Couch Afghan

When I talk about knitting, I’m pretty sure the first thing most people think of is “Grandma”. The second thing is those scratchy afghans your grandma or great-grandma knitted or crocheted that may still be living on the back of a relative’s couch gathering dust.

The first generations of acrylic yarn were scratchy and stiff. I’m not sure why our grandmothers and great-grandmothers tolerated the yarn, let alone worked with it, but I assume it was because a) the colors were brighter, b) it was easier to wash, and c) it was cheaper than natural yarns such as cotton or wool. To be fair, I tend to use acrylic and other man-made yarns myself for these reasons, but the texture has improved so much, even in my own knitting lifetime.

One of my favorite newer yarns is Bernat’s Blanket Yarn. It’s a polyester chenille yarn, but it’s much more hardy than previous iterations of chenille yarn. It is still a bit brittle, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginning knitter, but it makes for a great couch afghan. Which is, of course, why it’s called “Blanket Yarn”.

During the furlough (yes, another furlough project) I decided I wanted to knit an extra snuggly couch afghan that would be long enough for Mr. Lazy Knitter. I agonized a bit over the color choices, like I do, and I chose the Bernat Blanket Yarn, Teal Dreams colorway to introduce more blue into our living room decor and break up our red sectional a bit.

It’s “my long-haired cat just got a haircut and is cold because it’s spring in Chicago” levels of cozy. Red sectional pictured under cat.
Mr. Lazy Knitter modeling the afghan. He is 6′ 6″ tall.

I looked at a couple of the Bernat patterns for the yarn, started a couple, and decided I didn’t like any of them. So I cast on 100 stitches on size 15 circular needles, and knitted the blanket in stockinette stitch with a 10 row/10 stitch garter border on all sides. I knitted until the blanket was about as tall as Mr. Lazy Knitter, which used about 5.5 skeins.

One thing to note is that I didn’t pay attention to where I was in the variegation when I joined my last skein, which you can see in the bottom 1/6 of the blanket. If you look closely, you can see the variegation pattern changing when I joined each skein of yarn, but it’s most noticeable on that last one. For our use, it doesn’t bother me. A casual observer might think it’s intentional if they ever saw the blanket spread out. For a commission, I would pay more attention to the variegation pattern to ensure that it is more consistent.

Our cats, Zee, and guests are all drawn to the afghan. A friend’s daughter napped under it this past weekend. Every time we unfold it, Zee wants to snuggle and play peekaboo. Extra snuggly blanket mission accomplished.

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