Join Along: Week six

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I made a special effort this week and managed to complete three rows and thus finish the main part of the blanket.

It was so hard to photograph the whole blanket that the above picture is actually a combination of two photographs.

Then there is finishing off all those ends (I make it 234 in total) and add a border. Well I have finished about three quarters of the ends but have yet to get to the border.

The next time I show you the blanket it will be finished, whether that is one week or two or ………………….

I find it a bit overwhelming seeing it all together and I have tried it on my bed and it makes an all over single bed blanket.

Join Along: Week five

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It’s been quite a struggle to complete another two rows for this week.

It is also getting harder to photograph the blanket above the centre to make it evenly rectangular, so I have given up trying.

The bigger it gets the more I like it but you have probaly seen the best of it up to now as the first two rows and last two rows contain the less interesting blocks with all my favourites in the middle.

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I especially like the ones that are like flowers with raised petals.

I expect that it will take me another two weeks to have at least started the final border.

I am happy with its generally appearance even though I didn’t take the time and trouble to block the squares. Are there any people out there making one of these blankets who have blocked them? How much difference does it make?

Join Along: Week four

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Another two rows completed (over half way). Lighting really bad again!!

I am really getting to quite like it.

When I first did some experimental joining.

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I thought I liked the joining method as well as any other but was not sure if I was going to like the finished blanket.

Now I think that it is ‘growing’ on me! 🙂

Not sure what to do for the final edging, maybe something lacey in dark green.

Join Along: Week three

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I have completed another two rows this past week. I am pleased with how it is coming along and the general pattern.

And also the way the flat braid edging frames the individual blocks.

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I am aware that I haven’t done any other post between my CAL ones but I have been very busy working on my two blankets and hope that I may finish my spectrum granny ripple one in the next week (or certainly no more than ten days).

Join Along: Week two

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This is how far I have got after another week of joining. Well I am spending about half my time on it like I did when I was making the blocks.

The light was bad and there aren’t very many places where I can lay it out, so I have to apologise for the difference in light levels from left to right.

And I’ve tucked them out of sight but I haven’t finished off any of the ends yet. This is partly because it will be quicker to do a load at one sitting and partly to allow extra time for my other blanket.

As the squares are rather small on the above picture I have made another rotated so you can get a closer look if you wanted to.

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I’m not sure if the places where four squares meet are equally neat but I am doing the same thing everytime so I am just not looking too closely. And I have checked the way I work them. The corner loops definitely end up like this even if it isn’t clear when you look at them.

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But with the way you have to do them, since you can’t just thread them through, I suppose that makes them less clear.

Join Along: Week one

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This is how far I have got in joining the CAL blocks together.

The above is the first two rows of the blanket from the top. I will add some sort of border round the edge when Ihave finished joining. At present it is about 54 inches wide.

I didn’t have my plan to hand when I started and I realised a couple of blocks later that the third one is upside down relative to the others but I decided I like it better that way so I left it.

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But now I am wondering if it shows.

What do you think?

It isn’t taking me as long as I had expected to join the blocks and I think I should be able to finish it before Christmas.

If I didn’t want to finish my granny ripple blanket and spent all my time on the joining it could be even sooner.

But I discovered a mistake in the edging for my granny ripple blanket!

Can you see the stitch in the middle?

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It is worked into the gap instead of the stitch so you get a bigger looking hole.

Can’t quite face undoing all the following rows to correct it!

100 snowflakes

No I haven’t made 100 snowflakes but a few weeks ago I saw this book in a bookshop
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Now I’ve worked up a few snowflake patterns myself but there is no way I would have time to create 100 different ones.

The snowflakes in this book are all proper snowflakes with six sides and they are not excessively lacey like some I’ve seen which would make them too far from real snowflakes.

So of course I just had to buy the book.

Last Christmas I showed some of my snowflakes on my display tree.

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But this year I wanted to make many, many snowflakes in crochet cotton. I had some variegated blue and white #10 crochet cotton so I decided to start with that.

So far I have made three from my patterns for ‘easy real snowflakes’

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And four from the book

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I had intended originally to start at the beginning but I decided to take the cotton with me to make some while I was in Spain and photocopied a few pages.

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But as I hadn’t wanted to press the book down too hard some patterns were easier to read than others, so I will have to start back at the beginning now I am home.

As they are made from cotton and some of the ones from the book are harder to shape than mine, I made a template to help me pin them out ready to spray with starch and iron.

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Annoyingly I couldn’t find my geometry set but I think this is good enough.

I think maybe I could have done better with the shaping but as I have noted before, real snowflakes are not perfectly symmetrical.

Unfortunately this is going to have to be a fill-in project to be done on the bus and in odd moments as I am trying to finish the border on my spectrum granny ripple blanket so I can use it.

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and have just started to join the CAL squares.

Sneak preview –

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No! I am not blocking them. I will give it a careful iron when I have finished,

CAL: The Planning

Prompted perhaps by Patch’s post http://madebypatch.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/decisions-decisions
I have decided to share my planning process for the CAL blanket. I hope it doesn’t come out as too geeky.

Because –

It isn’t enough for me to just use a hook and yarn, I seem to need to incorprate the computer into my blanket creation.

So right from the start of the CAL I set up a spread sheet having found the pages with the pictures of the squares on Amazon.

(Here is part of it as it was about half way through.)

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As you can see I added mine as I did them.

I also tried to use it to help categorise the blocks and balance the colours.

In addition I added photos of the squares to a drawing programme I have and began to plan.

(Here is a part of the drawing from where I started.)

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I didn’t formalise what I was doing it was all in my head but now I have finished the plan of the finished blanket I can see that I set myself the following conditions.

My conditions:

  1. The best flower squares should have pride of place in the centre of the blanket.
  2. They should be separated by single coloured squares in symmetrical way so that they stand out from each other.
  3. Other ‘interesting’ squares should be spaced out similarly.
  4. The ‘bobble’ squares should be arranged in a symmetrical pattern again more to the centre so they stand out.
  5. The other blocks should be as far as possible be arranged by type so as to form patterns.
  6. The squares round the edge should be mostly fairly solid squares so the edge was firm.
  7. Adjacent squares should not be of predominently the same colour.
  8. The plain coloured squares should as far as possible be positioned so as to create a balance for each of the squares in the same colour set.
  9. There should not be any glaring colour patterns in the design.

I spent quite a bit of time satisfying 1 to 6 using the computer drawing programme I showed you above.

Then I laid the actual crochet squares out on a sheet and worked on improving the design using 7 to 9.

With various family issues restricting the time I could spend on this I finally settled on what I felt was a ‘good enough’ solution.

I forgot to photograph the blocks as laid out until I was about half way through packing them away so I took a quick photo.

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Here they are – a bit crumpled having been covered and uncovered several times.

And here is the plan as displayed in the drawing programme. If the blocks are not perfectly positioned this is because towards the end I was hurrying to swop them around to mirror what I had spread out on the floor as I made changes.

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I showed you earlier how I intend to join the squares – HERE

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The blocks are now packed in sets of six (in my previously numbered bags). The numbers starting at the top left hand corner all ready to be taken out and joined together row by row when we are given the nod by Rachel.