Monday, 6 May 2013

Kew Gardens Circle Afghan with Sean Sheep Filo Grande Yarn

I have always wanted to try a circle rug. Never again. While I did enjoy it, the amount of time I had to undo and fudge it meant I was often frustrated. And I crochet to relieve frustration, not to achieve it.
I used Filo Grande from Sean Sheep yarn. It is $5.88 from Big W for approximately 300m, which is quite cheap. I have used this yarn for a number of items in the past few years and I have found it is very quick to work up, being a 12 ply yarn, however the dyeing of the variegated yarns may not be consistent within each ball. Also, I found that every ball had at 2 - 3 joins, which can be frustrating. One ball had about 10m of faulty yarn in the centre.
The colour I used is called Brown Charcoal Haze. I bought this to match with our "new to us" leather lounge which I bought for $25 on Gumtree. Yes, $25! The lounge is a light tan/beige colour and it is on terracotta tiles and through the glass door you can see the charcoal gray stencilled concrete. So that is why I thought this would tone in nicely.
I used the Kew Gardens Afghan pattern on the Lion Brand site as the base of this rug. In that pattern they use Homespun with a 9mm hook. I used a 10mm hook for two reasons: I couldn't find my 9mm hook and I was impatient to get started, AND I wanted a very soft drape in the finished rug.
I found the pattern easy to read, however I really wanted the rug to be circular and it was turning out quite segmented where you add the increase in the same place each round. I often would get in treble mode and completely miss the increase, sometimes more than one, and would have to undo it. Grrrr. Double grrr if I discovered it a few rounds later and had to undo it!
Also, after a while it was fluting, because of the larger needle, so I would add a couple of plain rounds in between the increase rounds. I finished with 5 rounds of single crochet to try to make it rounder, but you can still see the segments. Still, it is on the play area lounge, so I don't think it will matter much. I haven't tried blocking it. That may help. I used 3.5 balls for the rug.

 Photobombed by Bessie.

Then by Eddie. Turns out I can't sit on the floor
to take a photo unless I have two dogs in my lap.

And now I have started on two cushions to go with it. They are going to be quite large when they are done. I bought cushion inserts and fabric from Spotlight, and will make the cushion covers myself and sew the crochet to the front. I wanted to follow the circle theme, but frame it in a square, so I used one block from the Circles In Squares Throw by Red Heart. Instead of changing colours and doing the different stitches, I just kept on with the same colour and used only trebles in the circles. As long as your stitch count is right on each row, it works out fine. Also, I am using an 8mm hook on this one because I want it to be quite dense and firm.

I will put up some more photos when they are done.

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