As a new year starts, my Sky Blanket 2016 project draws to a close. This crochet blanket has kept me busy for the entire year, and even though it's up to date in terms of rows there is still plenty to get done, with a large border to complete. If you are starting a similar project this year, I thought I'd share a few tips to help with the planning and to keep you on track.
* When making a start on the blanket, you need to remember that it could end up being very large when it is completed. If you are planning to knit or crochet a row a day it will be huge. Working smaller squares and sewing them together will make a more manageable blanket.
* The blanket will also use a lot of yarn. I estimated that a 100g ball of yarn would crochet approximately 17 rows of half trebles on my 200 chain blanket. So for 366 (leap year) rows that's more than 21 big 100g balls, and of course it's unlikely to be an even spread across the colours so you'll need to allow more for some colours (here in the UK that's realistically going to be extra grey). Try to choose a yarn that will still be available if you need to purchase more as you go along.
* It's a long project and you can always make changes as you go along - I intended to just keep to the same stitch throughout the blanket but a couple of months in I decided to mix it up a bit with a few different stitches to keep it interesting and I'm so glad that I did.
* Don't be too ambitious and give yourself too much to do each day, it's better to have a completed smaller blanket than an unfinished one lying around. This is especially important if you are going to be away for a while or there will be periods of time when you won't be able to work on it and you'll have to catch up.
* If you are planning on travelling or being away from home a lot, think about keeping the project portable my making squares etc. - by around April I found that the blanket was becoming far too big to be packing to take away with me and so I had to catch up when I got back.
* Sew in all the ends as you go along, otherwise it will be a daunting task!
* Keep a record of the sky colour each day, whether written or photographic. Even if you are completing a row each day, it's amazing how quickly you forget! Also, don't get too hung up about it. Especially here in the UK, most days most colours will appear in the sky at some point during an average day!
* Don't get hung up on finishing the blanket on December 31st. Especially if you are planning to add a border, with the size that the blanket will be that's quite a time consuming process!
* Try and find others that are doing the same challenge, there are bound to be plenty sharing their progress across social media. Join in with hashtags so that you are inspired to keep going (and inspired by how others are working on their blankets). We used the hashtag #skyblanket2016 and you can find lots of inspiration on Instagram.
* As the year draws to a close, it's time to start planning the next project! Why not have a look at my list of ideas for a year long craft project! I'm not going to be working on anything like this for a little while I don't think, I'm looking forward to trying something new, but in a couple of years time I may well be back!