Friday, July 18, 2014

One ninety-two



I started working on my flowery circles almost six months ago and finished them this week. There are 192 in total, too many to photograph without help from the Bear and his monopod. I'll have him help me take some good overhead shots of the finished blanket. For now, I think these photos give a good idea of the color palette and the general tone.

I'm using Solstrikke's Flowers in the Snow pattern for both the circles themselves and her joining method, which creates a really beautiful, lacy effect between the circles. Solveig's tutorial is really good and I'm impressed that she provides an English version in addition to the original Norwegian one. I recommend her pattern highly. I had my eye on this blanket for a couple of years before I started making my own. I had seen it on Ravelry and fell in love with it. It seemed much too complicated for me and I held off trying it out until this winter, when I finally felt like I could tackle it. I'd made flowery circles before, when I made my cushion cover last spring, and I'd enjoyed working on them. I was a little wary about all the weaving-in I'd have to do for a blanket made from them, though. This blanket is for my GB. I'd never crocheted a blanket expressly for her before. But I wanted it to be special when I did, and I think this one should fill that bill nicely. It's a grown-up blanket, fancy and intricate. Every circle is different.


I stored my circles in these two shoeboxes as I finished them. I had mentioned this in a previous post about this blanket; I really liked having them in the shoeboxes because it made it easy to see the colors of the outer rounds as I worked. Then I could make more with a given color if needed. Plus it kept them all contained; I had previously stored granny squares in shopping bags on the floor around my desk. This was messy and disorganized, and people were kicking my bags and stepping all over the squares. Not so this time; I kept the boxes on the top shelf of the bookcase next to my desk and they were safe and tidy up there. I have limited space for crafting but I'm getting the hang of keeping my supplies organized and accessible.



The circles will be randomly placed in the blanket, for the most part, but I did try to keep the colors spread out a bit. I didn't want too much of one color to sort of pool in a small area of the blanket. I laid them all out on the floor and moved them around accordingly. The blanket is made up of 192 squares, arranged 12 by 16. To keep them in order the way I wanted them, I picked up each row of 12 and threaded a piece of yarn through the centers of the circles, tying it in a bow. Then I put a numbered Post-It note on each bundle, folding the note to make a tag. I put all the bundles back into the shoeboxes in numerical order. This might seem obsessive, but it helps me keep some order. Hey, I gotta be me.



I've only just started joining them. I really like Solveig's join-as-you-go method. I had very little prior experience with JAYG, but I like it a lot. I have had some trouble with joining squares before; the crochet- and sew-together methods I've tried left the finished pieces rather lumpy and stiff. I like this joining method because it looks light and open, and the joins are lying nice and flat. I actually did some frogging when I first began the joining process. The yarn I had initially opted to use, Lion Brand Baby Soft in White, didn't work well. It was too thin, light and fluffy. It was looking sort of raggedy to me. The circles are made mostly from Stylecraft Special DK, which is quite a bit stiffer and sturdier than this other yarn. I decided not to use it. I frogged the few joins I'd done and started over with Stylecraft in White. I had three balls, which is about half the total I'll need. I ordered some more from Wool Warehouse and it should be here soon. (I'm still wishing we could buy this yarn more easily in the US. It makes a wonderful blanket).

I'm really enjoying this blanket. I did the bulk of the work over the past couple of months, making more than half the circles in that time. But I've got nearly six months' work into it all together now and it has been a pleasure to make. I look forward to giving it to my little girl. I've even been thinking that I might gift it to her sooner than I'd planned; the joining is going so quickly now that I may give it to her for her birthday in early fall instead of Christmas, as I'd been thinking before. Then she can use it sooner too, as the weather begins to cool down. I plan to keep it on her bed, folded at the foot and pulled up at night as necessary. I'm in no hurry, though; I like seeing this blanket come together. I've learned to savor my projects more lately. The really fiddly part of this project - the tri-colored circles - is past now. The joining is rhythmic and rather soothing, I think. I have loved working on it when my GB is around because she watches carefully and makes lots of observations. She has always made me want to heap pretty things on her. It's one of my favorite things about my daughter; she's like a muse to me. She motivates me to learn and create.

60 comments:

  1. Oh Jennifer - I just love this! The flowers are so cute and I know it's going to be the prettiest blanket, and a treasure for GB.

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  2. Seeing your progress with this project is really inspiring. I love how you've managed to keep track of everything in such a sensible way. I have little pockets of creativity stashed around the house so I have to be very organised in order to have everything I need ready when the mood and opportunity strike. I'm always leaving something crucial in LittleRs room when she's asleep! Looking forward to seeing the finished blanket which I'm sure the GB will adore.

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  3. I love the way you have organized it all,( I don't see it as obsessive at all I see it as organized). It really is coming together beautifully. Looking forward to seeing the end result.

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  4. That is going to be one magnificent blanket! Look forward to seeing it very much ☺

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  5. There is nothing wrong with being organised, There is a true expression "To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail". I'm looking forward to seeing the finished blanket.

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  6. You are amazing Jennifer!!!And this blanket will be the prettiest one! Well done!

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  7. Wow, is all I can say! I'm so impressed with your blanket project! I also have loved that design when I've seen it. I am really looking forward to seeing it when it's done. I think you should submit it to your county fair, it would surely win a Blue Ribbon! What a tribute of love for your daughter! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  8. Oh. My. God.
    I am thinking about the joining of 192 flowers.... I wonder where you find the motivation to start with such a huge job.... Respect !!
    But it will be utterly gorgeous when finished !!

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  9. truly beautiful and lovely the way your daughter is watching it's progress xxx

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  10. It's beautiful, I love how the circles all looked filed in the shoe box, so organised, my blanket squares are in a bag at the moment a bit crumpled, so I think I might adopt the shoe box system, looking forward to seeing the finshed blanket, I think it's going to gorgeous.
    Clare xx

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  11. The blanket looks beautiful. There's really only one way to get the circles where you want them and that is to have them organised the way you did. Joining this way is really great - I've used the same method too. And I like using the Stylecraft Special DK. I've just finished a baby shawl with it and am now doing a blanket for the baby's older sister with the same type of yarn but different colours. Well done on getting this far with your blanket. You're right about the joining - it will take a lot less time now to get it finished.

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  12. Ooooooooh P R E T T Y !
    Goodness me what a labour of love and it's going to be so delightful when it's finished, they all look beautiful enough just stored so neatly in the shoe boxes!
    I'm the same with my daughter ..... it's so lovely isn't it?
    Happy weekend
    love Jooles x x x

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  13. Wow Jennifer, that is a massive effort! It's going to be so wonderful when it's all finished. It must be very satisfying having them all made up now. I reckon your GB will almost be able to tackle the joining part herself if she continues to keep watch over her blanket like she has been. Happy weekend! Mel x

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  14. Absolutely beautiful, Jennifer. Your colour palette is very striking and you will love the finished blanket!

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  15. Oh gosh, it's stunning! I can't wait to see the completed blanket... x

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  16. It's gorgeous, Jennifer. I bet GB will love it! :o)

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  17. It's looking beautiful already, Jenninfer! I love your super organised way of keeping all the circles in their boxes, tied together like that. Very clever idea :) Can't wait to see the finished blanket, although I know what you mean by there is no rush, it's nice to make something like this last a bit longer :)

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  18. Jennifer that's fab!! I'm always in awe of projects like this. I also like what you said about enjoying the process and taking your time. It's not just about the finished article, because you obviously get so much satisfaction from the act of doing.
    Your daughter is a very lucky girl to have a Mum like you!
    Leanne xx

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  19. I love, love, love this, it is beautiful. I love the colours you have chosen, you certainly have an eye for colour. It will be a work of love that I'm sure your daughter will treasure forever. xx

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  20. Your blanket is coming on great Jennifer, it's very similar to my violet meadow blanket and I had a lot of fun making mine. Those shoes boxes do come in handy don't they. :)

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  21. fantastic! love the design, love the colours and love the storage! it will be a beaut when finished! Happy crocheting!!
    BH x

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  22. This is going to be wonderful Jennifer. I love the idea of storing the circles in a shoebox so that you can see the outer colours! Tempted to have a go but might only get as far as a cushion cover! Jane x

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  23. It is going to be the prettiest blanket!!!! I think daughters are suppose to make us feel like that!!! And I am especially blessed with 2 daughters!!!! Have a happy weekend!!!
    Love
    AMarie xxx

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  24. Jennifer, this is fabulous stuff - and I love the colours!
    And be sure to just keep on being you, please :-)

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  25. You are creating an heirloom, Jennifer. It is beautiful and GB is going to love it. I can't wait to see a picture of the finished blanket, all sewn together. :-)

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  26. it will be gorgeous, a real keepsake for her. Nice to embroider a little corner label for when you made it too. X

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  27. One hundred ninety-two circles! And from the way you write about it, it sounds like you're still enjoying it, even into the joining process. I'm amazed!

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  28. WOW! The circles are beautiful. The finished blanket will be a work of art and I'm sure will be well loved by the GB for years to come. I love it.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  29. Wow, lots of circles Jennifer!! After making my 210 squares I know how much work this is. They look really great, hope that you enjoy joining them all up. Great idea on the keeping the rows together, a sort of smaller version of the square snake that I made to keep all of mine together. xx

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  30. These are absolutely gorgeous!!!! I love to crochet and I've made one coaster this summer and that's it, it's all I have had time for, but I love it! And your work is amazing!! I love all of the colors and surrounded in white... love!
    I hope you're having a great weekend,
    Tammy x

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  31. It is going to be amazing when you are all finished, frankly all those beautiful circles look pretty amazing already.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  32. Oh my goodness. You have put so much work into this blanket and it shows. It is gorgeous with all the little circles and happy colors. An absolute labor of love this is and such a precious sentiment of love. GB is certainly blessed!

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  33. Wow your so organised. It looks like its going to be wonderful! I think it's so sweet what you said about your daughter being a muse x

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  34. Hi Jennifer, I'm just catching up! You have made a wonderful job of those circles and I have to say they are very neat! I love how you have organised everything! The joining method does look very neat, I will look forward to seeing the finished article.

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  35. Loving your brilliant organising, the shoe boxes are such a good idea. Your blanket is going to look quite amazing, looking forward to seeing the end results.
    Kate x

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  36. She's a lucky girl! The blanket is going to be stunning. I love the way you are savouring the process. I shall endeavour to do more of that in the future! J x

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  37. It's lovely Jennifer, well done you. I did a similar thing when I made a quilt for the middle boy. I laid out every single square on the floor in the right place, then I numbered the rows and put letters for the column position, so that I could sew them up in exactly the way I wanted, with no two colours too close together. It will be so nice to give your daughter the blanket when it's chilly, I know she's going to love it and treasure it. And maybe one day she'll put it on her daughter's bed too. CJ xx

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  38. What a stunner this blanket will be! I love the joining stitches. So pretty! Bee xx

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  39. This is looking fabulous!

    I've just spent a happy twenty minutes catching up on everything you've posted since I unplugged for three weeks. And now tomorrow I shall be trying your ice pop recipe.

    I hope the blahs don't come back and you get all the grey rainy days your heart craves x

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  40. Holy doodle, your circles are so pretty. I love all those colours and props to you for such a great organizing system.i love the lacy joining stitches, it will be so beautiful when it's done. I really have to start crocheting! Some projects sure take a long time but so worth it! Your daughter will love it and have it forever.

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  41. It's all looking wonderful Jennifer, and you are so well organised too; GB is going to love this beautiful blanket and treasure it forever! xoJoy

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  42. All those circles organized in their respective boxes with little notes are so pretty, and the view of the circles spread out to sort the pattern is beautiful as well, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing your process of making the blanket with us. I am celebrating each stage with you and enjoying your progress! It is so special that GB is enjoying the making process, too...sensing that you are loving making the blanket and you love her dearly :) xx

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  43. This is one of the most amazing crocheted blankies I have EVER seen! A treasure to last generations! xoxo Jen

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  44. My goodness are your circle flowers for this blanket gorgeous!!! I love how you have organized them and the colors are just stunning! I will have to bookmark that joining method as it looks just like you said light and lacy! What a lucky little girl and such a good mama!!! Happy weekend friend! Nicole xo

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  45. I love how this blanket is coming along. The colours are gorgeous. I know exactly what you mean when you describe how much you enjoy making things for your daughter...I am exactly the same with my wee girl.
    Marianne x

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  46. Beautiful Jennifer, it's going to be a stunning blanket! I love your little boxes of colour, just like little boxes of macarons and I love the clever way you have grouped your colours together to get a balance.
    Looking forward to seeing the finished blanket!
    V x

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  47. This is all coming together just beautifully. I know it will look so pretty on your daughter's bed. She is a lucky girl to have such a talented mom!

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  48. I can't believe how many you've done, and so quickly too. You are very disciplined; I'll still be talking about my blanket this time next year, I bet. I love your colour choices and think the shoe box storage is an excellent idea. x

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  49. This blanket will be a heirloom im sure! Your daughter will treasure this forever. I'm so excited to see it all finished x

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  50. Your blanket is looking so pretty, I love the way you are joining the colourful circles! And so special that it is for your daughter, she is going to treasure it! I also love your pretty boxes for storing the crochet circles in, they look wonderful just like that.
    Happy week, Jennifer.
    Helen xox

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  51. It's going to look so pretty, a proper girly blanket for sure, your daughter's so lucky to have such a talented mum. I love Stylecraft Special DK, it's hardwearing but soft and snuggly at the same time.

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  52. I can only say one thing.....WOW!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  53. I love the colours, your blanket will look beautiful.

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  54. Stunning, just stunning Jennifer. Beautiful colours: it is going to be an amazing blanket. I do think that having a daughter is an excellent motivator to make beautiful things. x

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  55. Hi Jennifer,

    You have been busy and love all your crocheted circles and they will make a fabulous blanket.
    Like how you are so organized with storing them neatly in the shoe boxes.
    Have a happy new week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  56. Jennifer, these are absolutely beautiful! You create such beautiful/lovely things. This blanket is going to be oh so lovely. :)

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  57. Wow! Each time I see such beautiful creations I just wish I could crochet. I MUST learn this year. The finished blanket will be stunning, and what an heirloom you'll have made.
    Sarah x

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  58. Oh no, I left a comment and it disappeared! I really love this blanket Jennifer, it is coming along nicely. These blankets are always the best, so much care and love has gone into it! GB will love it. My little girl has a crocheted blanked made by her aunt, it stays at the foot of her bed too. It also comes outside for picnics and comes downstairs on sick days! It is a big favourite in this house. I am sure GB will love it just as much. I really cannot wait to see the finished result! Not long now!

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  59. This is going to be just beautiful Jennifer, so special! I find JAYG soothing too, it's was my favourite part of making my blanket. x

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