The very first afghan that I ever crocheted that was more than what I would call a learning experience was this gorgeous pattern “Old Fashioned Roses.” When I was pregnant with my first and re-learning crochet, I remember picking up my mother-in-law’s pattern book (which is now one of my favorites, Home Sweet Home Afghans – Crochet Treasury) and seeing this beautiful crochet rose afghan. When I told her I wanted to make it, and she looked at me like I was more than just a little bit crazy. But I was determined.
It was during a summer thunderstorm, one where the wind picks and howls and knocks out the electricity that I first remember sitting down by candlelight trying to figure out the pattern. I remember working my way through round after round; checking and re-checking, learning as I went. It took several attempts for me, being a new crocheter, to actually figure it out, but once I did, I didn’t put my crochet work down for at least two months after as I made square after square with roses in my eyes. By the time I finished the entire thing, I was in crochet heaven. It was the first afghan I ever made and kept for myself. I lovingly placed it on the back of my sofa, proudly displayed for the world to see. This afghan, with all its imperfections, was the beginning chapter in my crochet life. (My Ravelry link is here.)
Well, they say that having young children in the home comes with a price, and my young children just so happened to be gifted with two pairs of children’s scissors for a recent birthday. While I am quite certain that I reminded them over and over that the scissors are for paper only, one pair of scissor-yielding little hands found its way to this lovely afghan, and snipped just a little bit of yarn. But as any crocheter knows, a little snip makes a huge mess. Not long before, one of them managed to stuff it into the laundry without me noticing (don’t ask). It became stained and discolored. After that, a little accident with bleach left pockets of discoloration. It isn’t all my boys’ fault either. I didn’t understand the importance of leaving in long tails and weaving them in so that they’d stay, rather than just tucking them out of sight. Needless to say, there’s been some… wear and tear on these precious threads.
The afghan isn’t irreparable, but there are enough holes and discolorations to make me want to just retire the thing with all of its warm memories and contemplate making a new version. The yarn that I used for the original (Red Heart’s Country Rose) has been discontinued (except for the small stash I was able to nab, above), but the Vanna’s Choice line has a color and weight that’s remarkably similar, not to mention a bit softer (Antique Rose). There’s something endearing about the beginner’s hand that hooked this lovely afghan, and I am certainly not going to throw it away. But I think my sofa’s back may need to stay clear right now from any potential heirlooms. And I’m also interested in recreating this lovely afghan with the experience that so many years crocheting has given me.
~ Mellie ★