Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Be of Good Cheer" Samplerghan

I've been thinking about what my next afghan would be for a while-- long before the last one was anywhere near done.  (This is how you know you're addicted, by the way.)

Since I happen to have accumulated a fair amount of red yarn (and have no wish to make a Christmas-themed blanket), it seemed like a good time to try that "Cath Kidston-inspired" look so many people have been using, over the past couple of years.  Never mind that until I saw one of those afghans, I had no idea who Cath Kidston even was.  (g)  The color scheme (if you're unfamiliar with it) varies slightly from project to project-- but it's always very bright and cheerful.  Generally, there's a lot of tomato red mixed with baby blue, candy pink, white and/or cream, sunny/lemony yellow, and fresh, springtime greens.

I went through my acrylic worsted weight and set aside the colors I would use.  I may have purchased one or two skeins to complete my palette.  Well, it was perfectly justified.  Everyone knows you have to buy stash to bust stash, right? 

Anyway, I had my colors; now I only needed the pattern...

Fortunately, my recent "book review posts" have answered that question for me.  Looking through those books, seeing how many nice patterns there are that I'd like to try-- and then wondering when I'd ever get around to making even a fraction of them all--  I decided that it was time for another sampler.  Instead of making the same motif 100 times, I'll make a dozen or more motifs/blocks one time each.

Of course, now that I've said that, it turns out that some of the blocks I want to make are freebies off the Internet-- not patterns from the books I own.  Hm.  I suppose I'll just have to make more than one sampler afghan!  (*sigh* ...If I must... (g))

So, that's my new big project.  I don't have any specific plans beyond trying out new patterns and sticking to my color scheme.  I'm not even sure how big I want the afghan to be.

Here are the (unblocked) squares I've made to date:

Center Heart Square. (freebie online)
I really liked the way this one turned out.  It seems that it's one of those that needs to be connected to other squares (or just properly blocked) to even out the sides completely, but it already looks pretty good to me (if I do say so myself). 

Cheerful Sampler Afghan

Floral Accent. (from 50 Fabulous Crochet Squares)
I'm happier with this now than I was when I'd just finished it.  (That is often the case...)  If I were re-doing it, I'd make the chains in the dark green section of the overlay a teensy bit tighter-- but it's not bad as it is. 

Cheerful Sampler Afghan

Rose Grannies. (modified, from BH&G Forever Favorite Crochet)
This is a motif from an 80s book of a variety of crochet patterns.  Not many afghan/motif patterns in there, but there was this one, and it looked nice in the book.  I decided to make four of the "rose granny squares" (in a couple of color schemes) to put together into a single block. 

I think it looks ok... but not exactly as I'd pictured.  The roses aren't quite as rose-y as they looked in the photo, for one thing. Still, not bad.

Cheerful Sampler Afghan

Blooming Granny.  (freebie online)
This square was a lot of fun to make.  I love the way the flower looks in those traditional granny square rounds.  So pretty!  I think an afghan of just this block would be nice... 

I did deviate from the pattern a little.  (The yellow and dark green rounds, onward.) 

Cheerful Sampler Afghan

Heart to Heart. (freebie online)
This one was more complicated.  Not so difficult that I wouldn't recommend it... but I wouldn't want to make lots of these.  It's a unique look.  I kind of wish I'd arranged the colors of the center section differently, but it'll be fine when it's mixed in with the rest of the squares. 

This pattern is for a smaller square, so I added some rounds to bring it up to size. 

Cheerful Sampler Afghan

I've been averaging about one block a day, including weaving in the ends, but I don't know how long that pace will last. 

If you've noticed a theme in the squares above, you're not mistaken.  After making the first two or three blocks, I decided that a "Hearts and Flowers" theme went along nicely with my "Be of Good Cheer" color scheme.  That means I'm going to stick with (at least mostly) blocks featuring floral and heart motifs.  It should be easy enough, with all the floral squares out there. 


So far, this color scheme really has made me feel cheered when I look at the complete blocks.  It's one I might not have chosen if it hadn't been so popular with other crocheters, but I'm glad I gave it a try.  I may try to work more red into the mix, though.  I'm planning to use red to join the squares in a more decorative join than I usually go for, but even accounting for that, there's still a ton of red yarn to use up.

I'll try to keep up with posting the photos on a regular basis.  :o)