I am slowly, slowly ticking things off my crochet to-do list.
Well, it’s less of a list and more of a ‘argh must do this, must finish that, must sort out ALL of that’, so maybe I actually ought to start a list, and then I might feel less swamped?
Anyway, things are Progressing. Some of them in terms of actually sitting down and hooking things, and some just in terms of getting organised with writing up blurbs/tweaking pattern layouts/sorting photos. Big things are Happening! Soon! All of which require me to activate brain and focus.
In actual hooky projects, I am doing quite nicely, but still seem to have three projects on the go at the moment. I finished one project (of which more below), but started another one fairly quickly. Oops? I never used to like having more than one project on the go at once, but one way or another I’ve ended up having three at once for some weeks now. I’m not feeling overwhelmed by it, though, so I’m not complaining about it!
My next blanket design is going apace. It’s an interesting experiment for me, a centre-out blanket. I’ve not designed one before, though I’ve crocheted other people’s patterns, and one of the reasons for this is that I have always designed in one colour (for Special DK, I use ‘silver’ as my design colour) before I come to work up the designs in the right colours. This has always felt a really comfortable way of designing: sorting out the pattern, textures and shapes before I tackle combining the colours. With blankets composed of different squares, this is sensible – I can design each square, and then work up the multiples in the right colours.
But with a centre-out blanket, this didn’t really seem feasible. I’d end up doing two whole blankets! So, for the first time, I’m working in colour at the same time as working on the design. It is…..tricky. Not impossible, but tricky. I find myself ripping out rounds because I haven’t quite managed to get the increases right. But it’s looking gorgeous, and I’m generally pleased with how it’s coming out. It’s about 23″ in diameter at the moment, and I reckon I’m aiming for about 45″ in total. We shall see 😀 I’m determined to keep it as a circle, because squaring off a larger blanket is a challenge I’m not entirely sure I want to face this time around!
This design came about because of a project I started in the summer, on a really awful hot day (38.6C here in Cambridge!!) when I couldn’t bear to work in anything except cotton. I picked up some balls of Classique Cotton DK that I had and just began experimenting. ‘Yarn doodling’, as it were. It started off as a sort of mandala, and then I turned it into a cover for a rather battered-looking stool that I have in my bedroom.
I think I got this out of a skip fifteen-odd years ago, and it’s definitely seen better days. So! A nice cover was required, and cotton is a good, sturdy material to use for it.
Ta da! One stool cover, custom made to fit my stool, with buttons and loops to fasten it around the four legs of the stool. I’m very pleased with it, if I do say so myself.
Let’s have a look at it off the stool.
It starts off circular, then becomes more squarish, and then finally contracts again, so it isn’t too loose underneath the stool. And buttons! I had a lovely half an hour of rummaging through my button box to find the perfect buttons for this. Because, as you know, I do love a good rummage in my button box. Buttons, buttons, buttons 😀 😀
I do have a pattern written up for this cover, but the design – particularly in terms of shaping and the final rounds of decreases – is very specific to this stool, so I haven’t written it up neatly or anything. If anyone does fancy the pattern for it, let me know. It would need adjusting for different sizes of stool, but as a starting point it would probably help.
Anyway! This is what started me off on a circular blanket, because it seemed to me that actually, this was a challenge I would a) like to attempt and b) could probably succeed at. That’s the best kind of challenge, really.
The blanket doesn’t use all the pattern that I scribbled up for the stool cover, but it definitely starts off in the same place, and my confidence has definitely been bolstered by seeing that at least on a small scale, I can design straight onto colour.
Staying flat, though, in a bigger blanket – that’s my current challenge. Increasing neither too much nor too little, making sure my lovely textured stitches create texture rather than just crumpled-looking fabric, etc. I’ll get there! And the journey is fun. But it’s definitely challenging in different ways to designing in grey for a pieced blanket.
As for all the other exciting things I’m working on – watch this space! Particularly watch this space next Wednesday (13th Nov) for the first of the Exciting Things!
(I’m being such a tease. Mwahahaha!)