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10 February 2016

Queen of the scraps!


That seems to be a fitting title for me lately, Queen of the Scraps.  First there was the Scrappy Stripes blanket for Puppers, then I started the Scrappy Squares Sock Blanket and now this...

I talked about this little blanket in the making on my podcast, episode 8 and I think in number 9 too.  So you might already know that this was my #SOLInspired blanket, a sort of Spice of Life 'spin-off' type thing using my favourite stitch section from the original Spice of Life pattern.

So apart from going for the 'most links in a paragraph' award, this post is to show that I have now finished the blanket.  Woo hoo.  I'm quite pleased with myself actually, getting this one signed off, as it's been all go here lately.  We're embarking on a trip to the dreaded 'house market' and it's quite a time consuming business preparing for inspection.



 Anyway, I've been plugging away at it quite happily, adding a few more rows here and there without really thinking too much about it when all of a sudden it seemed like it was getting about long enough and I ought to think about stopping.  Quite a pleasant realisation.

Much of my blanket making time is often occupied with thoughts of what the border should look like.  As is often the case, I had notions of a bright affair with many colours and as is also often the case, when it came to the crunch time, I just couldn't get that busy, colourful border idea going.  A little frustrating but I did strumble across another idea while I was playing around and I liked how it was looking so I went with it.  

It looks a little like there's a teal ribbon woven through the brown edging of the border and I really like that.  I'm slightly less convinced about the colours I've chosen though.  At some point, quite early in the blanket, I decided that the brown would be the dominate border colour and then it never occurred to me to reassess that decision....  Oh well, a little late to agonise over it now I feel!




Regular readers will know that it's my usual practise to list a few details about my blankety makes.  Yarn types and colours, what pattern I used, the size and so on.  I will be giving a bit more information at the bottom of the post, but I do hope you won't be too disappointed to hear that due to the scrappy nature of this project, I'm really not 100% certain of all the yarn brands and colours I used.  

There's a real hotchpotch in there I'm afraid, and some I fear are probably discontinued, but I can tell you that it's all DK weight yarn in acrylic or acrylic blends.  If there is a particular colour that's just calling to you that you really would like to know about, please do feel free to ask me though.  I can still remember quite a lot of them.

I think it's fair to say that this looks very much like what it is, a scrap project.  The colours are not exactly what I would have chosen if I wasn't aiming to put leftover yarn to use but overall I like it.  It's got a certain ugliness about some of the colour combinations, but I think it falls more on the 'ugly pretty' side than 'ugly ugly', if you see what I mean.

It reminds me slightly of my Colour Explosion blanket in many ways.  Indeed some of the colours I don't think have seen the light of day since that blanket was made... Neon red, I'm looking at you!

I think this will end up being a blanket for my daughter to use in her room.  In all honesty I'm not sure quite where else it would look at home and I'm sure it can answer the dual demands of 'night time comfort' and 'spy den door' with the best of them.

 



A TOUCH OF SPICE

Pattern:  Stacked Shells from the Spice of Life Blanket (by me!)
Yarn:  Acrylic and acrylic blends in DK weight
Hook: 4mm (G)
Size: 105 x 140cm (41 x 55")

Ravelry Page

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03 February 2016

Scrappy Squares Blanket



I seem to be on a big blanket kick here at the moment.  I have three of them on the go at the moment and if I had more time I think I might be plotting more.  It's a worrying trend...

But I'm here today to talk to you about my Scrappy Squares Sock Yarn Blanket.  I talked about it on my podcast number 8 here and a few you have requested a little more information about it, which is most kind.  As I said when I chatted about it, I'm joining the squares together as I go and quite a few of you were interested in how I was doing that.

Well, it just so happened that I'd been thinking that a tutorial on that would be a handy thing to add to Crochet Corner, my crochet tips site and this was just the incentive I needed to actually get that done at last!

I've always done photo tutorials up to now but I know a lot of people like to work from videos and that's another thing I've been meaning to have a go at, so you'll find not only a photo tutorial but also my first attempt at a video tutorial linked below.

The video probably needs a disclaimer though, I think it's fair to say that it's not the best.  It's probably too long for a start and I can see that it needs improvement, but hey - you've got to start somewhere. You'll be kind won't you?  Hopefully between the video and the photos some sense will emerge...

I was also asked how big I was making my squares.  The short answer is that mine are 25 stitches wide by 13 rows high.  Although I'm making some with more or less rows, depending on how much yarn I have.  The long answer is below as I've tried to write out the pattern for you, including the join as you go information.  Hopefully it'll make sense, although you might need to read/watch the tutorial first.

I do hope that you find it all useful and if you'd like to join me in make a Scrappy Squares Sock Yarn Blanket, that would be fabulous.  I'd love to see what you are doing and we can cheer each other on in those weak moments when we want to give up and throw in the towel!

: :



Photo Tutorial on Crochet Corner:  Join As You Go - Rows





Video Tutorial on You Tube:  Join As You Go Crochet - Working in Rows


: : SCRAPPY SQUARES PATTERN : :

My squares are 25 stitches across by 13 rows high.
I'm using sock yarn with a 3.00mm hook.

Written in UK Terms

- FIRST COLUMN -

Worked back and forth in rows, turn at the end of each row

First Square (First Column)

Make a chain of 27 then:

Row 1:  skip 3 [counts as tr], tr in 4th ch from hook, tr in each remaining ch. [25 sts]

Row 2: 3ch [counts as tr], 1 tr in each st to end. [25 sts]

Rows 3 -13: As Row 2.


Additional Squares (First Column)

Join new yarn where you left off.

Row 1: 3ch [counts as tr], 1 tr in each st to end.

Rows 2 -13: As Row 1.


- CONNECTED COLUMNS -

Added to the right hand side of an existing strip of squares
Worked back and forth in rows, turn as directed below

First Square (Connected Columns)

Join new yarn to base of the stitch at the bottom right corner of the existing square

Make a chain of 27 then:

Row 1:  skip 3 [counts as tr], tr in 4th ch from hook, tr in each remaining ch, ss into the top of the tr on the 1st row of the existing square to join. [25 sts]

Row 2: 1ch, ss into the top to the tr on the corresponding row of the existing square [counts as tr], turn work, tr in each of the remaining sts to end, turn. [25 sts]

Row 3:  3ch [counts as tr], tr in each of the next 23 sts, tr into joining ss from the row below, ss into the top of the tr on the corresponding row of the existing square to join.  [25 sts]
Repeat rows 2 and 3 another 5 times.


Additional Squares (Connected Columns)

>> Option One: When the square below ended on a right side row

With right side still facing, join yarn to the joining ss at the end of the row below.

Row 1: 1ch, ss into the top to the tr on the corresponding row of the existing square [counts as tr], turn work, tr in each of the remaining sts to end, turn. [25 sts]

Row 2:  3ch [counts as tr], tr in each of the next 23 sts, tr into joining ss from the row below, ss into the top of the tr on the corresponding row of the existing square to join.  [25 sts]

Repeat rows 1 and 2 another 6 times.
Repeat row 1 once more.


>> Option Two: When the square below ended with a wrong side row

Turn the work over and join yarn to last tr worked in the row below.

Row 1:  3ch [counts as tr], tr in each of the next 23 sts, tr into joining ss from the row below, ss into the top of the tr on the corresponding row of the existing square to join.  [25 sts]

Row 2: 1ch, ss into the top to the tr on the corresponding row of the existing square [counts as tr], turn work, tr in each of the remaining sts to end, turn. [25 sts]

Repeat rows 1 and 2 another 6 times.
Repeat row 1 once more.

: :


If you notice anything amiss, do let me know and I'll correct it...


S x




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27 January 2016

Podcast Episode 9


You Tube Link

Ravelry Episode Thread

Trying something new this week, recording on my iphone.  It's a bit of a start-stop process so there are more cuts but I think it makes for a better picture and I hope the sound is better too.  Let me know how you find it though.  I hope you enjoy!


Show Notes

: : FINISHED OBJECTS : :



Pink Paignton Socks


I Love Sprinkles Mitts


: : WIPS : :


A Touch of Spice Blanket
Ravelry Page

#SOLInspired

For more details and information on the competition, please see show notes for the last podcast.


Misti Alpaca Project...

Mitts or socks?  What should I do?




My First Handspun 'Rope'


: : GOODIES : :


Fondant Fiber

'Bonte' Yarn in Vintage Tulle (Pink) and Harmony (Green)
Fuzzlings in Gone West



Meadow Yarns

Madeline Tosh Sock in White Wash
Knit Pro Zings

Tangled Yarn

KnitPro Zings and Addi dpns


Kate Selene on Etsy

4ply mini skeins in pop fizzle colourways


: :  PODCASTS : :

I mentioned Kristen's podcast: Yarngasm

: :

Please do let me know any comments or questions either in the comments below, or pop along to the Ravelry group episode thread, linked at the top of the post.


S x




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21 January 2016

Scrappy Stripes


Leftover yarn scraps.  The yarny crafter's nemesis, or is it a gift?

You can rarely ever knit or crochet something up without having some yarn leftover can you?  In fact, it won't be too many projects down the road before you have quite a few bits and bobs left over, often in quite a few colours too.  Too much yardage to throw away but yet, not really enough in any one colour or weight to do much with either.  Awkward.

In theory it's simple.  It should be a gift.  It's extra yarn that we can make another project out of, for 'free' after all.  So we come up with projects to try and use our odds and ends up but somehow it doesn't always work out quite how we plan...  How often have you tried to make a project 'from stash' only to end up having to buy more yarn to finish, which then turns into yet more leftovers?  Yep, me too.

So this blanket was my attempt to answer that little problem.  I have quite a hefty bag of remnants left from my Colour Theory Blanket that I wanted to make use of so I came up with a cunning plan.  I decided that I'd keep things very simple and just work back and forth in rows of treble (US - dc) crochet using one colour until it ran out and then just switch to the next and so on.



Pretty cool plan huh?  Well it may sound good but I was a little dubious about how it would turn out.  Which is probably why this particular experiment was destined for the pupper's crate from the outset.  The idea was that not much thought would be given to colour selection and obviously the amount of each colour used was predetermined by the size of the leftover.

  I've mentioned before that I like my colours to go where I want them too go and so as well intended as this plan was it probably won't surprise you to know that I had to tinker with things a bit.  The hodge podge of yarns that tumbled out of the bag when I decided to get started weren't terribly inspiring.  There was a lot that I felt fell into the 'dirge' category and the pretty, appealing colours were fairly sparse.  On top of which, the yardage of the dirge far out weighed the yardage of the pretty.

I decided to plunge on regardless but it soon became clear that I would have eek my nice colours out a little and pepper them in amongst the less appetising offerings.  It was also fairly clear that due to the ample yardage of some of the colours, I'd have to step in and prune a little early rather than let nature take it's course.  Otherwise this wouldn't have been so much a blanket of stripes, more of a block of colour with a strange discoloured assortment at one end.  Not ideal.


So that's how it went.  A completely random and naturally occurring striping mish mash of a blanket, helped along by me to seem just 'random' and just 'natural' enough.

My plan from the start was to felt the blanket.  The yarn is 100% wool and as it's for the hound I knew I'd probably be washing it plenty and didn't want to worry about slinging it into the machine.  I thought it'd be a good plan to toughen it up against pin sharp teeth and I was just generally interested in how it would look felted and how much it would shrink too.

I just did a simple crab stitch edging, there was no point in doing anything fancy with the felting treatment coming up and anyway, I like how it looks.  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out in the end.  The palette isn't obviously something I'd come up with given free rein but for it's intended use it's perfect and I'm happy with scrappy stripes effect.  I like the way the colours just end in the middle of a row and that's all part of it's charm.



Here's a picture of how it looks once it's been felted up.  It had been through the machine twice by this point.  The first trip had quite an effect but the second go through really made a big difference.  The stitches are all merged together and indistinct and the edging is smooth and muzzy.

It looks and feels exactly like a rug now, it's quite firm.  In fact I'm almost tempted to make another for that very purpose.  It would look good in the craft room I think.  Of course, I'd need more yarn....



: : SCRAPPY STRIPES : :

Pattern:  None really, just the stitches mentioned and linked above
Yarn:  Cascade 220
Hook: 4.5mm (G/H USA)

Size before felting: 70 x 140 cm
Size after felting: 54 x 80 cm

Ravelry Page


S x




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