Tuesday, December 9, 2014

At Last! An Afghan!!

It's done!!!!
I'm breaking out my dancing shoes because it's time to do the Happy Dance! It's only taken seven years and two months, but I have finally and at last finished my daughter's afghan!! Woo-hooo!!!!

OK, there are still a few ends from whip-stitching things together to weave in on the back, but does that really count? At this point, I don't think so!

Lots of pieces whip-stitched together
PikaGirl gets home from school soon, and I can't wait to see her expression when she sees it. I also can't wait to share it with my Crafting Bee friends in a couple of days. Without their encouragement and persistent (but gentle!) inquiries, I doubt I would ever have gotten it finished. Thank you so much, ladies!!

Snuggly warm!
The pattern, if you're interested, was the September quilt from the Leisure Arts leaflet #2131, "A Year of Afghans, Book Two: Twelve Designs to Crochet," ©1991. It was crocheted using Caron's Simply Soft, 100% acrylic, worsted weight yarn. It is amazingly soft, delightfully warm, and weighs almost 5 lbs! The only downside is that the yarn is so soft and slippery, the ends of my yarn tails like to un-weave themselves and hang loose after I've woven them in. If anyone knows a solution for this, I'd love it if you could share!

Another bonus to finishing this afghan, is that I will now, finally! get to start the In Bloom knit, felted-wool bag that I've been eyeing in Debbie Stoller's book, "Stitch'n Bitch Superstar Knitting: Go Beyond the Basics." I bought the yarn, Cascade Yarn's Cascade 220, from my favorite yarn shop, The Knitting Nest in Weyauwega, Wisconsin, two and a half years ago. Really! I've got the receipt to prove it! I promised myself that I could only start it after I finished PG's afghan, and now that time has arrived at last!

The In Bloom bag is ready to go!
I've never knit intarsia before, and this will also be my first time felting wool, but diving into things that I've never done before is why my husband nick-named me Intrepid, right? And, besides, I know that if I need help I'll have Catherine, the Knitting Nest's Yarn Diva, and my friends at Crafting Bee to help out.

The crafting world would be a much smaller place without our good friends to enable -errr- encourage us in our new endeavors!

Getting started on Double Diamonds

This week also saw work continuing on my Baby Grand quilt when Part 2 of Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery quilt came out last Friday. She has us making these Double Diamond units this week. Since I'm making my units at half size, these li'l cuties are going to finish at only 2 inches! I've got 14 made so far, but all the rest of my pieces are cut, and my lines have been marked on the backs of my squares, so I'm all ready to sew up the rest.

Dad was a bit of a diamond in the rough too!
The basket in which I'm storing the in-progress pieces and finished units for this step belonged to my dad. He was born in Michigan, so I guess it's pretty appropriate that that I'm using it as I make this quilt that was inspired by that state's historic Grand Hotel. Dear ol' Dad passed away eleven years ago, so it's nice to be able to think of him while I work. Maybe I'll dedicate this quilt to his memory. He loved the outdoors, and I know he'd love the colors and fabrics that I chose for this quilt.

Double Diamonds doing a dance
Double Diamonds and Broken Dishes dancing together

Of course, the finished units don't stay in the basket for too long before I have to take them out and start playing with them again. These Double Diamond blocks are very dynamic, and I can't wait to see how Bonnie has us using them in the finished quilt!

If you want to see want to see the progress that others are making on their Grand Illusion quilts, you can check out the link-up on Bonnie's Quiltville blog here

So, that's all for this week. I hope that you're finding some happy finishes too!

~Intrepid Meredith


  1. Congratulations on getting that beautiful afghan finished!

    Your tiny mystery blocks are looking wonderful. It is fun to see everyone's ideas on how the different units can be combined.

  2. Great work Meredith! Love the star layouts you have guessed at!

  3. The afghan you made for your daughter is absolutely gorgeous! It looks like a lot of work and love was put in it. Your units are looking great for your Grand Illusion mystery quilt. I am working on finishing mine today. Have a great day!