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Last week I asked you whether true random colour choices are really possible. After the week of intensive market research (can you tell I’ve been watching The Apprentice?) I have come to the conclusion that most crocheters like their colour choices to appear random, but we plan it that way. Thank you to everyone who commented and helped me realise that I’m not the only one who can’t do random.

Planning randomness? Is it possible or is it an urban hookers myth? Well, fellow crocheters, random colour placing can be planned for!

Our solution comes from the first comment on last week’s blogpost. The comment is made by “Boeta”. “Boeta” is an Afrikaans word for brother. My dear brother provided me, and therefore you, with the key to our success. Crochet blankets, motifs, granny square rounds, can be arranged and/or crocheted in a random way!

The secret is using the list function on the www.random.org website. Seriously people. There is a website specifically for all things random. It really is as easy as that.

I however went a bit further and added an Excel spreadsheet element to our colour choosing plan. I have been using a version of this Excel plan for Nicole’s granny square blanket, but as I told you last week it didn’t work out as randomly as I had hoped. With the help of random.org I was able to modify my plan specifically for use in creating granny squares.

I have a new plan and I’m sharing it with you. Here’s how to plan a colour scheme made up of randomly chosen colours:

1. Go to www.random.org/lists and type in the names of all the yarn colours you want to use in your granny squares. I have 17 colours:

List generator

2. Create an Excel document made up of a column for each round of your granny square. In my case I’m making 5-round granny squares. As you’ve already typed up the list of colours for step 1, you may as well copy that list as the colours for the first 17 (or however many colours you have) round 1′s of your granny squares:

Random list in Excel

3. Go back to your list on random.org and hit the “Randomize” button, which will sort your list of colours randomly!

Random1

4. Copy the random list and paste it in your Excel spreadsheet underneath the first list.

Step03

5. Keep on going back to http://www.random.org and clicking on “Randomize” until you reach however many granny squares you have to make. I’m making 70 granny squares, so I will keep on pasting the list from www.random.org under Row 1 until I get to 70.

6. Continue pasting the random colours in the Row 2, Row 3, Row 4, Row 5 etc. columns. And that’s it. Just keep filling in the columns with the list of colours from random.org!! Easy peasy!!

Of course, it can happen that you get two colours next to each other, but if you do, just pick your own colour to replace the duplication (be random the old-fashioned way). There shouldn’t be a lot of duplication, but to make sure, I have two tips:

Tip 1: Look at your collection of yarn and find the colour that really stands out. The one that catches your eye first. In my selection of 17 colours, it was the red. I don’t want red to appear too many times, or as the last round of too many of my granny squares as it would overpower the overall look. To get around this in the planning stages, fill the cell where your stand-out colour appears, with that colour. To be on the safe side, I filled the yellow and red cells. It looks evenly spread out enough for me, so I’m sticking with this.

highlighted cells

Tip 2: Check that the colour next to your stand-out colour is not the same colour every time. In row 64 and 71 there is a lilac next to the red, but I’m okay with that as the other colours for that granny square are so different, you probably won’t even notice it amongst the 68 other granny squares.

Another tip is to crochet the colours in reverse order. In the photo below you can see that I have the exact same colours, I just worked the five colours from my Excel sheet from left to right and then from right to left. This means that each row in your Excel sheet, can be used for two granny squares!

20130519-120307.jpg

Having all your granny squares planned out in advance like this is very, very, handy. On a big granny square blanket project, you may not need to plan like this because duplications will get lost in the overall look, but for smaller projects, I think planning your granny square colour sequence in advance will be very helpful. We don’t want a repeat of the Pink Situation like I had with my first granny square cushion!

Use this method for any crocheted items made up of rounds (like granny squares, hexagons or African Flowers). For arranging single colour squares in a blanket, think of each cell as a completed square and you have the colour layout of your whole blanket done and dusted! If you are crocheting stripes, use the random stripe generator.

To make things super easy, I’ve created an 2010 Excel document with a tab for Granny Squares and a tab for Blankets that you can use. You just have to paste in your own colours. Here is the Excel document: Colour selector for granny squares and blankets

I hope you find this way of planning your random colour choices helpful.

Eric Hoffer said

Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature

Are you a randomness planner? You go girl – you’re one creative crocheter!

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