Category Archives: Granny Stripe Blanket

KNIT HACK Granny Stripe Ends (Part 6)

Granny Stripe Blanket Aug 17 Ends.jpg

For all the posts in this series, you can go HERE!

I’ve been making good progress on my blanket, I’d say it’s about 45% finished, but the ends have started driving me up the wall. They’re getting a little tangled and in the way when I work, so I’ve started weaving them in. I tried weaving them in from the bottom up, but it was too excruciatingly boring, and instead employed a childhood game. Like most kids, my brother and I weren’t into tidying or putting our toys away, so my mom came up with a game. Depending on the quality of our mess, sometimes she would have us put the toys away by brand, other times it would be by colour, or size. So I started weaving in my ends by colour – all the reds first, then the orange, then the pink … really whatever tickled my fancy. It worked, I was distracted from the tedious exercise and the ends thinned out.

Granny Stripe blanket Aug 17

KNIT HACK Weaving In The Ends

Weaving in the ends on a granny stripe blanket isn’t especially hard, but to make it look nice you’ll have to do it with a darning needle. Because of the granny stripe technique, the ends do not look nice worked in as you crochet, they will not be visible on the back of the work. As a reference, I leave a generous tail at the beginning and end of each row, at least 12″/30cm. Having a good amount of yarn makes weaving in the ends much easier and more secure.

 

Granny Spripe Blanket Weaving In Ends 1

1. With a darning needle weave the end you want to work (here GREEN) up in through the stitch or the same yarn above (so Green goes through Green). On rows where there is only one post or stitch at the start of the row you may want to go right through this post to conceal the yarn. On rows where there are two posts or stitches, you don’t need to do this.

 

Granny Spripe Blanket Weaving In Ends 2

2.  Thread needle through the tops of the stitches of the colour you are weaving in (the Green end goes into the tops of the Greens) for THREE or FOUR full clusters or the colour of the row above (here you can see the needle going through two).

 

Granny Spripe Blanket Weaving In Ends 3.jpg

3.   Turn your needle and work back across in the opposite direction.

 

Granny Stripe Blanket Weaving In Ends 4

4.  At the end of the row evaluate your work, give it a small tug to make sure the yarn is settled, and you can trim your end.

 

Granny Stripe Blanket Aug 17 2

A Tale of 1.25 Blankets – Stash-Busting Sock (Part 5)

 

Granny Stripe Blanket Aug 2, 2017.png

Left: the first version of the blanket. Right: the second incarnation.

 

For all the posts in this series, you can go HERE!

This post isn’t really a Hack post, it’s more about sharing insights – OK, it’s really just a project update. I’m not usually into sharing the ins and outs and ups and downs of making things, but this particular project involves my ‘creative process’, and I know that some people find it a slightly mysterious state that they’d like some insight into, and I’m happy to share.

I think when we last left off ,I was rolling along and had figured out how many rows I needed to work each day to get the blanket done by the end of the summer. I also had an idea about my colour distribution, and basically, I thought I was off to the races. Hahahahahaha! The best laid plans … after working about twelve inches I found, despite all my planning, I didn’t like my blanket.

1. Too Wide

I had overestimated the size I really wanted, it was working up to be about a queen size, and I just wanted a throw. Also, the rows were taking FOREVER! Part of the problem might have been the fabric’s natural stretchiness once was worked up on a larger scale (the stitch is very stretchy in the fingering weight merino wool), but I think I just chose the wrong finished size.

So I started again, from scratch. This time I chained 242 stitches to make a blanket narrower, it is working up to about 51″ wide.  To get an accurate dimension you need to measure it on a flat, hard surface, like a table or the floor. You won’t get an accurate measurement on a bed or sofa. I guess I did have a HACK for you, after all!

2. Hated the Colour

Everyone else liked it, and the colours looked gorgeous together, but I didn’t dig it. My rainbow system (above left) was VERY rainbowy, and the prospect of that much rainbow in a blanket was a bit too rainbow-brite for me. The prospect of a queen sized rainbow blanket was too much for my delicate aesthetic sensibilities. It was also kind of boring for me to work, it was very predictable, andthe harmony and redundancy weren’t working for me.

My new ‘system’ is simpler but subjective. I’m alternating warm (red, orange, yellow) and cool (green, blue, purple) colours. I’m also alternating light and dark colours, bright and muted colours – basically trying to create a contrast between colours. I like to create a tension between colours. Do you remember the Kandinsky painting at the start of the movie Six Degrees of Separation? It was a double sided painting; one side was an expressive, chaotic style, and the other more controlled. Well, I’ve always appreciated a graphic, controlled design aesthetic, but my soul as an artist is in the chaos camp.

People often ask me if I like their colour choice, and I always answer “What I like doesn’t matter.” This isn’t just a tactful way to respond to a colour combination that turns my stomach, it’s the truth, my preference is completely irrelevant. I don’t have to work with your colours, and I don’t have to live with them. My job isn’t to tell you what I like, my job is to help you find what YOU enjoy, what looks good on you, and which colours are complimentary and work well with your project. That said, if you like what I like, I’m more than happy to share!

Oh, BTW, I don’t weave in the ends until the end, because as you can see, it ain’t done until it’s DONE, and trying to rip back work when you’ve woven in the ends is a special kind of hell. Another Mini-Hack!

Conclusion

So I’m back on track …. sort of. My ‘schedule’ was totally shot to hell, but I’m really enjoying the project now, so I’m happy. As for the creative process, it’s kind of a misnomer. It’s really more of a progression, an evolution with fits and starts, giant strides and dead ends. Setbacks aren’t failures, just diversions, and sometimes they can be extremely fruitful and get you where you need to go.

 

 

Granny Stripe Blanket Aug 3 COMBO

KNIT HACK Stash-Busting Sock (Part 4)

 

Granny Stripe Blanket BLOG July 11 2

For all the posts in this series, you can go HERE!

Grany Stripe Blanket

I am very pleased to let you know that my sock yarn stashbusting granny stripe blanket  is coming along swimmingly! Now that I’ve worked a few rows I’ve gleaned more insights ….

How Much Yarn?

If you don’t want to run out of yarn part-way through a row, you are going to need to know how much each row uses. I measured mine at around 9g of sock weight yarn, but everyone is different and this may not be the amount you use. You can glean this very useful knowledge fairly easily (I would wait until after you’ve worked a few rows and fall into a flow with the stitch):

  1. With your digital kitchen scale, weigh the ball of yarn you are about to use.
  2. Work a row, break yarn.
  3. Weigh the ball of yarn again.
  4. Subtract the second weight from the first weight – this is the amount of yarn you used.

Project Notes

I ALWAYS suggest that you keep project note in your Ravelry Notebook. You’ll inevitably need to remember something about the project at some point down the line, and all the details will be waiting for you there. It’s also helpful to see other people’s projects, so it’s nice to pay-it-forward, share and contribute to the community. Finally, you get to show off your work, people will say nice things to you and warm your heart.

Useful things to take note of:

  • hook/needle size used
  • tension/gauge of your project
  • yarn/s used
  • modifications made
  • finished measurements
  • advice you’d give other people about your experience, or anything you’d want to know if you did this project again

Establishing Timelines

Blankets are big-ish projects and I know myself – if I don’t finish this one by the end of the summer it won’t get done for a looooooong time. It’s good to set a goal like a best-before-date, and you’re most likely to be successful achieving a goal if you break down the work into daily quantifiable chunks.  I’ve measured my gauge and I’m working at approximately 12 rows = 4″ (10cm), or 3 rows per inch. I also measured my started project and it is about 65″ wide (unblocked), and I’ll aim to make a square blanket so it’ll be about 65″ high. There are about 50 more days until September. I have worked 25 rows so far.

Here’s how you figure out the math:

  1. 65″ high x 3 rows per inch = 195 total rows required
  2. 195 rows total – 25 rows completed = 170 rows to complete
  3. 170 rows to complete / 50 days to complete = 3.4 rows per day to complete

If I work 4 rows per day I should have this part of this project completed in about 43 days – not bad. I’ll still need to weave in the ends and work a border around the edge, so the extra week will be a good buffer to finish this project by September.

I’m not super disciplined, so to keep myself accountable I’ll print off a calendar and mark my rows every day. I kind of enjoy this approach, if I fall behind I know I have to catch up the next day, or I’ll work ahead of time and carry that balance forward. Really, whatever works for you is good.

Not sure how long it takes for you to complete a row? No problem, just time yourself working a row using the Stopwatch function in the Clock App on your smartphone or tablet (I have an iPhone, but if you have another just Google how to find and use the stopwatch function, Google knows everything). I just timed myself and it took about 18.5 minutes to complete a row (probably not my best time, but it isn’t the Olympics).