Monday, March 2, 2015

Ocean Swells Afghan

I had great intentions of making my mother- and father-in-law a crocheted blanket for Christmas.  I wanted it to be special.  After giving it thought and looking at many pictures of crocheted blankets, I found the perfect pattern (in a book I did not own, but I found on amazon).  I decided I wanted it to be done in a neutral color and silver seemed to be a great idea.  But for some reason the perfect shade of silver kept eluding me.  Finally I took a chance on a shade in KnitPicks Brava.  I ordered the yarn and in early December it came.   Plenty of time, I thought.

The stitch pattern is called Ocean Swells and the book it is found in is:  Crochet: The Complete Guide by Jane Davis. ISBN: 9780896896970.  This is a book of stitch patterns (not patterns of finished objects), so figuring out how to get the stitch pattern into a full size afghan took some thinking and some calculating, then finally crocheting, and ripping out, and crocheting again.  At last, I got it down.  It was exciting to watch it grow. it turns out, December is a terrible time to begin a large crochet project of a new pattern.  Especially if the pattern is the least bit challenging.  Especially if you want to give it as a Christmas gift.  But I gave it all I had.  For weeks, I crocheted.  And ripped out mistakes.  And crocheted some more.  It was, I think, less than a week before Christmas when I finally realized that I could crochet every free hour I had and I was not going to be able to complete this blanket in time.  So I quit.

Well...I didn't exactly quit, but I freed myself of the expectation that I would finish in time for Christmas.  I took it slower and enjoyed the process instead of frantically crocheting my fingers off.  And I enjoyed that last week before Christmas - promising never again to put off starting such a large project until December.

I finished it after the New Year and decided that it would instead, make a great birthday gift for my mother-in-law. Good thing I had let go of the idea of it being a Christmas gift, because much to my dismay it needed blocking when it was finished.  I've never before had to block an afghan so I don't know whether it was the Brava yarn or the pattern that make this afghan not lay smoothly.   While I've blocked small objects, blocking a blanket was new to me.  And of course, I procrastinated.  Once I bit the bullet, though, it wasn't so hard.  It was just big.  And blocking did the trick.  YAY!


Yes, I know it's not laid out smooth in the picture, and the pretty top and bottom edges don't show, but blocking really opened up this, almost, lacy pattern.   Someday, maybe, I think I'll try this pattern in another yarn to see if it behaves differently.

Finally, it was ready to go and I'm happy to say it was a hit!

Happy Birthday, Mom B!



  1. Oh My Goodness! I adore your blanket "Ocean Swells". After reading your post, I found a site that demonstrated this pattern. I can't follow her at all for some dumb reason. I'm self-taught, or at times, trying to follow off You Tube. I'm just so attracted to your afghan that I'm drooling all over my keyboard!!

    I hope I can figure out the pattern, because I desperately want to make this afghan Soooooooooo Much!
    Would you classify this pattern as Difficult?? How about the pattern in the book? Was it easy enough to follow or do you think I should just keep trying to follow the crocheter on You Tube? She only does a small swatch and goes a little fast for me, but if I really, really try, perhaps I can master it.
    I don't normally comment on the internet - but couldn't pass up the opportunity to tell you how GORGEOUS your Ocean Swells afghan turned out.
    Have a Happy Day & A Joyful Holiday season ~~ Bobbie :)

    1. Thank you for the kind comments on my blanket. I don't know that I considered the stitch pattern difficult, exactly, but I did have to pay attention and refer back to the pattern throughout. That was the hardest part and I confess I had to rip back and do rows over more than I care to admit. It's been nearly two years since I worked on this, and I can't say I remember it well. I just know I bought the book solely for this pattern so I was committed to completing it. The book I used for this pattern only provided a stitch pattern (probably the same amount of instruction that the video provides), so even with the book there is a fair amount of figuring out things like how many repeats to do for the width blanket you want to make, and estimating how much yarn the pattern is likely to take. Best wishes if you keep at it. It's a satisfying stitch pattern to make even if it takes some doing to get it down. :)


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