Flip flop weather

March in North Carolina is marked by changeable weather, and after last week’s ice and sleet, today was a delightful preview of summer. So delightful, in fact, that I was able to pull out a pair of flip flops from the back of my closet:

purple and pink flip flops
My purple and pink flip flops

It had been many moons since the flip flops had seen the light of day, and I was happy to be able to wear wear them again.

Four years ago at this time, I was a new blogger. At the time, I was posting new material every day, and I was looking for some sort of thread that could connect one day’s efforts with the next.

To that end, I began work on the Better Homes & Gardens Granny Square Sampler, a project that I had attempted 13 years earlier when I was new to crochet. My efforts had been unsuccessful. Some of the directions resulted in squares that matched those in the picture, and some did not.

Armed with a sizable stash of yarn, a 4.5 mm hook, and the camera on my then state-of-the-art Palm Pixi cellphone, I got to work.

One this date, four years ago, I had managed to finish Square D-2 (here is a link to the long ago blog post):

crochet granny square crochet square
Crochet Square D-2

For the next three months, I worked on on the pieces of that granny sampler, sometimes following the directions as written, and other times spending hours trying to figure out how the squares had been made.

Eventually, I completed all of the squares, and what remained was the piecing together.

The original granny square sampler I looked to for guidance and been assembled in a join-as-you-go fashion, but the written instructions directed the crocheter to join them with right sides together using a whip stitch.

I didn’t do either; instead, I joined the pieces of the-afghan-that-(had)-eluded-me with the right sides together and a single crochet through both loops, and eventually, after thirteen years during most of which my original effort lay dormant, I finished it:

granny square crochet afghan
The afghan that eluded me

And at the time, I thought that was it. I had crocheted the project that had inspired so many of my early crochet efforts. I was ready to move on, and I did. For the most part.

But eventually, I came back to this project.

This time, however, I was going to use the join-as-you go-method (despite the lack of instruction as to what order the squares would need to be joined in to best serve that goal), and I had the specific goal of creating a beach blanket, with colors that would (to my mind) evoke the combined joy of the beach at summer.

Complicating things just a little bit was the fact that since the blanket would be given as a wedding gift, there was a deadline.

Over the course of the next seven weeks (minus one day), I worked diligently to bring my vision to fruition, and this was the result:

a crochet beach blanket
The beach blanket

And it was this version of that caught the eye of an aspiring swimwear designer who used it as the basis for a boardshort design which she had entered in a contest sponsored by Protest EU.

Here is the final result:

Granny square boardshorts
Granny square boardshorts

and here is a link to order a pair.

So what, you might wonder, did I get for my efforts?

This awesome surfboard:

crochet beach blanket inspired surfboard
My beach blanket inspired surfboard

On that day in March when I began work the-afghan-that-eluded-me I had no idea that it would, in time, lead to a surfboard to decorate my crochet empire, but it has, and I am ready to move onto the next crochet adventure knowing that while I have no idea where it will lead me, it is someplace I want to go.