Thursday, March 28, 2013

FINISHED! An Afghan in 3 Months


I have finished my Transfiguration OWL Afghan, WITH a border.  I used the beautiful Eight Pointed Flower Square by Julie Yeager.

The challenge was to "vanish over 2,400 yds of yarn."  I hooked up a square and weighed it to get an idea of how much yarn I was using per square ( about 124 yds), then multiplied that by 20 squares.  Already I had 2480 yds of yarn.  That didn't include the yarn to sew everything together, or the border rows.  I would easily make the required yardage.

The next part of the challenge was to learn and incorporate a new technique in the making of the afghan.  I learned a new method of starting and then joining crocheted rounds, Air Crochet. It is absolutely beautiful.  It really makes the joins invisible. Now that the Winter Term is almost over, I should have a bit more time (when I am not frantically knitting socks for Sock Madness), so I hope to do a demonstration of the technique here.  Though, if you follow the link I gave, you can just learn it that way.  It takes more time because you have to completely finish off every round.  And, that means a lot more weaving in.  I think it is worth it in the professional look of the finished product.

Because I know I have a problem with finishing, I made myself state in my OWL proposal that the half-way mark would include 12 squares, SEWN TOGETHER.  This was probably the smartest thing I could have done.  Every time I finished 4 squares, I ... sewed them together.  Then, I ... sewed that row to the rest of the afghan.  It is amazing how little finishing work you have to do if you finish as you go.  I don't know why I avoid this with knitting and crochet.  I mean, when I cook, I always clean as I go.  I put away ingredients as I use them so that when I am ready to pop what ever I am making in the oven, or sit down to eat, there is very little clean up.  Because of the new start/join technique (air crochet), I was weaving in each round as I finished it.  That meant that the only weaving in I had to do was the sewing ends.  Again, I did that as I sewed.  When I started the border rows yesterday, I had only to sew in the last row's ends.  There was no dreaded feeling in my stomach when I started the first border row because I knew I had NO OTHER ENDS left to sew in.

One other good thing about this afghan.  I often wing the colors of crochet squares as I go.  Because you have to submit a plan for your OWL before you start, I had to really think about the plan of each square, what colors I was going to use, and how I was going to hook it together.  I think you can see a bit of the two rugs in the above photo that inspired the colors.  Also, it was really nice to have made a plan in advance of how I would rotate the various color combinations.  If you look closely though, you will see one random variation of the color scheme.  I had to throw one odd square in, just for fun.  It was completely spontaneous.  I can only change so much.

Here is what the back looks like:

I would like to thank the designer of the square, Julie Yeager, for such a beautiful design.  I think it takes a strong square to make an entire afghan, and not look boring.  This square allows for so many color combinations. 

A complete success.

shaping the planet with a new afghan.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! I totally love it! It definitely takes dedication to finish a project like that in such a short time period, but the 8-point flower is a great square, and your variety of colors helps a lot. I'm really impressed with your jayg, as I am absolutely terrible about that part!