I mentioned that I'd been busy beavering away on this veritable garden of blankety flowers in my post about Easter and I'm happy to say that I've now managed to take a photo or two and gathered together some essential blanket facts together, ready to share them here with you.
Goodness, blanket making can be a mighty task sometimes can't it? This one has seemed quite the mountain to climb at times but I that's mostly because I tried to have it hanging around as a 'background project'. You know the sort of thing where you just work on it now and again, between other things? Supposedly taking your time and not worrying if it takes months or years to complete?
Yeah, that's just not me. I keep trying it and it just doesn't suit me, my nature, my personality... whatever. The thing is, I need to see regular, tangible and preferrably significant progress on a thing or I tend to end up feeling like I'm stuck in the mud and going no-where. I love the theory, but in reality it just doesn't seem to float my crafty boat. And we all want to keep our crafty boats sailing along nicely don't we?
I started this blanket late last year and I'd come up with the palette for it before that, in the summer. I'd forgotten till I looked back that I'd already started making blocks for this before the new Stylecraft Special colours came out and that opened up new colour options. I can see from the final palette that things did evolve a bit and a few of the new colours made their way in there.
As is usual, I started off in a very random fashion, just selecting the combinations that appealed to me most and making those up. I love this stage, it's when the colours are fresh and experimenting with different mixtures is so fun. Sooner or later though I generally feel the need for some sort of organization. I don't like to repeat a selection more than once if I can help it and that takes some planning or I end up with duplicates.
In fact, when I came back to this project with intent to 'get it done' earlier this year I got super organized and decided on the combinations for the rest of my blocks in advance, then just worked my way through the list. That's a new tack for me and although I doubt that will become my preferred way of working, I can't deny it doesn't half speed things up. I fairly whizzed along after that, first making all the centers, then the first set of petals and so on... A sort of creative process/speedy progress trade off!
Pet helpers: They're cute, but they play merry hell with your exposure settings!
I didn't spend too long on the layout this time around. There are so many colours in here and so many parts where the colours ideally shouldn't be grouped together, which should take precedent? The background, the leaves, the outer petals, the center? It's absolutely impossible not the have some of the same colours touching so I had to throw my natural need to create rules for these things to the wind.
In the end I laid the blocks out according the background, and then just tried to mix up the rest of the colours as much as possible as I worked through the rows. Just using the age old 'squinty, screwed up eye technique' to see if any obvious, jarring combinations jumped out at me. Swapping a block here or there where necessary.
Overall I'm pretty happy with how that worked out. Of course, in the intervening time I've had plenty of opportunity to find all those colour aberrations and rue the fact that I didn't take more time mulling it over. Then again, I know that it could never have been perfect, so I'm not letting it get to me... too much.
So now let's get down to blanket business and give you some factoids about this yarny flower fest.
: : FADED PAINTED ROSES : :
Pattern: Painted Roses Blanket
The original pattern is for a baby blanket, which you can see here.
This time I've made a much larger version with more squares, but the pattern works the same.
Size: 190 x 144 cm (75 x 57")
Squares: 108 arranged 9 wide by 12 long
Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK
Colours: 21 different colours (29 balls)
1005 - Cream
1023 - Raspberry
1026 - Apricot
1061 - Plum
1080 - Pale Rose (2 balls)
1123 - Claret
1277 - Violet
1420 - Camel
1432 - Wisteria
1709 - Gold
1711 - Spice
1722 - Storm Blue
1820 - Duck Egg
1027 - Khaki
1065 - Meadow
1712 - Lime
1822 - Pistachio
1824 - Cypress
Background and Joining:
1203 - Silver (2 balls)
1218 - Parchment (5 balls)
1710 - Stone (3 balls)
1 ball of each unless specified above
Total Yardage: 1630g / 5411 yards
I find it quite interesting that I although used quite a lot of colours to make this blanket, if you look at the yardage alone, you could still make a blanket this size with just 18 balls. For example you could make all the leaves with just one ball, and the flowers with only 8 different colours.
You can find more details of the yardage breakdown on my Ravelry Project Page.
I do hope that you like it too. It's the perfect thing to have at the end of the bed at the moment, chiming just right with the sun coming out a little more and garden waking up again.