Sunday 27 May 2012

A stripe a day, keeps the grannies away!

Hello Lovelies!! Hope your all having a colourful weekend?!
Look at what the post man delivered earlier in the week!

17 scrummy balls of Stylecraft DK!! I ordered it from Masons last week and was very surprised to have it delivered three days later!!! VERY SPEEDY INDEED!!!
I love to order these Stylecraft assorted packs. Not only are they full of great colours, but they are also amazing value! This bundle of 17 different colours cost me only £25.50 (plus postage), If that isn't a bargain I don't know what is?!

Now I don't want to sound like a 'Yarn Snob', but I don't usually go for acrylic yarns.
My favourite yarns include a nice Cashmere or Merino, so soft and snuggly. The problem with always using fancy yarn.... is the price. It's soooo damn expensive.
So when the budget is a little tight, I find myself looking for cheaper alternatives. Acrylic yarn tends to tick the boxes in terms of price.
The problem I have with SOME acrylic yarns is that quite often  I find them to be just a little too plasticy for my liking. I want my yarn to feel luxuriously soft and not scrunchy and cheap.
For me Stylecraft fits the medium perfectly. Its great value but it doesn't feel like I've dropped down in quality. Its feels lovely and soft. There is such large selection of colours that you can't help but be drawn to it.
This is why I've used Stylecraft for many projects, Its acrylic that doesn't feel like acrylic. Look how wonderfully colourful it is when worked up!:

I ordered my Stylecraft with the intention of making another Granny Stripe Blanket (using the Attic24 pattern). A colleague of mine (Dani) had seen my crochet work and was so smitten with the Granny Stripe, that she asked me to make her one. I'm not usually so keen on making items for people when they know about it. I feel under pressure to get the project finished fast. Instead I like to make a project secretly and give it as a surprise, that way I'm under no obligation to get the project finished by a certain time.
This was different, It was for Dani!
Dani works at the theatre and is part of the wigs and make-up department. She is such a lovely woman! Always has a smile on her face and is so fun and crazy.
Dani and I help each other with our language learning. She speaks to me in English and I'll correct her when she gets stuck. Then she does the same for me in German, it's a win win Situation!
So of course when Dani asked me for a bright (like her personality) blanket, I got straight to work.

Dennis and I have both made granny stripes before. I made mine with Merino the first time around:

Dennis made his with the Stylecraft pack:

As I've just bought the Stylecraft pack, I'm going for a Granny Stripe similar to Dennis'.
Dani told me that there is no rush for the blanket so I'm making this a sideline project. A project that I'm always working on, but that doesn't always have to be my main focus. I hope that this way I won't get bored of it and will have time to work on other projects. :-)

With that in mind I've decided to do just one stripe a day. A stripe is taking only about 20 minutes to complete, so I should be able to fit easily one per day.
With the amount of stripes I'm hoping this blanket will be finished around early September. I'm thinking that's perfect! It will be finished in time for Autumn. So Dani will have a bright and gorgeous blanket to snuggle in during the cold Autumn and Winter months. I cant wait to give it to her!!

There we have it!! Day seven and I'm mid row on my 7th stripe. I'm giving the random colour approach a try, let's see how that turns out!

Have a glorious Sunday!!
Matt xxx
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  1. WOW! WOW! WOW!!!!!!
    This yarn seems really beautiful, maybe I`ll buy a pack, too!! Your pics are so tempting!! I like the idea of the granny stripes blanket and you are so sweet : your friend is really lucky, indeed!!
    Enjoy your crochet, xxx Alessandra

  2. I love your blog!! Wonder if you could give me some advice!!! How big, approx, will Daani's finished blanket be and how many stitches, per row are you working on? Sorry, I am VERY new to crochet.....

  3. What a lovely thing to do for a friend. The blanket will be lovely when it is finished.

  4. Yes, the colours that acrylics come in are wonderful. And Stylecraft does such a wide range. I like cotton too, but acrylic is light as well as warm for a blanket. I made Lucy's striped blanket and her bag too, out of the same yarn.
    Maybe it's time I did another....

  5. Very nice colours, I like your blanket. Have a nice Sunday.
    Greeting from Germany

  6. I like Stylecraft too and that does sound like a bargain, such lovely colours, you are tempting me lol The blanket of course will be lovely, I'm looking forward to seeing it's progress :)

  7. I just kinda OD-ed on all the lovey colours ;-) I agree on the yarn thing. So acrylics have this nasty thing about them. So if I use acrycic yarn I try and use baby-acrylic, much much softer and often fabulous quality. My sister just brought me 10 huge balls of baby-acrylic from Turkey (Nako, OMG!! Love it) so I am thinking op new projects. Woohoo!! Have fun granny-striping.

  8. I just love the flowers in the picture in the middle. I have been experimenting with flowers this weekend, so I feel very flowery :-)

  9. Yippeee .... to random colours!



  10. How nice of you to do such a thing for a colleague. It's lots of work! I haven't tried the acrylics in ages, but maybe I'll order a packet of Stylecraft to check it out. It depends on the postage fee though. If that's higher than the sky, I prefer to use the money for yarn instead. Have a nice Sunday :-)

  11. I tend to use acrylic because of the price of other yarns but I've found Stylecraft to be good quality and a great range of colours. Lucky for me they sell it at my local wool shop :) Maggie xx

  12. That is so sweet of you - she is going to love it! Looking very pretty and colourful so far! I can't stop looking at those three pictures together in the middle of your post - they are just the most gorgeous happy-making colours!!
    Maria xx

  13. It is the first time I visited and ... I loved your blog!
    Besides the fabrics, I am a complete addict to crochet ... And in your blog, I have found lots of inspiration ... I have really enjoyed your photography!
    I still long Attic24's blog (who does not?) And reminded me in many pictures in this blog!


  14. Hi Matt
    I always love seeing your colour selecting! Your sense of colour is GREAT! I just love it! The colours always make me HappY! Thanks for this! How's Dennis?

  15. That's a very generous undertaking! It's looking great already. I love the arrangement in the first one you made, especially the way the yellow slowly blends into the purples. I also think Dennis did a great job arranging his randomly. I'll be following your progress!

  16. Oh my goodness, I thought I'd have to put my sunnies on when looking at your glorious pictures. I love all those lovely bright colours and am so envious that we don't have such a wonderful selection here in Australia. Have you worked out how long it will take to finish your striped blanket? Happy crocheting. xoxoxox

  17. Wow Matt, Lovely choice of colours, as always. I so envy Danni, not only is she getting a blanket in these gorgeous colours, it is being made by you!

  18. Simply fabulous. Great idea to do a stripe a day as a back burner project. I've used Stylecraft acrylic before and been pleased with the results, it also washes great even in a machine which is always handy. Thanks for the tip on their mixed packs, gorgeous colour combinations. Checking that link now!

  19. I don't like anything that uses merino wool as mulesing hurts the sheep and is very cruel. Acrylic is a nicer cruelty freer option than some wools. It is easier to care for and doesn't shrink. Wool that is cruelty free is lovely though.

  20. Another masterpiece in the making if ever I saw one! Love the colours. Have a good week, you two.

  21. It's going to be a lovely blanket. Lucky friend! I like Stylecraft as well. It's a great good value yarn to use with some wonderful colours.

  22. I love Stylecraft too and either get mine from my local store in Bideford where they stock every colour, or I get them from Mason's also. They also do an acrylic/wool blend which is lovely and soft. I am now on my third granny stripe and I'm still not bored with it (just as well as they are all presents!) The flowers are really pretty - is it a blanket? Lily. xxx

  23. It looks like great yarn...I'm gonna have to see if I can get it anywhere in the Netherlands. Amazing pictures by the them!

  24. Oooooh I'm so glad you wrote this. I've just ordered a load of it and was wondering if it was a mistake.
    Looking forward to using it now. :)
    Happy days!

  25. Your blog is so colourful and happy!

  26. The colours are fab - made me want to reach into the computer and snaffle them for my own blanket! I love the way you have timed your rows and worked out how long the whole blanket will take you, how organised is that?

    Daisy X

  27. You two amaze me!! Love coming to your blog for a visit and some serious inspiration. You should think about a book. That way I can take you to the park with me while I stitch.

    blessings, jilly

  28. Wooow great Colors.I love it.
    Thats amazing!!!!

    greatings send you Conny from teh Nederlands

  29. That's really gorgeous. And giving me horrible ideas.

  30. Great colour combinations. You have an excellent eye for colour! I love that granny ripple and round cushion. gorgeous! Stylecraft yarns are great value for money and I love their choice in colours too!
    Glad I came in to visit as I'm a big crochet fan too! Have a beautiful day! Sandra

  31. I love Stylecraft Special for knitting/crocheting household items and toys. Like you I prefer to use better quality yarn but I reserve that for special handmade knits. This recession is making a huuge dent in my yarn spending budget, so I have to watch what I get and how much ;)

    I just love the colours in the "Lucy Pack"

  32. I think Denni will adore it when it is finished!!! I like the whole idea and all the pictures in advance, already!!!!

    You a such a creative and colorful man!!!

    Can't wait to see the finished project, and ofcourse all the projects in between!

    Kind regards,


  33. Tell me about expensive yarns... I dream of a cozy long cardigan made out of super soft wool but my budget is too tight at the moment :( I haven't found any acrylic yarn in Germany that I didn't identify as cheap and 'plastic-y' yet :( Do you have any suggestions? I wanna see/feel the yarn before I order it, and the postage from the UK is pretty steep...

  34. oooh! lovely colours! I've been unable to find a stylecraft stockist near me and have been thinking about ordering a pack like yours, seeing all your lovely projects I think I just might order myself some lovely stylecraft!! As always I love your work :)
    with love
    Karen xxx

  35. Love your granny stripe! I use Stylecraft yarns for the same reason as you, they work up beautifully and I like them because they are hardwearing too, great for blankets. Looking forward to seeing the progress of your random stripes.

  36. Hi Matt,
    I love your blog. I saw your bunch of stylecraft yarns and before I knew it I had ordered the same pack. Wow I'm so excited as I have been looking for a quality acrylic yarn. This will be my first overseas yarn purchase and I will be waiting (im)patiently for my bundle to arrive on the door step.

  37. My two main gripes with arcylic are, it doesn't breathe like natural fibers (I get so hot under acrylic!) and it doesn't wear well. By that I mean it tends to pill and just generally not look nice after a while. Do you find that stylecraft gets around those problems because it sure is gorgeous and I'd LOVE to find a more affordable yarn to do blankets with.

  38. I also did a stripe in about 20 minutes - if you are following Lucy's instructions for the GS? Just a random little 'fact' in response! ;-p

    I'm a bit horrifed at the merino cruelty comment, had no idea! But I haven't bought any non-acrylic yet; it's not in my price range atm. Rather spend money on hotels and flights!

  39. First time poster, long time stalker! I adore your blog, it's number one on my iPad Flipboard so I love to see your pics when you post! Your colour work is so inspiring... Makes me happy to see your beautiful, colorful photos! Love Kylie from New Zealand!

  40. You two are master colorists.. you do an excellent job of melding colors in your projects! They are "eye candy"!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  41. Hi friend I love your blog always has nice things here,I am from Brasil, hugs... tb visit my store and let your opinion about my products.

  42. I love working on my granny stripe it is so relaxing. It's really nice to be able to turn you brain off for half an hour and just crochet and relax. I can't wait to see the finished blanket!

  43. I'm sure she will love the blanket and may be sneaking peeks at it on your blog from time to time!

  44. What a nice thing to do! I'm awful about getting things done that I 'have' to. I agree on the that price for sure. Beautiful photos! :)

  45. I'm a spanish girl, and I see your blog aand it is fantastic, the fotographies are beautifull!!!!
    Sorry for my english.
    I have a blog too:
    SEE you and congratulations

  46. Totally drooling over those colors!! xoxo

  47. Great colourchoices! Like you, I'm still looking for affordable yarn.Now you're showing this acrylic yarn and say it is great; but how will it be after using the item and washing; will it still be as great or not?

  48. I love the colors in your pack and I think the blanket is looking great so far. I'm never brave enough to go random pick on colors, but yours is looking so great that I just might be swayed some day!

  49. what a sweet and generous friend you are,
    and the colours in this post, indeed in your entire blog are gorgeous!
    i am glad you mentioned the stylecraft yarn, it's just the sort of thing i am looking for to make cat blankets. am not usually keen on acrylic and neither are my cats, but needs must. they will be my first crochet projects :)

  50. There, 5 minutes after looking at this post, I sent off my order for the Stylecraft Pack.
    Thank you for making me splurge on colour!

  51. You will be the death of me! I've just had a delivery of a kilo of yarn & fibre, I'm in the middle of a mountain of UFOs, I've JUST started learning to spin last night... yet I can't help but want to order this and start making a crocheted blanket too (even though I don't crochet yet)

    What a thing of beauty! And those pictures make great computer backgrounds :D

  52. Oh Matt, you inspire me! I LOVE the colors.
    Your photography is beautiful also. I saved many of your images and use them as desktop wallpapers, they're so beautiful.

    I was raised crocheting, Grandmother, Mother, myself, but got into knitting and have recently gone back to crochet. I'm also quite taken with the wooden hooks and needles these days. From your pictures, I see you are too.

    Thanks for posting such beautiful work.

  53. I'm a catalan girl.
    Your blanket is fantastic.
    Could you please tell me what of the following colors no have not included in your blanket????

    1065 : meadow
    1316 : spring green
    1003 : aster
    1019 : cloud blue
    1068 : turquoise
    1188 : lavender
    1034 : sherbet
    1432 : wisteria
    1061 : plum
    1084 : magenta
    1390 : clematis
    1132 : shrimp
    1083 : pomegranate
    1241 : fondant
    1246 : lipstick
    1081 : saffron

    Thank you!!!!!!!!

  54. I love anything rainbow - add flowers and I am smitten indeed!:) Sumptious colors and a lucky friend!


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