My dear straggling readers, thank you for bearing with me as I’ve failed to post anything of substance for nearly a year. Maybe more. I used to think that ‘working from home’ with a baby would be a peaceful, mutually beneficial, calm experience, where I would tap away at my laptop while my baby would sit placidly at my feet, playing with blocks. Every few minutes I would take a break to shower attention and then every few hours we’d take a snack break.
I am a total victim of social media parenting and HE KNOWS IT. Every time I try to ‘laptop’ my baby is tugging at my legs and crawling in my lap to smash the keys. Trying to type a short email via phone or tablet requires holding said object high above my head while he claws at my neck. The best moments of his day are when I finally cave and let him slobber all over and smash my phone repeatedly into other hard objects. I’m going to regret that one very, very soon.
Anyhoo, I also happened to move (four times this past year), finally settling in one of the hottest countries in ze entire world, and making anything yarn related was just not in the cards.
Excuses done! Here’s my most recent project! Hooray!
It was stemmed partially (mostly) by the realization that an “entire room solely dedicated to yarn” cannot be a long term reality. Our first DR housing was woefully small and all my yarn was crammed into the guest room. Our second housing has an extra room, and oh what a beautiful room it is!!
We got to see our house as they were still remodeling and tearing everything out… we specifically requested they leave those ridiculously high wooden shelves specifically to house ALL THE YARN.
But in the future, asking for “a room for us, a room for the baby, a guest room, and a separate room solely dedicated to my yarn” might not be the most realistic expectation. Therefore, my goal over the next year is to pare down said existing stash so everything fits into one of the (two) black IKEA shelves… (*cough cough* reality check I’ll probably have to donate it all)
Anyway, I had purchased one of each of Lion Brand Wool Ease’s zillion colors several years ago thinking I would make… curly scarves? Have you EVER actually seen anyone wearing one? Right, me neither. Ergo, said skeins languished and then recently I discovered over half the colors are now discontinued. Soooooo, what to do with all these lone skeins? I was literally lying awake at 1am one night (morning?) when it came to me: Purl Bee’s Rainbow Blanket! I had to exercise severe discipline not to leap out of bed at that very moment to get started. The knowledge that I would be woken up at 5:30am with no snooze button option was a great deterrent to keep me in bed.
However, bright and early the next morning I dug out all my colors and came up with this:
You’ll notice that above the colors is *another* blanket, one that I’ve been working on since last November. What? Me, procrastinate? Never…
I started out following the pattern for 9×12 squares for a total of 108. I originally had 22 colors. I ended up purchasing three more colors at the end (isn’t that always the case), for a total of 25. For 21 colors I made five blocks each, then three each of the remaining four colors, for a total of 9×13 = 117 squares.
I followed the same basic pattern, but I believe that Purl Bee’s *ridiculously expensive* yarn is a super light gauge. To compensate using worsted weight, I used an H hook and did the following:
Row 1: Ch4, sl st to make a circle, ch2, 12dc into circle, sl st to first st (12 st)
Row 2: Ch2, 2dc in each st, sl st (24 st)
Row 3: *(Ch3, dc, dc, ch2, dc, dc, tr) ALL into same st. Skip two st, hdc, skip two st*, repeat * around, except replace ch3 with a tr. Sl st into the top of the Ch3 at the beginning of the round. This is the row that ‘turns the circle into a square’.
Row 4: Switch to offwhite/border color. Ch2, one dc in each st around, except in the corners (the two ch space between the tr/dc/dcs), where you 3dc, ch2, 3dc, then continue around. You’ll end kind of in the middle of one of the straight sides. Fasten off and weave in ends.
I arranged the squares rather haphazardly, a first for my overthinking mind. Basically I tried not to have any of the same color directly connected above, below or next to, but diagonally was okay.
To connect the squares I used this awesome slip stitch tutorial. It makes a beautiful chain-like stitch between the squares but lies flat, unlike slip stitching or sc the way I used to connect my granny squares. I finished off the whole blanket with a sc border.
A few tips: use a size larger hook to slip stitch the squares together, otherwise your tension might be tight and the squares will tend to pucker up. Mine already did a wee bit. Also, ch1 between every square both horizontally and vertically. I didn’t ch1 for eight rows and had to take them all apart when I realized there wasn’t enough room between the squares for them to lie flat. If you really care about the blanket being completely flat, block the squares before stitching them together.
I started this project with as much ambition as I normally do, fully expecting to peter out halfway through as per usual. However, I discovered that this blanket goes FAST. Each inside color block took me 4 minutes, the white part 3, weaving in brought each square to about 10 minutes each. I could crank out 5 of each color while watching a movie. Procrastination of my *other* project was also a great motivator.😉
My squares ended up being about 4″x 4″ each, resulting in a blanket 36″x52″. I think it’s slightly smaller than the Purl Bee version but it makes a great lap blanket while watching TV or as entertainment factor for destructive little people.
Here are the squares nicely lined up, ready to sew…
Here they are minutes later when my crawling baby discovered them, much to his delight…
I ended up needing four skeins of the off white/border color. I would estimate the other colors used up about a third of a skein each. Definitely a great project if you’re looking to destash and only have a bit of each color. Now that I still have enough left over of each color to make at least two more, and knowing that it went so fast, I may be tempted to repeat this one.
What are your summer long term projects??