I posted here about making a point of doing charity knitting/crochet on one day every week--Saturdays, for me. Well, I finally finished my first project made this way, a baby blanket. While I didn't work on it every Saturday, I didn't work on any other needlework on Saturdays.
The blanket was made out of two skeins of Red Heart Super Saver my father-in-law sent to me. While that wouldn't have been my first choice of yarn and weren't my taste in color, they are perfect for charity work: low-maintenance, durable yarn is perfect for items given to children or the homeless. However, in crochet, Red Heart worsted really feels too thick for garments, but works well for blankets.
With two skeins of Super Saver (total 728 yards), I theoretically had enough for a baby blanket using a relatively open stitch and a size H of I hook. I started making traditional granny squares. At the end of the first skein I could tell how many squares I would end up with, but that number wasn't promising: 11.5. I needed to reserve some yarn to edge the blanket, too, so rather than 11.5 squares per skein totalling 23 squares, let's assume 18-20. In order to assure a generous edging, I went with 18, which does not tile well. A 3X6 square blanket is awfully long and narrow for a satisfying blanket.
By setting the squares diagonally, I got the most bang for my buck, creating a blanket with 18 squares approximately the same size I would have gotten from 20 squares. However, the resulting zig-zag edge can't be edged in a normal way, so I used chevron stitch (alternating rounds of single and double crochet) and finished it off with a round of light crab stitch (reverse single crochet, but worked [1rsc, 1ch]).
Until I have enough items to donate to my chosen charity (they take donations via pick-up, not drop-off), though, I have to store what I make. In this case, I'm letting my 15-month-old son play with the blanket, and the unusual shape has been a huge hit. He especially likes the corner squares, which he uses as a hood.
Using a diagonal arrangement of squares has been a really good choice. It's an economical use of yarn, adds visual interest, and is fun for children.
Next up? Toddler sweater. Stayed tuned.