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Throwback: A Tale of Two Afghans

It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.  A tale of two afghans -- made of much love and Red Heart Acrylic yarn.

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When I went back to college for my junior year, I had a really hard time of things.  My new boyfriend (that would be Tom) and I went to different schools -- and I missed him terribly.  My old college distractions suddenly seemed empty and shallow.  So I decided to crochet an afghan for my boyfriend's birthday in December.

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It was 1979.  Knitting shops with nice yarn . . . just didn't exist yet.  The best I could do was Red Heart acrylic yarn from the drug store (in late-70s-groovy-earth-tones).  I picked up a few random skeins and just . . . started crocheting.

No pattern.  No swatching.  No plan.  I just chained a bunch of stitches (enough, I hoped, to cover Tom's bed) and started in, changing colors whenever I felt like it.  I worked on that blanket every chance I got for the whole semester.  (Here's a photo of me, busy with the afghan, somewhere in the middle.  Yeah.  It got a whole lot bigger.)

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I finished it in time for Tom's birthday.  But - my god - it was big enough to cover a king-size bed.  He loved it.  And we have it still -- in all its huge, acrylic glory.  (It is Very Heavy.)

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Shortly after I finished Tom's afghan . . . I made the second one for my parents.  Although I don't remember all the particulars, I am certain I started off with yarn leftover from Tom's.

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Again, no pattern -- and very little advance planning.  This time around, I just made a bunch of granny squares.  (I think I learned an important lesson about portability from my experience with Tom's afghan.)  Same colors, pretty much.

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This past weekend as I was helping my Mom clear out her closet, we came across the afghan - stored high up on a shelf.  She and my Dad had used it for years.  I remember my kids taking naps curled up in it.  It lived a good, long life in my Mom and Dad's living room.  When I pulled it down, we got a little lost in the nostalgia of it all.  My Mom was hestitant to let it go -- but decided to give it back to me.  It's in my family room now, and I think I'll take it up north to our cottage in the spring where it will continue to get plenty of use (and better match the color scheme and cast-off-decor "theme").

Reunited.  Two afghans made of love -- and Red Heart.

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