Lifestyles of the Destitute and Obscure

dazzling and interesting on a shoestring

Tag Archives: leftover yarn

Anthropologie Blanket Do-it-yourself

Or, how the obscure make their homes look chic for lots less.

When I received the Anthropologie catalog in the mail last winter and saw this gem draped around the model’s shoulders, my first thought was, ‘Wow, that’s beautiful!’ (Which isn’t that rare an occurrence when the Anthropologie catalog arrives.) Then my next immediate thought was, ‘Wait, I can make that!’  (Which I don’t think all that often—okay, pretty much never.)  So I decided to give it a shot.
If you follow ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ ‘X-Factor,’ ‘American Idol,’ or ‘Survivor’ (don’t worry, you needn’t identify yourself) or any other show that means you must be glued to your television for at least an hour a week and then be able to contribute in an informed manner when it’s discussed on Facebook, then YOU can make an afghan like this one.
Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a crochet hook in size G- aka 4.5mm
  • Yarn, and lots of it—in all the colors shown, with similar thicknesses (don’t go for really thin yarns like baby blanket stuff) and be sure to grab a couple with an interesting texture (but stay away from ‘eyelash’ or feathery yarn—again, too thin and also kind of quirky)
  • Be sure to get 2-3 skeins of your bright orange, the lime green, and the gold/yellow, as well as a purple or mauve.  The yellow or the blue may need a fourth skein in order to make the tassels, depending on the size of the skeins.  The other colors you can choose to match or be in some way similar to the photo.  Use the one below to see all the colors.
    To keep the price down, if you don’t need multiple skeins of the same color, buy remnant or sale yarn.  I bought a few nice wool blends and several cheaper acrylic skeins as well.  You can also hit up your crafty friends and relatives for their leftover yarn and probably score a few great colors—don’t worry about it ‘matching’ the Anthropologie blanket—it’s the idea that we’re after here, not a complete copycat.

The technique:
Learn to crochet a double crochet stitch, after you’ve learned to chain.   Start by chaining enough stitches to ‘cover’ your lap across—this will be the width of your blanket, roughly.  Don’t overestimate, though—the original chain will stretch and grow wider as your blanket grows.

Get to work!  Stitch away during the whole season of your show, making stripes of all your different colors, and occasionally repeating a color every so often.  Make some stripes wider than others and add/double up two colors in the middle of the stripe here and there for some extra charm.
When you’ve made it to the end (whew!) you’ll need to make tassels.
To make a tassel:
Cut lengths of your tassel color just over double the desired length of the tassel, then do it over and over (ad naseum) until you’ve got enough to put tassels on the top and bottom edge of your afghan.

Loop the yarn length (or combination of yarn lengths, as shown) double and insert through the first row of holes in the end of the afghan.
Insert the ends through the loop, as shown, and pull tight.

Note: Make sure that your tassels are evenly distributed along the edge of the afghan, and that you insert your loops of yarn from the same side every time for a consistent look.
Drape it on the back of your vintage velvet loveseat or that eighties sectional that you can’t afford to get rid of but desperately needs an update.
Be warm and cozy… and stylish, too.