Tuesday, 12 January 2016

a very sunny blanket

Phew, I finished my latest crochet blanket. I am always exited about starting a new blanket but invariably, there comes a point when I can't be bothered anymore and finishing becomes a chore. I don't get this feeling so much with blankets made up of smaller units, granny squares or something like that. I like to arrange and rearrange small squares into rows then larger squares then blankets, it satisfies me need for sorting things. Long long rows of simple crochet are a bit mind-numbing though, aren't they? On the other hand, long long rows of simple crochet offer something to keep you hands busy when you spend an evening watching one bad TV show after the other, or when listening to audio books.







I am a master procrastinator when it comes to choosing colours and yarns. I am a master procrastinator, full stop. To circumvent the problem I decided to use an 'Attic24' yarn pack with a preselected assortment of yarn. I chose the 'sunny' pack. The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK. If you are a crochet fan you will know Lucy of Attic24 but just in case you don't, here is a link to her blog. Lucy has been creating lovely crochet blankets for a long time. The latest blanket CAL included two versions for the sunny yarn pack, a log cabin blanket and a granny stripe blanket. I chose the granny stripe blanket for the simple reason that it satisfied my need for something that works up quickly without the need to concentrate. I hear you say that really, for a granny stripe blanket you don't need a pattern, or indeed a yarn pack but if you are anything like me you'll know that the simple task of choosing the colour of the next stripe can be so agonising that it might take several evenings of arranging balls of yarn, and re-arranging them. Quite possibly a further few evenings frogging the latest stripe and starting all over. If on the other hand someone else decides for me, Lucy in this case, I honour that because no doubt she has agonised over the succession of colours as much as I would have. Having said that, after completing week 4 of the CAL I decided to freelance after all. I went for the lucky dip method with a tad of cheating. Ok, quite a lot of cheating.

There are 18 shades of various luridity in the sunny pack. I probably like about half of the shades, feel ok about a quarter and couldn't stand the rest. It pained me to use those but in the context of the blanket, they are ok. I made peace the unloved shades. The 18 colours were repeated 'at random' to give a cheerful and not at all lurid whole. The pattern called for five repeats, each random. My blanket was nowhere near the required length after five repeats and I added a 6th (grinding my teeth by that point). I chose a smaller than usual hook to get relatively tight stitches, for durability more than anything.

Can I just mention the ends? There were a lot of ends to darn in. Every now and then I would get busy sewing with my darning needle. I would promise myself 'if I darn 12 ends I will treat myself to a chocolate/glass of wine/dance around the living room'. I am of a simple mind, I fall for my own briberies, even if I don't have any chocolates in the house.

I am not a big fan of wide borders and made mine quite minimal. That's the official line anyway. I followed the pattern for the first two rounds, one round of granny stripe, followed by one round of single crochet. There were a further two rounds of single crochet variations which I omitted because I could't decide on the colour and because I lost the will to crochet. It looks just fine as it is. Yes?

There you are, a new blanket for the the children and the dog to destroy cosy up with. Stylecraft Special DK is remarkably hardwearing yarn and even the dog found it impossible to chew through a ball when he stole one. He is a top notch yarn destroyer. The kids love the new blanket, it is a good size and easily wraps two little boys. 

As you all know, I am a yarn snob and I don't like the feel of Stylecraft Special DK. It is 100% acrylic and no matter how soft it is, I still don't like to touch it and I don't like the smell of it. For me, it has to be squishy wool that smells just right. It is hard to describe the emotions I am flooded with when I bury my nose in a new ball of lambs wool. Divine. 

I really like the blanket and I am happy that I used all the colours in the sunny pack. I don't have much left, not enough for anything substantial anyway but I might donate the remnants to our school for a bit crafting. 

Wishing you a happy second half of the week! xx 

25 comments:

  1. What a wonderful blanket! I am sure it will bring lots of love and color into your life and home!

    Take care
    Anne
    Crochet Between Worlds

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  2. That looks fantastic - so colourful and bright.

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  3. It's a lovely blanket. And such a pretty border, too. Have you thought of crocheting a mandala with the leftover yarn?

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  4. I think it looks great, I know what you mean about the yarn, but for the price and for blankets that are going to be draped around and dragged about and generally well used it works for me. Good on you for going random with the colours! xx

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  5. It's lovely Christina, and I really really like your edging. Nice and simple, a perfect finish. I have a horror of thousand of ends as well. I just finished a blanket that was mostly one colour so as not to have too many ends to sew in. Must remember to share a picture of it. I used Drops Lima which isn't too pricey as wool goes, although I think it has gone up since I bought it. It's 65% wool and 35% alpaca. I'm liking it so far. We will see how it wears... CJ xx

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  6. I love it, so cheerful. Well done you, I think I would have struggled with the sheer size and the ends!

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  7. When I saw the edging I thought what a lovely edge to a blanket and all so neat :-)

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  8. It's gorgeous and I love your philosophy of self encouragement! Love the colours, and the edges too. Very neat Christina!

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  9. Beautiful color combinations, love it. I can't stand wool against my skin so it has to be acrylic for me.

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  10. Beautiful blanket. Lots of
    lovely colours.
    Cheers, Anita.

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  11. Beautiful blanket, perfect for the children and the dog. I love the colour combination, so cheerful on a dull day. A great way to sew in the ends bribing yourself, I must give that a go and see if works for me.

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  12. Your blanket looks so cosy and warm! I thought about buying the Lucy color pack before but I'm just like you - I don't like the feeling of acrylic yarn. I rather spend more money on natural fibers. They have a nicer feeling. I love working with a cotton/merino blend. Soft but still textured.
    Greetings from Austria

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  13. Fab blanket.I like using Stylecraft for blankets but anything else natural fibres. The blanket packs are great aren't they, I already have my eye on another one x

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  14. It's really lovely, so bright and, well, sunny. I'm in the middle of a granny stripe blanket using Attic 24's original granny stripe colour pack but it's been put on the back burner whilst I crochet up my Spice of Life blanket. I have to say that I prefer crocheting blankets made of rows rather than squares.

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  15. I am a yarn snob also Christina - I only knit with a synthetic yarn if someone requests it. It just feels fake to me. However, since you now have a bright cheery blanket that makes your kids happy, that is a good thing. I have not attempted a project that large yet. Well done!

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  16. That is such a cheerful blanket, Christina! The colours are perfect to brighten up dark and dreary winter days. I agree about preferring wool to synthetic fibres, but there's a time and place for everything. With young children and a dog in your home an acrylic blanket just makes more sense.

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  17. I think your blanket is beautiful, Christina. I haven't bought any of Lucy's "packs" beyond her original one years ago, but it is convenient to have them all picked out for you. I've never made a whole blanket with anything but acrylic because it's what I can afford, but I can imagine that a wool blanket would be very nice. If this blanket makes your kids happy, though, that's the most important thing, I think. I hope they enjoy and use it well.

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  18. I can't resist starting a new blanket... I've two on the go, one knitted and one crocheted plus the yarn for another! I love this new one of yours... So bright and cheerful!

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  19. I really like Lucy's sunny pack colours and have been seriously tempted by that blanket myself. I think the colours work a bit like some notes in a piece of music - play them individually and they sound wrong but all together they work perfectly. I love your blanket, and I would never know that it was anything other than your own colour creation and I'm happy to keep the secret! :-) xx

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  20. It looks fabulous on that chair!

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  21. It really looks fantastic, and I think you ere right making it out of a durable yarn. I am with you on the yarn snob thing, and that is why I have never ordered that yarn, and why I shy away from acrylic, but it does have its purpose and you chose well. By the way I understand yarn fumes and the feel of a good yarn on your cheek.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  22. Hey Christina,
    That blanket would love fab in Betty! I don't have the patience for rows of crochet, and I'm just a beginner....
    Leanne xx

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  23. What a lovely sunny blanket and I like the simple edging too. I'm sure it'll be well used and hope it proves to be Jack-proof! xx

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  24. Wow! Great job! The colours look great together. I can see there are pros and cons of using a pre made pack. I taught myself to crochet in a very basic fashion a couple of years ago. I made a baby blanket (more of a pram blanket, quite big) from cotton yarn, but was demented with boredom after a while. All those long rows. All that sewing in ends. I like smaller crochet projects though. I am sure this blanket will be well used and well loved. It looks so nice on the yellow chair. X

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx