My Attic24 CAL blanket part 2 – its week 3!

Attic24 CAL blanket is coming along nicely

Lucy at Attic24 has posted some lovely pictures of her progress up to stripe 45. Wow that blankie is growing at a speed I can’t hope to keep up with. But as Lucy says, we can all join in at our own pace and it is not a race to finish.

The journey is more important than getting to the destination, as with a lot of things in life.

You can see the latest progress from week 3 of the Attic24 CAL by visiting Lucy’s blog but I’ve pinned a couple of images of each week and my new Pinterest board is here with a few reference pics:

Follow Ann’s Box’s board Attic24 CAL 2014 on Pinterest.

My Attic24 CAL blanket progress

I must admit I have been a bit carried away with the lovely colours of this blankie this week and with the easy pattern and I’ve made a lot of progress since I posted about the start of my CAL journey. But I haven’t done a single stripe of my seascape ripple. Tonight I will settle down and do some of that for a change. I am nearly finished with the beach and am about to go paddling in the sea (you’ll know what I am on about if you read the seascape ripple post 🙂

But back to my colourful stripes. As of today, one week after I started my CAL blanket and on the day of Lucy’s week 3 update, I am up to stripe 18, which is still in progress.

Attic24 CAL blanket progress to week 3
Attic24 CAL blanket progress to week 3

It is really interesting to see how the different colours work together. I am using most of the colour palette in Lucy’s cosy blanket but supplemented the Attic24 cosy pack by adding in a few of my favourite cosy colours.

Meadow isn’t included just because I don’t like the colour but lime and khaki are there. I’ve not used these before (I’m not a fan of green for some reason) but I am loving these shades. I’ve added in Emperor purple, turquoise, burgundy and pomegranate so far and the last two stripes of my repeating pattern are going to grape and then bright pink. The last colour is part of Lucy’s cottage pack but I love that pink so wanted to include it here.

Blanket progress 16 Nov Attic24 CAL blanket
Blanket progress 16 Nov Attic24 CAL blanket

Jewel cosy rather than autumn cosy

All these colours seem to me to work together very well although I have a nagging doubt about turquoise and think maybe I should have used teal. I thought about this but it is so similar to petrol, so decided against it. Maybe when the bright pink stripe is done, these two brights will help balance one another.

Its not as autumnal as Lucy’s cosy blanket but I am doing a hexie blanket in Stylecraft chunky in very autumn shades based on my own little nature inspiration project. I wanted this to be different and to be more jewel-colour cosy. It also helps to have 20 colours as my tension is quite loose and I would have probably run out of yarn with 15 repeated colours.

Just big enough to snuggle under (well, not quite)

But I had a go. Mine is a wide blanket – almost 130cm even though I reduced the starting chain to 183 stitches to compensate for my loose crocheting style. Placed lengthwise on my legs it covers me up to the neck! But I have a lot more stitching to do before its keeping me warm while I am working on it. Its difficult to photograph to get the colours as they appear in real life. On Lucy’s blog the colours of hers look way brighter but these photos, on my screen anyway, seem pretty close to life-like.

My Attic24 CAL blanket in mid November
My Attic24 CAL blanket in mid November

Learning from my mistakes

If you are new to crocheting I thought it would be useful to mention some of the times I have gone wrong with this blanket. Yes, it is easy, but its not foolproof. Although I have been able to crochet for more than 30 years I spent about 27 of them not actually doing any, so really I am not that experienced. I am also a bit happy go lucky and like to crochet and watch TV, let my mind wonder, listen to an audio book etc etc. Not happy unless multitasking, that’s me.

So, I’ve gone wrong plenty. Even with the Attic24 CAL blanket that is really easy peasy.

Things I have done right and am pleased with

  • I used a larger hook to do the starting chain so I didn’t get a banana blanket. Mine was a 5mm hook and I still did the chain in my usual loose hooky style.
  • I compensated for my loose tension by reducing the number of starting chains from 198 to 183. Its still 130cm wide, but that’s not too bad. Only 10cm wider.
  • I decided to use some of Lucy’s colours and some of my own choices. Trying to learn about colour is hard and its nice to have a lead to follow but I want my blanket to be individual to me.

Where I went wrong

  • I didn’t read the instructions thoroughly enough so by the second stripe had increased by 7 stitches. Frog. Curse. Stamp feet. This was also because I didn’t concentrate so on the treble cluster row in the lime, I did a cluster in every second stitch now and again.
  • My tension was really loose and sloppy in places and I was getting gaps between the treble clusters.

The result is a rather less than perfect straight edge on a few of the rows, rather more than there should  be. Look at the pale rose stripe below – bulge bulge.

Wibbly wobbly edge in places
Wibbly wobbly edge in places,

This isn’t too bad and I can hide it in the edging but I am cross with myself and am trying to be more careful about my tension. Below is an exaggeration but it shows what I do wrong.

Tension too loose - sloppy working
Tension too loose – sloppy working

Keeping the tension good and even for the first treble in each cluster is essential. This is better, no gap:

Better - my tension is good and there is no unsightly gap
Better – my tension is good and there is no unsightly gap

Tension is all-important

I know my crochet stitches tend to be loose and I think it is because of the way I hold the yarn in my left (non-dominant) hand. I have never got into the habit of putting the yarn around my little finger because it pulls all the time. The way I do it is probably very bad but I hook the yarn under my little finger, which is bent all the time I am working. Now that I am older my joints don’t like this and my little finger aches after doing a few stitches.

So, to keep crocheting and working at my usual speed, I have changed to just having the yarn between my little finger and ring finger and then over my middle finger while my index finger holds the blankie. Not much to control the tension though.

Recently I was browsing on pinterest and saw a really useful tip. Instead of winding the yarn around your little finger, this source (sorry, can’t remember where I saw it) suggested wrapping around your ring finger. I’ve tried this and it works a treat. Its probably changing my overall tension, which is not good half way through a project, but I am keeping an eye on things and it seems to be working better so far.

Your comments are much appreciated!

I had quite a few comments on the last post and more generally on my blog this week. Thank you all – I was thrilled that Lucy herself came over for a visit – what a lovely lady. Please do comment and get in touch via my FB page or on twitter or Pinterest.

As a result of one comment I am now preparing a little tutorial on making iron man fingerless mittens – a bit different! I made them for my son who is at uni and it seems they are much in demand by teenage boys 🙂

12 thoughts on “My Attic24 CAL blanket part 2 – its week 3!

  1. Anne Marie Stevenson says:

    I do love your colours, they look good together. Thank you for the tip about tension. I find that using Stylecraft yarn makes my tension looser because it is synthetic. I prefer really to crochet with Sublime but it is rather expensive and there are not as many colours. I will try the ring finger method for tension and let you know how I go on.

    I actually started a row of this blanket last night and am going to plod on but as I’ve got a few projects on the go it will not be done on a regular basis.

    • Crafternoon Treats says:

      Hi again nice to see you. My CAL blanket is going slowly this week after the good start I made. I want to do other projects too – I’ve just been planning the colours for an autumn hexagon blanket and its made my brain hurt! Your last comment has inspired me to do my first crochet tutorial thingy so I am planning that for tomorrow. Luckily I work freelance and I am waiting for some stuff to start this week so have some ‘work’ time to play. My son wants a second pair of mitts – I am amazed that he loves them so much – so I’ll do some photos while I get on with them. :)x

  2. Corine24 says:

    It is a beautiful blanket, and adding (or removing) other colours makes it Your blanket! It is a good thing we all like different colours, it makes the world more colourfull. I personally love, love, love green … 🙂


    • Crafternoon Treats says:

      Thank you Corine – it certainly is cosy and very relaxing to make. Yes, I am funny about green. I love green in nature and duck egg blue and pale grey greens are among my favourites. I just don’t like that shade of green that is meadow (sorry Stylecraft, nothing personal 🙂

  3. Nicola says:

    Hi, It is coming along nicely, lovely colours they work really well together, I like the turquoise.

    I saw you mentioned about starting chains and only yesterday I learnt how to do a foundation double and treble starting row without the need for a starting chain, it is so easy to do and it is more flexible and doesn’t shrink like a chain does. I learnt via a video tutorial on the Drops Garnstudio website, they have loads of brilliant tutorials but just have to bear in mind they use american terminology.
    I am enjoying following the progress of all these lovely blankets. I have just finished a kingsize blanket so I am onto some smaller projects for a while. But will certainly need to come back and do this one.

    • Crafternoon Treats says:

      Hi Nicola thanks for visiting. I have heard this way of starting mentioned in other discussions but couldn’t find a good video – I will check out the Drops site as this sounds like a big improvement on a chain start. I can understand you being blanketed-out for a while – King size – Wow! x

  4. Andrea says:

    Your blanket looks beautiful as well. I love the colors you used. kind regards Andrea from creations2love xxx

    • Crafternoon Treats says:

      Thanks Andrea, lovely of you to visit. This blanket could be done in so many colour combos, it could easily become an obsession!

  5. Ally says:

    I love the colours you are using especially the turquoise. Can’t wait to watch as you continue. I am still watching and not joining in, one day I will teach myself via YouTube

    • Crafternoon Treats says:

      Thanks Ally. The best way to learn is to have a couple of lessons by someone who is used to teaching. I’ve tried to teach a couple of friends and one took to it while the other didn’t. Not sure whether my teaching skills were lacking or whether it was because she was such a good knitter. x

  6. Susan says:

    Well, I think it’s coming along beautifully! I haven’t tried Lucy’s pattern yet. I had started a simple blanket awhile back and that I’d do that for the CAL. I love your colors and the turquoise fits in perfectly – the purple and lime green too!

    • Crafternoon Treats says:

      Thank you Susan, I am really enjoying it. I am pleased you think the colour choices are good – its hard to pick them as you go along but its a good learning curve. I love the lime green and purple too – I might make some more fingerless mitts in that combo if I can drag myself away from blankets xxx

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