Tag Archives: afghan

The Peacock Blanket Begins

img_3801Sometimes you get an idea that makes you go “what the hell was I thinking?” This wasn’t so much an idea as it was a request by my mother-in-law. She saw this peacock blanket and asked me if I could make it. I took one look at it and said it looked much too difficult, then put it out of my head.

Flash forward to a couple of months ago when my friend Maggie found it and said how beautiful it was. I told her that it was probably too hard for me and it would probably take me months. She said she wasn’t in a hurry and then offered to buy me the yarn if I was willing to try. I had no excuses left. The peacock blanket was happening.

This is the pattern I used: https://www.craftsy.com/crocheting/patterns/peacock-pretty-blanket/174902

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I went and bought all the yarn I would need to make the feather motifs. Because it calls for 102 of them, I ended up buying almost $50 worth of yarn. I was already rethinking the wisdom of agreeing to do this but part of me was excited. I like challenging things and it would be really satisfying if I was able to finish it. I found a good place for the enormous bag of yarn and hung it up, intending to begin it in the summer. Then I promptly forgot about it. These things happen with projects like this one.

The other day I decided to try and make one of the motifs now that the pain in my hands is mostly under control, just to see how difficult it would be. It took almost 90 minutes to make the first one. I had to start, stop, frog, start again, frog some more, consult the pattern, start one more time, then finally finish the damn thing. After all that, the first one was still crooked. I gave up and hoped that it wouldn’t show so much in the finished blanket.

img_3799Like I said, it’s going to take me until December to finish the entire blanket. My hands started to hurt by the time I finished the second motif, and I reported to Maggie that I will most likely only be able to make 1-2 of them at a time. She’s still willing to wait, so I’m willing to keep crocheting these things. Slowly.

I have to keep writing, after all!

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Unfinished WIPs, Part Two

Since I finally finished my edits (hooray!), I am finally about to start working on my coworker’s baby gift. Hopefully I’ll be able to show it off to you next week but for this week it’ll be another WIP post.

Lacy Shells 1

This one was supposed to be a baby gift for my friend as well, but I was halfway through it when the baby decided she was going to come early! I spent my time visiting her and the baby, figuring I had plenty of time to finish it later. Her daughter is almost two now. Oops.

Lacy Shells 2

I went with this pretty sage green because it was one of the colors my friend went with during her baby decorating phase (she’s not a fan of pastels), and I was actually a little surprised the store had this color. I do intend to finish it one day, I’m just not sure when.

Triple Wave

This second one I started when we still lived in San Antonio. I picked it because it was a simple ripple that looked a lot more complicated with all the color changes. Unfortunately it was all the color changes that made me give up on it. It’s hard to zone out and watch a movie while crocheting when I have to weave in ends and switch colors every row.Yarn and Cat

 

I chose these colors because they looked so pretty sitting next to each other at the store, and I would love to go back to it one of these days. I have all the yarn already, but I don’t know where the pattern is and I can’t remember what size hook I used. Maybe it’ll end up being a project for when I get rich and retire. I didn’t win the Powerball drawing last week, though, so it’ll be a while before that happens.

I’m all out of WIPs in my closet now, so I’ll have to get on the crocheting ball again! The Spring Bouquet crochet exchange is coming up next month, though, so you’ll get to see my attempt at squares with pretty flowers on them. I’m brainstorming right now but I hope to come up with something good!

Summer Sunshine Afghan

As promised, here are some pictures of the first friendship swap I did! It was called the Summer Sunshine swap and the theme was all colors of yellow, no set pattern. Unlike the last two swaps I’ve done, I actually made the correct number of squares, which led to a square blanket.

Summer Sunshine 1

This one was a little different! We had 18 participants, so everyone got 2 squares from each other. Nowadays the group is a little smaller so we each get 4-5 squares from each other and usually still end up with about 36 squares each. Then you can overmake squares like I do, ha ha ha.

Summer Sunshine Border

Originally my border was going to be a sage green (that doesn’t photograph well), the same color as the joining. When I was a couple of rows around it, though, it was kind of boring so I added a butter yellow stripe that I think really made a difference.

Summer Sunshine 2

The finished blanket! Please ignore the clutter and my husband standing over at the edge, we still had kind of a mess from moving. Crocheting is a great way to de-stress when there is a living room full of boxes and bags in your living room, though! I highly recommend it.

So that’s the first friendship afghan I ever made! I’m very proud of it and you can bet I carried it around in a shopping bag with me for a while and showed it to everyone. Now it’s folded up in a project crate in my closet but if I come across a family member or friend who really likes yellow I might consider giving it to them. Maybe not, though. I’m kind of a project hoarder.

The Scrapghan, Completed

Here it is, the last scrapghan post. I hope you’re excited to see the finished project as much as I am!

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Here we go, seven rows all joined together (please ignore the tiny bit of my toe at the bottom). This was the row where almost all the squares were the exact same size so I didn’t have to do any fudging, which meant it went together faster than any of the other rows.

Scrapghan 8 rows

And here are all the squares joined together! I took a little while to admire it at this point. It looks pretty good just like this but I was excited to put on the edging and make it into a real blanket!

Finished Scrapghan

Finally, the finished scrapghan! 48 granny squares of various colors and yarn types/sizes made by 8 sets of hands all around the country, joined and edged by me. I’m really loving the way the coffee yarn I used for joining and edging it makes it look a little funky, and the dark color makes the neons pop. It puts me in mind of a vintage afghan you’d see on your great-aunt’s couch and I love it.

Scrapghan border

Here’s a little close-up of the edging. I had some turquoise yarn hanging out from a thwarted project and thought it would look good with the brown and it turns out I was right! My husband loves the way this combination looks. I intended to put a row of double crochet above the two blue stripes but this way it looks like the second stripe is thicker and it looks really classy.

I am completely thrilled with this scrapghan. It took me a little under a month to put it together which is way faster than I expected considering my first one took a month (I was being lazy). I’m considering making another one once I get enough scrap yarn in the old bin, but I doubt it’ll be as much fun doing it on my own. Part of the joy of doing these friendship afghans is seeing what everyone else comes up with. Looking forward to seeing how the Christmas squares come out!

Scrapghan Starters

I’ve gotten a lot more work done on the Friendship Scrapghan than I expected and I’m so excited to share the results with you!

Stage 1

I started last Sunday with a little work on the borders of the squares and ended up edging the entire first row, which I joined to get to this stage on about Tuesday. My husband and I have been binge-watching old cop shows and it’s the perfect thing to work on while we make our way through the season of The Shield that makes me want to fling things at the television.

Stage 2

Next thing I knew I had another row edged and joined in spite of some strangeness in the sizes of the squares. You always expect a little variation from person to person – tightness of their stitches, size of the hook, and of course the fact that we had free choice of scrap yarn – so I had to do a little creative joining but a couple of days later I had the two rows joined.

Stage 3

You can’t really tell the color of the edging/joining but it’s a dark brown the label says is “Coffee.” It looks really nice close up. I also found that the perfect light for photographing the true colors is the overhead light in my living room against the wood floor. The colors come out pretty true and much richer than the natural light I was using before.

As of last night I had three rows edged and joined, which is almost halfway done. I’m planning on eight rows of six and am working right now on edging the fourth, which should be done by next Friday. I have next weekend off so I’ll have plenty of time to get it (and maybe more!) done.

Since I’m going so much faster on this than planned, I’m probably going to need an interim project until I get the Christmas squares back. The Christmas swap officially ends on October 31st and the squares will get mailed out at the beginning of November, which means I’ll have those by the end of the month. NaNoWriMo means I probably won’t get those started until December but I’ll still have a few weeks with nothing to do. I haven’t decided what I’ll do yet. I’m thinking about finding random squares on Ravelry to make into a random afghan but we’ll see how that goes.

I was looking back through the past swaps on our Facebook page and it looks like there aren’t any swaps between September/October and February/March so I’m going to have a couple of months of idle hands unless I find another project. Suggestions are appreciated!

Scrappy Squares

Working super hard on the green/red squares and almost have 10 of them done, which means I only need another 10 and I’ll be finished with the Christmas swap. When those are done, I finally get to start working on putting together the scrapghan swap squares!

If you’ve never heard of a scrapghan, it’s kind of a fun thing. You take all the little ends of yarn you have left over from previous projects and you make it into a blanket. Squares are perfect for this because you can make small or large ones depending on how much yarn you have and put them together however you like.

This swap was called the Granny Scrapghan swap because you could use whatever yarn you had on hand but it had to be made in the standard granny square pattern. It’s a very simple, quick pattern – we even had an 11 year old in the swap who had just mastered it! I was a little low on funds when it was going on so it was perfect for me since my yarn collection is getting a little out of hand. I was so excited to get the box of squares from our swapmaster, I couldn’t wait to see what everyone else did!

Everyones Squares

Here are all the squares laid out. There are 35 here; each of us made 40 and sent 35 to the swapmaster.

My Squares

My blanket should have 40 squares but, um, I got a little overenthusiastic because we hadn’t heard from the previous swapmaster and made 48. These are the ones I’m adding to the blanket as my own.

Final Placement

I shuffled them around and added mine in, so this is the final placement of the squares. I’m using a coffee colored yarn to join them so it should look kind of dark and funky where my last one – the Summer Sunshine swap – was more light and airy. I’ll post some pictures of that at some point because it was my first one and I really liked it.

Project Box

Once I’d set them out where I wanted them, I carefully bundled them up into rows and tucked them into one of my project crates with the pound of coffee yarn for joining, then put them in the closet with the rest of the projects. Only 12 more Christmas squares to go and I can start working on them!

I went ahead and told the editor that I liked that I’m willing to wait for her until November. I really think she and I are a good fit, so she’s now officially my editor! The only person I need on my team now is a proofreader and I reached out to one but she never replied so I guess I’m back to looking again. I’m not really too terribly fussed about it because we won’t be starting edits for another month and a half but it would be nice to at least get a reply. Still, I’m excited! I have an awesome book and project manager, a top-notch editor, and a cover designer whose work is absolutely gorgeous. I can hardly wait until November to get started!

Halfway There

All finished with the red and green squares at last! There are twenty of the little critters, which means I get to start on the green and red ones now. Another twenty to make and they’ll be ready to box up and send off to Florida to be swapped and sent back.

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How is it that they look like so many and so few at the same time?

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You can see the green a lot better in this light. It’s really very pretty in real life!

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I’m looking forward to getting finished with these squares so I can start working on placing and prepping the scrapghan squares to be sewn together. I’m also looking forward to a little bit of a break from squares. They haven’t posted a new swap yet and I’m sticking to my guns. If it’s not something I’m totally enthused about I’m going to skip it and work on putting these together. With my luck it will be something really good like Amethyst Royalty or Green Fields.

Right now I’m doing a rewatch of the Harry Potter movies after I finished re-reading all the books in order. We own all of the movies except the last one, all of which were given to us by my mother-in-law. She gave them to us before the second half of Deathly Hallows was out, and we rented the final movie from Redbox so I’m going to have to figure out a way to get my hands on it before I’m through. I can’t get all the way to the end and miss out on the good stuff!