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A big, soft floral finish

DSCN4473 I’ve been enjoying my newly finished afghan for about a week now. The cool days and outright cold nights are perfect for test-driving this kind of crochet project!

My afghan turned out to be everything I’d hoped for: colorful but not garish, warm but not heavy, pretty but not too frilly to be welcome in this house populated by more males than females, and just the right size to fold neatly across the back of our couch.

At my last afghan update, I showed off block #21. Block 22 was done not long after I posted. Then I got on a roll and cranked out blocks 23 and 24 in an overexcited marathon 24-hour period before really contemplating the next step.

Since I’d opted in to only my favorite 6 of the 24 patterns Tamara selected for her Moogly crochet-along, my challenge was in arranging the finished blocks (4 of each pattern) so that no two of the same pattern were directly adjacent. I wanted them spread fairly equally around the afghan, but I didn’t want it too look too studied, too far from random. The look I had in mind was organic but not unkempt.

It took a little trial and error before I settled on this plan. Imagine each block’s labeled with pattern 1-6 and color variation A-B. First I laid them out so each was used once:

Row 1: 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A

Row 2: 5A, 6A, 1B, 2B

Row 3: 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B

…and then I reversed the rows for the second half so that each top-to-bottom column would contain every pattern, no pattern repeats within either a row or a column…

Row 4: 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A

Row 5: 2B, 1B, 6A, 5A

Row 6: 6B, 5B, 4B, 3B

For the joining, I wanted something suggestive of vines or twigs sort of growing among all those flower-inspired blocks. Flowers and vines, right? And I really, really wanted to incorporate a few leaves here and there in the joins, too. Initially I planned to make those leaves from the treble cluster that’s repeated throughout the Catalina afghan square. That was, after all, not only the square that convinced me to join this crochet-along in the first place, but leaves would have been perfectly in line with my vines-and-flowers idea.

As it turned out, I couldn’t do the leaves. I had to keep the joins very simple so they didn’t eat up all my yarn. I didn’t realize I’d estimated low on yardage when I ordered the green, and by the time I tried to buy more, I couldn’t match dye lots.

simple crochet block joinThe regret was short-lived. Now that it’s all together, I’m perfectly happy with how the joins turned out. For the border, at first I wished I’d been able to get a third round in, but the two-round border I ended up with is very nice, too. If I’d added a third, it would have been lacier and more formal looking, and that wouldn’t do for the “not too frilly” requirement!

2-round crocheted afghan borderTwo big things I learned from this project:

– The same brand, same line, same weight yarn–I used nothing but Premier Deborah Norville Everyday Worsted–can be vastly different in thickness and heft from one color to another. Working the same pattern with the same hook but in different color variations, I got blocks that were as much as an inch and a half different in finished width,

– so, I learned how to adjust for those differences to make the block sizes match in the end.

And I’m very pleased with the final results!


What is/was/very soon will be your last big finish for 2014?

Categories: Regular Project

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A wife and mom, a worker bee, a churchwoman, a reader, and a crafter. What more is there to know? :)

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