A honkin’ big afghan!

Well, it is finally finished! The biggest crochet project I have ever tackled (which I didn’t know it would be when I started) but only after about 6 weeks of steadily (obsessively?) working every time or place I could find or sneak in, like in the car to-and-from EVERYWHERE, at the dentist’s office, at various doctors’ visits (we were all sick in January), in bed at night until sometimes the very wee hours of the morning (my husband works 3rd-shift, so that made it easier), even in front of the TV (which I almost never do anymore, but did during this time). I even had a LARGE colorful tote to haul it around.

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On a Queen-sized bed (pics on a King-size below). If I’d known how much of the other colors would be left at the end I would’ve used more of them, but they look nice in the border, anyway. The lengthening border on the top and the bottom are exactly the same – I was right, the written pattern was too short!

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See how far down it goes on a Queen? Our own bed is only a full-sized/double bed, so you can imagine how far down it hangs!

I don’t have a name for it, but have been variously calling it my Sunny Circus Afghan, the Barnum and Bailey Spread, The Big Happy Afghan, and The Procrastinator. Feel free to share your opinions/suggestions as it is worthy of being named. And it is big. REALLY big!  I went to a mattress store in Rochester, NY to photograph it on beds large enough to show it properly! They found it an amusing request and liked its colors. It was my idea to put their pillows on the beds since they were nice enough to let me do this.

The way this came about is that at the beginning of the year I decided to finish up a scarf I had started to crochet last year (I am only motivated to crochet at this time of year). Once that little task was done, I was looking through my stash to see what else I could use up (limited to one deep dresser drawer to keep it under control). Problem was, I kept having to paw through an overwhelming number of random skeins of worsted weight yarn. This was an annoying distraction because they were not colors (or even sufficient quantities of them) I’d use for anything to wear. There was bright lemon yellow, dark shimmery baby blue, bright red, red & silver, grey (huh??), white, off-white, and harvest gold. Why did I even have them? I don’t recall. They were old enough that they may have been, in part, from yarn I used to make an afghan/throw when I was a teenager. Yikes, that is old!

At first I considered giving it away. Then I thought better of it (given the cost of yarn) and told myself at moment that I was not allowed to do anything else until I took care of it first, and that was that! So I began searching for something to use it ALL up.

Hours of searching the internet struck pay dirt when I stumbled upon the phrase “Stash buster.” I found a pattern that looked fairly simple (Striped Stash-buster Afghan) as my goal was a fast and easy pattern to use yarn AFAP (as fast as possible). It looked like it could work well with the vast amount of bright circus yellow (8 large skeins!) with stripes of the other random colors, so the project began.

The process was neither as smooth, nor as straightforward, as I had hoped. The pictures made it look like it would be long enough for a regular bed, but the starting chain of 145 seemed rather short, especially when laid against our bed’s length, but I figured that the original images matched the pattern (and I don’t use tight stitches), and that maybe the weight of the finished afghan was going to make it longer. That was a time-consuming mistake which probably added 2 weeks to the project; I later had to add a border (on both ends, so that it could be used both ways), but it ended up OK because it looked pretty when it was done. However, as a relative neophyte, I didn’t realize all that yarn it was to make it large enough for a King-sized bed (or a twin, if doubled up)!

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Here it is on an extended-length King-sized bed. Yes, the blue stripe is the exact middle. I didn’t plan it that way, but it turned out nicely, don’t you think?

 

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And this is how far down it goes on the sides of a King-sized bed. Those added top/bottom borders made all the difference because I wasn’t going to use it with the stripes sideways.

I am impressed that it was done so quickly but I think any afghan fever I may have ever had is burned out of my system! Time to move onto other stuff in my life, as I’ve been procrastinating in a most spectacular way.

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