The “art” of blanket planning…a beginner’s journey
I am still thinking if I am going to have a theme or what I am planning for 2018… I have few deadlines I need to honour but after that, I am a free -bird and I can do whatever I fancy.
So in the midst of creating something new and exciting I am also putting together a program for classes for beginners and more advanced crocheters, because one of the highlights of last year was teaching, I discovered that I LOVE TEACHING! I like the excitement to meet new people, I like the energy and buzz that they bring to the table and I like that they go home, hopefully with some new skills to work with.
teaching to beginners is probably the most challenging of all lessons as it is often their first encounter with this amazing exciting artform and you want to pass on the rudiments of crochet as well as possible,
but at the same time not be boring or frustrating or altogether scary! so I engaged the help of my daughter Francesca to test some samples of possible projects to make sure that I teach them to walk before to run as Hussein Bolt! Francesca is great because she can crochet already, she is what I would call a very keen beginner and I think that is a good platform to start with.
While testing and chatting about several possibilities she said she wanted to make a blanket “all by herself” for someone very special… so I started to say ..ok what do you have in mind, what size, what colours, what yarn …etc.
It became apparent to me that you can make an original, interesting and exciting blanket from scratch even if you are a beginner, just following some basic rules.
So that is what this Blog entry is all about a beginner’s journey…and I will keep you updated on her progress and you might find something interesting to use on your projects at home.
So where to start…
WOOOW SO EXCITING I AM GOING TO MAKE A NEW BLANKET!….
then comes the frantic search on Pinterest , Ravelry, magazines, books, social media, and patterns of all sorts.. which is all good.
So I encouraged her to collect things, scrap of fabrics, leafs, stones , anything that can create a visual map . Even the process to combine them all together it is very important because you can focus on the colours and that will reflect on the choice of yarns you are going to make . so make a bord, take a picture with your phone and THEN CHOOSE THE YARN!!
Bring the picture with you at your yarn-store or use it as reference if you shop on line or even to select some hues from your stash..( because we all have one of those…).
So Francesca collected things she likes and patterns she finds interesting, but also I reminded her that if you make something for someone else your search should be focused not on the pattern you like or you want to make yourself, but on what he/she would like to have!
She made the boards and took the pictures herself …so this is a collaboration project!
Some nature’s inspiration….and , by the way, you do not need amazing skills or amazing landscapes, travelling or what so ever…just go outside !!!
Very often you see on social media fellow crocheters complaining that they spent a lot of time, efforts and money making what they thought was a lovely blanket ar scarf or whatever but they encounter a very tepid reception. Now I do believe there is always a rogue one that no matter what you make he/she still could not careless but you will find that 99% of the time people love receiving a handmade gift made with love. .. BUT you must follow a few rules to succeed…
I have to confess, I have seen some shockers on my computer that made me think ..oh well no wonder it didn’t work out!
ARE YOU SURE HE/SHE WANTS A BLANKET?????
that is a GREAT START to figure that out first! maybe he /she prefer a new t-shirt, a pair of shoes, a concert ticket, been taken out on a special day, a Transformer, some Kyle Jenner’s makeup or a gosh.. a Gucci bag! I don’t know..million of different possibilities and remember
if he/she doesn’t really want a blanket it is not all lost! don’t get upset or deflated..just MAKE A BLANKET FOR YOURSELF ! or find someone else 😀
DO NOT BITE OFF MORE THEN YOU CAN CHEW!
aghhhh really delicate point… I know we all have seen the most amazing and intricate blanket and we want to make one exactly the same but you must be realistic and not only look at your budget but also at your abilities especially if it is meant as a gift. it has to be right..none of that malarky “ohh I miss 2 stitches on my round 23..now I am at round 37 should I unravel and fix it?…if you noticed the answer is always YES!! totally utterly YES!!! I can’t stress that enough..the idea that you could call it unique means you are kidding yourself on ,it is like baking a cake and forgetting the sugar, apologies if I am being a little bit harsh.
I am going to tell you a little story… after the Frida’s Primavera was released I had a lot of emails from ladies showing me their progress and I really loved to help and compliment them on their efforts.. but I also had a lady who sent me a picture of the blanket and one of the hexagons had only 5 sides… she had joined the blanket and said to me..I know it has 5 sides and not 6 but will it be still ok? can you tell me how can I fix it ?.. what could I say? there isn’t a nice way to say…sorry but you have to unravel the all blanket because it doesn’t look right.. I did say that and I don’t think she was very impressed at all. I wish I had a “Magic Wand” or an a “Aladdin’s Lamp” to correct mistakes , but trust me..mistakes have to be fixed. I made tonnes myself and I have had to unravel countless times until I am entirely happy with it. So the bottom line is;
if you see it, others, even if they do not crochet, will see it too.
So CHECK YOUR WORK! and more importantly practice your square until you are completely happy with it, before embarking on a full blanket!. It takes just maybe an evening to practice a motif or a square, please make a swatch of the stripe, or wave or whatever pattern you plan to use..and I know it might be a bit boring and you are excited to start, but it will save you time and frustrations in the long run.
I have been going on a bit of a tangent..let’s get back on track…
so my advice is simple;
Do not bite off more you can chew.
Swatch whatever you think is good
Believe and be comfortable that you can do it.
And tackle the project head on!
Please always remember, that it is MUCH BETTER to make a beautifully executed properly planned, humble, granny square’s blanket, than a wonky striped blanket or a complex hexagon blanket with one of the sides missing .
Back to Francesca’s blanket…
As the blanket is for a guy she didn’t want a fussy pattern and she opted for ..the granny square. and I am very happy she did that because it allows me to show you what amazing potentials a granny square has!
So she did a few samples..until she was happy with it..then came the part I like most COLOURS !!! I leave you with a picture…and I will tell you the story next time 😀
love to you all,