A look at a new crochet classic

With the end of July here, my quest for a 2011 North Carolina State Fair project has begun in earnest. To assist me in deciding what I will do, I looked through the many wonderful projects posted at Ravelry and other craft and crochet forums looking for inspiration and guidance, and I found what I think will be a new crochet classic.

Given my penchant for making large pieces composed of many smaller pieces, it is no surprise that I was drawn to Ellen Gormley’s, Sunny Spread, and the many permutations of this project that can be found at flickr and ravelry.

Here is Ms, Gormley’s rendition of her own design:

crochetbug, crochet circles, textured crochet circles, crochet blanket, crochet afghan, crochet throw, ellen gormley
Ellen Gormley’s Sunny Spread

First published in the January/February 2008 in Crochet Today! this project was the reason I bought this particular issue of the magazine. (The pattern is now available at no charge here).

It is clear from the variations on this pattern that can be found at both ravelry and flickr that Sunny Spread is becoming a new crochet classic.

The first variation I saw on Ms. Gormley’s pattern was this piece titled “Calypso” from the crocheter known as JustOneKiss at ravelry:

A textured circle afghan made of greens yellows, and blues
JustOneKiss inteprets Ellen Gormley’s Sunny Spread

Another interpretation that caught my fancy was this aptly titled “Tropical Fruit Punch” courtesy of another ravelry crocheter known as BUHBYE:

crochetbug, crochet circles, textured crochet circles, crochet blanket, crochet afghan, crochet throw, ellen gormley
BUHBYE inteprets Ellen Gormley’s Sunny Spread

as well as “Sunset Circles” from grumpygirl:

crochetbug, crochet circles, textured crochet circles, crochet blanket, crochet afghan, crochet throw, ellen gormley
grumpygirl inteprets Ellen Gormley’s Sunny Spread

While the previous examples are within my color comfort zone, at least one crocheter has done remarkable things with this pattern using a less varied but equally striking palette to make an afghan that would be suitable for a man:

A striking, but more somber take on the textured circles of the Sunny Spread
woundmgr’s intepretation of Ellen Gormley’s Sunny Spread

While I don’t think I will be making this afghan myself at this juncture, in my quest for the perfect motif, it was heartening to see how one pattern can connect so many people.

If you want to learn more about Ellen Gormley and see more of her designs you can find her on Ravelry, or at her own website, Go Crochetâ„¢.

6 thoughts on “A look at a new crochet classic

  1. So I was looking over your premium book for the handicraft items. Doesn’t seem to have much to go on as far as regulations for crochet items. Is it that wide open? You can do pretty much anything?

    I just looked at the book for WI and it specified for the crocheted afghan category – NO granny square, ripple, broomstick or afghan stitch. For knitted, no fisherman pattern. Good grief!

    I also noticed the WI fair starts in four days. Again, I’d prefer to participate in the MN fair, but I’m not a resident here.

    1. Wow, I had no idea there were fairs with such strict (and numerous) rules about what you could and could not do. Seems to me they should have a signature category as well as the “you’re not allowed to do any of these things category” I mean, the groovyghan has granny squares in it. Does that mean you couldn’t enter a groovyghan?

  2. Thanks for the great post. I agree it is very inspiring to see what people are coming up with for this pattern. I can’t wait to see what you decide!

  3. Looked at the WI book again after I wrote it up. (My first time looking at one of these so you have to forgive me, please.) It seems there are three potential afghan entries. The first The first was the crochet with the restrictions as listed above, the second was the knit as listed above, and the third seems to be a crochet with no restrictions?

    Then there is also a lap blanket with size restriction and I don’t see any stitch restriction that I remember. But crazy! In comparison to what your book looked like (which I MUCH prefer!). So I guess the groovyghan could be entered in the third category.

    I LOVE the Sunny Spread and considered joining the CAL on Rav but had a couple other things in the works at the time. The photos you’ve highlighted are beautiful!

    1. I definitely love that Sunny Spread. It isn’t time for me to make one yet, but it is definitely in my queue!

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