Sunday, 6 April 2014

Colourful Inspiration

As I was rifling around in my DK stash for yarn for flowers, tossing out likely colours onto the colour play crochet blanket on the sofa, I started thinking about how I got into my current yarn addiction.

The range of colours in the cheap acrylic DK yarn in a local shop made me think of the colour play blanket, but I remembered seeing a few blogs at the time which demonstrated that, with some attention to colours, crochet blankets need not be clashing combinations of grungy, muted and random bright colours.  They were instrumental in inspiring and reinforcing my desire to get into crochet and create some colourful snugness. I suddenly realised I hadn't visited their blogs recently, or listed them in my inspirations links, or even said thank you to the bloggers, but they definitely deserve a mention.

Crochet with Raymond, for beautiful use of colour and inspirational 'granny' crochet mandalas and bunting.  This is where I encountered the term 8 ply and had to go to look it up, and find that it was the same as DK.
When I went back to read the blog and 'catch up', I found that it had stopped with the disappearance of Raymond.  Please tell me that I am not the only one who cries floods over my keyboard, sobbing over sad news from people and their fur babies who live thousands of miles away and whom I don't even know. I'm just a big softy. I'm so glad the blog has been left up, even though it isn't being updated.

This led me to Lucy of Attic 24, another colourful person and blog that I find highly inspiring and influential. When I read her blog, I feel homesick for Yorkshire, even though I only lived there for five years and moved away 29 years ago! In the latest post, I was surprised to see a collection of DK which looks spookily like my selection for 'Longshore' (except I don't have mine in a nice crochet bag) and lo! Lucy is starting a sea-themed ripple blanket. I popped along to the local shop to pick up some milk, and there was a lonely looking copy of Simply Crochet.  So I treated myself and Lucy is in there, expressing a love of crochet flowers, which made me squee with delight!  My Flower a Day project must now include crochet flowers.  Lots of them.

Before I started my blanket, I may well have seen this continuous granny square in toning warm colours on The Purl Bee. Again, the importance of colour values and stitch size (using the correct hook size for the yarn so that the stitches don't look too loose or ragged). The pattern of light and dark is reminiscent of the traditional quilt pattern 'Sunshine and Shadow', which could also be created by single-coloured crochet blocks.

Since then, this rainbow blanket has appeared on the Purl Bee blog.  How gorgeous is that?  I love the single colour 'squared circle' crochet block centres gleaming out from the neutral off-white/cream background, arranged in chromatic groups along the blanket.  The block isn't lacy or fussy and it gives the blanket a rich, warm texture. The original is made in Koigu Premium Merino and there is  no doubt that the quality of the yarn makes a difference in terms of drape and lustre, but as many people noted in the comments, it would be prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, if you already have quite a stash, what a beautiful way to create a colour sampler and DK would work up into a larger blanket than the 4 ply KPM.

I know I said I wouldn't do another crochet square blanket anytime soon after I finished my colour play crochet blanket in May 2012.  I expected that if I succumbed again, my next foray would be with flower crochet blocks, but I don't think I can resist this idea. I wonder if I can slot in a block a day alongside my flowers?  A vision of a stained glass rose window has just popped into my mind - I'd better park that idea for a future project.  I'd better not park Longshore for too long, though.  I might forget what exactly I had in mind there.  Now all I need is a redecorated bedroom so that I can display my beautiful crochet blankets when they're finished.  That's yet another project!

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