Its so nice to be back and blogging! When I started to plan out some posts at the beginning of August I realised that I had a lot of things to share with you, but I didn’t think I would keep up to one blog post a day. Surprisingly, its now the 7th and this will be my 7th post, so going well so far. The more I write, the more I find to write and I’m getting into a really nice rhythm now… but there I go jinxing it all again. Let’s get on with what today’s post is about – Stylecraft Special DK and its ever-expanding list of gorgeous colours.
Stylecraft Special DK and I go back a long way
My mum was a very keen knitter and she was very good at it too. When I went to university she made me this jumper with a detailed Yorkshire scene. I don’t know if this was Stylecraft, or even if Stylecraft was around back then, but I loved it. Sadly I don’t have it any more. I wish had realised what its value would be to me later in life but house moves, children and the general chaos of life sometimes lets precious things slip through the net.
Until her eyesight became very poor in the last couple of years of her life she was always knitting and I realised when I inherited her stash of yarn that Stylecraft Special DK in Raspberry was one of her particular favourites. So, when I got back into crochet and had practiced enough to attempt a big project I went online looking for this brand of yarn.
Google came up with a site called Wool Warehouse… and a blanket pack to make a granny stripe blanket… with a link back to a blog called Attic24. I then fell into a giant rabbit hole, reading Lucy’s blog, buying some colours to make my first crochet blanket and getting completely hooked on crochet again after over 25 years. I didn’t photograph it at the time but later, it did appear in an early post of my blog and is still going strong today.
What a journey that has become! From reading a blog and buying Stylecraft yarn, I went on to crochet like a mad thing, started a blog, met Lucy and went on workshops and to Coopers in Skipton to the Knit and Natter group, found and went to Yarndale, helped as a volunteer at Yarndale in 2016, became a Stylecraft blogstar with Lucy as one of my fellow bloggers, met all the other famous Stylecraft blogstars, started a podcast, began to dye my own yarn and was accepted as a Yarndale exhibitor for 2017. I know, it reads like a fairy story and condensing it down like that just makes my mind reel. If someone had told me 7 years ago, this is what you will be doing in 2017, how I would have laughed! Scary to think what might happen in the next 7…
Anyway, back to the point
When I first bought those first few balls of Stylecraft Special DK I was amazed by the choice of colours available. I can’t remember exactly how many there were then, maybe about 60? Last week it was up to 83 and now its 86… today marks the official launch of three new ones: Lincoln (the green), Lapis (the deep blue) and Blush (the coral).
We were given a ball each at the Stylecraft Blogstars meet up on the 15th July, together with all sorts of other goodies and samples. New colours are coming out very regularly at the moment. It was only in February that we received the new vintage shades; Melon, Mushroom and Buttermilk.
Keeping track of the colours
You can buy a Stylecraft Shade card for a couple of ££ but they do go out of date when the new colours are added. This is one I got at Stylecraft last year… it has 71 of the colours…
This is handy to see what colours are available – better than trying to see the colours on a computer screen, for example. But they are stuck down so its difficult to move them to see how they look together in different combinations.
My fellow blogstars have some brilliant ideas about how to do this. I only know the methods of three of them; I am sure the others also have their own equally ingenious tricks and techniques but I just don’t know what they are yet!
Lucy’s Stylecraft Special DK yarn pegs
Lucy from Attic24 uses yarn pegs and her photos of colour schemes have become iconic. If you want to find out more about how Lucy makes her yarn pegs she’s written an entire blog post about them. You can also get over to it by clicking on the photo below…
What I really like about this method is that you can play with the colours, each yarn peg is labelled so you know exactly which shade it is and there is plenty of colour to look at. The downside, of course, is that you have to wind. all. the. pegs. Once they are done, though, you will have them forever and you really only need to do the shades that you know you will use.
Sandra from Cherry Heart has personalised shade cards
In her blog, Sandra from Cherry Heart has said she was inspired by Lucy’s yarn pegs but decided to take a slightly different route to colour planning. She showed us her little basket of tags, all wound and neatly labelled at the meeting. I was so excited, I didn’t really take a photo that was that good! So I’ve added in a couple of Sandra’s, which show the system off so much better. That box, though…
This method has the same advantages and disadvantages as the yarn pegs – they are so useful and look good but you do have to spend the time to put them all together and do the labelling…
The Patchwork Heart way
Heather from The Patchwork Heart blog is a master of colour recipes in Stylecraft Special DK and is so prolific in her crocheting despite battling a serious and chronic illness. When we were chatting at the meeting, Heather said to me that she was so impressed by the work of other blogstars, she felt she had to ‘up her game’. Eeeeeeek, I thought. If Heather were to be any more productive and fantastic I might as well crawl under the duvet and stay there!! But its interesting how people who are really talented and inspiring often doubt themselves. Maybe there is still hope for the rest of us 🙂
Heather’s favoured method is to make beautifully and expertly crocheted squares, which she can put together in different colour combinations. These are just a selection – she has a square for every shade…
Again, a brilliant idea but with a significant investment in time. Although, it has to be said, that I would rather crochet squares than wind either yarn pegs or tags, but its all about personal preference isn’t it?
Since our meeting in July, Heather has taken this to a whole new level and has created some Stylecraft Special DK hearts to decorate her new craft room. I think this might count as upping her game 🙂
Later in the month I’ll tell you about my rather less impressive efforts and how I’ve been inspired to get a grip and really sort out a method of my own.