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

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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.

 

Renovations?

I haven’t touched this blog in ages, but I’m still discovering in my own, special, chaotic way. Since I left my blog, I have graduated college, moved into a house that is more accommodating to my disability, discovered essential oils, stopped taking medications for my depression/anxiety, started streaming Creative on Twitch.tv, and have been applying to jobs and attempting to adult.

I feel like I need to get back into blogging, have a place to talk about some of the stuff I feel like I need to talk about, without being restricted to the brief quips on social media. I want to start sharing my discoveries again.  But, in order to do that, I feel like I need to clean out some of the old stuff here that I don’t feel as proud of. Some posts will be disappearing, most likely the makeup ones and there should be an influx of crochet posts and possibly some more personal stuff!

Keep an eye out for new things happening!

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

Distracted DIY: Project Anxiety?

So I just made my first sale! My boss bought the shawl before it was even completed! I paid about $10 for the Sonoma Print yarn, and charged $25 for the finished product. Now, I’m eager to get started on another pineapple shawl! For the past few days, I have been browsing Amazon trying to find the best prices and the best yarn to fit the product. Though, I have noticed that I feel super restless and nervous about making the purchase.

I know that I want a cotton yarn, since I really liked the way my previous cotton project turned out. There is also the search for the perfect color. I want a sort of muted color that will be easy for someone to pair with an outfit they have at home. Unfortunately, it is hard to tell if the photos and lighting are of good quality or if my screen is distorting the color of the yarn in the photo, so that makes me a little nervous as well.

I am super eager to get started on my next shawl, so that might be what makes me so nervous. I want it to be gorgeous, just like the last one. Does anyone else get nervous or stressed out when planning a project?