Showing posts with label crochetlove crochetgift crochettradition gift treasure appreciation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crochetlove crochetgift crochettradition gift treasure appreciation. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

JANE'S AFGHAN

I started Jane's afghan, using 5 colors of Plymouth Encore yarn, on Dec. 5, 2007 and finished it on May 13, 2008. Read on for the whole story.....

November 12, 2007
'Long about November 10, my daughter, Nicole, asked me if I could make an afghan as a CHRISTMAS surprise for her mother in -law, Jane! My first reactions was, "Yot got to be kidding!" Then I said, "I would rather teach YOU how to make it." She poo-pooed this idea and has no interest in learning to crochet let alone a pressure cooker job like this before Christmas! So of course, being the loving mom that I am I told her I would make an attempt at getting a good start on the afghan, but there was no way I could get it finished by Christmas. Even if I had idle time for sipping tea and enjoying bon-bons, I would have carpal tunnel before I got it done for Christmas! So, I agreed and began the thought process as to what I would make and how would I get it done in any reasonable amount of time.

November 23, 2007

We were all together for Thanksgiving in Northville, MI at Nicole and Jeff's house. Jane got up early the day after before anyone was awake to go shopping and do her part for "Black Friday!" She was very excited when she came home three hours later after having lost her car in the parking lot only to find it almost surrounded by police who were investigating a robbery attempt at the car 2 slots down from hers! She had found the perfect bedspread and it was 50% off plus a 10% discount! Jane lives for bargains and this is the third bedspread she has bought so far, always keeping the receipt for the inevitable return.

Later that day at a civilized hour, Nicole, Jane and I went out to shop together. After Bed Bath and Beyond to look at some more bedspreads, among other things, we found the local yarn shop. Today the shop had 20% off if you spent $100.00. How could I take advantage of this sale and also start to buy some of the yarn I would need for a yet undetermined afghan for Jane?

Under the pretense of making an afghan for a a lady who wanted me to make it, I started picking yarn, Plymouth Encore. Not having a pattern in mind yet, I figured for an afghan I would need about 20 skeins, I chose Plymouth Encore. I started with taupe and told Jane the woman wanted taupe with green and some other color. So I got the green and an interesting variegated pink, called "roses" plus some yarn to make a bolero for other daughter, Bethany.

Jane asked if I would ever make an afghan for her and she offered to pay me. I just answered, "I will teach you how to make one." She replied, "Yeah, right!"

Okay, so I was a little nervous that she was suspicious AND that Nicole wouldn't want to spend nearly $100.00 on her m-i-l. Nicole started whispering Spanish to me so Jane couldn't understand. Now, is that suspicious or what?

Finally we got to the counter to check out. Just as I handed over my credit card (NIcole would reimburse me later) and the clerk started ringing me up, another clerk who had been helping, said, "Just be aware, today's purchase is FINAL, no returns. Some people buy an extra skein just to reach $100 for the discount and then return the extra skein." YIKES! Now what do I do with 6 skeins of the green which I planned to have Nicole exchange for pink. I paid the bill and as we were wlaking out there were books by the door.

As Nicole and Jane walked out, I hesitated and said to them, "Go ahead. I want to take a quick peek at these books." They fell for it and went to the car. I rushed back to the counter, pounding my head with my fist, and pleaded for an esxchange. My blood pressure was rising, but they were so kind and let me get the right color. I stuffed it deep in the bag, hoping Jane wouldn't notice and rushed to the car.

When we got home, Jane wanted to show off her bedspread. As Nicole predicted, it had taupe in it and we shot photos as she took apart all the packing and displayed it in Nicole's family room. Good deal; now I have a photo that I can use to buy just the right materials and colors: light "chanpagne," darker "champagne," 3 shades of pink and a splash of green. Once she packed it up and put it by the back door, I put a skein of pink in my purse and meandered by it to sneak a peek. Yep, I did a great job of picking the taupe and pink colors, now all I needed was more of both colors and a pattern for a great afghan.

Nov. 25, 2007
I started looking through a vintage afghan pattern book I have, "Annie's Crochet Quilt and Afghan Club." Leafing through the binder full of designs, there were several patterns that I was attracted to. The "Granny Square" section fell open and there it was: "Granny's Hearts & Roses." I know, I know, how could it be? Me excited about granny squares? This one is different, though. It has large squares, smaller squares and rectangles of single crochet with embroidery on this part It is not conventional and it got my creative juices flowing. The pink and taupe I have will work beautifully; I just need tons more yarn. I will look on line. This afghan is huge: 70" X 86". I will talk to Nicole and see how big hers is. Maybe I can modify this pattern and make it a bit smaller to save time.

Nov. 26, 2007
As it turns out, it is kind of serendipitous as the afghan goes, that we got an appointment at Mayo Clinic for my husband, Alan. He has a coordination problem with his speech and we wanted a second opinion.

The five-hour drive to Mayo will be a perfect way for me to jumpstart the work on the afghan, as he likes to drive. We will stay through Nov. 30 and in between appointments, you guessed it, I will be crocheting!

End of the drive and settled in our hotel room in Rochester, MN: 4 sc rectangles done! I cheated a little and also finished up a top that had been languishing since September for me!

Nov. 27, 2007
Our first day at Mayo wasn't to intense, only our initial appointment with the doctor, but I took my yarn with me everywhere. I got some crocheting done while waiting, but they are so efficient there that there isn't a great amount of waiting. We did a bit of exploring around town and had a great lunch, then settled into our hotel for a quiet eveining of crochet since alan had to start fasting at 7:00 PM. 7 taupe sc rectangles done, total.

Nov. 28, 2007
This was by far our busiest day with four appointments, starting at 6:40 am for the fasting blood. I keep aware that I must protect my wrists from too much crocheting, but this is just too good an opportunity to get a lot done on this afghan. So far, no problems. For variety, I started edging the rectangles in the second color: pink. 8 rectangles totally complete!

Nov. 29, 2007
We only had two appointments today with 4 hours in between, so we went out and did some shopping. We also had some fabulour soup and bread at Great Harvest Bread and I got an outfit for a wedding we are going to next weekend.

After a brief rest, we went to Kristen's Yarn Shop as she stays open this night. Looking for two more shades of pink needed for the granny squares, it was a pleasant experience to see her shop. She does a lot of crocheting and I bought the latest issue of Interweave Crochet. Kristen, unfortunately, did not carry the Plymouth encore yarn.

As far as the afghan is concerned, I have started the granny sqaure parts, but can only do the first two rounds in the taupe because I need the two other shades of pink to continue around. 8 centers of the large granny complete.

Dec. 5, 2007
I went to Gene Ann's yarn shop today to pick out the two shades of pink that I still need, the green for the embroidery on the rectangles and the rest of the taupe.

Unfortunately, they had no taupe! I did get the pink, though. They were so kind to call another store for me and check on the taupe. I just couldn't bear to drive to Crystal Lake, so I came home and called them and had them mail it. I have enough of all the colors now to really kick into gear.

Dec. 6, 2007
I worked on my lunch hours on the afghan; amazing what can be done in half and hour! Lucky for me, I had to take some of our clients on a "field trip" to the Senior Center. I took my crochet along and after we all put together "Lazy Lasagne" they watched a movie and I crocheted! Whoopee, this is ideal: getting paid and getting to crochet! Now that's multi-tasking!

We had a party this evening in China town for our friend's sixtieth birthday. Good thing Alan likes to drive. The 40 miles to the south side took us an hour and a half, just due to the traffic and the hour. Yeah, I was crocheting!

Dec. 8, 2007
I couldn't stay for the entire chapter meeting today which is unfortunately, our annual Holiday Party. I did go and drop off a book donation for our pattern exchange and sat a while and crocheted during the business meeting.

Our neighbor girl Ashley's wedding is at 4 PM and it is downtown. Sure, I crocheted on the way. Foruteen rectangles are done and trimmed; also 1 large granny sqaure and two small ones.

Dec. 11, 2007
The taupe yarn I ordered arrived today as promised. Okay, I have everything I need now to finish this beauty. Two large squares and a couple more small ones are done now. I will blend the two dye lots of taupe into the rectangles by crocheting two rows of one lot and then two rows of the other.

Dec. 12, 2007

Today I completed one entire block, including 4 rectangles, one large granny and 4 small grannys. This is what Nicole will present to Jane on Christmas Eve. I like the way this is coming together a lot, except for the small amount of green used to embroider the leaves. Nicole can check the green in Jane's bedspread and if I have to change that I can. I am enjoying making this for Jane and will be pleased with the joy in her heart she will have for Nicole for thinking of the idea and being my cheerleader to get it done!

Dec. 17, 2007
Well, due to a big snowstorm, Nicole and Jeff never made it to Ft. Wayne where we were going to do the "hand-off" of the afghan block so that she would have it to give her on Christmas Eve. So, today I packed it up and mailed it to Nicole in MI from the USPS. I got a delivery confirmation, so hopefully, if it is lost, I can track it.

Dec. 22, 2007
Nicole reports that the package with the afghan block arrived safely in time for her to give it to Jane on Dec. 24. It's wrapped and ready to go with "from....." on the gift tag so she doesn't get suspicious!

Update: 6 of 16 small squares, 7 of 9 large squares and 18 of 24 rectangles DONE, less the embroidery: DONE!! This IS hope that I will get this done before Spring.

Dec. 23, 2007
I hear tell that Nicole was seen crocheting on the couch at Jane's house all evening Jeff says she needs a second lesson because her chain reached 30 feet! Nicole says she has a great control of her pointer finger!

Dec. 23, 2007; 9:30 PM
When the Phone rang at 9;30 PM, we were watching the traditional Christmas shows at our leisure and I had just done the embroidery on two rectangles. The voice on the other end was amzed, awed, overwhelmed, surprised and in a state of shock. These are the words that Jane used (one the phone) to describe he feelings when she opened Nicole's gift of one-ninth of the afghan! She thanked me 15 times at the very least and Nicole has been installed in the "Best Daughter-In-Law in the World" Hall of Fame for thinking of the idea.

Just a little background....Jane's mother made many, many afghans and Jane only has two which are becoming ragged from loving use. When her mother tragically died in a car accident due to a drunk driver, Jane's brother was put in charge of the household goods. He sold all the afghans for a pittance of their value at a flea market and Jane got not a one! She has pined for these afghanss for years and all she has to hold on to are the ever-weakening threads of the two afghans she uses on a daily basis in her family room.

So, she loves the colors is in awe of the design and really likes the green color for the leaves that I was doubtful about. She says not to hurry or stress at all about getting this done. If it takes 5 to 10 years, she doesn't care. Just knowing that I made this for her will sustain her with contentment until I do finally finish it.

So, I will definitely crank down, work on the afghan at my leisure. Jane has no clue how fast I crochet, but I fear that if I get it done too soon, she will totally freak out and think that I made some kind of sumpreme sacrifice which will throw her into a state of major indebitedness to me. This we do not want!

Dec. 26, 2007
Nicole and Jeff have now arrived to be with us for Christmas and while waiting on her to work out and shower, at my leisure I crocheted 3 more small squares.
Total:
Large squares: 7 of 9
Small square: 10 of 16
Rectangles:18 of 24

Jan. 3, 2008
I started back to work today after 10 days off during the Holidays. I always crochet during my lunch break and the only downside is that crocheting and the resultant relaxing meditation makes the time go SOOOO fast. I timed myself today while making a small square and figured out that one takes one-half hour. So, when I do the next two types of squares, I will time them too. I can then figure out how many total hours the afghan will take me to complete.Although I believe that "every stitch is such a pleasure that I never keep track of the time it takes," I think it will be a fitting bit of information for this blog.
HO, HO, HO and Hanks of Fun Crocheting!

Jan. 9, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 7 of 9
Small square: 10 of 16
Rectangles:19 of 24

Jan. 11, 2008
I was able to time myself today as I made one of the rectangles. It takes 45 minutes to make one rectangle.

Feb. 11, 2008
We went to visit dd and ds-in-l this past weekend and with a five and a half hour trip that turned out to be six due to dropping the dog at the other dd's house, I had plenty of time to work on the afghan. I finished up a lot of little things on squares that I had started at work and got a good start on embroidering the rectangles, as well. I was kind of putting that off to the end, but it is good to have a start on the embroidery now. I will need to decide if the afghan will be long enough for Jane's husband and if so, I can add some more length to it. We had a wonderful visit with some great restaurants and some nice relaxation and good movies. Good thing because we went through some very bad snow on the way home, so I had to keep my eyes on the road while Alan drove for a good deal of the time, but in-between, the crochet kept me relaxed!
UPDATE:

Feb. 27, 2008
Today I went to Gene Ann's yarn shop to get some more yarn for the afghan. I think I have all I need to finish the embroidery now. What I didn't notice is that the afghan has a border around it once it is all put together, so do I have enough yarn? Well, time will tell. It is easy enogh to go to Gene Ann's and always pleasant to meander through a yarn store.

I have all the granny squares and rectangles done now and a good start on the embroidery. The end is in sight! I will be going on a medical mission trip on March 29 to the Dominican Republic and that's a long plane ride. My plan is to concentrate on the afghan on that trip.

March 10, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 7 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 23 of 24
Embroidery:

April 13, 2008
Well, I am making good progress! Yeah! We have just returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic where we were involved in a medical mission. That's a whole other story-see my blog posts. I took along quite a few of the rectangles that were ready for embroidery and got a lot done on the long plane rides. There were a couple of steps backward, however...my hairspray exploded in the suitcase and got on two of the rectangles! Now they are stiff as a board. I have sent them through the washer once and that didn't help much, so I have my thinking cap on to see what I try next before just starting over!

Here's how we stand right now:
UPDATE:
Large squares: 7 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 24 of 24
Embroidered rectangles: 14 of 24

April 14, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 7 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 24 of 24
Embroidered rectangles: 17 of 24
Completed Blocks: 1 of 9

April 20, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 7 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 24 of 24
Embroidered rectangles: 17 of 24
Completed Blocks: 2 of 9

April 22, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 8 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 24 of 24
Embroidered rectangles: 17 of 24
Completed Blocks: 3 of 9

April 27, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 9 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 24 of 24
Embroidered rectangles: 24 of 24
Completed Blocks: 5 of 9

May 4, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 9 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 24 of 24
Embroidered rectangles: 24 of 24
Completed Blocks: 7 of 9
Blocks sewn together: 3
Border:

May 5, 2008
Oh dear;I have kept Jane in a state of worry over the two rectangles that got hairspray all over them. They are fine and already added to the afghan. I washed them once in the washer and that didn't do much good. They were still stiff. So, I waiting awhile until I got to it and then soaked and scrubbed them in Woolite. That did the trick. They are fine; no problem. There was also an incident of my crochet group at work packing up my yarn when I wasn't watching and putting my coffee mug in the basket too! I saw the coffee on the yarn quick enough and ran hot water over it to get the coffee out. So much for carry-along crochet and coffee. I learned my lesson!

May 7, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 9 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 24 of 24
Embroidered rectangles: 24 of 24
Completed Blocks: 9 of 9
Blocks sewn together: 6
Border:

May 10, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 9 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 24 of 24
Embroidered rectangles: 24 of 24
Completed Blocks: 9 of 9
Blocks sewn together: 9 of 9
Border: Color 1 of 5 DONE

May 11, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 9 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 24 of 24
Embroidered rectangles: 24 of 24
Completed Blocks: 9 of 9
Blocks sewn together: 9 of 9

May 12, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 9 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 24 of 24
Embroidered rectangles: 24 of 24
Completed Blocks: 9 of 9
Blocks sewn together: 9 of 9
Border: Colors 4 of 5 done
Border: Colors 3 of 5 done

May 13, 2008
UPDATE:
Large squares: 9 of 9
Small square: 16 of 16
Rectangles: 24 of 24
Embroidered rectangles: 24 of 24
Completed Blocks: 9 of 9
Blocks sewn together: 9 of 9
Border: Colors 5 of 5 done
Hallelujah, Jane's beloved afghan id done!!

August 6, 2008-Jane's Birthday!
By the time I saw Nicole to give her the afghan and then she had the opportunity to see Jane to pass it on, it was August. So, the afghan is now celebrated as Jane's birthday gift instead of a Christmas gift!! Here it is: