I’ve been arm’s deep in yarn lately, but I thought I’d show off my latest project. I kept seeing all of these really cool pixelated afghans floating around on craftster, ravelry, and pintrest. “I can do that,” I told myself. A good friend of mine had a birthday coming up (it was Friday, July 20th. I’m week late) and I was completely stumped on what to make for him. He loves Star Wars. Somehow the two ideas merged and hence, the Death Star Afghan was born.
It is made of 400 granny squares, about 3.5″ across each. Some are closer to 3″, some are closer to 4″; I was having trouble staying consistent. It’s about 75-80″ wide and tall and *really* heavy. It took me a month and a half and somewhere around 100 hours to complete it all. I was going ZOMG SQUARES! for quite some time.
To join the squares, I used a variation of the continuous join method (doing 3 chains rather than the 5 the tutorial I found did), joining 40 squares at a time (two rows) so I had 10 long strips to join together. I knew I’d go nuts if I had to sew all those squares together, so I was happy when I stumbled upon the method (http://knitting-crochet.wonderhowto.com/how-to/join-crocheted-granny-squares-using-five-chain-flat-braid-method-403631/). I kept switching colors so the joins wouldn’t stand out as much and I wish I had worked in the ends as I went, rather than waiting for the end to do it.
To do the pattern, I pulled out a piece of graph paper and started filling in squares until I was happy with it. Then I transferred it to a digital file so I could print off copies to mark up as I got squares done or rows joined. A friend thinks it looks like a monochromatic pokeball, and it kinda does.
All in all, I’m happy with how it turned out. It was the first afghan I’d ever made, but certainly not the last. It was a good learning experience. It turned out *way* bigger than I thought it would. If I was to do it again, I’d change a few things.
a) I’d make sure I had enough yarn from the same lot. The very left four rows of the medium grey are a different shade than the rest of them. I didn’t find this out until I was joining those squares with the different shaded yarn. A friend has told me to call it a ‘stylistic element’.
b) I’d give myself more time to get it done. I’ve been marathon crocheting since I started the blanket, and I keep adding projects, so I’m not slowing down.
c) I’d use the actual continuous join method, rather than only partway continuous. Some of the joins between the strips are pretty ugly since I couldn’t quite figure out a way to make it look right. Changing the colors didn’t help the ugliness. Had I used a solid color for all of the joins, the ugly would have been hidden well.
d) I wouldn’t join all ten strips in a single day in almost a single sitting. My neck, upper back, and shoulders were sore for a few days after that.
All the rest of my projects have to be kept secret until after they are gifted, unfortunately. I’ll be a bit quiet for a while, since all of my free time is devoted to crocheting for the next few months.