Saturday, April 9, 2011

Musings on Stripes

I've been working on a blanket for a friend's impending baby, and I wanted to write a little bit about how I went about doing the yarn/pattern tango that is probably my favorite part of knitting/crocheting. I chose my pattern, Starghan, for a few reasons:
1. It's crocheted. I decided after I knit Sleepy Monkey that I wasn't too excited about knitting baby blankets for a while.
2. It's simple and meditative. I like that in a crochet pattern.
3. It's free! Always a plus.
4. A friend of mine was working on one and she was making it with bold stripes of color. I loved how that looked and decided to take it a little further by playing with color a little bit more.

I took inspiration from this crocheted baby blanket that's a sample at Purl Soho, one of my LYSes. I wasn't going to replicate this exactly, because I didn't want to buy quite that many colors, I didn't want to do a granny square, and I wanted to investigate other parts of the spectrum.

Anyway, here's the inspiration, from

Now, onto choosing the yarn:
Does it have a large palette?
Is the price reasonable?
Is it easy to care for?
Will I enjoy working with it?

For me, the answer to these questions is Cascade 220 Superwash, a fantastic workhorse yarn. I chose my colors inspired by the Purl Soho sample blanket. I wanted to get a whole bunch of colors, all in one section of the spectrum, in a variety of values (value being what shade of white-grey-black it would be if you too a black and white photo of the yarn), plus some neutrals. So I chose some greens, tealy blue-greens, purples, and neutrals. I generally went with the idea that I should like any two of the colors sitting next to each other, and I wanted the palette to be fairly gender neutral, but colorful and robust. I ordered the yarn from Webs--at quite a discount I might add!-- so I ended up falling prey to the colors-on-screen vs. colors-in-real-life debacle and two of my neutrals turned out to be nearly identical shades of light brown. Alas.

Now to choose an ordering! I liked the idea of a gradient-esque progression, but I didn't want it to be perfectly symmetrical, so I skipped colors along the way. I referred back to my inspirational baby blanket here and there, but it was also fairly improvisational. Here's a rumply cellphone photo that isn't as true to the colors as I would like it to be. But I like it so far!

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