Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tonal Color Block Blanket

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It’s windy.
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And it snowed.  (Yay!)
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I finished a blanket.
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Like I said, it’s pretty windy.
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Dark, too.  December in the North.
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And that’s when my teeth started chattering.  Let’s go inside.
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This blanket was born purely of my personal need to have something to knit that I didn’t have to look at so I could watch Christmas movies.  Tim Allen!  I love you! 
I wanted to work with color, but didn’t feel like doing a lot of thinking or planning or math-ing.  I thought I could just choose two skeins of worsted weight yarn in colors that looked good together and work stripes in stockinette until they ran out.  Then I’d choose the next two colors and do the same thing, and keep doing that until there was a blanket, working in a leisurely fashion over the course of the long dark season, with the comfort of knitting always at hand and cozily across my lap.  What I did instead is choose all eighteen colors in one trip to the yarn store and then race to finish it like I was being chased.  I suppose that is my way.  So here it is already. 
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Beginning with the red and deep pink pairing, I cast 100 stitches on a US 7 circular needle and worked eighteen total stripes of eight rows each in stockinette stitch, breaking the yarn at each color change and weaving the ends in at the back as I went to save (a lot of) aggravation at the end.  I made three color blocks per panel, and three panels total.  I even—are you ready for this?—kept track of which yarns I used.  So I can tell you that, for once.  Here’s the list:
Patons Classic Wool Worsted #00230 “Bright Red”
Patons Classic Wool Worsted #77531 “Currant”
Berroco Vintage #5120 (turquoise)
Patons Classic Wool Worsted #77219 “Seafoam”
Berroco Vintage #5121 (gold)
Berroco Vintage #5111 (butter)
Ella Rae Classic #19 (light purple)
Ella Rae Classic #157 (lilac heather)
Patons Classic Wool Worsted #77223 “Lemongrass”
Vanna’s Choice #170 “Pea Green”
Plymouth Galway #169 (light peach)
Plymouth Galway #67 (orange)
Plymouth Galway #170 (pale pink)
Ella Rae Classic #54 (medium pink)
Berroco Vintage # 5167 (wine)
Ella Rae Classic #43 (fuschia)
Plymouth Galway #187 (faded denim)
Berroco Vintabge #5117 (medium denim)
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For the single crochet and picot border, I used Patons Classic “Winter White”, Ella Rae Classic 03 (tan) and Plymouth Galway #172 (light blue) and a second ball of Plymouth Galway #170 and Patons Classic “Lemongrass”.
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That edge curled up like a cinnamon roll until I gave it a big blast with the steam iron and showed it who was boss. 
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A cozy new blanket, just in time.  Brr. 

[edit:  Somebody asked about how this is pieced together and I totally lost the email, so I'll add that info here--this was knit in three big strips, with only two long seams joining them in the middle.  I started with the red/deep pink pairing and when that yarn ran out, I just joined in the first blue and kept going.  At the end of that strip, after the purple section, I bound it off and set it aside, and cast on for the yellow pairing, and so on.  When I had three long, wide strips, I sewed them together using mattress stitch and then added the edging.  Then I steam-blocked the edges (a LOT; this thing really wanted to curl up) and steamed the sewn seams to make them lie nice and flat.  That's it!  Thank you for your question.  :) ]

75 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! I loved it when I thought it was just a small blanket with stripes. Seeing it all put together and spread out over your bed like that - well I just don't have words, 'love it' doesn't come close!!!!! Isn't it funny how sometimes, something really simple, like stocking-stitch stripes, can be so effective. So WOW. And I love the windy photos!
    Karen xx

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  2. I absolutely love this blanket! I am also a knitter and understand that sometimes you need mindless knitting. Thanks for the details. I could see myself knitting one of these. Merry Christmas.

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  3. So beautiful. I love the photos of the colours against the crisp white snow. It's just grey and wet in Lincolnshire. Merry Christmas.

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  4. WOW WOW WOW!!!!
    You ARE AMAZING!!!! Love love love it!!!!
    Enjoy it and stay warm.... looking forward to what's next!
    Busy here with last minute crocheted fingerless mitts and matching earbands!!!!
    Merry this and Happy that and Joy filled everything else!!
    Love and Light~

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  5. Girl you are a maniac..... Wow I miss the North and the dark winter days...Here in the south not so much... Merry christmas..blanket is stunning.

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  6. I adore your blanket and so want one to snuggle under watching movies - I am in the middle of a crochet blanket I must get it out after I finish the last of my christmas knits and get hooking -thank you for your amazing ideas you fill me with inspiration -Happy Christmas

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  7. How do you do it! Are you knitting english style am I correct when you hold the yarn in your left hand? I am making this blanket as I type. Just finished the deep yellow and white. Moving on to the green. I couldn't wait to see what you had planned. I love it!!
    Your photo's are gorgeous...gosh you are truly an inspiration! Out of all the blog's I follow yours is AMAZING and my FAVORITE! Merry Christmas, Kristen...I look forward to what is next.

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    1. Yes, I am an English-style knitter, though I don't hold the yarn the "right" way, so don't let me teach anybody to knit. ;)

      I love that you've started this already! I can't wait to see yours!

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  8. Beautiful. I love how you came up with the design because it looks like it took seriously planning. The last time I was looking for an easy project I crocheted an ugly dish towel that I ended up giving to my kids to use as a doll blanket.

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  9. I LOVE THIS BLANKET!!!!!
    Brava! Bravissima Kristen!!
    xxxx Ale

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  10. Kristen, it's lovely! I wish i had your commitment! I haven't been able to do anything that big. :)

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  11. more wow Wow WOW!! That blanket is to die for! Tonight, I put a shell stitch border on an afghan that I completed last October (it just didn't look 'finished' without the border). I know what you mean about 'mindless' projects (mine is crochet). Yours is quite stunning!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours from Michigan!

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  12. Oh Bliss! I think I love this one best yet! I may at some point have to come back to this post as a reference... (at least for yarn - gorgeous!)
    Enjoy snuggling under it in your icy weather. :)

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  13. You floor me Kristin. Beautiful. I am more likely to knit this blanket than hook one of your others as I quite like to watch the telly while yarn crafting, a luxury crocheting does not allow (so I understand your reasoning in creating this beauty!). So weird to be seeing such cold white images of snow. Right now, as I type this I'm in tropical heat! Its about 35C where I live! Our christmases are hot hot hot! Love and blessings for your christmas. xx Fi

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  14. Brrr is right! Definitely looks cold and windy but that blanket is gorgeous and just right for keeping warm and cozy. Looks great on the bed. Happy holidays. Tammy

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  15. Thanks for the blustery, beautiful blanket visit, Kristen! You continue to inspire me and bring me much joy! I crocheted some pony tail holders for my grand girls, started crocheting a little wreath around a plastic ring, and attended a wonderful white elephant Christmas exchange today. Your blanket reminds me of the work of Margit Lohrer from Morehouse Farm in Redhook, NY. Do you have her Merino Knits book? I love it and want to knit so many of her projects. I used to live on the west bank of the Hudson River not far from Morehouse Farm but had not heard of it before we moved back to the West Coast in 1997, so I have only visited there virtually :) I have bought several of her kits and started them...now if my hands would just fly like yours do! Merry Christmas! xx from Gracie

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  16. It's beautiful Kristen and just in time for Christmas!!! Love that snow.....it's 32 degrees C here today!!!! Have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year. xxx

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  17. that was quick!!! i love the blanket!

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  18. Uhhh...

    I'm speechless...

    That's all.

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  19. I am totally speechless, as your blanket is wonderful, gorgeous stunning and I LOVe it.
    irene
    xxxx

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  20. Oh my, so simple yet so stunning. I think I want to make one, too...

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  21. ooh...so warm and comfy! It looks fantastic on your bed.
    Your talent is one of a kind.. amazing.. Kristen!
    penny x

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  22. What a beautiful blanket. I love how colourful it is. It will make you smile every time you see it.

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  23. Beautiful! I always enjoy looking at your projects, they inspire me :)

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  24. Ooooo...I just LOVE the blanket! It's absolutely gorgeous <3
    Merry Christmas!
    Smiles, DianeM

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  25. hello Kristin, I'm brand new to your blog. You are a firm favorite already. Just amazing talent and so much fun to read. Merry Christmas, C

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  26. Beautiful snow and a beautiful blanket!!!
    Merry Christmas to you, my dear!!!
    Carly
    x

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  27. It looks lovely spread out on your bed. You've just added to the list of projects I'd like to do in 2013.

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  28. It is gorgeous. Merry Christmas.
    Meredith

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  29. Hi Kristen. I really get the need for something you can watch tv while doing. I haven't found anything suitable for ages. I am trying to think of a design to make a blanket for the new little puppy we are having at the end of January. Why did you use circular needles? (Only curious as I have only used them for yokes etc.) I wish we had some snow - just lots and lots of rain and damp here in UK. Have a lovely Christmas. Lily. xxx

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  30. Just Gor-jus!!!! What a marathon of knitting goodness. I wish we lived closer so I could pick your brain and some of that knitting magic would rub off on me! Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    Lynne xxx

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  31. I absolutely love this blanket... it looks just perfect on the bed. The windy photos are great and they make me wish we had a bit of snow; I would even settle for a hard frost. Here it is windy and rainy... love the pom poms on the wreath also. May your days be merry and bright x

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  32. GORGEOUS!!!!!!! I LOOOOOOOVE IT!!!!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

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  33. That is both stunning and gorgeous - and I'm amazed at how all those colours together, surprisingly, just work beautifully!
    Well done you.

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  34. I have a lot of posts to catch up on but this is the first I spotted!! Your blanket is beyond stunning - I absolutely adore it! The design is just gorgeous. Have a wonderful Christmas hon. See you again in the New Year.

    Leah
    xxxx

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  35. Your blanket is absolutely gorgeous and looks wonderful on your bed!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours x

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  36. This is a very beautiful blanket and so is all that snow!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family and a blessed Happy New Year!
    Shari!

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  37. Another fantastic and inspirational blanket Kristen. May it keep you warm and cosy. A very blessed Christmas and New Year to you and your family from a very warm Paraparaumu (NZ).

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  38. The blanket is awesome!!! So good, so neat, so cozy! :)
    Love it!
    Merry Christmas!!!Keep warm, Anna.

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  39. Oh my! This is gorgeous. It must have taken you forever!!! Love your colour coordinations. You are so inspiring. Merry Christmas to you and yours. xx

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  40. That looks like the coziest blanket in the world!!!! It is beautiful!
    Merry Christmas!!!! It is pouring buckets here!! But we will be going up to the cabin after Christmas to get our snow fix!
    Love,
    Kris

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  41. Why does this remind me of an elf's stockings?! Beautiful colours ... a very COZY THING! Merry Christmas...stay warm :) Wendy

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    1. I love this! Elf's stockings! That's set my mind a-whirling...

      happy holidays, Wendy! :)

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  42. The blanket has turned out beautiful. The crochet edging is just right. And I'm a little jealous about the snow you have!!! Wish you a very happy christmas surrounded by your loved ones. groetjes, Gerda

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  43. Gorgeous! Beautiful! Especially the blanket (but the snow too...)! Merry Christmas! OmaMartha

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  44. that blanket has me itching to reach for the yarn and the needles - beautiful!

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  45. Divine blanket! LOVE IT...
    ♥ Ana BC

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  46. I'm speechless, in awe, it is so beautiful...

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  47. WOW! another fantastic make!

    Merry Merry Christmas Kristen and have a great time with your family :-)

    Amanda xx

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  48. Oh it's so beautiful. It's given me motivation to finish the blanket I started almost 2 years ago.

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  49. Gorgeous! Makes me want to grab my knitting needles. This would make a fabulous quilt.

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  50. Beautiful. It looks effortless. I'm a crocheter, but got some knitting needles and a how-to book for Christmas. Wish me luck!

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  51. I love Tim Allen too! The scene where the reindeer follow him at the zoo was filmed here in Toronto so my boys and I always watch the movie and then walk the walk. Yesterday we went to the zoo and did the annual Boxing Day Treats for the Animals walk. So fun!
    Your blanket is beautiful. I started a Mason Dixon log cabin about the same time you finished yours and now that all the Christmas knitting is done I can finally get back to it :)
    Thanks for all the inspiration and smiles you provide.
    Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy, yarn-filled New Year to you and your loved ones.

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    1. That sounds like a great day! He's the best Santa ever, I think. :)

      I can't wait to see your Log Cabin blanket!

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  52. Hope you're having a great Christmas Kristen!
    Just love your new blanket, the colours look great - i love stripes!
    Enjoy the rest of the holiday season!
    Gill xx

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  53. beautiful , just beautiful. am totally envious of your oh so even stitchng! looks great on the bed, and how bright outside on such a gloomy day. but, being a new knitter, i'm wondering- is it a big gamble to mix brands of yarn in that way?
    thank you for a great inspiring blog
    maura

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  54. I just LOVE this blanket. Hmmm, was going to do a ripple but now?

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  55. Gorgeous... As always I have my mouth open As I look at this gorgeous blanket and think .... Do you ever sleep?
    It is just beautiful ... Inspiring me to go back and finish a blanket I started in the beginning of fall for my mom.

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  56. I absolutely can not stop from coming back and looking at this blanket. I have never even held a knitting needle but am totally in Love with his blanket. The design,colors,everything about it.

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  57. This blanket makes me smile:) Beautiful colors for winter!

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  58. I think this is the most beautiful blanket I have seen for quite some time. Simple and yet so very gorgeous. Want want want....xxx

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  59. This is gorgeous - definitely on my to do list x

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  60. This blanket is so boss !! as my sone would say.
    I must have the patience to make something like this.
    I am salivating!
    I hope its ok that I pinned it.

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  61. Hi Kristen, love your blanket! Love your *need for speed*!! And the photos in the snow are just gorgeous, thanks for braving the cold to share with us a fabulous photo shoot of colour!

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  62. Kristen, your talent and quickness amazes me! Another beautiful blanket. Can I just ask, did you cut the yarn after every colour change or run it up the sides? I hate sewing in ends! xxx

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    1. I cut the yarn between stripes, but I wove each one in as I started the next row, so there wasn't a big mess of ends to deal with at the finish. :)

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  63. Ooh good idea! Thank you Kristen xxx

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  64. Oh my! Are you on Ravelry? I need to be your friend pronto. Also, I am your newest follower. I am so glad you found me so I could find you.

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  65. You are talented and witty and just plain funny.

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  66. Hi Kristen. Gorgeous blanket. Can I ask how much yarn this used? For example, would one 100 gram ball be enough for one colour? Thank you :-)

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