Finally I can show you the project I worked on from the mid December last year until mid January: Talavera!
Talavera is a design by my friend Ana Morais Soares from One Skein of Love. She was asked by the Simply Crochet Magazine to design a blanket for a Cal. The Cal has just started and part 1 is published. For further information either have a look at issue 122 of the Simply Crochet Magazine, their Ravelry page or website.
It was quite a challenge to finish this beauty in more or less 4 weeks! But so worth the effort!
For her design Ana used Caron Simply Soft, an Aran weight. As you might know Aran is not my favorite yarn weight. So I went for Stylecraft Special DK.
I already showed my colour scheme a few days ago, which – again- was inspired by a mood board of Pipin Poppycrock.
I mainly followed Ana’s colour placement but – partly by accident and partly on purpose – I have made some colour changes. So here my notes:
Hello Spring Cal comes to an end now, only the border to be done.
If you follow my blog you already know that I made a wall hanging working over 5 pattern repeats. When it came to the border I finally had to decide how I wanted to hang it up. I have seen quite complicated looking constructions for hanging wall decorations but I had no idea how to make them. At first I thought about attaching loops to it like you would for a quilt but there too I was unsure how best to attach them. Then I had another idea, a very easy one:
I worked the border as normal. In the final joining round I left a piece open on the upper side edges. On the last 7 stitches on both upper sides I worked the slip stitches only on the front layer without joining the two layers. The corner is worked as normal. This has created a kind of tunnel through which you can push a rod. It works perfectly!
How do you choose colours for a new project? Do you like to go to a yarn shop and hold the balls to each other? Do you have colour samples of your favorite yarns?
I love shopping in yarn shops but unfortunately the DK yarns I like to use for my blankets are not available in my local shop. So I mostly order my yarn online. But ordering online means that you never know how close the colours you see on the screen come to reality. Especially when ordering yarn for a specific project it is more than annoying when the colours are not as you imagined them. I often went wrong!
After several failures I got myself shade cards of my favorite yarns. They helped me a lot! I can now see the colours in reality! And above all I can now better assess how close – or far – the representations on the various websites are to reality. The disadvantage of shade cards is that they quickly can become outdated as new colours are added (and others discontinued).
And unfortunately you cannot place the colours on a shade card next to each other like you would in a yarn shop. My imagination often doesn’t go so far that I can put several colours together in my head and say whether they look good together or not. With 2 or 3 colours it works quite well, but with 5 or more it is usually difficult.
Virtual yarn balls
With the help of my shade cards I found out that for example the display of colours of Stylecraft yarns is very good on their website (at least on my devices). This has opened up new possibilities for me. I downloaded the Special DK color swatches from there and am now combining them in an app which I also use for collages.
It is great to play around with. You can easily try out colour combinations, move the patterns around, add or change colours. I love it.
This sample was inspired by a mood board of Pipin Poppycock. I used this combination of Stylecraft Special DK for a – still top secret – project and am very happy of how it turned out.
Stylecraft Yarns has kindly allowed me to publish these swatches, mentioning the brand.
Unfortunately, it is not to be underestimated how some colours change in certain combinations. Silver, for example. In my Winter Wonderland blanket, in combination with white and other greys, it really looks silver. In the combination shown above, with different shades of apricot and rose, it looks more bluish. At least for me, these effects are difficult to perceive on the screen. I have a better idea of them when I actually have the colours in front of me, in reality … My lack of imagination again …
Therefore I looked around for other options.
Actually I am keen on those beautiful yarn pegs you see all over the internet. But all the ones I have found so far are quite expensive, not for the pegs but for shipping costs to my country. So I had the idea of making some swatches of my own – starting with the colours from my stash.
First I got myself little plastic cards. They are about 3 x 4 cm . I like them, especially as they came in a small box where they can be safely stored. Unfortunately they only offer little space for labelling. It is difficult to put all the necessary information such as brand, colour number and name on it. I therefore had to use abbreviations for the yarn brand. As my list of shortcuts grew longer and longer I decided to use them only for my thinner cotton yarn.
One day I saw a post by a lady who creates beautiful scrapbooks for her projects. I have unfortunately forgotten her name, otherwise I would credit her here. She had made little crochet squares that she could pin back and forth as she wished. This gave me the idea to do the same to put my colours together. They are also just great to play around with, take pictures of colour choices and so on. Without having a scrapbook the only problem is the allocation of details such as brand and colour code. At first I thought of putting a little label on each square so that I could write down all the important details. But somehow it was too uncomfortable for me.
So I switched to wooden sticks. I label them with shade number and name and wrap the thread around them. This is done in no time and on the backside of the stick is enough space to note the brand. To some people this will seem “duplicated”, but for me it works perfectly so far.
My pile is growing but I still have a long way to go. I was not aware that I have already so many colours in my stash. And every time I order yarn I take an extra ball of one or two colours that I don‘t own so far but might use in one of my future projects. I am on a good way to create my own collection!
It is already week 3 of the Hello Spring Cal. The time flies! However, I just felt thrown back a few weeks. We haven’t had that much snow for years. This is our old pine tree on Saturday morning, 02.April 2022. Hello Spring!
Since some people have asked me about it, I will publish my progress and my single parts here. So let us begin with my
Yarn and colours
I used Stylecraft Special DK and a 4 mm hook. My colours are
When I saw Ana‘s pattern I actually had a different colour scheme in mind and my first approach was somewhat different. But somehow it didn’t work, although I tried two different colour placements. I thought maybe it was too dark for a spring theme and I didn’t know how to go on. But I still love my swatches so much that I haven’t frogged them yet. And I know for sure that I will use these colours at some point! So I will keep the strips. Even if that means that I cannot determine the exact consumption of Pistachio – I forgot to weigh my yarn :).
What do you think?
In search of other colour combinations I came across a drawing with stylised flowers in two different greens on a white ground. Somehow it said >Spring< to me. To get this look I choose White and Pistachio as main colours and added a little bit of Khaki. Spiced up with a few sprinkles of Saffron and Tomato.
The days are not only getting a bit longer but also a bit warmer. The first bushes and trees are sprouting and the sparrows are preparing their nests under our roof. Spring is coming in the northern hemisphere!
Ana from One Skein of Love is celebrating the season with her Hello Spring Cal. Another project that has kept me busy in the last weeks, between Midnight Snowflakes, sock knitting, a short holiday and „normal” life.
I started testing the Hello Spring Cal in early February. The pattern is designed as a blanket and – similar to Winter Wonderland – consist of different designs that can be combined in various ways. Due to time constraints I only worked 5 repeats this time – it will be a beautiful wall decoration when I am finished.
My colours were inspired by a drawing I found on the internet: flowers in two or three different greens on a white ground. They looked so fresh and airy and reminded me immediately of spring. Unfortunately I cannot share it here due to copyrights but I tried to copy this look using Stylecraft Special DK from my stash.
I used mainly White and Pistachio combined with Khaki and a little bit of Saffron and Tomato.
The Cal will start next Monday, 21. March 2022 and runs for 6 weeks. More information and of course also the pattern are available in Ana’s Ravelry store.
Due to the lovely holiday we had last week I am still working on the border but I hope to show you more next week!