Friday, January 23, 2015

Pinterest Adventures: Fleece Blanket

Here's another Pinterest Adventure for you all! I found this pin that led to a blog post by Pieces by Polly.

I was super excited to see a finished edge on a fleece blanket that wasn't just knots, and didn't require double layers. I checked it out and there were some great tips on there! However, I added some of my own (not many) when I decided to embark on this adventure. 

First off, I found some great fleece in the remnant bin at JoAnns. I needed it. I was feeling a bit guilty about not showing my 'pride'. 

First off, Polly tells you to fold your fleece in half before you start. My thoughts: BRILLIANT. It means half as much cutting. After I did one side, I unfolded it, and refolded the other sides together. That way you work with one long end the entire time, and it helps later in the process so you don't end up with weird sizes in the middle of the blanket. 

Next Polly said to cut out 2x2 inch squares from each corner. I ignored this. As you go through the process these squares magically appear. 

Her next stroke of GENIUS was to measure two inches from the edge, and put a tape line there. 

This is so you know how far in to cut your strips. She says to cut strips one inch wide, but seems to just kind of estimate? She does use a rotary cutter on a mat so maybe she used the mat. . .  I however, used scissors because I like my scissors. To help me go faster, I measured on the tape and made marks every inch. 

Then you cut a fringe. Yep, cut the fringe like you would if you were going to knot the blanket. I then carefully removed the tape, refolded the fleece so the uncut edges were flat (they were folded before) and the fringe edges are folded. (Hamburger to hotdog if you are that type of folding person). Then I remeasured and REUSED the tape. This saved me the trouble of remarking tape. 

So far so good. Then I realized that to make it work, I would have to cut a tiny hole in each piece of fringe. I checked Polly's blog again to see if she had any tricks to make this go faster, and alas, she didn't. This was, for me, the most time consuming part of the process. Snip a little hole at the top of each piece of fringe. 
 I paid special attention to the size of the fringe. If there was a piece that was fatter... I mean, wider, than the rest, I took note of it. When you start 'braiding' it you need to cut one piece of fringe in half to be the last one... Keep reading this should make sense. 

At this point Polly loses all of her fancy rotary cutters and mats. She pulls out a paper clip. Yep a paper clip. As I read, I realized Polly must not do any knitting or crocheting, because a crochet hook would work better and faster than the paper clip. 

What I did was I used the crochet hook to basically chain stitch the pieces of fringe together. Put the hook through the slit on the piece of fringe next to your fat, last fringe piece. Working away from the designated end piece, hook the next piece of fringe through it's little hole, and pull it through the first pieces hole. You've looped the first piece onto the second. 

Now just keep going all the way around the blanket. You will loop all the pieces together and it will be awesome. But then how do you get the last (the fat one) piece to connect to the first one? Well, cut the fat one in half so you have two skinnier pieces, then wrap one through the first piece of fringe that you need to connect to  and tie the two skinny pieces together. Then tuck the knot under where it won't be seen. (You'll have to finagle with this to find a way that looks good to you.)

And Voila! You have your very own fleece blanket! 

I have done this several times now, and can say that from start to finish it takes me approximately 2 hours total. I've also made two at a time by layer the blankets beneath each other when cutting (you cut through 4 layers instead of two), which speeds up the process too. Of course, I don't have small children or pets who demand my attention. And my husband is gone when I do this.... 

Happy Fleecing! 

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