State of the Hook: Solitaire Granny Square and Zara’s Blanket

The last couple of weeks have been busy in Magpie-land, as I did the 101 things I needed to do before starting my new job tomorrow. Last but not least on the list is, naturally, blogging about all the rochet-related things I’ve been doing!

I did try picking up my food blogging, because I made some cracking meals over the last couple of weeks, but I’m afraid making sure I have a suitable wardrobe, sorting out an astonishing amount of paperwork and going home to visit my mother for a few days took precedence.

Incidentally – I’ve spent a good while trawling the internet to try finding Wendy Jubilee yarn in violet, because the purple granny squares project can’t be completed without it. I can’t find anywhere that stocks it, despite hours of looking. If anybody knows somewhere that has some, I would be eternally grateful if you could give me a heads-up! Otherwise I’ll have to think of something completely different to do with my poor purple squares. They’re looking lovely as they languish, though…

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So, without further ado and before I get into bed and attempt to re-train my body into getting up at 7am every day, here are my updates!

Solitaire Granny Square

This is a mixture of excellent and awful – I’ve had a structural nightmare in which two of the lines in the middle of the blanket started unravelling because I made a rookie mistake and didn’t weave in the ends of my crochet properly while simultaneously clipping them a bit too short. Three times now – and it’s always on lines made of the same kind of yarn, the Patons Smoothie – I’ve  had to perform emergency surgery that’s left kind of unsightly knots and amendments in fabric. I mean, among the colours and shapes of the blanket they’re hardly noticeable, but this does mean that it’s not as robust as I would like.

It’s looking pretty fabulous, though! Here it is adorning the top of my bed (with my trusty shark Julio keeping an eye so that it doesn’t start unravelling again):

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And here’s an indicator of its size when unfolded in all its glory!

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I’m probably going to leave it pretty much in this state until I’ve mostly completed Zara’s blanket, because then I’ll have more space to buy yarn and also probably more odds and ends to use up, and it seems that this would be a nice and brightly-coloured place for them. I still intend for it to become a massive, bed-sized square, but at the moment it’s  large enough to wrap around me without trailing and I’m very happy with that. And so is Julio.

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Zara’s Blanket

Remember the handful of little red squares I posted the other week? Well, they were the basis for the squares of Zara’s blanket. We developed the design together when I was staying with her last month, based on the sunburst granny square pattern at Eda’s Crochet Room. Zara requested that the colours be that lovely Scandinavian red and white – I used this image of a double-knit blanket as my initial visual prompt. It also inspired some ideas that I’m currently still cooking up, and will probably implement at a later stage of blanket construction. The circles-in-squares pattern is really fun to do, and the individual squares look gorgeous! Here are the squares following Eda’s pattern:

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Yesterday, though, I laid out nine or so of the ones that I have  on a flat surface to see how it was looking, and… to be honest, it looked far too busy. There was way too much going on, and it felt like the red circles were dominating the pattern too much. I think Eda’s squares would work really well in a pattern that wasn’t quite so stark, but the very high-contrast red and white was almost eye-blurringly intense, so I  developed an innovation to the original pattern that I am extremely happy with.

It’s very simple, actually. What I wanted to do was make it look more like a white blanket with a pattern of red circles, so I simply added a row of treble crochet around the edge of each square (I actually haven’t quite finished doing them – I’m on 15 of the 17 extant squares). The difference is subtle, but the overall effect is exactly what I wanted!

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They’re now much nicer in combination with each other, which is, of course, the point of them. I have one or two other tricks and thoughts up my sleeve as to where to go with this blanket, but that’s between me and Julio for now. I have to make a hundred or so more squares before it’s ready to be sewn together, though, so I have plenty of time to develop the final vision!

Now I must get on with getting into bed and trying to sleep and going off to be employed again tomorrow…

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