We’ve been on holiday this week, which has provided me with much inspiration for my crochet. The benefit of home schooling means that we can take a trip during term time and we have just had a lovely mid-week break at Woburn Forest Center Parcs (we would thoroughly recommend them too). The older girls chose “archery” as their activity and 4 year old Miss H tried out roller skating for the first time. Miss E had great fun playing with her older sisters in the forest and playing in the pool, well water park, really. Even Grandma P had a go on the water slides! It was Mr T’s birthday while we were away and he was thoroughly spoiled, as all dads should be on their birthdays. Mini Mr T enjoyed watching the world go by and in-between times he learnt how to use rolling and inchworming as a method of travel to reach acquired targets.
They really were happy days and even more so as I did find some time to crochet (I made Wonder Woman, or Wonder G, rather, but more about her another time) and I found some head space to think and plan my next project (I had been thinking of a spring/ summer blanket since my cousin mentioned it in a comment…), as well as braving the rapids and chilling in the lazy river ride…
Those happy days of sun and fun (and a bit of wind and rain – well we are in England) inspired me to come up with the Happy Days blanket. I envisage it being used by the girls in the summer holidays, sitting out in the garden on it, reading or playing, or maybe making a fort on a rainy day…
To evoke those lovely times, I decided on colours from my Stylecraft Special DK stash that are warm, light and fun and remind me of my girls and beautiful spring/ summer days. I love playing with colours for new projects and have found Lucy’s advice from Attic 24 to be really helpful. Using Lucy’s advice, I picked out all the colours that suited my theme and put them together in rows, as well as using my handy Stylecraft Shade card from Country Crafts, to consider colours I hadn’t got. Then I used my eldest daughter at home Miss G to help me narrow down the colours to what we really loved (I am extrovert and find bouncing my ideas off a friend to be really energising. If you are more introverted you might prefer solitude and quiet to choose).
Finally there were a couple of colours I was not sure about and at this stage in the colour planning process, I always use a reluctant Mr T’s eye and left-brain powers to provide logic for the final colours (Mr T does not really share my crochet enthusiasm, but he does humour me and has a very fine brain). This time I did have 2 yellows, citron and saffron and was unsure about whether plum was too dark. Mr T helped decide the yellows were too close and plum would add a bit of depth, because all happy days have depth, before returning to watching The Godfather part hundred, with his earphones firmly in.
Once the colours were decided, it was time to finalise the pattern choice. I had previously used some scrap yarn to try out patterns, when I was at home. I think I’ve said before, but I can’t say enough that it’s so important to try new things out on a small scale. Something someone else loves might really not be your thing at all. I also like to try out different size hooks when I like a pattern to see what drape I get with the different gauges, as well as tweaking patterns to suit me, if needed.
There is a really cool zigzag pattern in the Colorful Crochet Afghans and Pillows: 19 Projects to Brighten Your Home by Kristel Salgarollo and a log cabin design, as well as 3 great hexagon blankets, that I really liked. In the end I chose hexagons, because I love them in blankets and they remind me of cartwheels (we have a lot of cartwheeling at our house). Also, I had found a granny hexagon pattern, in my Melody Griffiths 201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects and Ideas, that I love and should also crochet up quite quickly. I’m not completely decided on the layout of the hexagons yet. Therefore using the join-as-you-go method, I am going to work outwards from the centre, so I keep my options open.
Finally I wanted to decide on the colour pattern for each hexagon. For this I relied heavily on my Kristel Sallogaro book and my Pinterest ‘Hexie love’ board. I do love pinterest for ideas [Edit: August 2015] I did particularly love this Granny hexagon blanket at Serendipity Patch, which inspired my final choices. I usually use Ravelry too, to look at other completed projects with the pattern I am using, but this time, no one has shared projects I could find on Ravelry with Melody’s granny hexagon. I decided on doing the first 2 rounds in colour A and the second 3 rounds in colour B. Although, when I started crocheting I decided I preferred just 2 rounds of colour B, so I went with that instead. It doesn’t matter too much as I haven’t decided on the final layout yet.
And there you have it. I hope my little musings on the creative process I used for my blanket have been helpful to you. I will be providing progress updates as I go along. I hope you are having happy days and I would love to hear about how you plan your projects and of course, if any of my little meaderings have been helpful to you. 🙂