My granny square afghan
December 06, 2010
I don't even like the word afghan, but I'm using it here because it just fits. You know what I mean? This isn't a blanket and it's not a throw, per se. It's crochet and in my mind most afghans are crocheted. So I'm going with afghan, which I like and don't like all at the same time. The word, that is. The actual thing that I made - I like it quite a lot.
Started in July 2007 and finished just this past week, this has been one a handful of very large scale, tedious and expensive projects that have been sitting around the house waiting for me to feel inspired enough to tackle them. I've worked on it in fits and starts, but seeing Blair's scarf really pushed me to its end and I am so glad that I dug it all out and just got it done.
It's made of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I am not sure what the colors are - all the yarn tags are long gone. I also can't tell you how much yarn it took. I have some left over and don't remember exactly how much of each color I started with three years ago. I can tell you that I learned how to make this type of granny square from the book Simple Crochet by Erika Knight and that I used this tutorial (via Blair) to join the squares together. The joining was the part of the project I had been dreading the most, but it really went fairly fast and smooth thanks to the tutorial. It's made of 63 squares, laid out in a 7 x 9 grid - the squares are about 8" square each. I haven't measured the finished size exactly, but before I joined the squares, I did lay down on the floor next to it to ensure it was large enough for a couch nap. It is - I took it on a test run Saturday and had a hard time motivating myself to get out from under it. For the border, I pulled out Crochet Adorned by Linda Permann for inspiration. I did something similar to one of the borders in the book, tailoring it to my needs which means I totally winged it and it worked! After it was all joined, I blocked it on the guest room bed because it was the only space big enough to lay it flat that the dog and cat wouldn't get to. It's super cozy and soft. And I love it.
Sometimes I wonder why I feel compelled to start these crazy big projects that I know will take forever and a day for me to complete. I really don't have an answer, but I know that I am as excited about this afghan as I was when I started it over three years ago. It's not perfectly made, but it is perfect for me. I'm haven't tired of the colors or the design - that may have something to do with why I plodded on. I'm not sure entirely the why of it all, but I am so happy with the what. This finished afghan is so very me, if you know what I mean. I'm glad I saw it through to the end.
And since I'm on a roll of finishing what I've started.....single girl quilts, you're next.
wow! just beautiful! Love that green colour so much!
Posted by: Ruth | December 06, 2010 at 04:14 PM
Lovely afghan. Beautiful colour combination. The edging is one of the first things I noticed.
Posted by: tara | December 06, 2010 at 04:19 PM
It looks absolutely perfect on your couch with your new pillow and that wall color. Congrats on the big finish! A littler birdie told me that my hubbie got me some new yarn (wool) for Christmas, so I'm looking forward to starting my forever-and-a-day crochet project. I'm actually looking forward to the lingering-ness of it!
Posted by: Rachel at Stitched in Color | December 06, 2010 at 04:19 PM
It's gorgeous!! That afghan is inspiring me to do two things. 1. drop everything and start one of those. 2. pull out all of my mitered squares for the blanket that are already knit and blocked and need to be seamed together and finish the darn thing.
I think I'm going for #2. A granny square afghan can wait until after Christmas. Maybe Santa will bring the yarn.
Posted by: Sarah Jackson | December 06, 2010 at 04:20 PM
Oh it's fabulous and looks so cozy. I've been trying out crochet, and it just isn't sticking for me. But seeing gorgeous "afghans" like yours inspire me to pick up my hook again!
Posted by: Megan | December 06, 2010 at 04:24 PM
I know that yarn and can only imagine what it feels like to snuggle your whole body underneath it's yummy-ness. Well done! I am feeling inspired to not give up hope an all those long lost put aside projects.
Posted by: Piapie | December 06, 2010 at 04:25 PM
Wow, so pretty! Congrats on your finish! I think you could call it a throw.
I've got a hexagon crochet blanket that has been languishing for a couple of years. I'm slating 2011 as the year to finish it. Thanks for the inspiration!
Posted by: La Mañosa | December 06, 2010 at 04:27 PM
I have one of those in my family room. I made it when I was first married (yikes, 40 years ago) and had I known that it would still be around today, I would have used better yarn - it's all acrylic (sorry, but I've become somewhat of a yarn snob). I've been toying with the idea of possibly making another using and nice "SOFT" superwash wool......you were smart to use the cashmerino......they didn't make anything close to that when I made mine.
Your's s lovely!!!
Posted by: Tora | December 06, 2010 at 04:33 PM
Beautiful!! Wanna know a secret? This granny square quilt inspired me to get my crochet stuff back out in 2008. Thank you =)
Posted by: Amanda Veneman | December 06, 2010 at 04:36 PM
Awesome. Just great!
Posted by: minnesota:madre | Sarah Jane | December 06, 2010 at 04:37 PM
it's so awesome! we have several that were made by dave's grandmother, and though they're not soft (or my color choice) they're so meaningful to have thrown over the back of the sofa. this one, however, is perfect in every way!
Posted by: emily | December 06, 2010 at 04:38 PM
It turned out wonderfully Erin. You inspire me to get out my granny squares and finish that blanket up pronto.
Posted by: rachel | buttons magee | December 06, 2010 at 04:56 PM
It's terrific! I have also started and stopped on a granny square. I love the way they look, just got bogged down, then distracted. Maybe the New Year will bring the motivation to get back to it. (Seeing yours helps!)
Posted by: Dianne@sheepdreams | December 06, 2010 at 04:57 PM
It is so amazingly awesome! I love it.
Posted by: Natalie | December 06, 2010 at 04:59 PM
i keep telling myself that someday i'll attempt a crochet project... this is inspirational for sure, three years or not. :) you've ended up with such a great usable handmade that is totally you. yay.
Posted by: honeyflake | December 06, 2010 at 05:04 PM
That thing you made?
But I know that sort of longhaul project pain – 9/10 and 1.5 years into a circle-in-a-square couch sleeping affair. Let's call it a weaving in ends issue.
Posted by: Tania | December 06, 2010 at 05:10 PM
It's beautiful, Erin. I bet the whole family is fighting over it. You are a good role model for all of us non finishers.
Posted by: Jennie | December 06, 2010 at 05:43 PM
Your granny square afghan is great! It makes me want to pull mine out. I don't think the speed with which a project is done is nearly as important as the fun of doing it.
Posted by: Beth | December 06, 2010 at 05:51 PM
it is just beautiful!!!! The green you frame the squares with is so you. I'm really envious, I was working on mine a bit last week and Ian came by and said "Mom, no offense, but that is not even big enough to be a throw." Which, in my mind, is probably even smaller than an afghan. Oy.
Posted by: blair | December 06, 2010 at 05:56 PM
It is so pretty! I want one - it's definitely on my list on must do's.
Posted by: mary | December 06, 2010 at 06:27 PM
Very inspiring. Love your color choices and I know it has to feel super snuggly being made with cashmerino!
Posted by: Kim | December 06, 2010 at 06:39 PM
all kinds of awesome : ) what an epic project and so very worth it !!!
Posted by: beth billups | December 06, 2010 at 06:58 PM
Posted by: Jody | December 06, 2010 at 07:08 PM
You created a lovely patchwork of color. I can totally see your hand in it. Plus that yarn is just yummy.
Posted by: Suzanne | December 06, 2010 at 07:27 PM
whoa. you are a rockstar. so impressed, am I. Did you do anything to circumvent any bleeding of the red into the other colors? I'm always so afraid of that.
Posted by: tracy | December 06, 2010 at 08:10 PM
erin! i truly remember the day you started this.
you have to feel so proud that you finished. it is AWESOME!
a treasure for YEARS!
Posted by: leslie | December 06, 2010 at 08:16 PM
This is beautiful! I only know how to knit. I want to learn to crotchet and am adding it to my New Year's Resolution list. May the afghan provide many restful couch naps.
Posted by: Becky | December 06, 2010 at 08:35 PM
Gorgeous! I love the colours and the scalloped edging is just so pretty. Enjoy snuggling up with it.
Posted by: Jennifer | December 06, 2010 at 09:26 PM
I don't know about the name either, esp. these days but they are great, so individual, never mass produced and the colours always reflect the maker's taste. Love it!
Posted by: Naturally Carol | December 06, 2010 at 09:54 PM
Been following your blog for a while but don't remember if I've every commented before...This is just fantastic. So beautiful. I love it.
Posted by: Alisa | December 06, 2010 at 09:56 PM
Be still my beating heart.
I adore it.
And your banner.
Lots of adoration for your corner of Blog Land.
Posted by: dani@little fists | December 06, 2010 at 09:58 PM
Lovely! I remember seeing your stacks of squares - they inspired me to start my own crochet project (not a fan of calling it an "afghan" here either). Mine's not done, not even close, but I have hope that someday it will be complete! :)
Posted by: Kristen | December 07, 2010 at 02:09 AM
Beautiful work. I have a box of crochet squares - some stitched together, some single. You are a brave woman - I can't bear to get mine out again because of how much work it takes!!! Thinking of making them into scarves or Christmas decorations. Humph. I will just look wistfully at your photos ;-)
Posted by: Sally | December 07, 2010 at 02:37 AM
Well done. It's lovely.
On first seeing it, I thought I would love to make one of those.. but I don't know if I have the patience to take on a 3 year project... at my work rate it would be at least 5. x.
Posted by: Vicky@coffeesandmilkies | December 07, 2010 at 05:08 AM
I hope each and every time you look at or use your afghan you'll have these wonderful feelings all over again. What a wonderful piece of art!
Posted by: kristyn | December 07, 2010 at 07:03 AM
Well done! The only afghan I ever started ended up as a baby blanket because I got so bored (NEVER knit an afghan in entirely off-white square. You will get bored). You've made me want to start another...
Posted by: Islay | December 07, 2010 at 07:54 AM
Posted by: Bree | December 07, 2010 at 09:15 AM
hooray for finishing projects!! It looks wonderful. My poor grannies, I think it will take me at *least* 3 years to make something of them.
Posted by: beki | December 07, 2010 at 09:56 AM
Congrats on the big finish, then! Single girls, yes, please.
Posted by: Krista - Poppyprint | December 07, 2010 at 11:48 AM
Yay for finishing the afghan! You have inspired me to learn how to make some of the above mentioned beautiful, time consuming, yet so cozy and warm, Granny Squares!
Posted by: Heather Feather | December 07, 2010 at 01:14 PM
A beautiful piece of work! Well worth the long wait and no doubt it will come ito its own this winter. Well done!
Posted by: Louise | December 07, 2010 at 02:21 PM
it's gorgeous Erin! And I think the key to finishing big projects is to relieve yourself of the pressure to complete them in a start-to-finish manner. Three years seems totally fair! Nice work!
Posted by: linda p | December 07, 2010 at 05:18 PM
I just think it's all darn impressive. The work of art you've created, the blog, you. All of it. Well done!
Posted by: Bridget | December 07, 2010 at 06:37 PM
it's beautiful erin! and I bet so soft and cozy in that debbie bliss yarn. good for you for finishing it! the big projects are the ones you'll keep forever.
Posted by: Hillary Lang | December 07, 2010 at 08:29 PM
Very pretty! I love the colors, especially the green.
Posted by: Judy | December 07, 2010 at 10:26 PM
Erin: It Is Lovely.
I started one last November -- and I think it resulted in a pinched nerve in my shoulder! I may have to dig it out after the holidays and give it another go, but without the worry of getting it right and the obsessive hours in a row. Perhaps with less worry and more breaks I can spare my shoulder.
If not . . . you want a barely begun granny blanket and a mess of bliss baby cashmerino?
Posted by: Linda Urban | December 08, 2010 at 05:39 AM
It's lovely!!! Great job :)
Posted by: Lisa | December 08, 2010 at 07:48 AM
That is really beautiful! You're inspiring me to get busy on my own epic blanket project... :o)
Posted by: Charity | December 08, 2010 at 11:28 AM
I really do love the afghan. As a redhead, I'm as addicted to green as you are. But I just have to ask, where did you get that fabric (or pillow, if you bought it) in the first picture? I love the Josef Franz-like print!
Posted by: erica | December 08, 2010 at 03:48 PM
your afghan - no matter what you called it - would be as lovely as could be. i've never been able to finish mine... :)
Posted by: lisa s | December 08, 2010 at 05:33 PM