Saturday, 2 December 2017

winter project link party - December (a cosy blanket)






















Some projects are long in the making. I started this blanket back in February but I got distracted by other projects. I rarely crochet but I go through weeks of intense to obsessive crocheting occasionally. It is quite gratifying, progress is quick with the hook.

This particular blanket speaks to my soul. It contains elements I cherish: bright but not garish colours, a bit of randomness and lots of soft yarn. It can't really get any better. It is quite small but big enough to cover my body and legs if I am sitting in my favourite armchair.

The pattern is the Happy Scrappy Blanket. You can find it on Annette's blog My Rose Valley. It is a lovely blog, you must go and visit, if you have a spare moment. The pattern is very well written and has an entire page of stitch illustrated stitch explanations, should you need those. I like the combination of colourful V-stitch section and the two-coloured woven blocks on the narrow sides. The blanket is subtly framed by a minimal border. I didn't plan to make a blanket quite so similar to the one in the pattern but my leftover bag of yarn did contain all the colours of Annette's blanket. I do love the colours very much. I knew what colour to use for the border on the long sides before I even started the blanket. I don't know why I felt so strongly about this and I tried a couple of other colours but none would do.

This was the first time I used V-stitch. It is far less tedious than ripples I think and no counting necessary. There are lots of ends to sew in though as the colour changes with every row. The woven blocks look sophisticated but are nothing more than rows of single crochet (US terms) and chain stitches. Ingenious!

I started this blanket thinking I might be able to use up yarn remnants from previous projects. Alas, it didn't quite work out like that. I don't have a huge yarn stash and crochet eats up yarn very quickly, far quicker than knitting in fact. I very quickly ran out of some of my favourite colours. I honestly tried to use all the yarns, even those that I am not so much in love with but I did of course buy more yarn. With the blanket finished, I have more or less the same amount of yarn as before I started. I think I am going to donate the yarn. I don't want to start another blanket and fall into the 'need more yarn trap' again. Maybe I make a cushion cover or something small but probably not.

The yarn is largely Drops Karisma. This is a super wash wool, which keeps very well. It is also good value despite being 100% sheep wool. The price is around £2 per ball, which is pretty good for super wash wool. It is more expensive than everybody's all time favourite yarn for crochet blankets, Stylecraft Special DK, but f you have been visiting here for a while you'll know that I don't like to use acrylic yarn, which I find unpleasant to touch, particularly after it has been washed a few times. I used to think that working with wool and not acrylic yarn is better for the environment, which is true for untreated wool. Super wash wool however has been treated to remove the teeny tiny scales of the wool fibre so it is washable without felting and is not without its own environmental issues. This knowledge has not only caused me to tumble from the moral high ground but has also wasted a good amount of my life because I was reading about the process in the peer reviewed scientific literature. It is rather interesting but I won't bore you to sleep with the information. Anyway, I also used a couple of balls of Sandness Smart, which is another Scandinavian yarn brand. It is exactly the same weight and length per weight as the Drops Karisma. The two yarns have slightly different colour ranges, which makes it interesting for me.

What have you been working on lately? Whatever it is, you could share it on Jennifer's winter project link party. Jennifer is working on a stash buster crochet blanket and is far more successful than I with using stash up :-) Love the simple granny square she is working on.

Have a good weekend. xx

16 comments:

  1. That is a gorgeous blanket.. bravo! It's a real family heirloom if you ask me. Enjoy it's warmth this winter. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  2. Your blanket looks great Christina, lovely pattern and colours. It's interesting your thoughts on environmentally friendly yarns. The WI are always going on about 'environmental issues'. I find many of these groups only tell you what not to use but never what to use. It's all very confusing. Anyway I've finished my blanket and will sort some picture and write a blog about it for the link up. Cx

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  3. Work of art, Christina. Hope you enjoy using it. Catriona

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  4. It looks great Christina - it is a smiley blanket. The black and white give it a modern edge. Enjoy your snuggling time!

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  5. That is absolutely gorgeous. I love the colors, and the borders add so much.

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  6. It is wonderful and just the right amount of brightness to be colourful but not garish. I bow to your stylish colour choices Christina! You mate Jo xxx

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  7. This is gorgeous! I love the colours. It looks so lovely and warm!

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  8. What a beautiful cosy colourful blanket. Just perfect!

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  9. Such a lovely blanket! The boarder is stunning. I am already thinking my Cozy Stripe blanket may need something similar.

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  10. It's a lovely blanket and a wonderful design, too. Congrats on getting it completed. I'm sure you will enjoy it on a cold winters night. Pat xx

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  11. Absolutely gorgeous blanket, Christina! I am afraid I am with you on the acrylic yarn thing. Puts my teeth on edge to touch and it doesn't have the breathability of wool or cotton. I know wool is more of a faff to wash but I'd rather have the result even so. But it changes the cost of a project hugely, sadly. I know what you mean also about trying to use yarn up and then having to buy more when one runs out - annoying. An elderly housebound friend loves knitting to occupy her time though so I have been giving my spare yarn to her in order not to get overrun by a yarn mountain and feel commensurately guilty! Have a good week, Christina! E x

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  12. I love this blanket, Christina. You did a great job with it and I love the border, it's very interesting and different. You know how I feel about yarn types - use what you like and what works for your budget. If I could afford it, I would definitely use natural yarns. Maybe someday. Thanks for joining in with my link party, it's so nice to have you. :)

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  13. I absolutely love this. I made a v-stitch scarf a while ago, and have always wanted to make a blanket in that pattern. I like v-stitch, it looks more than the sum of it's parts somehow. The colours are very lovely together but it's the black and white section at the end that makes it for me. x

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  14. I love the blanket, well done with the colors and while adding to your stash you have also used up lots of yarn. I am a firm believer in trying to save the environment but I think you can take a pass with the superwash wool. I made a V-stitch poncho and found the stitch to be wonderful to do. Well done!

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  15. You've done a great job on your blanket. Your stitches are so neat. I did chuckle when you said you have been left with as much yarn in your stash as when you started :) Typical stash buster project! I've never used karisma for a blanket as I usually opt for stylecraft special. I think I should look into it though as the blankets I've made in acrylic haven't been as warm as I'd hoped.

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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