I crocheted the Willow (Doily Blanket) by Lisa Gutierrez as a goodbye present for a friend who was moving to London. I had had my eye on the pattern for a while, and I was really pleased to have a reason to make it, but sorry that I was losing a friend to the Big Smoke.
Making this pattern lived up to my expectations. It was the first time I'd done anything really lacy - I find the idea of crocheting with cotton and tiny hooks intimidating, though I do now have a 1mm hook so maybe I will try one of these days. I really enjoyed the way that every row added something new to the design. It was mostly pretty easy to do but frustrating at times since because it's in rounds, so unless you're very careful (something which I try to be but fail at quite often) you only find the error you make a round later, leading to a lot of frogging and re-doing, especially towards the end.
The edging on this throw was so pretty, even though it took a long time to do - there are a lot of stitches there. Circular things always start really quickly but the last rounds can seem endless. But this pattern really held my attention to the end.
The only sad part about it was having to give it to someone I wasn't going to see for a long time. Still, there's always facebook.
You can see details about which yarn and hook I used on my Willow Project page on Ravelry.
After making the Willow throw, I was looking for an opportunity to make the Anya throw by the same designer. I really wanted to make them for my own home, but my two cats made me think that this would be a terrible idea. They've ruined about five throws that I've bought so far with their little claws, and I know that they would probably destroy all my hard work. And it took forever for anyone I knew to move house! So frustrating. But finally a friend of mine moved out of a flat into a house, so I immediately bought wool for a house-warming present.
The edging on Anya is understated but elegant. I don't think you can really go wrong with picots.
I wasn't sure what furniture belonged to my friend and what belonged to her flat when she moved, so I had no idea about her décor. So I was delighted by how happy she was with her throw, and how good the neutral cream colour looked on her dark blue sofa. One of these days I'm going to make a Willow throw to go on her other sofa!
Should I make one too? These make great gifts, but probably not if your recipients have pets. They also wouldn't go with a more modern décor, but they're pretty flexible other than that. Willow is quicker than Anya to make.