The gingham is a baby/toddler blanket I recently completed this month out of leftover blues from last year's Xmas afghan I gave to Whit. I just wanted to use up the yarn and try a new pattern. It's from "Best Baby Afghans" from Leisure Arts but if you know how to do a basic granny square you really don't need the pattern book and you really aren't limited to the size of the blanket.
You just make as many squares as you feel like, whipstitch into strips, then whipstitch the strips into a blanket. Go around the edge in single crochet and then again in doubles or trebles to make it ruffly. Weave all the loose ends in.
(If you want to print all those crochet terms out with pictures so you can attempt this blanket or see what the hell I'm talking about, here they are in one page.)
Choose your overall color (ex: blue) and then get yarn in a light, medium, and dark version of it. I used Red Heart worsted weight with an "I" hook. Then decide how long the blanket will be. In my case it was 9 strips of 11 squares each.
I started the first strip with a light blue square and then alternated it with the medium blue. On the next strip, I started with the medium blue and alternated with the navy. The rest of the strips follow the same strip patterns so when laid side by side the illusion of a gingham check is created. Piece o' cake!
This other photo is a detail of the start of the "Fair Isle Fancy" in the back of Mosaic Magic: Afghans Made Easy.
By using long double crochet stitches/front post stitches and others you can create textures on crochet work and this is one of the best books I've seen doing this.
I'm making this in the suggested red-grey-white for this years' Xmas afghan and I haven't yet decided who it is for -- a friend or my FIL. I finally got the foundation to come out right and now it's working up quickly since the pattern is already established. But man... getting that one started was making me crazy! It look sos good that I wanted to take photos as it works up and now I'm kicking myself for not taking photos of Xmas afghans past before giving them away. Sigh.
I'm in love with Ruth Atkinson's coat designs in Fair Isle crochet . Something to dream about.
With some of my birthday money I ordered 2 new crochet pattern books so I'm excited for them to get here!