A Wedding Present Afghan

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

My niece got married this summer and a wedding is an afghan giving event! As soon as I heard the news I scoured through all of my saved blanket patterns and found one that I've been wanting to make for a long time --Floral Cables by Diane Poellot from the book Top Technique & Special Stitch Afghans.

The pattern was written for worsted weight yarn but when I was shopping for the yarn the two that spoke to me were Lion Brand Heartland (an aran weight yarn) and Lion Brand Tweed Stripes (a bulky weight yarn). Could I make these two completely different yarns work for this pattern? The only way to tell was to buy the yarn and give it a try!

After working a few samples I felt confident that they were going to be compatible but the pattern would need a few adjustments. In some areas it took a couple of tries to make things right (and a fair amount of ripping back) but ultimately I was able to tweak the pattern and make the two weights of yarn work.

The result is spectacular and I may very well be making this afghan again for me! I love how using the heavier weight yarn not only provides the contrasting color but also "pops" the details of the cables and flowers.

Here are the most important changes I made:

1. The pattern called for an I hook but after experimentation I settled on a K hook for both weights. The K hook is the recommended size for the Tweed Stripe yarn but I did make an effort to crochet tightly when working with it. The Heartland yarn is listed on Ravelry as an Aran weight yarn but it feels like a lightweight worsted (I found it similar to Caron Simply Soft) however, it worked well with the Tweed Stripes using the K hook.

2. I struggled with the given instructions for the star stitch so I switched to this DROPS version (including using a half double crochet (hdc) instead of a single crochet). It took a few attempts to make sure that the "stars" aligned because if a hdc was forgotten or the star stitch was incorrectly executed they didn't line up in the next row.

3. There were a couple of places where I added additional rows to balance the yarn weight differences:
  • I repeated row 4 of the center panel two more times.
  • I added a row of single crochets between rows 6 and 7 of the cable panel to balance the edges.

    4. The pattern for the cables needed to be rewritten to accommodate the bulky weight of the Tweed Stripes and got changed to:
    Ch 2, skip next 2 sts, sc in next st. TURN, work 3 sc in ch-2 space just made, TURN, holding cable to the front, sc in each of 2 skipped sc on last row.
    Ravelry Project Page - Floral Cables Afghan

    5. I worked three rows of single crochet for the border but turned each row (rather than the usual way of working in a round) to achieve the same look as the background behind the flowers.


    Beth Fredericks said...

    YOU are an amazing artist! Loved seeing this afghan last night!

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