This is my latest project - and it's almost finished! It's called an "Event" Plaid because the plaid is created by a special date.
I first saw this idea on this lovely blog, This Life. She lives in the US and she first saw the idea on this post at Laughing Purple Goldfish, which is a blog in Melbourne. So back to Oz I went to see that one, too. (Laughing Purple Goldfish is a great blog, by the way, full of interesting ideas, tips and patterns. I thoroughly recommend it!)
Anyway, please follow the links above to their posts on Event Plaid blankets, because they explain the whole idea very well. But I'm about to try and explain it as well. Okay, here goes:
First of all, you need a special event/occasion/anniversary, etc. My special occasion is my sister has bought her first home - this is a house-warming gift.
Next you need to decide on a date. My date is 24 June, 2010. It's the date that my sister moved into her new place.
Then you need to choose yarn and colours, and organise the colours according to the date. My yarn is Patons Smoothie DK, which I showed you in this post. I chose 5 colours and they match the date like this:
twenty- (2 rows dark red/claret)
fourth (4 rows teal)
June (6 rows pink)
2 thousand (2 rows yellow)
and ten (10 rows blue)
See what I mean? (Again, check those other blogs - they explain it better!)
So that also decides the order of your stripes. EXCEPT... I didn't like that colour-order :-P so I kept the numbers but re-arranged the stripes. So, I've kinda messed with the whole idea there... oh, well, it's still the concept behind the whole creation.
So THEN you start to crochet. You crochet rows following that stripe pattern and the number of rows so it corresponds to the date.
The basic crochet stitch pattern is this: double crochet, chain one, skip next stitch (which is a chain-stitch), double crochet in the next double crochet. This creates a kind of mesh effect, like a net, with lots of holes:
Does that make sense?
It ends up looking like this:
THEN once that part is done, you do something a little different and it's really kinda groovy - you WEAVE. You weave over, under, over, under, all the way along the vertical, so the weaving is 90 degrees to the crochet stripes. Again you follow the stripe pattern so the same colour order and number of rows is followed. You usually need two or three strands to "fill" the weaving spaces well.
And this makes a plaid effect!
See what I mean? Cool, hey?
I have actually done heaps more weaving than this now - I'm about three quarters of the way through it - but I haven't taken any more photos!
A couple of things to mention, though. This project gets very boring at times. The crochet part seems to take forever. And it doesn't look very special or interesting at that point. I am so glad both the blogs mentioned above talked about this in their posts, because if they had not, I may have given up. But they both assured me it was worth continuing on with it.
And then the weaving feels like it takes ages, too. And I found it quite tricky and fiddly. First I tried it with a weaving hook that my daughter has from a craft set but it was too short and awkward. Then I tried with a sewing needle, but that made the yarn strands twist over each other. In the end I switched back to a crochet hook, and that worked quite well. As I went on it got easier.
I used two strands for the weaving, as I found that easier to weave - I measured the lengths I needed (which were about 3 times the length - this allows for the fringe as well) and then I doubled it over and pulled it through with the hook.
I am almost finished the weaving, and it looks really cool once the weaving is there.
Well, I hope that all made sense. I'm off to work on this again, and hopefully in a few days I will have a wonderful, big TA-DAH! to show you all. :-)
Have a happy, hooky day,