Autumn Afghan for My Brother

Crocheting was one of the first crafts I remember learning as a kid. My family took frequent road trips around the US, and I was unfortunately prone to car sickness if I tried reading in the car. My mom and grandma thought they’d challenge me with crocheting to occupy my mind on our 8+ hour drives, and it simply stuck. So, I’ve been crocheting since I was about 5! And have never made a blanket.

My great-grandma had crocheted afghans covering her house, as I recall. We still have some of her treasures in a closet, sealed away from anything that might do the incredible handiwork any harm. Despite this, or probably in spite of this, in my nearly 20 years of crocheting I had never wanted to try to make a blanket. It felt like, I’ve seen all of the blankets my family has done before me, why do I need another beautiful, but scratchy and holey, blanket?

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It wasn’t until my brother asked me for a crochet blanket to match his condo that I started considering it. He’s over 6 feet tall, so for his blanket to be large enough to tuck under his feet he always asks myself or our mother. His style is minimal, simple, geometric, and modern. How could I combine that with what I had in my head, a granny square blanket? And more importantly, how can I avoid weaving in a million ends? I printed off something I had in mind, he bought me the yarn, and naturally the project sat untouched under my bed for about 6 years.

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Itching for a new project, I finally decided to give him the blanket he asked for so long ago. I found this wonderful 70’s crochet pattern on Ravelry and felt that it was a good fit. The fringe avoided weaving in any ends, the diamond pattern and stripes added visual interest, and it was a simple, mindless project for me to do on our frequent roadtrips between Iowa and Minnesota!

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All in all, I think I spent just over 50 hours on this blanket because it’s huge to accommodate for my brother’s height. Most of that time was dedicated during our roadtrips, so it didn’t feel like a mighty investment. I really do love this blanket and wish I could keep it for myself (isn’t that how most projects end up?) but it’ll be safer in my brother’s house. Our kitties would eat all the fringe, and I don’t want to be scooping yarn bits out of the litter box for months on end.

That’s a Wrap! – SOI Ultimate Wrap Dress

That’s a Wrap! – SOI Ultimate Wrap Dress

Since I graduated, I’ve started a new job! The training however has left me exhausted every evening. I barely have enough energy to motivate myself to do yoga and make dinner, not even considering picking up a new sewing project. Luckily, I’ve been settling in rather quickly and chose something that wasn’t particularly challenging, but I had been on my list for quite some time.

This fabric has been in my stash since our wedding in 2015. It sat in the sun for a year waiting for me to remember it, and as it sat picked up quite a few bleached out sun spots. The burn out floral pattern also meant that it would have to be doubled up to not expose myself, so I’d need a more structured knit pattern. I had picked up the Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress pattern during a sale many months ago, and thought I’d give it a go!

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I stitched all my seams with a narrow zigzag (stretch setting on my machine is my favorite, it’s like a little lightning bolt) so that the seams would stretch with my movement.

Overall, this was a nice, easy make for me to pick up a half hour at a time after work. I doubled up the fabric for the body pieces, and stayed with only a single layer for the sleeves. I like how the wrap works and how long the belting pieces are. However, I found a bit of gaping at the bust and felt a little boobalicious. It kept feeling like I had too much gaping fabric across the front of my chest, and I’d want to pull the belt even tighter. Next time, I’ll adjust this distance by removing about 1 inch from the faced front section.

Because of the thinness of the knit, the facing also wasn’t very structurally stable and has a tendency to roll out of the garment. I have to be super careful to place it properly when wearing this dress! Once it’s in place though, it stays pretty well.

I really do enjoy this dress. It feels like wearing PJs all the time, and I’m still looking like I have my shit together. That’s a win for me!