Erica's Blog

The Try Something New Everyday experiment

Today I began a crocheted bedspread

on November 20, 2014

In my family, we draw names for Christmas.  I reached into the hat, chanting “someone easy…someone easy”….and drew my grandad.  Bummer!!  Love him dearly…but what do you give a man who wants for nothing?

I’ve mulled it over for weeks.  I tossed ideas around like a basketball game warm up.  Everything I thought of, I ended up talking myself out of.

We just celebrated his birthday in October and I completely struck out.  He used to like John Wayne westerns and I thought an easy to use, portable DVD player would reignite his love for those movies.  And if it worked out, it would make future gift giving easier.  The family could give additional movies, headphones, etc.  So I found a super easy player…just one button to operate.   I even found a John Wayne movie with 2 movies!  I charged the player up and prepped it with the movie ready to go.  When he opened the gift, he could just press play and see John Wayne shooting his gun, taking the bad guys down, and riding off into the sunset with the little lady.  I knew giving this kind of gift was a gamble…but if it worked, it would be perfect for him!

Yeah…not so much.

He was as kind about it as he could be but inevitably he told me he didn’t want it.  Luckily, I had cooked him a double batch of jambalaya and baked a pie my grandmother used to make for him.  He was just as happy with those as anything he recieved and needless to say, the only part of those returned to me were the empty dishes.

So my gift to him has to be something special and something that serves a purpose.  If I don’t pick the right thing this time, I know it will end up like all the others…living in the same box it originally came in and collecting dust for an eternity.

I mulled all these factors over and decided on a handmade, crocheted bedspread.  My grandmother always made hand work so I know he’ll understand the love and time that goes into it.  Hopefully that alone will encourage him to keep and use the gift.  And winter is coming (think Game of Thrones)…so a cozy blanket will keep him warm on cold, blistery nights at the Wall where he’s ready to ward off beasts and creatures that threaten…oh wait…sorry, kinda got swept away…

Anyhoo, let me throw in a few disclaimers.  I’m first and foremost a tatter…then a knitter…then a cross stitcher…then a crocheter.  So crocheting isn’t my strong suit.  Second,  the largest crafting project I have completed is a scarf (knitted).  The longest (timewise) project I have completed is a tatted doily (30+ non consecutive hours).

So…of course I would decide to take on crocheting a twin size bedspread the month before Christmas.  Piece of fruitcake, right?!

Today I researched different stitch styles.  There’s a whole slew of crochet stitches…probably as many as there are elves in Santa’s workshop.

I settled on the granny square stitch (pun a happy accident) but found a video that converts the end product from square to rectangle, ideal for bedspreads.  Youtube rocks!!!

I acquired the yarn a few nights ago…I just happened to be in the craft store…I kinda go there some…ok, frequently….well, practically nightly.

I love this yarn! It’s truly simply soft…
image

The video I found seemed easy to follow however the instructor assumed the viewer had experience in the granny stitch.   Luckily I did.

First step: Chain 58 stitches.  This took me 8 tries.

Try 1…I’m rusty at crocheting but remembered I liked a particular hook brand.  I have both Boye and Susan Bates but couldn’t remember which I preferred.  Of course, I started with the Boye and realized it’s not that one.

Now, reader beware…I’m about to get all craftastic-nerdy on ya.  The Boye hooks are great…I love them for thicker yarns as the hook shape allows for more room.  They also just look like a traditional crochet hook and probably my first so definitely a sentimental favorite.  The Susan Bates hook has a sharper, more narrow head which seems to grip the yarn better.  My chain stitches come out more even with the Susan Bates and in the end, the whole foundation of your project is the chain…so even is key.  I’ve tried the Addi hooks.  Love their looks but they seemed too bulky in my hands.  I guess I’m an old fashioned, steel hook girl.
image

Once I found my preferred hook, I reworked the chain only to realize I didn’t count (Try 3).  I recrocheted the chain but had split the yarn (downside of using Susan Bates hooks) early on so had to take it out (Try 4).  I then reworked the chain only to not be happy with the tension (Try 5).  I redid the chain concentrating on the tension and the yarn, but forgot to count again (Try 6).

Ok…gonna focus on it all and make this work.
image

Try 7 looked great.  *happy dance*  I figured I could move on to Step 2, begin row 2 which is the granny square stitch.  As I added the granny square sttiches, I realized my tension was too tight.  Ugh!! *not so happy dance*  I always knit and crochet tight.  So I took the whole row out, started again and finally recrocheted it to slight perfection.

Finally!!  The first row 🙂
image

And second!
image

I worked on the blanket all afternoon and evening…
image

Geez…seeing as this is my largest crafting undertaking,  I envisioned it going faster than this.  You know, like I’d be done by now.

And I thought if this worked out well, I have a few other difficult to buy for peeps on my list that could use an Erica-made cozy blanket.  But at this rate, my grandad might have it by next Christmas!!  And the thought of doing others seems laughable now!!

I’m thinking with the holiday next week I can get pretty far on it.  I’ll keep ya up to date on the progress here. 🙂

Advertisements

3 responses to “Today I began a crocheted bedspread

  1. Christy Brown says:

    Looks fabulous! Everything your hands touch come out beautiful and this will be no exception. Hugs!

  2. […] toys to a charity and other holiday errands.  Now it’s time to settle in to crochet on my grandad’s Christmas gift and watch a holiday favorite…The Walking […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: