Feedback for Future Fulfilment

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Let’s pretend I was organised enough to put together a feedback form and let’s pretend you all had enough free time to fill it in. He he funny I know.

Anyways, the Imaginary Results to this Imaginary Form go something like this:

  • Regular posts on a variety of crafty posts.
  • Themed projects that get done on time.
  • Tutorials and what I’ve learned posts.
  • Inspiration trends.
  • Pictures of me wearing my stuff instead of just mug shots of it.

For me, this is a weird concept. I’m used to planning creativity for my day job as a designer, so my personal creativity wasn’t meant to be planned out solely for my own enjoyment. However I’ve found this approach means I often skip a project I want to do in favour of project I can do NOW… Case in point, making a corset. I bought the kit almost two years ago and have done nothing with it.

Another point I want to develop this year is crafty networks. Since starting this blog almost three years ago I’ve seen some of my real life friends try a new craft and share that process with me. How lucky and inspired it makes me feel! Who know what else we will learn πŸ˜€

So, now you know my thoughts I’m gonna through this out there and ask: What’s missing from your crafty news feed? Leave your comments below πŸ™‚

β™₯ xx
Morgan

Wardrobe Analysis Part 2: What To Add

In short, I’d like more of everything in my wardrobe. Post over.

In long, I’m going to add more skirts and dresses to my wardrobe first. I’d like more trousers too, but they sound scary and I haven’t made any yet, and I’d like more tops, but I’ve recently just made a top injection to my wardrobe. And I’d like more coats, but they’re expensive and hard.

So for skirts and dresses, I headed to my stash. I’m determined to perfect both patterns and create a whole bunch. A small drawback of my stash is it doesn’t exactly have the neutral, jewel, patterns and textures I want to go for, but it’s really the best place to start. So I got stuck into planning:

I’ve created a little board! The top half shows my ultimate sewing goal: six five-piece suits in my favourite neutral colours. A girl sure can dream!

A blazer, a vest, a pencil dress, a pencil skirt and a trousers. Six sets of these and I’ll have no trouble rolling out of bed into something office-y for work. I’ve yet to work out how much of each fabric to buy, but I’m in no hurry as it will be good quality stuff so I’ll get my technique right on all of these things first.

The bottom shows my ideas from my stash, not all of them but the simplest to get done first. Here are the pencil skirt ideas:

And here are the dress ideas:

Plenty to keep me going there!

Stay creative!
πŸ™‚

Wardrobe Analysis Part 1: Colours

Having not yet grown-up, I took my coloured pencils into my wardrobe for some organisation relaxation and made colour swatches of my clothes:

There’s actually a lot of black, and heaps of red in varying shades. And pinks. And not many patterns or textures.

Then I checked out my stash:

A whole lot more colour. Since most of my stash is bought on a whim from opshops, I generally pick up the fabrics that are nice to touch and in good colours.

From this I deduced my current situation:

  • I have too much pink in my wardrobe.Β I don’t really like pink.
  • I like wearing dark colours with the occasional light coloured outfit.
  • I like rich fabrics.
  • I like textures, but don’t seem to have many.
  • I like some prints, but have very few.
  • I like basics that can mix and match with anything.
  • I like fitted clothes.

With that in mind, I jumped online and found some fabrics that would build my basics – Β neutrals, jewels, patterns and textures:

Now to decide what to make from it all πŸ˜€

Stay inspired
πŸ˜€

Another Star Anise Blanket Progress Update

“The time has come,” my imaginary walrus friend said, “to really give some thought about the direction of this here blanket.”

There it is. I’m really happy with my stitches, I’m pretty good at this crochet thang. Making and joining the hexagons is so easy and relaxing. However, I’m not loving how the design is going… which I don’t like because I’m putting a lot of time into this project!

This can only mean one thing… Blanket Planning. Doh! Not what you want to do when you set out to do an improvised creative project, but it is part of this blanket’s evolution so I guess it’s welcome! I’ve been collecting beautiful alpaca yarns that match my colour scheme, and because theΒ hexagonsΒ a so lovely it’s important they sit together in the right pattern…

To the Nerd Machine…

I could draw this with pencils and paper, in fact I would prefer to because I find drawing relaxing too, but that will take up precious crochet time so we’ll do it speedily with these new fang-dangled technologies…

That and I like taking pictures.

After a fair bit of changing all sorts of colours, this is what we’ve got:

Wow! To be honest, I don’t like that image at all. I think it’s far too harsh, but I must remember that’s not the real thing! But when I think of the yarns and the pattern it will create, I think it will work. Keeping in mind too, that I haven’t planned the whole thing – I still don’t know if I want the finished blanket to be square, rectangular or hexagonal, though I’m leaning to hexagonal.

If you look closely you might notice a difference between the plan and the section of the blanket I’ve already put together… I’ve taken 6 hexagons out of the centre and moved them further out… I think I’ve really gone mad – I am terrified I’ll end up un-joining and re-joining the whole thing! Must – shake – such – thoughts – !

One last thing about this Blanket’s evolution… I think it’s heading for a name change. Star Anise just doesn’t seem to fit any more and all I can think about when joining the hexagons are camping trips from when I was a kid… the Australian bush and stars in clear night skies… πŸ™‚ Such happy memories πŸ™‚

Stay chilled!*
πŸ˜€

* Easy to do in Canberra at the moment, Summer doesn’t seem to have hit yet!

New blanket project: Scrabble Blanket!

** Warning! Bit of an ultra-long-brain-required-halfway-through post. **

‘Crazy girl!’ I hear you exclaim. I concur.

If you’ve checked out my Ravelry profile, you’ll see I’m a bit more mad than that with six blanket projects in my works at the moment. But I made a hard decision to focus on only three. They are:

  1. The Star Anise Blanket
  2. Blanket Polka
  3. Blanket Scrabble

I’ve made a move on Blanket Scrabble. After working out what the plan was going to be two weeks ago, it was time to get started on the math. Here’s how I’ve worked it:

The Plan

First we (me, myself and I) need to understand what the finished blanket is going to be. Cue graphic:

The Yarn

I’ve decided on the parameters for the yarn: It needs to be 8 ply, DK weight. It needs to be soft on the skin and last a lifetime, so no pure wools orΒ acrylics. Β It needs to come in a range of colours so I’m able to buy the right ones! It also needs to be cost effective… If you’ve never made a blanket before (like me) you’ll know why soon!

I bought some great cashmere yarn from the craft department store, but it has a limited colour range and is being discontinued. However, it does meet all my requirements, so it will be a great sample yarn to work out the numbers. Speaking of which, we’ll need to know it was 100 meters in a 50 gram ball.

The Square

Count ’em in the plan, that’s 225 squares. It’s important that we choose the right kind of square. I want them to be the same all over the blanket so the centre of each square needs to be some kind of star, as an actual Scrabble board has a black star in the middle. I searched on Ravelry and the interwebs, through magazines to no avail. So I tried making a variation of the hexagon I’m using in the Star Anise Blanket and – success! I am happy.

I first tried with a 4mm hook, but since our squares need to be about 13cm x 13cm it was too small and a little tight. Upping the hook to 5mm made it the right size and floppiness!

Just a warning, if you’re not mathematically inclined and reading this with your morning coffee/after work/winding down for bed, this post ceases to be ‘easy-reading’ after this next heading…

The Math

Necessary evil in my view. So let’s get started.

We already know we need 225 squares, but how many of each colour? Count ’em:

  • 8 Red
  • 16 Pink
  • 12 Dark blue
  • 24 Light blue
  • 164 Beige
  • 1 Pink with black star

So! Back to the sample square, I unravel it 😦 ! and discover it takes 18.4m of yarn to make one.

And now for math…

With 100 meters in our sample ball, we can make about 5 and a bit squares with one ball (100m Γ· 18.4m =Β 5.4 squares). But we’ll get more accurate numbers with another calculation:

Colour of
Yarn Ball
No. of
Squares
Total
Yarn Math
TotalYarn
used
No. of
Balls Math
No. of Balls
Needed
No. of Balls
to Buy
Red 8 8 Γ— 18.4m = 147.2m 147.2m Γ— 100m = 1.472 2 + 1**
Pink 17* 17 Γ— 18.4m = 312.8m 312.8m Γ— 100m = 3.128 4 + 1**
Dk blue 12 12 Γ— 18.4m = 220.8m 220.8m Γ— 100m = 2.208 3 + 1**
Lt blue 24 24 Γ— 18.4m = 441.6m 441.6m Γ— 100m = 4.416 5 + 1**
Beige 164 164 Γ— 18.4m = 3017.6m 3017.6m Γ— 100m = 30.176 31 + 2**
* For making sure we have enough, we’ll include the pink and black star square in with the pinks!
** Just to be sure, add an extra ball or two! It would be awful to run out so close to the end, and the Stash needs to be cared for! πŸ˜€

Awesome! Now we have the first part of our shopping list, but there’s still the white yarn to work out, the yarn to join of the squares and add the border…

This one is different, we don’t have a square to unravel. But we do know that all the squares are going to be joined by a tr crochet. So how much thread do we use for one tr? Let’s make a stitch, mark the end with a pen. Unravel one stitch, mark the start with a pen. Measure between the two dots and… My tr stitch is 12cm!

Next question, how many stitches join one side of a square? We can count them with the picture, and I see 20 stitches. Right-o, how many stitches can we get out of a ball? A rude estimation of 830 stitches! (100m Γ· 0.12m = 833.3333333 stitches).

Now this is where my mind really started to wander, but stick with me…

We need 225 squares and each square has 4 sides; That’s 900 sides of squares (225 squares Γ— 4 sides = 900 sides). But as we’ll be joining 2 sides of two squares, we’ll only stitch half that: 450 sides (900 sides Γ· 2 = 450 sides). Now, if 1 side takes 20 stitches, we’ll make 9000 stitches to join 225 squares (450 sides Γ— 20 stitches = 9000 stitches). Excitement! So with a rude 830 stitches to a ball, we can say that we’ll need 11 balls! (9000 stitches Γ· 833.3333333 stitches = 10.8 balls, round it up to the nearest whole number!).

Finally, we work out the border. There are 15 squares along each side of the blanket. Each of those squares will be edged with 20 stitches, so along one side of the blanket there will be 300 stitches. (15 squares Γ— 20 stitches = 300 stitches). 4 sides to the blanket; 1200 stitches (300 stitches Γ— 4 sides of blanket = 1200 stitches). I want two rounds of tr on the border, so we’ll times this by two to get 2400 stitches (1200 stitches Γ— 2 rounds = 2400 stitches). Again with the rude estimate of stitches to a ball, we can say 3 balls to do the border! (2400 stitches Γ· 833.3333333 stitches = 2.88 balls, round it up to the nearest whole number!).

This is where the brain protests and says ‘STOP! NO MORE MATH!’ So let’s say we want to add a final round of single crochet egding with picots or something, and chuck in another 2 balls and say that will be heaps.

Argh! So finally we can write the shopping list!

Climatic music with drum roll please…

  • 3 Red 50g DK weight balls
  • 5 Pink 50g DK weight balls
  • 4 Dark Blue 50g DK weight balls
  • 6 Light Blue 50g DK weight balls
  • 33 Beige 50g DK weight balls
  • 18 White 50g DK weight balls***
  • 1 Black 50g DK weight ball
*** Yep. Throwin’ in two more for that Safe/Stash position!

Total 70 balls of yarn!! Dude this blanket better be loved. Now you see why it must be cost effective! I would not attempt this at $12.99 a ball on my current budget, if ever!!

After all this numberin’, A quick phone call to a known knitter made the helpful suggestion of working out how much it will weigh. In her experience, she said, it’s no good making up a jumper if no-one can lift their arms in it. So one last easy-peasy calculation: The finished blanket would weigh about 3.5 kg! ((50g Γ— 70 balls) Γ— 1000g = 3.5kg). An acceptable weight for a blanket methinks.

The Hunt

Armed with a shopping list, it’s now time to seriously consider what yarns to buy. I know the Internet is full of beautiful yarns, but I’m a beginner and new to this wonderful world of yarn so I need my purchase to be made in person. I need to know the yarn feels right before I fork out for 70 balls of it! This is going to be some hunt! More Country Drives!!

I really do feel like I’m getting somewhere with this blanket – And I hope my math and blanket calculations assist with that old ‘How long is a piece of string’ ‘How much yarn do I need for a blanket’ question. That said, if you’re better at math than me and notice something awry with my calulations above, please let me know! πŸ˜€

Oh my goodness! Now with all that math done, I’m going back to a freeform project for a while!

Stay creative πŸ˜€