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Monday, December 28, 2009
Elephant Afghan in complete!!!!
I started this elephant afghan back in October and I'm so happy that I was able to get in done in time to give it to my grandmother for Christmas. My grandmother has collected elephants since she was a little girl. Just to give you an idea, this is a sample of her collection.
I've been crocheting for years, but mostly baby blankets and a few scarves. I've never "dropped" yarn like this before nor have I done a pattern. It was fun, challenging, and a learning experience. I designed the elephant design myself. I searched all over the internet for just the right elephant. A front view looked too baby-ish and many side views had four legs and I didn't want to deal with that many color changes.
I used MS Excel to make my pattern. Hoping that the gauge would be accurate, I made the cells 3x as long as they were wide and crocheted the blanket using all double crochets. I found the closest elephant picture I could find to what I wanted and made it a watermark in an MS Excel spreadsheet. This allowed me to see the picture behind the grid/spreadsheet. I then shaded in all the cells over the watermark, making adjustments so that it was more what I wanted.
I made a total of 6 squares and then crocheted them together for the final product. I used Vanna's Choice, 100% Acrylic yarn in Taupe and Linen for this design. Because I dropped yarn vs. crocheting over the secondary color, it was a challenge until I got past the trunk/tail as I did this pattern from bottom to top. At it's most challenging, I had seven different skeins going at one time and since I didn't always have that many skeins on hand, there were times when I was working off both ends. Every time I started a new row and had to flip the blanket, all the yarns would get tangled. I was always so relieved to get past the tail and trunk when I was only working with 3 yarns. Getting past the legs was also a joyous occasion.
Despite my desire to make the afghan with just 4 squares so that I could make more infinity scarves, I pressed on and made all 6. It's a very warm, soft blanket - maybe a bit on the heavy side for my dear old grandmother who is soon to be 80. But none the less, I consider it a success and another fantastic gift made with love :-).