Afghan 5 of 2 – Christmas Cover-Up

This is going to be the most annoying to write post I’ve done.  For some reason I keep losing the cursor on my laptop.  The good thing is that usually I can still work it by using the touchscreen.  It’s just hard to do some things that way with my fat fingers.  This is one of those times where I wish I understood computers better.

So I have finished this year’s teacher afghans.  Each of Willow and Jarrett’s regular teachers will be getting one for Christmas.  I’ll go back and get the three I had planned on getting this year another year.  Of course, after I thought I was finished Willow told me she has another teacher everyday.  She says it’s okay, because this teacher is only her teacher for this nine weeks.  It’s for RTI (which I still don’t know what that is), which changing each nine weeks.  I felt sick when she told me about her, but next year she will be one of Willow’s regular teachers.  School gets so confusing in middle school!

On top of all the teacher confusion, I have another new problem with my crocheting.  We are bottle feeding a baby goat.  Due to needing to feed him so often he is living INSIDE our house.  He has apparently decided that I am his mom.  He’s worse than a kitten about playing with my yarn!

George

He really wants to eat my yarn.  Since he enjoys watching car shows with my husband, he has been named for George Barris.  He drives me absolutely crazy, but he can be sort of cute sometimes.  The one way I’ve found to get him to leave my yarn alone is to let him cuddle on my lap.  It makes it a little more difficult to crochet with his head resting on my arm, but it’s easier than constantly pushing him off my stuff.

cuddly George

Christmas Cover-Up is a pretty simple pattern.  I found that it was not what I was expecting.  Before when I’ve done afghans with long double crochet stitches there has been an open stitch from placing a chain skip stitch where I was supposed to place the long double crochet.  Also, this is the first time I’ve done extended long double crochet.  I do not like those.  I have a feeling they’ll get snagged on things very easily.

no chain

Willow says this is her favorite afghan this year.

full

I think this one should go to a math teacher.  The way the long double crochet stitches and extended long double crochet stitches are laid out looks like the marks on a ruler. I was so afraid I was going to miss a stitch somewhere and have those lines all squiggly.

close up

I went to get gift bags for these.  I like to use the reusable shopping bags for that, since they’re much sturdier and cheaper than actual gift bags.  Cracker Barrel usually carries great Christmas bags for this.  Unfortunately when we went there for the bags they were already sold out of Christmas themed bags.  They had some really pretty peacock bags.  We got some of those, but we’re still looking for a couple more.  Since Willow has three male teachers this year we are guessing they don’t want the girly bags.

Afghan 4 of 2 – Evergreen

Evergreen is an interesting looking afghan.  The pictures make it look a lot more difficult than it really is.  It’s basically a bunch of V stitches.  Now I’ve decided I need an afghan photographer.  Mine pictures just aren’t as impressive as those professionals.  Unfortunately I’d probably have to pay in afghans, so I’ll be doing my own pictures for the foreseeable future.

The picture from the book had this looking so thick and intricate, I was sure it would be a major headache to do.

closeup

When you look at it from the side it’s easy to see the V stitches.

side

This afghan is a bit smaller than most of the afghans I have made lately.  It doesn’t quite cover my bed.  It has a nice length.  I imagine most of these school color afghans will be used for football games, and no one wants a huge blanket for that anyway.

full

It is a pretty neat looking afghan.  It could easily be made wider.  Since each row worked runs top to bottom it felt like I was working on it forever with very little progress.  I did finally get it finished after working through most of Thanksgiving and my church’s craft night.  Now I guess I have one more to finish for teachers this year!

Granny’s book – Buffalo Plaid

A while back my dad sent me a box full of his mom’s patterns and a couple of afghans.  My daughter instantly claimed the afghans.  I get to see them once in a while to wash them.  Her bedroom tends to be a black hole for afghans, though.  She asks if she can have just about every afghan that I don’t already have a plan to give to someone else.  Sometimes she’ll still ask if I’ll make another one like that for her.  I would gladly make as many for her as she wants, but she would not have room for anything else if I did.

One of the pattern books that he sent to me was this one.  It’s another book titled “A Year of Afghans.”  The other ones I’ve seen are Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3.  This one is simply “1997.”  Also it’s a hard back book instead of soft back like the others.  It is a Leisure Arts book like the others.

book

One of the best parts of this book is there are some pages where she used paper to save her place.  She wrote her shopping list for those afghans, so I know what color she was using for them!

I decided to do the Buffalo Plaid pattern from this book for a teacher gift.  It is one that uses two strands of yarn at a time, so it’s very heavy and warm.  With that in mind it takes a surprisingly small amount of yarn to make.  The book did it in black and red.  That looked great, but I went with the school’s red and grey.

One of the reasons I chose this pattern is that it looked so easy.  The pattern was simple to do, but each of the squares looked deformed while I was working on it.

square

The pattern is almost like a simplified granny square.  As easy as those are, you can imagine how easy this was.  The hardest part was doing the two strands and using a Q hook.  It’s hard for me to keep the tension the same doing that.

close up

Although it feels like this thing is HUGE, it does just fit my queen size bed.

full afghan

The only thing that looks really bad about this afghan is the back.  Since I refuse to do whipstitch when I feel like I can get away with slip stitching blocks together, that’s what I did.  It would probably work better in a smaller gauge.  It’s very visible in this.  It is hard enough to see it due to the colors matching that I was fine with doing this.

back

This is one of those afghans that Willow has asked that I make another one for her.

Afghan 34 – Warm Autumn Wrap

I’ve gotten a start on next year’s teacher Christmas gifts.  I only need to make enough three to have enough for my son’s teachers.  My daughter will be in sixth grade, so she will have the same teachers for three years in a row.  When Jarrett is in sixth grade and Willow is in seventh grade they will have the same teachers, so I’ll have them both do afghans as gifts to those teachers from both of them.  I may end up letting Willow give afghans to other school staff.  She was upset when I told her that I would only be making afghans for Jarrett’s teachers this year.  I can’t believe my daughter is so happy about something I do!!

I made Warm Autumn Wrap in the school colors.  The book has it in shades of Terra Cotta that are similar to each other.  Before I started making this I didn’t even realize it was a ripple afghan.  I thought it had a shell design.  With the colors being so much different from each other it’s much easier to see the ripple pattern.

close up

It’s pretty exciting to have one Christmas gift out of the way when today was the last day of this year’s school!  Now we can look forward to a couple of lazy months.full afghan

Afghan 22 – Fall Splendor

You may remember my picture of a previous attempt at Fall Splendor:

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Even though I had a lot of issues, I did get a note from one of the hotel housekeepers for this one.

note
I still keep it in my suitcase to give me a smile.

Thanks to a tip from fiveboysmom, I was able to get this one done correctly. I just did not want to do my cluster stitches around the Fpdc on the other side of this one. That is how it had to be done. It is written that way. It makes sense. I just had some sort of mind block preventing me from wanting to do it that way. When I was doing it wrong, the reverse side looked and felt like those waffle weave blankets.

While I did get the stitches correct (I counted every row), I still messed up on this afghan. After getting about half way through it, it had gotten pretty heavy. The bulk of what I had done would fall off my lap. My stitches got looser. This is the reason that it did not turn out to be a perfect rectangle as it should have. Luckily, this was a gift for someone we love like family, so she seems to overlook its flaws!

finished

This is the last of the school afghans I had planned. This one went to the kids’ bus driver. She is also our neighbor, so it was okay that it wasn’t quite finished before the end of school. We still got it to her before Christmas.

I do have some of these colors left. I don’t know if I’ll go ahead and use them together or put them with other colors for afghans. You’ll find out shortly after I do.

Afghan 21 – Simple Stripes

The last afghan I made for my kids’ teachers was Simple Stripes. In the book they did it with a main color and two different colors for stripes. I did it with cherry red as the main color and used Heather grey as the color for all the stripes. It was so easy to do!

Since it is worked from side to side (your starting chain is one edge, and you work across) I could see from the beginning that is would be a long one. It is also worked with two strands at once for the whole thing, so it’s really thick.

finished

The two grey stripes on each side of the afghan look nice even though I didn’t change colors. The only one that I would have used with my theme would have been white. I think for this afghan the only way it would have worked to use all three different colors would have been to use white as the main color. I know I could never keep a mostly white afghan looking decent. I like it just fine with all the stripes (there are four of them) the same color.

close up

With that all the teacher afghans are DONE!

all

I had to overlap them a lot to get them all onto my giant couch. I did take a picture of my kids posing with them, but apparently my daughter is incapable of posing without putting her butt in the air, so I will not be including that.

After I took all the pictures I wanted, it was time to let the kids pick which teacher would get which afghan. The good Lord knows my kids can’t do anything like that without a fight. My daughter had been especially feisty that evening, so we let our son call heads or tails and my husband flipped a coin. He called heads. It landed on tails. Willow got to start choosing, and they took turns from there.

I used reusable shopping bags as gift bags. The main reason I did this was because Cracker Barrel had their Christmas themed bags on sale for 99 cents. The cheapest gift bags I could find that would have fit these afghans in them cost closer to $5. I was also unwilling to buy boxes and wrap them. (I think I put enough effort into these to not call myself lazy on this one.) Another good thing about the reusable shopping bags is that since they are coated, they don’t tear as easily as gift bags do. Those heavy afghans probably would have ripped most of the gifts bags when I put them in there.

I was a little sad when we took the gifts to school. After their Christmas program, we went to the entry to the hall where their classrooms are. Parents were not allowed to go down the hall. Two teachers were stationed at the door to the hall. One checked names off a list, and the other yelled down the hall for each child when parents arrived to take them home. We had them call our children’s names to get their gifts. Our son took the gifts to each teacher and left without seeing them look to see what they had received. He was ready to go home. Our daughter wanted to stay at school for the rest of the day, so she got to see her teachers’ reactions to their gifts. I really wish I could have seen them get their gifts, but I do understand that if every parent did the same it would be chaos.

Afghan 19 – Autumn Spice

Autumn Spice is another afghan I made for one of the kids’ teachers. It’s also in the school colors. I used Cherry Red, Charcoal Grey, and White. It turned out to be really easy, but I still managed to make a mistake. I just wasn’t paying attention. On the first set of FPtr, I did it on the next dc instead of the dc below the next dc. It makes a big difference.
oopsIn this picture you can see the difference between what I first did and what I was supposed to do. I noticed the mistake early, but left it as it was. Mistakes are a signature!

This one makes number 4 for the teachers. I now have two left to finish before December 18.
finished

If I’m as busy as I have been, finishing in time shouldn’t be a problem.