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Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. Today I’m joining the Hookin on Hump Day blog hop to tell you about a new afghan I made.

Grenoble Matelasse Afghan

This is a project that I’ve worked on, off and on, for the past couple of years and I decided at the beginning of the summer that it was time to finish it. The design is from a collection from Priscilla’s Crochet. She can be found on her website or on Ravelry. This afghan is from her Matelassè collection and is the same collection that I used for the baby blanket I made last year.

The afghan is made up of octagon and square motifs.

The pattern is called Grenoble and consists of octagon motifs that are joined together using a flat braid join. In between the octagons the spaces are filled in with square motifs.

This afghan has a nice texture

I wanted this afghan to be big enough to cover Charlie so I finished it using 9 x 6 octagon motifs. The final size is about 72″ x 50″. I used Caron Simply Soft in Dark Sage and it took 14 skeins to complete it at this size.

Even the back is attractive.

One of the things I like about this pattern is that the back looks nice too. The textured style uses a lot of front post and back post stitches which creates a very dense fabric. It makes an afghan that is very warm and cozy to lay under.

Close up of the back of the afghan

The pattern is well done and easy to follow but I found reading the words to remind me what to do for each round became tedious. To make it easier I made a chart of the pattern for the octagon. It was much easier to figure out where I left off if I put the project down for a little while after I created the chart.

The edge is finished with a very simple stitch pattern

After all the octagons and squares were put together the edge is finished with a simple stitch pattern that mimics the style of the flat braid join used to put all the blocks together. I’m happy with the way the afghan turned out and like all the Matelasse patterns I’ve done so far. I wish you could see the color in real life because the pictures don’t really do it justice.

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Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. Today I’m joining the Hookin on Hump Day blog hop to show you one of my latest crochet creations the “Shades of Color Throw” from Mary Maxim.

Shades of Color Throw from Mary Maxim

Shades of Color Throw from Mary Maxim shown in “Piedmont” color
(picture from Mary Maxim website)

The kit comes with the pattern and enough yarn to complete the design. It uses two different yarns. The off white yarn is Mary Maxim Best Value yarn in Cottonwood color and the colored yarn is the Mary Maxim Milan which I chose the “Verona” color. I found both yarns very easy to work with. I like the “Best Value” yarn and found it to be a nice, soft 100% acrylic worsted weight yarn. The “Milan” yarn is a beautiful soft roving yarn that is 80% acrylic and 20% wool.

The block pattern was a bit of a challenge at first since I had never done one like it before.

Block at the start of round 3

Block at the start of round 3

I’m glad that I started working on this at a Purl Jam get together where another crocheter helped me work through the first few rounds. Even though I’ve been crocheting for four years now I still feel like a beginner whenever I work on a pattern with new concepts in it. The third round of this block has you working over the chains you created in the first two rounds. At first I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do but I always find that if I read the instructions a few times while I’m doing the steps I can always figure it out as I did with this one.

Block - completed after round 4

Block – completed after round 4

One of the things I liked about this block was the “Milan” yarn with its long color variations. In the end the blocks were like 30 snowflakes since no two were alike.

Blocks - before blocking

Blocks – before blocking

My blocks turned out fairly consistent with the size but to make it easier to assemble I decided to block them. I looked online for what supplies I would need and decided I could find the supplies at my local Target and Joann’s. Target had 21″ interlocking exercise mats at a much lower price than any mats that were marketed for blocking yarn projects and Joann’s had the T-pins too (I had to buy all  the T-pins they had in stock).

Blocking mat divided into 8 x 8 squares

Blocking mat divided into 8 x 8 squares

I was able to get four 8 x 8 inch squares on each mat but I only had enough T-pins to do 12 blocks at a time.

Blocking a Block - 4 per foam square

Blocking a Block – 4 per foam square

I soaked each block in water then squeezed out as much water as I could by rolling the block in a towel. I coaxed each block to the 8″ square size with pins about an inch or so apart.

Blocking a Block - closeup

Blocking a Block – closeup

It took at least 12 hours for the blocks to dry and with 30 blocks it took me a couple of days to finish that part.

First block layout

First block layout

Once everything was blocked my next challenge was to decide how I wanted the blocks laid out. I started with the above layout which I called a kind of gradient effect. I labeled all the blocks by pinning a piece of paper with a row and column number on the back of each block. I wanted to try  a different layout so I gave it another try by mixing them up.

Final block layout

Final block layout

I liked the mixed up look much better so I re-labeled the blocks. I think doing the first layout helped me to see how the colors were and made the second layout easier.

Blocks bagged by row

Blocks bagged by row

I put each row of blocks in a separate bag and started the process of joining them. I used the Reverse Single Crochet that the model was done in. The final step was to do the border.

Shades of Color Throw - 1st border

Completed afghan

I completed the border as the pattern was written as shown in the picture above. I wasn’t very happy with the way the border looked as it looked more like a ruffle than how the sample picture looked (see the sample picture above – the first picture in this post).

Shades of Color Throw - 1st border - corner detail of edge

1st border – corner detail of edge

The pattern calls for about 49 shells (the scalloped part) along the short side and 59 along the long side. Since the pattern is 5 blocks by 6 blocks that works out to about 10 shells per block edge. If you look at the sample picture and count the number of shells within a block there are only 5 per block. Obviously something is wrong with the pattern.

Well I just couldn’t live with it any longer so I found the end of my work (I had already sewn in all the ends), frogged it all out and started over again. The only thing I had to change about the pattern for the border was the first round. The corners were worked as written but when it came to the chains instead of doing a chain 3 and skipping 2 stitches I did a chain 5 and skipped 4 stitches.

Corner detail of edge - final version

Corner detail of edge – final version

That was much better! The border now lays flat and looks just like the sample picture.

Shades of Color Throw in the Verona color

Shades of Color Throw in the Verona color

Of course no photo shoot would be complete without Walter.

Are you done yet mom? I don't know how much longer I can sit here.

Are you done yet mom? I don’t know how much longer I can sit here.

If he hears the camera clicking he always comes running.

There's a good one! You can have your treat now.

There’s a good one! You can have your treat now.

I hope I didn’t put some of my non-hooking blog friends to sleep with this post. If you are interested in seeing more crochet creations please visit the Hookin on Hump Day blog hop.

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