I have done very little of my other projects. However I have spent a great deal of time with the blanket. This is partly because I have been having another energy dip caused, perhaps, by having visitors or the hot weather. So I have decided that I need to try rest as a cure.
Last time recently I was like this I spent a lot of time doing jigsaws and I realised that creating the blanket and doing a jigsaw are similar activities in that both involve bringing order out of chaos. If I can call the simple balls of yarn chaos! Of course with a jigsaw I then break it up ready for next time but with a blanket I have a useful something. Yay!
There is nothing like having to do nine puff stitches in a row for helping one to get into a rhythm and learn how to recognise that the puff stitch will be the right size. (Which in this case is when the hook goes through all the loops easily but without too much to spare.)
I have also been struck by the capacity of front post dcs (UK term) to turn this
Up to now I have only used front post trebles (US – fpdcs) in a fairly simple way this pattern is opening up all sorts of possibilities. Well worth the money.
Obviously making adaptations to the colour scheme has meant having to think a bit.
I have realised that if the starting point for a round is very different to where the previous one ends but I am not changing colour that I can really start the next round at any reasonable place nearby and only have to rewrite the instructions in my mind.
I notice that Helen finishes off the yarn every time she changes colour but I always feel these are the weak points in a blanket. So where I knew I was going to need the same yarn again in the next but one round I have simply joined with a slip stitch and pulled the loop through to the back, keeping it safe with a stitch holder. Then it is there to pull through to the front when it is needed. I haven’t been doing standing dcs.
(Above photos taken before a change of yarn – see below)
Needing to buy one ball of a different yarn, for a separate project, that I didn’t know how to buy locally anymore, as the shop I had bought it at previously had shut, I decided to buy some more yarn for the blanket and so avoid postage! Helen Shrimpton very kindly gives a table of how much yarn is needed for each round so I copied this into a spreadsheet.
I also have a list of all the colours I intend to use in a little book I received as a present some time ago that is very handy for making notes when creating patterns or making items.
Using this I calculated how much yarn I would need for each colour. Comparing this to the fact that Helen used 17 balls for her blanket showed that the estimate is maybe as much as 50% in excess of actual usage. So I scaled it down and bought what I hope should be almost enough to complete the blanket. (Later I realised that this was my mistake in copying Helen’s figures to a spreadsheet. I thought where one amount was given for several rows it meant that amount for each row but now realise it meant that amount in total for all the listed rows. Doh! Still I have another blanket to finish up any excess yarn.)
This was actually a very good thing as you will see below.
After taking the above photograph I was working on a row with some (UK terms) ‘front post double treble three together’ stitches worked over three double trebles two rows below and was having great difficulty as they were hard to get looking good and even the best of them seemed thin and weedy. (Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a photograph.) Then I realised that actually this particular yarn when under tension was much thinner than the other colours I was using. When pulled it reduced down to about 4 ply thickness.
Having just bought some more yarn of that colour I decided that I would compare. And yes the new yarn was thicker and also a little darker in colour. (Interestingly the Sherbet coloured yarn I had bought looked just the same as before even though it was a different dye lot).
The two rows of double trebles in this colour create a leaf effect. (Here in the better yarn)
So being really fed up with the original yarn I ended up having to undo two and a half rounds to get back to the start of the first of the two Sage coloured rounds before choosing the new yarn. Obviously I couldn’t have a leaf where the top was different in finish and colour to the bottom half.
I am hoping that as the earlier rounds in the original Sage coloured yarn are quite far away that the change in texture and colour won’t be noticeable. There is no way I am going back that far and redoing them!
This was on the 4th of July and as I was so disgusted with the difficult ball of yarn I sent Stylecraft an email suggesting that their quality control needed improving. They have been engaging with me on the matter and it will be interesting to see what their final word will be.
Here is how far I have got.
I now can move on to turning the circle into a rectangle by adding four corners.
A few comments on the outer pale blue (Sherbet) section.
I am not really a fan of using dtrs (US – trs) as fill in and if I made the blanket again (not that I am likely to ) I might try using trs and adding a row of dcs instead.
How many times do you have to count 106 (or 100) stitches before you don’t get distracted in the middle and are sure you have the correct number. Maybe that’s just me!
Towards the end when I lost the ten points I reverted to adding pieces of yarn to help with positioning.
I started a new ball for the last pale blue part as it looked so extensive and it was just as well I did because I used almost a whole ball and only had just over 10gs left at the end.
I did experiment with adding some more green after the white ‘flowers’ but decided it didn’t look right – too ill-defined.
Although I have a list I have not made a final decision about all the colours. There will be more experiments.
The pattern says that the finished blanket should be 58 inches square. I am using a larger hook than suggested, though it is my normal substitution to get the correct tension, however, judging on how large the blanket is now, I reckon 48 inches is more likely.