Afghan Love

My Afghan is done.


I am very happy with it.  Very.


I started this project after falling in love with a cheap acryllic afghan in a high-end design store, and thinking, "I can knit that.  And not in acryllic either!"


I could not have done it without the help of my Cousin Ann, who turned me on to a wonderful book about cables, that made it possible for me to write a simple pattern that gave me exactly what I wanted.


Sitting on this chair, it reminds me that I've always wanted to knit this.

Knit chair

It would be just perfect in our bedroom!  Perhaps my next big project.


This yarn did everything I expected of it.  It's soft, it's warm, it holds its shape.  I love the combination of silk, alpaca, and merino.  There is definitely an advantage to dyeing your own yarn, writing the pattern,  and getting exactly what you wanted –  a sort of soup to nuts approach to knitting. 




Finished: Little Copernicus. Started: Dream in Color

Large finished

Little Copernicus is finished.  Down to the sweet little Mother of Pearl buttons.  Very cute.  All it needs now is a baby!

I have knitting work to do.  I'm about three skeins away from finishing the endless black hole afghan.  And, I should be knitting it over the weekend as it's so big it can only be worked on at home.

But no.  Write it off to knitter's ADHD or spring fever, but I put the afghan down for the weekend.  I also bypassed two charming projects I've purchased pattern and yarn for, Norie and Laar by Gudrun Johnston, but not yet started.  And I even let the hat I'm knitting for my snowbound eldest child in some incredibly soft Eco Alpaca from Cascade Yarns sit swatched, but not started.


Instead I picked up the shrug I've been meaning to knit for my Mom for quite some time.  I have four luscious skeins of Jade Sapphire 6-ply Cashmere in the Blackberry Fudge colorway and I had selected the Dream in Color Shrug Pattern.  I selected that pattern after seeing this Shrug knit up last fall — one of the dancers at my daughter's ballet school was wearing it, and it was beyond-words-amazing.  I always have lace anxiety (really, you keep count with kids chirping about homework, the Judge whining about "where's my dinner," and a Blackberry that goes off incessantly with work) but decided to tackle it and see what happened.

Big bw

Things are always much more manageable after you start, right?  The 30 rows of ribbing zipped by in the dentist's chair (the pattern is knit from cuff to cuff).  The yarn is just fabulous.  It's soft, the knitted fabric is squishy, it's everything I like best in Cashmere.  And the lace is a simple 11 stitch 20 row repeat.  With only five sets of 11 stitches and a few extra on each end to the row, this pattern is very do-able, even for someone tackling their first lace project.  So much for the anxiety!

I'm midway through the second lace repeat and finding this to be lots of fun to knit.  But, I'm going to set it aside to pick up the afghan for the next few evenings.  It now has the benefit of being large enough to snuggle under while knitting.  And it's so soft and inviting that the time has come for me to finish it off and make it available to the whole family.


Midway Through The Cabled Afghan


I'm just about halfway through with the cabled afghan, at least based upon the amount of yarn I dyed for this project.  The lighting did some funny things — there are no horizontal stripes, that must be from the bad nighttime living room light.

This project has been too bulky to be portable for quite some time now, which puts it on a slower track for completion than I would like.  It is already incredibly perfect for snuggling under on the couch while watching TV.  But, given that I can only work on it at home, I'm hoping to work on it a couple of nights a week and finish up by the end of February.  At this point, I've crossed the cables seven times (it's a 14 row repeat).  I'm hoping to be able to get in at least another seven to insure the finished afghan is long enough to cover toes.




Afghan Progress



I've made it through two full repeats of the 14 row cable pattern, and am into the third.  I've used about four of the 16 balls I dyed for this project, so based on the size I'm feeling increasingly confident I have enough for a good sized blanket.


I tried tarting up the contrast on this picture in Photoshop so you could see the cables a little bit more distinctly.  I've chosed to do a very basic eight stitch cableover reverse stockinette, with four stitch bands of stockinette separating the cables.  Although I had a little bit of cable anxiety, this patterning is so easy that after the first repeat, you can just read the stitches and put the pattern away. 


The yarn is wonderfully soft.  The Merino content is giving it good stitch definition, but it's warm (I'm guessing the Alpaca) and very soft (must be the silk).  I could have knit this on larger needles to get a loser gauge I suppose, but I'm fairly enchanted with the firm, structured fabric flowing out of this uber-bulky yarn on size 11 needles.  As it gets cooler here, I'm trying to knit faster.  This is a piece of knitting that is definitely going to get a lot of love and use.