For my second foray into crochet afghans I’m making the Macaroon Blossom Afghan by Astrii Elizabeth. Follow along and we’ll find out if my finished project comes close to the ideal!
14 July 2021
The journey starts! My first parcel of yarn arrived today. The yarn is a cotton/nylon blend from Scheepjes called stonewashed and all the colours are named after various mineral rocks. I am using the actual yarn recommended. I think this is the first time in 15 years that this is happened. Hopefully it means that I can really compare my crochet skills with the mastery shown in the samples photos.
There are so many colours in this afghan. I struggled to find a supplier who could sell me all the yarn at reasonable shipping prices. In the end I got my yarn from Lovecrafts and Artisanthropy. The parcel from Artisanthropy arrived this morning. Parcel from Lovecrafts will get here when it gets here. I am dependent on the whims of the USPS.
Right now I am admiring my afghan in it’s unrealized potential state. Somehow it’s going to go from the picture below to the picture at the top of this post. Golly!
The Persian Tiles crochet blanket is finally done.
By the numbers:
1 false start with wrong colours
10 days waiting because I misjudged the amount of teal and blue wool needed
2 seasons of The Mentalist watched
Approx 100 hours of time spent
Approx 3000 yards of wool
At least 6 new skills learnt
3 errors n the final piece. Which I am happy about. 1 will never be noticed, 1 was deliberate (I like an error that shows it is homemade) and 1 that was a genuine error. Non of them detract from the final piece at all.
Enormous satisfaction in finished product.
I learnt a great deal about crochet in this project. I also learnt a lot about pattern writing for someone who doesn’t necessarily have all the skills but wants to learn and just needs a little extra explanation in the pattern. I can definitely use this in my knitting patterns going forward.
I liked the project so much that there’s going to be more crochet in my future. Even if it’s only a border on a knitted shawl. The finished blanket is shown below after being steamed and blocked and is everything I hoped it would be. Prior to this I’d only ever done a crochet dishcloth! So feel free to try a ‘harder’ pattern. It is perfectly possible to create something amazing with a little patience and willingness to learn the new skills.
My crochet experiment is nearly over. In the above photo you can see all the tiles laid out to double check everything was done. I am tickled that the Persian Tiles afghan is lying on my Turkish rug, but it is a busy photo! You’re seeing the afghan before blocking, borders and the crocheting together.
I’ve seen tiles in mosques in Turkey and Jordan. When the afghan is laid out I am transported to those buildings with their extraordinary and intricately tiled walls. I’m delighted with the way it has turned out.
Now I have a crochet pattern percolating in my head, which has come as a huge surprise to me. I love that I’ve been inspired by someone else’s pattern to create my own. It’s what makes doing fiber arts so fulfilling for me. I’m always hopeful that my own work will inspire someone else to think that they can give knitting a go and take them in a new direction.
In the next and final installment of Persian Tiles, I’ll be able to show the finished product, which will also show exactly how vital blocking your work is.
I’m really enjoying this piece of work. It is finally coming together and I can see the end. I worked the first tile through and learnt along the way. Then 15 tiles with each round done at the same time. Here’s the progress breakdown.
You can see the first 4 rounds completed here. It looks pretty messy, but I was just happy that I’d worked out how to do the triple crochet. New skills! After this, things slowed down. The rounds got bigger and those fans take a lot longer than I thought they would.
Next blue and another new skill with the triple crochet together. Look at all those yarn ends though.
Once I’d done the fan section I was drowning in yarn ends. So I spent New Years Eve happily with a glass or two of wine and sewing them in and snipping them off. The final pile was very satisfying and I say this a someone who hates the instruction weave in ends. Worst part of a project always. But practically painless for this one.
And here’s where I’ve gotten to. Too bright you say – hah! Just wait. It’ll be glorious. At the top is the 1 finished tile. In the middle the tiles with the darkest teal and at the bottom the tiles awaiting darkest teal. Will update once I get to the navy and white rounds. So close!
I did the first tile on this blanket in full so that I can understand the pattern. But since then I’ve been doing the remaining 15 large tiles in groups. This is the perfect pattern for that. Each round is a different colour and there is something marvelous about watching them grow! It took a day and a half to get to the navy blue.
Next day! Onto a delicious teal. What will tomorrow bring?
I am working out my issues with crochet by doing the Persian Tiles blanket by Jane Crowfoot. It is an amazing pattern and I hope I can write a knitting pattern half as well at some point in the near future. I am not someone who crochets, I cannot fix a mistake on the fly or intuit what the pattern is about to do. So following a pattern where the instructions are so clear is fantastic.
I also made a mistake in the colours. I bang on about this, but colour is important. If the colour isn’t inspiring you, your project becomes a chore rather than a pleasure to make. It also can become very unattractive. The picture above shows this – my orange was too brown, my yellow was too neon and my pale blue was too pale. It all added up to an unattractive and uninspiring mess. So I changed them. Final octagon is gorgeous and I’m happy to keep going. Which is good, because there are 15 more to make plus a bunch of smaller squares!
I get that yarn can be expensive and changing a colour can feel like a waste, but you have work on something that makes you happy. Also, I will find other projects that those colours are going to work with perfectly. The extra yarn will just help me towards my ultimate goal of achieving SABLE status (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy).
Looking forward to sharing this project with you as it progresses.