Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Afghan - The Pattern

Once the decision to make an afghan was made it was time to find the right pattern. Anything with a monstrously long row is out of the question! I KNOW I won’t stick with it if it takes forever to complete a row. Squares are also out, since the thought of weaving in all those ends is enough to give me an eye tic - not to mention having to sew them all together! I hate sewing! Strips I think I could manage. Each one would be a relatively minor time commitment, and finishing each one would give me that satisfaction I need. Plus, I could crochet them together instead of sewing. We’re only talking about 9 strips – I think I could do it!

When I first learned to knit and crochet, I spent many afternoons in the yarn department of AC Moore and Michaels searching for fashionable clothing patterns, and I remembered seeing something called a “Mile A Minute” afghan. Hey now - that sounds right up my alley! I should have that baby done in no time flat! One for each of us! ;-)

Way back when I was only interested in clothing patterns and I scoffed at the thought of making an afghan, It seemed to me that the Mile A Minute was everywhere I looked (mocking me!). But now that I wanted it, I was finding the one I had pictured in my head to be rather elusive - Who knew there were so many iterations of the Mile A Minute! I’m starting to feel a bit like Goldilocks – “this one has too many skinny strips” or “to much like a granny square” – I was looking for one that was “just right”! I finally found it right on my own bookshelf: Crochet for Today

Friday, August 20, 2010

Baby Blocks!

Baby Blocks came out WAY too big! I can't even pick one up in one hand - Maybe suitable for GIGANTOR Baby ha-ha! Oh well, they were fun to make. Pattern from Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Crochet Today.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

First Afghan - The Decision

Being an avid crocheter, people are constantly surprised by the fact that I have never made an afghan. It’s true! I have always been a fashionista wannabe, and my motivation for learning how to knit and crochet all those years ago was to make all sorts of cool clothing for myself. Somewhere along the way, I’ve changed. I’ve started to expand my horizons a bit with some non-clothing projects. Last year I made a Gingerbread House and had so much fun making it, I made another one and sold it (even after making all those gumdrops!). At the time, I also discovered the joy of the hot glue gun – What Fun! I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on all these years! Since then, I find that I really enjoy making all sorts of other things such as pillows, handbags, toys and even food (have you seen my cookies and pizza? They make me laugh). Animals are especially fun to make, and once you put a face on them, they get a little personality.

I have heard that most crocheters actually “cut their teeth” on afghans, and do one for their first project – YIKES! I’m not sure I would still be crocheting had I attempted an afghan as my first project. To me, the prospect of all those stitches and billions and billions of rows is too daunting. It would take FOREVER! (I need to chain HOW MANY?????!!!!!!) Maybe I have commitment issues when it comes to my projects – I get bored with big projects and fear that I might not have what it takes to finish something this big in my lifetime. Over the years I have learned that it’s okay to have many different projects going at the same time. For me especially, if I get bored, I switch to something else I have going. However, I have to try really hard to not get too carried away! I NEED the satisfaction of finishing things. Therefore, the strategy I’ve developed is to work on a variety of projects at the same time – some large-ish projects such as clothing (to feed my wardrobe), and smaller things that are quick (to get my finishing satisfaction). With all these thoughts in mind, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for me to crochet my first afghan!

I really love using an afghan (I call it the “Snuggle Factor”) and in fact my whole family does too. We have this really old ratty one that I knitted many years ago on my knitting machine (I know, I know! I made it, but I’ve never crocheted one by hand), and we all fight over who gets to snuggle under it at movie night in my house. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had our own? Whoa – slow down there Rambo – one at a time, and then we’ll see!