Friday, September 21, 2007

Scrapghan for My Dad


The week of my dad's birthday (July 29th), I decided to make him a blanket. I had made him one hurriedly the last time I visited that I was not impressed with. I really wanted to take the time to make him something that I thought would better suit him.

I had skeins and skeins of yarn of various colors that I thought could potenially work well together and I realized that a scrapghan might be both a good stashbuster and something that would look more interesting.

I went through my stash and found mostly cool colors that were more masculine (somehow, I didn't think fuscia fun-fur would float my dad's boat). I ended up with about 14 colors that I thought might work and decided that my Caron One Pounders of Navy would be a good main color.

I looked through my books and decided to make the scrapghan in the double wave stitch from Donna Kooler's Encylopedia of Crochet (my favorite resource for stitch descriptions). I took her explanation of the stitch and just multiplied it out for the length that I wanted it to be (long enough to cover a full sized bed). After I was about halfway done, I found this awesome pattern by Dot called Scrumptious Scraps Afghan... which is not the same (she has an extra row that I don't have- and hers is horizonatal instead of vertical)... but if you are looking to do something similar, I think her pattern is really cool! Most importantly, she explains how to do the Russian Join... which I sooooooooo wish I had learned before I started this bad boy. I mean, check out these evil demon ends (picture at left). For those of you that don't stitch, all of those ends must be woven into the blanket when you are finished (unless you choose to make fringe). Those ends took me several hours to weave in and it's pretty mindless/tedious work.

To be honest, when I started this, it just looked hideous to me... and I started refering to it as the ugly blanket! (sorry, Dad!). The very beginning, it just looked odd. Didn't quite blend well and I really wasn't sure if I was going to finish it! Though, the ugly blanket and I had good days and bad days. Some days, I looked at it and thought, What was I thinking?

Other days, I lay it out on the bed and just ran my hands over the texture and loved it. So, we had a love/hate relationship. This blanket was also my biggest project to date. I have done blankets before that were equal in size to this one, but this one was the most time intensive. I used a smaller hook (I) and mostly worsted weight yarn. In other blankets that I have made in just a few hours, I used a larger hook and either thicker yarn or multiple strands of worsted weight. Staring at the blanket over a period of a few weeks, there were times when I really questioned myself and the way that it was turning out. I was worried that the Ugly Blanket was getting Uglier instead of coming together.

Here is a picture of the blanket laid out on my bed when I had about 2 feet left to do.

Of course, the completed blanket really came together and it does look good. But I gotta tell you, there were days along the epic journey of the blanket where I almost stopped and started a new one.

But... I'm glad I did it. Beacause it actually looks good finished... and more importantly, my dad loves it.

Here are my cats testing out the nearly complete blanket (just prior to me making a border of 1 row of Single Crochet and 2 rows of double crochet). And yes, this blanket heretoforth will no longer be refered to as the Ugly Blanket ...

Of course, my dad is uber allergic to my fluffy kittens, so I washed it very well before I sent it :)

Because the worsted weight yarn was a bit rough (I used a lot of Red Heart yarn from my stash), I washed the blanket with fabric softener and also used 2 dryer sheets. The result is a very snuggly blanket!

My dad received it yesterday and is really happy with it! I guess it's just getting a little cooler in North Carolina, so he's looking forward to wrapping it over his shoulders for evening reading. He said that the stitches were very mathematical (uh, leave to my dad to see the math!) and he was happy to extend the celebration of his birthday a few months ;) .

So yay! Scrapghan Complete! Finished size? Large enough to top a full sized-bed... defintely perfect for my mom and dad to snuggle under while watching a movie. Total time? I think at some point, each color + main color (4 rows) were taking me just over an hour each.

I also just received pics of a hat that I made over a year ago for a friend of mine who was expecting! Here is the post from last June when I made it. Her little girl is now a year old and this hat hasn't fit her since her first week :o)

But, I thought I would share the pic of her wearing it!

Sooo cute!!!

Thanks for reading :o)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I wanted to spread the word about a fundraising website that my friend Marty decided to start for her daughter Casey. Despite a healthy pregnancy, Casey has had a really rough start to her life. She is legally blind, has little hearing, and can't swallow, gag, or blink. Marty used to work with me, but after Casey was born she decided to become a SAHM so that she could make all of Casey's medical appointments, which are multiple every week, and give Casey the around the clock care that she needs. Marty is a good friend of mine and I'm really glad that they set up the new site to tell Casey's story and to help raise money for her care, which is mostly out of pocket. They are selling Casey bracelets (Like the Lance Armstrong ones) for $4 and raising money for specific goals – like a special needs stroller. Of course, keeping Casey in your thoughts and prayers works, too! She's a brave little girl and a figher, but she appreciates support and encouragement :o)

Here is Casey's site

Please feel free to pass along this info and let me know if you have any questions.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bragging Rights...

My nephews and niece are obscenely cute.

evidence follows...


and ACL is Fun!

Here is a pic of the newly engaged Andrea and Evans at Austin City Limits - a 3 day music festival...

and here is a not-so candid very myspace pic of me and my buddy grant

Scarf for Miriam

I had made an adorable ami monkey for Miriam (posted here) which was stolen off her desk :o( boooo.

Luckily, she still has this scarf... which is slighly less adorable and not very pratical in Los Angeles for a lot of the year...

but... I think she'll get great use out of it once she CAN wear it.

The main part of the scarf was done in 3-4 skeins of Caron simply soft in Black. I improvised a shell stitch and made the scarf about 6 feet long. (Miriam really likes long scarves that she can double up).

The flowers were also improvised... made up of some random multi-color worsted weight yarn and some purple wool yarn that I had laying around. I added tassels to the corners to pull it together a bit.

Enjoy the pictures!

Close up of the stitch and the flowers:

This picture shows the actual color: