Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ridiculous Yarn

My friend Dana has a little sister, Erika. She's five years younger than us, she and Dana are very close. Erika and I have always shared a special connection, too, as though she could be my 'honorary little sister'. When she graduated from college, her sister couldn't be there, so I went down to Cal Poly with their parents and spent her graduation weekend with them. I was at her wedding and I couldn't wait to meet both of her kids. Erika is a funny, free-spirit, and so is her five-year-old son.

Little Zacky is a character. He makes me giggle, and he's a total honey-pot. Both of Erika's pregnancies were very difficult, and when Zacky was four, she ended up on bed-rest for the last few months before her daughter was born. Dana called me up and asked me to go by and teach her how to crochet, because she was so bored. I brought her yarn and some hooks and taught her the basic stitches. She was making a blanket for her baby-to-be, but when Zacky saw it he demanded his own blanket.

He went with his dad's sister to the yarn store. Dana does not make things, Erika does not make things, and Zack's auntie does not make things. It is the only explanation for the yarn they returned with for Zacky's new blanket. It is perfect for his personality ~ in that it looks like a happy circus. But it is the most ridiculous yarn I've ever seen for actually making something. It is thick, and fuzzy, and I swear, it is variegated rainbow colors. It burns my retnas.

She had started a blanket, but it was done in single crochet, which, if you don't crochet, won't mean anything to you, but if you do crochet, you can laugh here, because this thing was only about 20 rows of single crochet and it had already eaten through 3 skeins and it weighed about 5 pounds.

I frogged the whole thing and made this enormous ball of yarn. Scotty? Fell in love with this ball of yarn. He was really upset when I tried to take it back, to figure out what kind of blanket could be made with this stuff.

Here he is trying to hide with his ball.

Man. He really did not want to give me this yarn! I finally, gently, explained to him that Zacky really needed a new blanky, and I could only help him if I could use the big ball of yarn.

"Okay, Mama, you can have my ball."

Be still my heart.

I used everything from the original blanket, plus the two extra skeins, and the blanket is mostly done. I'll need to pick up two more skeins. I used this free pattern from Lion Brand. It's free, but you have to register. It's a super basic shell pattern though [off a chain 36, establish your first row by skipping every other chain and working alternating shells of 5 double crochets, and single crochets. Three double crochets at each end. If you need more than that, the pattern is very easy to follow, and again, free.] This pattern calls for a different thick yarn, but it works. I think a simple dc/sc alternating pattern could also have worked, but I like how old-fashioned the shell pattern looks. I think the vintage tip helps to tone down the very, very, very bright colors!

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