Saturday, October 27, 2012

Frankenstorm and Frankenthrow

I've spent the day watching a slow, drippy, blessedly boring rain and trying to finish my first big crochet project.  We're far enough south that the so-called "Frankenstorm" is very wimpy here, but I dearly hope all my northern friends and loved ones are ready.

I also hope that, like most impending disasters that I've prepared for in the past - such as the 3 hurricanes aiming for us in 2008, or the Y2K global crash - this turns out to be nothing.

The Frankenthrow is another matter.

I call it that because I did not crochet one huge piece.  I crocheted 63 squares, finished the last one yesterday, and now have to stitch them together, patchwork-style. It qualifies as a monster, big enough to be more like a twin bedspread.  I really did not intend that.  Let's call it an Opportunity For Growth.  I learned something about patterns and planning.

So it's at the assembly stage.  I'm starting with the center row, with its unique diamond-in-a-square design.  That light blue yarn forming the corners is only used in that one square.   That's because it comes from a special skein of yarn.

My maternal grandmother left a basket full of yarns, which came to me back in the 1980's, since the needlework thing skipped a generation.  My mother's aversion to needles and thread was kind of a family joke.

But I lacked the patience for it too, and gave away the yarn.  It's (almost) all gone.  URGH blast crap, what was I thinking?!

But it made sense at the time.  I'd started at least THREE afghans/throws, and found the process endlessly tedious, and abandoned them all.  I thought I'd never do it again - and I didn't, for most of 3 decades.

When I resumed, it was gonna be small projects or none.  But now I'm tired of making mufflers.  I decided to rethink the afghan idea.

Only, I need to adapt the project to my psychology.  I have to feel I've completed something.  I'm not good at deferred gratification, and especially when it's deferred by monotonous handwork.

 Voil√†!  The answer!  Don't make one big square, make a bunch of little ones.  Say "Cool, I finished that!" 63 times.  Watch the pile grow.

 And incorporate into it just a little of the one skein of Gran's yarn that somehow escaped my purge.

Much smaller squares, and to be a much smaller throw

See that skein of blue, next to the little pile of squares that will start the next one?   This is all that's left of that big workbasketful.  It's 40-50 years old.  I don't even know what it's made of, but before I started, I crocheted a little piece with it, washed and machine dried it and it did not shrink, so I guess it must be synthetic.

I use only a little of it in each project.  A single square in this, a couple rows in that.  I put a row of it in a muffler I made for myself.

So in the last photo posed with Graymatter, you see the one patch of Gran's yarn that I'm using in the next throw.  The rest of the throw will be other colors.  Oh, and smaller.  A LOT smaller.


Dann said...

Very cool!

I can appreciate the "Franken..." part of the project. Some of my quilts turn out the same way.

"Hey! It wasn't supposed to be THAT big!"



ronnie said...

This was a wonderful post. I love the fact that you are incorporating just a bit of your grandmother's yarn into multiple projects, especially a scarf (which will hug you and keep you warm). A really nice idea.