Thursday, February 23, 2012

Afghan Beginnings

Recently I have been spending time in a health clinic waiting room. The perfect opportunity to begin a new fiber arts project. Since retiring I have found myself with a rather large stash of Plymouth Encore worsted weight yarn. I am an unabashed fiber snob, preferring natural fibers and hand spun yarns, but Encore is the perfect yarn for afghans. It knits and crochets up nicely, feels soft, is machine washable and wears like iron. I have been meaning to replace the current sofa afghan which was crocheted over 20 years ago, from nasty Red Heart yarn, and feels like it's made of plastic. Yes, it looks nice but it is not the least bit snuggly or warm. I confess I am not overly excited about my afghan project. Afghans can be tedious and cumbersome to create. Especially those made all in one piece and a single color. Boring! Being a child of the 60's I have always had a soft spot for granny square afghans. They remind me of stained glass or quilts and are the perfect project for using scraps of yarn. They also allow for creative expression because you get to use whatever colors you want in each square.

I recently stumbled upon this FREE pattern from Garn Studio's DROPS Design. Instead of the standard granny square motif, this one features a round center reminiscent of a wagon wheel. The pattern's featured yarn is variegated with long color repeats. I am mimicking that look by using 3 related colors per block. I am using a size H hook and each of my blocks is 5 1/2" square. I have 5 squares made and will need 60 or more for the afghan. I will also have to watch for a sale on Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn (which is very similar to Encore) so I can purchase the black needed to crochet all the squares together.

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