Saturday, December 11, 2010

Magic Afghan Update & Explanation

My progress so far today:

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For those of you not familiar with Magic Balls and Magic Afghans, I will try to explain…

You can just use scrap yarns of all colors or choose your colors more deliberately to get a different look.  I do several rounds of winding (like 20-ish cranks on the ball winder) then stop, cut my yarn, choose a new color, and knot it on.  Trim loose ends and start winding again.  Vary the amount of yarn you wind into your ball with each new color.  When you crochet you’ll have yarn color changes in different places in the rows.  You may have one row of one color, two rows of the next, 1/2 a rows of the next, etc.  My advice is to always choose your yarns and make your magic balls first.  That way when you start crocheting, your color changes will be automatic, you won’t have any ends to tie together, and you won’t have ANY loose ends to weave-in when your afghan is finished.  It’s just easy-breezy crocheting straight through.

You’ll just have to guess at the number of magic balls you’ll need, or you can make them as you go.  I just prefer to make what I think I’ll need upfront and get that over with so I can just crochet.  You can use any color for your main color, but most people choose white or black.  White tends to wash out the colors and they are not as vibrant as with the black.

I’m using a Size K hook.  I will try a Size N next time for a looser weave in the blanket.  This one is turning out very firm and thick and has more of a rug feel to it.  The larger N hook would make it looser and softer. 

For the afghan I started today (pictured above), I started with a chain of 150 (holding black yarn and the magic ball yarn together).  Dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each ch across to end.  *Ch 2, turn.  Dc in each dc across to end of row.  Repeat from * to * until your afghan is the size you want it.  A beginning chain of 150 came out to 58 inches for the width of my afghan.

This is NOT my idea or pattern.  (But you can leave me a donation if you want!  Ha-ha-ha!  I’m kidding, I’m kidding!  Some of you won’t get that joke reference so just move along.) 

I first saw this crochet concept on Linda’s blog here:  www.Madcrochetingfool1.blogspot.com

Here are a couple of Linda’s finished blankets and also some of her purses/totes made using Magic Balls:

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I hope I’ve made sense.  If not, leave me a comment with your questions and I’ll try to answer you pronto if I know the answer.

14 comments:

  1. Pammy Sue, looks like a really great way to do things, especially while doing an afghan! So, my question is, when you encounter a knot, do you just leave it even if it is in the middle of your project or do you frog to the beginning of the row? Guess that would defeat the whole purpose. If it is a project for myself I do not worry but to give to someone else or sell I would worry it may come apart. Any I have done that way NEVER have come apart but I do worry plus there is a little bump at times. What is your take on this...as another avid crocheter I would be interested in your opinion. And, I might add, that I think I'll keep my hard earned bucks for my own yarn purchases ;) Ha! Ha!

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  2. This is really interesting - I've never heard of it before. Thanks for explaining it. Now that I've seen this, I'm sure it will be something I try sooner or later.
    Caz :)

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  3. Very clever Pam. You slay me!!! Really!!

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  4. Clara ~ No, you don't want your color changes and knots only at the end or beginning of a row. You want them to be everywhere in no particular spot. If you look at Linda's afghans I posted pics of, you can see how there are color changes sometimes right in the middle of a row. You just keep crocheting when you come across a knot. You can't see them unless you really look for them because the crochet is so thick and colorful. I read recently that some people just leave the tails on their knots because they like the even more rustic feel it gives the afghan with knots all over it. I don't care for doing that myself, but to each his own!

    I haven't heard anyone say they've had one come undone because of that. Just make sure you've got a tight knot when you're making the balls. That's all you can really do unless you want to leave tails on them and weave them in as you come across them.

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  5. Thanks Pammy Sue , I really like these. so different then always starting new colors at the start of a row. will definitely try this with one of the next afghans I do...
    Have a good weekend.
    Hugs from SOuth Texas... Birgit

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  6. Thanks, it gives validation to what I used to do so maybe I will go back to that and not worry so much!

    By the way, as far as yarn winders go, do you like the model you have, and was it expensive?

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  7. Normally I will hand wind a ball with the left overs of yarn when I finish a project . . keeping brands with brands since I use the same ones all the time . . . then I start a baby "sleeping bag." They end up so cute and random . . very "prairie" looking.

    \0/ paula

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  8. An excellent idea for using those left over yarns.. Love the bags even more :)) Thanks for the info..:))

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  9. The ball winder I have is a Royal or Royalty Brand and I like it. It is plastic, but it has always worked and met my needs. I've never had a problem with it. I'd buy it again. It was $25. I believe I got it online at amazon.com.

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  10. I love the tote bags Looks like another thing I'm putting on my to do list.
    Holly

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  11. Thanks Pammy Sue, always interesting to see what others do. This has been fun! Now, can't wait to see your project as it comes along. Oh, and good idea Paula about keeping the leftover bits and brands together.

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  12. Very cool! Thank you for explaining all that. Looks like you've made quite a bit of progress already!

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  13. Finally, I think I got it. Looking great. Don't you just love those ball winders. This year I think you need to get yourself a swift. Can't wait to see how this turns out.

    Just turned your Dreamsicle scarf into a Rice Snuggle cover. Very cute, but I don't think it can be micro'ed so it have a flap with two buttons to be able to remove. Will see how it goes.

    Down to the final 10 cards for address checks. And believe it or not, we are both still alive, but barely. Retreat to the basement for football and separate ways this afternoon are in order....giggle-giggle...

    Not as much snow as predicted but still blowing around like mad out there.

    Kate

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  14. Thanks for the idea! I have actually purchased particular yarns for this exact look but never did the project! I really like the looks of it so maybe "one day" I may actually get that project done! Beautiful work Pammy Sue!

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