The internet is a wonderful resource for so many things, especially patterns. I can't see myself ever buying another crochet or knitting pattern in the store. So many wonderful designs are available free or for a small fee. The pattern for this lovely blanket was my first online pattern purchase and I have now made it twice, once for a friend and again for my unborn baby. I bought the pattern from www.anniescatalog.com after finding the picture on a website somewhere. I loved the whimsical unisex design immediately and eventually tracked down the pattern. The blanket itself is a quite simple wave pattern but the embellishments are more complicated and really did require specific instructions.
For those of you here in Australia, you will understand my pain when I say I couldn't find pure cotton 8 ply ANYWHERE! It was terribly frustrating. I found a few websites that sold cotton but not in the colour range I required and it was going to cost a fortune. Enter my new favourite website for buying wool, www.loveknitting.com. This UK based company has regular sales, an amazing range and postage is free to Australia with any purchase of $80 or more. They also put out a great newsletter that always includes a free PDF pattern - my collection is now extensive.
I first learnt to crochet thanks to a lovely friend I had in early high school. Bernadette was such a clever crafter, she gave me something to emulate. I learnt all the major stitches and found crochet so much more satisfying than knitting due to the speed at which you make progress. I started making the first blanket after a rather long time of having not picked up a hook and was shocked that the instructions just didn't make any sense at all. It took a bit of internet searching and watching a few youtube clips to work out - the pattern uses American abbreviations and of course I learnt the Australian/british way. After much frustration I found a conversion chart that finally explained everything to me and now I would have to say I am bi-lingual. A tip for young players getting your patterns on the internet though - check where your pattern comes from!
All in all, I enjoyed this blanket the first time around much more than the second. The animals got a bit fiddly and I'm always impatient to start the next project. I'm happy with the results and my friend loved the one I sent her last year.