In my last post I talked about the challenges of picking a pattern for self-striping yarns, and heck, the challenges of designing for them. In this post, I’d like to introduce you to another solution to the cake-yarn dilemma – a new baby blanket crochet pattern called Granny in the Sky with Diamonds.
Any fancy type of yarn that that does the work for you is naturally going to look better in a simpler stitch pattern. In this case, we have yarn that does the color changing work for us. We don’t have a lot of control over the color changes unless we want to do a lot of yarn snipping and rearranging, but that defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? And, well, let’s be honest… we don’t really want to make the same basic patterns over and over again, do we? That gets old fast.
So let’s try something NEW. We still want to keep it simple so that the pattern isn’t competing with the yarn, but we don’t want to be bored either. Enter C2C.
I never got into the corner-to-corner craze that swept the crochet world not too long ago. At that time I was more captivated by increasingly complex patterns that kept me on my toes and involved lots of crazy stitches and color changes. And, though I’m still not interested in the traditional block stitch associated with C2C, I can’t seem to resist the idea of working on the bias. (See my recent C2C moss stitch pattern.) I find especially exciting for self-striping yarns. Diagonal lines are exciting to the eye and they create such pretty effects when they’re moved around and used.
But working on the bias isn’t quite enough to keep me interested. Enter Granny.
I’ve recently been exploring more traditional crochet, like granny stitch. In Granny in the Sky with Diamonds, some light sections of granny stitch make diamond shapes with the negative space and add a little interest both to the final product and to your stitching experience. It’s simple. It’s sweet. And, if I do say so myself, it’s rather pleasant to stitch.
Once the blanket body was done, I quickly realized that the border was going to be a challenge. Self-striping yarns can lead to really fabulous or really tragic results when worked around as a border. They can be unpredictable and look far too busy and detract from the pattern. The solution wasn’t exactly obvious. Instead of keeping things simple, the solution was to take them up a few notches.
The border of Granny in the Sky with Diamonds uses post stitches to blend the colors even more, break them up and disperse them. Instead of slow, easy color changes, you have lots of little bits of color mixed with the other colors. There is still the semblance of long narrow stripes, but they are so broken, they don’t resemble the stripes in the body of the blanket at all. This turned out to be perfect and just want the blanket needed.
Not only does the border work well with the more intense colorways of the yarn and the subtler ones alike, it’s proven to be a great back up plan. You see, self-striping yarn requires just a little bit of color planning work. You may need to cut your yarn to get a stripe sequence in the correct order. I always recommend planning this when you’re choosing cakes at the store, but for those of us that order yarn online, we don’t have control over which cakes we get. We just hope and pray they’re from the same dye lot. So, sometimes, it requires a little extra snipping and reordering of yarn to get color sequences in order.
That’s okay! The border disperses the colors so well, you can gather any snipped scraps from the blanket body and use them in the border. No yarn need be wasted!
Furthermore, the border is actually quite a bit heavier than the blanket itself. That’s not saying much, really. The blanket is quite light and airy. But the border is dense and full of texture. I was really worried about that at first, but when I pushed myself to try it anyway I found it’s perfect for a light blanket. It’s just enough to anchor the body and frame it. It’s fabulous to touch and play with, and I imagine tiny hands will love grabbing onto it.
There you have it. My latest solution to what to do with your yarn cakes. Below you can find the technical details about these two baby blankets and information on how you can get the pattern.
I hope you’ll give Granny in the Sky with Diamonds a try. If you do, please, let me know what you think! I can’t wait to see what you make.
SALE! Right now get Granny in the Sky with Diamonds pattern 33% off to celebrate its release. Use coupon code: diamonds
Offer valid until midnight PST, December 3rd, 2017.
Both blankets were made with 3 cakes of Lion Brand Mandala yarn.
This one was made with the colorway Genie. I used one cake from the center out and the next from the outside in for the body. It takes a little more than 2 cakes to make the body and almost all of the remaining yarn goes to the border.
This one with the colorway Pixie and I used all 3 cakes from the center pull, only cutting where I needed the color sequence to stay in order.
Crochet Terms: US
Skill Level: Intermediate
Finished Size: 44 inch square
Gauge: 16 dc and 8 rows is about 4 inches
Yarn: 3 cakes of Lion Brand Mandala or about 1800 yards of DK weight yarn
Hook Size: 4mm & 4.5mm
Additional Materials: 4 stitch markers, yarn needle to weave ends, pins, blocking wires (optional), fabric steamer (optional), blocking surface
Alternate yarn suggestions: Stylecraft Batik Swirl or any other DK weight yarn.
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