My Most Epic Knit: The Rowan Kaffe Fassett Afghan KAL 2
3 colors, 48 squares, 2400g of yarn... and 172,800 stitches IN INTARSIA. You call it crazy, I call it epic!!!
This was the 2nd Kaffe Fassett afghan KAL by Rowan. Oh yes, I made the first, and wait -- did I swear off afghans after that one? Fingers in ears and yelling la-la-la-la, here I went again.
Just like the first one, I did NOT follow the color instructions. I don't know what it is with these, but I find the color selections to be positively jarring.
The way the afghan works is that there are 24 of the first "grayscale" tumbling blocks square, and 2 x 12 of the two-colored intarsia squares. I thought, why not do the whole thing in the same 3 colors as the tumbling blocks?
If you'd like to copy me -- go ahead, I'd love to see it! And if intarsia frightens you, I give you 5 tips on how to get started in this blog post.
Changing two-color squares to three-color squares required a little finagling.
Get all my square versions for free here.
In some cases I simply re-colored the original patterns, but in other cases, I changed the square significantly. Like this one... sorry Kaffe, but I think you lost your calculator when you designed this one. 😘
In fact, this one was so crazy, I decided to make two different ones. Hey, why not?
In some cases it's amazing how changing to 3 colors alters a simple geometric pattern.
For other squares, I actually changed the sizes of the motifs -- either to save on ends to weave or to make the intarsia look better. For example, the circles below originally had only one stitch of background width to each motif. Intarsia simply needs MORE than one stitch in each color to look neat,
You may be wondering how big this thing is! I actually used a needle one size bigger than called for, because I knew the yarn Pure Wool Superwash Worsted very well after 3 blankets. After making the first one too small, and compensating with extra squares for this one and this one -- hell NO was I going to make this epic into a neverending story!
It's 76" x 96" or about 6 ft x 8 ft. Yay, it's a toe coverer! Here's a 7 lb cat for scale. 😆
I used the same technique for sewing as I did for all the other KAL afghans, mattress stitch. Only 12 seams necessary! Just do all of the horizontals, and then link them up with vertical seams. I have pictures of that technique in this post.
**NOTE: Make sure you put all the tumbling blocks in the same direction, they are not symmetrical when flipped 180 degrees!
The border was a new type compared to the other KALs: pick up stitches, knit garter and cast-off. The corners were mitered by increasing on the edges.
**NOTE: If you increase by K1FB, this technique is not the same if you do it at the beginning of the row versus the end! The pattern says to increase each on each side every other row. No! INSTEAD, increase at the end of each row. This will make your mitered corner prettier and neater to sew.
Picked up borders are really tricky, much like button bands on cardigans. They're terrible when they're tight, they're even worse when they're loose and ruffle. The short edge pick up was perfect. The long edge... not so much. However, after all this work, my tennis elbow kicked in and I had to knit those edges continental to save myself. I know my continental gauge is looser, so I can't say for sure, but my instinct is that the long borders could still do with losing ~30 stitches.
See that pronounced ruffle on the left edge?
TRIGGER ALERT! If you are scared of weaving in ends, scroll past the next two pics! 😅 The collateral damage of intarsia is end weaving. I've woven thousands of ends in my life (I actually love intarsia), but I would challenge you to find a project that generates as many ends as this one. To minimize the pain, I tackled the ends in 3 phases:
- The center ends of each square after blocking.
- The non-border edge ends of each square after seaming.
- The border ends of each square after border knitting.
I only remembered to start saving ends for phases 2 and 3... THEY WEIGH 28 GRAMS... more than half a ball, OMG!
Oh and don't forget to make a convenient duct tape diagram on a cheap rug for easy blocking!
Another thing I didn't listen to was the organization diagram. They never make sense to me -- I NEED SYMMETRY IN MY LIFE. To do this, I started with pairs close together in the center, which got farther away from each other as they reached the opposite corner. The weirdest motifs (the hypnotic maze square) which I KNEW would look weird but I forced myself to d anyway, I put in the corners. They are just so jarring, the only other choice was the center, but I couldn't take it! I still don't see how that motif goes in this design...
I worked on this KAL pretty hard, and I am so impressed that Ute Rehner and MAYBE some other people were able to finish at the pace they set. Bravo! Me? I took 2 months longer and basically converting the east coast of Spain into a sweatshop (where I lost that damn diamonds square on my lap!!)...
|Yes, I brought the first Rowan Martin Storey afghan on vacation 😂|
|Sant Feliu de Guíxols, España|
... but nevertheless, this is how I deservedly felt after the last end!!!!!!!!!!
Now to celebrate and crawl under it in exhaustion. 💤
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