We woke up to snow. The kids are happy about it and I don’t even mind that much – but this photo of roses from Costco made me smile so I thought I’d share it. Plus, it matches the afghan.
Anyways – we sometimes call my father -in-law the Big E. He recently changed his living situations and in lieu of trying to tell him how much we all care and how we think and worry about him, I turned to what many would turn to: yarn*.
I decided to make him an afghan. The colour choices were predicated both by his room decor and his favorite hockey team**; the fiber was chosen because of the anticipated laundering techniques. And it’s a crochet blanket because for some reason, blankets are better if they are crochet.***
I started off using Fireworks Blanket by Becky Simmons. As usual, I am bad at following patterns, so it became more of a guideline for me. That is purely a reflection of me – the pattern was well written and clear and it’s a clever way to make a granny square really engaging. I used Uptown Acrylic Worsted, and it’s a very fine yarn, for something that is acrylic and meant to be machine washed and dried.
I was making excellent progress, and actually almost finished, when I noticed something. I had borked a notch; about three rounds back I’d forgotten one decrease. Now, I rip back work merrily all the time, but I was at the point in the blanket where a couple rounds of used a whole ball of yarn. The picture above is what was SUPPOSED to happen, and did actually happen in three out of four spots. The two pictures below are what was actually going on in that one darn spot.
I decided to try to fix it without frogging the whole darn think. So, armed with time (Z___ had an ortho appointment) & my Swiss Army knife (which I actually got in Switzerland), I cautiously snipped and reworked and wove ends in.
First, I nipped the thread and unwound a certain amount of that row. Then I did the same for the next row, and the next, until I was back to before the spot where I’d missed the decrease.
Note the three little balls of yarn, and the staggered missing rows. I reworked the rows in order, tied a solid knot between the sections of each row, and wove in the ends.
I don’t know if this is actually the way to do things with crochet – but it seemed to make sense. And the big knot seemed right because crochet is really just a series of knots, anyways. I’m really much more of a knitter.
Ta-dah! It took less than an hour – and that’s much less time that it would have to rip it all back and rework it. If you know what you are looking for and you are actually holding the blanket in your hands, you can tell it’s there, but for the muggle or everyday use, it’s not noticeable.
The finished blanket is about six feet square – I was aiming for something nice to snuggle under while sitting in a chair. The Big E was a tad confused but pleased by the gift, and I hope he’s using it today while it snows.
(This is a sort of terrible finished object picture – it doesn’t show the blanket off to it’s best. And it’s before I’d washed and dried and washed and then hung it dry – the shape has properly flattened out and all the joins held.)
I’m off to the gym – I’ve already shovelled the driveway but my fair weather habit of exercise should carry into the winter work-out, right?
*“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.” – Elizabeth Zimmerman
**The Edmonton Oilers. I found it funny watching Calgarians admire the afghan in progress, and then recoil when they realized it was the OILERS.
***Totally irrational. Also, not always true, I made a lovely knitted blanket once. Godzilla vs. Evenstar