Friday, January 18, 2013

Blankets: knit vs. crochet, buy vs. make

Everything I've accomplished this week - assuming there is anything, it's hard to tell - has been entirely overshadowed by the thought of crocheting a particular Thing.

Honestly, it's like I'm possessed.  I don't mind telling you I never aspired to do anything with crochet even after I found Attic 24 and saw all the pretty projects Lucy shares there, but now that I've finally learned how... I'm longing make blankets.

At the same time, I know it is crazy for me personally to make blankets, so I'm working very hard to
a/ make a list of very sensible objections
b/ make a list of objections to the objections

There is a rather fetching item at the core of both a/ and b/, and it is this:

This is a smallish square acrylic blanket I found at a Salvation Army Thrift Store several summers ago.  It is impossibly soft and cozy and I love the red, so I had to have it, and I didn't have to think twice; it was supposed to cost five dollars, but they were having a half price sale that day.  You probably have a pretty good idea what this blanket cost in yarn terms alone, and you too have probably seen a crocheted blanket or three for sale in every thrift store you've ever entered.  You see my point.

My Inner Conflict

This is the old buy a sweater vs. make a sweater argument, and I never let it stop me from casting on a sleeve, but blankets are just so very big.  I've been pricing, and you know what?  I could buy a Pendleton wool blanket from Lands' End in the colours of my choice for less than it would cost in yarn to crochet a superwash wool blanket, and my toes wouldn't stick out through the fabric either.

Still: the heart wants what the heart wants, and if I could just resolve the supply issue, I'd be all set.  Right now the obvious answer is Road Trip to Romni and its bargain basement, and if I get an e-mail from Trish after she's read this saying Let's Go! then that's fate right there, because if Trish thinks something is a good idea it always is.

Failing that I guess I'll go on a bit longer with Plan A, which, as you may know, is to use leftover sock yarn to make squares and join them with more unused sock yarn, an idea that had merit until I started overthinking whether I really like the way the self-striping looks when you start to get a round too large for one colour to stretch out over all of:

I realize these are probably not the most vivid colours to make a decision on, and the grey skies don't help.  Still, what do you think?  Does it look like some paint cans threw up?

I'm having a similar problem here, with a sort of scalloped square I was trying out and am not yet very far along with.

In knitting, I'd have no trouble making one stripe of colour last, but it appears that crochet eats yarn like it grows on continents' worth of trees.

(this begs the question, why not just knit a blanket to save on yarn consumption? and the answer to that is, um, I dunno.  except that crochet stitches are super addictive to make.)

Set against all this self-questioning are the fabulous blanket projects other people have done and which are luring me away from ready-made Pendletons.

Temptation Links

For example, have you seen the simple elegant beauty of this almost-monotone Granny Stripe Blanket by Joelle at The Purl Bee?  At first I couldn't believe it was actually crochet because all you see are these pops of one consistent gorgeous colour striped at a fair distance from each other over a beige background.  Probably it would be boring to work in one flat colour for that long, but think of how affordable it would be if you stumbled across a huge bag of undyed or pale wheat yarn in a sale, and punched it up with an expensive yarn for the stripe. 

My cold, cost-conscious heart also melts over Solveig Grimstad's Flowers In the Snow - bright perfect circles of colour joined in snowy white wisps of crocheted lace. It'd be a lot of ends to run in. It'd be worth it.

In Conclusion

You'd never see either of those blankets in a thrift store, I bet.  And you'd never get either effect with Knitterly Things' self-striping sock yarn, either.  But what I will say for the sock yarn is omigosh, soft!  and when you're snuggled up with your arms out over a blanket and your eyes firmly on a book, isn't that the most important thing?

Hope your weekend is not so full of indecision as mine will probably be, and I'll see you on Monday.  With knitting, because I cast on something new last night and I'll probably make a fair bit of progress on it while I go on debating this Very Important Topic in my head.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

I like the effect of the self-striping yarn, even on the longer brings to mind the log-cabin quilt pattern.