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How to tackle a Scrappy project

…without the overwhelm.

Hello Makers!

I’m sure it’s no surprise to you to hear that I’ve had A LOT of yarn leftover from previous projects. I don’t like to be wasteful so I use as much of it as I can – sock heels and toes, a pop of colour on a scarf, a contrast stripe on a beanie, etc. But there comes a point where the leftover yarn simply isn’t long enough to be useful. All those little balls were far too precious to throw away, but were making a mess of my stash cupboard. Can you relate? 

The obvious solution seemed to be a scrappy project. But I’ll be honest, I hesitated at the thought of making something scrappy for a long time. The idea of adding such a large number of different colours all together was a little daunting. 

Will ALL these colours actually work together? 

What colours should go where? 

What if it looks terrible? 

And what on earth do I do with all of those ends???

After deliberating for a long time (and accumulating even more leftovers) I came up with a design that I think will address all of these issues and allow you to appreciate your precious yarn babies all over again. It’s called Recollection, and it will be launching this weekend. 

In preparation for the launch, and in case you are like me and find the idea of a scrappy project a bit intimidating, I thought I would share with you some tips to help make your scrappy blanket more harmonious and purposeful.

The first thing I suggest is to put all of your leftovers together. Spread them out so you can see everything. It’s quite likely that you have a preferred colour palette so most of the colours should co-ordinate nicely. If you do find that there are some colours that just don’t seem to play well with the others, pull them out. That’s not to say that you can’t make a blanket with ALL the colours, but you might find that there’s just a few that are throwing off the overall harmony. (My basket contained a couple of glorious mustards that just weren’t working with all the peach and purple hues. Once I removed them, I could see clearly that the remaining colours all worked well together.)

Next, give yourself a starting point by lining up just a few colours to begin with. This will get the ball rolling as well as give you an idea of where your colours are heading.

Continue to repeat this method of lining up your planned colours a few at a time alongside the completed rows. This provides an opportunity to check on the overall harmony of your blanket as well as experiment and play with the possibilities. And if you find that you’ve added a colour that just doesn’t look right, chances are that once you add the next couple of colours all will be well. But if not, it’s no biggie to pull back a few rows. I mean, that’s one of the things we love about crochet, right? It’s so easy to frog.

Once you get a few rows done and are feeling more confident, you might also want to consider not just the colours, but the level of contrast between them. Perhaps alternating between light and dark colours every couple of rows, or planning larger sections of light colours followed by dark ones. Alternating the colour ‘value’ (how dark/light it is) will give your project another layer of visual interest.

Of course, this is just a suggestion. If you want to go completely random and close your eyes when reaching for the next colour, go for it!  Feel free to mix it up in any combination you like. Much will depend on the yardage of each colour you have and even whether you want to keep the same colour combo all across the row, or whether you are happy to work with a colour until it runs out -mid-row or not. A scrappy blanket is all about experiencing joy from yarns we’ve used in the past while repurposing those small amounts that might otherwise languish in our stash, unused.

Whether you choose to go with a little forethought or wild abandon, you can turn a bunch of leftovers into something truly spectacular!

And what about all those ends?

This will come as no surprise to those of you that know me – I DO NOT enjoy weaving in ends. As a consequence, I can get pretty creative when it comes to finding ways to avoid the job. Here is my solution when it came to my scrappy blankets.

Are you Team Fringe? or Team Tassel?

The vote last time I asked was pretty equally divided so I have included the instructions for both in my new RECOLLECTION blanket design.
I can’t tell you enough how happy I was that I didn’t have to weave in all these ends! Would have been a total deal-breaker for me, otherwise.

So, if you ever decide to repurpose your leftovers by undertaking a scrappy project, I hope this has given you a few ideas about how to approach the task.

Happy crocheting, friends.

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