If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already noticed me blowin' up your feed with crochet granny squares and hashtags about blankets. If you don't follow me on Instagram, you should probably start. ;)
I am beyond excited about this project. What IS this project, you ask? A "crochet mood blanket!" The idea is to crochet either a granny square or a stripe each day for the year, using a color that depicts your mood. The project was thought up by Instagram user mummy_stacey, AKA Stacey Wentford-Hall, and much to her surprise, it went viral! As of now, there are over 2,200 members of the Crochet Mood Blanket Facebook group, and over 4,800 posts under the #crochetmoodblanket2014 tag on Instagram. I don't even know how many countries are represented, but I'm pretty sure it's a lot.
The project has grown and morphed, and is being interpreted in a number of ways. Personally, I think that's the beauty of this project; it's serving as a giant source of inspiration and the "rules" are loose! Some are doing one square a week (rather than each day), some have specified ahead of time what colors go with specific moods, some are journaling along to track their moods, some are doing a different square pattern each day, and so on! Several people are even learning to crochet via this project. Both the tag and the Facebook group have been inspiring me tremendously over the past week, and I hope that more and more people continue to join!
As for me, I'll share more specifics on my blanket soon, believe you me... But this post is about introducing you to the project, and the project's creator, Stacey! I asked Stacey about her personal experience with crochet, her inspiration for the project, and her plans for her own mood blanket. She was so nice to chat with me, and I love her emphasis on the community that has emerged from the project! Read her responses below, and seriously... Check out the groups!
Crochet Mood Blanket Creator: Stacey Wentford-Hall1. How long have you been crocheting? How did you learn?
After being inspired by some blankets a friend of a friend made for my eldest daughter and by all the stunning creations I had seen through my Instagram feed, I first picked up a hook in April 2012. I have crocheted near enough every day since! I taught myself using YouTube videos! I also had help from some IG people!2. What is your favorite type of crochet project? (blankets, amigurumi, accessories, etc.)
I wouldn’t say I favour one thing really. I love making blankets, but also love making quicker projects like cowls, doilies, jar covers and cup cosies. I find that I mostly make baby blankets, but that’s due to the fact a lot of my friends and family have had babies since I first learnt to crochet! I’m yet to complete a big blanket which is one of the reasons I set myself the challenge of making the crochet mood blanket! I’d really like to get into doing some more yarn bombing this year too!3. Do you crochet just for fun, or do you sell your products?
At the moment I crochet for fun, but I am aiming to have a website up and running in the next month or so where I’ll be selling products and also patterns. So watch this space!4. How did you come up with the idea for the "Crochet Mood Blanket" project?
I get a lot of inspiration from the internet for both photography and craft projects. I have always admired the 365 projects Georgia from www.documentingdelight.com has done on her three gorgeous children and wanted to do the same. Sadly I have tried and failed to do so on numerous occasions.
Whilst looking for inspiration on Instagram I came across the lovely @karensi1 who was doing a project with her friends over on a Facebook group called "For the Love of Yarnigans," where they were crocheting a scarf for 30 days and choosing a colour each day to reflect their mood. @karensi1 did hers differently by making hers a blanket. And so it all clicked into place!!! A 365 project where I crocheted my mood! That’s something I thought I could definitely achieve as I crochet every day anyway! We all have "For the Love of Yarnigans" to thank for this!5. The project seems to have been interpreted in a number of ways, and is being approached with widely varying strategies. What is your personal "plan of attack?" (pattern choice, color chart for moods vs random color choices, solid squares vs multi-color, 365 vs 52, layout, journal keeping, etc.)
Well I was originally just going to do the 365 project, but somehow I seem to be doing both! For the 365 I am making simple solid coloured granny squares which I’m joining as I go with a cream border. I have ten different colours and I’m just picking the colour I’m drawn to each day. For my 52, I’m doing stripes using various stitches, 16 colours and a chart! I’m using a diary to keep track of what I’m doing so that I can look back at it in years to come!6. Now that the project has gone viral, has your vision for the project changed?
I had absolutely no idea that so many people would be joining me with this project! I think there must be 1,500+ people now taking part between Instagram & Facebook! I’m totally blown away by the response!
I wouldn’t say that my vision for my own project has changed that much. Though seeing everyone else’s projects has tempted me many many times to go for a fancier pattern. I’ve had to give myself a talking to as I simply don’t have the time to do more than what I already am.
What I wasn’t expecting to see was the amazing community the project has formed! It brings me great joy to see people who have never even picked up a hook having a go! And I’ve had people contact me saying that I have inspired them to start crocheting again! How touching is that! It’s just heart-warming to see people sharing what they have made, everyone supporting each other, sharing tips and just having a giggle! Long may it continue!7. How will you personally be sharing your progress, and how do you hope participants share their own progress throughout the year?
Now that the first week is in the bag, I will be posting on Instagram and Facebook once a week with a picture and info on each square. As soon as I have set up my website I will be doing the same on there and I’m aiming to do a little feature with what other people have been making in that week too!
I can attest to the community. I check the Instagram tag and the Facebook group multiple times a day like a crazy person. There are soooo many fantastic granny square patterns, I want to make them all! I'll more about my own blanket very soon, but for now, this post is plenty long. ;) Link-up your own mood blanket posts below! I'm hoping to set up weekely or bi-weekly link-ups to share progress. What do you think of the project?