Welcome to my blog! This is where I'll be keeping track of all my crochet projects! Find me on Ravelry!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rainbow Brocade Ripple Afghan

I decided I wanted to make a pastel rainbow afghan using the Brocade Ripple pattern from the book Reversible Ripple Afghans by Kim Guzman.

I used Caron Simply Soft yarn, as suggested by the pattern, as well as a J hook to ensure I didn't crochet too tight, as I did in the test squares. In addition to White, the six colors I chose are Blackberry, Soft Pink, Lemonade, Soft Green, Soft Blue, and Lavender Blue. I'm a bit sad that I decided to make the posts in white; the brocade pattern looks much nicer when the posts are the darker color. I couldn't do that with the rainbow colors though, so I had to settle for white.

I wish I could have omitted the Lavender Blue in favor of a light orange, but my local Michael's didn't offer anything other than burns-your-retinas bright orange. I also wish I had chosen a more muted yellow, but again they didn't have anything suitable.

The finished product is approximately 55" across and 72" long. Unfortunately, the couch monster ate several hooks over the course of making this blanket and I inadvertently switched to an I hook so the top of the blanket is more tightly crocheted than the bottom, but it isn't too noticeable.

Overall, I like the colors even though the purple is too dark and the yellow is too bright. I'm disappointed with the look of the white brocade pattern, so hopefully my example will help steer others away from the same mistake (or towards, if you prefer this look!). I much prefer the plain ripple side and honestly I wish I had just done that; it would have taken much less time to finish.

My cat also enjoyed the blanket even while it was still in progress. All she needs is a PopTart and she'd be NyanCat! Also being able to survive the vacuum of space would help.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Joining With Slip Stich Over Loose Ends

While making my second sampler afghan, I found that I needed to join the squares with slip stitch, but my squares had many carried strands and loose ends from color changes. I didn't want to weave in all the ends, but couldn't find anything on the internet about how to hide these less than desirable bits. The nature of slip stitch makes it less bulky than a single crochet join, but it also means the ends aren't hidden under the stitches. My method hides the ends and carried strands securely and even adds a zig-zag pattern to the slip stitch that adds some character when joins are made using contrasting yarn.

Begin joining yarn as usual, holding the two pieces with the right sides facing each other (wrong sides exposed). Slip stitch through both pieces in the far right corner (or wherever you want to start joining), and continue slip stitching across until you get to the loose end. Hold the loose end over the top edge as you normally would, going under the loose end for the first slip stitch. For the next stitch, move the loose end slightly down and slip stitch above it (essentially, the loose bit won't be in the stitch at all). Repeat alternating slip stitches under and "bypassing" the end, until you're satisfied with the join or reach the end. Because of the alternating stitches, you end up with a zig zag pattern.

If you have multiple loose ends, you can tie them in a square knot, ensuring the yarn stays flat against the edge, not too tight or hanging off loose. That will both ensure a clean and easier join, and that the loose ends won't unravel.

Once I'm able to take some pictures (or a video), I'll edit this post. Stay tuned!