Saturday, October 8

The ends never end...

I am notorious for not doing ends on projects. I avoid them like the plague. Everybody that knows me at all knows about this. I have been known to find a pair of socks... where the knitting was completed on them months, or even years before... and all that was required was weaving in *FOUR* yarn ends!

My favourite story to share about my reputation happened about 8 or 9 years ago at Christmas. This is one of the many "my wonderful DH" stories that I love to tell.

First there's the back story. Starting in about late September or October I began work in secret on afghans for 2 of my pre-teen daughters. The finished size of these afghans was about 55-60" by 75-80". There was also a variety of other projects on the go, I was pregnant (or nursing depending on the year, I can't remember), designing when I could, very involved in online communities, and working full-time. At the beginning of November, a new CAL group was created as an off-shoot of Crochet Talk. As one of the admins on CT then, I was heavily involved in the management of this new group as well.

The first project was a 9-patch quiltghan by Bea (something...). I was immediately in love with this pattern, and *had* to start it even though I had *so* much on the go already. My stash had at least one ball of each colour of Red Heart Super Saver that our Walmart carried, so I spread them all out on the kitchen table for my husband Derek to choose. I should insert here for those of you that don't regularly follow my blog, that my DH has wonderful taste, and I've learned to trust his yarn choices in all projects.

He chose a wonderful purple/green/white multi (the name escapes me right now since I rarely use RHSS anymore) along with the co-ordinating solids. I was ready to begin, and was looking forward to the granny squares as a great diversion from the more complex and involved projects I had on the go. This quilt-ghan was constructed like a typical 9-patch quilt, but using granny squares. Each 12" block was made up of 9 smaller squares. These squares could be anywhere from 1 to 4 colours each. If you are counting, that means a minimum of 18 and up to 72 ends per 12" block. It was a 3x4 construction, so that means 12 of these 12" blocks. It's okay if your eyes begin to glaze over at the boggling number of ends, prior to joining the blocks with sashing or adding the border (which was 3 colours if I remember correctly)!

Even though I had so many other things to finish, I couldn't put this project down. Derek is very accepting of my "creative mess" so he tends not to pay a great deal of attention to my "stuff" unless there is a drastic change (for the good or bad). By the middle of December I had most of the squares done and I began to realize that I *could* finish this afghan in time for Christmas along with the 2 others (1 *was* done for sure by this point and the other may have been as well).

Keeping in mind that he was used to seeing my stack of 12" blocks on the side of my computer desk, and knowing that there was a lifetime of ends to work on, I devised a plan to accomplish my goal. I began by working all of the ends on the inside of the 12" blocks, leaving the outer ones hanging. Unless you picked it up, you wouldn't realize that the rest of the ends were done. Once I had the inner ends done, I needed a way to shift his attention away from the squares of *his* afghan (he'd already claimed it as his after the 2nd or 3rd block was done). I began moving the blocks to the UFO pile under my desk. That was his hint that he would be lucky to see this afghan before he retired.

Now I could safely finish off the remaining ends, and even start joining a few of the blocks. He had to work until noon on Christmas Eve, and that was when the last of the border rows were completed along with the last of the ends. I carefully folded it up into a clear zippered afghan bag, gift-wrapped it, and hid it under the tree.

The next morning, when he un-wrapped it, you could see he was pleasantly surprised that I had finished it after all, but he didn't remove it from the bag. He promptly tossed it across the room at me, as I was sitting at the opposite end of our large sectional sofa. I tossed it back at him, saying nothing. He threw it again, and I tossed it back again. This game of "hot potato" lasted a few more rounds before I finally said something to him about just throwing his afghan at me. He replied that he was throwing it at me so I could do the ends. I very sternly told him to open the bag.

His face was as red as a Santa suit as he muttered "Thank You"...

Nicole =o)

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