Brace yourselves. I am going to show you something.

Today I cleaned out the cupboards in the kitchen. I consolidated a ridiculous number of paprikas and curries and poppy seeds, discovered a box of Jello (great delight to my helpers), and finally dealt with a horrible amount of loose bran that had been in the dry goods drawer for far, far too long. I always think it is funny that I love both the incoming and the outgoing. I love to buy an extra can of tomatoes just to have on hand, and I love to use it later and be relieved by its absence. I love cupboards that are empty, so that I can fill them up, and cupboards that are full, so that I can empty them.

Yarn is a lot like food that way. You pick a recipe and buy the stuff. You usually will end up with leftover ingredients. It is just the same, except yarn never goes bad. I love to buy it (very much), and I love to use it (also muchly), but sometimes I start to feel like the remainders are a little too omnipresent in my craft room. They fill up drawers, they tangle their ends together and make messes. But I have a solution! I picked out all my leftover worsted wool and started something rather splashy. This is like the casserole that used it all up. But, it turns out that the random casserole is a new family favorite!

Isn’t this completely made of awesome? I used a pattern which comes from a great crochet blog. It is called “Neat Ripples” by Lucy of Attic24 fame. Several things about this little project amuse me. Firstly, it is a real coming of age (as a knitter/ crocheter) thing to whip off with an afghan this random and wild. This is where it always leads, and I am personally rather happy to have made it. Secondly, would you check out that color palette? Completely hilarious. And third, I love all the things that it reminds me of. I love the yarns that had only a tiny smidget left and I have absolutely no clue what I could have done with the other 200 or so yards of it. So there it is, I’ve let you in on a little secret. Go back and rest your eyes with the lights out somewhere.But first let me surprise you one more time!

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37 thoughts on “Brace yourselves. I am going to show you something.

  1. You are my kind of woman!
    I have a ton of yarn ends myself, and when the time is right, I hope that I will find a project as beautiful as this in which to bring them together .
    Mine are mostly lace weight, and mohair. Not so practical. But this project of yours is inspirational.
    You could decorate a room around that piece!
    Good Job!

  2. My grandma had an afghan that looked very similar and I always just accepted it as is. Now this leads me to wonder if it was, like yours, a compilation of leftovers. Either that or it was made in the anything goes late 60’s/early 70’s. =)

  3. Brilliant! Both the afghan and the idea. I am so with you on the feeling of stocking and emptying. Just can’t put it into words like you do. Your post somehow made me feel more settled about this part of my personality. Thanks Rachel!

  4. It’s beautiful! I love it! And I also like the comment about it being Joseph’s blanket… never thought of that, but it does have many colors!!

  5. Ha, just had a funny thought — maybe Joseph’s extravagant coat was made from all the left overs from his brothers’ coats! Okay, probably not, but it was a fun idea while it lasted. :-)

  6. Okay, second comment in a row from me. Really, is it from a pattern? If so, could you point me in the right direction? The reason I ask is my husband just looked over my shoulder and said, “That looks amazing!”

    I think I’d like to attempt it. :)

  7. Annie, it’s your blog design in yarn! Zig-zags are pretty easy patterns. The biggest hassle with all of those different colors would be working in all of the ends. If you’ve never crocheted before, I’d recommend finding someone local to show you the basics. Then search for a zig-zag or ripple afghan pattern online or in a book or leaflet at the craft store. I know you’ve got strong enough hand-work skills in general that you could pick it up quickly.

  8. Annie-
    yes, this would be an excellent beginning project. I went back and linked to the pattern in my original post (I almost always mean to do that and then forget). She provides a very detailed tutorial which you would easily be able to follow without any previous experience. Good luck, and have fun!

  9. Hey Valerie and LizzieJank,
    Thanks, you two, for your answers to my question.

    You’re right, Valerie, it does sort of look like my blog design in yarn. No wonder I like it! Actually, I just love zigzags, in general, and have contemplated doing a big quilt made only of zigzag — Denyse Schmidt and Anna Maria Horner both have great examples, but I haven’t done it yet. Also, this reminds me of Missoni, too. I just love some of their color combos.

    Okay, one last question, what type of yarn would you suggest?

    Thanks!

  10. Love it! I had already marked that same pattern to try – My first one will be a doll-size in bright girly colors. Yours turned out great – I’m sure everyone loves to snuggle with it.

  11. Annie-
    I would recommend starting with an inexpensive plain old regular wool. You can easily find Patons Classic Wool, or Lion brand Wool at a Michaels or JoAnns or some such place. Wool is forgiving, and elastic, doesn’t snag and split, and had a nice heft when you are done. Lots and lots of people prefer acrylic, and it can’t be denied that it washes like nothing else, so if you fancy that…. But if you lean towards a cotton, I’d try Cotton Ease by Lion brand – also available widely.
    If you want to try wool, look for a store near you that carries Cascade 220, because it comes in the best ever colors!

  12. Missy –
    I don’t know how to link in the comments, because I am smart like that. But check out this pattern that is knit with laceweight on size 10 needles – really airy and stretchy and cool.

    http://www.pickles.no/zig-zag-spread/

    edited to add: aaah. It links all by its little self!

  13. Perfectly marvelous!
    My mother has made a few of these type afghans. She calls them “Grammie’s blankets of many colors” and they are specific in purpose. The eldest (and only driving) grandchild has one to keep in his car for emergency – we live in New England and he drives a very old car. A dear friend’s daughter got one for her car as well. They make splendid picnic/tailgate blankets as well.
    One never knows when one may have need of a very bright and warm blanket. :-)

  14. This definitely makes me wish I knew how to knit/crochet! Being the cheapo that I am, I do wonder how much all the wool/yarn would cost for a blanket that size…? I might just have to find someone to teach me how to do this kind of thing, I just love seeing all the things you knit/crochet for your sweet little family.

  15. Rachel, this is exactly what your Grandma Greensides has loved doing. She loves just taking the bits and pieces of yarn and striping them into afghans. Of course you may even have one of her creations. She would love seeing what you have made, it is beautiful.

    Love,
    Aunt Monica

  16. Rachel,
    I love Attic24!!! And I love what you’ve done- beautiful ripple blanket! Thanks for sharing.

  17. I love this pattern! This is my sons baby blanket that my sister Ali (knittybutton.wordpress.com)made. I found it on Attic 24, but am not a crochet-er, good thing she is! His is rainbow colors also, not as exciting as yours but it’s his absolute favorite blanket. And it matches all of his crib sheets! đŸ˜‰

  18. I have an afghan on our bed that looks very similar! I crochet afghans for all the kids but much slower than you! Kudos to a very pretty creation!

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