14 December 2008

cheaper then therapy

Its been a long week. Work is spectacularly tense, its all just a waiting game now. Last weekend when things were just beginning to heat up in the senate over the bailout package, I proceeded to drag down pretty much every single skein of yarn I own from my studio into the living room. I also made a few trips with books and just sat around and tried to find something realitively mindless to work on.

I settled on this afghan that I started a while back but got distracted by other projects. (That link is to the Lion Brand yarn website. You do have to register to see their patterns but its really really worth it. They have patterns for knitting and crocheting and better then half are free. I've stalked the site for a couple years now and have never gotten any kind of spam from being registered there so I highly recommend it if you dig free patterns.)

I also find the circles highly amusing. And forcing them to become squares just makes me all giggly for some reason. I am totally entertained with this pattern for some reason.

I tend to crochet a lot quicker then I knit. Not sure why but I do. And regardless of which one I am doing, I tend to work at Wonder Woman speed when I'm really stressed. As a result, one week later I had this:

I had about six of the smallest size done when I started, the rest were completed during the week.

When I laid them out for that photo, I was not surprised (although still annoyed) that they aren't exactly fitting together correctly. I had a suspicion that they might not and now that its confirmed, I have to decide what to do. The way I see it, I have three options:

1) Sew them together the way they are and hope that the border I have to crochet on after I've done that hides any wonkiness (although the perfectionist Virgo in me just barfed at the thought of that).

2) Rip back a couple of the small ones and fix the mistake that I know is living in them and see if that does the trick (please note that I will have to fix sixteen of them if I go this route).

3) Attempt to block them into submission so they match up enough to sew together without looking like I was following two different patterns when I made the thing.

I'm not sure that I want to pursue option #3 because I used acrylic yarn for this. Its the Vanna White brand that Joann's carries and I have to say that, as far as acrylics go, its a pretty nice yarn. Anyone ever try to block acrylic? I just have visions of melted yarn blobs that will make me want to tear my hair out.

I had considered using a superwash wool for this (knowing that blocking would have been a snap if there were size issues) but here is the reason I did not:

Dooley love claims most of the afghans in the house for his own. And I have absolutely no issue with that. (He does look quite striking against the colors, no?) Knowing that little man will lay on this when he's smelling like roses and when he's...well...not smelling like roses, means that washability is a number one priority. All the afghans we do have that are acrylic wear like freakin' iron so that's why I prefer to make new ones out of that fiber content. (And acrylic has really come a long way in recent years. The stuff I used on this one is very soft and cushy, not plastic like at all.)

So if anyone would like to offer some words of wisdom as to how to tame the wonky size issue I'm having with this thing, it would be appreciated. I'm going to fiddle with it today but I don't do a lot of the types of afghans that are done in blocks (now I'm beginning to remember why).

But I know that crooked or not, it will be well loved. As observed by the fact that I had to lure the westie off it with a cookie to take a picture of it alone.

Note the blurry tail. He was all excited and wagging like a maniac.

I'm wondering if he'll give it back so I can finish it...


Pattie Wall said...

Come on, you have to finish it for him! He looks so great on it! I had the same issues with a baby blanket, however, they were supposed to be all the same sized squares and depending on when I knitted them, some days they were 25 rows and some days they were one or more less, therefore, didn't fit together as a whole. Grrr...I wonder if you could join together with some border rows, some fatter than others? You are the crocheter/knitter extraordinaire - you can DO IT! I have seen this one on the Lion site and on Ravelry, when others made it, it's cool! Yours has special meaning - years from now, you can look back on it and laugh!

Kat Campau said...

Just add rows between the blocks to make them fit. That's how you do it with a quilt, and it looks charming.

Kim Hambric said...

I'm sorry that I have no crocheting advice. I do love what you've got so far. So mod. Great colors. Can't wait to see what it becomes.

City Girl Quilter said...

I made this same pattern with the same Vanna White yarn in different colors. I like it so much, I made a scarf out of the smaller blocks. Once you sew them together and put on the border, it comes out even. And yes, you can block acrylic. You can check out my version on Ravelry. I'm citygirlq.