Wednesday 13 August 2014

Kaleidoscope and Zodiac mystery blanket clubs

Our 2014 Kaleidoscope crochet blanket club has reached August.

The blanket has grown fast and the design is beginning to show through, its now almost too big to photograph it, but Valerie and Denise have managed it :-)

I think the members are enjoying the club and I love to see the monthly photo's appearing on Ravelry.
All the blankets look different as there was a difference in dye lots for each colour we sent the members.
I know there are some blankets which have a dark Blackmoor Gate (purple), it will be really interesting to see what the difference is to the final look of the blankets.
I can't wait until December when I can reveal the photo's of my blanket and see the member's blankets.
I've never run a mystery blanket club before, we've had lots of teething problems, but I think the results are worth all the confusion.

And we have sorted out all the blanket club teething problems in time for next year's Zodiac club blankets.
You notice I have missed out the word crochet, that's because my very talented design team have been working towards producing a knitted blanket.
Valerie has been amazing, she's worked hard to design the knitted motifs, not only is she a talented designer in her own right, but she is also my right hand man and I couldn't do half of what I do without her.
I'm always in awe of her dedication and the way she steps in to sort out my issues.
Anyway back to Zodiac rather than continuing my love letter to Valerie :-)

The knitted blanket motifs are at a stage of design development where I feel confident to put the knitted club sign-ups on-line.
You can find them HERE

At the moment I am working on producing a workable pattern so the Nicky can start knitting the knitted sample.
You would not believe how long this blanket has taken to design, I started to work on it in March.
At the time it was going to be a simple starry blanket, but I kept developing the design, making it more and more complicated, until it ended up being the whole Zodiac arranged around the sun.
It went through hundreds of edits until I got all the constellations fitting together in the right order.
And that was the easy bit!

I couldn't get the colours right and I've dyed kilo's and kilo's of Primavera 260 sport trying to get colours that worked.
Plus I needed to use full skeins rather than the mini skeins we spent months re-winding for Kaleidoscope.
The maths involved was horrific, weighing motifs and working out how many could be made per skein and then trying to colour in the chart with the right number of motifs per colour.
Luckily I have a trusty Valerie who recalculated all my numbers and pointed out that I had miscounted the number of octagons needed, which threw all my maths into disarray!

Now I am working on the monthly patterns, which entails cutting the pattern into monthly sections and redrawing each month's chart in a way I can understand which star belongs to which constellation.
And then I have to translate all 12 months in to "crochet/knit by numbers" charts, which should make the design easy for you to follow.....phew....

The knitted swatch hasn't been made yet as I am still working on the crochet/knit by numbers charts for Nicky to follow.
Yesterday I tried to explain to her what I was doing, I think she understood, but her eyes glazed over several times.....

Here a very sneaky peek of the sun of the crochet version.
The knitted version will look totally different as the knitted motifs are solid, but its the same colours in the same layout and the charts I am working on at the moment will be used for both clubs.
I should add if you want to sign up for the crochet version you can find all the options HERE

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