Thursday, October 11, 2012

Finished! Pink & Purple Sampler

Back in July, I started crocheting my first sampler (as you may recall).  In an effort to use up a surplus of pink and purple stash yarn, I decided to make that my color scheme, and I used the square recommendations from a CAL on Ravelry.  Well, yesterday I wove in the last loose ends and tossed it into the washer.

Pink and Purple Sampler Afghan

In the beginning, the CAL was supposed to last for twelve squares.  It turns out that they're extending it until November, but by the time they'd decided, I was too impatient to wait for the next suggestion.  Instead, I turned to a couple of crochet books I own and found three more squares to add to the mix.

Pink and Purple Sampler Afghan


 Then came the joining.  I'd been dreading that part since the beginning.  I knew my stitch-counts wouldn't match from square to square, but when I counted them, I was shocked by how much variance there was.  Most of the squares fell close to 42, but there were also a few 45+ and a few others in the mid-to-upper 30s.

I looked online for tips about joining samplers, but I didn't find much.  (What I did find was different methods for joining squares, period, which wasn't helpful for my particular problem.)  I looked at project notes on Ravelry and saw that some people add one more round to each square, to even them up and give them matching last rounds, but I was afraid that might not work with such a wide variation.  I'd have to add 10+ stitches to the smallest square, to make it equal in size to the largest... I knew that would be messy-looking, but I worried that trying to bring some squares up and some down to the average might not work, either.

Pink and Purple Sampler Afghan


In the end, I pinned each square's stitch-count to it (on a small scrap of paper) and arranged them into a grid as best I could by those numbers.  I tried to put them so that they flowed from the smallest to the largest, the idea being that fudging a few stitches at a time would be easier than bridging the gap between the extremes.

I think it worked out ok.  There are still a few "wavery" spots in the blanket... but it'll be fine.  (It's just a blanket, after all.)  However, if/when I ever make my next sampler, I think I'll try to keep a closer eye on stitch counts from the start.  If I have a goal count in mind, maybe it'll be easier. If I'd considered it earlier in this project, there were times when I could've swapped two sc rounds for one hdc (or vice versa) and gotten my 12 inches with a slightly different stitch-count. 

Pink and Purple Sampler Afghan

After working a fairly wide border on my last afghan (Citric Acid), I was a little burned out on borders.  Also, I didn’t have tons of yarn left-- or at least I wasn’t confident that I’d have plenty-- so I didn’t add a “fancy, deep border”, after all.  I worked border #102 from Edie Eckman’s Around the Corner Crochet Borders book.  I used a different color each round (though the two dark purples are very similar) and added an extra row of the alternating sc and ch-1.


Pink and Purple Sampler Afghan

Motifs used (in order I made them-- not reflected in final assembly):
  1. Amber Waves
  2. Far Pavilions
  3. Croco-Dahlia
  4. Yarn Clouds
  5. Drop in the Bucket
  6. Granny Bobble
  7. On the Huh
  8. Lacy Sun
  9. Crown Jewels
  10. Tumbling Diamonds
  11. Impossible Hexagon
  12. Starburst Flower
  13. Frances Flower
  14. Whimsy
  15. Soft and Sweet
Pink and Purple Sampler Afghan


Pink and Purple Sampler Afghan


Now there's nothing left to do but enjoy the new blanket!  I do like it a lot more than I thought I would, given that I chose the colors in an effort to just "use them up" and not because I thought I really wanted a pink and purple afghan.  Once I saw how it was coming together, though, I was pleasantly surprised.  It's a very Victorian, feminine color scheme.  Not for just anyone or any spot in the house, maybe, but I do like it.   :o)

Next projects up-- two already-in-progress secret projects, so I may be quiet for a while.  Have to enjoy this perfect autumn weather while it lasts!