Friday, 28 November 2014

Glorious Granny Stripes!

Hello everyone! I still don't have broadband yet due to a fault in the wires in our building here, so we have invested in mobile broadband for now. It's obviously much slower than 'proper' internet, but at least I can now use my laptop! What a relief!!! 

And I want to really thank you for your support over this time - I really thought that no-one would bother with blog if stopped writing, but I have had some lovely messages, even while I've been off-line for chunks of time, and it has really meant a lot to me. At such a time of upheaval and frustration, it has really comforted and uplifted me to read your messages, so I really am grateful. Thank you so much xx


At the moment, I am limited in being able to upload photos unfortunately, so while I am desperate to show off my pics of our recent trip to see koalas (so brilliant!!!) I am instead going with a crochet post. I can post this one as when I was on the free wifi at the shopping centre the other day I uploaded these photos, so now I can do the writing :)  

[You may wonder why I don't go back there and upload the koala photos - well, I did try, but my laptop doesn't fit in the pannier bags on my bicycle. So I can get to the shopping centre, but not have my laptop. Or I can have my laptop, but not get to the shopping centre... We should be getting a second car pretty soon though, which will mean I can take my laptop wherever I want! Yay!!!]
SO, crochet it is :)
It took me a little while to get my crochet mojo back after arriving in Australia. I think that this was mostly because exploring my new home town was much more exiting to start with! With its tropical birds, free outdoor swimming pools, palm trees and beaches, coffee and ice cream shops… who could resist??

But the tropics aren’t all about paradise, oh no. We are now into the beginning of The Wet – a season of high humidity, high temperatures, heavy rains and even tropical storms or cyclones! I had adapted well to the heat when we arrived, but now that the humidity has joined the party I am finding myself sweating sitting still… (sorry for that horrible image!) heading out to explore on my bicycle is no longer so appealing, and on the hottest days I have been staying inside under the fan. After reading about 8 books in a row to keep myself occupied during the days, I realised that if we acclimatise to this heat, then during the ‘winter’ here we will probably feel a chill in the nights – not perhaps enough to justify using a duvet, but probably enough to require a sheet and a blanket. A lovely, crocheted blanket of course!

Thus inspired, I rummaged through my stash – all carefully organised before we left, it was reduced to a jumble of mixed up ragged yarnballs spread over various boxes thanks to the move! I had decided to begin something totally new... Blanket-wise, I do have my Cuddly Hexagon Blanket still in progress - although looking for the link has shown me that I haven't worked on it since April! - but I was just in the mood for something new, something brighter with a simpler design that was easier to hook up – and had fewer ends to darn in!

My first thought was to make a purple blanket with leftovers from the Glastonbury, but alas there was not really enough yarn in colours that worked nicely together, and I haven’t found a decent yarn shop yet to add any more, so that plan didn’t work. Fortunately, I had other left over yarns: some were leftover from an Attic 24 pack I ordered years ago, but then raided to use for various other projects (such as the Parker & Safi Baby Blankets, purples and pinks for the Glastonbury etc.) Others were yarns bought online for projects, but that turned to be not quite right and so ended up in my stash…

I started off by sorting out all of the balls that I had 2 of, figuring that I would need this many balls to create a double bed-sized blanket. I also left out the colours that I had in greater quantities, in case I wanted them in the future (not being sure how tricky/pricey it would be to get Stylecraft out here!) That gave me the following Stylecraft Special DK colours (in no particular order):
Lavender Meadow Clematis Aster Spring Green Wisteria Magenta Cloud Blue Saffron (The other yellow in the bag is Sunshine, but it didn’t really work so I left it out in the end. I’ll find something to use it for eventually!)

I wanted to work in rows rather than on the round, to keep ends to a minimum. I thought about all kinds of fancy designs, but seeing the random collection of colours I decided it was better to keep the pattern simple, and so I settled on a simple, rhythmic Granny Stripe design. I do mine ever so slightly different to the Attic 24 one, so I will write up instructions for how I get started in another post, just in case anyone is interested :)

After making some progress with my blanket, I wondered if it might get a little dull if I carried on with just these colours...

I had single balls of other great colours that I would like to include, but I was worried about running out. Then I just figured that if I added all of the individual balls too, then it would bulk up the yarn quantity and hopefully go far enough for a whole blankie! So I ended up with this mixture:

(The new colours were also all Stylecraft Special DK, in: Candyfloss Lipstick Sherbert Shrimp Bluebell Pomegranate Turquoise and a darker Purple from which the label had come off)

So, basically, there was no method at all to the colour selection process for this project! Apart from saving the yarns that I had the most of, in case of wanting to use them for something else, I basically threw in everything that was spare from my Stylecraft Special DK stash.

The colour sequence is sort of random too, I am just taking care not to let sections get too dark or too light, and I’m trying to spread out the use of the reds and greens. To keep an even mix of colours (as I don’t want to run out of any too soon!) I am using two bags. As I finish with a colour, it goes into the second bag so I can’t chose it again until I have used up the other colours – although if I get to the end of the bag and the last colours don’t really work, then I will make a judgement call about which colour should go next… Once the ‘in use’ bag is used up, I will start over again – randomly choosing the colours and then putting back in the other bag ready for the next time.

Despite this haphazard approach, I am fairly happy with the progress so far, and I’m really glad that I’ve added in some more colours – I should have taken more pictures to show you the difference, but the extra colours have really brought it to life (although now I think the first few rows look all wrong – hopefully a bit of a border will fix that!) and I particularly like the addition of the Pomegranate. I love that colour!

So here it is so far, 13 stripes down and looking good I think! (It's now a bit bigger than this so I will take more photos for another update)

My Leftover Granny Stripe :)


  1. Hello, gosh I am glad to see you back and start hearing all your news....loving the blanket, can't beat random!!! xx

    1. Thank you! I'm struggling to catch up on news now - I might have to do a brief catch-up post rather than trying to get everything posted properly! And I haven't read any blogs in aaaaages... I need to catch up on things soon instead of spending all my internet time on Pinterest! haha