It’s done. It’s finally finally finally done. The Tunisian Terror will terrify no more.
I’ve been absent from this blog for a couple of months, at least, frantically working on this blanket and a few other must-finish gifts. Today’s post will feature only the Tunisian Terror.
Anyone who has followed this blog over the last couple of years has seen numerous posts about this project. A quick recap for any latecomers: At Christmas 2013, my mother was thumbing through my afghan books and came across a blanket she had to have, the Take-Along Sampler Afghan by Ruth Ellen Klug. “Make me this,” she said. I gulped, but I love my mother so naturally I said, “Of course.” In March 2014, we went to the yarn store near her house and ordered the yarn. I received it in April 2014, taught myself Tunisian Simple Stitch, and set to work. In April 2015, I finished crocheting the last of the squares — or potholders, as my husband called them — and started the decorative cross-stitching. In August 2015, I finished the cross-stitching and started weaving in all the colored ends. In September, I began sewing the squares into strips and the strips to each other. I sewed on the last strip Tuesday night, did a one-row single crochet border around the whole thing Wednesday night while cooking a side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, and started weaving in the ends of all the black yarn. At 11:30 pm, my head hurt, my eyes burned, and I could hardly keep from nodding off. I gave up and went to bed.
Yesterday morning, we got in the car to go to Alabama for dinner with the family. Spouse drove. I had the blanket in my lap and wove in countless ends as the miles and the pine trees rolled by. We were less than 10 miles from our destination when the last end was woven in and clipped off. The blanket was a crumpled mess, but it was done.
I handed it to my mother as we walked in the door. “Mom, it’s done, but it needs to be washed and dried.” She laundered it. I took the above photo while it was still warm from the dryer.
- Pattern: Take-Along Sampler Afghan by Ruth Ellen Klug. Link to my Ravelry project page.
- Yarn: Uptown Worsted by Universal, 21 colors, approximate 3,700 yards total. A lovely yarn for an acrylic, smooth and fairly soft right out of the skein. Based on the pattern amounts — which unfortunately gave ounces rather than yards as the unit of measurement — I bought four skeins of black and one skein of each of the other colors. The black was insufficient and I dipped into stash to make up the difference, using about another 400 yards (best guess) to finish embroidery and borders. Additionally, I ran out of the Electric Blue during the cross-stitching, and substituted Little Boy Blue or Royal Blue on several squares. Further shortages during cross-stitching: I ran out of Sage and Baby Green. I substituted from stash for Sage but replaced Baby Green with the Sage substitute or another color altogether, depending on the square. Therefore the yardage shown on the project page for Sage is a best guess.
- Hook: Tunisian hook, size H. Standard Boye hook, size G
- Satisfaction with end product: I sincerely doubt I will ever make this pattern again. It’s just too involved. As much as I hate to admit it, I started to resent making it before I was halfway through, and I didn’t give this pattern all the meticulous care it required. The tension from square to square is uneven because of the amount of time that passed while making them. This means no two squares are exactly the same size, and some of them are considerably different. That problem could have been remedied by blocking, but I didn’t do that. Blocking 63 individual squares to identical measurements was beyond the scope of my energy. Because the squares were not blocked to size before I sewed them together, the blanket is a little rumply in spots. Despite all that, it’s still very pretty. My mother loves it, and that’s what really matters.
Something to keep in mind when looking at the time span this project took: I work a full-time job. When you factor in the commute to downtown Atlanta, I put in about a 10-hour work day five days a week. Plus the care and upkeep of house and spouse. Then add trying to keep my acting chops sharp? Hah! It’s a wonder this project didn’t take longer. Of course, another factor in the time span was the time I spent making other things while this blanket was in progress. Periodically I grew wholeheartedly sick of the whole thing and had to set it aside until my enthusiasm returned.
Normally, I’d link to a couple of FO Friday roundups, but I can’t find any of the usual suspects, no doubt because of the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and a joyous holiday season to come. I’ll do my best to get back here a little more frequently. I have several other finished projects to show off, and Christmas gifts still on the hooks and needles. Stay tuned.