Monday, September 22, 2014

My Birthday Afghan

Back in this post I wrote about my sister Chandra learning how to crochet. She has a real talent for crocheting and has made some beautiful things in the past year. I've been so impressed with her ability to read and follow patterns. Crocheting is one thing, but being able to read and follow patterns is another.

I decided to ask Chan to crochet me an afghan for my 30th birthday (which was back in June). She said she would, so one afternoon at the end of May we went to Hobby Lobby to look at yarn. I spent over an hour in the yarn aisle trying to decide what color of yarn I wanted for my blanket. The blanket is made of three different styles of squares, so I considered having a multi-colored blanket (a different color for each type of square) but I couldn't decide on three colors that I liked together. In the end I decided to just go with one color for the entire blanket. But settling on which color was easier said than done.

My favorite color is seafoam green, but I worried that a light color might show dirt easily, so after agonizing over my color choice I decided to go with hot turquoise (that's the actual name of the color). It was a surprising choice since my favorite color has always been green (with purple being a close second) but there was just something about the beautiful shade of turquoise that just spoke to me, so hot turquoise it was. I knew I wanted to use the Soft Secret brand of yarn since it is THE softest yarn I've ever felt. I also love that that brand has a sheen to the yarn. Believe it or not, I'm actually not a big fan of yarn since it's awfully of rough, and I absolutely hate all of the little fibers that stick out of the strand, but Soft Secret is one brand of yarn I can handle.

It took quite a while to crochet and block 81 individual squares, so my birthday present was a long time in coming. (Blocking is where you stretch the squares by pinning them down flat, spraying them with a spray bottle and letting them dry so that they are a more uniform shape.) After all of that was done, Chandra had to weave in the tail of each square and then stitch nine of  the squares together to make nine long rows. Then the nine rows were stitched together, and a border was crocheted around the entire thing. The final step was blocking the entire blanket to make sure it was nice and square. I have no idea how many hours Chandra spent working on this afghan, but it was definitely a labor of love and I appreciate the dozens of hours she spent working on it. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry. She enjoyed making it, though, and is looking forward to starting a new project.

Here are some pictures of the finished afghan. Chandra took it all over the house and photographed it in different lights trying to capture it's true color. The pictures don't do it justice, though, as Chan was never was able to quite capture the afghan's true color, but you get the general idea.
Now that I've seen the finished product I know I made the right color choice, and I'm so glad I decided to just go with one color instead of three.


Jackie said...

Stunning blanket!!! I do some crafts and have had an unsuccessful try at crochet, so I understand fully the time, effort and skill that has gone into it. It's a true labour of love to produce something like that. Well done Chandra, lucky you Heather!

Stephanie said...

That is beautiful. Like Jackie, I am pretty crafty, too, but I CANNOT seem to figure out how to crochet. Well done, Chandra! She is such a talented lady- I love when you show pictures of the hairstyles she's done on your nieces and her outfits!

jamie @ [kreyv] said...

So beautiful!

Webster said...

A few years ago I learned to crochet using YouTube videos, but nothing I did came out as stunningly lovely as what your Chandra has done! Her work is neat and precise, and you have one lovely gift to appreciate.

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