Picking Up Old Projects; Or, Franken-crochet
It seems to be a theme of mine that no afghan I begin will be finished within 5 years. It just doesn’t happen. One afghan, which I began in high school, grew to gigantic proportions and was finally completed at a writing retreat some time after college. The next was completed in all but piecing together for years until I finally admitted to myself I wasn’t going to make any more pieces and joined the darn things together. My problem is, quite obviously, that I’m in denial that I won’t actually do what I set out to do, so I don’t do anything at all, for a while. Then — at a certain point — I just want to get the pile of yarn out of my sight, so I finish it – albeit not in the original way planned.
I know I’m not the only one with the never-ending projects. This makes me feel slightly less lazy and foolish.
Last year I started yet another afghan (they are all crocheted, by the way). It was deliberately a ‘crazy afghan’ (think crazy quilt). I wanted it to be all different colors, all different shapes of mutated granny squares. Hexagons! Octagons! Squares! Oh my. I even began making a few slightly larger crazies and putting semi-identical little crazies around them, like the petals on a flower. It was encouraging. Progress! I made these pieces a few at a time – on the morning commute downtown, at the airport, on my lunch break. By the time I left that job and moved cities, I had a bag full of crocheted psychotic flowers and some random crazies I hadn’t found homes for yet in the pattern. Big enough for an afghan? Not even close.
Fast forward. Pieces sit in said bag for seven months, languishing.
Last week, while friends and family were at my place for Eat-Until-You’re-Ill Holiday # 1, I pulled out the pieces and laid them out on the floor. I also discovered a single square that never made it into Afghan The Second, years ago, because it would have looked like this if used:
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Umm, yeah, I don’t know what the hell kind of blanket that would be. The kind where you have it over two people but it only covers one person’s feet? So the little square bit was left over and had been living with my random extra yarn for years. Well, I used it! It became the center of Afghan The Third, and the crazy flowers and extra bits were laid out below and above the center piece. I have joined all those bits together and will now be using the random extra yarn to fill out the sides (it’s long enough for a bedspread now but not wide enough).
Flexibility seems to be the key in my finishing things. Not letting myself give up on something simply because I don’t have the right yarn anymore, having long since moved cities and never having bought enough in the first place. Not letting the bulgey, oblong way in which I have crocheted the disparate pieces together be a deterrent in continuing to add more pieces! Basically, being okay with less than perfect. Thank goodness for low standards.
I have never made an afghan to a pattern, and I might never do so. That would require a whole lot more forethought and patience than I seem to possess when it comes to enormous crafty projects. But I do find that I like the crazy afghan route. So come on Afghan The Third! Perhaps you will be done by Christmas 2012.