Friday, February 8, 2008

The Last Afghan Square

Many of you have asked me if I have finished knitting my final afghan square. Yes, I have - 3 times!

I wanted my last square to be an easy one, after spending about 10 hours each on many of the other squares. In our advanced cables class, the students are encouraged to design their own last square, so I thought I'd be a good example. I still wanted to maintain my "forest and foliage" theme - just as long as it was fast. I definately have problems with patience at the end of a long project.

A simple dishcloth style, starting with a knit-in eyelet leaf seemed like a design that would help me reach my goal quickly. All that I needed to do was garter stitch with an increase at each end on alternate rows. Of course by the midway point I was bored and changed to a stocking stitch and eyelet pattern and just decreased much like I had increased - each end, alternate rows. Having just taught a finishing class a couple of weeks ago, you would think that I would have remembered talking about the ratio of stitch width to height on garter stitch vs other stitch patterns - but no - I just kept knitting away and ended up with an elongated diamond as the top section of my "square". Feeling rather foolish, I ripped back to the middle and decreased as I would for a stocking stitch square - 3 out of 4 rows - not thinking about the effect of the eyelets - and ending up with another very lop-sided "square". It was back to the middle again and this time a proper decrease of 4 out of 5 rows and finally a real square. A few appliqued leaves from Nicky Epstein's book Knitted Embellishments completed the effect - finally. When will I ever learn to follow my own advise and try a little tension swatch first?

This was the last square of my second Heritage Afghan. Several of the squares were from the "Great North American Aran Afghan" and other booklets in the series. I chose squares that had leaves, trees or other foliage to tie into the decor for our house that is located in the middle of a forest. The border is a sculpted leaf pattern and is about half finished. Then, all that is left is the assembly. (Hopefully none of you are keeping track of the growing number of my "almost finished" projects). I promise pictures soon.


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