Sunday, November 27, 2011

Afghan Insanity

Whew, first round of holiday shenanigans over and done with!  Made it through and still managed to get a post going.  Go, me!  Sorry, no food pics.  Somehow I always forget to take pictures of the food I make but then, I only recently got better at taking pictures of things I've made so I suppose it isn't all that surprising.  Anyway, on with the show!

It's been a long while since I've made an afghan from my own pattern.  That's probably not surprising to many people as afghans take a lot of yarn and time to make and making the pattern takes longer.  For me, though, it is rather amazing.  I've only ever made 4 afghans from other people's patterns, the other 9 have been my own invention.  For 6 of those it involved drawing out a color chart, by hand since I don't have charting software.  As you may imagine, building stuff from the ground up takes a mite of time and I, as I have said repeatedly, am lazy.  I also got bored with afghans as I made 12 blankets in a 3 month period.  To be fair, I was between jobs for solid month in there so I did have more time than usual to get things done.

The reason I bring this up at all is that I've decided I should make some blankets again and I expect it to take a while.  After looking over a bunch of patterns I have determined, once again, that none of them are quite what I want and so it's back to the afghan drawing board again.  Interestingly, it's this blog that's going to complicate matters.  You see, when I was designing stuff before I would just print out some graph paper and go to town on it then make the blanket.  But since the purpose of the blog is in part to share patterns I'm going to have to figure out how to make charts that other people can use.  There's an additional challenge in there because none of the patterns I've done are what you would call simple, nor are my future ones likely to be.  I'm really good at biting off more than I can chew.  Also, the patterns are large.  It takes a lot of space to make a pattern for a queen sized afghan.  I'm working on scaling back a bit, queen sized is far larger than they really need to be.

The other bit that's new is my intent to make some of the blankets with knitting.  Since I've not done much color work with knitting and I've never knitted an afghan it seems like it's time to do so.  What that means for the blog is that you're going to start getting wip, or 'work in progress' for any non-crafters, posts from me as I work on things.  I'm also going to try to keep posting other, smaller projects patterns for you too.  I have no idea how successful I'll be at that, though.  I normally have a number of projects going at once anyway, but something as large as an afghan will likely slow down everything else once I actually start constructing it.

For instance, I started making this a while back when I got yarn from my friend.  It was supposed to be an afghan.  Then I realized my geometry didn't quite pan out.  If I made it any bigger it wouldn't have lain flat which would have annoyed me to no end when storage time came around.  So, we wave the magic wand and **poof** it becomes a table doily!  Sadly, I'm back to the drawing board for the afghan.  I still really want a bright yellow afghan.  But for now, you get the doily pattern.

Sunshine Doily

I hook
1 skein Sayelle Yarn.  This yarn is really old (the stuff I have has a price sticker from a store called "Venture" which wikipedia tells me went defunct in 1998, looking at the design of the ball band I would say the yarn is probably from the 1970's) but comparable to Red Heart I think.  The ball band says it's a 4 ply worsted that comes in 4 ounce skeins.  Amusingly, it also says 'always follow stitch gauge for best results' but it doesn't give any gauge information or yardage.

Main Pattern

ch 8, join in loop.
Round 1:  16 hdc in loop, join round through back loop only.
Round 2:  Working in back loops only (hdc, 2hdc)* around.  Join through back loop only
Round 3:  Continuing in back loops only, work (dc in the next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st)* around.  Join through both loops.
Round 4:  (Chain 8, skip 3 sts, join with sl st to 4th st.)* repeat all the way around joining the last ch8 to the same st as the starting ch 8.
Round 5:  Sl st in the first ch 8 loop.  Ch 2(counts as first dc), 3dc in loop, ch 2, 4 dc.  In the next loop work (4dc, ch2, 4dc)* continue around joining in the top of the starting ch 2.
Round 6:  Sl st in the tops of the next 3 dc and in the ch2 space.  In ch 2 space (3dc, ch2, 3dc, ch 5)* repeat around. Join to top ch of first dc.
**Round 7:  Sl st in the tops of the next 2 dc and in the ch 2 sp.  (Ch 3, sc in ch 2 sp, ch 5, sc in ch 5 sp of previous row, ch 5, sc in ch 2 sp of previous row)*  repeat around ending with a sl st to the first ch st.

**Round 7 is only for the first motif.  Once the first piece is made work the joining round in place of round 7.

Joining round:  Sl st in the tops of the next 2 dc and in the ch 2 sp.  (**Ch 1, sc in any ch 3 loop from another piece, ch1, sc in ch 2 space of working piece, ch 5, sc in ch 5 sp of the other piece and then in the ch 5 space of the  previous row on the working piece**, ch 5, sc in ch 2 sp of previous row)  repeat around ending with a sl st to the first ch st.  Work between ** for every side to be joined.  Otherwise work as for Round 7.

Sorry if that's confusing, I couldn't think of a better way to describe how I put the thing together.

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