Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Round Robin Afghans

Have you ever participated in a round robin project?  That is one where a group of people start a project, and this project is passed around from person to person, each adding their own touch.  I have participated in several, a quilting round robin, and an art journal type of round robin.  Well, I just participated in a crochet round robin.  It turned out amazingly beautiful!

I have a group of great friends, we all homeschool or have homeschooled in the past.  We get together for an art day, once a month, and after the art day winds down we hang out just talking, having snacks and tea.  The kids may watch a movie or play video games or just talk.  But most of us moms will bring a project to work on, generally knitting or crocheting, as that is just so portable.  One art day we were all sitting around the table drinking tea and working on our own projects, talking about yarn.  Somehow the conversation evolved and we were talking about extra yarn, our yarn stash and we created this project.  Had no idea how it would turn out but it sounded interesting.  Here is the project: there were 7 of us, and we each went home and started an afghan, crochet, to measure 36 inches long, each of us started with a base of 6 inches.  So our first stripe measured 36 inches by 6 inches.  We brought all of those back the next month at art day, where we switched afghans. The next person added another 6 inches to the project.  In the end each person gets the afghan they started back, and it measured 42 inches (6 inches X 7 people) X 36 inches.

Among the 7 of us there were different skill levels.  Some chose to use the same crochet stitch for all afghans, some chose a variety of stitches, all different colors.  Some asked the owner of the afghan what colors they preferred, some based the color choice around what was already added to the afghan.  It was just amazing, and it was so interesting to see what everyone was choosing, how it wove into the different afghans, and how each afghan turned out so different even though the same 7 people worked on them all.

This round robin took us about 8 months to complete.  Then we decided to top it all off with our own yarn crawl.  Two friends couldn't make the yarn crawl but the five of us that did make it, had a wonderful and exhausting day.  We started off stopping at O Suzannah's Yarn in Morganton, NC.  Very nice yarn shop, great atmosphere, areas to sit, lots of different weight yarn, and some wonderful yarns in vibrant colors.  I love small local yarn shops, just such a great variety of hand spun, hand dyed, yarns.  Yarns you can't find at places like A C Moore, or Michael's.
O Suzannah's Yarn in Morganton

Our second stop was in Black Mountain NC, and can I say the day was a little chilly but the view going up the mountain was, as always, beautiful.  The Black Mountain Yarn shop is very cute, they also have space to sit and knit.  Again, they also have yarn in such vibrant colors, and textures.  Great variety.  This store also had books, magazines and patterns, which I enjoy. It's nice to look through magazines and get ideas.  Very nice shop.
Black Mountain Yarn Shop

Third stop was on Wall Street in Asheville, NC.  We stopped for lunch first and then headed to the yarn shop.  Purl's yarn has a nice cozy area in the middle of the shop to sit.  I thought it was a bit crowded feeling and not as many vibrant hand dyed yarns.  They did have a selection of locally spun yarns, that was nice.  It was a little more difficult to see everything in this shop as it was a little cramped, but they did have a nice selection and some of the yarns were cheaper than other stores, for the same yarn.

Purl's Yarn in Asheville

Last stop was The Knitting Diva.  The address is still Asheville but it is almost in Weaverville.  Very nice shop, Great selection of different yarns, and they also sell some art.  I fell in love with a mermaid painting, just peaceful and beautiful!  They had some different yarns, different textures, eyelash types of yarns etc.

The Knitting Diva also in Asheville

9 hours of yarn.  It was overwhelming at times (so much beautiful little time), it was so much fun just being out for the day with amazing friends, chatting, eating, looking at yarn, looking at our afghans.  Some of the shop owners were really excited for us, almost as excited as we were, they helped us match yarn, took pictures, and loved the idea of the round robin.

After returning home, before heading to bed, I took the time to look over the yarn I bought, feeling it, thinking about it, imagining how my afghan would turn out after I put a boarder around it.  I had to think about what color, what stitch I would use as my boarder.  I wanted it to be just perfect, like arms reaching around all the love of my friends and holding it close.  And I know each time I snuggle up under that special afghan, I will think of each of my friends, look at the piece each friend added, and just feel surrounded by such positive energy, holding me close.

My completed afghan!  So special!

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