Thursday, January 14, 2016

Rocketghan almost complete

The rocketghan is *this close* to being done. This project was begun end of September 2015. Let's say it's taken about 3 1/2 months. The yo-yos, antennae and mouth still need to be added. I will add a picture to this post when it's finished.

Here are the details on this ghan.

First I needed a pattern, of course, and this was provided in a chart made by my daughter. 

Then I decided on the pattern I wanted for the squares. They had to be rather small to get a proper picture and not make the ghan too large since it is for a child. I decided to use three rounds of the  crossed stitch square (see Crochet Cabana pattern page under Kate Smith), but you could use regular granny squares just as easily. Eventually the pattern will be up at Crochet Cabana, but it may be a while.

More often than I liked, I would be working on a round and then run into a knot in the yarn. Rather than have two additional strands to sew in, I abandoned that square and put it aside. If this happens to you, my suggestion is to NOT throw those incomplete squares away. I used the yarn to sew together the odd squares that I could not assemble with one of the long strands. That way I didn't have to use more of the skein itself. Always thrifty with yarn.

I made all the Red, Sunshine, Peapod, Silver and Cobblestone Heather squares first and assembled those, sewing in as many tails as I could as I went. I also made the yo-yos. I then started on the Asphalt Heather (black) squares, using them first to complete the rocket itself, then assembling around the rocket for the finished look.

Another option would be to make all the squares first, then assemble them row by row or column by column in proper order. In some ways I wish I would have done that, but since I didn't have all my yarn when I began, this is how it worked out.

Tip: Be sure to join squares with one of the colors in the squares. I made a mistake in a couple of spots where I used, for example, a green strand I had lying there to join black and red squares. This shows more and I regret doing that. I should have used red or black to join those two squares. In one spot I was able to snip the inappropriate color and replace it.

There will still be lots and lots of tails to sew in, but by working on them throughout the project instead of leaving them all until the end, you'll get breaks and it won't be so overwhelming. I tried to sew all my center tails in before assembly. It still took me a week to sew them all in.

Size: 38" x 65"

G hook, sport yarn as below (for reference I got 27 squares out of one skein of Silver)
1 skein Knit Picks Brava Sport Peapod (green)
1 skein Knit Picks Brave Sport Cobblestone Heather (dk grey)
1 skein Knit Picks Brava Sport Silver (lt grey)
8 skeins Knit Picks Brava Sport Asphalt Heather (black)
1 skein Knit Picks Brava Sport Red
1 skein Stylecraft Special DK Sunshine or Knit Picks Brava Sport Caution (yellow/orange)
1 skein Knit Picks Brava Sport Canary (you could use the Sunshine/Caution to make the yo-yos if you like, eliminating the Canary)
about 7 yards of royal blue (enough for a yo-yo with an extra long tail for sewing onto afghan)
about 7 yards of purple (enough for a yo-yo with an extra long tail for sewing onto afghan)

Number of squares needed (leave a long tail at least 16" for assembly)
There are 286 total squares - 13 rows by 22 columns.
4 Sunshine or Caution
10 Peapod
17 Red
18 Cobblestone Heather
54 Silver
183 Asphalt Heather (286 - 103 colored squares)

Number of yo-yos needed
(A YO-YO is 16 dc worked into the ring with no chains between them. To see if I have enough worsted weight yarn, I wrap yarn loosely around a 12" ruler 8 times (in other words 8 12" lengths or 8 feet, that means front and back of the ruler - once around - is 2 lengths). Don't stretch it. Just loosely wind around the length of the ruler. This will to some degree depend on the yarn.)

10 Canary (or Sunshine/Caution)
2  peapod
2 red
2 blue
2 purple

Assemble squares as per chart.

Assemble yo-yos as per chart. Here is a picture showing approximate placement before being sewn on.

Mouth: fashion mouth with a long single strand of black yarn
Antennae: fashion antennae per picture with 2 long strands of peapod

Edging is 3 rounds. First round is single crochet with asphalt heather. Where the corners met, I worked one single crochet in each corner and one in the join. Second round is single crochet worked in silver. At the corners I worked the modified sc3tog, which is basically a 2 sc decrease.

Here are the detailed instructions on the edging.

Modified sc3tog: Insert hook in next st, yarn over and pull through st but not loop on hook, insert in next st, yarn over and pull through st (3 loops on hook), insert hook in next st, yarn over and pull through st (4 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through 2 loops (3 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all three remaining loops 

Round 1: Using asphalt heather, single crochet around, working (sc, hdc, sc) in corners. At side joins, work 1 sc in each corner space and 1 in the join. Join with sl st to beg sc.

Round 2: Join silver in any corner space. Work (sc, hdc, sc) in this and every corner. Work sc around. At joins between squares work the modified sc3tog. This will give you a li le bit of a puffy spot. Join with sl st to beg sc.

Note: I chose silver but you can use any of the colors for Round 2. My reasoning was that silver would blend into the night sky best...?

Round 3: Join asphalt heather, single crochet around, working (sc, hdc, sc) in corners. Join with a sl st to beg sc. 

Happy crocheting!