Finding our way…

January passed, and here we are in February. We have had a good mix of temperatures so far this year – from into the minuses and up into the teens. It’s made for a good mix for the temperature blanket. I’ll write a post about that later this month.

I have long advocated the value of pressing on with something that is not a favourite. It’s surprising what you learn, and what you discover. It’s a practice I have used in all my disciplines – whether textiles or mixed media.

So, what did I learn during January?

I learnt that Granny Squares aren’t SO bad! Colour combination is very important to me. Having worked with both my hand dyed and embroidery threads (mostly machine threads in the latter category) I have been spoiled for choice! One range of machine threads has almost 500 colours in the range – and my basic dyeing course results in well ove 200 colours – so to be restricted to less than 100 colours in a range of knitting yarn is quite a surprise. This has resulted in the little old grey cells working overtime – with some very satisfactory results.

Because it is available locally in a small shop I have mostly restricted myself to Stylecraft Special DK. I have bought on line occasionally, but mostly specific yarns that are not readily available to me. I have a sample square of every colour – so making selections has always been easy when designing a blanket. However, the temperature projects I began in December have introduced an element of the unexpected – and this is what I am enjoying most.

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Apart from a small square each day which depicts the morning and afternoon temperatures of the day, I also decided to make a ‘spirit of…..’ collection using the colours of the month. They were used in sequence – and as a result I discovered my favourite way of working. Above are some of the December squares – which you have seen before.

January was not so easy to accomplish as all shops ran out of Lobelia! That resulted in me working with some colours from a specific week (see my previous post) and I worked these in a sequence that I think is followed by many people.

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I began by making a number of centres…… six of each to begin with.

Colours were added – and after each round resorted so that another could be added…

I found it SO BORING! So once these were completed I have reverted to the way I discovered with my first squares – and of course more colour combinations are being produced.

This is how I’ve discovered I like to work!

I start with just one centre – add the second colour and make another centre with that colour. Next comes the third colour – added to the 2 colour square, then the single centre and finally another centre is made. And so on. I find it more interesting and quicker to work – no sorting, and once the sequence is decided it’s a doddle to just keep it going. It’s easier to guage how much yarn is needed too. Once the cycle is finished it’s easy to work more individual squares – the first step is to simply reverse the order! A very quick and easy result. The ends are either woven in as I go – or when I settle down to watch an episode of Midsomer! I’ve seen them so many times I don’t need to concentrate too hard 😉

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