Grand Granny Square

Knitting is my sport. I’m ┬ánot much of a crocheter (crochetess? crochetrina?). But the one thing I can do with a crochet hook and yarn is make a granny square. So when I finished my mother-in-law’s blanket, I started in with what remained of the yarn on one huge granny square to make a new throw for the living room.

I finished it last week. Took it for a test drive one night when Dan’s snoring drove me out of bed. A couple of my roommates helped me try it out.

I didn’t start it with any kind of plan – I just sort of picked a color and then picked whatever looked good for the next color when I ran out of one. It ate up a lot of yarn and it’s actually quite warm.

It reminds me of the afghans we used to have in our living room growing up.

Multiply by 64

Last summer, my mother-in-law sent me home with a cardboard box overflowing with a mass of old yarn – acrylics in every color and a few skeins of wool. I spent 2 weekends tying the skeins into hanks, washing them and twisting them together for storage while I figured out what to do with them. How much yarn was there? More than this:

The poster is from The Oatmeal – click the pic to go there …

In the fall, I thought it might be nice to make a blanket for my MIL to say thank you. I thought I could have it ready in time for Christmas, or maybe pretty soon after.

I finished it two weeks ago. I kept running out of the colors I’d chosen and I had to GO BUY MORE. Oops. Fortunately, the pattern is somewhat forgiving – there’s only one place where I think the new color did not match as well as I’d hoped and is very obvious. Otherwise, the alternating stripes and layout of the colors helps hide those changes.

It’s the Hue Shift afghan pattern. It’s meant to be knit in 10 colors of sport weight yarn. I went with 8 colors of worsted, greens and browns. I love the way it lives up to its name, and the finished product is warm and springy and soft. And machine washable.

If you can’t stand weaving in ends, you might ask a trusted friend to stand on suicide watch if you do this project. I think I spent about 3 hours at the end of the project weaving in ends … at least 2 ends per square times 64, plus row ends, stitching the four big squares together and the border … seriously – if you hate doing it, you might end up throwing the whole thing out the window at the end when you get to that part. Which is definitely preferable to throwing yourself out the window, but such a waste of good work.

I think when I did the math, I came up with close to 100 hours on this afghan in total – in part because I didn’t like the way my first quadrant turned out, so I took the whole thing apart and redid it. Yeah.

For a sense of scale, a timer selfie …

Totally worth it.