Monday, October 6, 2014

The Yarn of the Afghan…or…Blog and Brag!

Addie's Afghan
Only days ago I blogged about the delightful summer cover-up that I finally finished after a season of difficult fine work.  And now, with a  hint of cool temps and precipitation in the air, I put the last rows and edging on Addie's afghan, which I started at least three years ago.

I was so excited to take on this project, initially, as I'm passionate about these vintage patterns, found in my own mother's collection and elsewhere.  That said, my enthusiasm waned in the intervening months.  So, a bit of background on these Afghans, blankets, and throws.

Vintage pattern books, sit upon the afghan
adorning my creative space.

A while back I finished an afghan that my mother had worked on since the fifties, then abandoned, many years ago.  It sits, happily, in our living room now.
Mom's Butterfly Afghan

And on my chartreuse and grey front porch/workspace, sits the afghan that one of Donna's Aunties began in CA, many years ago.

basic flower motif
All vintage, all amazingly beautiful and, most importantly, comfortable.  And lest we forget, the most difficult pattern I've ever worked (in terms of a sixteen row repeat, not in design of the essential shape), was another vintage pattern that twisted my brain into little knots, pattern borrowed from one of Mom's old books, only described as Pattern #12910.  This one, as I was working, Peter claimed that he thought it was hideously ugly.  That said, every time we sit down in the living room he whips that thing onto his lap about as fast as a hot chocolate chip cookie.  I say, "Not so fast, friend, remember what you said about my afghan!"
"What, no blanket? I'll take a cat."

Comfy, cozy, Pattern #12910.

And what, I wonder, is this all about, short of the fact that I am a glutton for punishment (as in length of time required to complete afghan)?  So many things attract me to making these afghans, and they ultimately serve more than a few purposes, so, what's wrong with a little list-O-Rama?

Why do I make afghans?
1. Sometimes it's delightful to craft a piece that once we understand the pattern it is eternally repetitive (think, what I do while conversing or listening to radio or watching TV).
2.  Short of baby blankets, Afghans are another lost craft form.  Rarely do we allow ourselves time to make something so bluntly esoteric.  I love hearkening back to slower times, no matter how contrived my fantasy may be.
3. These patterns, and this purple, lavender and gold piece, are remarkable in their masculine abstract design.  One double crochet pulled tightly over two rows of other colors. Mathematical, pure, elegant.

Pattern and fabric.
And what is the purposefulness?
1. Afghans in our living room give us permission, even encourage us to sit around and talk/read/sleep.
2. Beautiful vintage adornment is what I love for my own abode.
3. I'm a crochet goddess and I have to make EVERYTHING (OK, almost everything).

And…confessional. What took me so long to finish this piece?  Frankly, it was Awful.  I thought it would work up too small, so I bought a little (but not enough) extra yarn and widened the thing.  This was a ridiculous mistake, because this throw was never meant to be as large as a queen size bed.  And so, halfway complete, I had more width than length, and the repeating waffles needed to be the length of the object.  How many times I wrapped this around my waist, wondering if I could somehow make it a skirt, I don't know, but ultimately,  after a bit of coaxing from my daughter, I called it a truce and finished the thing.  Fortunately, it wasn't as short as I feared, and once I put a finishing edge around, blocked it, and started with the camera, I made my peace.  Not every peace is exactly as I imagine, in fact, almost never.  And so, another exercise in acceptance, followed by joy, beauty, satisfaction, even fun.  Now, the fun part, blog and brag!

 blog and brag

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