Sunday, July 17, 2011

Revisiting an old hobby . . .

I fell in love with this afghan from Pottery Barn.  Doesn't it just scream cozy?  It made me think of cuddling up on a chilly afternoon with a fire burning in the fireplace and a cup of hot cocoa steaming by my side . . .  Then I looked at the price tag:  $79!  “Are they kidding me?” I thought.  “I could do this myself for a fraction of the cost!”


And so it began.  With delusions of grandeur running amok, I've spent $66.25 in yarn and pattern books.  Then, because I didn't know how to crochet a cable stitch and had actually never really learned how to read patterns, I decided to take a class at our local Joann's - for an additional $35 (I tried YouTube, but in this instance, it wasn't helping).


Let me tell you, it's been a while since I have been challenged like this.  I have been so frustrated with this stitch!  I can't begin to count how many times I wanted to give up!  I cursed Pottery Barn and the day I saw that throw!  But there's always an epiphany:  I had been practicing the pattern on the yarn that they gave me when I took the class - a chartreuse green color - and I just wasn't “feeling it” - I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, or visualizing the end product. 


I decided to get a skein of white yarn and try again.  It began to get easier.  For one thing, I felt calmer - I only thought to give up once every 10 minutes or so . . .  And finally . . . Voilà!  Yes!!!  Victory is mine!!!  I feel like a football player doing a silly touchdown dance!  Check out this perfectly executed cable turn!


Now let's get this party started!  I've chosen a 100% cotton yarn that feels wonderful on my skin.  It's not very stretchy, but, oh, it's a dream to work with . . . and did I mention how great it feels?


Even looking at the pile of skeins makes me happy!  And do you notice the label?  What could be more delicious than working with sugar and cream? 


There will probably be some shrinkage . . . and I've added to the length and width of the original pattern so another trip to the store for more yarn is in the works . . . who knows how much this afghan will truly cost me in the end.  But how do you price satisfaction . . . ?


16 comments:

Nicki said...

I can't wait to see the end product. And while you have paid the purchase price of Pottery Barn's, you will be able to make more, and the cost will be to your advantage. This would make a wonderful Christmas gift.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Oh I hate it when I look at things and think, "Oh I could make that!" I'm trying to *reign in* my hobbies, not expand them! But it's hard to help it, especially when you see something overpriced. And you do come out ahead because of what Nicki said. You'll still have the needles and any leftover yarn and the knowledge. So the next one won't be anywhere near as expensive.

Natasha in Oz said...

We have only just been able to get pottery barn stuff delivered over here so I am still studying the catalogues. Their products are gorgeous but I bet your creation will be even nicer!

Thanks so much for popping by my blog-it's lovely to meet you! I'm following you and look forward to hearing more about your afghan!

Best wishes,
Natasha.

Amanda said...

Good for you for doing this :) I like the cable stitch by the way. I can't wait to more photos as your throw progresses. I don't really know how to crochet, but would love to make things like this.

Reds said...

Beautiful work!! Would love to crochet - I started learning with youtube... but didn't get very far - can't wait to see the end product!

Margaret said...

That is going to be so beautiful when you are done! I admire your diligence and your ability to do a lovely cable stitch. :)

Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape said...

I love the color. It's always better to learn to make things yourself, in my opinion. It's certainly worth the money and time spent, gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Barb said...

Just look at all the fun you are having and going to have! I also love the colors of the afghans.

Kathy said...

You're going to love it! My daughter and husband crochet and have a great time together! I need to get back to it! Perhaps make a throw like this too!
Thanks for visiting! Will be back!
Kathy

Denise at Forest Manor said...

Hi Maria,

I love your story about crocheting the afghan throw -- so funny! My mom used to make those; I have one in my living room right now, and one stored away that she made for our son when he was a baby. I will always treasure them. Congrats on mastering that cable stitch; it really does look lovely! And I do love that soft color. We feel so much better about ourselves when we persevere instead of giving up; even if we complain along the way. I know I do.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for taking time to leave a comment. You have some lovely tablescapes; I enjoy doing those too. I'm a follower on your blog now. BTW, I also liked your post on The Labor of Democracy. Have a great week!

Denise

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
You are going to have a lot of fun sweet lady.
I would love to crochet some placemats for my Tablescape dishes !!! Thanks so much for your sweet comments on post !!! I hope you and your lovely family have a Great Week. Im putting my new tablescape on today ~~~
XXOO Diane

A Perfect Setting said...

Hi Maria, I've spent some time on your blog today, and it's awesome! Great tablescapes and yummy food--I'm not sure how I missed you, but thanks for visiting with me, and your kind comments. I will be back to see what you're up to. Can't wait to see that afghan! Take care!
Betsy

The Tablescaper said...

Just think, the next one you will make will be a piece of cake! Thanks for being part of Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

Rene said...

I love hand made afghans so much more than anything store bought. We have 2 that are made by my mother and we all fight over them in the winter. Just knowing that each stitch was made with her hands means so much more - and the yarns are gorgeous.

Good for you for revisiting your old hobby.

Tricia said...

Wow, I didn't even know you could do a cable stitch in crochet! I love cables in knitting -- they're easy to do, but look complex. Your afghan will be a thing of beauty, for sure! Happy crocheting!

Angela2932 said...

I'm sure it's going to be absolutely gorgeous when your done! And think of all the Mindfulness you can do while you crochet! I remember the blanket you crocheted and sent me for Scott when he was born, and you were talented at crochet even way back then!