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22 November 2013

When blankets go bad?



I think it might be reasonable to assume that an awful lot of you reading out there are pretty interested in colour.  Working with colours, seeing and enjoying pretty combinations and hoping to find new ones?

I wonder if you also think you'll always be learning about how to use colour?  I know I do.

Take these squares for example.  They are supposed to be for my fabulous new blanket idea.  As is often the case, I found some lovely inspiration from the world of web.  On this occasion, the images that caught my eye and got me pretty excited were this one, this one in the background and most especially, this too.  Nice, no?

I loved the subtle elegance of Little Cotton Rabbit's Misty Afghan, but subtle elegance isn't really one of my strong areas.  So I was aiming for something a bit more colourful, but I liked the cohesive feel that the pale rows and then blue border brought to the blanket, so I wanted to play with that idea for mine too.

I've been hoarding Cascade 220 for a while now, so I have quite a good stock built up to choose from.  I wanted to try out some more unusual colour combinations and after making a few squares the results were a little hit and miss.  Well, no matter, any blanket can lose a few 'uglies' so I kept going... 

Ten squares down and I'm still not sure.  There's a few I love, there's a few I like, a few that I can tolerate and a few that are just plain ugly.  The bigger problem  came from laying the squares out to try and get a feel for overall look that I was going to get.  

Humm, now I do have a problem, I don't like it.

Actually, in these photos I must admit, they really don't look too bad.  They look quite bright and colourful, but the in flesh... not so good.  They look quite dowdy and murky in person and the effect of them all together is just a little too dull and dreary for my liking.  Not subtle and not cohesive at all, just a bit dour.

So my blanket idea has stalled.

I ordered a few more colours, but that didn't really seem to help too much.  Maybe I have too many colours and should go back and trim my palette. I could abandon my original idea of blue and greeny shade last rows or I could try and lose some of the more dowdy colours.  I could just carry on and hope for the best.  I could just stick it all in a cupboard and come back to them later.  I could even rip them all and start again, with more squares or even a brand new idea.

I spoke to a kind and wonderful crafty friend about it just the other day.  It's always nice to be able to have a chat about these things and she helped me see that the blanket perhaps isn't a lost cause.  I'd made a few squares with brighter last rows and we mixed them in.  That helped a lot but doesn't fit in with my original idea.  But maybe my original idea just isn't working out.












Quite frankly, I'm not sure what to do for the best.  I'm wondering if my blanket has gone bad?

What would you do?

S x





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42 comments:

  1. Cushions. I would turn them into cushion covers. That way you can group them into what does go. Maybe crochet a plain back out of a colour shared in the squares that make up the front?

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  2. This might sound mad, but what if you covered certain parts of certain squares to see how it changes the overall look? Sounds fussy, I know, but if you look at the outer borders, you have the misty shades and an 'atmosphere' to the work. I think the mustard colour throws it off track a bit, so try covering the dowdy colours and see what happens. Instead of stopping completely, or mixing in pretty brights that you actually hadn't intended, maybe more tonal shades would save it! Good luck and keep us posted! Chrissie x

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  3. amazingly coincidently i am just finishing the edging on a misty afghan, which was also inspired by the same Little cotton rabbits. It is very similar. I felt like working something subtle. I think I would be tempted to pull it all together with one more round of a paler neutral colour, because you have all the different darker edging colours now. Even a pale sea green or a soft pink, or perhaps a soft blue of some kind. Or perhaps a pale oatmeal even! I think you should stick with it, it's lovely. It will make a lovely afghan!

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  4. I would suggest you keep the outer border in one of the colors. I cannot see the 2 greys and the sage green working together. If you keep all borders the same if will give some visual consistency to the blanket. The colours you are using are gorgeous. That is how I see it from the pictures. Or try joining some to see how it looks as often the joining colour makes or breaks the whole blanket.
    xxxEva

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  5. I'd trim the palette to just the ones that you do really like, and then play around with those combinations - you might find that when you separate out all the colours you might have a bright pile and a darker pile and who knows you might end up with 2 blankets instead of one. But it would be a shame to waste all that beautiful work

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  6. I'd sew four of them together and add a pretty border to be used as hot pads. It takes far too much time to make a blanket that you don't totally love, and there are far too many pretty combinations of color to settle for something less than wonderful. Just my opinion. I can't tell you how many things I have scrapped because they weren't floating my boat the way I thought they would! But whatever you do, crochet on, sister! ;)

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  7. When I run into something like this I generally try all of the above! You add some bright, change a few combinations, but if the "feel" isn't there, well, it's time to move on. I don't usually take apart squares, unless I find them absolutely repulsive; I just stuff them away for a "someday" combination blanket made up of all my little leftover pieces. I have finished 2 of these recently, one using odd squares leftover from baby blankets, one made up of "other" colors and combinations. Sometimes you just have to put it away and find something else to work on for a while! We all have these moments from time to time; I've been following you long enough to know you won't be stumped for long!! Good luck with it!!

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  8. I think that if i had exhausted all the possibilities that would make me like the blamket, then I would parcel up the squares and send them to one of the charities that take squares and assembles them into blankets like SIBOL. Hope you find a solution as its an awful lot of work to throw away. xxx

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  9. I like the colours but they're quite muted and drag the overall colourfulness down. I would do the whole square in a single colour, then each individual tone has more of a chance to shine through. If you have an ivory to link the squares together then that would make the colours pop even more.
    'S wot I think anyway :-)
    Xxxx

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  10. Hello Sandra,
    I think the colours, at least in the photographs, look lovely and the yarn seems very soft and of great quality. It would be such a pity not to make a blanket with it....
    What I would do is to now unify the blanket by crocheting a last row around them all in one colour, perhaps a greyish tone, like little cotton rabbits did? I once made a similar blanket, in cotton, with lighter colours but using a lovely idea that Vanessa Cabban had posted in her blog: "do you mind if I knit". Her pattern for her sisterhood crochet blanket (check on the left hand side bar on her blog) was very similar but had a little flower in the middle. Perhaps that would be a nice idea to lift it all up?
    I am sure you will come to the right solution in the end.
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Pati x

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  11. I think when you step back & look at the squares, some of the colors are brighter & clearer than the others. I think this is what is causing the disharmony. When you put the clear colors beside the murkier tones, it really doesn't meld together.

    My suggestion would be to pick 5 colors with the same tone & then use grey as the final round so that they have a common border.

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  12. Well...I think they look adorable. But the important thing is that YOU like them (or you won´t be able to continue). Give it a rest for a week, and then you will see it with different eyes... Sometimes it is just a matter of one color more, or less!

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  13. I love all them, together, separately. Sometimes you just need to step away, erase your preconceived notions of what you thought the project was going to look like and then come back to find you have something beautiful right in front of you!! :)

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  14. KEEP GOING! I love these colors. They are a great mix of brights and subdued colors. Each square is really balanced in it's "quirkiness." I'd say keep going... xo

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  15. As others have said, it's not worth putting in the time and effort into a blanket when you don't love it. You'll have no motivation to work on it and you may end up not enjoying your crochet time. I love the idea of all the colours with the dark edges. What about just regular granny squares or hexagons?

    Maybe like this? http://www.ravelry.com/projects/muse2401/classic-granny-square-pattern

    Or you could try to split the colours into two palettes. One with the more muted tones and the other brighter and make two blankets from your stash. Looks like you'll have enough yarn for more than one blanket anyway.

    Good luck,
    Em xx

    Ravelry - Iamayarnoholic

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  16. Just posted but I thought of this beauty: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/-tangledYARNS-/ruby-hexagon-blanket-2

    Em xx

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  17. If I wasn't loving it, I would finish it and donate it to a nursing home or women's shelter. They will not care if they colors are murky and could use a warm blanket. Then I would start over with the colors I intended and make a new on for myself.

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  18. They're gorgeous but I agree that something is missing. For me it's an element of cleanliness. Perhaps try to add a cream row around each square and join in cream. This would lighten up the muted elements and add some crispness to your blanket. Can't wait to see how you decide to go with this.

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  19. I love your squares and the colours and yarn are great. I think maybe put it to one side and trust in the creative cosmos to send you inspiration when the time is right - it will come and you will make it work, Sam xx

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  20. Oh dear, I've had that with a granny square blanket. I already made over 150 squares, all joined together, and it didn't sing to me. So I unravelled the entire thing. I guess I just didn't want to waist so much precious yarn. The yarn was tuned in into several other blankets that I was quite happy with luckily.

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  21. Ohh dear Sandra I know exactly how you're feeling. First of all, I too got inspired by the Misty Afghan which I absolutely love, and I really wanted to do a blanket in more muted shades. But then I went absolutely crazy deciding on the colours, changing the amount of rows, having a hard time deciding on the border colours (just one? Two shades of grey? Plus 'something else'?). In the end I got so frustrated I frogged it all and started the Garden Hexagon... And now I can't get rid of the feeling that this one has gone bad too! Strangely enough the boyfriend absolutely loves it, so I think I will go on and finish it, but I'm missing the giddy feeling I had while making other blankies. I must say I do love your squares, but the way you're feeling I can see a tough decision has to be made! I'd personally try and trim your palette, but colour choices are just so personal aren't they? Good luck, you'll find the inspiration, I know it! :-) xxxx

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  22. Hi Sandra, Honestly I loooove it!!! But you have to be happy with it!!!! So take out the ones you don't like and carry on with your blanket!!!! The others will find a use somewhere somehow!!! Have a fab happy weekend!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  23. I think you should have one main color and either border each square in it or have several squares made from just one color dispersed among all the others, it might break it all up a bit. Cushions are always an option. Good luck,
    Meredith

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  24. You are way too hard on yourself! I think the colors are gorgeous, so, I say, make enough and sew them up for a new baby boy shower. They would make a lovely lap blanket for an elderly person. Perfect for the car under your bum.

    Best,

    Sheila

    http://sheilazachariae.blogspot.com/2013/11/technicolor-blanket-in-all-its-glory.html



    p.s. I'm a fan of Cherry Heart and love all your colorful posts.

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  25. Being a big fan of your blog and IG photos I thought I leave a comment. I like your squares a lot, but feel that by choosing one of the greys as a surround and border colour, everything will be more cohesive and pull it together.
    You have plenty of comments here...hope one of them will be helpful yo you and I look forward to hearing (and seeing) on what you decide to do.
    Happy weekend, Heike (madewithloops) :)

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  26. The same happen to me! with this "awesome" idea that I had with a square pattern and a pretty yarn that I had. I was 40 squares long! when I realized I didn't like it that much! urgh!. Right now I abandoned the project and started another one but I hate to do that!

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  27. Oh rats! I left a lengthy comment last night and popped back this morning and it's gone. I probably dithered over it too long.


    I have to admit, the colour combination doesn't thrill me as much as your usual palette. I think it's the outer greens. They subdue the other colours rather than make them pop. I much prefer the greys. I wonder if it's worth just replacing them rather than frogging the whole lot? Alternatively, a navy or cream might look nice?


    Mind you, I am the master of giving up on a project if it doesn't work for me!


    xxx

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  28. As someone who loves color, but struggles with putting them together, here is what worked for me. I used a piece of fabric as color inspiration. That helped me to pick colors that worked together and were the same value.
    After looking at your inspiration pieces, I think you need to add neutrals in the final two rows. You could still use the strong colors you prefer, but put them together in groups of the same color. For example, you have two different pinks. Try dark pink, light pink, light blue, light grey, dark gray. Don't go for contrast in any row but the first one. You are looking for soft, subtle changes in the outer rows, blending into the unifying border color. Someone said that they didn't like the green, but I think it could work, just not on the outer rows.
    The afghan I just created has some really weird color combos, I unified them with a "neutral" outer row, in my case, pale yellow. If you study the best grannies, you will see that you can make any color your unifying color, even red, depending on the look you're going for.

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  29. Sometimes our projects go a bit pear shaped don't they, however someone will love those colours I'm sure if you can bare to finish it! Actually I would add more colours loads so it was a rainbow of every colour LOL. Not your original concept but hey you don't like that so it's back to the drawing board. Good luck hope you find the motivation to finish. x

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  30. Judging by your comments there is a huge element of taste in this, but I think the yellower hues are throwing it ... I see a fawn, a fleshy colour?, mustard ... I don't think you necessarily need to ditch them all, but I'd lose some of them if it were me :)

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  31. Dear Sandra, I would be hard pressed to find anything you make ugly! Sometimes our original plans turn into something very different and BETTER. That's one of the great things about creativity: the element of surprise!

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  32. I think they are pretty and will look beautiful together in a blanket! I do know what you mean, and am feeling a little that way with my ripple blanket of why I added some colors, when I should have just left them out, but it's too late. I am going to continue and know that I will look sweet in the end! Wishing you a wonderful and crafty week! xo Heather

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  33. Oi amiga, adorei todas as novidades do teu blog, também trago novidades no meu blog para ti contar, confira e depois deixe um comentário para eu poder saber o que achastes,abraços do Brasil.

    http://www.titacarre.com

    http://elo7.com.br/titacarre

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  34. I love the colors, and think they will look beautiful in a blanket together! :) Wishing you a lovely week! xo Holly

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  35. I think it's lovely. I am not big on color not that I don't like it but my eyes can't focus. I do love looking at them. I say this...this reminds me of the ugly duckling story. We can't always have beautiful and often it, like the ugly duckling turns out to be the best in the end. I don't see what you see, I see beauty in your stitching, your colors and that's just my opinion. But there is also another saying, if your asking for advice you already know the answer, trust your instincts, they are your best guide.

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  36. I have done the same thing with my current sunburst blanket project. I started with just a few colours, then decided I wanted more variety. Then I thought I might need one more colour. So I have ended up with 10 different colours in this blanket. I am trying to keep the combinations fresh and not have any one area overpowered by one colour or set of colours.


    That means that sometimes I get some squares that aren't quite beauties to me. But when mixed in with my favourites and then some faithful standby combos the blanket has gotten a bit of a patchwork feel to it and I love the way it looks now as I have added more and more to it.


    I think if you just keep going and mix things up a bit more then it could turn out to be a beautiful blanket! Just my two cents though, hope you find a solution you're happy with!


    - J, cozyontheprairies.blogspot.com

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  37. I like the cushion idea (or a scarf?) but perhaps joining them in a different colour - moss green?
    Hard isn't it - am part way through a ripple and not convinced I like my colours...

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  38. Spontaniously - this is a great beginning. I would add a pale and delicate pink 6th row or a very pale beige. That would look awesome!!! No need to stop. No need to change. No need for regrets or hours of poundering. Xxx Annette

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  39. It hasn't gone bad, it's just evolving. I know what you mean about some squares and colour combinations having more appeal than others, I'm noticing that with my current blanket WIP. But I realised recently that those colours I think I dislike actually add contrast and interest and stop it being too safe and samey. But whether this project evolves into a cushion or a different kind of blanket, that's up to you! x

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