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One Afghan Seven Ways: Revamping A Classic

I know I've mentioned Ravelry a few times before, but I wanted to write a post about why I think Ravelry is so stinking awesome and how I wish everyone knew it.  Sorry if this starts to read like an ode to the best social network ever, but I'm in love.  It makes you crazy.

Chances are that someone's described Ravelry to you as "like Facebook, but for knitters and crocheters" but that's fairly inaccurate.  Thank goodness.  Yes, you can't view anything unless you have an account, but there's no newsfeed, which means you won't go from interested to resentful when you start to see your friends (yes, you can have friends!) finishing projects so much faster than you.

Also, no games.

A lot of people use Ravelry solely to keep track of their yarn stash, or their pattern library.  Other people live for the forums and probably spend more time on there than they do actually making things with yarn.  And then pretty much everyone gets on there for the patterns.

Oh man.


The search filters you can use to look up a specific project for your specific yarn, needle, yardage, mood, etc., are pretty great, but my very favorite part is that you can see what other people have done with the pattern themselves.  This is the part where my favorite parts of the crafting community--a willingness to share creativity and wisdom with others--and my favorite parts of the online community--a willingness to share creativity and wisdom with others, but with pictures and links--come together.

I love knowing what other people are working on.  I love seeing how people can take a pattern and turn it into something a little more personal to suit their intended recipient or their resources.  I also love pictures.

To illustrate my point, I thought I'd search through the projects of people who made the Crocheted Rainbow Set.

This pattern is really popular among sales on the Leisure Arts website right now, and people seem very excited to be able to find it again.  I talked to Ravelers who had borrowed the pattern from friends, seen it at garage sales, or searched around eBay to find it because it's such a classic pattern.  One woman even said that her mother gave her the afghan she'd crocheted for her as a baby, so that she could make an afghan for her own baby based on this pattern!  Circle of life!

When I saw the pattern for sale on the website, I thought it was very pretty.  Pastels are lovely for babies, and it's such a pretty blanket.  But I also wondered if people had made changes with the colors or the yarn selections, so I looked through the project pages.

Oh wow.

There were people who had stuck with the pastel theme--it's a classic for a reason.  There were people who had used brighter yarn, and so their blankets were more Rainbow Brite than rainbow, which thrilled me to no end.

And then there were people who had just gone crazy with it.  I was floored.  I got so excited when I was looking through all these pictures!  I was sending emails to crocheters filled with exclamation points and gushing compliments and looking like a complete goober.  I regret nothing.  I've really been looking forward to writing this post, because researching it was so. much. fun. 

Look at all this goodness!

This is the Granny Ripple by cyhuffman.
She said she made this with scrap yarn, which I thought was incredibly impressive. (And now I know I'm not the only one who is curious about her stash.)

I love the cool tones of stashaholic's Baby's Best.  It still has a bit of the pastel look of the original, but it's still so different and creative.

This project is called Black and Blue by mva5493.  She mentioned that she uses Ravelry for a lot of the same reasons I do--to see what other people have tried with patterns and yarns.  If you get the chance, definitely click through to see the rest of her pictures of this project.  This color scheme is blowing me away.

This is crazycrochet's Rainbow Blanket.  I really like how the two different shades of brown look against the blue.  And I love that she took the current baby trend of brown and blue yarns and used them with a vintage pattern.  Some little boy is very lucky to have this afghan.

Even though it's not finished, I really wanted to include Krislyn's Bronco Baby Blanket because I love the idea of using a team's colors. 

Timeless1 named her project the Hidden Gold Baby Blanket.  I love the gender neutral look of this.

And these flecks are awesome.

Cassie1979's Crocheted Rainbow Blanket makes me really happy because, well, it is still a rainbow blanket!  It's also much larger than the standard Rainbow Afghan pattern because she used two strands of yarn and a Size N hook to make this.  It's stunning.

Actually, these are all stunning.  These are maybe one-tenth of the projects I looked at for this pattern, and I love them all.  These crafters should be really proud of their beautiful creations, and I'm incredibly grateful to them for letting me use their pictures in this post because I really thought everyone should see these.  I hope you're as impressed as I am!

Update: I accidentally left someone out!  I have 8 afghans!

This is Vibbedille's Granny Ripple!

Her message was a little hidden in my inbox because of similar project names, and I remember being disappointed that I couldn't show you this version because I thought it was so perfect for fall! And I love the little addition to the edging.  Gorgeous.  Just gorgeous.

11 thoughts on “One Afghan Seven Ways: Revamping A Classic”

  • Vibbedille

    This look great!Have a beautifull day ;)Vibbedille ;)

  • mva5493

    Yes, I completely agree with you about ravelry. At this point I dont know how I managed without it. It is the first place I go when looking for information about a specific yarn or pattern. Or anything related to my fiber addiction. I think the ability to customize this pattern is part of why this pattern is so popular now. Thanks again

    • Jen

      Definitely. Ravelry has helped me get motivated to try a lot of new things lately, probably most of all in the pattern customization area. People really do love this pattern! I'm really happy you let me use your afghan in the post.

  • Laine

    I think I have an afghan from my mother-in-law from this patten! Someone made it for her over 28 years ago. I should drag it out, it's a pastel one!

  • Mom2Four

    Jen and I received one of these in the original pastel colors at our first baby shower almost 30 years ago. I should pull it out for MY beautiful grand-daughter!!!!

    • Jen

      Ha, Mom, I thought the only reason you didn't give us my afghan was because Cody's mom had already given us HIS afghan! I feel like I should have said "famous" instead of "classic" a few times in this post now.

  • Charlotte Huffman

    Thanks for posting my afghan. I really enjoyed making this afghan. I love the other color selections. Mine didn't stay at my home long, because it was swept up by my sister and is now displayed on her couch.

    • Jen

      Oh wow, my siblings have never gone so far as to sneak out with something I've made! This pattern must have some kind of superpowers.

  • Meredith

    I have no idea how many of these afghans I've made. The change I implemented was for economy. Each time I made one with leftover yarn, I would start the rainbow with a different color. That way I would use each color equally.

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