Tuesday, March 6, 2012

If At First You Don't Succeed...

Wow, I slacked so hard on my scarf last week. Still, all is not lost. I am firmly convinced that I can finish it within a week. I've got my get 'er done pants ready and everything. Still, I wasn't completely unproductive. I just got distracted by something else, mainly, planning that darn dragon blanket.

I told you that I was going to do a swatch with some chunky yarn to see if it might work out to knit at least the pattern part of the blanket, if not the whole blanket. Well, swatch I did.

The supplies: One ball of Lion Brand's Hometown USA in Oklahoma City Green and a set of size 13 needles.

The result, an 11 x 17 inch piece of fabric (38 rows of 40 stiches).

I just worked the entire ball of yarn in stockinette stitch to see what it would give me, time-wise and size-wise. Now, the pattern I am going by is forty stitches wide by sixty rows long, so given the size this came out, just one in the center of the blanket probably won't cut it. The math ends up that I'll need something like twenty balls of yarn to make a decent sized blanket, which is really just too much. Also, it took me a lot longer to knit that one swatch than I would prefer, especially when you take into consideration that I will be dealing with color-work for multiple sections of the blanket.

So after getting this swatch done, I knew that knitting the dragon was no longer on the table. Back to the drawing board. I thought maybe I should just give in and do it in individual one-round granny squares. Yeah, it would take a lot of time, but that would mostly be on the assembly end of things. I looked at my Yoshi blanket to try to get an idea of scale, and that is actually only 32 squares to each side. So my pattern would be way bigger than that, especially if I wanted to keep the proportions even. Not the ideal choice.

I started to get irritated by this point. I knew there was a way to do color-work in crochet that looked nice. I had seen all kinds of projects made from graphs and cross-stitch and knitting patterns. So I decided to do a little research. I turned to my handy-dandy copy of The Crochet Answer Book by Edie Eckman. A quick check in the index sent me to the section on color-work, and, lo and behold, there was the solution to my problem! It was just a matter of making the last loop on any stitch before a color change the new color. Duh. Wow, I could have smacked myself. So freaking simple. So, I tried crocheting a new swatch, and I am so much happier with the results!

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a dragon.

I sent the photo to my friend for his approval on the appearance of the crocheted dragon, to make sure he still likes how it looks (and to get his opinion on the colors). He seemed pretty happy with it, so now I just need to sit down to finalize the actual pattern for the overall blanket. I have a few ideas--one a little nontraditional but that I think would actually be pretty awesome--so I will play with those and figure out yarn requirements. I did this guy in half-double crochet, but I think I might do the for-real project in just flat-out double. I think it will make the color changes a little more smooth. The half-double stitches seemed to warp a little when I put the new color loop in there.

So. Now that I finally have that resolved, it's time to get to work on that scarf. Off I go.

Until next time!

No comments:

Post a Comment