Hi you all! It has as usual been ages since I wrote something here, but I really want to have something I am proud to share when I write, and today is a day when this happens.
I finally completed my Star of Wonder blanket by the super talented Helen at Crystals and Crochet and I have for the first time remembered to check yarn amount for the yarn I used, so I would love to share my experience crocheting this blanket with you!
I really loved hooking the beautiful Mandala Madness Blanket, a free pattern by Helen, so I was super exited when she launched the pattern for the Star of Wonder. This is a paid pattern and you can buy it on Ravelry. The blanket is octagonal, how cool (and typical Helen) is that?!?
Helen made a very informative blog post about the pattern were she among other things shares her thoughts and tips on colour choosing. I really recommend you read this post before starting your project.
I decided to use Drops Muskat yarn for this blanket as I used the yarn for the MM and really loved both working with it and the result. It is an affordable cotton yarn that has a lovely sheen to it. It comes in thirty-seven colors so you should not have any trouble finding your favorites.
I usually buy my yarn at a Swedish web store called Hobbii and they decided to gift me the yarn for the blanket, so thank you Hobbii! They even gifted me one ball of yarn in each color so I could crochet small squares and use when choosing my colors. I stole the idea of making the squares from Helen so I cannot take credit for this idea. I will try to make another post soon with some alternative ideas for color schemes for you.
The pattern is very clearly written with images so I would say it is suitable for adventurous beginners and above. And Helen has video tuturials for the more unusual stitches at her blog, see her informations post I linked to above.
I haven’t actually measured my blanket but it is big enough to cover my queen size bed (except for corners due to the octagonal shape). So this is my new bed spread!
I was really happy with the calm colors of my Last Dance on the Beach blanket so I wanted something similar for this one. After playing around for I while I decided on this theme.
I think it has a nice calm look with a bit of interest with the beige (that looks almost like brass due to the sheen) and the natural white.
Here is a list of the colors and the number of balls I used of each color:
C 1: Beige, no 23, 13 balls
C 2: Ice Blue, no 60, 14 balls
C 3: Sky Blue, no 76, 11 balls
C 4: Jeans Blue, no 36, 9 balls
C 5: Off White, no 08, 12 balls
As we all have different tension I would recommend you to get one or two balls extra of each color, it really is a nuisance when you run out of yarn while working on a project!
As I used hook no 4 (G/ 6) on the MM I started out with that one, but after a few rounds I found the blanket was too stiff so I started over using hook no 4,5 (7) and what a difference it made! The blanket is soft with a lovely drape! But then again, we all have different tension, so start with a 4,5 (7) and go up or down a hook size if you find your work to stiff or loose.
I found it was enough to lay it out flat and spray block it. Due to the size I blocked it on my bed, and had to sleep on my couch for a couple of nights 🙂 🙂 🙂
Weaving in ends
I hate weaving in ends so I decided to weave them in every fourth or fifth, doing all but the last completed round every time. I leave the last round not woven in since I sometimes find it can be hard crocheting over the next round if they are woven in.
Adding new ball of yarn
For the Drops Muskat I do not tie my yarn together, due to the yarn being glossy I am afraid the knots might come undone so I add new yarn the old fashioned way by adding it with last drawing through loops in a stitch and then weave in the ends. More ends to weave in, but I will be sure the blanket does not unravel.
So what did I think of the pattern and crocheting experience? I think Helen spoiled me with the MM pattern where no round is the same and the blanket keeps changing shape all the time which keeps up your interest the whole time (I am actually in the process of making another MM, and I usually never do the same large project more than once).
Compared to the MM this is more repetitive so I got a little bored crocheting it. I also found I had to check my stitch count every couple of rows, it was easy to by accident add or forget a stitch here and there. For the MM this checking sort of happens by itself.
However do not let the above discourage you, most people have more patience than I do! Also, if the MM is a bit daunting for you and you hesitate giving it a go, then the Star of Wonder is perfect to build your stamina! You could actually view it as a therapeutic patience session at the price of some yarn 🙂
There is still a lot of interest in making it and clever ways to use stitches to get nice effects and a gorgeous texture, look at this:
Helen has a free mind which shows in her patterns were she uses combinations of stitches to create unexpected effects.
You start of by making the star shape and then fill it in. Here you can stop whenever you want and make yourself a really neat blanket with points from the star. You can see some examples of this in Helen’s post on the blanket, link in text above.
If you want a beautiful blanket with an unusual shape and lots of lovely texture and you have the patience to take on big projects, this is a project for you!