I had a lot of yarn left over from the hexagon afghan. It’s now going into the stripey afghan which is due to be about a third stripes and two thirds the charcoal gray I love so much. But I’m ending up with a lot more stripes than I thought I’d have, so I’m now just striving for having it not equally stripes and charcoal gray. But I really love it. This may be the best batch of color picking I’ve ever done. Anyway, for those of you playing along at home, it’s just a basket weave made with a single crochet and a chain with the single crochet the other way going where the chain is. It lets you end up, when you’re using a hook this big, with a fairly solid blanket with a really nice drape and some give to it. It’s super easy and looks fantastic.
And then after this I have the yarn for an afghan for C and his wife. So, I guess I’m assuming it’s going to be cold and/or rainy for a bit more.
Also, just to give you some context, remember that I just finished the never-ending afghan February 1st. Which I started before Thanksgiving. Now, granted, I have been cooped up in the house all week, so I’m doing more crocheting than I might normally, but here it is February 20th and by lunch, I’ll be ready to piece this one together.
I won’t be piecing it together because I’m out of charcoal yarn and I’m not driving anywhere until it gets back above freezing. But I could.
And there was a lot of end tucking!
I got to see the edited version of the thing I broke myself writing this weekend. I think it’s really good. It makes me want an editor all the time.
Lesley Patterson-Marx is working on her illustration for The Wolf’s Bane. She’s got photos up at Instagram!
Here’s some artsy stuff I don’t understand, though I love the orange glow.
Her picture illustrates the herbal of Mrs. Overton. Here’s a picture of Mrs. Overton, for comparison (I love everything about that portrait. The look in her eye that the painter captured just warms my heart.)
The other cool thing about this picture is that you can really see how a granny square, at least one of mine, comes together. I chained 4 and slip-stitched them together, then I chained three to make my first stitch of the round. That stitch tends to look just a little different than the other stitches. If you’re ever trying to figure out how something was crocheted, learning to identify that starting stitch can be really helpful. Here, in the red circle, you can see how that starting chain-3 stitch looks more like a braid than a twist. You can also sometimes tell up at the top, where the blue circle is, because it doesn’t seem to quite come together. But, depending on the yarn, this isn’t always true. The furrier yarn just southwest of the square we’re looking at hides its starting point almost completely.
All the squares are connected and the border is completed. All that’s left is to tuck all the ends on the connective tissue. I don’t know how long this might take. But I will say that it looks good. I have never made an afghan that appeared to be so simple but was such a pain in the ass. And I probably won’t again (though it is a good way to use up ends, so maybe it wouldn’t be so terrible to do it over a few years?). But it’s going to be really cool. I’m really proud of it.
I don’t know why it surprises me, but the answer to the question, “Why am I so grouchy and eating all these cookies?” is always the same.
Also, I only have one row, the border, and the row end tucking on the afghan left. So, I figure that’s another 10000000 days.
I was so excited that I was working on piecing the columns together. Done with the rows, all that’s left is the columns and the border and the end tucking. It sounds like a lot, but on a regular afghan, it’s nothing. There are fewer columns than rows, after all.
Last night, I worked while the guys watched wrestling. All night.
I got two columns done. Out of thirty. ARGH.
It looks cool, though.
I have nine rows left. Then I have to stitch together the columns and put a border on the whole thing. I won’t say “never again,” but “not any time soon.”
The AT&T building has expanded the fence further out into their yard. I had a moment this morning, stumbling through the dark, half asleep, when I came upon the new fence and I couldn’t make sense of where I was. I thought I was going to have to call the Butcher and tell him I was… but what?
Then I realized what had happened.
I am piecing it together. I can’t quite believe it.
Also, in my story, the narrator’s husband did such a dick thing that I’m kind of in awe. I’m having to take a break to decide if I’m going to leave it in or if my story is now on a totally different track.
It never ends, my friends. I can’t even tell if I’ve made an appreciable dent in the tails to be tucked. Worse, the Butcher bought me this awesome book of crochet patterns including the most excellent square I have ever seen. All I do is work on this afghan thinking about how, when I finish up, I can attempt that square.
I am never finishing. This afghan has no end.
This picture was taken shortly before there were 1200 squares. I had to lay out all my clumps (of twelve squares each) to see how close I was to having a hundred clumps. I am, in this picture, 36 squares short. All 1200 squares now exist. I have moved on to the end-tucking portion of the squares, which will eventually be followed by the end-tucking portion of the seams. I have a hard time believing I will ever do another afghan like this, but I am curious to see how this one turns out.
The best part of this afghan, even though it makes it practically unwashable, is the different yarns I’m using on it and the different ways they look. Not just in color, but in texture:
Remember that fond day when I thought I was halfway done with the endurance-test afghan and I was somewhat befuddled by it? But still proud and excited because I was almost done?
Yesterday afternoon, I stood with my piles of squares spread out on my bed and my calculator in-hand and I was like “The number I think I need is not the number that will make up a whole afghan.” And yet, I just could not figure out how to unfuck my thinking.
So, here’s the problem. I have my squares bundled into bundles of twelve. I want my afghan to be 36 squares wide by 48 squares tall (each square being just shy of two inches wide)–or three bundles by four bundles. So, how many bundles do I need to make?
My first guess was twelve. Much to my own pride, I realized that this was wrong, even before I spread the squares out on my bed.
But then I had been telling myself that, what I need is four bundles high, thirty six bundles across. And, well, I had thirty-six bundles–score one for me.
I make my post.
And then, all day, I’m like–this just cannot be right. It’s not enough squares. Even spread out on my bed, it’s not enough squares. But I can’t figure out how I’m fucking up. For the longest time.
And then I realize, I have forgotten to multiply. I don’t need 36 bundles–I need 4×36 bundles. I am only a quarter done.
I had a feeling of both extreme disappointment and extreme relief.
There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing you have the wrong answer but not knowing where the flaw in your thinking is to fix it.
I’m making an afghan that is 90% end-tucking, which, as we all know, is my least favorite part of afghan making. But I am dying to try this and see how it ends up. I’m making tiny granny squares–just the first round, so about an inch across–and then I’m going to tuck a million ends and join the squares all together. By my estimate, to make it the size I want, I will need almost four thousand squares.
I’m not sure if this means this is solely an afghan or if we’ve moved into performance art territory.
I have to get some pictures! It’s delightful, just as it is, in pieces. But tomorrow, my goal–after I get my oil changed–is to find a tapestry needle with an eye big enough for the yarn. Otherwise, I’m not sure how I’m going to get it together. But I’m kind of delighted with the problem! And I’m going to pick out buttons for the eyes.
And take pictures, because you all are going to laugh! It’s just really delightful. The ears, even now, are the greatest thing ever. But man, it’s going to be hot as all get out. In both senses of the word. Ha ha ha. Okay, mostly just in the “heavy wool” sense.
Making this bear hat is more satisfying than I suspected. I may switch to hats for a while. I may have pictures later.