I recently made this super-cute owl blanket as a gift for a friend’s impending baby. Since it’s not a freebie, here are my thoughts so you can decide on whether or not it’s a Pattern Worth Paying For.
Pattern name: Owl Obsession
Recommended Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma Worsted, Lollipop (self-striping) and Natural
Yarn I used: Stylecraft Wondersoft Merry-Go-Round in Rainbow
Bernat Super Value, Natural
The Pros: It’s SUPER-CUTE! The finished product looks great. It’s easier and quicker to use the self-striping yarn, so as to avoid changing colors constantly and dealing with more ends to weave in (and no one likes weaving in ends.)
The Downside: Finishing. I don’t like sewing things together at the best of times, but this was a LOT of pieces. It really made me wish I were some sort of wildly successful crocheter (hey, it could happen) and that I had hired help to put everything together. A crochet closer, if you will. Alas, I had no such hired help, so I had to do it myself. I spread out my pieces the way I wanted them on the floor, making sure I didn’t have two owls that were too much alike next to each other. When I was happy with the order I had everything in, I took a picture (below), in order to check which piece I needed next. One of the reasons I don’t like sewing pieces together, is because I don’t feel it’s my strongest aspect of crocheting. I never actually had anyone tell me how to do it, I just kind of figured it out on my own. I use what I later found out is the whip stitch in order to sew things together. It worked just fine.
Other thoughts, modifications, and comments: First of all, this pattern calls for using buttons for the owl eyes. I do not feel comfortable putting buttons on a baby blanket. A hat is one thing, but not on a blanket. For the eyes, I started with black yarn, crocheted 7 single crochets in a loop, then continued with white double crochets to get the eyes. It makes for bigger eyes, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with an owl with bigger eyes.
One thing that I almost never do that is important with this pattern is to check the gauge. I generally only gauge check while making something fitted to wear (sweaters, skirts, etc.), but since this pattern has odd shapes that need to be sewn together, it’s helpful if they fit together. I didn’t check the gauge constantly, just after the first of each piece I made to make sure the hook size was working.
Another thing I almost never do to a finished project is blocking (I should change my instagram to RebelCrocheter or something!). This pattern recommended blocking, but the yarn I used was acrylic, and in Debbie Stoller’s wonderful Stitch ‘n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker, it is said that blocking doesn’t work with acrylic yarns. I decided to block anyway, and I swear, the finished product is softer and less lumpy than it was before. So go ahead and block if you’ve got the time.
Is this a pattern worth paying for? Absolutely! I will definitely be making this project again in the future (Holli has already requested one), just not anytime soon.