Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Project Progress: Granny Square Blanket

Wow crocheting a blanket is hard work!
When I started way back in March 2012 I knew it would be a challenge to create a blanket. Usually when knitting or crocheting I have tended to stick to small items, a hat, a headband, gloves… so the size of a blanket is huge in comparison!

However crocheting the granny squares has not been a problem for me. I have my woven basket carrying all my yarns, I select two colour combinations and in 40/50mins I have hooked up five, 3 round squares: 2 rounds of contrasting colours with 1 round of white.

I decided to aim for a 14 row x 14 rows blanket, this meant I would need 196 granny squares.
On Sunday the day came where I counted out my squares and was very proud to realise I had 200!…
I stacked up all the same colours into piles, then lined them up into rows so i could see all the coulours avaiable to me when laying out the 14 x 14 row blanket. I then set about creating a 'random' blanket layout.

Turns out I am not a random kind of person, my idea of random has quite a few rules and limitations:
  • Same 1st round colours cannot go next to each other
  • Same 2nd round colours cannot go next to each other
    Opposit colour combinations, like orange 1st round and blue 2nd round, and blue 1st round and orange 2nd round cannot go next to each other.
So after 3 hours of laying out my squares in multiple combinations I just was not happy with the random look, I didnt have enough squares that were different enough for my liking to be combined in a suitable random fashion - that I found acceptable. There was always a square sticking out at me like a sore thumb!
Months of crochetting and I couldn't find a design I was happy with - however i thought struck me... I love rainbow colour combinations and I used rainbow colours to make my squares with, so why not go for a more organised layout...

I started laying out the squares in rows: Pink, orange, lime green, dark green, light blue, dark blue and purple. I started to really love how it was turning out, but i didnt have enough granny sqauares to complete this layout, so I spent 6 hours watching twilight films hooking away to fill my quota. It was like being on a production line, plaining the right colour, hooking up 5 squares, laying out and rearranging the combinations, seldcting another colour.
This is where I finished on Sunday night:

I found the process of planning the layout really difficult, it all seems so final and permanent deciding on the right layout for the blanket. But i did manage to sort it after a whole days graft!

Next i realised my biggest error, not sewing in any of the ends as I went along, so aswell as having to sew every square together I have to sew in 6 threads on every square,
20 rows x 13 rows = 260 squares x 6 threads = 1560 threads to sew in and snip, oh no!!!!!

Thank you xx

The Knitting and Stitching Show 2012

I visited the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace in London on Sunday 14th October 2012.
This is the third year I have visited the show and it didn't disappoint.
The exhibition is organised by The Twisted Thread. Through their website I found details of a coach travel package; for £27 I was picked up from my city centre and dropped off at Ally Pally, then dropped home again. Great value for money.

Being new to blogging I didn’t take any photos!!! (must improve next year)

I did visit some lovely booths:
Janie Crow - Wow this ladies crochet creations are so colourful. I’m aspiring to improve my skills enough to join the 2014 crochet club. I think the 2013 crochet club is ambitious, plus 2014 gives me time to save!
Toft Alpaca - I purchased the beehive hat kit, so i can knit up a toasty hat for winter, I have been resisting the super soft alpaca pom poms for too many knitting shows now.
Empress Mills - I bought a roll of Egyptian cotton fabric from here which was super soft. I have the intention of stashing it away to use in a possible patchwork project. You may be able to guess what i have in mind when you see that else I mention in this post...
Fyberspates - I got a little carried away at this booth and bought a purple skein of scrumptious lace to make a lace top, Tirrold pattern,  which was displayed on the stand.
Many many more beautiful yarns, patterns and accessories which I can't quite remember in detail...

However I have my partly finished project from a workshop I attended which I wanted to blog about.

At 11:45am I attended a Hexagon Patchwork workshop, run by Make Do and Mend. The workshop was only £9 for the hour long tuition and materials. I booked months in advance thinking all the workshops would quickly by sold out, however there were only 5 people in total on the workshop, which I found surprising considering how packed the exhibition was.

Patchwork is a completely new craft to me, I saw it on the list of workshops and though why not. I love the look of hexagonal patchwork so thought for £9 it would be good to see if it was a craft I would enjoy.
Also The Liberty Book of Home Sewing has a beautiful traditional Cot Quilt project...
I really enjoyed the workshop. It is surprising how quickly an hour can fly by and how little I managed to finish during th workshop. Fabric selection is where my focus seemed to linger for quite a while.
So this is what i achieved at the end of the workshop:

Now I understand how effective this method can look and how easy it is to complete, this is a craft I will come back to in the future. Like many crafts its the time you take to complete the finished item and the dedication to stick to the project and see it through to completion that is the real skill.