For my December “Sarah Makes” project, I decided to tackle a rather ambitious Christmas afghan. I’ve been trying to learn corner to corner crochet for months in order to incorporate the technique into the blog and I finally decided to hunker down and master it after seeing Make & Do Crew’s adorable Christmas blanket.
The blanket is rather large and consists of nine corner to corner crochet squares and a banner at the bottom that is equivalent to three squares. To give myself enough time to complete the blanket, I began practicing corner to corner in the middle of November and ordered all the yarn I would need from Red Heart Yarns (I used Red Heart Soft Yarn, which is perfect for a blanket: it’s soft (obviously), warm and comes in a large variety of fun colors).
After watching Make & Do Crew’s beginner tutorial for corner to corner, I devoted a couple days in the office to practicing the stitch so that I could gain mastery of the technique for the Christmas blanket. One thing I learned is that once you understand how corner to corner works (increasing in corner to corner, that is), you have to learn how to begin decreasing your stitches in order to make a square; otherwise, you’d just keep going and going and never end.
Learning to decrease was a little confusing for me at first because, while I finally understood the basic process of increasing, I couldn’t quite comprehend the steps it takes to decrease. Of course, as with anything, after a bit of practice, I finally got the hang of it.
I didn’t start working on the blanket until the very end of November, so I already knew that I’d be cutting it close to getting it done by Christmas. It took about three or four days to get the first square done because there was a bit of a learning curve. Once I figured out the basics of how to work corner to corner, I had to then learn how to change color, transition from increasing to decreasing to complete the square and how to read a C2C graph.
Throughout the month of December I was, not surprisingly, pretty busy with my regular work. As each day passed and Christmas got closer and closer, I realized that I wouldn't even come close to finishing the blanket in time. Like I said, this is a VERY ambitious project and my regular work combined with getting ready for the holidays made it where I couldn't finish the entire blanket.
Somewhere along the way, I also messed up on one little section in my first square, which threw off the rest of that square. When you're reading a C2C pattern graph, you have to follow along exactly or you could throw off the whole thing with just one little set of double crochet stitches. I didn't even notice that I'd messed up until it was too late to go back and fix my mistake (or I didn't have time to go back). As a result, Rudolph isn't perfectly symmetrical. I like to think that this adds character to the square.
Looking back, I now realize that I was very idealistic with my expectations. I didn't think about all the time that goes into making even one of the squares (one square alone is 25 rows) and I thought that it would be relatively simple to finish the blanket within a month. Even reading all the blog posts about the blanket on the Make & Do Crew blog, I thought that I could do it within the time limit I set for myself. My piece of advice to you: don't start a large project expecting to finish it in a short amount of time, especially if the blog post about said project tells you that it will take a while to finish.