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2021 temperature blanket stats

A good-sized throw for his futon lounge or topper for the double bed

I wanted this to be a post with all the details for what is a toasty warm addition to the family now that temperatures have definitely dropped. However, life happens; and the latest happening has derailed things significantly. So, you know, if I give you a general idea, that might have to do. Complete, accurate details would require me to weigh the remaining yarn, then calculate how much of some colours made it into the blanket. I can tell you now, that’s not happening.

For colours and temperature range represented by each, see broad discussion here and below table for details.

Any changes to the original plan were mostly “Let’s not do that” things, dictated by unexpected health setbacks that necessitated a frank and fearless consideration of what could be left out so that YoungB would get his blanket at all (much like this post, actually). There is no “essence of QR code” square, for example. Although I’d planned a double border so that I could incorporate his name and the year, that didn’t happen either. It would have been too time-consuming. I may embroider the year on one of the neutral squares. Then again, I may not.

It was my design, but influenced by the need for solid squares and something that would quickly be square from a circular centre, so that the CJAYG method wouldn’t give me headaches (see discussion). I had assistance with colour choices from both Dr B and YoungB. I’m not sure we got it right in a couple of cases, but, hey, we’re the ones telling the story 🙂

Temperature range ˚CYarn colour (BWM Classic 8 ply) (bought)
≤ 2.9610 – Indian blue: 25g (1 ball)
3.0 – 7.9600 – periwinkle: 200g (1 ball)
8.0 – 12.9777 – powder blue: 200g (3 balls)
13.0 – 17.9745 – pale eucalypt: 300g (3 balls)
18.0 – 22.9695 – guava: 200g (2 balls)
23.0 – 27.9612 – viridian: 350g (3 balls)
28.0 – 32.9769 – marigold: 200g (1 ball)
33.0 – 37.9767 – burnt orange: 50g (1 ball)
38.0 – 42.9608 – holly: 25g (1 ball)
≥ 43.0779 – bright magenta: 50g (1 ball)
Year- and month-end (and CJAYG)694 – maize: 1000g (6 balls)
Planned to include602 – almond: 0g (1 ball)
BORDER DETAILS

Worked in linen/moss stitch,
alternating directions for the 17 rounds of changing colours.

All viridian rounds of linen/moss stitch
worked in same direction.

Final viridian round of htr worked in opposite direction.
marigold – 1 tidying round of (UK) dc
marigold – 2 pattern rounds
periwinkle – 1 pattern round
guava – 4 pattern rounds
pale eucalypt – 2 pattern rounds
powder blue – 1 pattern round
magenta – 3 pattern rounds
burnt orange – 2 pattern rounds
Indian blue – 1 pattern round
viridian – 5 pattern rounds
viridian – finishing round of (UK) htr
Cost of yarn purchased
(24 x 200g balls @ $13.50)
$324.00
Cost of yarn usedNot calculated, but probably around $250.00
Hours of work> 400
Yarn orders1 Jan 2021 – 8 balls = $108.00
1 each of: maize, pale eucalypt, almond, powder blue, Indian blue, viridian, burnt orange, bright magenta
9 Feb 2021 – 4 balls = $54.00
1 each of periwinkle, guava, marigold, holly
29 May 2021 – 2 balls = $27.00
2 balls of maize
13 Oct 2021 – 10 balls = $135.00
3 of maize
2 each of viridian, pale eucalypt, powder blue
1 of guava
Entirely unused at completion: 200g almond, 200g pale eucalypt and leftovers, 200g powder blue and leftovers; about 200g of viridian; and quite a lot of the holly, which wasn’t used in the border.
Temperatures represented by colour range; and yarn usage

I chose hook sizes to ensure that the completed blanket was “not too holey”. I’d usually use a 4.00mm hook for 8-ply yarn. I used a 3.50mm hook for the centre and middle rows, to provide that requested firm, not-too-holey fabric. I used a 4.00mm hook for the joining round, which gave overall better drape on the entire blanket, and made it easier for me to do the joins, but – again – met the “not too holey” requirement.

I went back to the 3.50mm hook for the linen stitch border, again so that the fabric would be firm, and to prevent rippling; or at least keep that to a minimum. Working rounds in alternating directions also helped to minimise rippling. I worked most of the viridian rounds in the same direction, as that was easier for keeping joins tidy. It was also easier to see what I was doing.

The parts that were fairly dull and boring were all those damn winter squares. Just like the weather! Although generally there are remarkably few special design features, I know a few crept in through those cooler colours. I was tired and not always counting as well as I should have been. I rescued most, and even I would be hard put to find the few that remain.

I got great value out of the mantra that CJAYG and tidying ends as you go allow: when it’s done, it’s finished. There are no ends to sew in, other than the one you’ve just snipped for the border.

As noted above, there were several unexpected derailments because of equally unexpected ill health. All in all, it’s a fine testament to a great deal of dedication and devotion, and an astonishing degree of crafting monogamy. I made one other crocheted project – a small wind spinner – and didn’t bother to have any knitting on the go At. All. Yes, I’m surprised, too.

In sum: did it turn out as well as I’d hoped? Yes, and perhaps better than I’d imagined. Would I make another such thing? Probably not! Would I used the yarn again? Of course. Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8-ply remains one of my favourite yarns, particularly valuable for being machine washable.

I now have a long list of beanies for babies and toddlers, and perhaps a little blanket or two and some adult beanies, and a few acrylic squares that I’ll donate for someone else to turn into a charity blanket at a nearby hospital, not to mention an unexpected adult beanie to replace one that sidled from one head to another as a loan and then, well, stayed on the new head! That seems to happen quite frequently with beanies.

I hope your crafting is keeping you warm and cosy if you’re in a chilly part of the world. 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2022 in Crochet

 

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messy

Making progress and mistakes 🙂

It doesn’t do to be too cheerful about how well you’re doing with regard to errors – or not making errors – does it? I found one in a square that simply would not sit neatly under my hook. Oh, well. It’s all about crocheting in a bit of love, isn’t it? I turned that square around so that the “design feature” will be in the border.

I shared the above photo to a crochet group to which I belong, and the JAYG method garnered many comments for its neatness. Rather than do any fancy footwork with that and potentially mess up the middle, the border strikes me as a good option.

Do you think that’s a reasonable plan?

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2021 in Crochet

 

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so far, no special design features

I’m remarkably impressed by how well I’ve counted stitches 😀

The pure-wool, machine-washable BWM 8-ply Classic is a delight to use. I hadn’t thought the cotton blankets were difficult, but I know there were quite a few, uuh, special design features in the shape of extra stitches because I’d overlooked them despite what I’d thought had been careful counting.

The viridian yarn – middle row of the right-most square – requires specs off and a strong light or I really can’t see what I’m doing, but even with those caveats, I’m pleased to say that all the sides have the same number of stitches! What is more, they’re all the same size, even without blocking.

YoungB likes the look of the joined squares, and can now understand what I mean about working backwards and forwards to achieve genuinely continuous joining. I haven’t yet joined all the first row, and I have a l-o-n-g way to go to make all the squares. I’ll eventually reach today’s square but still be well behind. By then, however, I hope that I’m catching up overall and it will be the case that I don’t have to face joining piles of squares because I’ve joined them as I’ve made them. Actual outcome will depend on how strictly I allocate time, and how good the light remains.

Anyone who has used Robin’s tight CJAYG method will note that I’ve adapted it somewhat, but the main technique is certainly based on her excellent video tutorial.

How are your design features faring?

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2021 in Crochet

 

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chopsticks again

It doesn’t look like much, or much work, but it’s a good start

The temperature blanket is coming along slowly, but it is making progress. I’m delighted by how well the colours are working together. When the first row was blocking in a column on the chopsticks (see photo), it didn’t scream “rainbow” but it was cheerful.

I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that I am still being very good about finishing ends as I go. Again, please refer to the photo.

I’m about to start CJAYG with the maize we’ve definitely chosen as the joining colour. A refresher video-viewing of the methodology is in order. And I think the idea of having only a couple of ends at the end is sufficient incentive to continue being good with tidying squares as they’re made.

I’m using a half-size larger hook for the joining round – a 4.5mm / size F – so that the squares sit nicely flat.

How’s your present project progressing?

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2021 in Crochet

 

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slippery sidestep

The flat join and tidy finish of this CJAYG method

YoungB likes to wind me up by describing all my yarn work as “knitting”, even if it’s actually crochet. This afternoon, I visited a friend who lives nearby and, because of considerable health vulnerabilities, has been locked down tightly since before the official lockdown began. She is still being super cautious.

My friend is also bicraftually fluent and has occupied much of her lockdown by crocheting granny squares galore. She sews the squares together then donates the blankets to various worthy charities. We discussed the virtues of several JAYG methodologies. When I mentioned CJAYG, she wasn’t sure how well it would work with her squares. I showed her the progress shots of my two baby blankets and the one above will do to reinforce that it produces a neat, flat finish. I told her there are some excellent YouTube videos available (as, indeed, there are).

When I came home, I happened to mention to YoungB that my friend had been doing some beautiful crochet, and that her work was very neat (it is). He said something like, “So she’s a knitter too, is she?” I responded that she does knit, and her knitting is also beautifully neat (it is). YoungB thought I’d managed to deflect that very nicely. I decided there was no need to complicate the issue with mention of joins.

May your family not be winding you up too much 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2021 in Crochet, Health, Knitting

 

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blanket business

p_20200616_152823_1_bok

A messy, inside shot of the rainbow blanket, so not the brightest outcome

And now, are you ready for the details? Here we go.

For the rainbow blanket:

The sunburst granny pattern worked on a 5mm hook, to make the puff stitches puffier and so I could wiggle my hook through them, using the following colours of Lincraft 8-ply cotton. In rainbow order – you  might recall, I cycled through a four-round ROYGBIV for each square and a white joining round in a five by seven layout:

Colour in rainbow Yarn colour and amount used
Red Red, 50g, dye lot 37706
Orange Orange, 50g, dye lot 37004
Yellow Yellow, 50g, dye lot 37705
Green Bottle green, 50g, dye lot 48612
Blue Aqua, 50g, dye lot 43807
Indigo Denim, 50g, dye lot 48610
Violet Lavender, 50g, dye lot 37708
White light (all colours combined) White, 150g, dye lots 46603 and 48403

 

p_20200619_083901_bok

My actual matrix. Unscientific, but effective 😀

It’s true that I broached a second ball of yarn for most of the colours, but that was generally around considerations of potentially running out mid-round. Only one or two colours really required that second ball. Most of them were factually a little under the full 50g. As you know, I did run out of white but Dr B saved the day.

For the neutral palette blanket:

p_20200615_115028_1_bok

Eight petal colours cycled six down then two at the top of the next row, and so on, so that no rows or columns were identical.

African Flower or paperweight pattern, and I used the first one I found on YouTube. I later checked several other tutorials, but preferred Parineko’s “octagon to square” method.

Another benefit of multiplication being commutative, and 24 being a multiple of three, four, six and eight, is that there are more layout options. Happily, I was able to keep tonally similar squares near each other. I checked that with Dr B, mind you, before I committed to the final layout, because his colour vision is a great deal more reliable than mine.

Worked on a 3.5mm hook to ensure a firm fabric. I used a variety of yarns, all 100% cotton. The colours I wanted weren’t available when I first looked and I hadn’t decided on a pattern. I wanted to make a start on the blanket because I was less able to join rainbow squares once the cooler weather hit. So, like anyone with an aged, well-curated stash, I tried to make do with what I had.

Lockdown then further dictated either what I was able to buy when I needed another outlining colour for the petals and/or where I was able to buy it. I’d originally thought about grey for the joining colour but was unable to purchase a sufficient quantity for that task. OK, then, not grey. I discarded the idea of cream/parchment because I thought it might make for a tonally flat result. But, as you know, I found a different joining colour: a mustard shade whose actual descriptor is coriander, which makes more sense if you think dried seeds.

  • Round 1 all squares (centre): butter (Lincraft)
  • Rounds 2 and 3 all squares: cream (Lincraft) or parchment (Bendigo Woollen Mills (BWM)) when the cream ran out and I was unable to source more
  • Round 4: three squares of each of these eight different colours
    • French rose (BWM yarn)
    • natural (Lincraft) – which I considered for joining
    • bright mustard/gold (Abbey Road kung fu cotton yarn, made in Italy for Spotlight; Lot 10)
    • dark olive green (Abbey Road kung fu cotton yarn, made in Italy for Spotlight; Lot 09)
    • hedge green (Lincraft)
    • Nile blue (Lincraft) – which I thought was dark jade, but was probably blue
    • periwinkle (Lincraft) – which I thought was a soft lilac, but was probably blue
    • clearwater (Lincraft) – which I thought was light jade, but was probably blue
  • Round 5 all squares: silver – which I read as grey and had originally intended to use for joining but didn’t have enough and couldn’t source more
  • Round 6 all squares: cream (Lincraft) or parchment (BWM), and another alternative for joining but I wanted greater contrast
  • Round 7 all squares, joining round: coriander (ficio Organic cotton yarn, made in India, purchased at Lincraft; Lot SC36-1 – which I read as a dark mustard and hadn’t considered for joining until it was all I could find in sufficient quantity and, as a matter of fact, fell in love with)
  • Border
    • Round 1: parchment (BWM)
    • Rounds 2 and 3: dark olive green (Abbey Road kung fu cotton yarn, made in Italy, purchased at Spotlight; Lot 09)
    • Round 4: bright mustard/gold (Abbey Road kung fu cotton yarn, made in Italy, purchased at Spotlight; Lot 10)

For the joining round on both blankets, I used Hooked by Robin‘s Solid TIGHT Continuous Join As You Go (CJAYG) PLT Method. I probably made more than a few errors but it worked and I liked the way it turned out. It may now be my preferred JAYG method.

Finally, I note that both blankets were made with much love for two new little cousins, and able to be discussed and displayed openly now that they’ve been presented to their intended recipients and their mums.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2020 in Crochet

 

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bewilderingly different

joining.jpg

How amazing! It looks just like the picture. Oh, wait. It should. Right? I’ve now finished that dangling row and the fourth is almost at that stage.

Via one of those circuitous routes for which www is (in)famous, I’ve spent a few hours listening to some wondrous renditions of folk music. It wasn’t traditional in the sense of being hundreds of years old with more versions than you’ve had hot dinners, but it dated from the 1970s, so that’s probably traditional enough for most of us, and with enough versions to invite good comparative analysis (which, you’ll be relieved to hear, I won’t be entering into).

I started out with the latest post from one of my favourite knitting blogs, among whose comments was a mention of some lyrics from When Yellow’s on the Broom. That caught my attention because it wasn’t a song I knew. Off I scurried to look it up on YouTube. As you do. Right? I clicked the first I found, and I was hooked. It intrigued me enough that I chose to listen to several other versions and seek the lyrics (which you can find here or here – that one is an odd location but has chords if you’re at all tempted – or in a slightly more readable and informative version here).

Because I was otherwise occupied, I let autoplay take over. Via the Fields of Athenry – again, there are many recorded versions – and a few other unexpected delights, I ended up listening to a version of Eric Bogle‘s And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. There are many recordings of Eric singing it, too, but I like this one where Eric is older and has unapologetically changed – without oversimplifying – the melodic line to accommodate his older voice.

The version that autoplay happened upon was totally bewildering. I think it’s fair to say we’d all have our own favourite singers and styles. Many would argue that anyone can sing, and anyone can sing anything they want to, if they can. Yeah, I know. I spent many years as a community musician, so I genuinely appreciate the value of encouraging everyone to join in.

To hear what is essentially a folksong sung by an operatic baritone was… unsettling. It wasn’t bad or unintelligent, and he does have a lovely, smooth voice. He has a couple of lazy habits that made me want to smack him – oh, all right, maybe just pull him up sharply in rehearsals and tell him to be more careful. I discussed it with Dr B, because I was struggling with the level of my own discomfiture. The singer’s mix of operatic technique and careful pronunciation with occasional deliberately careless pronunciation or mispronunciation and a few spots where he couldn’t quite make up his mind how many syllables he was going to use (but wasn’t consistent about that), plus the oversimplification of the melodic line (which might have been the arranger’s doing; I’m not necessarily blaming him for that)… the doc and I agreed it didn’t work. Sorry, Nathan. I think it would be a treat to listen to your operatic offerings but, yeah, nah. Leave the folksongs alone, mate.

Someone is going to point out, I dare say, that he’s probably ahead of his time: the day will come when that folksong is only ever heard in quasi-sacred settings in concert halls, and accompanied by an orchestra. After all, someone will say, Gaudeamus igitur began life as a student drinking song. It’s now a fairly serious anthem that gets dragged out for graduations and demands respect. Uuh, yeah. Yeah, I know. I do. I know.

Although I didn’t intend my comment about being hooked as a pun, it’s appropriate because I was, in fact, hooking all the while. I’m now almost halfway through joining the rainbow squares, after weeks of being unable to do much at all (for various reasons, not all Covid-related). I found a method of JAYG that I liked better than the one I originally looked at, which would be quick but leave gaps I’d prefer to avoid. It took me a while to find something else that I thought I would be able to do. I looked at this one, and liked it but decided that I would struggle to make it work with my squares. Someone more experienced could doubtless work it out; but there are days I sadly remind myself I’m first and foremost a knitter!

I dismissed this for similar reasons, and because I didn’t like the end result quite as much. I finally decided that I could make this method work, despite it being also intended for solid squares. Coming from underneath was the trick that sold me on it: you get a nice finish on both top and bottom. Oh, yes, you’re quite right, I could have simply used a (UK) double crochet seam, but that would have given me a ridge. I’m not in the camp that likes ridges. I prefer the join to be a smooth as possible.

My concern now, however, is whether I actually have enough white yarn to finish the job! Bewilderingly, I appear to be running out 😀

 

 

 
 

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