Saturday, January 9, 2010

Red Purl Afghan Finished

When we left the Red Purl KAL afghan, it had been assembled, but not edged.

I was thinking about a fringed edge and gave it a try but didn't like how it turned out. I also had doubts about whether this blanket really needed more. Perhaps it was time to tell myself, "Enough already."

So I changed the plan to a simple crocheted slip stitch edging. I considered, and even tried out a "crab stitch" edging that I had read about. It's simply a slip stitch done backwards (hence, crab)--i.e. working to the right instead of to the left.

I found it a lot more awkward to do and saw no difference in the final result. Never one to do more work for the same outcome, I stuck with the regular slip stitch.

A slip stitch edging adds almost no width to the afghan, but provides a very nice finishing line to unify the perimeter. The most dramatic difference is at the intersections of the blocks.

Here are two sample intersections where the top picture is before edging and the bottom is after the edging is applied.

You can see how the edging just nicely fills any gaps and smooths out the outside line.

Now were you wondering about the fringed edging that I didn't think worked?

I read about it in some book (I would guess one of Nicky Epstein's, but I have no idea anymore) but had never tried it. Very simple to do, it could be a nice way to add a little pizazz to some lucky object.

I worked a sample separately, but you could also knit this along an edge attaching it as you go. If you don't attach as you go, obviously you will have to sew the edging on when it's done.

Knit to the length you need:
I chose to knit it seven stitches wide, but it could be worked over however many stitches you want. It just depends on how wide you want to make it.

Then I cast off four stitches. (Again you could experiment with how many you want to do.)
Then drop the three remaining stitches, and ravel them all the way down to the beginning.

The raveled stitches form a nice fringed loop:
Doesn't that look great? And much easier than tying a bunch of loops onto an edge. Recently I saw the same technique described in another book and they suggested using two strands--then the fringe would be twice a thick. (And would go a lot faster too!)

Although I chose not to use it for this piece, I will definitely keep it in mind next time I want a fringe.
Project Stats
: 11 Jan 09
Finished: 2 Jan 10
Pattern: monthly stitch patterns from the owner and patrons of the Red Purl
Materials: Malabrigo worsted
Red Mahogany, Blue Surf, Lettuce, Simply Taupe, Hollyhock, Glazed Carrot, Cadmium, approx. $80-$90

So this is the end of my writing about this afghan. I enjoyed the process very much. Although I can't imagine ever paying $100 for an afghan (even one I like this much) from a store or a craft sale, it was totally worth the price because of the experience.

I loved getting together with everyone at the Purl each month. I loved seeing everyone else's afghans with their individual choices of yarn and colours. And the "mystery" aspect was fun too--not knowing what you were going to do each month and really not knowing what the final result would be.

I will miss going this year's KAL meetings (the first one's tomorrow), but passing up this year's project will make room for other things.


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