Alternative title: Ten things I learnt when I finally made a Lapghan.
Two posts in less than a month? It’s a record! This is a double as well, including some of my excellent ranting, as well as a freebie pattern at the end.
So in September 2014, I decided that it was high time I finally learnt to make a granny square. Except that I couldn’t find a pattern I liked that I could get to work (don’t get me started on trying to get this damned thing to work, beautiful but impossible even with an English pattern translation!). So I made a Hexagon instead.
And then I decided to make an Afghan.
And then I started crocheting, and downgraded to Lapghan. Because thing Number 1 I learnt?
1. Making so many hexagons drives you insane.
In total I only made 49 of these things, and it took me three and a half months. On New Years Eve I made 14 of those 49 (it’s not as sad as it sounds – we stayed in and did a ‘Lord of the Rings’ extended edition marathon and I crocheted while I watched, it was awesome). I had to put it down for long lengths of time because the idea of having to make another damned hexagon almost put me off crochet for life.
2. I need how much yarn???
I have a basket where I keep my project of the moment, and during this one I had 16 different balls of yarn in there. I dreaded running out of one cos I didn’t have a clue where I found some of them. Which leads me to…
3. Sometimes coincidences happen.
One of my friends commissioned some Minions for a Christmas present for her Grandson, and as part of her payment gave me a couple of balls of random purple yarn she had no use for. I put them somewhere and forgot about them, until I ran out of a shade of purple with one hexagon still to go. Cue panicked dig through the yarn stash and wouldn’t you know it? Random purple yarn = exact right colour. Spooky.
4. Don’t mix your yarn thicknesses.
I discovered part way through making this Lapghan that I was using a mix of Double Knit, Worsted Weight and Sports Weight yarn. I had always thought that DK and WW were two names for the same thing. Apparently not. Oops. Made attaching the hexagons together a bit hit and miss and required some stretching on one or two of them.
5. Sewing together is both infuriating and therapeutic all at once.
I attacked my sewing up in batches – make seven hexagons, sew them into one big hexagon, repeat.
I both loved and loathed this bit, because although it took time, it was kinda cool to see the work grow as I did it. It was fairly mindless too so good for zoning out.
6. Tying in the ends is a bitch though.
Honestly, I know that I’m meant to sew in the tails or whatever, but I’m lazy so the knots are just gonna be made as small as possible ok? Cool.
7. I do not know how people make multiple Afghans a year.
Honestly, you crafters simply amaze me sometimes.
8. Blocking doesn’t actually have to take forever.
Some will tell you that when you block a piece of work, you need to do it by lovingly soaking it in a specific temperature of water, perhaps with some fabric softener or starch or whatever, then pinning it out and leaving it however long it takes yarn to air dry. Balls to that – get the iron out, works just as well in a tiny percentage of the time.
9. Work out the lay plan before you start.
It’s confusing as all hell trying to remember which hexagon goes where in the little seven hexagon flowers, and it’s even more confusing trying to work out how to fit seven of these mini ones together into the final Lapghan. At one point I thought I’d messed up entirely and chosen a shape that couldn’t be tessellated how I’d expected. Luckily not the case!
10. I will never make an Afghan or Lapghan again.
Sorry, not happening. It’s lovely, but…. just… no. No.
Unless it gets really cold.
Or I find a cool pattern.
Free pattern link and explanation of the colours of my ‘My Little Pony’ inspired Lapghan after the jump.
The basic hexagon pattern I used came from Attic24. Over there is a great text and photo tutorial which I am not going to plagiarize here. So follow the link, check out how to do it, and then I’ll describe my colour combinations and how they map over to ‘My Little Pony’, as well as the layout for connecting it all together.
Read it? Cool. Here we go then!
Long time readers will know I’m a bit of a ‘My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic’ fan. So when undertaking a project like this one, rather than just picking random colours, I decided to theme it around the six main characters. Each section (I like to think of them as flowers) of my Lapghan has seven hexagons:
I made six of these, plus a seventh shape made of a slightly different colours to act as a centre piece:
The one above is the easiest to describe so I’ll start with it. The middle of each flower is a solid block of purple, chosen because it’s close to a shade commonly used in the ‘My Little Pony’ logo (plus I had lots of it so I knew I wouldn’t run out!). The six outer hexagons are the colours of the Elements of Harmony in the TV show (not the colours on the stain glass window, the colours of the actual jewellery, chosen because they link to the colours I’d used anyway – the official colours of the Elements bring in green which would make no sense in the scheme of the overall pattern).
The other six flowers still have the solid middle, then are as follows for representing each character, with colours chosen based on body and mane colours:
Rarity (top left)
Round 1-2: White
Round 3-4: Deep purple
Rainbow Dash (to the right of Rarity)
Round 1: Baby blue
Round 2: Red
Round 3: Bright yellow
Round 4: Bright blue
Pinkie Pie (continue right)
Round 1-2: Pale pink
Round 3-4: Dark pink
Apple Jack (continue right)
Round 1-2: Orange
Round 3-4: Dull Yellow
Twilight Sparkle (continue right)
Round 1: Lilac
Round 2: Bright purple
Round 3: Dusty pink
Round 4: Darkest purple
Fluttershy (continue right)
Round 1-2: Pale yellow
Round 3-4: Pale pink
Note that all the shades for each are different (the only one that’s repeated is the pale pink used for both Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy, and even that is only because I didn’t have enough different shades!). The reason I haven’t given colour names and brands is because they all came unlabelled from my stash.
For reference, the different rounds look as follows:
So once you finally have your seven flowers, the final Lapghan layout looks like this:
The Rainbow Dash hexagon should be at the top of each flower. I joined them in strips – yellow and pink, blue and blue first, then joined these to the orange centre, then joined in the green and red. That’s probably not the easiest way but it worked for me! And then after blocking (ie: ironing the life out of it) voila!
Maybe one day I’ll come up with a way of making it straight edged, so it looks like one big hexagon, but it’s not something I’m planning on doing. For now, I like the randomness of the shape as it is. 🙂