My Inner Child Wants Everything to Be Rainbow-Colored: Afghan Edition

Photo of a crocheted afghan in rainbow stripes

Raise your hand if you remember me starting a scrap project to use up the yarn left over from the scrap blanket I made for my daughter when she was born.

Yes, I am a serial scrap blanket maker.  I pull out a pile of yarn (or fabric or cut up t-shirts… my desires to both thrift and make things feed each other), decide I am going to use it all up on a scrap project, choose a project, start said project, run out of something and go buy more materials, finish said project, and then — and only then — realize that I have more materials left than when I started.  Doh!

First there was Squeaky, the quilterly knitted blanket I made for my daughter (ostensibly to use up random balls of Wool-Ease) while I waited for her to spring, fully formed, from my womb.  Which, she pretty much did if you’ve ever heard THAT story.  Oh and I ended up buying a lot of yarn to make the colors in the blanket work.  Wool-Ease has a weird palette.

About six exhausting months later, I lit upon the idea to crochet an afghan to use up Squeaky’s leftovers.  I had spied a pattern that was basically a giant granny square, but looked like an Around the World quilt.  I’m not much of a hooker, but I can handle a granny square.  So I lined up my leftover Wool-Ease and soon realized I had a rainbow palette.  Well, almost.  I just had to buy a bit more yarn.  [Cue scary music.]

Four and a half years later, the rainbow afghan of my dreams and nightmares is finished.

Photo of a crocheted afghan in rainbow stripes

 

What else do I have to say about this project?  I didn’t work on it constantly.  In fact, years passed sometimes between putting hook to wool.  It was really fun at first because crochet is FAST.

Also, I am never actually sad to buy more yarn, which this project amusingly and repeatedly required to be completed to my spec of 4 repeats.  It has 13 different colors, 12 Wool-Ease, 1 Plymouth Encore (light blue) because Lion discontinued the delft colorway.  (Why do companies get rid of good, basic, timeless colors like baby blue?  It’s Lion’s loss ultimately because now I have seen the Plymouth Yarns website and know what an amazing palette their wool-acrylic blend Encore has.)

About 2/3 of the way through this project, the rows became very long, hours to finish just one, and it was a slog.  I just wanted to be done.  I could have stopped at any time, but stubborn ol’ me wanted to stick to The Plan.

So I did.  And now the rainbow afghan lives on my couch and gets fought over — when we’re not all four crammed together with it draped over us.

Sacrilege

Around the World crochet afghan

What is this?

Around the World crochet afghan

Crochet?!  Not just crochet but a giant granny square.

Not just a giant crocheted granny square but I am watching Elizabeth Zimmermann‘s PBS series Knitting Workshop while I work on this!  The granddame of knitting – ha!

Oh and I am breaking my no-TV resolution to boot!  Ha HA!

And what happened to the Lace Ribbon?  Oh yeah, there it is, next to the oft-neglected Jaywalker

Lacey Ribbon Scarf and Jaywalker Socks

Enough with the sins, now for the graces: I am putting a dent into my basket of Wool-Ease!  In addition to this new project, I have also given away a couple of skeins to a friend.  Abbey is not just any friend but a crocheter whom I have recently brought over to the knit-side.  That was a few weeks ago.  Fast forward to today: Charlotte and I were knitting and chatting and I showed her this pattern (scroll down to see a few examples), deciding on the spot that I would make this blanket per pattern, but I would challenge myself to only get yarn for it by trading or buying inexpensively via Ravelry.  No going to the store, not even for a sale.

Charlotte then left and I was alone with these threads of ideas swimming around in my head.  In a flash, the basket was out and yarn was lining up on the table.  It all happened so fast, almost of its own accord.  I quickly perceived that I had a veritable rainbow of partial skeins.  I made one or two adjustments and then, simply, began.  I won’t lie; it may only be a granny square, which I have made before, but it was slow-going for a few rounds because I had to relearn how to double crochet and how to create a granny square.

Granny square: NOT like a bicycle.  But still not so hard at all.  Just as happened gradually with knitting, I find I am able to “read” my crochet better now that I have been playing with it for a few years (two, I think).  That’s exciting.  It’s progress.  It gives me hope that I may someday have a decent grasp of this.  But I can never be brilliant at crochet because that is my sister’s domain, you understand.

My other grace?  After much hawing and heming, the zipper has been ordered for the Urban Aran Cardi.

And to close with wise words from EZ herself: “This just goes to show you…people will wear anything on their heads!”

"This just goes to show you...people will wear anything on their heads!"

(Matthew in his ubiquitous Greek fisherman’s cap and Elinor in a cotton cap knit by grandma with yarn she dyed herself.  This is a much cuter picture than the one I considered of Zander wearing his underwear on his head.)