09 February 2014

The Big Project Itch

As I said in a previous post, having recently moved house changed my whole WIP dynamics. First came the Rug, my first proper home project, which is now no longer a WIP and brings such colourful notes to my bedroom. *sighs contentedly as she casts a fond look to the item in question*

I then tackled a cushion cover, with both mixed results and feelings, I admit. I set out to use a discounted colour pack once ordered online. Said colour pack had been discounted for a reason. It was the cheapest-looking acrylic yarn I had ever seen, horribly scratchy - especially the white one - and in tacky, Barbie-reminiscent shades - which obviously didn't show online. Anyway, after leaving out the most shocking shades of the lot, I added yarn in more subdued hues to balance it out a tad. The result wasn't so bad in the end.

Only problem: I wanted to do the back panel of the cushion in "baby" granny squares, which you can see in the picture above. For that, I would need about a hundred of them. The core of the squares is very quick and even fun to make - just one round of 12 trebles in groups of 3s with 2 chains in between. Soon, I'd made about 50 of them. But the border was in that horrible, scratchy, squeaky white yarn, two double crochets rounds of it. I made about ten and then couldn't face it anymore. So I stopped.

But there was another reason I was losing interest. That reason is pictured at the top of this page. A big pile of brand new yarn that had just arrived in the post. I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. Inspired by Lucy from Attic24, and especially by this post on her blog, I'd decided to take the plunge and to order yarn to make... a Blanket. Now, I normally don't order yarn online without having seen and felt it first, but Lucy's post about Stylecraft Special DK gave me a bit more confidence and I chose 12 shades which I thought would roughly complement the colours of the Rug - since both would be in the bedroom.

The yarn arrived two days later. I had been excited about it already from the minute I confirmed the order, but actually receiving it sent me in a bit of a feverish state. I laid it out on my couch and drank in all those beautiful colours. Some were slightly different than what I'd expected when ordering online, but I was disappointed with none of them. I was super excited, and literally ITCHING to get started.

As this was a weekday, I was working. But I usually work from home, sitting at the dining room table. And I found it very hard to concentrate, my attention being drawn as it was by the wondrous pile peeking cheekily at me from around the cushions and over the sleeping Cat. The yarn seemed to be telling me: "Come on, why are you working? You've got more important things to do... like a Blanket!"

I managed to resist temptation long enough to finish my work, before I finally allowed myself to grab a hook and make a start. Only that I didn't know exactly how to start. I wanted to make a granny square blanket, I knew as much. But what kind of granny squares?

Should I go classic? I really loved the look of this blanket by Tehri:

Another variant of the classic granny square is the giant granny square, where your blanket is effectively one single, huge granny square, like this beauty by Jacquie from Bunny Mummy:

Or should I go solid granny squares? I seem to have a natural preference for them, as shown in my granny square post. And they make wonderful blankets, as well. Here's a gorgeous example by Dawn Sparks on her blog:

Another option, which I'd never explored: the sunburst granny square. A different technique for a very different feel. Here's a great blanket result by Siriiz

I decided that I would make samples for each granny square (bar the giant one) to get a feel of the yarn and colour use. Since I'd never made a sunburst granny square, I started to look for tutorials online and in crochet books. Here's an excellent tutorial by Eda from her blog. I ended up making up my own pattern using a combination of different ones. And soon, I had this:

I would be lying if I said it took me eight squares to know that I was not going to bother making classic and solid granny square samples. From number one - top right-hand corner in the pic above - I knew my blanket would be of the sunburst granny square kind.

From then on, there was no stopping me, and I hooked and hooked away. By the next day, I'd progressed to this:

I absolutely love them, and will in fact get on with more as soon as I've put the final stop to this post. I find it pure delight to choose the colour combinations and to watch the circles change with every new round. And the fact they're so reminiscent of miniature suns puts a constant smile on my face, especially in this grey, rainy, wintry weather. I simply cannot wait to make more!

What do you think? Do you like them? How would you make your own blanket?

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