July has been super busy! I spent most of the month concentrating on things I need to do to get ready to launch my hand dyed yarn shop. The shop isn’t open yet but I’m pretty close! Most of the big things are taken care of so over the next few weeks I’ll be moving forward with building up some stock. It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to it.
This month I also had to get ready for a visitor: my best friend Mat is visiting from the UK for a few weeks while my folks are in the United States. I’m house sitting for them during their trip and looking after their dogs, so it’s nice to have the company. On top of looking after my furry siblings I’m also exploring options for a new day job that I can transition to—one which will hopefully lessen my stress and allow me to put more energy into pursuing my yarn.
With all of that going on (and also feeling a bit anti-crochet due to the heat we’ve been having) meant my blanket has been neglected this month, but even so, I do have some progress to share.
Our heatwave hasn’t been as extreme as other places, which I’m thankful for. I’m still keeping a wary eye on the forecast when the weatherman calls for any daily highs to reach the 30s, as I’m not too keen on having to add another color to my chart if the temperature gets above 32°C. So far, so good, though July 6, 17, and 30 got pretty close!
My home has southern exposure so I get a lot of sunshine. Natural light is great (particularly in winter) but in summer it does mean that I struggle with the inside temp getting much warmer than the outside temp. I don’t have air conditioning (and no room for a portable unit) and no basement so when it’s really hot there’s nowhere to retreat to for relief. Working with yarn in such conditions is hard—sweaty hands on thick yarn is less than ideal. That I’m making my blanket out of super bulky weight yarn also makes it a bit tougher to pack up and go somewhere cooler (like an air conditioned cafe!).
When I realized how busy I was going to be this month and that I was falling behind on squares again, I started thinking about how I could better manage the project going forward. It occurred to me that despite having an overflowing bag of all the squares I’ve done, it doesn’t feel like I actually have much to show for the blanket so far. I have only a few rows of the blanket stitched together due to how the pattern is laid out, as a number of the early rows require squares from the first seven to eight months of the year before they can be completed.
There are twenty-five rows in the blanket. At the start of July I had only five of those completed (20%, which sounds like it should be a lot, but doesn’t actually look like a lot). After I did the July 1 square I noticed that to complete two more rows on the blanket I needed only three other squares for this month, so I thought, why not? For the rest of the year I’ll continue to keep track of the weather on a daily basis but will only do the squares I actually need to complete each successive row. Until late fall rolls around, this should reduce the time I need to spend on “keeping up” on an ongoing basis, should help relieve boredom (there are obviously a lot of color repeats again), and by the time the last quarter of the year arrives I won’t have a whole ton of squares that have to be seamed together all at once! The blanket might even be big enough by then to cuddle under. :)
So, these are the only squares I completed this month. Doesn’t look like much at all, but having changed my mindset about this project, I’m totally fine with having only done this much.
Since I’m down at my folks’ house to look after the pups, I have more room to spread the blanket out for photographing. The image above shows the additional rows I was able to add thanks to the July squares. The most recent row is the top one. I can see some contrast between the winter days on the left and middle with the spring and summer days on the upper right! The blanket is also only partially seamed so far (horizontally) as I won’t be able to do the vertical seams until all twenty-five rows are finished. Using the flat slip stitch join is working out really well for keeping the squares together.
Mom ran out of several of her colors just as July started, and Red Heart took forever to ship her order to her, so unfortunately she doesn’t have any progress to share for July specifically. Getting the house ready for Mat and me, and also prepping for the trip to the States, took a lot of her time as well. However, she did seam her six completed panels together before she left, so her blanket is quite tangibly half finished and definitely big enough now to cuddle under. It needs blocking (as does mine) and she’ll also be adding a border all the way around when the other six panels are done. She’s still planning on sewing a sheet to the reverse side as well to give the blanket more body, as the worsted yarn just doesn’t feel heavy enough.
By the end of August I’ll be able to add another two rows, while September means getting an additional four onto the blanket. That will make 50% of the rows finished for my blanket! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how it looks at that point. Until then, happy hooking!