Not content with two blankets in progress, I’ve been working on a third. This has taken ages to get going because I have been faffing about with the colour choices.
This is the first blanket using crochet hexagon motifs that I’ve designed. It uses Stylecraft Special Chunky yarn rather than Stylecraft DK. The chunky comes in 30 rather than 60 colours, but there is still plenty of choice to create a colourful autumn mix.
My idea was to think about the colours of autumn that appeal to me and that are around me in East Yorkshire. A few weeks ago I collected a few things on a walk, and started putting together some yarn colour ideas…
When I went to the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate, I also saw this beautiful quilt, full of rich autumnal reds, greens, coppers, golds and oranges.
And eventually, I chose my colours
This blanket is going to be seriously warm and chunky with an autumn vibe and a retro 1970s feel about it. Stylecraft Chunky is a thick, lovely yarn and after much deliberation I whittled down my colour choices …
From left to right: Burgundy, Camel, Copper, Cream, Emperor (purple), Gold, Khaki, Lipstick, Parchment, Plum, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Spice and Walnut. When I got into the blanket I also added in magenta and meadow for balance.
Choosing the order of the colours
This was even more tricky. I thought at first of doing a completely random blanket but having tried a few hexagons, I realised that not all of these colours work well when next to each other…
Yes, these hexagons have autumn colours in them but orange and purple? With copper? And purple and burgundy just looked dark. And would the lipstick red and the pale cream fit in? Eeeeeeek.
Thinking back to the lesson in colour planning that I’d had with Lucy of Attic24 when I went to the bower bird workshop in July, I decided to make the photo black and white to see the tonal balance. The results confirmed I had a problem…
The spice and gold look the same, as do the emperor and burgundy. The walnut brown was dark too while the camel, parchment and cream looked bright white.
So I had to go back to the drawing board and call in some expert help. I’d already put the colours on wooden dolly pegs and I had laid them out on the sofa. When I looked round the cat was staring at them very thoughtfully…
He wasn’t a lot of help actually. But playing around like this helped me to design a template for the colours of the hexagon. Looking at the tones, it was clear that the colours could be grouped into three families…
For each hexagon I decided to start with a centre of one of the three darker colours, burgundy, emperor or walnut, then have a band of on of the mid-tone colours on the right – the largest family. The third colour would be from the lightest family, cream, parchment or camel and the hexagon would be finished off with a mid-tone colour. Four colours was definitely better than my original thought of three – and I improved the stitching of the final colour band to be trebles not double crochets.
After doing four more trial hexagons and joining them on the go, I liked the result…
Random is not that easy…
I wanted a blanket that was not totally random but that didn’t look too regimented. In the end I went for a complicated spreadsheet to give me a printable template to work to.
I have four vertical rows that contain hexagons with a walnut centre and a third colour band in camel. The vertical rows in between have two hexagons with emperor purple centres and then two with burgundy centres. The first of each has a pale colour band in parchment, the second in cream. The colours for the second and fourth band are from the larger family of mid tone colours and they are randomly spaced and balanced.
Now the exciting part
After all that spreadsheet planning and trials and tribulations, I am now excited to be able to get on with the blanket. The yarn and the few first hexagons are now installed in my wicker project basket and on sunny days like today I have earmarked half an hour at lunchtime to sneak in a hexagon or two…
8 thoughts on “Autumn inspired chunky hexagon blanket”
Hello, Love these, I have just started crocheting and i’m halfway through making a mood blanket from granny squares, I’ve also done half a dozen Stars… Love the colours and the praration you have gone through.
Thanks Teighan, lovely that you have visited my blog. Congratulations on starting crocheting – its hard going at first but persevere because its so much fun when you really get going. Sounds like you are making great progress – come over to my FB page and share some pics 🙂
Such a fabulous colourful post and creation.
Thanks Laine for visiting and taking the time to send me a comment 🙂 x
love seeing the process you’ve gone through with this blanket. Now the hard work is done, you should be full steam ahead
I certainly hope so Jane – I did more yesterday evening but I’ve got a couple of Christmas presents to get on with the next few days not to mention wrestling with The Tree etc so blankie progress might be a bit slow on all fronts!
I think that the colours you have chosen are beautiful – I appreciate how difficult it is to arrange these colours together and can see how much work you have already put into the planning – good luck! Look forward to seeing the finished project!
Thank you Kate – very nice to see you from FB. I have been working on more hexagons this evening – this is the really fun part and they work up quite fast. I’ll post some progress pics at the weekend I think x
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