Sunday, April 23, 2017

Do overs...

If you check back to last week you'll possibly notice that I have changed up my Lost In Time Shawl/Scarf.

At first I was just going to rip back a bit to fix what, to me, felt like a too-wide section of teal where I had left off.  But for some reason as I ripped back, I kept ending up with a spot at the end of each row where I couldn't just pick up the yarn and start crocheting from.  It was weird and it didn't make any sense to me, but it kept happening.   It was like I was ripping the rows out backwards.  But how could I do that?

Anyway, at some point I had ripped back so far, and because I was never quite settled over the bright green popcorn stitches early on, it started to make more sense to just start this thing over.   So I did. And I've gotta say... this second try feels better to me.

I also decided to reign in my color choices - from something like eight or nine colors to just five colors.  That was a relief, as well.  While I love the riotous shawls some have made from this pattern, too many colors to figure out just made me nervous I came to realize.   With fewer colors, I was able to write out a plan for the placement of those colors - except that I've already goofed up that plan.  In the end, though, I don't think the color placement plan needs to be set in stone, but it can still serve as a guideline of sorts.  So, we'll see how I like this scarf as it progresses from here. 

I know there's really nothing exactly new here, except that I brought you into my process a bit.

Speaking of processes...

A few weeks ago I started crocheting a Corner to Corner blanket - thinking I was going to make it as simple as possible - basically, all one color, with an interesting (contrasting) border, perhaps.  Well... turns out I am really good at taking a simple-as-can-be project and making it a most complicated one.

Somehow the 10 or so skeins of yarn I had on hand to make this blanket with came from about six different dye lots.  What was I thinking?!?   Clearly I wasn't thinking at all.  I know better than to buy yarn from different dye lots - thinking I'm going to put them together in the same project.  That is never a good idea.  But none the wiser (to the fact that I had different dye lots) I just dived right in to making this blanket - all the pretty skeins of yarn looked the same to me in the basket.  And then it came time to add a second skein to my work.  And the difference was glaring.  One skein had a gray cast and one had a definite beige cast.


There was no way I was going to buy more of this yarn to make this blanket.  I also didn't want a blanket that had big sections that were different from other sections, and I didn't really didn't want to give up on it either.  Fellow Yopper, Stefanie (finding herself working with different shades of the same color on her Pink Flamingo on the Lawn sweater), had inspired me to consider how to work with this sort of problem.  Stefanie simply alternated rows between the two different yarns and the end result is she has an interesting tonal thing going in her sweater.  The problem with the C2C stitch pattern is that alternating the different dye lots among different rows won't work so well because the rows aren't made of narrow knitted stitches that run across the fabric.  The rows in a C2C pattern are fat, chunky things that run on the diagonal.  The result I would get, alternating the skeins between the rows in this blanket, would not be as subtle, or interesting as Stefanie's sweater. 

So, rather than just switch back and forth every other row (which would be depressing enough), I decided that I would rip back and start over, this time interspersing sections of the darker yarn amongst the rows made up of the lighter yarn.  Randomly.  With no plan or real forethought. Hoping for something that looks kind of intentional in its randomness.

Can you see the variations in the colors?   Do the variations look random enough?

But, of course, this method means that I can't carry the yarn.  It means that every time I change the color I have to join yarns, snip,  and then do something with the ends.  I was dutifully weaving them in, until I thought, there's got to be a better way.   And don't you know.... there are a number of better ways. 

I searched and found the Braided Join.   And the Knotless Join.  I've known for some time there is a Magic Knot, but honestly...  I have trouble feeling confident that this would truly never come undone.  While I'm going to give the Braided Join more thought and practice, so far I've been having the most success using the Russian Join.    And I'm liking it so much that until I hear some horror stories about how any of these joins have come undone, I think I may try to use these kinds of joins when making blankets in the future - especially when adding yarn of the same color.  I don't suppose these methods work very well when joining a new color at the end of row - though I'm open to hearing if there are ways to join new colors at the ends/beginnings of rows without a lot of yarn weaving, or carrying yarns?   Really, I'd love to know if that's even possible.

To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.


  1. I think your randomness (Is that a word?) is working beautifully. Your Lost in Time shawl is so stunning. But I liked it last week too. I will say, I do think this weeks is many time better though.

  2. I'm with you, I think the Russian join is a good one. Thank you for the links to the different types....I learned some things! Your Lost in Time shawl/scarf is designed by a Dutch designer just like the Hotel of Bees shawl/scarf I am working on. They are extremely talented designers! It's not so much new stitches but how they combine and utilize them has me in awe! I'm having the same experience of ripping back and redoing but I am learning and able to see where I need to redo something. As long as I understand what I did I don't feel bad about ripping out and redoing. Your colors are gorgeous and remind me of a peacock.
    Your C2C worked out are so smart! Brilliant solution! Those dye lots were different but now it looks beautiful together. Have a great week!

  3. Thank you for your sweet comments and for mention my solution to my jumper WIP. I think you totally figured out well what to do with the different dye lots. They look almost tonal. I like the results you're getting. I also like what you've done with the first project although I liked the first go as well. As long as you're happy and it works for you and motivates you to keep going, that's what counts.

  4. I think the random colour changes look great, I love the look of that blanket. The shawl is looking lovely, I too liked it last week, but think I like it more now.

  5. Ooh, I've never heard of the Russian join; I'll have to look that up. In fact I have never heard of any of the other joins you mentioned: I usually just put on my slip knot and head off. Of course this has it's repercussions, but I know how much I love crochet by the amount of times I start a project over. I think the blanket randomness looks... random! Seems perfect from this end:)
    I liked the shawl before, but it looks just as good now, so the changes you made are great. There's nothing worse than going to all that effort and not liking the finished project.
    Happy Days,