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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

handknit heaven : my gorgeous blanket


A few months back, I decided to treat myself to some nice wool to make myself a blanket, and coincidentally spotted that Black Sheep Wools had Rowan colourscape in the sale - perfect.  But, as you do, I dithered before putting the order and the colourway I wanted had been sold out.  Of course.  I choose two others instead, and then found a couple of skeins of each on eBay, and snaffled those up too.  As I'm sure the knitterly amongst you are well aware, it never hurts to have an extra skein (or two) just in case.  This being my life, my order was eaten by Royal Mail, but got sorted in the end - thank you, Sara and co of Black Sheep Wools!

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Colourscape (spelled with a U in the middle as Rowan is a uk company - woohoo!) is  classed as chunky which seems to mean different things to different people.  As I wanted a proper size blanket that would cover my toes as well as my nose if I was snuggled up, I figured I was going to be using either an 8mm hook (if crocheting) or 8mm tips for my beloved knitpro circs - perfect reason to buy both then, right?
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Each ball goes through one cycle of the colours, but as the skeins need to be wound into balls - which for me means spending several hours on the sofa de-tangling the mess I've made - it took a while to get going.  Once the twelve balls were ready, I realised I still hadn't decided on a pattern.  The colours are so gorgeous I didn't want to spend time working to a pattern that would end up completely invisible, so started looking at stitches instead.  In the end I decided to crochet simple 4dc blocks diagonally (so it's kinda this on steroids) using one colourway to the centre diagonal line, then use the other to decrease, then stitch these huge squares together.  To give a sense of scale, in the top left photo below, each set of three dc's measures about an inch square, so the whole blanket measures 2m x 1.2m - definitely big enough to cover my toes as well as my nose!


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Some of the comments I'd read about the yarn said that it can vary a little in thickness, but I figured this wouldn't really matter - it would simply add another facet to the unique character of the blanket.  Other comments on Ravelry focused on how easily broken the yarn was; or how irritating the little hay/straw/wood slivers are; and with this latter point I agree.  Although I accept the 100% wool character will mean there is a certain amount of ... naturalness (not sure that's a word!), for the price (£8.99, in the sale!) I think it is fair to assume someone will have picked these out!  I didn't have a problem with it breaking, and while I did in fact find some sections were thinner than others as I worked it, I can't point to any part of my fab blanket where this shows - can you?


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Although I finished this blanket a month ago, I haven't taken pictures until now, which explains the slight fuzziness.  It lives on the sofa, and ends up wrapped around me pretty much every evening, and when it is particularly chilly or I feel particularly in need of being snuggled up, I have been known to walk around the house wrapped up in it (but don't tell anyone, in case they think I'm weird).


Definitely my favorite knitted project so far!

Do you choose to make things for yourself, or do you thrive on making things for others?  I definitely recommend treating yourself from time to time - even if everyone else ends up watching jealously as you snuggle!

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4 comments:

  1. Oh wow, I'm a little bit in love with the colour and pattern in this, it's gorgeous. I think I'm with you on expecting expensive natural yarn to be reasonably free from things like bits of wood - I cans ee how that would get annoying on the fingers after a while!

    Enjoy your rainbow snuggles :)

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  2. This is just beautiful! I want to melt into the colors :) You should be so proud! Way to do something special for yourself. Lisa

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    1. Thank you Lisa - I think it's easy to forget ourselves when we're busy taking care of our children (and grandchildren in your case!), but this is a project that I enjoyed creating and then get to enjoy over and over as I wrap myself up in it - that has to be a good thing!
      L x

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  3. Thank you Emma, what a lovely compliment! I'm glad I trusted my instincts and kept the pattern so simple - it really does show off the colours! I tend to focus on the negatives with things I've made, but not this - the rainbow snuggles are very enjoyable!
    Take care (and treat yourself occasionally!)
    Lucas

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