New year – new project

This holiday season I seemed to have more projects than usual, mostly due to being part of a craft fair held through my church.  Once they were done I found myself wanting to get to work, but not having a project to work on.  Then one fell in my lap.  My church (again it’s the church – lol) is having its 20th birthday in about 2 weeks and have been asking for donations for a silent auction.  Sounds like a perfect project to me!  So I volunteered an afghan.  I’ve been almost obsessive about working on it…  fairly common for me when I try a new pattern that I just love.

The pattern I’m making is from the Red Heart site, but I do have to caution anyone who would like to make the pattern.  I’m not sure who tested the pattern, but there are a few things that need correcting.  The cluster stitches at the center of the hexagons and running the sides are not the puff stitch decribed in the instructions.  I used a double crochet cluster instead (3 double crochets sharing the same top loop – I’ll add directions at the end of the post).  That still didn’t give it quite the same look, so I believe the afghan pictured used a triple crochet cluster. 

Another issue is the hook size listed.  The pattern asks for a 5.0mm hook (H-8), but that would throw the gauge way off.  Even using a 6.5mm and the double crochet cluster my hexagons were only 5.5in across.  Another reason I think the actual pattern used triple crochet clusters.

I’m debating whether or not I should eliminate the second row of clusters from the center panel (the portion pictured above) and add a section with popcorn stitches like the ones on the right to make the overall look a little more symmetrical.  I just love the look of popcorn stitches on this type of project.

I’m also having trouble deciding on the value of this piece.  I need to come up with a price for it since it has to be listed for the donation.  The yarn cost is only about $20.  So far I’ve worked on it for about 4 days and looking like I have about 3 or 4 more to finish (working in the evenings only).  I’ve never been good at doing these estimates because what I calculate always seems too high.

Anyway…  I’m making this with Red Heart Super Saver in Soft White (since I had a couple skeins on hand).  It looks like it’s going to take about 6 skeins total. 

And now to explain the stiches I mentioned… 

First the double crochet cluster  – yarn over (yo), insert hook in stitch, yo & pull up a loop, yo & pull through 2 loops (2 loops left on hook), yo, insert into stitch, yo & pull up a loop, yo & pull through 2 loops (3 loops on hook), yo, insert into stitch, yo & pull up a loop, yo & pull through 2 loops (4 loops on hook), yo pull through all 4 loops.

And the triple crochet cluster – yo twice, insert hook in stitch, yo & pull up a loop, yo & pull through 2 loops, yo and pull through 2 loops (2 loops on hook), yo twice, insert hook in stitch, yo & pull up a loop, yo & pull through 2 loops, yo and pull through 2 loops (3 loops on hook), yo twice, insert hook in stitch, yo & pull up a loop, yo & pull through 2 loops, yo and pull through 2 loops (4 loops on hook), yo & pull through all 4 loops.