Happy Day!


I’m a pretty speedy knitter and crocheter. Combine that with the normally small projects that I tackle, and I’m used to producing things in a matter of days. Weeks, tops.

And so I was ill-prepared for what awaited me when I decided to make a blanket for the husband with yarn he picked out at The Tinsmith’s Wife.

Years ago, I made him a blanket – a cowabunga masterpiece, no less – but it’s apparently a very warm blanket. Suitable to winter time. Which, in Texas, only lasts about 12 minutes.

And so, he asked, could I make him a … summer blanket? Something a little less warm? And seeing how summer in San Antonio is an 8 month affair, it seemed a reasonable request.

And the yarn he found! Stunningly beautiful. A purple to grey to black gradient, who could resist! And it was even lightweight, cotton and acrylic. The perfect thing when you want to make something that’s not, you know, warm.

I didn’t have a pattern in mind, so I purchased 3 of the Whirlette mega-skeins in grape squish. And because Scheepjes apparently thinks of everything, I picked up some coordinating solid Whirls, one ball of Frosted and one of Licorice.

I tried out a lot of patterns, showed the results to the husband, and he picked his favorite. And – he asked – would it be possible to have the entire blanket do one fade? Instead of a striped effect of purple-gray-black-purple-gray-black-purple-gray-black, could it just be a single purple-gray-black?

I held my breath and counted to ten, and agreed that yes, I could make it do that.

But, you guys! The good folks at Scheepjes went to A LOT of work putting their balls of yarn together. Like a lot. And getting the blanket to do a single fade … that meant I had to cut apart each ball of yarn at every color shift.

And the ends that made!! So many ends to weave in. I saved them just so I could show them to the husband, so he could appreciate that instead of having 10 ends to weave in, I had … I don’t even know for sure. 30? 50? Let’s go with 68, that sounds more dramatic.*

So I took the granny rectangle pattern, and did a bunch of math to convert it from the regular-weight yarn to something more suitable for the light-weight yarn. This should have been a clue that I might be in over my head, but I was still young and hopeful.

Granny squares (and rectangles) are awesome when you first start out. They are so tiny! Each round is so fast! Time just zooms on by while you make easy-to-see progress!

But then, you get past the purples into the grays, and you realize you’ve been crocheting for-ev-er, and you’re only halfway done. Or … maybe not even quite halfway …

So I finished up with the Whirls, (with just a touch of the frosted whirlette in the gray section), did some math and realized that with the single licorice whirl, it wasn’t going to be big enough.

Ensue shock and pouting.

Math revealed I’d need 3 or 4 more whirlette’s to finish the job. In addition to the one I already had.

My sanity declared that wasn’t going to happen. Additionally, the internet told me that the Tinsmith’s Wife had no more licorice whirlettes in stock. Dropping into Yarnivore yielded no better results. Jimmy Beans Wool online – out of black.

Amazon to the rescue! An Amazon seller had a few balls left! For twice the price that I paid originally, of course.

So I purchased two more.

And then I crocheted. And crocheted. And … you guessed it … crocheted. There are 4,792 yards of yarn in this bad boy. That’s 2 point 7 miles of yarn. 4 months and 4 days from start to finish. (I did make a hat in that same time frame. And half a baby blanket …)

I may, at some point in the distant future, if licorice whirlettes find their way back into existence, add another ball or two. But for now – happy day – I am done!

*I actually really love the way this turned out, way better than if it had been striped. Sssssshhhhh, don’t tell the husband.

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