Will You Take This Afghan…

To Tara and Jessie, I actually have seen the log cabin blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting and liked it, though admittedly I didn’t examine it (or the pattern) in close detail. I’ve heard that the pattern is written for a very large blanket and takes up a huge amount of yarn, although of course it wouldn’t be too hard to size down. Wait a minute, I think I’m thinking of the mitered square one. I’m not entirely sure. Thanks for the suggestion. Dammit, I really want that book. I’m such a joiner.

I have many of the same fears about knitting an afghan that many knitters have expressed about knitting sweaters.

Even a smallish afghan like the one I’m hoping to make is still a BIG project.  It’s the kind of thing that will probably last forever if cared for properly, which means you are in essence married to whatever color scheme and pattern you chose. In fact, it’s a much bigger decision than getting married. Judging from the fact that almost everyone I know has at least one butt-ugly blanket lurking in their closet that they can’t stand to look at but can’t let go, a handknit afghan will likely far outlive you, making your descendents cringe every time they look at it for decades to come.

On the subject of color scheme- no matter how much you love the yarn you are working with, one of three things is bound to happen.

a) You will be so sick of the colors you picked by the time you are finished pumping 60 hours of knitting into the fucking thing that you can’t bear to look at the end product. No matter how beautiful your friends and relatives compliment you on your artistic skill, your eyebrow will start twitching every time you see it. Eventually, you will "accidentally" ruin it in the wash. Or, if you made it in acrylic and it’s virtually impossible to destroy by laundering, you will "forget" that it’s made out of acrylic and decide that it looks "wrinkly" and take a hot iron to it. (Completely off topic- am I the only one that’s ever really wanted to try to melt a ball of synthetic yarn?)

b) You will end up with a blanket that you love, but that everyone else in your house hates. Your spouse/kids/in-laws will try to come up with crazy schemes to get rid of the afghan without you figuring it out. Of course, you will be able to see right through their lies. You’ll eventually have to decide what is more important- your beautiful afghan, or your stupid family. I don’t know about you, but I’m sticking with the afghan. What do they know about taste anyway?

c) You will pick beautiful, classic colors that match your furniture, your personality, and your sense of style. Everyone in the household will have agreed that the blanket will be both beautiful and practical. A heirloom even. Yeah, you like that idea. An heirloom. Something for the kids to remember you by.

You will start knitting with great excitement. You will knit about three rows before you remember a golden rule of knitting: anytime you look at a pattern and think "heirloom" you should immediately think "pain in the ass". It’s a loaded word. Implying that something is "heirloom quality" means that it was no small ordeal to make it. Otherwise, it won’t properly impress those future generations. You might get through a few more rows before you realize how much you hate it. You’ll put it down to work on a pair of socks "just for a little while". And the 8 rows of your heirloom afghan will end up way back in the closet, still on the needles, along with the $200 dollars in yarn. (Because heirloom also means "expensive"!)

I know it’s just yarn, and I’m not the kind of person who backs away from knitting projects because of fear of failure, but I just hate the idea of spending tons of time and money on something that sucks. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to make myself the blanket I want, it just means that I’ll be very anal retentive about it and make everyone around me suffer along with me!

If someone wants to bring Mason Dixon Knitting with them to Wednesday night so I can scope out the Log Cabin blanket pattern, I’d appreciate it! Or, if anyone has any ideas, I am totally open to suggestions!




  1. Tara said

    I’ll bring it in for you. Its one of those ideas that is so simple you wonder why you hadn’t thought of it before…

  2. Mery said

    Holly, I have one word for you (maybe 2) KNITPICKS!!! good yarn but cheap. That’s all.

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