Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Willow Brights Revisited

These haven’t seen the light of day for quite some time, but yesterday I was chatting to a friend who wants to read more. She suggested that occasionally we head down to the Strand (the sea front in Townsville) and sit on blankets in the shade with our books, reading and making occasional forays into the ice cream shops!

A brilliant plan in my opinion, and it sparked a memory of a long-forgotten silly project I started ages ago. This project has been packed up and untouched since we started preparing the for the move to Australia, but I thought this was the perfect opportunity to fetch it back out again, so off I went to rummage in my stash…

About a year ago now I first had a go at making some new (to me) squares with some random Stylecraft Special DK from my stash. The block I was making is the Willow square from Jan Eaton’s book, 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix and Match

The results were pretty garish, so I had the thought that maybe it could become a bright picnic blanket at some point. Then, I had other things to be getting on with – namely the Mumbles Ripple for my brother’s wedding present. 

At some point in time, back in the UK, I spotted some yarn in crazy neon colours that reminded me of this put-away crochet. This yarn was Patons Fab in Fruity 2324, and it is a yarn made up of a few bright / neon colours in a variegated pattern. If you are interested, when I just had a quick look, the only place I could find it in stock was Purple Linda Crafts. I have ordered from there before and found it just as good as any other online yarn shop, so if it’s new to you then it’s worth checking out :) 

The label has gotten lost in the move. Loads of my yarn is such a mess now!

I also came across some other neons in Stylecraft Special DK – Fiesta (on the right in the pic below) is a neon pink, as compared to the darker Bright Pink (on the left):

I also got Bright Green (a bright green, funnily enough!) These two went great with the Jaffa (bright / neon orange) that I already had. Sunshine (the yellow) isn't neon, but it's still pretty bright.

The Fiesta, Bright Green and Jaffa really made a great colour match with the Patons Fab, and the two types of yarn are pretty much identical in texture, softness, thickness, and anything else that matters when it comes to mixing yarn types. And while rummaging for these bits, look what I discovered: the other colour in the Fab Fruity is the same as Stylecraft Special DK’s Turquoise!

These colours are pretty ridiculous, but very fun, and there is quite a big thing here at the moment for lovely neon colours in sports clothes – just Google ‘neon Asics’, or check out Running Bare to see what I mean. So, I thought a neon outdoor blanket would fit right in!

When I first had a go at these Willow Squares, this is how far I got:

The yellow doesn’t go with the Fab Fruity scheme, and the original Aspen border doesn’t go either, so I just left the yellow squares alone – they can perhaps become a more sober outdoor blanket, so that people won't be ashamed to associate with me in public! The Bright Pink from this photo is also redundant now that I have the Fiesta, which is a good job as I couldn’t find that square!

The Jaffa works perfectly, so I frogged the Aspen rounds off these squares (to be recycled onto more Sunshine squares later) to replace it with the Fab.

So I made a square in each neon colour:

 Then added in the Turquoise too:

So difficult to capture these uber-bright colours accurately: the green looks too washed-out, and the Turquoise looks like blue. I need to figure out some more suitable lighting for future photos...

VERY garish I think - it will need to be toned down a bit - but I kind of like it, for outdoor use at least! 

I have added this to Cherry Heart's March 2015 Blanket-Along over on Ravelry :)


  1. Wow Debbie, that is bright indeed!! I think it will look brilliant when it is done, a perfect beach blanket, I love the pattern....are you going to join together on-the-Go? That could be a more toned down shade to tie it altogether xxx

    1. Thanks - it's not something you would want around the house is it?! haha!

      I'm definitely going to add more rounds of another colour so that the neon gets more spread out. I'm trying hard to think an option more imaginative than black, but so far that's all I could come up with... I'll have to see if inspirations strikes!


  2. Wowzas that's a super zingy colourway!

    What about making some plain white squares and arranging them pehaps in a chessboard effect with the neon ones? Would make the neon squares pop but also tone things down overall

    1. Ooh that's a nice idea. Now that I've made a few though, I'm really going off the idea of the neon border to the central motif. I thought it would be a bit funky, but in reality I think it's pretty horrible when you get a few together! Time for another rethink... ;)