Sunday, 10 April 2016

Operation 'Block'

A long time ago, my dear knitting pal Snoopydog gifted me membership of the wonderful Natural Dye Studio Rainbow yarn club. I selected the DK weight as my yarn of choice and each month, received a wonderfully squishy parcel of colourful yarn. After twelve months, my rainbow was complete.

Knitting a rainbow! 003

I knew that I wanted to knit a blanket from it, and when Anne Hanson over at knitspot came up with the Love Squared blanket as part of her BareNakedKnitspot club, my pattern search was at an end. I began knitting the blocks at the start of 2015, with Flo eagerly monitoring progress on 'her' blanket!

Comfort Me block 1 done! (5)

I didn't get too far on my blanket journey before tendinitis reared its ugly head, putting pay to about half a year's worth of knitting. But once I started knitting again, I found the blanket squares to be ideal projects to work on as they were small and light, so there wasn't too much weight on my wrist. Bit by bit, I've added to my collection of squares, until in February of this year, I knit my 36th (and last) square. Happy days! Of course, I knew that the end of my blanket was still a long way off, as all the squares need to be blocked before each one has a crocheted edging. Then the individual squares need to be sewn together before a border can be added. But this holiday, I decided that it was time for Operation 'Block' to get under way.

The first task was to sew in all the ends. So armed with a darning needle, a pair of scissors and a mug of Yorkshire Tea, I got going.

Operation 'Block' (1)

Of course, I had some furry assistance. Flo was keen to do some quality control and naturally, she had to lie down on the square I was attempting to work on! She's giving me a look here, don't you reckon?! A kind of 'Paws off, this one's mine!' kind of message!

Operation 'Block' (3)

Actually, it didn't take me that long to sew in the ends, and before long, I had a mini-mountain of 72 yarn tails. 

Operation 'Block' (4)

Then the squares were soaked and pinned out. This had to be done in two stages because I ran out of both space and pins! Dye came out of both the red and orange squares, and one of the pale blue squares has a couple of orange streaks on the reverse. I didn't bother to try resoaking that one to see if the orange would come out as it's on the back. But it did make it very clear what I need to do about the edging yarn.

Operation 'Block' (8)

Operation 'Block' (9)

Originally, I had planned on edging each square using some undyed DK yarn from The Natural Dye Studio, but had read online about some of the colours bleeding. So I thought that a darkish grey colour would frame each one quite nicely. I bought some black dye and mixed it up and turned this little lot of yarn spaghetti ...

Operation 'Block' (2)

...into this! Yes, I know it's not remotely grey, it's blue! I assume that I didn't mix the dye strong enough but am worried about it becoming jet black (which I don't want) so I am planning on leaving it blue. I'm not sure it will go dark grey as the blue is quite a strong colour to cover over. I've tried it up against the squares and it looks ok!

Operation 'Block' (7)

So now I have a stack of squares, each of which needs to have the same number of stitches crocheted around the edges. Given that the squares have slightly different row and stitch counts, I am going to have to pay attention!

Operation 'Block' (5)

In the meantime, I've been having a play around arranging the blocks, but haven't come to any final decisions yet. What do you think? Any suggestions? I'll let you know when Operation 'Crochet' commences! xxx

Operation 'Block' (6)


Snoopydog said...

Those blocks are looking good! Such a shame that a couple of them bled. I think the blue will look good as the edging colour. Ros x

VeggieMummy said...

So many beautiful colours and patterns. I think your arrangement is great - the only one I would maybe change is the pale one in the bottom left corner - and only because if you squint slightly it looks as though that block is missing, but then I have absolutely no colour sense whatsoever, so what do I know?! Love the joining blue - what a happy accident. xx

Una said...

As blue is my favourite colour I agree it was a happy accident. This is going to look marvellous.

Gracey is not my name.... said...

Looks great so far...but oy vey...the edging.....

Lynne said...

Ooo, this is looking great! What about graduating the colours as they are in the first photo of the skeins??

Jenny said...

Yes you've got some lovely blocks there but I don't envy you having to put them together. Still you are lucky to have Flo keeping an eye on things and of course being so encouraging.

Evelyn Hender said...

lovely looking blocks there, looking forward to seeing them all joined together. That blue you dyed is beautiful <3