I've been thinking a lot lately about creative processes lately, about why I work the way I do, why I dislike randomness so much. As you know I'm making a blanket. A really big blanket. You know, the sort that takes a year. (I don't believe I've mentioned it here before....)
I told you about making my 225th square. But I forgot to tell you that, just before this, I realised I'd actually miscounted and, when I came to lay them all out on my bed, found that I only had 224.
I was so annoyed! I kept searching in my crochet basket, upending bags, looking under the sofa, refusing to believe that I'd made a mistake. I mean, I counted them so many times. I had to quickly crochet one more.
The Grand Arrangement Of The Granny Squares was actually quite a casual affair by my standards. I cast my eye over them, made sure there were no two colours together, re-shuffled some clusters that didn't work, then left it.
But how to remember which square goes where? I wanted a way to work on the blanket without having to lug the whole thing around with me wherever I was. So, I divided them into nine smaller squares, which I then gathered up and secured into bundles with safety pins. Each needed a label (Square A, Row 1 etc) and Bella was my scribe. Her handwriting is really a lot neater than mine, I'm not joking.
I know this seems like a huge amount of work, but really it isn't. It was the best way I could think of to attach the squares in their chosen order.
Now, when I'm ready to start a section, I take out all the bundles labelled "A" or whatever, and lay them out. I attach them together with safety pins, then off I go, crocheting them all together. This means I can just forget about the arrangement and relax, whizzing up and down the rows, not worrying that I've accidentally attached one back to front.
A finished square looks like this.
A bit lumpy and bumpy, really. But after blocking...
Much better! I think the pattern stands out more afterwards, and the darker colours benefit from the extra white around each motif. Also it makes the whole square a couple of inches bigger all round which is no bad thing as I intend this blanket to go on our king size bed.
So far I've done six of the nine sections. They have a satisfying weight to them.
Would you do something as ordered and systematic as this, or would you just randomly grab the first square you came to and trust that it will all work out? I know this must seem like lunacy to some, but I can't bear the thought of spending all that time (and money) on a blanket, all that thought, that planning, that effort, to then look at it at the end and feel disappointed. To think, oh, why did I put those two squares next to each other?
Honestly, I think a small part of me will be relieved when this project is done. I'm not cut out for blanket making, it's exhausting!