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.

A few tiny projects while I finish school!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been a little busy. I’m finishing my medical lab science (MLS) program and am facing 5 exams in 2 weeks plus a board certification exam. I’m mentally drained thinking about it! I’ll be graduating mid-August, and will be able to find time for sewing again after that. Until then, this post is going to be short and sweet so I can share a few of my little projects!

To keep down my stress, I worked on a few crochet projects to give to my instructors as thank-yous. Here’s the gang together:

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For my hematology/blood bank instructor, I made her favorite clip art blood drop that shows up in every powerpoint she gave us. The pattern is based off this pattern for a water droplet, and limbs are simply a chain coming off of the body with 5 sc in the second to last stitch. The face was made with felt and hot glue.

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My chemistry instructor’s favorite organ ever, the liver! I picked up the pattern from Etsy for a few dollars, but had difficulty with the tip of the liver. Honestly, I have no idea what I did to make it that shape because I redid this, not following the pattern instructions because the math didn’t work out for the tip. Also, the liver is accompanied by the smallest mug of beer ever.

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Last but not least, a black cat for my microbiology instructor who just adopted a pair of kittens. Because cats are much more exciting to crochet than a gram stained organism. More about this pattern can be found here, because this is a go-to pattern for me and I’ve made at least 4 now.

That’s all I have for now! I’ll be back to posting more exciting things shortly, once the dust has settled and I have a chance to take some photos. I currently have one completed blouse that I want to share and another bag tutorial, so look forward to that in a couple weeks.