The big crazy afghan

I’ve crocheted a lot of afghans in my life, but this one is special. It could be that I feel accomplished because I mostly made it up on my own, improvising a bit. I did get some help from Jan Eaton’s 200 Crochet Blocks, but I sewed my blocks together with my own ideas and improvised the “filler,” which are random stitch patterns. I even made up my own border for it on the fly!

It was really hard for me to photograph this, so I decided to include different angles on it, including draped over a door. I really wish I had a yard. So many of my blogging buds take a nice panoramic photo of their afghans in their back yards so you can see the whole thing. I live in an apartment in a pretty big city, and it’s just not feasible to drag out an afghan like this and try to spread it over some public space other people are using. I considered trying to get to a public park, but then there was the time factor. I don’t think it would have been a good idea, anyway, because even public parks are full of people using up just about anything that might hold a spread-out blanket.

As you can see from the last two photos, I made up an interesting border with different colored stripes, some lacy, others with a little texture. The most time-consuming task was the multi-colored bobbles with the dark blue background. I wanted to do them as I would with tapestry crochet, but the bright colors showed through the dark blue and looked pretty bad, so I had to cut and weave in ends for each color. I am so glad I did that, though, because it just adds that extra little “umph” I wanted for it.

This afghan will spend most of its time on our bed. I’m confident it will make its way to the living room occasionally.

Now that I’ve finished this afghan I only have one knit/crochet WIP going, which is a pair of socks. This means I’ll be looking for something new to start pretty soon.

Why not buy me a coffee?

Advertisements

A cold and dreary day

It’s gray, rainy, cold, and I have no FOs. I didn’t post anything this week, so I suppose I can report on my progress on my afghan.

afghanwip

It isn’t far from being finished, which is cool. Right now I’m crocheting around the edges. I want a border that is as wide as any one of the squares in the main part of the afghan.

It’s been lots of fun to crochet this project which is no doubt why it hasn’t taken me long to finish it. I just consulted a book with afghan squares, chose a few patterns I liked and went with the colors I had. Everything is arranged in stripes. I’ve alternated strips of squares with randomly selected stitch patterns. I bought yarn especially for this, but I could imagine using scrap yarn for something like this. Of course, it wouldn’t look as planned as mine does, since I selected the colors for the different strips, but it would still look crazy and colorful.

It will be done when it’s large enough to cover my bed. So far it covers my sofa, so I’m pretty close to the end.

So distracted…

I’ve been so distracted by so many things. Most of them aren’t things I want to discuss here. However, I must say a major crafting distraction has been the sudden dipping of temperatures in May. I suppose to make up for the unusually warm autumn we had last year, well, spring has decided to be unusually cold here in May.

My spring idea was to get going on lots of thread crochet and cross stitch and really turbo up on that throughout the warmer months. Here at home we have enough sweaters each to last us hundreds of winters with even changes in fashion and body weight.

But then, the cold weather started up again. I put down the thread crochet and the cross stitch and picked up the St. Enda sweater I cast on ages ago. I’m working on the first sleeve, still. I had to rip it out and start over because I miscounted increases BY A LOT. It is the typical consequence of leaving a project abandoned for a month or two and forgetting what the numbers were supposed to be. That’s OK, though, because the sleeves work up pretty fast.

As you might recall, I finished an afghan. With the chilly nights I decided to start another one. I decided to take some crochet block patterns from Jan Eaton’s 200 Crochet Blocks and sew them together in strips, alternating those strips with other stripes made up of random stitch patterns. So far my favorite strip is of the multi-colored bobbles.

squaresandstrips

In two weekends of marathon crocheting and binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the series, not the film), I think I’ve got half of this done! I had some purple and gray yarn left over from the previous afghan I completed, so I just bought some random colors by the same manufacturer to make this one. I might have to go back to the shop and buy a skein or two more to create a border for it.

We really need another afghan for next year, anyway, so it’s a productive way to be distracted! It will serve its double duty of sometimes living on the bed and other times sneaking into the living room. I must lament that one of our afghans, which I crocheted a few years ago, is beginning it’s long, slow demise. It’s been dragged around the house from sofa to bed and from bed to sofa quite enough and is just coming apart and basically degrading. The best part about afghans that die is that you can make new living ones to replace them.

FO: “Supreme Image”

I’ve finished up some more thread crochet. This week I went for a challenge and did “Supreme Image,” an old Patricia Kristoffersen pattern.

It wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be, actually, but it took some time to figure out a couple of wonky things in the pattern. Mostly, this is a reading challenge rather than a crochet problem. Once the reading comprehension is flawless the execution is a snap.

Mostly, round 4 was the hugest reading comprehension challenge I’ve ever encountered!

Some crochet finishes

Lately, it seems like my knitting and cross stitching blog buddies have been able to enjoy my blog posts more than the crocheters. Today, this one’s for you, my crochet friends. I’ve finished a few crochet projects.

At long last, my Tunisian crochet afghan is so totally done! I love it. This morning I spread it out on my living room sofa so we can have a view of it that will never be possible in its every day use, since it will be wrapped around somebody or scrunched up some other way. When not keeping someone warm, it will be folded up neatly and lurking in a closet somewhere in my house.

afghanentire

If you speak Spanish, you can create a baby-sized version of this afghan following this YouTube video:

I had a lot of fun working on this afghan. It’s really simple to do. I added more blocks and also Tunisian crocheted a border around it. So, it’s pretty easy to adapt the pattern to larger sizes. Just add more around the central design made of textured blocks. You could also make the blocks larger or smaller, depending on how big or small you want the blanket to be.

I also finished my larger bucket bag to accommodate my sock knitting habit. Now I can put washing and drying finished pairs of socks on hold a bit longer and just let them accumulate in the project bag. I used a canvas fabric I bought at the market a few years ago for the liner. The draw string is just a strip of single crochets.

The warmer weather got me in the mood for some thread crochet, so I made a pineapple doily I once created about 25 years ago. Yes, I still have the discontinued Better Homes and Gardens book. I have no idea who has the doily I made in my preteen years. The book in question is Forever Favorite Crochet, in case you’d like to find a second-hand copy of it. It’s a really complete book, and, although from the middle of the 1980s, it has plenty of things that will look in style now – even the clothes! It really helps that crochet clothing is creeping into the mainstream fashion industry these days. The amazing aspect of the patterns in this collection is that the clothes were so totally not cool to wear in the 1980s. If you dared walk around in a crochet sweater in 1987 – or earlier – people would think you were a bit nerdy or had recently emerged from a cave. Anyway, here’s the doily. In the book it’s called “Five-side pineapple doily.” It took me just a few hours to make. It’s super easy and a beginner could make it without a hitch.

foreverdoily

It’s so totally not difficult that I didn’t even bother to iron it before taking a photo. It lies flat without really needing to do much fussing.

Now that it’s getting warmer I need to get cracking on my cabled sweater and just finish it off before it gets too hot to hold it in my lap. Then I can spend the late spring and entire summer cross stitching as well as crocheting and knitting lighter, cotton projects. I really want to get a lot of thread crochet done this season.

Yet another crochet bucket bag in progress

I’ve been using my crochet bucket bag to hold all my sock projects together as I work on them. The trouble is, I’ve become lazy about washing finished pairs of socks to dry them and put them away. It’s just easier to wash and dry finished pairs of socks in batches and it probably saves on water (go environmentalism!). Mostly, though, it’s lazier, or at least that’s my motive behind letting the sock pairs accumulate in my project bag. Needless to say, I needed a bigger bag. So, I’ve started a new one. The colors are different and the dimensions are a bit larger, but the concept is the same: Stripes of double crochet ripple stitch which will end at the top with a band of holes to accommodate a drawstring, and a shoulder strap will be eventually added, too.

Photo Apr 06, 20 12 17

The yarn, in case you’re curious, is sport weight cotton I bought at the mercadillo, an open-air market that conveniently occupies the major roadway in my neighborhood on Saturdays. The market in this city often has lots of good craft supply buys. In the case of this yarn, it was leftover. The Spanish company that used to manufacture it, Lanas Stop, went out of business two years ago or so. I can’t remember how little I paid for it, but I’m sure it was a steal. If you ever visit Spain you should try to find out when the local mercadillo will be on in whatever city or town you’re in. In Madrid and southwards you will often hear the term el rastro used instead of mercadillo. They are synonyms. Knitters, crocheters, sewers, and embroiderers alike are always bound to find something juicy to add to the stashes, parting with little money, of course!

I’ve also been knitting my tourquoise Kalajokis, which I wrote about last week.

This and that

It’s WIP Wednesday! I’ve continued knitting on a sock, stitching my Chinese dragon (I’m backstitching, actually), working on my winter biscornu with the snowmen, and crocheting my afghan. The afghan has got most of my attention. I got all the purple squares done so now I’m crocheting gray Tunisian simple stitch around the edges. I want to get ten rounds done and then I think I’ll switch back to purple and do some Tunisian purl stitch rounds to keep the edges from curling.

IMG_1721

I haven’t photographed my progress on the rest of my projects because they look quite similar to last weeks photos, although the Chinese dragon is starting to look pretty snappy with the backstitch details.