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Sometimes inspiration strikes and you’re ready to roll. Time to grab a crochet hook or knitting needles and create! Create something amazing, magically transforming a bit of string into a substantial fabric that is meaningful. Sometimes in our excitement to being a new project, we skip some of the essential steps. Well, at least I’m guilty of that. Have you every taken more than a few years to create a blanket? Ok, maybe you have, but here’s  the story behind my Archive Blanket.

Once upon a time, I was in the yarn aisle at the craft store. There were lots of beautiful skeins to choose from and I wanted to make my first afghan/blanket/throw. Trying to be smart about the process, and not wanting to be discouraged with a slow moving project (if I only knew then what I know now…), I added six skeins of a beautiful, super bulky yarn to my cart. The Lion Brand Thick & Quick had a beautiful cream color that would look great as a throw on my spa green bedspread and I was eager to get started.

Without having a pattern, and always living on the adventurous side when it comes to artsy things,

Such a fun pink sparkly crochet hook! Loved working on the project outside!

Such a fun pink sparkly crochet hook! Loved working on the project outside!

I grabbed my crochet hook and started my foundation chain. I couldn’t be bothered with a gauge swatch. I just needed to start. So I simply measured my chain (dumb idea) and kept on chaining. 130 chains to be exact! (It seemed perfectly normal at the time.) Feeling like a double crochet stitch would be my best bet- after all I was going for a fairly quick afghan that had a high satisfaction level and that would look beautiful on my bed- I started my stitch pattern. (Strict double crochet all the way!)

It took little time to get through the first skein of my Lion Brand Thick & Quick. When I looked down at the project on my lap, it resembled a super long snake and not at all the start of a blanket, or even one sixth of a blanket. I was still blinded by excitement. Somehow three and a half rows with one skein of yarn wasn’t a warning sign! I joined another ball of yarn and keep on going…. And another…. And another… After several days I worked through all six skeins of yarn that were just brought home. The blanket was only inches long, so I decided to go back and see if I could get more of the same dye lot. I could, and the remaining skeins in stock made their way home with me.

Eventually the excitement of other projects prevailed, and the blanket was in hibernation. Over the course of a couple years, I pulled it out, worked up another skein worth of yarn, ran out of yarn, repeat. There were multiple trips to the store for more yarn, and I quickly realized that I was never going to get the yarn I needed all in the same lot.

The unfinished blanket sat in a basket with the pink sparkly crochet hook for ages. It even moved to our new home a couple years ago where it was a fixture in the family room, waiting to be completed. The blanket continued to make its way in and out of hibernation. That is until this past week. (The hottest week of the year so far, of course.) I bought two more skeins of a different dye lot and decided this was it. This was happening. This blanket was going to be enjoyed once and for all! I joined a new ball and spent a couple nights cranking out four more rows of the blanket.

I was mostly good about weaving in ends as I went, (one thing I did right on this project) but there

This blanket is huge! A few ends just need to be woven in!

This blanket is huge! A few ends just need to be woven in! Ronin quickly made himself at home on the blanket.

were a few that needed attention. I spread the monstrously large blanket on the floor and went to grab the appropriate tools for the job. When I came back, my dog, Ronin was already enjoying my handiwork! He happily moved from his spot in font of the sofa to the blanket on the floor and made himself comfortable. All we could do was laugh at him. Not having the heart to make him move, I proceeded to weave the ends in while he lounged about.

This blanket is huge, and it’s heavy. Thick & Quick not only works up fast, but it’s also super chunky. I don’t even want to calculate how many skeins of yarn make up this blanket. What is pretty awesome are the top 10 lessons that I learned over the years:

Even through there was much to learn, this blanket came out great!

Even though there was much to learn, this blanket came out great!

  1. Do the gauge swatch. Seriously.
  2. Yarn weights lots.
  3. Only make a really big blanket on purpose.
  4. Double crochet stitches still work up fastest.
  5. Thick & Quick yarn is awesome and still one of my favs for a fast project that won’t break the bank.
  6. Weave in the ends as you go, you’ll be grateful about it later.
  7. My dog loves handmade goods.
  8. Hibernating projects are ok and can be good for you.
  9. Hibernating for too long is just silly.
  10. It’s important to cherish the things you spent time on and learned from.