8 March 2009

Jelly Bean Afghan

After finishing the Jelly Bean Scarf I found myself with quite the stack of leftover balls of super yummy squishy alpaca goodness in a lovely palette of jelly bean colours. I thought I'd make another version of the scarf for someone else, but then Mr. Peabody and Mr. Pare suggested a jelly bean afghan. Brilliant!

I was super excited about the idea that I grabbed my hook and my favourite granny square pattern and started hooking away.

Pattern: Willow by Jan Eaton from 200 Crochet Blocks

I created some simple rules about how to go about making this blanket. I'm a big fan of creating simple almost computer program logical algorithms when I'm working with leftovers or don't have a specific idea in mind for the finished product. Yes, I'm a dork, but who isn't really?

I really like the effect of this square in one solid colour. Using one colour draws more attention to texture created by the arrangement of stitches which I really like. So my rules were to make as many solid blocks as possible with any given yarn. And then when I couldn't complete an entire block, I'd leave the last complete round and then start a new block and go as far as possible until all the yarn ran out.

1. Popsicle Pink + Raspberry, 2. Burgundy + Raspberry, 3. Blue + Raspberry

After working through 2 balls of yarn, I had a whole stack of blocks to evaluate.

I started laying them out and really wasn't a fan of how it was going to turn out. So I thought maybe I'd divide them into two blankets, one of the solids and then one of the leftover-multi-bits. But after pondering for a week or so I decided I really didn't like the idea.

Though I really like the Willow block, I don't like it as much when it's multicoloured. But with the gauge of yarn I was using, the blocks are too small to really get a sense of the texture created in each block. Really I was trying to recreate my lovely Ginormo Granny Square blanket with a substitute set of yarn that was available and in my price range but the heart wants what it wants.

I went on the search (Ravelry and Flickr) for another suitable crochet blanket pattern that suits fun bright jelly bean colours and came up with this:

Pattern: Hexagon Blanket by Kazekobo (風工房) (reverse crocheted from Flickr photos)

I have no experience hunting those fantastic Japanese craftbooks and a search for the ISBN yielded nothing so I set about reverse-crocheting from Flickr photos instead. Judging by the date of other people's version of this blanket I figured it would be quite hard to come by anyways. I think I've come quite close though and have been happily crocheting away.

And yes, the dork in me has been having fun too. After working up a couple of blocks where I randomly picked the next colour, I started with a whole mass production, permutations and combinations style thing with all the colours. But more on that later.

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