Friday, September 30, 2005

Rhapsody in Blue

So, the afghan is now an FO. In order to avoid the monotony of afghan-lying-on-bed-under-dim-light shots, I moved it out into the bright sunny sky and imitated a shot from the pattern book:


Not a very professional imitation, I must admit! Anyway, I feel really happy now that it is done. To be more accurate, I feel proud of myself ... especially when I compare it with the one I finished last year - everything shows that I have made a lot of improvement in terms of knitting skills, finishing skills, attention to details and patience in finishing a project.

Knitting the edging took up quite some time while the much-dreaded sewing process went without any drama. When the edging reached a length that was close to be done, I pinned it around the afghan with safety pins and started sewing:


Though it was a really long length to sew, it was done within yesterday ... really fast. I think the fact that the edging was knitted as a modified I-cord helped. However, when I was approaching the end, I realized that I should have done provisional cast on for the edging because when I tried grafting the end to the cast-on edge, it looked like this:


Not that anyone would really notice anyway. The edging gives a very neat and pretty finishing to the afghan:



Details:
Pattern: Rhapsody in Blue from Family Circle Easy Afghans
This is the second sampler afghan I made. I like the patterns of this one more than the first. There are more interesting cable patterns and there is no bobble pattern. (You can click on the photos to see a larger and clearer version of the square patterns.)



Yarns: Patons Decors Col: 1643 Navy; 1614 Winter White; 1640 Pale Periwinkle; 1641 Periwinkle; 1642 Rich Periwinkle
I like this yarn for afghans. The quality is good, except for the colour Navy, which seems to be a bit thinner than the others. If this yarn is available in craft shops here like Lion Brand Wool-Ease, I would certainly use it again. This is because I don't want to keep a large amount of yarn stash for afghans at home. What I am going to do in the future is just to buy one or two balls at a time and get to the shops when I run out. The dye lot is not that important to me. So yes, I am going to use Wool-Ease in Natural Heather for the next project.

Gauge and Needles: 20 st for 4" over St st using US5; US7 for the edging

Modifications:
(1) Instead of knitting the squares one by one, I chose to knit the afghan in long stripes. This involved a lot more planning beforehand. First I had to decide how I was going to arrange the placement of the squares and the colours of yarns used for each. I wanted it to be 6 squares (lengthwise) by 5 squares (widthwise). This meant I had to knit 5 long stripes with 6 squares each. Then, because the number of stitches to cast on for each pattern is different, I had to either decrease or increase for the correct number of stitches evenly every time I changed for a new square. Besides, I needed to pay attention to see if the first row of the next pattern was for the right or wrong side. If I didn't do this, I would end up with some of the square patterns on the wrong side. Furthermore, if there were both knit and purl stitches on a single row in the next pattern (for example, like in the cable patterns), it would be better to change colour on the wrong side using purl stitches (preparation row), otherwise, this is what I got:


Luckily, this can be fixed easily.

(2) The original design of the afghan is to sew a fabric border. Instead, I chose to knit a 6-stitch cable cord (from Nicky Epstein's Knitting over the Edge) as the edging.

Final measurements: 40" x 50" including edging

Conclusion:
Knitting afghans involves a lot of patience and work, but I love it. I think it gives me good opportunities to explore different stitch patterns. I learn a lot from the process of knitting and finishing up an afghan and this knowledge certainly helps me in other knitting projects.

16 comments:

grumperina said...

It's wonderful! I love all the blue colors, they go very well together in the arrangement you chose.

Ruth said...

Fantastic job, Agnes ... the colors work beautifully together, and it's all so carefully done. You made a very smart decision re: the edging ... the one you did really "finishes" the piece.

joy said...

You planned all the colors perfectly! The edging is pretty and no one would notice the ends.

Joan said...

I love sampler afghans and this one is outstanding. I might have to get this book. Not being a patient person I think I'll order it right now.Good job and I love the colors.

caitlyn said...

It looks absolutely beautiful, Agnes! Isn't it great to look back and see how far you have come in the past year?

erin said...

This is beautiful! The edging suits your afghan. Thanks for all the tips in today's post. Very informative.

Debi said...

So lovely!! You've created an heirloom to be cherished. Great color choices and finishing...perfect!

PS - guess what I'm knitting socks with :)

Laura.Y said...

oh I love it! It's a great idea! And you are right, it's such a great way to do different stitch patterns it doesn't even seem like a chore! I'll be keeping my left over skiens for this!

twig said...

I love the difference the edging makes. What a great afghan!

Kadiddly said...

beautiful job!

Siow Chin said...

The edging is perfect for the afghan! Love how it turns out altogether.

Anonymous said...

I just love it! It came together so nicely.

Lynette said...

Another FO to your list! Looks very professional, Agnes, just beautiful.

Purly Whites said...

This is sooooo gorgeous! Congratulations on finishing and doing such a fine job.

Lisa said...

NICE, NICE, NICE. You must feel so happy to finish the blanket.

Good for you...

claudia said...

Wow. I am really impressed.