Babette’ from variegated yarn. A stroke of genius.

  16. Thought the other person working on a Babette might be you. It’s already looking interesting and you are just steaming through it, RR better watch out or you’ll have yours finished before her!

  17. I love that colourway, I made a pair of knee high socks out of it. You should consider blocking as you go to for the ultimate feeling-in-control! It also helps when you get to the end and don’t have to block them all at the same time!

  18. what a great idea using self-striping yarn, and kaffe at that! it looks really lovely already. i can understand the addictictiveness – granny squares AND varigated yarn!

  19. Yep, it certainly makes life easier to have a famous colourist do the work for you! LOL

    Keep up the good work – I look forward to seeing the final result.

    Are you using one colourway or mixing it up a little like RR?

  20. the beautiful work you are both doing on this is almost enough to make me take up the craft that can not be named (let alone pronounced correctly!). it really is a terrific idea and the colours are like magic. cant wait to see them both, and look how much youve done already, including ‘end control’. nice work!!

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