Friday, December 29, 2006

And Near Success

This, now. This is where "almost" comes in. Also the advantages of not being a one trick pony. Knitting purists may want to scroll down a bit.

I did finish the actual crocheting on Christmas Day, but not all the fiddly bits, like all those ends - two for every stripe. (You may notice, there are a lot of stripes.) And the 80+ tassels. But my in-laws are still in town. If necessary, I can get it in a box and UPS it to my sister-in-law's before the Ohio crew heads back. So I figure it counts, but only sort of.

I like this pattern. It's your basic V's-in-a-row afghan. Make a chain a little longer than the finished width (or length if you prefer). Strengthen it with a row of single crochet. Then v-stitch all the way till the final row of single crochet and fasten off. If your smart and dedicated, you'll weave in the ends as you go. If, like me, you tend to blow a v-stitch from time to time and have to rip back, you'll put it off till the end. Tassels are in the corners and every third stitch.

My husband's family has some serious health issues to contend with right now. Not to mention the fact my mother-in-law, the hale and hearty one, is not a young woman. (The Natural Fiber Only Club may need to close their eyes here before they hyperventilate). A wool afghan would have been more burden than gift. I went with acrylic: Bernat Berella So Soft, about 2 1/2 skeins of black, slightly over 1 skein each for the green and gold; 2 skeins each of Caron Dawn Sayelle for the red and blue. As proof that not all worsted weights are created equal, the Berella is thicker than the Sayelle. I wish I'd had the good sense to plan a little bit more. Or at least a little sooner. I could have used thinner yarn, a smaller hook, not double-stranded the red and blue.

As it was, I got about a third of the way in and began to question my sanity. Too many big-needle/hook projects in a row seem to have an adverse effect thereon. I began to daydream about little projects. Small needles. Tiny motifs. Making promises to myself if I would only persist.

About this far and I began looking up patterns on the Internet. This slowed down production considerably. A few more stripes and I began to get a bit desperate.

I went mining the stash and checking supplies. This is what I came up with.

Fingering weight hand-spun from eBay, Jaeger Matchmaker picked up at the sad demise of Flying Colors yarn shop, and little (for me) needles. I could do something with these. Reassured, I went back to double-stranding worsted weight, holding the promise of this stuff in my head like a beacon to get me through.

Didn't work. Saturday found me running away to Knitche. Which, of course, put paid to any hope that I would finish this on time. By the time I got back, I'd added these.

More skinny yarn and even smaller needles. Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock and Dalegarn Baby Ull along with a set of the Blue Sky Alpaca DPN's. I was good, though. This went into my stocking and stayed there until the afghan mission was accomplished. I have a pretty good idea where this is tending, but I need to spend a little more time in denial. It seems, perhaps, maybe, the time may have come to attempt a (small) (very small) stranded colorwork project.

1 comment:

diane h said...

I haven't decided what size the first stranded work should be - big or small - but I am pretty sure it should be done in the round. We'll have coffee soon -

I am relieved to see you were only making one afghan for the Ohio contingent. When I saw your pile of yarn, I thought you would be making 3, before 12/25! Or was that the plan?