Thursday, 16 February 2012

Colour Play Crochet

When I bought the yarn for the baby all-in-one I made, there were only a couple of shades available. The next time I went into the shop, the rack was full of different shades, mostly pastel or bright.  Ooh, colours!  I want to play!  Inspired by granny square blankets, I decided that having a go at making a crochet afghan would be the next project.

I learned to crochet with raffia, with the idea of making a raffia bag (all the rage in 1970).  I learned the basic stitches, but never made the bag.  Crochet blankets seemed to be everywhere in the '70s.  Made with traditional granny squares, they are an ideal stash-buster, as you can crochet in any old odds and ends of similar weight yarn to produce something warm and lovely.  However, in strange, clashing or muddy shades of beige, grey, sage green, puce, orange, dusky pink,  mustard, heather, cream, blue and brown, my lasting impression was that they looked holey, and drab, rather than lacey and colourful.  The rgb colours available here (sorry, couldn't resist it) don't seem to convey the greyness of my memories, which are admittedly coloured by dark, boarding school dormitories - especially during the 3 day week in '74, when the house had no heating or electricity at night from January to March.  It rather put me off, and I never did make one. On the other hand, I dislike random, clashing colours and to avoid that, you need a goodly stash of yarn, which I didn't have.

Back to the present, I was invited away for Christmas, and told that I was to come and relax. (In fact, I was spoiled rotten and very lovely it was, too!).  So I thought starting a crochet afghan would be an ideal project as I would be able to chat and watch TV at the same time.  I don't much like acrylic yarn, but it knitted up well for the baby suit and was so much cheaper than anything else. I could afford to buy 16 balls, all different shades, avoiding the most muted or garish colours, in a colourful rainbow of orange-yellows, greens, blues, purples & pinks.  3 rounds in 3 toning shades would give 6 permutations. 20 sets of 6 = 120 squares, enough for a throw of 10x12 squares.

I looked up a few styles of crochet squares. Over the past several years, most of the crochet I've done is to make doormats from recycled baling twine.  I wanted something basic but denser than the traditional granny square.   After a few false starts where I relearned how to join in different colours and how to do dc, I found I could knock off half a dozen squares in no time at all.   Under the relaxing influence of caring friends and family, my initially tight tension relaxed.

I thought perhaps repeating the same crochet square would get boring, but I've been enjoying it far more than I thought I would and have done quite a few so far ... tidying the ends might prove a bit tedious!

The resulting squares are about 3", so would only make a small throw.  A 4th round in a background colour would give a 4" square, not quite as stiff, and a better size for a throw.  Navy blue would make the colours pop out, but there was no navy available.  I shall consider my next move while finishing the squares, hoping that I don't burn out on the project before then (no more UFOs, remember!).

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