In 2017, on Halloween weekend or “Halloweekend”, I met Tristan Moore at Juniata College.
We have been dating since the Spring of 2018. JC is the place we met and fell in love. Last weekend Tristan officially graduated from Juniata and I got to finally walk for my 2020 graduation.
I knew for a while I wanted to give him something special to commemorate his hard work and time spent at the school we both love dearly. I decided in January to crochet him a blanket decorated with the letters “JC”.
I chose to make him a crocheted blanket because 1. I knew it would be sentimental 2. It would be a challenge 3. Tristan LOVES blankets
For this afghan, I chose to use the corner to corner stitch. My grandmother, Mom-Mom, is very fond of this stitch and uses it to make a majority of her blankets. My Mom, who learned how to crochet from Mom-Mom, and who I learned how to crochet from, also knows the corner to corner stitch. It was very helpful having two people in my corner to teach me corner to corner :).
How to do the stitch:
The corner to corner stitch is fairly straightforward. If you know your double crochets and slip stitches, you will be just fine. Below, is the video I used to help guide me.
The Crochet Crowd is a super helpful group if you are a beginner or a crafter looking to try something new.
Crocheting is an old craft dating back to the 1800s; however, today modern technology is a great tool for the craft. When using the corner to corner stitch, typically the blanket will have some kind of pattern. The patterns can vary from stripes to images or logos like the blanket I made.
Before computers became a part of crocheting, many crafters like my mom, used graph paper to sketch out their design. Each square was a square or stitch on the blanket. I used a website called Stitch Fiddle. It helped me stay on track with what row I was on, so I used the right colors in the right place.
I ended up using a total of 3 skeins with quite a bit leftover. The blanket is about 70″ x 84″ and I used 4 or worsted weight yarn and a 5.5 millimeter hook. For the white, I only needed 1 skein, the gold the same, and the blue 2 1/2 large 1 pounders. Fun fact–the gold is the same yarn my grandmother used for the afghans she made for me when I first moved in to Juniata.
I am fortunate enough to have almost a whole pound of the gold leftover which means I can probably make another Juniata themed blanket. I say “fortunately” because the gold yarn I used is now discontinued and I have yet to find another (that is cost efficient) like it.
After almost 3 months of working on it for about 1-2 hours everyday (yes, I’m a slow crocheter) and weaving in over 300 ends, I am happy to say I love it!
There are plenty of bits that could be improved upon because it is my first blanket, but what made me really love it was the look on Tristan’s face when he opened it, cliche I know. From my experience giving and receiving crafts, it’s the thought behind the product rather than the quality.
Although I appreciate the final result, I don’t think I will ever do a blanket that size in that stitch again. It was just a bit too monotonous for 3 months of work.
Nevertheless, it was very rewarding to finish my first crocheted blanket, especially one that means a lot for a person who means a lot. It also offered me plenty to do in my “downtime”…if you’re thinking of crocheting a blanket, I highly recommend it. If you’re interested in the mental benefits of crafting, check out my other article Crafting, COVID-19, and Mental Health.