Winner of Unexpected Afghans!

Thank you all for your great comments about your favorite afghans to make! It was really fun to read all of your comments. And thank you for all the great compliments on the Amada Baby Blanket. I’m so glad it’s been well received.

But, let’s get to the drawing! I numbered the 23 comments I received in order, and then went to Random.org to use their Random number generator.

And the winner is….

Congrats to Monica! Who says…

Big and lacey all the way! I tend to have short attention span on projects, so having a pattern that goes quick is my favorite.

Monica, shoot me an email (or use the contact form) to send me your email address and I’ll pass it on so we can get you your ebook!

So, let me answer my own question…

I live in Florida, so I love motif blankets. It is too hot here to work on big afghans throughout most of the year. So motifs make it so I can get the bulk of the work done without too much in my lap. Then I can sit at a table and get the motifs joined and into a big afghan.

Now, I also love quick blankets. My go-to pattern for “I don’t know what kind of blanket I want to make but I need a blanket quick” is a giant granny square. I can do those without even looking at what I’m doing, and it’s quick and mindless.

I have some more blog posts brewing, so as soon as I can grab some time to write, you’ll see those. As I hinted at a few weeks ago, I’m knitting now and doing pretty well. Don’t worry, I will always be primarily a crocheter. But I can see how both art forms have their pros and cons.

Unexpected Afghans Celebration Weekend!

This weekend Interweave Crochet is kicking off a celebration for the new Unexpected Afghans: Innovative Crochet Designs with Traditional Techniques!

I am so excited that I can finally tell you about this design. I loved every minute of this design.

Okay, let’s start with the photo, because that’s what y’all want, right? Here you go! Here’s my design, Amada Baby Blanket:

Amada Baby Blanket

I started this design with the idea of making lace in a worsted weight yarn. When I got the call for this book, I knew I had to send it in. The swatch was done in the same yarn as the final project (so happy for that!) and it’s Universal Yarns Cotton Supreme. If you haven’t used this yarn, seriously, pick some up. It’s so smooth and silky and has incredible drape.

Robyn was fantastic to work with and she picked a stunning color for the final project. I loved the bright pink. It gives it such a pop and a flair. However, any color you work this blanket in will be stunning (and change the look significantly).

Don’t let the lace fool you into thinking it’s a hard pattern. It’s not. It’s a simple four row repeat that’s super easy to memorize. Because it’s in a worsted weight yarn, it goes super fast. It really is a great way to introduce yourself to lace crocheting.

And it’s not just for babies! This blanket turned out a bit big for a baby blanket, 39″ square. So it’s perfect for draping over a favorite chair and using to cover your lap or shoulders. I originally pictured this as a porch blanket, perfect on a porch swing on a cool spring evening.

I do hope you’ll check out this book. Not just because I’m in it. But because it is so full of great designs from great designers. I have so many of these patterns marked to make at some point. There is some top notch work in here. Designs that are far from the typical patterns found in afghan books.

Now, if you’re interested in winning an e-book version, just respond here by 11:59pm Eastern Time on July 4th with your name and an answer to this question: What’s your favorite technique for afghans/blankets?. Are you the big and lacy type? Simple and traditional? Motif? Back and forth?

Also, check out the rest of the celebration at the links below! I hear that there will be giveaways there, too!

Robyn Chachula Crochet By Faye

Dora Ohrenstein Crochet Insider Newsletter

Ellen Gormley Go Crochet

Carol Ventura Tapestry Crochet

Linda Permann Lindamade

Diane Halpern Three Rivers Crochet

Drew Emborsky The Crochet Dude

Annette Petavy Annette Petavy Design

Jill Wright Wool Crafting

Simona Merchant-Dest Stylish Knits

Doris Chan Everyday Crochet

Edie Eckman Edie Eckman

Mary Beth Temple Addicted to Alpaca

Kristin Omdahl Styled By Kristin

Marty Miller Not Your Grannys Crochet

Annie Modesitt Modeknit

Megan Granholm Loop de doo

Kim Guzman Wips N Chains

Apparently I “denigrate” Olympic athletes now

UPDATE: The USOC has updated their apology with one that should have been there in the first place. Read the top part. Thank you. I still stand by what I said, and I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about the situation, as I don’t know if this would have come about had you not had to deal with a HUGE Twitter storm of PR Nightmare. But, actions will speak louder than words. Know that every action y’all take now is being watched to see if this is sincere or not.

Yeah, so news to me yesterday, apparently my participation for the last two cycles of the Ravelympics (as well as being a captain of a team this year) is denigrating to the Olympic Athletes. Wait, I’ll give you a minute to pick your jaw up off the floor before I continue.

Hang on, wait, no, read this first, then come back: Article at Gawker

How did I do this?

By crocheting.

While watching the Olympics.

For the first time since I was a child (watching the Olympics, not crocheting).

Because apparently I’m so daft I would consider for a moment that making a sweater (Summer ’08 games) and a beaded mohair shawl (Winter ’10 games) is on par with athletes who train all their lives to compete in the Olympics (here’s a hint, I don’t).

Summer ’08 Ravelympics entry

Winter ’10 Ravelympics entry

Oh, and I also apparently assume that these gold medals (you know, bits on a screen) are the same thing and on the same level as the serious hardware our athletes strive to receive.

My “gold medal” for my sweater that denigrates athletes

My “gold medal” for my shawl that denigrates athletes

I know it’s different. I have the utmost respect and admiration for our Olympic athletes. But honestly? Prior to the Ravelympics I rarely watched the games. I didn’t make it a habit. But when I was starting my project at the start of Opening Ceremonies? My butt was in a chair with the ceremonies going on full blast. I was cheering my country’s team. I was tearing up during it. I found the opening (and closing) ceremonies beautiful and a testament to what the Olympic spirit is all about.

Whenever I was working on my project for the games, I would watch the Olympics. I was actually paying attention the last two games, more than I ever had before. Even when I finished my projects before the close, I still watched the closing ceremonies, too.

So, imagine my surprise when I saw the cease and desist letter from USOC. Now, let me clear up a few thoughts:

1. I understand trademark law. I get that you have to protect it in order to keep it. I’m not faulting you for the initial part of the cease and desist letter.

2. HOWEVER, I wasn’t aware that the word was trademarked by the US Olympic Committee. Pretty sure the Olympics are a worldwide event. Or are we the only ones who are so money hungry we trademark anything that stands still long enough to slap a TM on it?

3. Really? -lympics infringes upon the trademark? Well, that’s for people way above my pay grade to sort out, so I’ll leave that one alone.

4. It is the tone of the letter, the ugly and denigrating terms used in the letter, that has not only me, but everyone else up in arms.

There’s been a response, finally, from the USOC. “Apology” from USOC. It’s a half-arsed apology, one that I wouldn’t accept from the boy if he tried to give it to me after saying the same things the USOC’s law clerk (yes, clerk) said in that letter. So, no, I’m not accepting the apology from the USOC. And no, I’m sure as heck not going to be making anything to send to them.

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do about Ravelympics this year. I was really looking forward to participating, to sharing the excitement of the Olympics with the boy, to showing him how to take on a challenge of something you’re not sure you can do and pushing to do it (what the Ravelympics and the Olympics are about…last I checked).

Now? Now I’m not so sure. How do I explain to him that the USOC puts money (and their sponsors) above average citizens (and their sponsors customers…lest we forget that)? I will gladly and always support our athletes. I will not, however, continue to support an entity that has apparently forgotten its entire purpose.

So while the USOC would like to say shame on me, I’m saying “Shame on you.”

Now excuse me while I go back to my knitting (yes, a post on that forthcoming, this one caught me by surprise).

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