Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Maybe...No, That Won't Work...How About...?

Yeesh. I've been trying to plan out one of the blankets I am going to make this year and it is being something of a bear. I was talking to a friend and I mentioned that I really should make him a blanket to celebrate something awesome he just did and he asked if it could have a dragon on it. My first thought was, Hell yes you can have a dragon! Then I started looking around for a good pattern to crochet a dragon motif on a blanket and that first thought was quickly replaced by, Oh good lord, what have I gotten myself into?

I surfed around on Ravelry and found a dearth of crochet afghan (or scarf or towel or....) patterns featuring dragons. There were quite a few knitted patterns, however. So after running a few of the types of dragons past my friend, I had settled on trying to just convert the knit scarf pattern to a crocheted blanket.

I sat down over the weekend to do a swatch and see a) how well it would work, b) how it would look, c) how big it would be, and d) to get an idea of how much yarn I would need. The results were...not promising. I mean, it didn't look terrible, but I wasn't satisfied with it. I only got about a quarter of the way done with it, but I really didn't like how the top loop of the previous stitch was carrying over into the next when switching colors.  So then I spent the rest of the weekend trying to think about how I would make a blanket featuring this pattern that my friend had picked out.

I have a few options available to me:

  • Just crochet the whole blanket in single crochet and then cross-stitch the pattern on afterward.
  • Knit the blanket according to my originally envisioned pattern.
  • Knit the blanket with super chunky yarn, requiring one central motif instead of several smaller motifs.
  • Knit just the dragon bit in big chunky yarn and then crochet a fun border around until blanket-sized.
  • Knit the originally planned number of motifs and crochet the rest of the blanket, sewing all of the panels together at the end.
  • Crochet the pattern in individual blocks and sew them together like I did with my Yoshi blanket

It's not an exhaustive list by any means, but I think that covers all of the options I have been considering. All of those that involve knitting will require me to learn how to knit color work. Granted, it's on my list to learn, but I wasn't really planning to start with such a big project. It seem like most of the crochet options on the table just have more assembly required than I would like, however.

I am leaning toward going with either option number three or four at the moment, just because knitting goes so much more slowly for me than crochet does. I think I have found a good chunky yarn to use, one that falls within my care, price, and color requirements. My next step will be to go pick up a skein of that yarn (and possibly a pair of the correctly sized needles, provided an inventory check turns up that I don't already have some) and then just knit up the entire ball to see how much finished product it is going to give me, as well as to get an idea of how big the motif will end up. If that works out, I can move ahead with finalizing a plan of attack pattern to use.

Then I will be calling up my mother for a nice long consultation re: knitting blankets and color work. 

Not that I am actually expecting to start this blanket for a good while yet. But once I started planning it out, I couldn't stop. I've got to see this thing through now or it might make my head explode. So...I will let you know as that progresses further.

As far as actual current projects go, I am halfway done with blanket number two (yay!) and only have three pattern repeats left on the scarf (double yay!). Because the blanket's deadline is looming rather more quickly than I had anticipated, I am putting the scarf on hold until that is finished, but after that, it will be the scarf until it is done (with possible breaks for chunky swatching). So hopefully I'll actually have some progress to show you soon!

I guess I should get back to work, huh? Tea, I need tea...

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