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Goal: 36
Start: #19
Current: 20

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Troubled Afghan in the Making?

 Think I'll call this afghan (you all know I name them), Sandy's learning curve log cabin.  That's awful name actually, so if anyone has a suggestion, I'm all ears.  We've made progress......I think from the initial square which is called the center square (the two shades of blue).  It seemed fine...but due to beginning and ending stitches being slip stitches holes appeared when picking up stitches along the side for the first log (the grey one).  There was much discussion in the class about this problem, which made me feel better, that it wasn't just me.  Two schools of thought were to pick up stitches of the central (blue) square so you didn't diminish the size.  The bulk of us did that....but found the holes to be a problem.  A few folks ripped out and re-did picking up stitches farther down  a row or two in the central square, some left the holes wove in a piece of yarn or two to fill the holes.  I ripped out, and tried to using my crochet hook vs knitting needles a bit of both...ie picking up on the edge followed by picking up further down to try and minimize the holes...and to try to avoid the 2nd problem people were reporting which was a bumpy ugly ridge (seem) on the back side.
 Not a good solution, to my way of thinking.  When and I made the 2nd central square I plan to change the count so I have no slip stitches at the beginning or ending or rows, but decided to play through, as it was "liveable", if not repeatable, the ridge on the back that is.  The first log (grey), was a real problem for me.  It was going to be the navy you see in the central square, but......it's been so long since I've used Caron Simply Soft yarn, I'd forgotten how much I dislike it.  How badly it frays, and how truly not to size/gauge it is with other worsted weight yarns.  I also found it doesn't have any gives when doing cables or twists.  The first log was lots of RT and LT and all the Simply Soft did was pull in and look knotted...plus it was really hard to see what I was doing, having never done RT and LT before.  So I ripped out and used the grey and it's ok....not perfect.  The instructor actually didn't give correct instructions on doing the stitch...several of did searches and found other instructions and video's on line sooooo there's a texture design, but not quite what it was suppose to be, as I have a rule about how many times I'll ripped out (tough on the yarn), and I'd already hit that limit on this one log...so again, played through.
 By the third log, the pink on the left (3 strands of colorwork), things were improving.  The first row of gray color, not quite right, believe I must have switched my yarn and used the wrong color for a row, but it's a least neat, so left it and continued and as you can see the colors (grey and rose) pop more thereafter...yeah me I did it.  However, the log was knitted a bit too tightly....a common problem with new knitters........which I'm not, but learning new techniques I was too tight.  Guess it's a tension thing, plus this log sorta breaks a very commonly rule of thumb knitting principal....you don't use purl stitches at the beginning and ending of rows, or the first and last rows without several of off setting garter stitches to anchor it.........otherwise it curls.  We all know that.  Given that, this pattern from Lion Brand has been disappointing, because it seems to do alot of that.  That coupled with the slip stitch problem and several places where the stitch count was wrong, believe they need to rewrite, rethink this pattern.  If you notice how badly the bright blue and green log is curly in the first picture, you'll see what I mean.  That bright green and blue log was the third log, and while I didn't have to rip it out, I would say it was a mixed success.  Still too tight on my part, learning curve I guess AND nothing again to anchor those purl stitches and their placements.  This I believe was compounded by it being the very next log, so the pink and bl-gr log are pulling badly against each other.  But.........The 4th log, the solid tan on the left is a nice basic stitch without pulling, without holes, without slip stiches and I think I'm beginning to see some hope.  The left side of the pink log seems to be straight now except where it meets the blue-green log.
I'm just getting going with a different 3 colorway in the 5th log.....fingers crossed it helps pull out the blue-green.  However......in true log fashion these are the only 2 sides where logs are added.  Not to the right side of the central square, which I think would help the curling problem??I'm trying to decide whether to continue to follow the pattern, alter it and add logs to the right side, OR???  In any case it's going to require some heavy duty blocking.  The instructor has told people not to blog, something I've never heard of with regard to afghans, particularly where things are pieces together.  She's been very dismissive about all the problems surrounding this pattern, hasn't been good at answering questions in class etc.  A very disappointing class, especially for my first one.  She's not been getting, nor has the pattern been getting good reviews.  So, toss in your opinions here folks....I'm really opened to them.  I don't want to waste donated yarn so feel that I should continue...but also wonder if I'm better off nixing the project completely??  The pattern calls for a 6th log and then to make 6 of these large squares and join them.

  • Do I rip out and forget it completely?
  • Do I change the pattern and add logs to the other sides (perhaps several to the right and the bottom, making this large enough for a childs ghan?
  • Do I continue the pattern and hope for the best, is their enough confidence in blocking to fix the problem...along with the completion of  log 5 that you see, and adding log 6?
  • Do I add the logs to the right and bottom......and make 4 large squares for an adult ghan?
  • Do I continue to finish this square and use it as a focal point square in a poncho?
Sorry for the length of this post folks, but.........I need your help.

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  1. Seriously, Sandy - fwiw - I kind of like it. I can totally relate to the dilemma... but I love the random-ness of it... you can probably sort most things out with a border patrol later. Building your cabin on a cornerstone.... that's just me. Colors and random things make me happy. I bet you will know exactly how to teach the class yourself by the time you are finished!

    1. I too like random, and modge podge. Thanks for the info. I sorta wondered about a nice big border at the end. So, by cornerstone do you mean go ahead and add logs to the other 2 sides?

  2. All I can say is Wow! This is definitely a major project and one that I would not be brave enough to atempt. Good luck to you in whatever you decide and in my mind when things get too confusing I put it away for a couple of days and find that when I return the whole thing looks new and is not as confusing. Again good luck.
    Weather here has turned cold again. We were 31 yesterday and 10 today, Winters last hurrah before gradually working its way into spring.Love the sun and lack of snow. Looking out at what will be my garden.Feeding my birds(about 100) daily,spring is coming. Stay warm MARJ IN MINNESOTA

    1. Glad the weather is better there for you Marj in Minn. We're still totally snow covered , though warmer today then yesterday. Currently 22. Thanks for the suggestion of putting it away to get a fresh look at it. Didn't work on it at all yesterday, might go stare at it for awhile before heading to work. Will keep you posted.

  3. I took like it Sandy border and blocking will fix things. Just like Kay said walk away from it for a couple of days and got back at it. This may be a longer project but will be nice when its done.

    1. Thanks Sherry for the visit, comments, and encouragement. I truly appreciate them all. Been a couple of days since I've worked on it, and believe I'm ready to do a bit more and play through.

  4. I like it Sandy! I love log cabin quilts and scrappy things all around. I also think that the more you do it, the easier your tension will get and then things will look much better. So keep on, keeping on! I know when I start on a project that I am not familiar with, my tension is always very tight and loosens up as I go along. On the socks I just finished one socks tension is much better than the other. But when worn, no one will ever know.
    Much warmer in NJ today, 34 degrees! However, tomorrow we are supposed to dip back down! Keep your hooks and needles flying, Ladies!

    1. Thanks loads Sally, guess I'm feeling a bit better about the project now. Awesome getting everyone's input. We were a bit warmer yesterday too, but today not so much. Come on Spring.

  5. Woops! The above comment is from Sally from NJ

  6. I agree with the others, put it away for a day or so and look at it later. You are learning new things! I would keep working on it. It might not curl as much when you add more logs. As for a name...Learning Logs.
    Good luck. High of 18 today here in MI. Snow is to come after midnight. But the blue sky looks so nice today!

    1. Perfect! Learning Logs...I really like that as a name. Thanks SSeger. Also appreciate all the input and encouragement from folks. It's like we're sharing our brains which is always helpful, in my opinion.

  7. My thought is it depends on if you are enjoying it. Myself, if I was working on a project where the pattern has multiple problems, I would forget the big project. It would be just too frustrating for me. If the pieces are large enough, I'd try to use them in another project. However, if you are enjoying the challenge of it, then go for it. The important thing is that you are happy with the project and/or what you are learning along the way, or if it just makes you annoyed while you are working on it. We all have enough stress already, no sense in adding to it.

    1. It's a bit of everything Sandie, I am enjoying the learning; but am also very frustrated by the pattern problems. I'm not one to throw in the towel though, and so feel like it's me against it...and I don't like to loose, lol. Found it on my mind when I awoke during the night even. It's been a bit consuming. I have a feeling I'll be thinking about how I could have done this or that to change this or that even if I don't continue, lol. My personalty I guess. Stay tuned to see what happens.

  8. Sandy, I saw your afghan and I would not attempt to even try it,i like to stay with the smaller projects as you can see,Rosemarie.


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