Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Wedding Gift Afghan: How it Was Made

In my last post I shared some about an afghan I made for a friend's wedding gift.
When I started this project, I had a specific image in mind I wanted to create.
Researching different methods and patterns, I got some good ideas, but didn't find exactly what I was looking for so I ended up putting various elements together.
I thought I would share them with you today and maybe save you some time and hassle yourself.
Pinned Image
My main inspiration came from this little beauty, you can find the link my visiting my Pinterest board.
I loved the idea of bright colors with the white joining.
Pinned Image
In light of the time crunch I was under, I wanted to keep the squares simple
and work them in one color, like in the above picture.
Pinned Image
Being a person of order, I knew from the start  I wanted my squares to
be arranged in an orderly fashion, not just helter skelter.
This basket weave pattern arranged in a quilted design got me started on the right track!
Sadly, I knew I wouldn't have enough squares of each color to be able to make that pattern
work for me.
(Another day, lovely...although your color scheme MUST be changed.)
I spent a good while scouring the web for a pattern that might work, looking anywhere
for that final piece of inspiration.
All the time, the answer was right under my really.
Looking down at the quilt on my bed I saw what I was looking for!
This quilt was made by my Grandma H., and features a radiating diamond pattern, the one she uses for all of her beautiful quilts.
It was the perfect pattern for my afghan!
After getting all the design elements in place, I got down to the mechanics of the thing.
I mentioned I was under a serious time constraint, right?
That being so, I didn't want to do the traditional granny square pattern, and most certainly didn't have time to change the colors each row.
Something quick, simple yet attractive was in order.
In moments like these I turn to my absolute favorite crochet resource.
This book...
Get. This. Book.
I'm serious, this book is invaluable, I don't know where I would be without it-- it isn't one of those books filled with uses projects you won't actually make.
No, this book is full of many great stitch patterns, motifs, shells, edgings, lattice and lacy patterns,
variations and combinations of simple stitches, and even Tunisian/afghan crochet.
Each stitch/pattern is accompanied by a clear, black and white picture so you know exactly what it looks like.
I used the Petal Square motif from this book, a pattern I'll share with you soon.
It looks like this.
After making tons of those (my afghan was 9x13= 117 squares) I laid them out on a clean twin sheet
and began to create the diamond pattern.
It did take some playing around with colors and combinations to complete the rows and complement each other.
Some of the rows are done in more than one color, but even in those I was able to keep a pattern.
I always tried to keep the points of the each row the same color- notice especially the pink and light blue/purple rows.
When I got to the outter corners, I had to get creative, but there is still a pattern!
In one bottom corner I did two pinks and a green tip on the left; on the right side was two yellow squares with a purple tip.
On the top I reversed the pattern- two greens with a pink tip; two purples with a yellow tip, only they were in opposite corners to their cousins on the bottom, I liked that design best.

Can you see what I'm talking about?
Be creative!
I used what I had and made it beautiful!

When it came time to connect all the squares, I also improvised a wee bit.
Using the method in this video, I made a change by working a Half Double Crochet instead of Double.
Joining Motifs with DC

Also, my squares had a solid outside edge, so I started in the corner like she shows of the bottom square, hdc in corner of top square, but then I skipped the next st of the bottom sqaure, hdc, sk, hdc etc.-- essentially going in every other stitch on both top and bottomw squares.
I ended in the corner of the bottom square, then hdc in the corner of the next square on the top.
Hdc in the corner of the bottom square and you are restarting the sequence.

 When I joined, I worked in the BACK LOOP only, as you can see in this picture.
I experimented both ways and liked this route best because the squares stood up more
creating the 'quilted' look I was aiming for.

I worked with all of the squares right side up laid out like this.
Each row is worked length wise and ended off at the end.
I used the same method when connecting them width wise.
For the edging I refered again to the Complete Guide to Crochet Stitches,
and used what they refer to as the Corded or Italian Edge, also called Reverse Single Crochet.
I'll share those instructions with you in a later post as well.

Be sure to alwasy work on the right side of your project.
This creates a front and back to your afghan.
The front is smooth with the hdc stitches cleary visible,
while the back has a raised 'seem' that runs down each row.

 So, there you have it! That is basically a crash course pattern for this afghan.
If you know your way around crochet, it should be pretty easy to duplicate.
All work was done with a size H hook.
Use yarn of the same size and weight
I was working with what I had, and some of my yarn was a different weight and feel than the rest. The squares turned out a little larger, resulting in some pull when I joined them all together. Not the end of the world, but it is something to be aware of.
Sew in all of the ends on your squares before joining
It is easier done sooner than later, trust me. Securing the ends by weaving and sewing them down now might seem like a time consuming hassle, I HATE weaving in ends, but it will make your project much more secure and clean looking. 

 Happy hooking! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I LOVE hearing from you! Your comments make my day!

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me!

I read every.single.comment. And reply to them as well, so be sure to check the "Notify Me" box so you will receive my reply!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...