Crochet

Solar System CAL – second attempt

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The first attempt was big, very big. TOO big, so I need to start again.

The only measurement we’ve been given apart from the final size of 48 inches is that the sun measures 4.75.

So first step is trying to match those first 10 rounds to that. A little leeway is fine, for example if the sun is 5 inches the total blanket would be 50 inches, even 6 inches would only increase it to 60. Much smaller than the minimum 90 inches I looked to be heading for.

Test pieces

I know from first attempt

  • half trebles on 4 mm hook forms a bulge in the center of the sun
  • half trebles on 3.5 mm hook still forms a bulge
  • double crochets on 4 mm is too small

sun

Next tried half trebles on a 2.5 mm hook, measured  4 inches and was very stiff.

Followed this with double crochet on 5 mm hook. This measures 5 inches and has a better feel to it.

The disadvantage of using double crochet throughout means the orbits will be relatively thicker than when compared to using half trebles.

The advantage is that I won’t (hopefully) have to recalculate the  number of stitches per row which will make this blog post much shorter.

Week 1

1By swapping to double crochet I was able to follow the Two Hearts pattern.

At this point the circle is between 12 & 14 inches, slightly smaller than it was in the first attempt. I’m hoping this is a good sign.

This part of the project flew by, especially considering I was up to 414 stitches per row on the last one.

I think it took about 4 hours to complete this section.

2Week 2

Feel like I’m getting on a lot faster this time, this piece was between 22 & 24 inches in diameter, at least 6 inches smaller than the 30 inches of the original attempt.

Took about 5 hours to complete this section

Week 3

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Again I feel like I’m getting on much faster when compared to the first attempt; this section took between 4 & 5 hours to complete. I’ve still to add the corona to the sun, but right now I’m concentrating on getting through the blanket.

I’m now at the position I was a week ago. Fairly confident I can catch up and get week 4 & 5 in the next week.

The blanket measures between 30 & 34 inches, again much smaller than the 40 from the first attempt.

I’m not sure if this reduction is enough to keep it to the target size but it’s going to be a more manageable size now.

Week 4

week 4Back onto new work; it’s a little repetitive as mostly void with only Saturn’s orbit to break it up. On the plus side, it’s something I can do while watching TV and it is on the whole quite relaxing.

I delayed doing the sun’s corona until this week to give me a little variation. The peaks will need pinning down when I block the final work.

It now measures about 35 inches diameter, I’m starting to feel more confident that I may hit the target size.

Week 5

week 5

As you can see I’m getting help when measuring the blanket. He’s not usually interested in my crochet but he is fascinated with this one.

Week 5 is another all double crochet week for me but on the plus side it didn’t take long to do.

The diameter is now 39 – 40 inches and going by the number of rows it looks like it’s going to end up at 48 inches! Much better than the expected 90 inches of my first attempt.

The pattern for week 6 is released tonight so my plan is to get the 3 planets already available done before cracking on with it. THEN I can do something else as a break before next weekend. Starting to feel that all I do is crochet the void. ?

Week 6

Week 6

There was a delay in week 6 release –  it looks like no one is safe from that cough this year.

So instead of working on it over the weekend I started it Monday & finished on Tuesday.

Just 5 rounds but they are getting longer to do at around 540 stitches per round.

Still on target for a final size of 48 inches.

Week 7

6 rounds this week, taking the blanket past Pluto!

I decided to “batter” it this week and got it completed in one evening. Must admit I felt it the next morning, my right hand really ached afterwards.

 

Week 8Week 8

4 rounds this week and after the hand cramp from the last session I decided to take it easy and do one a night.

Only 2 rounds to go now!

Week 9

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Nice and easy this week, only 2 rounds even if they are 618 stitches each. And that’s the blanket done! 

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We had a bonus with the release of the Earth pattern, there’s also a video explaining how to do it but I found the chart really easy to read and follow. I’m really happy how it’s turned out.

So that’s 4 planets completed now. I’m a little bit of a science geek, so I’m aware that Venus is out of proportion at the moment, it should be just smaller than Earth. I’ll probably make it a little larger. Obviously the Sun is way too small, and I’ll just have to see how the gas giants turn out.

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Obviously I can’t have the larger outer planets in proportion to Earth, so I’m fudging it by saying they are further away.

Week 10 – completing the Planets

I’d had a little break since week 9 so had 2 weeks to catch up on.

An d this is when my inner nerd took over. I knew Venus should be just slightly smaller than Earth, so I decided to adjust the planet sizes to match the data in the link above.

The crocheted Earth has a diameter of 6.5 cm

Mercury is 38% & Mars 53% of Earth diameter so both were correct. Venus however is 95% so needed to be 6.25 cm.

Next was the larger planets past the asteroid belt.

I knew I couldn’t do them to the same as scale as Earth – Jupiter is 11 times bigger and would have to be 72 cm diameter!

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So working on the principle they are further away, I’m using Jupiter as my base line size.

Jupiter has a radius of 69,911 km and the pattern gives a 15 cm diameter.

 

Saturn is 58,232 km so needs to be 83% of Jupiter – 12.5 cm which I can get by adding 1 extra round to the pattern.

Uranus 25,362 km – 36% of Jupiter – 5.4 cm which works out at 5 rows, 2 less than the pattern.  Because of this I will also need to adjust the rings, so I reduced the length by 4 stitches (2 x 2 rounds).

Neptune is 24,622 km – 35% of Jupiter – so should be 5.3 cm and so again I need to lose a couple of rows

Pluto is difficult. the dwarf planet has a radius of only 1,150 km so if I were to do it to the same scale as Jupiter it would be less than 3 mm across!

Even comparing it to the crocheted Earth it should only be 1 cm across. So I’m just going to have to grit my teeth over this one and keep it unique. Plus we’d never see it on the edge of the blanket.

I then went straight into Week 11 the Science Themed Appliques to get the Moon.

It has a radius of 1,737 km (yes I’m still on the ratios) so 27% of the Earth’s 6,371 km. A crocheted moon needs to be 1.8 cm.

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Next stage is deciding where the planets will go before sewing them down. A job for another day……

Finishing off

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In the end the planet layout was an easy choice; it may embarrass her but I chose the day my daughter was born.

I decided not to add either the International Space Station, Shuttle or any of the Sci-Fi Appliques at least not right now.

I’m really happy how this project has turned out especially as it was started on an impulse and had a tricky few weeks to start with.

I’ve a lot of yarn left over from the material list but that’s okay because I’ll use it in the #MittenMission project.

The blanket is just the right size to throw over the back of the sofa and it’s not just me that likes it.

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I’ll be keeping an eye on the Two Heart Crochet blog for further projects to follow.

In the meantime I’ve been given another Sci-Fi kit to work on

Star Wars Crochet

Dum dum dum dum-der-dum dum-der-dum.