Welcome to the first in a series of posts for my very first CAL! I’m nervous about putting this design out into the world in CAL form since it’s something I’ve never done before. There’s a certain kind of vulnerability around sharing work with the world in this way. But I know that the upside is that we will get to create some pretty amazing community around a craft we all love. And that makes it all worth it!
ETA: The CAL is now live! Jump to the post you need below. I’ll update this with links to the different posts as they’re published.
Part 1: February 8 to February 28
Part 2: March 1 to March 14
Part 3: March 15 to March 28
Part 4: March 29 to April 5
In this post, I’ll talk about the yarn I used to design Marguerite, guidelines to keep in mind for selecting your own yarn, and what to do to prepare for the start of the CAL. There’s a little bonus feature midway through the post, so be sure to read all the way through!
The planned pattern release date will be Friday, January 25, 2019, and the CAL will officially begin on Friday, February 8, 2019! I am anticipating the CAL to run for 8-10 weeks. Because you will have access to the entire pattern ahead of time, the CAL blog posts will focus on each of the steps of the pattern (e.g., making full motifs, half motifs, joining, etc.). But you can of course work at your own pace.
You might consider joining my closed Facebook, MobiusGirl Crochet Nation, in order to best follow along with CAL updates, and to enjoy each others’ progress photos! If you’re not already on my mailing list, you can sign up below to receive blog updates by email. You can also join the Ravelry CAL hosted by Julie Yeager.
I designed my Marguerite Blanket using mostly Madelinetosh DK Twist. The version I made is meant to be an heirloom piece, with premium yarn to match. What I especially like about the Madelinetosh line are the beautiful effects created by hand-dyed yarns. I only use a handful of colors in the design, but the speckles and variations on each shade add texture and depth to the overall piece.
Since I was using stash yarn, some of the colorways I used now appear to be discontinued. I’ve chosen some substitutes for the list below that are close approximations.
For the full motifs, I used Antler, Glazed Pecan, Foundry, Calligraphy, Star Scatter, Leopard, Rose, Doe Eyes, Horn, Toner Cartridge, Eleven Lite, & Weathered Frame, 1 skein each.
For the triangles, I used Poe & Patched Indigo, 1 skein each.
I also used 2 balls of Cascade 220 Superwash in Charcoal (#900) for the border, along with the remainder of two of the skeins from the motifs.
Madelinetosh DK Twist is a 100% Merino wool yarn. Although classified as DK, I find it to be a little heavier than other brands’ DK yarns. I used a 5.5 mm hook, which is on the upper side of the range of suggested hooks. Because the design relies on tapestry crochet, it can help to use a larger hook to accommodate the extra thickness from working over the unused yarn color.
If you don’t want to use wool, other fibers are of course fine. Cotton blends, such as Scheepjes Stonewashed XL, would work well. I especially like its textured nature. Acrylic yarns would be fine also. KnitPicks Brava is one of my favorite all-purpose acrylic yarns. It’s a worsted weight yarn, but would work well for this pattern.
Although I love working with 100% cotton yarn, I might avoid it for this project, unless it’s a lighter weight. Tapestry crochet creates a thicker fabric, which creates an overall heftier blanket. The density of an Aran-weight cotton might make the blanket too heavy.
I used approximately 3500 meters of yarn for the entire blanket. Keep in mind that the amount of yarn you use will depend on your gauge. Choosing the same dye lot for multiple balls of the same color of yarn isn’t really an issue for this project.
Now let’s talk a little bit about how to choose colors. It’s often one of the most difficult, and also most important steps in planning a blanket.
To me, the defining features of the colorway I chose include: (1) using multiple shades of the same color; (2) choosing mostly muted colors (gray, cream, tan) with some brighter pops of color (pink, gold), and (3) using hand-painted yarns that add visual interest and texture.
Let’s break that down a little further. About 2/3 of my blanket is crocheted in solid neutral colors, or have a neutral base. The remaining 1/3 of the blanket is made up of brighter shades that are analogous to each other. This means that they are close to each other on the color wheel.
I tend to shy away from starker contrasts, including complementary colors (opposite to each other on the color wheel). But that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a stunning blanket using lots of contrast!
What if you don’t want to use speckled yarns? There are other ways of creating texture and variation, including using colors that fall on a gradient. Using more than 1-2 shades of the same color will create subtle hue shifts. Combining them with multiple shades of contrasting colors will provide a palette that pops!
Do you like using ombré cakes of yarn? Consider using one for the petals on each motif, and keeping a consistent background for the rest of the circles.
If you want to experiment with colors before committing completely, check out this downloadable graphic of Marguerite. You can print it out and color as many versions as you like! Huge thanks to my cousin, Shan Ren, for creating this graphic for me! (Note: click on the link below the photo for the best resolution graphic.)
So, what if you’ve decided upon yarn, picked out a gorgeous palette, and stocked up already?
If you’re eager to start stitching your Marguerite Blanket, and can’t wait for the full pattern to be released, here’s what I would recommend for getting started. You can find the pattern for the full motif here. The blanket pattern calls for making 18 full motifs. Because they will be joined as you go, be sure not to sew in the ends on the final round because you will need to unravel a little bit to join them.
Making the full motifs will take up the first few weeks of the CAL, so you’ll be ahead of the game if you decide to get started now!
Please share your progress on social media with the tag #margueritemotif so we can all enjoy each others’ work!
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