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Crochet Afghan Blogs
  • Rainbow Ripples of Joy. Exuberant, Exultant, and Elated Joy.

    It's finished!  I have made a mostly full-sized afghan!  It's a modified version of the Ripples of Joy pattern from Baby Afghans and I feel pretty joyful every time I look at this.

    The afghan's about 50" across, which makes it perfect for a lap throw or for wearing around my shoulders when I'm hanging out on the couch.

    Or, more realistically, it will be a perfect size for my daughter to completely cocoon herself in when she steals this.  Because I'm pretty sure she's going to steal this.

    Not that I would blame her.  This is a lovely rainbow-y burst of happiness and kid-friendly primary colors.  It took about a three-hundred-yard skein of yarn for each color, give or take a little.  I didn't use much of my orange, but I did need a little extra blue. 

    There's so much blue in this picture, I couldn't fit it all in the shot.

    I almost regret not adding purple to the pattern because it would have been a tiny bit larger and this would look even more rainbow-like.  Almost.  This is pretty fantastic as it is.

    Obviously this is a bit larger than the baby version, but the pattern is essentially the same.  I just have different color choices and I decided to skip the border because I wanted the edges to be clean and sharp.

    The afghan looks extra ripply because every other row is made by working in the back loops, which I love.  The technique slowed me down a little, but the extra time was worth it for such a beautifully textured blanket.

    Once I was 6 or 7 rows into this pattern, I had no trouble following along.  I might make a larger version of this some time.  And I will definitely make a smaller version of this.  I would love to see this ripple pattern in blues and grays, and I know it wouldn't take very long at all if I made it in the baby blanket size.

    I don't know any baby boys who will be born any time soon (or any little girls whose parents would welcome a blue and gray blanket), but I may make one for my gift stash pretty soon.  I don't quite know what to do with myself now that this afghan is done! 

    Well, other than enjoy my colorful and warm blanket during this cold weekend.  I don't know what I'll do other than that.

    Oh!  But before I forget: if you don't feel like buying Baby Afghans and having 9 crochet patterns in your library (what is wrong with you?!), the Ripples of Joy pattern is available for individual purchase.

    Okay, now I think I've said everything I think you need to know.  Have a happy crafting weekend and stay warm!  I hope you  have afghan-making in your plans....

  • Busy Bee

    I'm not sure this is the best use of my time, but now and then, I crochet a block from the Colorful Hexagon pattern in Motif Afghans

    I left off the last row because I originally thought this was going to be a baby blanket.  Why I would need to start a blanket in the middle of a bunch of half-finished projects for my baby nephew who is due any day now and my Christmas list of gift idea projects (which is due....we don't have to talk about it) is beyond me.  But I'm still compelled to make a hexagon sometimes.  Every time, it's a yellow hexagon.

    I made several during a knit night a few weeks ago just because I wanted to.  I'm using Caron's Simply Soft in Sunshine.  I want this whole cheerful thing to look like a honeycomb.  I even want to find a little bee pattern to crochet and stitch onto a corner. 


    I bought a skein of some slightly contrasting yellow yarn to work a single crochet stitch border around each block and then seam this together.  I wonder if one skein is enough, though. 


    I have three skeins of the Caron yarn, and no other plans for it.  I could make a ton of these sweet hexagons!  And I really want to!  I'm also starting to wonder if I should have left off that seventh row to make the blocks smaller. 

    Because I think this might 'bee' for me in the full size. 

  • Revamping a Classic, Part 2

    About a year ago, I wrote a whole post about some of creative and fascinating ways crocheters modify the  Rainbow Crochet Set afghan.  It was a blast because the research involved me looking through Ravelry project pages and messaging super talented folks who talked a little about their tweaks and additions to this classic pattern.  I loved it!  I love Ravelry, I love seeing what people can do with their yarn and their ideas, and I apparently love finding out what new ways people will find to modify the Rainbow Afghan.  I've been digging a little bit more lately, and thought it was definitely time for another post.  Because wow.  If you know me at all, you know I love a good mod.  But these crocheters are unbelievably fantastic and go way beyond anything I could ever dream.

    One of the things I like the most about this pattern is that so many people want to make in a heavier yarn.  The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn, and yields a baby blanket that's, well, baby-sized.  So why not pick some other pattern written for worsted weight yarn with larger dimensions? Because this pattern is just so great.

    This is Thaila's Shroud by Incantrix.

    She used Stylecraft Special DK yarn, and I love how gradually the pinks turn to reds.  This is incredibly striking!

    Bluefrog62's Jason's Purple Rainbow floored me.  These purples are incredibly dramatic, and she mentioned in an email that she makes an afghan for her husband each time he's deployed.  She used Red Heart yarn and a Size L (!!!) hook, and finished made this large afghan in two weeks!  I'm amazed by this, for plenty of reasons.

    Up next is Spring is Coming! by bethintx.  She used Vanna's Choice and an I hook, and this is a square of forty-five inches.  She made this in less than a week.  What are you people doing?

    I was really interested in how variegated yarn is used with solid colors and I like what it does with the striped borders.  I'm betting it's a little brighter in person, and probably very, very springy.  I love it!

    Just as quick and just as springy is PurpleSpongeBob's Crocheted Rainbow Blanket.  This is so bright!  It makes me think of dyed Easter eggs.

    I especially love the granny squares in the corners.  Using a different color for the center is something I haven't seen much of for this pattern, and I think it's beautiful.

     How badly do you want to see this under a blacklight?

    I promise I'm not making fun of this.  I love it so much!  This is LaraKN's Rainbow Square Round Ripple.  She used an I hook and worsted weight yarn and made this in ten days.  I don't know why I'm so fixated on these Ravelers' start and end dates, but they seem worth mentioning.  Maybe it's because some of these folks are efficient on top of being just plain amazing.  Also worth mentioning: she added a third ripple and omitted the squares in the corner.  This afghan is 52" and so full of color I can barely stand it.  These bright tones contrast wonderfully with the black.

    Cheyennedoodles' Baby Blankie in Greens is a baby blanket in greens.  I'm not sure what size it is, but I think I like it when people leave off the granny squares in the corners.  Blankets don't have to be square.  I also like the simple, clean look of having a solid granny square in the center.  And I'm sorry this is so obvious, but I like all the greens!  This is a really green blanket!  I think the different greens would be wonderful for a gender-neutral baby afghan.

    TychaBrahe's Rainbow Afghan makes me think of Care Bears.  Or jelly beans.  Or strawberry ice cream.  It's very cheerful, and very pink.  She used Red Heart worsted weight yarn to make this blanket for a veterans' hospital.  She also crocheted three colors in the color rows instead of six.  This is wonderful.

    The last afghan I wanted to show is still a work in progress, but I don't care.  Seriously, when I asked its maker if I could feature it and she said it wasn't finished, I emailed her back and said "I don't care."  I tend to get a bit abrupt when I'm excited.  Because finished or not, I think you need to see aussie8964's Green Bedspread.  Look at these colors.  Look at them right now!

    She's using an H hook and DK weight yarns--of different brands and different fibers!  Super creative and super brave.  I can't wait to see how this looks when it's all done.

    Update: I forgot one!  Here's the Baby Turner Blanket by rainingpez:

    She used Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids, which is a worsted weight yarn.  I love the way she used variegated yarn with the solids, just like the Spring is Coming! project. The variegated sections really stand out.

    Okay, that's my afghan pattern mod post for this year! I hope you liked looking at these as much as I did.  Because I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  A big, fat, effusive thanks to the wonderful crafters who allowed me to use their photos and link to their project pages.  You're so cool!  I love your creativity!  You make truly amazing things.

  • Classic for a Reason

    My sister's baby showers have come and gone and I have just a few more things I want to make before my little nephew gets here.  I've been thinking a lot about  him, and about baby gifts in general.

    Throw in a pacifier and some diapers, and I think this might be all you need to raise a child.

    When I was pregnant, I had a lot of people me "I always loved X" as I was opening presents at showers--which were invariably the X those people were talking about.  I love that quality babies bring out in people.  They tend to get the things they love the most, and then give them to new parents.  I don't know what this impulse is called, but I love it and I've noticed it's not limited to parents.  Some of the best toys  my daughter has are the ones my friends loved when they were little.

    And some of my favorite stories to read my little girl are from the books loved ones enjoyed when they were growing up, and then gave to her.

    Some things are considered classics just because so many people have happy memories associated with them.  No one really needs to know how to work a turntable anymore, but people still give children those little record players.  I liked them when I was little, and so I got one for my little girl.  She likes it just as much as I do, and maybe she'll give her record player to her kids some day.

    If you've ever visited the Leisure Arts website, you'll notice that the Rainbow Set is always one of the top sellers.  I love to see the happy reviews people write for it.  I've seen people on Ravelry talk about how they couldn't find the pattern and just tried to wing from their very own baby blankets.  This one is actually my husband's.

    My own blanket--because yes, I have one too--is at my parents' house.  My sister has her husband's blanket.  I still see these in homes and church nurseries.

    It's such a beautiful pattern.  It's a nice size: a little larger than your average baby blanket and lightweight enough to wrap around a baby without being too bulky.  It's a truly wonderful gift.

    One of the first posts I wrote for Every Day Life at Leisure was on some of the amazing modifications crocheters had made to the pattern.  I'm planning to write another post like that again in a few weeks because people do some wonderfully creative things to this pattern.

    Right now, I just thought I'd praise this sweet little blanket pattern just as it is.  Some things are perfect just the way they are.


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