State Fair 2019

When it comes to yarn scraps of almost any size, I am what is technically known as a gazillionaire. So when I was making a list of self-imposed rules of engagement for this year’s state fair project, I decided that I would “limit” myself to yarns I currently own with a goal of reducing my yarn scarps.

I am also fairly time limited this year. While I am starting 12 days earlier than I usually do, I need to have the finished project turned in seven weeks earlier than what I am accustomed too, so my crochet season is a little over five weeks shorter than usual, so while I have generally had 70 days to complete my project from start to finish, this year I have 33 days to complete my project.

Fortunately for me, the guidelines for entry also have some limits particularly as they pertain to size. Adding to my good fortune, I actually read the guidelines and know what they are and am planning accordingly.

Initially, I toyed with the idea of re-making the Better Homes and Gardens Granny Square Sampler Afghan which I have made twice before:

crochet granny square beach blanket, crochetbug, crochet squares, granny squares
The original afghan-that-eluded me and the reprise

I set aside this idea rather quickly because each square is different, and because of the limited window of time, a single motif is the more efficient way to go.

But I still wanted something with a retro flair to it, because coming to New Mexico is really like traveling back in time, and I offer as Exhibit A, this BelAir DeLuxe parked on Central Avenue last week:

A Chevrolet BelAir DeLuxe parked on Central in Albuquerque in July
A Chevrolet BelAir DeLuxe parked on Central in Albuquerque in July

To that end, I was looking for a one motif pattern that would be interesting, but would not be too taxing, and I finally settled on a pattern known as the Flamboyant Afghan.

First published and popularized in the 1970s, the pattern is very evocative of the times. I have played around with the pattern before, but today was my first full-time foray into the intricacies of the pattern. I started by making two squares with hooks that differed in both size and brand. The squares were, to my mind, adequate, but not awesome:

Trying out different sizes and brands of crochet hooks
Trying out different sizes and brands of crochet hooks

I knew that part of the problem was the colors I had chosen, but I also felt there was something not quite working with the gauge, so I got out a favorite 5.0 mm hook and tried again:

The flamboyant afghan square made with a 5.0 mm hook
The flamboyant afghan square made with a 5.0 mm hook

I liked this square a bit better. Using the same color for two rounds instead of changing as often as I had seemed to give it a better look, and then, when I put it next to one of the squares that had more color changes:

The same square made with two different size hooks for State Fair 2019
The same square made with two different size hooks for state fair 2019

the two squares, while of different gauges, seemed to strengthen each other.

I do not have time this year to second guess and reframe things, so I have to make my gauge decisions by Saturday morning, and then I will move forward, one stitch at a time.

And if you are interested in the difference I see between Art and crAft, I wrote this piece at Medium.