This blanket was most certainly a labor of love.My nephew graduated in May of 2011, and his graduation totally snuck up on me. Ignore the fact that the whole family discussed it at Thanksgiving beforehand. Maybe it's my age. Ya know turning 40 can do a number on ya.
So, I started it as soon as we got the invitation to his commencement. Thought I would be done by Fall, and I was, give or take 8 months. Why did it take so long? Well, I tend to get distracted easily these days. That's why I have been posting mostly one-day projects. But, the repetition of crochet in large projects is still very soothing to me. I just need regular breaks to be a little creative.
I chose to create an afghan of squares because, when I crochet on-the-go, it is so much easier to carry small projects. I could easily take a couple of skeins of yarn along with a hook and get several blocks done. The trick was putting it all together, because it was impossible to take anywhere once that process started.
The afghan bedspread measured 67"x85" when complete. This pic shows it on my queen size bed. It covered the top of the bed plus a few inches when pulled to the top edge of the mattress. I didn't keep track of how many skeins I used since I bought them as I needed them. I wasn't concerned about dye lot, because the pattern of the blocks meant I wouldn't have 2 different dye lots of the same color side-by-side. But, I estimate you would need 4 skeins of each color (20 total). 12 blocks of each color are needed plus 3 more of the first three in the pattern (mine being Cranberry, Medium Blue, and Dark Gray).
Basic pattern information:
Yarn = I Love This Yarn (from Hobby Lobby) in 5 colors, estimate 4 skeins of each color:
A = Cranberry B = Medium Blue
C = Graybeard D = Navy Blue
E = Light Gray
Hook = I/9 5.5 mm
ch = chain
hdc = half double crochet
sl st = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
I made 63, 9" squares of half-double crochet. Here is how I did it. Adjust to your tension.
Ch 31. Turn, hdc across beginning in 3rd ch from the hook (29 hdc total). Ch 2 for turning chain. Repeat to make 23 rows of hdc. Check for squareness by folding it diagonally to make a triangle.
Repeat for 12 squares in each color, plus 1 more of Cranberry, Medium Blue, and Graybeard.
To piece squares together, first create a color pattern to follow. Mine was Cranberry, Medium Blue, Graybeard, Navy Blue, Light Grey. Since I used 7 squares per row, I simply repeated the pattern in order as I moved down the rows, going left to right.
Sl st the pieces together on the back. I suggest you work across in rows first, making it easier to follow the pattern you have created.
Edging - Make 2 rows of hdc in Light Gray and one row of the edging in Navy Blue around the entire perimeter. Start with the light gray. Sl st into the top of a hdc or equivalent opening (for sides without clear stitches) along middle of any side. Ch 2, hdc in each stitch (or equivalent openings). For rounded corners, crochet 2 hdc in the last stitch of one side, 2 hdc in the corner stitch, and 2 hdc in the first stitch of the new side. Finish each row of hdc with a sl st to first stitch. Finish off.
Next, in Navy Blue, sl st into the top of any hdc you have just made (preferrably not a corner). Ch 2, sl st, ch 1. *Dc, sl st, ch 1*. Repeat between *s along the edge of light gray and finish with a sl st to first sl st. Finish off, weave in ends.
I am currently working on another afghan for another nephew who graduated this past May. Poor guy, he has to wait because this one took so long to finish. Cross your fingers that this one goes faster, for his sake!