Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Star Colors: A Crochet Blanket

With a new baby on the way for my friends Steve and Amanda, I set out to make yet another crocheted blanket.  This time I wanted to expand on the double-stranding skills I'd gained with my last project and see if I could use this technique for the purposes of color blending.

When I was first introduced to the idea of double stranding, I came across a fascinating pattern over on the Wooly Thoughts website.  The pattern uses 10 solid colors of yarn and double strands them in different combinations to generate a total of 55 different colors.  Yes, that's right.  55 different colors.  Amazing, isn't it?

Although I'd love to tackle something like that in the future, I first wanted to apply the idea as a way of blending adjacent colors to create smooth transitions between sections.  And what better way to test transitions than with a "color wheel" progression?  Here's what I ended up with:

I chose to stay with the same pattern (8-pointed round ripple) and yarn selection (Caron Simply Soft) I'd used for my godson's blanket, as I wanted the two blankets to coordinate and look like they belonged together.  I selected non-traditional versions of the three primary colors (yellow, red, blue) and the three secondary colors (orange, purple, green) because, well, I'm a bit non-traditional and my art generally reflects that.

In order to blend each color into the next, I created a transition zone between the colors by using one strand of each adjacent color.  For instance, I started with two strands of yellow, then moved to one strand of yellow with one strand of orange, then two strands of orange, then one strand of orange with one strand of red, etc.  This is probably a little easier to understand by looking at the pictures:

Overall, I am very pleased with how this turned out.  All the transitions between colors worked well except for the blended orange/red section--this one stands out from the whole blanket and I'm not sure I like it that way:
The only way to fix this would be to use a truer red (rather than burgundy) and/or a more red-hued version of orange so that the differences between them wouldn't be as great.  However, this would then affect the transition from yellow to orange and from red to purple, so I'm not sure I'd really gain anything in the long run. 

I think double stranding works wonderfully for color blending and I'm certain I'll be exploring this more in future projects.  I'd also like to try another color wheel progression, perhaps with different versions of the colors and perhaps with a 12-pointed round ripple pattern to give it a more circular feel.

Still, I think this version is quite beautiful.  And oh so happy.  Wouldn't you agree?



And because I know you want to see baby pictures, here I am meeting Baby Alistair:
Photo Copyright SteveAndAmanda.com

And here is Alistair with his new blanket, being doted on by big brother Corin (my godson):
Photo Copyright SteveAndAmanda.com

For lots more baby cuteness, visit SteveAndAmanda.com!

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