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Friday, June 30, 2017

Big Huge Afghan - GrannySpiration Challenge

  I've never made a big, huge afghan with smaller squares, and I don't think I'm about to start... Although I love the classic look and any project that uses up scraps, I just don't have the ambition to keep working on the same thing over and over. I get bored and lose interest. (And I hate weaving in end after end!) So for those like me who still wish they could make a large blanket with granny squares, here's a project that helps fight the boredom and reduces yarn tails:

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn


After the pattern, be sure to check out last month's features, see what others in the Granny-Spiration Challenge are making this month, enter the giveaway, and you can share your granny-inspired projects at the linkup, too!

afghan, blanket, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, yarn, features


  My project started as one big square, with no strategy in mind other than to build as I went to use up the horribly-greenish Taupe that would never fit into my coffee-themed afghan, then give it to Dad because the color actually looks good in his house... And it ended with using up (almost) all four of my One-Pound skeins by the time I decided to call it "done"! Most agree that maybe it's a bit too large, but with the instructions I'll give you, the squares can easily be adjusted in size for a smaller blanket with the same sort of design. You can click here for the rest of the story behind the project.


Skill level:
Easy!

Yarns and colors used:
Color A - Red Heart Super Saver in Sage
Color B - Red Heart Super Saver in Frosty Green
Color C - Caron One Pound in (horribly-greenish) Taupe
Color D - Caron One Pound in Espresso
Color E - Red Heart Super Saver in SH Browns (Discontinued, but look for the color "Shaded Browns"; I think it's the same thing! Hmm, with such a similar name, could it be? Could it???)
Color F - Caron One Pound in Off White
Color G - Caron One Pound in Lace

Notes:
I used a hook size J/10 - 6.00 mm. These are just simple granny squares - Use whatever hook size works for you!

Squares begin with the magic circle.

All rounds begin with chain-1 and a double crochet; skipping over the chain-1 to join.

Begin in a corner with 3 double crochet, completing the corner at the end of the round.

Skip the last chain-1 of the corner space before joining the round, and join with a single crochet stitch to count as the chain-1 corner space.

Directions for joining squares are after the patterns, but I highly suggest you review them before you begin. The squares are NOT all joined together at one time, with extra borders added to the strips to make the stitch counts match up.

Instructions:

The big square:
Worked in the classic granny stitch (3 double crochet, chain-1), and using (3 double crochet, 1 chain, 3 double crochet) for corners.

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,

2 rounds Color A
2 rounds Color B
4 rounds Color C

Repeat to desired size.
(2 more times for a width of about 40" / 102 cm - And keep in mind that's just the size of the Big Square!)

Bind off, weave in ends.

*Optional* Use Color E (variegated that reflects all the browns in the project) and the surface crochet slip stitch to highlight a design around some of the rounds. I only added this detail between Colors A and B.


Medium Squares:
Worked in the same pattern as above. Six of these were made to (almost) match the width of the Big Square, for three on each side.

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,
(Shown here without last round worked)

(Make 4) Version 1:
2 rounds Color A
2 rounds Color E
2 rounds Color B
1 round Color F

(Make 2) Version 2:
2 rounds Color E
2 rounds Color B
2 rounds Color D
1 round Color F

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,


Small Squares:
Worked in a variation of the classic stitch to save yarn and lighten up the pattern - (2 double crochet, chain-2), with (2 double crochet, 2 chain, 2 double crochet) corners. Twenty-six of these were made for a total of 13 on each side.

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,

(6) Version 1:
1 round Color C
1 round Color D

(4) Version 2:
1 round Color E
1 round Color F

(4) Version 3:
1 round Color B
1 round Color D

(4) Version 4:
1 round Color A
1 round Color C

(4) Version 5:
1 round Color E
1 round Color B

(4) Version 6:
1 round Color D
1 round Color F


Joining:
The seamless joining method was used to put all squares together, but not all at the same time! This makes "mapping" the project a bit easier but much different than the usual way. Just check the diagrams and follow the directions starting from the top...

Where the map calls to "work regular", just work across the squares as usual. (I used the 3 double crochet, chain-1 granny stitch in each chain-1 space.) Where it calls to join: *Work 3 double crochet, chain 1, remove the hook, insert in the opposite chain space, pick up the loop. Chain 1.*
Repeat from * to * across the remainder of the square.



For the corner space on the joining side: Work the stitch, join, then make another (3 double crochet, chain-1) in the same corner space.


Using Color D, join the Medium squares together in strips of three in the following order - Version 1, 2, and 1.
Bind off Color D after finishing the join.

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,


Using Color F, join the strips of Medium squares to the Big square.
Once the join is complete, continue around the outer edge of the pieces for a second border-round.
Bind off Color F.

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,


Using Color G, join Small squares together in two strips of 13, in the following order - 6, 5, 1, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 5, 6.
(You can use the map for the medium squares - Just add more squares in the row.)
Continue around for a second border-round; bind off Color G.
Join Color F; work 2 rounds; bind off.
Join Color D, work 2 rounds*; bind off.
*Optional* Knowing the blanket would be heavy, I changed to the (2 double crochet, chain-2) stitch for those last two rounds.

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,


...And just for a tip, you can make the sides a little narrower if you make an extra Small square for that strip. You won't have to work as many border rounds to gain the length needed to join all pieces together. (But you're on your own with counting those stitches!)

Using Color G, join the strips of Small squares to the remainder of the project; starting at the corner of one strip of Medium squares, across the Big square, and to the next strip of Medium squares.
Once the joins are complete, continue working around for a second border-round.
Bind off Color G.

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,


Could it be done now? YES! Did I stop? NO!

Border:


afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,

I continued around all that with a lacy border of (single crochet, chain-3), working two rounds of each of the following colors:
Color C
Color D
Color F
Color G

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,


Could it be done then? YES... Did I stop? Still NO!

I transitioned from the lacy stitch with one round of Color D, worked with the (2 double crochet, chain-2 stitch).


afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,

Working in the classic granny stitch again, I finally finished with a border of one-round color changes in the following order:
Color C
Color F
Color D
Color G
Color C
Color F.

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,


afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet, Yarn,


Okay. Now that I can barely pick it up on my own, it's DONE! I never did get an exact measurement of the final size, because my sewing tape measure was too small and my big tape measure is missing from my toolbox... But we know that when spread out, it takes up the whole length of Dad's 6' (2 m) long couch.

afghan, Big, blanket, Caron One Pound, free, giveaway, granny square, granny stitch, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, seamless join, stashbuster, Super Saver, surface crochet


Happy Crocheting!


Whew... And now that it's finally done, can we get on to the Granny-Spiration Challenge?

Last month's most-clicked links:

linkup, link party, features, GrannySpiration Challenge 2017


1. Largest Blanket from Hobbyloes

2. Crochet Baby Blanket and Hats from Julie's Creative Lifestyle

3. Granny Square Stash Buster Blanket from Sum of their Stories


Go see what everyone in the Challenge is creating:



And enter the giveaway:

Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, linkup, pattern, win, yarn, free, giveaway, Simply Soft

The July linkup will open 12 a.m. EST July 1, 2017, and runs through midnight on Thursday, July 13.

This month's linkup is sponsored by me! One winner will receive a free copy of the latest pattern in my Ravelry store, the 1-2-3 Beautiful scarf, plus three skeins of Caron Simply Soft yarn in your choice of colors.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Psst... And something special for Granny-Spiration Challenge visitors: You can purchase the pattern for the 1-2-3 Beautiful Scarf for half-price by using the coupon code GrannySpiration at checkout! The code is good until 11:59 p.m. EST on August 1st, 2017.

Now, share your granny-inspired projects!

New Granny-Spiration Projects will be shared from your hosts the first Saturday of each month. Post times will vary. You will be able to link up from 12:00am EST on the first Saturday of the month, through midnight EST on the second Thursday from the start date - specific dates are on top of the Rafflecopter form - giving you almost two weeks to link up and enter the giveaway!

Please share projects that are family friendly, and GRANNY INSPIRED through use of regular granny square or solid granny square, granny stitch pattern or other afghan square in the form of a free pattern, pattern review, or inspiration piece. Not limited to crochet or knit.

Please make sure to link to your post, and not your home page.

*If you don't have a blog, you can still share with us by creating a Free Flickr Account - powered by Yahoo. Add your projects there, and then come back here with the link for the project.

*Link ups cannot be to Etsy listings or Ravelry pages where patterns are sold. You can link to blog posts, Flickr or Facebook pages, Pins, etc that are directed towards it, but can't directly link to it.
To be clearer though, Raverly pages of finished projects are okay to share. Sorry for the inconvenience! That's per InLinkz guidelines. Thanks!

Features may be chosen at the discretion of each host. By linking up, you give us permission to feature your item.




Thursday, June 29, 2017

Look, a Couch!

  This post might not be about crochet itself, but I know there's many crocheters out there that fight the same fight as me... We just seem to hoard crochet projects and yarn, and sometimes(?) it starts getting messy. Long-time followers, you know I've battled to empty my couch of all WIP's for a while. I took a few computer-free days this week, and it got me motivated to work on cleaning it off some more. And finally - Finally - You can see more than a corner of my couch!


yarn, stash, organization, cleaning, WIP's, work in progress, crochet, projects, storage


  Rip van Winkle picked up some storage bins for his stuff, and ended up with an extra one he didn't need. With the pile already being a mess on the couch, I figured it would be better off as a mess in a box. But as I started cleaning, I found things (garbage, really) that had been buried under everything else. Yarn labels, discarded tails, and scraps of fabric that weren't suitable for making into yarn. So I've discovered that I'm being messier than I thought!


yarn, stash, organization, cleaning, WIP's, work in progress, crochet, projects, storage


  With the rubbish thrown out, I started to organize yarn scraps into bags. Seeing that it would take a long time, I decided to stop organizing and put the rest in the bin as the mess that it was. Some was already bagged up, and I found room for it back in the bin from which it came. It went along with the other bin to the corner I'm trying to turn into my office... Well, at least you can see my couch now:


yarn, stash, organization, cleaning, WIP's, work in progress, crochet, projects, storage


  As for the office, it's not what I really wanted. When work started spilling all over the house, I knew I had to get organized before it was too late. I had plans for the perfect desk and work-space, but something gets in the way every time I get close to achieving it. The car, the air conditioner, the disaster of trying to sell Rip's truck... And how much else? The more my office was put off, the more my house looked like it was already too late to fight the mess. But at least now you can finally see the couch:


yarn, stash, organization, cleaning, WIP's, work in progress, crochet, projects, storage


  Yay, kinda... It's not much of a couch to look at; a futon, really... But you can see it, so: Yay! The office is even less to look at, with storage bins crammed underneath a folding table and a mess of my notebooks still to find a home on top. But, it is my office. It's better than WIP's on the couch and dinner table, and it beats sitting in front of a file cabinet with no leg space.


yarn, stash, organization, cleaning, WIP's, work in progress, crochet, projects, storage


  With most things stashed away in bins, I hope to be able to concentrate more on one thing at a time. I used to be really organized, and I don't know how this has happened to my house. The more I set my mind to that "one thing at a time" plan, I find myself completing projects faster... And I know that might seem like "well duh, of course you finish things when you keep working on them", right? If only the crafty side of my brain would see it as common sense, I wouldn't be in this position in the first place.


yarn, stash, organization, cleaning, WIP's, work in progress, crochet, projects, storage


  I'm as disgusted with the fresh sheet on the couch as I am by my recent lack of organization... I absolutely hate the pattern of that set, but it's the only spare I have left. The rest were showing wear, so they got cut up for a fabric yarn project that's being neglected in a bin. And now I've discovered a rip in this one, so I guess I've been letting a lot of things go around here. Fresh sheets and a fresh start: Please do not ever let me get back to this place again!


yarn, stash, organization, cleaning, WIP's, work in progress, crochet, projects, storage


  There's work left to go in the "office" but I suppose it's usable as-is... After all, I'm sitting here writing this post, with my feet propped up on one of my storage bins. (They make a pretty nice footrest, actually!) There's that little pile of WIP's on top of the bins behind my chair, but they're being left out because I plan to finish them soon. And if I don't get to them in a week or two, I think I'll stash those, too. Sometimes we make cutesy jokes about having an addiction to crochet and too many WIP's, but I'm over thinking this is funny. I need my organization back!

Happy Crocheting!
And Happy Organizing, too!

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