The Afghan in Its Natural Habitat

Work on the hexagon afghan continues. I have stitched together a few more rows and added them to the blanket, with a few on stand-by waiting to be attached. I also managed to take a photo of it in the new home of my mother, the intended recipient.

inprogressyet

I think it will fit right in when it’s all done.

Almost There

Last night, I had 204 hexes finished up and ready to attach to each other. Woot woot for me!

But when I started laying everything out on the table, I realized that I needed four more in order to make it all work out. I won’t even begin to tell you how complicated I managed to make the process by which I laid everything out, or how many times I had to go over every row to make sure that I didn’t repeat colors, or how long it took me to figure out that it just wasn’t going to work and I’d have to make a few more.

The thing is, I was so very low on yarn that I wasn’t sure I was going to have enough to finish up the four more I had left. And lemme tell you, it was close. The final hexagon was only completed because I found a cast off hexagon that I had ear marked for the smallest yarn monster who was constantly grabbing and running off with them. Of course, I’m still thinking I might make it a bit bigger, so that would require thirteen more skeins, but we’ll see.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to link them all together. I’m thinking either a crab stitch border in orange, or mattress stitching them which is more in keeping with the original afghan.

Meditation

Because of the lust I feel for the Haverhill Throw from Garnet Hill, I have started to crochet an afghan…

This is big news as, for the most part, I hate to crochet. And I have tried several times to knit a blanket, even a scarf–and please don’t mention that stole right now–and have never managed to finish a single one of those projects. Every one that was begun, has been ripped apart and the yarn recycled for something else. Now I am crocheting an afghan. It’s a crazy world.

When I first started, all I could think about was how many hexagons I had to make before I would be finished, and then I would sink into feeling overwhelmed at the sheer enormity of the task, a habit to which I have consistently conformed. I had never crocheted before this, and it has taken me a while to get started as I had to teach myself both how to crochet, and how to crochet this particular shape, the hexagon. Once the learning curve began to even out and I made it past twenty octagons, I found a rhythm and now I have at least seventy completed. Seventy! By concentrating on one row, one shape, one color, at a time, I got over that hump of stagnating inertia crippling any progress that might have been in favor of anxiety. It is a huge relief to know that I am trudging along at a steady clip and enjoying the work as I go.

It also helps that the fiber is delicious. I’m using Alpaca with a Twist’s Highlander, a blend of alpaca, merino, microfiber and viscose. I’m loving the little bits of tweed as well as the colors. Being able to switch from color to color in a short amount of time and chosing the combinations for each little guy has definitely kept my interest, and when I do make mistakes, it normally doesnt’ take so much time to correct.

Speaking of mistakes, this experience has been an excellent exercise in letting go of my perfectionist ways. Not that they’re entirely eliminated, but it seems that crochet is a little more forgiving than knitting. There are a few things I won’t let slip, but if I miss/add a double crochet here or there, I’ve found that it doesn’t really matter all that much, especially since I’m planning on making close to two hundred or so. Actually, I’m still not sure how many I’m going to make… enough to make a good sized afghan, but not a bed spread I guess.

One of the things I love most about knitting is how relaxing, and significantly mind-quieting, I find the repetition. It helps with the insomnia I’ve suffered for years, and it takes the edge off when my emotions get the upper hand and I lose my calm. It’s something I can do when the kids are playing and still manage to be somewhat present, and it makes those few shows that I do watch feel a little less like such a wasteful time sink. And these are things I never managed to feel while crocheting before, but that have now, thankfully, crept into this project. Everyday, this afghan is feeling less like a labor of love, and much more like a meditation.

Now, if only I could figure out what to do with that craft room!