So, it's cold out there! Yes, most of the Darn Good Yarn team is in the northern part of the U.S. and we should just buck up and take it. I mean we choose to live here right? I have lived in the north my entire life and this time of year I crave the warmth! I love the idea of a warm weather escape but it's not in the cards every winter.
So what makes me happy during those winters when I don't get away? Being warm is key and along with some good tea or wine, I love crocheting afghans! What a great craft project for keeping warm! Here are a few ideas about crocheting blankets:
1. Winter can seem long for some of us. I actually find the gray days of November and December to be tough but with the months that start the new year, comes a lot of deep cold. I love being outside but as I get older, I want to be warm, too! By starting an afghan in the late months of the year, I have a great project to look forward to all winter and that makes me happy!
2. While I have knit afghans, crochet is just quicker! As the days get colder, my afghan continues to grow...and keeps me warm, too! In making crochet afghans, I sometimes get a couple done a winter!
3. Bigger hooks mean your crochet project will work up quicker, too. Take time to consider your crochet hook as this will make a huge difference as to the size of your finished throw and the gauge of your stitches.
4. With the hook size, you also will want to consider the type of fiber used. Remember, with any project, the yarn weight does matter! If you are working with a small hook, a light lace will be best and for a larger size hook (say K and up), you will want a chunky yarn. Perhaps some of our Yak Wool? Warmth factor? Very high!
5. Its' just darn good to see something work up so easily. I love having one big project where I can see the results. In the dead of winter when things seem a bit frumpy, big needles and big fiber like our chiffon make great sense! So yeah, sometimes big is better when it makes you happy!
5. Speaking of fiber, I tend to think of afghans as being just about warmth where I live in the north. Not always the case. Are you making this afghan for Project Linus? Or perhaps for someone at your local nursing home? Alternative fibers such as cotton make lovely throws and are the perfect fiber for those needing comfort more than warmth.
6. Crochet patterns are abundant. Yes, you probably have a serious collection but are they for afghans? Here is a thought, and a simple idea, really. Take a pattern such as our crochet scarf pattern, work on a sample gauge, then consider what size you want your afghan. Once you have figured out stitches needed, you can simply follow the pattern to get the design you want on a larger scale!
7. Why take the time to play around with crochet patterns to adjust for an afghan? Let's face it, granny square afghans are beautiful and yes, I have and will make them again. The main reason I continue to devise an afghan look from a pattern that isn't for a throw is this-it makes me happy to mastermind an idea and I love to create unique, one-of-kind throws! Now, that keeps my winter going!
8. Don't feel you have to work solely (or is it soul-ly?!!!) on your crochet afghan. Find happiness in the large project you have created. Work on it when you wish, and always feel free to jump into another crochet project. Have a few smaller craft projects around so that nothing gets stale. Taking breaks are a good thing!
9. Yes, these handcrafted throws take time but make an incredibly worthy winter project. It's great to have long range projects because, well, um, winter is long, too! Like that warm weather trip that you might not be doing, a crochet afghan gives you the diversion and warmth that will bring you to Spring before you know it!
10. Crochet afghans are beautiful and can be a family heirloom. Be proud of the amazing work you do and remember how much love and time goes into your handcraft. Whether gifting to yourself, a loved one, or a stranger, your commitment to this project shows how much joy you find in creativity.
11. If you really want a quicker blanket idea, have you seen our arm knit blanket kit? Don't let the idea of arm knitting scare you! It's super simple and will give you a beautiful chiffon blanket in no time at all. Whether you crochet, knit or are just a beginning crafter, arm knitting is sweetly simple!
The gang here at Darn Good Yarnloves helping you with your projects. Whether its that long winter project like a crochet afghan or something quick and easy, we thrive on being able to answer your questions or help with fiber choices. Stay warm and inspired, Darn Good Yarn family!