Oh what a kerfuffle I have had.
A right kerfuffle.
First, I was fretting about the choice of yarn. I was using acrylic yarn and although I was happy with the coloured circles made with acrylic yarn, I wasn't happy with the white edges. They weren't sitting nicely (!) and I wondered if that was because of the cheap yarn or my crappy crocheting. Probably both. So I had this thing going on in my head about acrylic versus wool/cotton but knew I really couldn't afford to buy pure wool at the moment (or even a mixture as the cost can be £4 or £5 a ball and that's if one can find any in this part of Devon.) especially as I want to make this blanket big enough to be able to go over our bed. So I carried on with the acrylic wool. Then I wasn't happy with how I was joining the circles together. I was trying to study the photo of Yvonne's blanket and not really getting any answers, but getting more and more frustrated.
All I really wanted to do was talk to someone about yarn and joins and what I should do because if my crochet isn't going right then my life isn't going right..well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration but my crafting is very important to me and if it's not delighting me then what's a girl to do?? None of the family wanted to listen to my bleating but then help came, and this why I love, love LOVE the blogging community. A lovely reader from Australia, (hi Patricia!) came to my rescue and we 'talked' about the blanket through a number of emails. Bless her. I was thrilled to be able to connect with someone who was making the blanket as well and is just as passionate about it - even though she was on the other side of the world!
She sent me a few photos of other people's versions of Yvonne's blanket. I didn't realise that so many other ladies have made it or are making it. Amongst the photos were some tutorials too.
So I started yet again, this time changing the number of stitches I made on the corners. Two days later I happened upon some discounted white wool - 50% Merino 50% Acrylic. Mmm, best of both worlds and a bargain at £1.79 a 50g ball.
I bought 2 balls and pulled out all the acrylic white for the 3rd time. Decided it looked much better so went back and bought 8 more balls. So, that's where I am at the moment. I am really enjoying making this blanket particularly the joining as you go.
The stitches are still not lying perfectly flat but I haven't blocked it yet and I'm sure a warm iron would help flatten the edges as well. I've written down the pattern I'm using which you will find here (I am having problems putting it on my sidebar but will keep trying) I would welcome your comments on acrylic yarn. My green Cath Kidston granny blanket is made with acrylic yarn and that is particularly soft, but I suppose you get what you pay for with yarn. I am liking this blend of merino and acrylic though.
In my cyber blanket journey I have been so inspired by some of the talent out there..gee whizz it makes my head swim..there's a lady called Sarah London and words fail me when I see what that girl can do with a crochet hook. Then there's The Crochet Afghan flickr group.. what eye candy. It makes me want to never put my hook down and leave my sofa..
Talking about crochet and bringing up the wonderful subject of Christmas (whoop whoop!), I decided many, many months ago to make bunches of crochet mistletoe for my friends this Christmas,(taken from the book 100 flowers to knit and crochet, by Lesley Stanfield.) Well, I'm having a problem with that too! Yup, in these last few weeks there has been a crochet conundrum going on in my head. I have no problems following the pattern, though I can't seem to get a particularly tight tension even with a smaller hook; but the leaves just flop and look pathetic. I've tried threading wire through the leaves but that wasn't brilliant. Then I decided to try and use pipe cleaners and well...
..it's all going terribly, terribly wrong..can anyone help?? I'm using 4ply Rowan Cotton yarn and have used 100% wool in DK too. The wool was too soft so I went for the 'firmer' cotton yarn. I will be most grateful as I would love to have bunches of crocheted mistletoe all over the house this year. Are you impressed by my organisation already?? I am! But I bet I'm not the only one.