Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Over the years I have done a lot of fiber arts. I love knitting, crochet, needlepoint and crewel. I have made numerous afghans but all for others. I made them for family members for Christmas. This year I decided to make one for us to keep.
Then our older daughter said she wanted one. We spent quite a bit of time trying to find the right yarn. There is no point in making an afghan and using crummy yarn. They take hundreds of hours and why end up with a substandard product? We ended up with some beautiful yarn from the Yarn Explosion in Roanoke.
Halfway through the project I realized that if I made one for one of the kids, I would have to make one for ALL of the kids!
At the time, I was still working at the library, so that limited the time I could knit. I took it to work and got about 30 minutes in on my lunch hour and then I would knit each evening for a few hours and on the weekends. It took about 4 months and roughly 260 hours. So when people say i should make these and sell them, I wonder who would be willing to pay thousands of dollars for a hand knit afghan? However, this was a labor of love!
I finished Trista's afghan in October and then thought to get started on Tara's. Her birthday is in March and I thought I could easily finish by then. I left the library at the end of October and was making a lot of progress on the second afghan and then decided to work every day and get them both done for Christmas. Our son and his wife were not going to make it home for Christmas and it was going to be just the two girls with us. I really wanted to give them both an afghan.
Talk about stress! I finished on December 20, just a few days before they were to get here! But now they have them and I can blog about the project and I won't spoil the surprise!
I have the pattern from years ago. I made the same pattern for my sister back in the 80's. I learned a trick to keep you on track. Most patterns have a set number of rows and then the pattern repeats itself. I write each row on a 3X5 card. When I finish a row, I remove the clip holding the cards together and move it to the back, so when I pick up my piece I always know where I am.
Each afghan is made with three panels. The panels are then sewn together with large needles. I saved yarn at the end and beginning of each new ball of yarn, making sure to finish on the start of a new row. Rather than hiding the ends in the rows as I worked, I used them to sew the panels together when I was finished.
Both afghans were made using the same pattern. I like it because it has a lot of interesting stitches. There are seed stitches and cables so it is fun and challenging.
Trista's is sort of a greenish khaki.
Tara's is almost teal.
I loved making them and hope they love getting them. Travis may have to wait awhile for his. Not so interested in starting another project any time soon. Ours will have to wait QUITE a while!