Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rockman Afghan CAL Week #2

Week Two
Making the Strips
Hello there and welcome!
This week we are going to start the strips and I'll start with the super duper short version for you experts out there that are familiar with tunisian crochet:
Ch 10, Tunisian crochet 7 rows of any color, *change colors for 7 more rows*. Repeat from * to * 33 more times for a total of 34 color blocks. Also note that when you change colors you will weave in
 both colors as you crochet the first new color row.
You may be very, very sorry if you don't weave as you go,
but I would never be one to say "I told you so" ;-).
When changing colors be sure to leave the last two loops on the hook and pull
the new color through both loops for a seamless color transition.
Explained with greater detail in photo tutorial below.
One strip takes me about 3-4 hours,
so in other words, on Tuesday night after two evenings of watching  DWTS, one strip is complete.
And that strip will forever, in my mind be, the Foxtrot, or the Tango or the Jitterbug etc.

Make 16-20 strips depending on how much yarn you have,
keeping in mind that this is a labor of love.
Be sure to use the larger skein colors more often so you don't run out
 of one color way before the other colors, unless you want to save a color for the edging.
I also made sure that I did not repeat a color right next to the same color on the next strip.
This will take a little tracking.
Sometimes I would make two random strips with no rhyme or reason to the color order and then a third one that could fit between the two, making sure the colors would separate any two colors next to each other.
Did that make sense?

Mix it up a bit.
Be free.
Have fun.

So here we go on the step by step:
Pull out those supplies you gathered last week.
 Ch 10
 Pull up a loop in each CH and leave on hook
YO pull through first loop
YO pull through two loops...
repeat with two loops to the end until you have one loop left on hook.
Insert hook through the second vertical yarn line and pull up a  loop...
 like this.
Then do that to each vertical yarn to the end
(10 loops on hook again)
If you always make sure there are 10 then you'll know right away if you need
 to frog and fix. 10 is easy to count, 3,3,3, and 1 is what I push with my fingers.
That's the beauty of Tunisian.
Repeat this 7 more time until is looks like this,
but leave the last two loops on the hook for the color change.
(It will curl until blocked, so no worries. I'm holding it down with my hand in this photo.)
Snip the yarn a little longer than the width of the crochet
Like this
 Grab the new color of yarn and leave a tail a little longer than the width of the crochet.
 Slip the new color through the last two loops from your last row.
For this first new color row you will weave in the two ends
(the old color and the new color) in front and behind this row as you crochet.
This really is the only tricky part of this whole project and once you get it,
it will be a piece of cake after that.
 Here are a few more photos of what the looks like.
Repeat to end.
This is how your first new color row will look from the front side...
and this is how it will look from the back. See how nicely the new color works in.
 Leave these ends as they can be secured further with the joining crochet row. I originally snipped these because I felt like they were already secure enough, but upon washing they worked themselves out a little, so now I am thinking that they could be worked in with the join row next week, as well.

So, do this for 34 blocks of color, but on the last one cast off
like this:

On the last row leave only one loop left on the hook.
 Insert hook in second vertical yarn line and YO and pull through both the loops.
 Like this
Repeat to the end
It will look like this.
Nice huh? 
Now comes the fun part...
Make 16-20 of these strips for an afghan.
(I like even numbers because I am a weirdo it folds in half nicer that way. I got mixed up though and mine ended up being 17 strips - I could have sworn I had 18, maybe one is under the sofa....)
Don't worry about these curling up on the ends, it just happens and will flatten out upon joining strips, edging and washing and if that doesn't do it a little blocking will do the trick. :-)

If you are not up to such a big project then this patchwork concept can be made in to a baby blanket, a pillow, a scarf or even a stuffed animal...the possibilities are endless.

Here's a potholder - it only took about an hour and a half,
and it's made exactly the same as the afghan, just less squares.
Made from the leftover leftovers. :-)

Let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to 
connecting with you next week for the final week:

Joining and Edging

Have Fun!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A CAL Alternative

The Rockman Potholder
The Rockman CAL does not need to be an afghan or a potholder, for that matter.
It can be anything you want it to be.

Imagine the possibilities...
See the side bar for week-by-week instructions.
Click here for week one.
See you Tuesday for the next step!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rockman Afghan CAL Week #1

Announcing the:
and here's how it came about...
...several months ago I made this afghan for the "mancave":
 but it didn't really end up being that manly after all, now did it?

So it was time for the man to have a real manly afghan
and here it is:

(Please note: photos are before edging, washing and blocking - sorry about that, the sun went down and I ran out of time for photos in good light. More final photos in future posts.)
So come crochet-a-long whether it be manly or not,
because this project can be every bit as womanly as it can be manly.
Just change the colors and add a feminine edge.

Ya' know, once I asked my friends if they had any afghan patterns,
 specifically for women and you know what they did?
Yup, you guessed it...
they brought me binders full of women afghan patterns. hehe.

This C.A.L. will be three posts, starting today and the following two Tuesdays,
and here's:

Week One
Gather Supplies

...so first gather up some yarn:
 Yarn from your stash, the colors you like together, 
or ALL the colors from you stash.
For best results, use similar types of yarn.
These are all 100% acrylic of similar weight...Red Heart, Vanna, Hobby Lobby, etc.

I choose all greens, blues and reds because this is an afghan for my rockman,
and this is a photo of my rockman. He is a rockman on many levels as his undergraduate studies were in geology, he loves rocks, he has a "rock" nickname and he is my "rock". :-)

Additionally, he can carry this afghan to all rooms of the house and it will coordinate with any room.
(Insert visions of "Linus" here.)
I'm probably in BIG trouble now. ;-)
Oh and BTW, you will also need a size "H" hook, some scissors and a needle.
In hopes that this project will cost you as much as it has cost me...
zip, zero, zilch!

That's it for this week.
Easy, Peasy!

See you next week for
Making the Strips
and have a great week!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A CAL Promise

"The Autumn CAL is still in the works"
Remember that CAL I promised you for this autumn?
It was on this post.
I believe the promise was made last summer. 

And the rules were:
Low or no-cost
Limited ends to weave
Very little counting
Thick and warm for winter
Exceptionally easy

Well, being the rule follower that I am, all these rules have been followed
 and it's almost done!!!
In addition to being a rule follower, I am making every effort to be a promise keeper, 
so I am in hopes to get this CAL started next week - it's still autumn, right?
...maybe Tuesday. 
The key word here, for a nervous/non-committal promise keeper seeker, is "maybe".

In the interim, here's another hint:
(Keeping in mind that blocking has not entered the picture, yet.)
This was the first hint:
And here's the last hint for today:
 So sharpen up your Tunisian crochet skills,
gather up your stash, and get ready to play along!!!

P.S. My apologies, I just barely learned today that the seasons are not capitalized unless
they are part of a proper name. I have been repeatedly breaking this rule,
this is very uncomfortable news for a rule follower, such as myself. ;-)
(In hopes that, my friend Sue, will be most interested and delighted with this P.S.)