Mood Blanket Update: Mistakes Happen

Mood Blanket Update: Mistakes Happen

So I got a little over-excited with the size of this blanket. A few days ago I had just finished the 16th square (I am a few days behind), and laid it out on my queen sized bed to see how long it was. Keep in mind, this is the width of the blanket, and it was touching the floor on either side of the bed. Since I do plan on using this for my bed, and a cream border with a hardwood flooring was not such a good idea…I decided I needed to take out a row from each square to shorten it up.

changes_rows

Now, this mistake will put be even more behind for a bit, but it isn’t the worst thing to happen. Because my squares are join-as-you-go, they are easy to pull back, fix, and reattach. I essentially need to remove the cream border, as well as the outer round of the square, then crochet the border back on. It is a simple fix for this huge problem, without having to start all over. You can see how big of a difference it made in the length and width of the squares, compared to the older versions.

changes

Now, after my fixes, I’m left with lots of little scraps of yarn. I’m not quite sure what I want to do with them or if I even should keep them. I might use the bits and pieces of yarn and connect them using the Russian Join(I may have called it the Weaver’s knot at some point by mistake) and use them in the border of this blanket, maybe as a round of single crochet.

notebook

Lately, as I have been recording my daily moods, I know I have had a handful of not-so-great ones. I am definitely wrestling with some depression right now, which is normal. Having to decide a new emotion every day has made me step back and think about what I’m actually feeling. Am I doing better today? Worse? Have I felt more productive, or am I letting everything fall apart around me? There have been more blue (sad/depression) and brown (tired) squares, and a few in light sage (a bit off). I try to have better days so I can mix in more enthusiastic and positive colors, trying to keep from falling into a pattern. Also, I’ve started color coding with markers, which helps me visually translate what I’m working with.

Flower Motif Lace Throw

Flower Motif Lace Throw

I have worked this yarn so many times, I’m surprised it still holds together so well! I bought this Lily Cotton yarn in Lilac to be a pineapple shawl like the Sonoma colorway I used before. However, I wasn’t feeling it this time around and ended up attempting to work up different patterns only to pull them apart again over and over. Finally, I found a pattern I’m happy with. This lacy throw blanket was actually designed to be a rug, but I have decided it will be a throw blanket for my parents’ room, since their new linens contain lots of purple.

yarn

This pattern I discovered on Pinterest, while searching for crochet rugs to not only whittle down my stash, but also solve the lack of rugs issue in our new home, which is all wood and tile flooring. So it was originally intended to be a rug, but I was worried that even with special tapes to hold it in place, that my mother would fall over it (nerve damage in her feet) or the dog’s claws would ruin it. So, it became a decorative throw rug. When I first started the project, I was blazing through the center motif, but have now slowed down as the ADD has kicked in and I have needed to bounce between projects. I have also had to rip back rows a few times when I’ve noticed mistakes that can’t be “fixed” by adding an extra double crochet when I find a miscount, which put me behind by quite a bit.

progress

Nevertheless, I’m still in love with this pattern, and carry it with me when I leave the house. It’s a great waiting room pattern, and I keep the chart on my phone so I can check my work while I’m away. My other projects require multiple colors of yarn, so a single-colored project is my best friend for when I’m out and about. It’s complex enough to keep my attention, but also easy enough that I don’t have to be constantly staring at the chart.

I’m not sure how large this piece will be. I bought 10 skeins of the Lily Cotton when I first planned a shawl. If it either gets large enough or I start running out, that will determine where it will stop. But for now, I have plenty to work with so I’ll keep going. It is currently about 3′ across, from straight edge to straight edge.

whole

As for the tail that’s featured in a few of these photos, it belongs to my “little” girl, Dakota. My 3-year-old boxweiler who decided getting off the bed so I could take my photos was not an option today. She’s really upset that my mom left to Arizona to deal with a family emergency for the week and has been pouting constantly.

pup

Vintage Granny Square Blanket

Vintage Granny Square Blanket

Okay, admitting my current obsession with granny squares now. These past few weeks, I’ve fallen in love with these classic, simple squares. They’re easy to do, and a simple change in color between rows can make them look even more adorable! I adopted a bag full of vintage yarn, obviously a planned afghan, with a few blocks of shell stitch already made. There were several skeins in both “natural” and “Antique Rose”.

berella 4

I did a little research and was able to find that these are vintage Berella 4 labels, and that the line of yarn was discontinued. I would have loved to find dates to find out just how old this yarn is or when it was discontinued, but I haven’t been able to find any such thing. Just Ebay sales….lots of Ebay sales. If I run out before finishing this project, I know where I can find more!

I absolutely love these two colors and how they pair together. Searching Google and Pintrest for “pink white crochet afghan”, I found a photo of a three-color granny square afghan that made the center look like a little flower framed with green leaves. Simple, right? Well, I loved it, and I wanted to make one for myself. I added in Red Heart Super Saver’s “Light Sage” to compliment the muted colors and add a balancing cool color to the already warm cream and rose colors.

centers

The way I have it planned is to create a checkerboard pattern with the white and pink borders of the flowers. Every white flower has a pink border, and every pink flower has a white border; Then, joining the squares in a way that alternates the white and pink squares. Of course, I’m using the same join-as-you-go method as the mood blanket, since I absolutely hate crocheting/sewing together loads of squares. For now, the work flow that has worked best, is to whip up batches of 7 center sections at a time like those shown above, then join them to the blanket.

The squares, in their finished size with the border, come to about 3.5″. The blanket is going to be 50″ wide, so 14 squares across gets us to a healthy 49″, not including the border that will be added to the blanket later on. Depending on how far the yarn I have goes, it will either be 50″ (14 squares) long, or 70″ (20 squares). I’ll work row by row and see how it goes. From the row and a half that I have now, I’m super excited about the results.

squares.jpg

Mood Blanket Beginnings!

Mood Blanket Beginnings!

In May, I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design! Great, right? Five years of hard work and crazy commutes finally coming to an end. Since then, I have been struggling emotionally and mentally with this big life change. Without medications, my depression is unchecked, but at least I don’t have crippling migraines all the time!

I recently adopted a massive amount of yarn from a member of the church who wanted to thin out her stash, and have become overwhelmed with the amount of yarn. Three boxes packed full of yarn! This is in addition to the growing stash of yarn I already had! With so much yarn, I’m anxious to find uses for it. I think I finally found a way to thin it out…

I was searching for tutorials to teach one of my friends how to make a granny square and came across this awesome tutorial from Bella-Coco. That tutorial led to me discovering her mood blanket, which I absolutely fell in love with! I thought it would be a fun way to not only use up some of my stash, but to keep track of my ever-changing mental state. (Not to mention, her “join as you go” method of connecting the squares makes life so much easier.)

mood_feature_1

I am only about 10 days in from when I started on July 8th, but it has gone well. By the end of today, I will be 10 squares in. It has given me time every day to think about how my day has gone, reflect on some of my actions, and think about what I need to do the next day so I don’t end up with two of the same color side-by-side. My OCD goal is to have none of the same colors touching.

mood_list

My mood blanket started with just a list of emotions, a majority of them pulled from the Bella-Coco post as a base and inspiration, and then added to and adjusted from there. I used a piece of lined paper from a journal to list them on, and tucked it into my sketchbook where I am keeping track of my emotions, in case I get behind. I decided not to assign colors to every mood immediately, but to do so gradually as I progress. When I pick a new yarn for a mood I haven’t used yet, I thread a piece of yarn into the line that mood belongs to, so I have a color comparison. (Many of my adopted yarns do not have labels.) I still have a few color tags I need to add to the sheet of paper, but at least I have managed to stay on track with my blanket so far.

This project is going to be absolutely huge! With rows of 16 squares, each measuring nearly 6″ (including border), this thing is going to be about 8′ across and about 11′ tall! If I wasn’t so far in already, I would have adjusted the sizes of the squares, maybe doing 3 rounds instead of 4 before the border, or dropping my hook size to a 4mm. But, I’m pretty excited about having a massive, snuggly, blanket that could look beautiful as a bed spread for either a queen or king sized bed.

 

Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball

I just got this yarn last week, and I am already in love with the unique texture of this yarn. Lion Brand’s Shawl in a Ball yarn is designed to have enough yardage for a shawl project. There is a very nice selection of colors, ranging from shades of pink or blue or gray, to more colorful transitions. This particular colorway is called Peaceful Earth, and goes through two shades of brown, to green, to red, to purple, to cream, and back through the colorway to the browns. It’s a gorgeous colorway, which I was really excited to work with.

peaceful earth

The texture is really interesting. Supposedly, it’s supposed to be like working with silk or mohair. I’ve never worked with anything like that, so I can’t say how similar it is. They also say it is part “cotton slob”. I’ve also never worked with that, but I would guess that it has to do with the curled and kind of knobby texture of cotton yarn that the color is woven together with.

strand

At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the strange white strands mixed in with the color, but I quickly came to love it. I discovered it really helped to blend the transitions between rows, making them much less noticeable and harsh. There is also a great deal of variance in the texture and the tightness of the “worsting”. In some sections, the color and the slob are tightly twisted together; on the other hand, there are some sections where the colored strand of the yarn is much looser and fuzzy.¬† I would also mention that this is not a yarn to work with if you are following a complicated pattern, as it tangles horribly if you try to pull it out. I lost a good chunk of yardage to a pattern change when I tried to pull it out and start over.

shawl

This yarn is absolutely gorgeous and I am so excited to finish this shawl. I am about halfway done in just a few days.

To get this gorgeous yarn for yourself, swing by Amazon and check it out!
Shawl in a Ball: Peaceful Earth

Red Heart Super Saver Yarn

So let’s try a new style of review. I feel like what I’ve been working with lately has been super structured, and I feel like it’s too structured. If anyone has any input on blogging about products, I’d love to hear it. I also apologize this is late again, I have been super sick and just started my Senior Seminar class for the summer.

Now, let’s get in and take a look at some Red Heart Super Saver yarn. Yes! The best yarn for a beginner when it comes to crochet and knit. It’s cheap, easy to work with, and still looks nice. It is also readily available at stores like Target or Walmart if you just need to pick something up to work with and keep your hands busy.

This yarn is 100% acrylic, which I thought I would never go back to. However, I just needed to work with something and work on something. So I picked up some cheap Super Saver for about $2-3 per skein (some skeins are more expensive than others, it may be related¬† the amount of dye). They’re fairly large skeins too (364 yds), so there is plenty to work with. I grabbed one skein of each in these colors to make a cool wrap for spring or summer: Medium Thyme, Cafe Latte, and Real Teal.

colors

I haven’t worked with a Red Heart yarn in quite awhile. I actually forgot how nice they were for a quick project, and how gorgeous the worsting in in some of them. Now they may not be Lion Brand gorgeous in their worsting, but there are some that stand out. I think that’s actually what drew me to these yarns when I was in Walmart. I was short on time and one of the first ones I noticed was the beautiful teal, and then found two other skeins to compliment it.

stitches.jpg

If there is one thing to keep in mind with cheaper¬† yarns, is that they can sometimes feel rough. This is especially true when you’ve worked with higher quality yarns which are super soft. They also have a sort of “spongy” quality. I have noticed this with other Super Saver type yarns, where the material feels squishy or elastic. I’m not sure why exactly this is, but it can be nice sometimes.

worst

I also noticed these yarns, in the darker colors, have a slight sheen to them. This may be due to the acrylic fibers, since they are practically a kind of plastic. However, that slight sheen and bright color was what caught my eye and made me feel a bit better about buying Super Saver. It also made a big impact on the stitches and the way the product looks so far. I’m in love with these cool colors and the way the stitches lay, as well as the sort of stretch that the wrap has.

If you’d like to get this yarn online, check it out here!
Real Teal
Cafe Latte
Medium Thyme

Lion Brand Vanna’s Sequins Ruby

I haven’t touched this prject in awhile, so I was super excited to receive another skein of this yarn as a gift! I am super excited to share Lion Brand Vanna’s Sequins in Ruby! This yarn is a DK yarn, a 3 in weight. It’s a gorgeous yarn that I fell in love with from the first day it came in the mail. It is going to make this small, accent throw even more special with the sparkle scattered throughout.

Color: 5/5

ruby

This shimmery yarn is a deep red with a slight luster to the fibers. The sequins woven into the worsting is equally as red, making it blend in nicely with the color and texture of the yarn. The actual fibers have a bit of a sheen in them, which makes it pair well with the sequins without having a jarring contrast.

Texture: 5/5

worst.jpg

This is Ruby beside a worsted weight cotton yarn. They are a bit similar in size, but when you are working with them, there is a definite difference in weight and feel. The sheen of the yarn really brings out the worsting, making it pretty dramatic. I absolutely love being able to see the texture of the worsting in yarns! Also, the sequins are actually woven into the strands, not glued like I have seen with some articles of clothing. This prevents them from falling out.

Quality: 5/5

stitches.jpg

Apologies for the bad lighting. This yarn is absolutely gorgeous, and very well made. I have found Lion Brand to be good quality yarns, well worsted with few flaws, and they always have a big impact on the work. This yarn is no different. I love the Vanna’s Choice yarns, and this one is equally as stunning as the others.

Final Result:

15/15 for this beauty! It is a beautiful, high quality yarn. It definitely makes a statement with lacy patterns like this one! I can’t wait to finish it up and add it to the decor in my bedroom.

Get this beautiful yarn for yourself!
Lion Brand Vanna’s Sequins in Ruby