16 May 2012

A spring project

At last I can tell you about my new project!
Last summer I taught myself to crochet using this book, which I'll tell you about in a future post and got completely hooked (sorry awful pun I know) on crochet and amigurumi. Cute as the little creatures and stuffed food (again, I'll tell you about it another time) were, I decided I wanted to make something that actually had some kind of use to it. Not that I'm saying cutesy crochet animals and ice cream sandwiches aren't cute!! They make me smile and that's important in life, but at the end of the day what can you actually do with a crocheted piece of chocolate cake? One day I have aspirations to crochet an entire picnic set for children to play with, but short of having the time or a suitable child to palm all the squishy loveliness off onto, what should I make?

So, after Christmas when I browsing a well known high street bookshop to find something to spend a voucher I was given on, I stumbled across this book...

Cute & easy crochet, which makes you smile and actually has a use once you've made it! Crochet, cuteness and practicality all in one - I'm in love!!

It was written by Nicki Trench, who you can find on her blog here or on her website here, and is full to the brim with gorgeous and useful projects. There were so many things I wanted to make straight away, including the cafetiere cosy, knickerbockerglory bunting, any of the cushions.... the list continues. And I wanted to make it all. Right now.

However, I'm still rather annoyingly in the midst of my summer term at uni, so with 1 coursework deadline and 6 exams to go, time is short and money is low. Never a great combination when you want to start a new project, no matter how lovely it is.
So I decided to work backwards and collected together my wool first, picking out the colours from my bedspread...

...so whatever I was going to make was going to be for my bedroom and had to be easy to pick up and put down again whenever I had a patch of free time. I still had trouble deciding which project to pick, but in the end I decided to go for the springtime throw - something that's easy, portable at least until it gets to the sewing up stage and has a bit of variety in it as much as there are 20 different colour combinations for the mini Granny squares.

So here we are, I started last Wednesday and by Sunday look how far I'd got!

Little baby squares of granny goodness

Since then I've done 2 more squares and written a 2000 word essay, which I personally don't think is bad going really - that's progress of roughly 1 square per day! They're easy to do, I'm getting to know the pattern off by heart, every square I do seems to be taking less and less time and the colours seem to be gelling really well (with the exception of the turquoise which I'm still trying to find a reliable source for so have left out for now).

So if that's 8 squares I've done so far, by my calculations that only leaves me with... hang on, how many? 424 more to do? In which case at my current speed I should be about ready to start stitching the thing together by about July 2014. Hmmm.

In reality I'm not actually intending to make a blanket quite as big as the one in the book (approx 162 x 223 cm), instead I'm planning on making mine more single bed sized, at around 120 x 200 cm, which by my rough calculations means I'll only need 286 squares, a slight improvement on my previous estimate, plus as my speed picks up and I have more free time I'm sure I'll manage an average of a couple more than one a day.

I knew my maths A-level would come in useful one day...

Even if I get bored and decide I've had enough, the beauty of a Granny square project is that you can always make it into something else - a cushion, a bag, a smaller blanket. At the moment I've only got one ball of each of the colours which won't last me long, but I've deliberately chosen brands and colours that are easy to source so that I can buy more as I progress and if I can't get a colour for whatever reason I can get another similar one and simply mix it in, or at least that's the plan anyway!

So there you have it, my new project. What do you think?
I'll keep you posted on my progress as I work my way through this mammoth (for me anyway) project. I mean, the finished thing will be bigger than me! Or at least that's the plan for now anyway.

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