The Rainbow Beast

Hi folks.

This post has been a long time coming – sorry to all those who’ve been waiting for it!

Rainbow Beast by Shelley Husband 2014 11

 

The blanket is know to me as “the rainbow beast” because I just didn’t enjoy making it. I’d had enough.  I lost count of the number of times I threw it in the basket to be untouched for a week or 2.  It wasn’t because it was difficult – I just find rounds of repeated patterns mind-numbing.  But despite this, I finished it at last, well as much as I am going to anyway ;)

folded Rainbow Beast by Shelley Husband 2014

The yarn I used was Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply 100% cotton. I used parchment for the creamy colour and a selection of the other colours for the rainbow effect.  I used 3 greens and 3 blues. I can’t tell you each colour’s yardage, but the whole blanket weighs 447 grams. (One Bendigo ball is 200g) It is about 37 inches across, or 93 cm.

Rainbow Beast by Shelley Husband 2014 9

Remember from school art classes the acronym for rainbow colours? ROYGBIV = red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.  It’s the order I used throughout the blanket.

Central Panel

The central panel is made up of 4 rainbow mandalas that are then squared off and joined. I made 2 beginning in the centre with red and 2 beginning in the centre with violet in reverse ROYGBIV order. I ended each of the 4 with red. The pattern for the mandala and squaring it off can be found in this post : Grandma Mini Mandala Goes Square. (NB the mandala pattern is not mine – it is by Zelna Oliver.)

Of course, you can keep the same colours for all your mandalas, or mix them up as I did.  You’ll see I used different greens and blues in mine as well as changing the starting order.

Once you have 4 squared rainbow mandalas, join  them together by holding them right sides facing and crocheting through both loops in dc for UK terms folks, or sc for US terms folks.

Rainbow beast by Shelley Husband 2014 4 blocks joined

 

Neutral Colour Section

Round 1

UK Terms : Attach your neutral colour to any corner space, ch 1 & dc in same sp, dc in each st along the side, working 2 dc into each ch sp either side of a join, but not into the join and (dc, ch 1, dc) into each corner space. Once you work all the way around, dc in same sp as first st, ch 1 & join with dc.

Close up of border around join - work 2 sts on either side of the join, not in the join

Close up of border around join – work 2 sts on either side of the join, not in the join

US Terms : Attach your neutral colour to any corner space, ch 1 & sc in same sp, sc in each st along the side, working 2 sc into each ch sp either side of a join, but not into the join and (sc, ch 1, sc) into each corner space. Once you work all the way around, sc in same sp as first st, ch 1 & join with sc.

Round 2

UK Terms : ch 3 (st ch), tr over joining dc, tr in each st along the side, and (2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr) in each 2 ch sp.  Once you work all the way around, 2 tr in same sp as first sts, ch 1, join with dc to 3rd ch of st ch.

US Terms : ch 3 (st ch), dc over joining sc, dc in each st along the side, and (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in each 2 ch sp.  Once you work all the way around, 2 dc in same sp as first sts, ch 1, join with sc to 3rd ch of st ch.

Round 3

UK Terms : ch 1, dc over joining dc, dc in each st along the sides and (dc, ch 2, dc) in each 2 ch sp.  Once you work all the way around, dc in same sp as first sts, ch 1, join with dc to 3rd ch of st ch.

US Terms : ch 1, sc over joining sc, sc in each st along the sides and (sc, ch 2, sc) in each 2 ch sp.  Once you work all the way around, sc in same sp as first sts, ch 1, join with sc to 3rd ch of st ch.

Rainbow Beast by Shelleyt Husband 2014 4 rainbows

Rainbow Section

Now it’s time to start the rainbow part of the blanket.  This is where you’ll have to go with your “gut feelings”.  I’ll let you know what I did, but you may find you need to do things slightly differently to get a nice flat result.

As large crochet projects get to a certain point, they tend to ruffle, warp or be wavy. That point is different for everyone. Some folks can only do a 4 round solid granny before it starts to warp, others can go forever and never have a problem. I haven’t figured out exactly why this happens yet, but I suspect it has something to do with how the hook and yarn is held and twisted. However, I have figured out how to deal with it : I reduce the number of sts along each side, before and after a corner and in each corner. So, bear in mind that you may need to try things to see what works for you, being prepared to frog and re-do to get a nice flat result, as your crocheting mechanics will be different to mine. (I think I could have done it better, but as you know, I was over it )

less sts in each corner

Can you see there are less stitches in later corners and either side of the corners? This combats warping.

Each colour of the rainbow is worked over 2 rounds – neutral and then colour. Work the colours in your ROYGBIV order, ending with another round of red.

Neutral colour round

UK Terms : ch 1, dc over joining dc, *ch 3, skip 3 sts, dc in next st*, repeat from * to * as many times as needed along each edge and work (dc, ch 2, dc) in each 2 ch corner sp. When you get back to the start, dc in same sp as first sts, ch 2, join with ss to first st.  Fasten off yarn. NB you may find, as I did that you have to skip 2 sts at the start and end. If so, reduce the number of ch to 2 in those bits only. As my blanket got bigger, I reduced this further to skipping 1 st and doing ch 1, followed by a couple of skip 2 & doing ch 2 before and after a corner to help combat the ruffle.

Can you see the smaller number of stitches in the corners?

Can you see the smaller number of stitches in the corners?

US Terms : ch 1, sc over joining sc, *ch 3, skip 3 sts, sc in next st*, repeat from * to * as many times as needed along each edge and work (sc, ch 2, sc) in each 2 ch corner sp. When you get back to the start, sc in same sp as first sts, ch 2, join with ss to first st.  Fasten off yarn. NB you may find, as I did that you have to skip 2 sts at the start and end. If so, reduce the number of ch to 2 in those bits only. As my blanket got bigger, I reduced this further to skipping 1 st and doing ch 1, followed by a couple of skip 2 & doing ch 2 before and after a corner to help combat the ruffle.

Rainbow colour round

UK Terms : Attach to any 2 ch corner sp, ch 3 (st ch), tr in same sp, *tr in next st, 3 tr in 3 ch sp*, repeat from * to * as many times as needed, work (2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr) in each 2 ch corner sp. When you get back to the start, 2 tr in same sp as first sts, ch 2, join with ss to 3rd ch of st ch. Fasten off yarn. NB : if you’ve worked less chains in the spaces before and after a corner, work the same number of tr as ch into those sps.  Also, you may find you need less sts in the corners in later rounds.  I ended with (tr, ch 2 tr) in my later rounds.

US Terms : Attach to any 2 ch corner sp, ch 3 (st ch), cc in same sp, *dc in next st, 3 dc in 3 ch sp*, repeat from * to * as many times as needed, work (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in each 2 ch corner sp. When you get back to the start, 2 dc in same sp as first sts, ch 2, join with ss to 3rd ch of st ch. Fasten off yarn. NB : if you’ve worked less chains in the spaces before and after a corner, work the same number of dc as ch into those sps.  Also, you may find you need less sts in the corners in later rounds.  I ended with (dc, ch 2 dc) in my later rounds.

Repeat for all your chosen rainbow colours. ending with a second round of red.

Neutral Colour Edge

Rainbow Beast by Shelley Husband 2014 rainbow part

Round 1

Neutral colour round as above, but finish with ch 1, join with dc UK (sc US).

Round 2

UK terms : ch 1, dc over joining dc, *dc in next st, 3 dc in 3 ch sp*, repeat from * to * as many times as needed, work (dc, ch 2, dc) into each corner sp. When you get back to the start, dc in same sp as first st, ch 1, join with dc to 3rd ch of st ch. NB make adjustments as above if required.

US terms : ch 1, sc over joining sc, *sc in next st, 3 sc in 3 ch sp*, repeat from * to * as many times as needed, work (sc, ch 2, sc) into each corner sp. When you get back to the start, sc in same sp as first st, ch 1, join with sc to 3rd ch of st ch. NB make adjustments as above if required.

Round 3

UK Terms : ch 3 (st ch), tr in each st along side, (tr, ch 2, tr) in each 2 ch corner sp, when you get back to the start, tr in same sp as first st, ch 1, join with dc to 3rd ch of st ch.

US Terms : ch 3 (st ch), dc in each st along side, (dc, ch 2, dc) in each 2 ch corner sp, when you get back to the start, dc in same sp as first st, ch 1, join with sc to 3rd ch of st ch.

Round 4

UK Terms : ch 1, dc over joining dc, dc in each st along side, (dc, ch 2, dc) in each 2 ch corner sp, When you get back to the start, dc in same sp as first st, ch 2, join with ss to first dc.  Fasten off yarn and weave in ends.

US Terms : ch 1, sc over joining sc, sc in each st along side, (sc, ch 2, sc) in each 2 ch corner sp, When you get back to the start, sc in same sp as first st, ch 2, join with ss to first sc.  Fasten off yarn and weave in ends.

Rainbow beast by Shelley Husband 2014 folded

 

More?

I fully intended to make it bigger, but I’ve had enough.  My plans were to repeat the above last 2 rounds once more, then do another rainbow, repeating Round 4 above, alternating with the neutral colour, followed by the above last 2 rounds 2 more times.  If you do that, I’d love to see. I won’t be doing it.

TIPS

Weave in your ends as you go.  Trust me – you’ll thank me at the end, unless of course you love weaving in ends. ;) I found weaving the ends of the Neutral Colour Round up through the chain sts a fair way along (one in each direction) before starting the next rounds was easier than after the colour was added.  I snipped off the ends after the colour was worked though.

Blocking – do it!  I found I really needed to block the initial mandalas and again after I had squared them off.  (For how to, see this post.)

So there you have it.  How I did it.  I hope it works for you.

 

 

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