Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Great American Afghan

In January of 2010, my local yarn store, Cast Away, had a sample of Knitter's Magazine's Great American Afghan and after seeing the beautiful squares, I decided that I would like to make one for my home. I usually always put a lot of thought into my knitting projects and like to do my research before casting on. My go-to place for any knitting project or pattern info is Ravelry. Upon going there, I found many photos of other finished Great American Afghans, as well as yarn suggestions and notes. I wanted to make the best looking afghan with as few colors as possible. This afghan has a lot going on with 25 different textured squares designed by 25 different designers and I thought that too many colors would make the afghan look too busy.

I went to Cast Away and looked over the big wall of Cascade 220 wool. I knew I wanted teal to be one of my colors. I found the perfect shade of teal, called Como Blue. The Duck's Egg Blue seemed like a nice complementary color. I rounded it out with Alki Beach and Natural. Then I chose which squares would be made with which colors based upon the texture and theme of the square.  I soon cast on my first square, the SOCKS square, which as it turned out was the most labor intensive. I am a sock knitting teacher so I thought it only right it would start here:

Yes, that is a mini-pair of fair-isle socks.

I found that I really loved the process of knitting so many different, interesting squares. Each employed unique stitch patterns that I found both challenging and rewarding to knit. Several of them used entrelac techniques and were so lovely:

Some of the squares were inspired by nature like these:

 (the color is not very true here)

 No afghan would be complete with out some cables:

 This one was a sampler of sorts.

These squares explored some really interesting techniques:

 This one uses intarsia knitting for the tan knotted bits.
I love the crazy geometrics here:
 Here's a long icord made into chains on the top and bottom.

And this was my final square. It was worked from the outside edge into the center. I think it is perhaps the most lovely.

I absolutely loved knitting this project. It was a wonderful year of knitting and I am so pleased with the results. If you'd like to see the rest of the squares that make up my GAA, you can see them over on my Ravelry projects page. You do have to be a Ravelry member to see my page.


Jill L said...

This is wonderful -- so much wok, but worth every stitch!

Diane said...

absolutely fabulous!!!