Challenge #1: Connecting Tiles
What is the most seamless way to attach the squares? In my mind, the obvious way to piece the squares together would be to attach all of the squares at the end. But I found a few issues with this:
A discernible difference in the color of the connecting yarn because of the variegation.
It would add extra bulk to the seams by going back and crocheting them together.
This also adds an extra step which means more time and more work for me.
So what solution could I come up with? My fix was to connect the tiles as I go. This is a great solution because it solves each of the problems I described above. Here's a diagram of how I planned to build the blanket:
I was able to use this method of connecting tiles as I worked to create a subtle seam. I used slip stitches between rows of the connecting tiles to keep the seam as discrete as possible.
Finding a solution to a problem is always amazing, but sometimes that solution poses more challenges...
Challenge #2: Figuring Out How and When to Turn and Connect the Tiles
I wanted the change between tiles to be continuous - there is no need to finish off between tiles if I will begin the next tile at the same corner. I had to make sure that I turned my work so that the striping would follow my pattern. Each time I began a new tile, I thought about which sides I would need to connect to a previous tile and how I would connect it without adding bulk to my seams. This challenge was a little more complicated than the others so I will save this solution for the finished pattern.
Challenge #3: The Smaller Challenge of Deciding How I Wanted the Color Change to Look
How do I keep the colors changing smoothly? First, I had to decide how particular I wanted to be with the striping. Am I okay with the color changing mid-row? What about when I start a new skein?
This challenge was more about deciding what I wanted. I was not too concerned about changing color mid-row because I wanted to keep natural variegation of the yarn. But I did want to be careful about changing skeins. I like to start from the center of my skeins, but sometimes it's tough to find the end without pulling out too much yarn or it gets knotted up. It was super important that I stayed consistent with always pulling from the center of the skein or I would end up reversing the order of the stripe colors. I also wanted to avoid a stark change of color that was out of stripe color order. To do this I would check through the skeins to see which one started with the color my previous skein was ending on.
I included this as one of the challenges because small decisions like these can make a big impact on the finished design. I need to consider these decisions before actually starting the pattern so I don't end up realizing the mistake after it has already been made. That's not to say that mistakes don't still happen, there was one tile that I had to rip out half of at least twice for different mistakes. But that's how I learn to fix it the next time!
These are some of the issues I have come across so far. Of course, this blanket is a WIP so there may be more challenges ahead! Subscribe below to follow my journey as I finish this blanket, evaluate what I would change next time, and write a finished pattern for this design.