Stitching Status: Closing Out The Year

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It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m ready for two days of lounging, knitting on the couch snuggled between the dogs and my husband while we watch TV marathons. I was actually able to finish his vest before the end of the year! Hopefully I can get a picture of him in it before he’s back to work this week. I’m also now obsessed with the lightness of the Berroco Remix yarn I used for it and of course I want to make myself something with it in 2019. I’ve also been looking at the Best Nine of my photos on Instagram this year and of course they’re all knitting related.
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I don’t post a ton but what I do post that is liked the most are my sweaters! No surprise here. But I also love seeing the range of colors I post too.
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Of course shades of teal from my kitchen wall are always prominent but this year my colors varied a lot. I knit the rainbow and there is lots of pink! But I definitely see more green in my future. Whatever 2019 holds, I know for sure there will be more knitting and more joy. Here’s hoping your new year is your best yet! See you in 2019.

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Blanket Knitting, Piece by Piece

When I first learned how to knit I did what every knitter does, I made a million baby blankets. I’ve even made a few lap blankets and couch blankets for loved ones. And after a bit of time I started to loathe knitting blankets. But I’ve always wanted a blanket for myself after some of the really pretty and fun ones I’ve made. So that got me thinking…what if I made a blanket piece by piece?

Knitted Triangle Sampler Afghan by Karen Baumer
Knitted Triangle Sampler Afghan by Karen Baumer

Clearly I thought of this before because as I searched my library I realized I purchased the Knitted Triangle Sampler Afghan pattern YEARS ago. So I pulled it out and realized they have a lovely blank chart for you to create your own color palette and pattern if you don’t follow theirs, so I spent a few attempts coloring and this is what I ended up coming up with.
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It was inspired by a quilt pattern I saw on Instagram and I decided that I wanted to do some bold pops of neon colors and ground it with some black and white. I should also note I’m making this blanket with acrylic yarn. Why you might wonder? It’s what I make all my baby blankets with, specifically with Caron Simply Soft, but I also know with two dogs I want something I can wash and dry a million times over and just not worry about it. So I dug into my stash and went with the following block combos:

    • Neon yellow and teal
    • Neon pink and purple
    • Black and white

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    And it will only take me 1 1/2 skeins per color combo to finish the blanket. I whipped up a couple of blocks over the weekend and I liked the color combos, so I’m going to keep it going. I need 81 squares total, 27 of each color combo. And on average it takes me about an hour to complete one square. So I’m down 3 squares and have 78 more to go, LOL. But I also know this is the kind of thing I can totally do when I just need a mindless knitting project. I don’t have a crazy pattern to memorize, they’re garter stitch blocks made with simple decreases and increases and I can always just throw a color combo in a small project bag and always have it with me when I need something quick to do.
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    And Cher has already claimed one square for herself. This is exactly why I knew I needed to just make it with the acrylic I had in my stash. Anyone else work on a blanket like this? Any tips?

The Process: Color Pairings

One of the biggest things people ask me is how I come up with my color combos. I kept saying I’d discuss it in a blog post but I honestly haven’t found the time to sit down and tape one yet! So I’m going to talk a little bit about my process now. I love all color and because I tend to like such simple shapes in knitwear I think they can handle vibrant batches of color. I saved up some money for the Fibre Space Miss Babs Trunk Show the other weekend because I love her yarn and colors and how big the skeins of Yowza are (560 yards!!) when knitting a sweater.
Colors
I came home with these four colors:

  • Fig (top left)
  • Be Witching (top right)
  • Perfectly Wreckless (bottom left)
  • McHale (bottom right)

But while I was there I was already thinking of color pairings. My first color combo mixes Fig and Bewitching with a skein of Neighborhood Fiber Co Studio Worsted in Easterwood ( a dark teal and blue shade that I originally picked up thinking it would pair with my Mint Madness cardigan).
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Easterwood picks up the other colors running through Bewitching and Fig is a shade within Bewitching too. The colors aren’t necessarily perfect matches but they blend. And that’s what you want. It’s an easy trick of the eye. My second color pairing was more vibrant.
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I am mixing Perfectly Wreckless with the vibrant blue McHale – even though there isn’t any blue in the wilder skein. Why? Because I’m using that blue as a neutral base and it pulls on the undertones of the pink and green in the more vibrant color. And I’ve got a bit of Floyd leftover from another project and the pinks match so that might become ribbing!
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Once I have a color combination in my head I like to draw it out (even more so now that my husband bought me an iPad Pro for my birthday with an Apple Pencil!). I play around with color combos, consider yardage and just sketch out what I could make. This is how my mind works. I see color and I just want to put together as many great color combos as I can. How do you guys figure out color combinations?