Tuesday, August 2, 2011

On the Assembly Line

So, I started my Summer in Sweden Throw (aka the Weekend in Stockholm Throw)!

I originally selected the pattern based on photos of the finished blanket-- because I just liked the look of it-- and until I sat down with hook in hand, I hadn't really paid much attention to the construction (except to note that it was made of joined motifs).  Well, come to find out, this motif is made up of bunches (and bunches) of treble crochets.  Bunches of them.  That took some getting used to, because it's been a while since I've made trebles in yarn, and they can be a little of a pain, until you get in the groove of crocheting them.  (Fortunately, the groove has been found.  I'm happily trebling away.  One good thing about trebles?  They fill up a lot of space quickly.)

Then there's the fact that this particular pattern is a little bit... weird.  It's not the easiest thing to understand-- but at least once you do understand what you're supposed to do, none of it is very difficult. 

I've decided to make this afghan a little differently than I usually do.  In the past, I've almost always worked one motif from beginning to end, then moved on to the next motif.  The one exception is that I might make the first rounds of a few of the motifs at the same time.  After that, though, it was strictly one motif at a time, start to finish.

This time, I'm going to try the assembly line method.  I'm making the first two rounds (since they're done in the same color) of several motifs-- two in each color yarn I'm doing, to be precise.  Once I have all those first two rounds done, I'll go back and add the third round to each one, then the fourth.  Those are all the rounds that are worked in different colors, I think. I'm not sure yet if I'll go ahead and finish those motifs by adding the "main color" rounds or leave that until later...  I know I'll need more motifs than this first batch will yield to finish the blanket, so at that point, I guess I'll start the process over again.

This "assembly line" approach is based on the method Sucrette described on her blog in this post, but I haven't decided yet if I'll follow it to the letter.  I might allow myself to use the same color more than once per round.  We'll see... I'm using some partial skeins, so I'm not sure how far those colors will go, and some brands of the yarn I'm using are thicker than others (though they're all supposed to be worsted), so I'll probably try to even out the sizes of the motifs by mixing the different brands in each motif.  (Well, except for the first one I did, which I made before I considered the size difference and started using the assembly line method.)

My one major misgiving about the assembly line is the tails.  When I crocheted the baby blanket for Clarabel (the Circle of Friends afghan), I was careful to stop and weave in the ends after (almost) each motif was completed.  This made the worst part of crocheting (tail-weaving) seem much more manageable.  Of course, I can still make myself stop and weave tails every so often... but I wonder if my discipline will hold?  It seems easier to just let it slide until the end, with this style of crocheting. 

I might be back tomorrow or soon thereafter with a photo or two of my progress.  :o)