Monday, October 24, 2011

Afghan Logistics

(I'm afraid this is going to be a really trivial post on sewing together afghans. Please feel free to skip down to the cute cat pictures.)

So one of the things that has occupied my mind as I have been sewing afghan blocks is how to do it.

My first thought was that I wanted to minimize the number of ends to weave in. So I started thinking in terms of working with pieces of yarn as long as I could sew with. My first thought was to sew the squares in zig-zag pattern:

But after joining only a few that way, I could see that I was going to have trouble keeping them lined up. But I was reluctant to sew them in rows because joining all the squares together in a row would mean a lot of short pieces of yarn between the blocks all in a row. Which of course has led me to wonder how other people do it...most of the internet information I've seen is on the mechanics of sewing, not the order of assembly.

Then I had a brainwave. Who says I have to weave in the ends of the yarn joining the blocks? If I left a long tail, I could sew all the second row of blocks to the first (with one edge attached, they looked like a giant fringe); then I could use those dangling tails to sew the blocks together.

And that's what I did. The main downside is that the cats loved the dangling tails. I actually wound up finishing the second afghan first...oh, yes, I haven't shown you the second afghan yet, have I?
It kind of looks like the lining for an Easter basket. It's all the pastels.
Biscuit w/afghan

It's all sewn together and I'm on the border, so I'll get a better FO shot shortly. Where were we? Ah, dangling tails. Biscuit of course loved them:
Biscuit helps with the afghan

And Cookie couldn't resist joining in the fun, though his primary interest in afghans is sleeping on them (the one underneath him is one my grandmother made me).
Cookie helps with the afghan

So, what, you may be wondering, happened to the first afghan? The trouble with the first afghan is that I wanted to sew the squares such that no two identical squares were adjacent. Which meant laying them out on the floor for Biscuit to roll around on them. But once I'd done that, I needed to keep them in order. I considered pinning (too laborious), just stacking them (Biscuit would have had them spread randomly across the floor again in a trice) and then I finally hit on it. I stacked each row of blocks in the order they'll go on the afghan, ran a length of yarn through them, and put a tag with a row number on it.
afghan rows in waiting

They stay in order, and as long as I use the rows in sequence, I'll get everything in the order I had it laid out on the floor. All is well.

So, the first afghan is only about a third sewn, but at least it's off the floor, and the second one is being bordered. I was trying to figure out how much yarn I've used the other day and realized I should have counted the skeins at the start--it's a lot. I'm already through all the yarn I had in my own stash and two of the three bags my mom gave me. The orange is still in time out--I haven't decided what to do about it yet. Except that if there is an afghan number 3, I think it's going to wait a bit. I expect once these two afghans are done, I'm going to be afghaned out for a while.

The only problem...I'm going to have almost as much pastel yarn left as I had when I decided I had to make an afghan to use it up...

1 comment:

  1. Clever! I have resisted any sort of afghans that required seams because I would rather stab myself repeatedly with my size 1s than try to weave in ends so they're invisible, but that might make afghans a possibility.........