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hedgehog
06-18-2005, 02:06 PM
Hiya..

I'm having a novice-type problem and i was hoping you lovely knitters could help...

I have a friend who has very recently gotten married and i'd like to make her and her husband (both good friends of mine) a lovely afghan for their many years of snuggling to come. :inlove: They're both homebodies and i thought it would be a great project.

As i've never made an adult-type afghan before (only baby afghans), i have some questions:

1.) Does anyone have a particular pattern that they love so much they'd recommend?

I was thinking of something like this (http://web.archive.org/web/20041009215000/www.thesmartyarns.com/patterns/Oct01/Homespun.html) or this (http://www.freepatterns.com/fp_pdfs/Other/Knitting/homespunstripes.pdf).

They live in the UK and like to keep their house cool in the winter so i don't really want a pattern with lace or lots of holes. Snuggly is key! :thumbsup: Also, something with big needles and chunky yarn will go much quicker!


2.) Wool or Wool-blend?

Both of the patterns above use Lionbrand Homespun yarn - but that's 100% acrylic. I thought maybe a wool or wool-blend blanket would be a little nicer and more long-lasting (perhaps?).

a.) My first thought was something washable in wool, like Lamb's Pride Superwash Bulky (http://brownsheep.com/lps.html). Would that make it too heavy? Too hot? :thinking: Are there any better choices that you could recommend?

b.) I also thought about some sort of acrylic/wool blend like Wool-ease Thick & Quick (http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/we-thick.htm). But it's mostly acrylic. :thinking: Would that be icky or nice? I dunno...


I think i prefer the colors of the 100% wool (of course!) but i'll go for whatever will make the best afghan.

Any ideas??
-hh

Ingrid
06-18-2005, 03:10 PM
I haven't made any large afghans recently, but there are TONS of books and pamphlets everywhere with such nice ones.

The reason I jumped in to respond is that I abhor Lion Brand Homespun, and many people around here apparently agree.

A washable wool or a wool blend would be nice. I wouldn't go with regular wool because of the difficulty keeping it clean. If washed the wrong way, they could end up with a placeman! :D

rebecca
06-18-2005, 03:45 PM
I just finished a lovely afghan for my nephew & wife for a wedding gift; when it is given to them it will be given with the instructions. It is made out of 100% wool. I did this because of my idea of an 'heirloom' type of thing for a wedding gift bc it's family & my mom used to do the quilts, she's no longer with us, so I decided to go for the afghan...don't get me wrong...it's NO WHERE near the size of a quilt.
I also did an afghan in homspun for MIL last Christmas & she & everyone where she lives love it & fight over who gets to use it bc it's very soft & it is washable. Many people don't like to knit with homespun bc it can easily catch on a needle & pull; I was just careful & didn't really have any problem & the result was a very lovely afghan that she loved.
I've also done an afghan for my sister last year for Christmas called 'scallops & squares' that was made from lion brand's woolease that turned out quite nicely & is also washable.
I have 4 or 5 afghan books, not bc I knit them all of the time...but plan to in the future & am a sucker for knitting books...lol! But you can got to WalMart or Michaels or the like and find lots of large pamphlets that may have 2 or 3 afghan patterns in it for under $10.00 or...u can surf the net and find 100's of afghan patterns!
My favorite, of course, is the afghan that I've done in 100% wool.
But the recipients of other afhans had no idea that they were partial synthetic & love them just the same! I say, find a pattern; determine the amt. of time you want to put in the afghan then decide on needle & yarn size...u know, bigger needle & yarn...less time.
Lionbrand & most all of the wellknown yarns have websites & many of them have afhan patterns on them.
Sorry to give u so many different answers...put there r many different answers to that question....lol!
I don't know that I would recommend the thick & quick from lionbrand bc that may be a bit too thick & cumbersome (my humble opinion) they do have a chunky woolease, i believe...a bit bit larger than the woolease..just a bit bulkier.
have fun

brendajos
06-18-2005, 06:18 PM
well this is the one i have been doing...though admittedly i take long breaks in making it cuz it bores me...lol...i need to see the end faster than afghans allow me to! ;) it really is super easy though and i am using four strands of Lion Homespun on 17 needles. I know a lot of people don't like the homespun but i haven't had any problems with it as of yet.

http://www.knitting-crochet.com/hotdamn.html

it really is thick and soft!

kitkat
06-18-2005, 07:38 PM
I am doing a hot damn afghan too, I am doing one strand of bernat boucle and two strands of lionbrand wool ease on 17 inch circulars. ....i wanted washable and not too expensive since this one's purpose is to be used by kids and dog and me.....its only about 6 inches long because I havent really focused on it, but so far I really like how its turning out.

I think the thicknquick is pretty utilitarian....what I would do if I were you is do a google on AbFab....its a kit and the yarns are gorgeous and they include several different patterns.....I was hesitant to spend the money on that because at the time who knew that I would love knitting as much as I do!

rebecca
06-18-2005, 07:44 PM
:D I have patterns for hot damn afghans, too....just haven't gotten around to it...it does sound lovely

Sara
06-18-2005, 09:56 PM
I have my eye on this:

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall03/PATThoover.html

I absolutely adore it! :heart: And double knit is about as warm as you can get.

rebecca
06-18-2005, 10:46 PM
I :heart: the hoover blanket, too....but i have to learn to double knit first...i will, thanks to amy's cd!! thank you amy!!!

carollovesyarn
06-19-2005, 02:58 PM
I'd say definitely at least part wool - Woolease Thick & Quick would be fine - once washed the wool part would bloom a little I think. They would get a lot of use out of it. But I also like the idea of superwash wool - definitely would make a warmer afghan, and so nice! You could figure out how many skeins it would take for the patterns you're considering, then add up the skeins' weight to seewhat the total weight would be. I'm not sure what too heavy is, but you could weigh yourself holding one of your own blankets to see how heavy an actual blanket is? Just a thought.

This will be a really nice gift!


Carol

kitkat
06-20-2005, 01:03 PM
My hot damn thingy is definitely going to be heavy and chunky...but my boys have kids sleep over all the time and they love to have the bulk.

On a side note....I showed it to my mom last night who hasnt knitted in the last 20 years....and her comments included " oh how......INTERESTING!" and "my isn't this going to be STURDY!" My SIL and I were trying not to crack up...clearly this isnt at all her cup of tea :XX:

cheesiesmom
06-20-2005, 10:17 PM
The reason I jumped in to respond is that I abhor Lion Brand Homespun, and many people around here apparently agree.

Thought I would chime in, too, on Homespun. I hate it. I find that it bunches up and then stretches and shreds when I try to straighten out the yarn (get the bunches out). I've heard it also grows to unwieldy proportions with age and washing. Unfortunately, Lion has chosen this particular yarn to use some of the most beautiful colors. Every time I go to the store I see something I absolutely fall in love with and then have to remind myself how horrible it is.

I've used wool-ease, imagine, the various thick and quick yarns and they are all so nice. And most of them are washable.

I particularly liked the second pattern from the free patterns site. It seems fairly simply, but the pattern looks lovely.

hedgehog
06-21-2005, 12:14 PM
Wow.. thank you for all the wonderful responses and ideas!! :)

First off, i didn't even know there was an Ab Fab kit but i looked and now i want... :shock: :) So beautiful!

But i think that the Ab Fab stuff is something that only a true knitter with a deep love of yarn will truly appreciate. And i was a bit worried about how washable it would be. So i guess i'll just make one for myself! ;) Or maybe my sister (dunno if she's truly worthy though! ;))

So after all the advice and more obsessive searching, i'm kinda leaning towards making something from the book Gorgeous Knitted Afghans (http://www.knitpicks.com/books/books_display.aspx?itemid=30566). Does anyone have any experience with this book? The reviews are all quite good....

I haven't had a chance to see the rest of the patterns in the book but the ones posted on the site above have piqued my curiosity. I'm off to the bookstore today to peruse it before i buy. Also, the friend i'm making this for is AMAZINGLY well travelled - i mean travelled around the world, lived abroad on three continents (N. AM is NOT one of them), speaks 5 languages fluently (damned polyglot - i'm so envious!), etc. So i think she'd appreciate something kinda culturally inspired.

As for the thoughts on Homespun - i'm really glad to hear everyone's opinions. Although i haven't ever used it, i have to agree with those who have been tempted by it's siren's call. It's so pretty and seems so yummy but i guess it can be disappointing (kinda like a male model who speaks). ;) I'll have to try it for something small (not this) and see what i think of it sometime.

-hh

carollovesyarn
06-21-2005, 02:33 PM
No, I've never seen that book, but the sample pages look pretty nice! If you wouldn't mind, could you post a quickie review when you get back from perusing it? Our bookstores are ----, and the library books are always out, so I rarely get to peruse before I buy.


Carol

humblestumble
06-22-2005, 09:49 PM
http://www.coatsandclark.com/fun_and_free/knit_out_2003/lw1253.htm

i just finished that for my boyfriend and it stetches out to be the area of his Queen bed! Very simple pattern, just dont slip up on the green areas cause you could accidentally get off a stitch. I did a few times but in the long run it didnt matter.

Good luck ;)

kitkat
06-22-2005, 10:08 PM
That yarn is really soft...i know its acrylic and all that, but its really soft and wonderful!!!

kitkat
06-22-2005, 11:21 PM
Here is a picture of my hotdamn afghan in progress...I did variation 4, but did it in one piece, not three....it is going to be very chunky...a total teenageboy/labrador/blackkitty-proof throw...i am hoping once its off the needles, you will be able to see the pattern, such as it is, better.

Stonington
06-23-2005, 08:33 AM
Thanks Kitkat. This gives me a better idea of what the pattern looks like..I am such a visual person. :shock:

kitkat
06-23-2005, 09:22 AM
As I told you in PM, if I were to do it again, i would probably eliminate a thread, OR go up a needle size. Its a little hard to tell on the circulars because its all squishied together, and I do think at the end of the day it will spread out a bit....I tried to fiddle last night and see if I needed to rip out and start over, and I dont think I do.....maybe end up being bedspreadsized LOL :XX: :XX:

hedgehog
06-27-2005, 01:25 PM
No, I've never seen that book, but the sample pages look pretty nice! If you wouldn't mind, could you post a quickie review when you get back from perusing it? Our bookstores are ----, and the library books are always out, so I rarely get to peruse before I buy.


I have to admit i was even more interested in this book (Gorgeous Knitted Afghans) (http://www.knitpicks.com/books/books_display.aspx?itemid=30566) after i read the reviews on Amazon.com. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1579903533/qid=1119892151/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/102-1424788-5369738?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) So, I went to my local bookstore/cafe and they had a copy to peruse. I took my mom (a non-knitting but very crafty critter!), got some iced mochas and we spent about 1.5 hours going over several books.

I have to say it looks like a GREAT book. (mom agreed!) I really like a lot of their patterns and the fact that they use all types of yarns (acrylic to cashmere) and have patterns for all types of knitters (beginner to experienced). I can see myself growing with the book as i get more experienced. I'm actually quite picky about patterns and there was only one that i really was unsure about (although i think it'll grow on me as i get older and even more ecclectic!). So i think i'm going to buy it or hope someone gets it for my birthday in 2 weeks. Knitpicks has the cheapest price i've seen so far outside of ebay.


I also kinda liked Quick Knitted Afghans (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1882138805/qid=1119892601/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/102-6109504-5672957?v=glance&s=books&n=507846). Some of the patterns were great while others were kinda blah. However, i think i probably will get it at some point as the patterns i liked outweighed the blah ones.

Oh and thanks, kitkat, for posting a picture of the Hot Damn Afghan - i've been dying to see what one looks like!! :thumbsup:

K... so i know what books i want... still need to choose a pattern.... ack and then a color!! :shifty: decisions, decisions.... oh dear! :rollseyes:

thanks again,
-hh

carollovesyarn
06-27-2005, 03:11 PM
Thanks for the review - Gorgeous Knitted Afghans is definitely going on my wishlist!! I can tell by KnitPicks sample pages that there is pretty good variety - it's nice to know that they use various yarns as well.

Actually I'm putting both on my wishlist - why not?

Carol