Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Miss Vivian's Afghan - Block Square with a Pattern

I love making afghans for the new babies in our family.  I try to actually have them made by the baby shower, but Miss Vivian, the recipient of this one, was three months old before I got it to her.  It took much longer than I thought.  Not because of the difficulty but because I used a smaller thread and needed to make over six times as many squares.

The original pattern (HERE ) that inspired this design used an "E" hook and (regular size yarn) to make a blanket of 6x6 squares.  This blanket, assuming an average of one hour per square including connecting, would have taken me about 36 hours.  (See my previous blog entitled "Size Matters".)

The blanket I made for Miss Vivian was 15x15 squares (225 total), using very small yarn and a size "E" hook.  The yarn was oh so soft and tiny!  It was given to me and I searched the internet to find additional balls of it because I just fell in love with it.  

The finished afghan took over 200 hours (average of 45 mins to make each square plus connection time) and is made of over 2 miles of this thread.  I laid out the pattern using Excel ...... making just a lot of squares then labeling each one with "W" for white and "M" for multi-colored.  My memory is vague on the number of balls I used.  I had some on hand that had been given to me.  I ordered more online.  I ran short and had to order more online.  So I THINK I used 10-12 balls of white and 6-8 balls of color.  (I promise to keep better track on future projects!)

I kept the multi-colored squares to a minimum as variegated thread/yarn tends to makes a project look "busy".  I wanted the color to be just an accent and not the focal point.

Putting it together was fun!  I took over the extra bedroom and laid it out according to the pattern I had created on the Excel spreadsheet.  I didn't wait until the very end to put it all together.  I would attach squares when I got 15 or 20 of them done.

Adding the multi-colored ruffle made such a difference as you can see in this "with and without" corner photo:

The ruffle enhanced the color without making it overbearing.    The border I found online is called "Cathedral Edging" and the pattern/pic can be seen (HERE) and is a free Ravelry download.  I made a few adjustments on this pattern, though.

I wanted the ruffle to be a big softer so I used a larger hook (a "G" size) on the ruffle.  The Cathedral Edging called for a total of 8 treble crochets in each point (4 tr, ch-3, 4 tr) but that was a bit too big. So with some experimentation (and a few unravelings!) I settled on a total of 6 double-crochets with the ch-3 between (3 dc, ch-3, 3dc) to form the point.

It is finally done and will be delivered to Miss Vivian this coming week.  I hope it becomes her very first family heirloom!

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