"Grandpa" Square Support Ribbon Afghan

November is Men's Health Month... also known as "Movember".

Sometimes life is just really unfair. One of the kindest, most generous people I know was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer-- the founder and shareholder of the company I work for. All of us who work in his family of businesses are saddened to hear the news. He truly is a great man, and we're all sure he'll pull through this fight just fine. After all... karma is definitely on his side.

I had the idea to round up anyone at my company who can crochet to make him a blanket or something for Christmas, and present it to him at our annual holiday party. I was able to find five ladies, and we decided to do granny squares (or "grandpa squares" I guess... he's only 57, but he is technically a grandpa).

Originally, I thought we'd just make up a bunch of 8" squares in random patterns and stitch them all together, but as a group we decided that an image of a blue ribbon would be kind of cool.

I spent some time doodling out different patterns, and finally decided on a pattern that requires 180 six-inch blocks. The resulting image on the blanket will be a little pixely, but 180 squares sounds better than the 720 tiny ones it would have taken to make it "higher resolution"!

Alright... Now we need a pattern for six-inch squares. We chose a fairly holey pattern for this one, and I wrote up a quick pattern featuring double crochet clusters.

Holes are good.

The pattern is probably more detailed than it needed to be, but everyone in the group is at a different skill level so I figured it was better to give too much info than not enough. I even included a life sized image of the finished block to make sizing them super easy.

Then I picked out yarn. On my first trip, I picked up 13 balls; 4 light blue, 4 medium blue, and 5 dark grey. I chose Big Twist Chunky yarn, since JoAnn's had just replaced a bunch of standard brands with their own, and this yarn came in the colors I was looking for. It's also kind of fuzzy and slightly thicker than worsted weight yarn, so it works up nice and cozy.

I started testing out my pattern before I distributed yarn to the ladies. I was able to make eight squares out of one ball... which meant that we'd only be able to get 104 squares out of the heap of yarn I'd purchased. Oops. Holy cow, that's a lot of yarn! Oh well... work offered to fund the project, so it really isn't a big deal. I went back and bought out their stock... and it's all the same dye lot!

We're now rolling along... I've got about 50 squares made so far, and one of the ladies dropped off another 12 at my desk on Monday. I'm pretty confident we'll get this project done by our Christmas party on December 11!

Check back for finished pictures!


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