Category Archives: Odyssey Afghan

Ta da!

I did it!

Ta dah!

My 2011 afghan is DONE! I finished the final stitch on the border about 2 weeks ago, but I didn’t have a good spot in my house to try and photograph it. (I even thought about taking it to the ice castles last weekend, but decided that would be insane.) So when March’s afghan block class rolled around, I took the finished blanket with me to Fancy Tiger and borrowed their floor…

Laid out on the floor, you can see all the problems. But you know what? I don’t care! I love this afghan. I’m proud of it. The colors make me smile. And the fact that I did it- I spent a year learning new techniques and actually completed this final project- has me ridiculously proud. You’d think I invented crochet or something…

Speaking of which, I couldn’t have done any of this without our fearless leader and amazing teacher, Cat. She’s awesome. And she’s published! Here she is, gamely posing with me and my blankie…

The afghan and the teacher :-)

Thank you, Cat, for a wonderful year!


Filed under Crochet, Odyssey Afghan

Wherein Pinterest Helps Me Finish My Afghan

We had big plans to head up to the mountains this past weekend and see the amazing Ice Castles at Silverthorne, but it was really cold, and we were feeling really lazy. So instead, we split our day between a run to Ikea, and seaming together all my afghan blocks. Well, only 2 members of the family worked on the afghan blocks- me, and…

Wally thinks he is helpful

…Wally, of course.

Because the crocheted blocks were too heavy to stick up on my quilt design wall, I resorted to laying them out on my bed. (Or as Wally thinks of it, “My bed which I begrudgingly let the humans use at night.”) I realized with all the variations in pattern and color from block to  block I was never going to be 100% satisfied with the layout, but, I did finally settle on one and start sewing the blocks together.

The final layout

I turned to my trusty “Crochet Goodness” Pinterest Board, and actually used some of the great links I’ve been collecting. I settled on a method I learned at Craftyminx’s Crochet School– an absolutely amazing free crochet resource. While Cat taught us how to seam blocks together invisibly by sewing them, I went for a faster visible method.  I crocheted the blocks together,which resulted in a really delineated outline around each block, in the dark purple yarn. Which you totally cannot see in this fabulous camera phone photo, but I’m going to post it anyway.

It's a blanket!

Look, it’s starting to look like a blanket.

The squares went together incredibly quickly using this method, and that left me ready for the final outer borders. I went with 1 row of HDC in the dark purple yarn (which is also what every square is bordered in)- that really seems to balance the thick connection between the blocks nicely. Then 3 rows of HDC in the brighter green yarn, followed by the final row- which is now partway done.

Crown picot it!

I’m using an edging stitch called “crown picot” that I found through, can you guess? Pinterest! It’s a great tutorial…super easy, and adding a really fun pop to the edge of the blanket.

I am so excited to be so close to the end of this year long odyssey. I finally feel like I have a comfortable grasp of crochet. I made new friends through my class. And I’m about to be able to snuggle under the world’s most fabulous blanket.


Filed under Crochet, Odyssey Afghan

Once more around the block…

I spent another Sunday with wet wool and handfuls of sharp pins, but… all 24 squares are blocked!

The other half of the afghan...

The squares are all dry now, and all approximately the same shape and size. Quite a victory. Here they all are, post blocking. They’re in backwards month order, with December in the top left, down to January in the bottom right.

A year's worth of squares...

Now comes the super stressful task of deciding upon the layout. I want a good balance of colors and patterns, and I want to not give myself a migraine. I wonder if both objectives can be achieved? And there’s also the small matter of seaming- I’ve never seamed crochet blocks before. But hey, I’ve pinned lots of tutorials 😉

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Sammy from the Block

Blocking, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Or maybe not, cause that sounds like dull blog fodder. Let’s just say that I never cease to be amazed at the magic that can be worked by some water and some pins… If you looked at the photo mosaic I created showing my afghan blocks to date, you probably noticed how wonky many of them were.

So today I broke out the Euclan and my amazing xmas gift from my mom- a block and roll mat. I have some of the interlocking foam squares and they have always worked well, but this mat is a step up! The gridded markings meant that I could easily pin each square to the exact same shape and size, and the design of the mat means I can move it easily if my family has the nerve to want to eat at the dinner table before the squares are completely dry.

Exactly half of the squares for the 2011 Odyssey Afghan fit on the mat at one time- including one new square. Can you spot it?

Blocking: it really is magic!

That means I should probably finish those final 2 squares so I can block the remainder ASAP. One Tunisian from September, one front and back post from October…

I’m simply amazed by how nicely the blocks are squaring up- I told myself blocking would work miracles, but I didn’t really believe it… Until today! And I deliberately  started with the absolute worst squares.

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So very very close…

At the end of 2010, I decided to try to learn how to crochet (again.) I dabbled a bit before that, a scarf here, a hat there, but I never felt comfortable with the craft. Certainly not comfortable enough to read a pattern and make something on my own!

And then I saw Cat’s amazing afghan. Cat’s a teacher at Fancy Tiger, and she came up with this awesome sampler afghan- which then became a full year class. Starting January 2011, meeting once a month to master a different block. The class was free with the purchase of all the yarn up front. I signed up, and talked an acquaintance into joining me. Best decision ever. The casual acquaintance has become a valued friend, and I’m finally more comfortable with crochet. (Still working on reading patterns, though!)

Here’s where I started:

Can YOU spot the afghan in this photo?

(I ended up adding some more blue and green over the course of the year.)

I decided to make each month’s block twice to better cement the concepts into my little brain. And now, just over a year later, I have 21 finished blocks! (I missed September’s class, and only made one of October’s…time to finish those up!)


21 of the 24 blocks for my 2011 Odyssey Afghan

Pretend they’re all perfectly square, okay? Once I finish the socks currently on my needles, I will tackle those 3 missing blocks, and then move on to sewing the whole mess together. And then a border. And then a year’s work will be done!

Meanwhile, I signed up for the 2012 class. 4 folks from last year did- we all loved it so much. The blocks will have some differences, and we’ll all get 2 hours a month of guaranteed hang-out-and-hook time! Let’s hope I can finish the 2011 blanket before I get too engrossed in the 2012 version…


Filed under Crochet, Odyssey Afghan

I spent Saturday in Tunisia.

Sort of.  Actually, I spent Saturday at Fancy Tiger for crochet class, and then Sputnik for mimosas and arepas.  But my yarn did go to Tunisia.  Sort of.

Okay, what truly happened was that I learned the basics of Tunisian crochet.

Look what I can do!

Super cool! To think, I was afraid of this technique before class.  That flex hook freaked me out. But I actually found it easier to pick up than standard crochet, which nearly killed me a few times.  Once I get some more cleaning/reorganizing done in the sewing room, I plan to play and play and play with this technique.


Filed under Crochet, Odyssey Afghan