Sunday, August 26, 2007

UFO = Unexpected Finished Object

A few years ago, someone close to me requested a handknit afghan. He had had a red and black striped afghan as a child, and thought it would be great to have another. I was a relatively new knitter, but I found a pattern online, picked up some acrylic at Wal-Mart, and got started.

If you've read this blog for very long, you know I don't make afghans (or anything square for that matter). So, quite frankly, I didn't get very far.

Last year, the relationship with that person was... over... and I wanted to get rid of the partial afghan and materials, and my friend Tobie was interested in finishing it for her son, so everything went to her. I wrote out the little modified pattern and showed her how to complete it, then bestowed all the materials on her.

Fast forward to yesterday morning. Tobie, Wendy and I all worked at the yarn store together yesterday. In the morning, Tobie brought up the subject of the afghan. She hasn't worked on it at all because she's had too many other pressing projects (I can totally empathize with that), and she realized she didn't need the afghan, and wondered if I wanted it back, or if there was anything we could do with it. Wendy suggested somebody bind it off at whatever length it already was and donate it to Project Linus. We all agreed this was a fabulous idea, and easy to execute, since our shop is one of the biggest collection areas of Project Linus blankets in southwestern Ohio. Tobie would bring the blanket the next time we saw each other, I'd finish it off, and donate it.

Not ten minutes later, a lady walked into the store with a crocheted granny square afghan she'd started in 1970! It was almost double-bed-sized and really pretty... all of the granny squares were black on the outside with different bright colors on the inside. It was really cool. She'd been trying to get it completely finished and was looking for a border to put around the edges to make it a little bit bigger. She also wanted to know what kind of yarn she should use for the border. She wanted to make it black, and we decided she'd do well with some black acrylic yarn from Wal-Mart or somewhere comparable.

A moment later, it struck me. There was a ton of black acrylic yarn with that afghan I'd given to Tobie. I didn't have a use for it anymore. Tobie wasn't going to use it. I offered it to the customer and she waited while Tobie ran home for the blanket and yarn. It couldn't have worked out any better!

After that lady left, while we were slow before lunchtime, I finished the blanket with two rows and a bindoff, wove in the ends, and put it on the pile for Project Linus. Talk about an unexpected finished object. And, I actually finished an afghan! How much does that rock!

The finished afghan measured 40" wide by 44" tall. Not huge, but I was surprised I had actually done that much. If you're interested in making your own, here's the pattern, modified from the original pattern I found online.

Color A, worsted weight yarn, held double throughout. Lots of yardage.
Color B, worsted weight yarn, held double throughout. Lots of yardage.
Size US 10.5, 29" circular needle.

With two strands of color A, cast on a multiple of four stitches plus three. To make one the same size as mine, cast on 139 stitches.

Row 1: slip 1, *knit 1, slip 1, move yarn to front, slip 1, move yarn to back, slip 1* repeat between * and * until 2 stitches from end, knit 2.

Row 2: slip 1, purl 2, *slip 1, purl 3* repeat between * and * to end.

Row 3: slip 1, knit to end

Row 4: slip 1, purl to end

Repeat rows 1-4 twice more, for a total of 12 rows with color A, then switch to color B and knit rows 1-4 three times. Continue stripes as set until blanket measures as long as you like.


Barbara said...

You do, too, make square stuff -- I have several washcloths that are proof of that! HA! HUGS!

~Tonia~ said...

What a great idea. Isn't it funny how things work out like that.

Brenda said...

I am VERY impressed! It is loverly indeed.

MollyBeees said...

Very cool! Project Linus and saving making another person's day in a RAK. A twofer!I bow to you!