Friday, March 19, 2010

The Afghan Stephen King Would Crochet

Cluster stitch coverlet from Woman’s Day Granny Squares, No. 2, 1974

The most sophisticated granny of all!
Yes, this redrum afghan could only be found in the most sophisticated Hotels of the 1970s, such as the Overlook.
This eye-catching cluster stitch coverlet mirrors the super-graphic mood of many of today’s artists.
If by “super-graphic mood”, you mean such nihilistic classics as Stanley Kubrick’s ultraviolent A Clockwork Orange or Sam Peckinpah’s ultra-ultraviolent Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.

Not that I’m recommending you watch these two films back to back. However if you do, this cluster stitch coverlet is the perfect afghan to curl up in to enjoy your very own Man’s Inhumanity to Man film festival. Or the perfect afghan to hide under whimpering, afterwards.
Four colors, crocheted in a variety of sixteen motifs, create this work of art.
I’m not sure this afghan qualifies as a work of art, but then again I never understood why this painting cost over 1.7 million dollars either.

Maybe this is the Voice of Fire afghan?
Sport yarn.
Now, I understand why this afghan doesn’t give equal play to all four colours! After having to crochet 176 of these eye-catching motifs because the artist insisted on sport weight yarn, I’d be seeing red too.

It also explains why there was a $10,000 bounty for the head of the anonymous afghan artist.

For the complete pattern (and the secret identity of the artist!):


SIZE: Approximately 52 ½’’ x 75’’.
MATERIALS: Sport yarn, 22 ozs. deep blue, 16 ozs. bright red, 11 ozs. dark red, 14 ozs. green, 7 ozs. turquoise. Crochet hook size D, or size required to crochet to gauge.
Hang on, deep blue, bright red, dark red, green and turquoise adds up to five colours not four!

But at least the identity of the anonymous artist is no longer a mystery.

GAUGE: Each square = 4 ½’’.

CLUSTER: Draw up the loop on hook to ½’’, (yo and draw up ½’’ loop in same sp) twice, yo and through all 5 loops on hook, ch 1 to complete cluster.

NOTE: Complete clusters are used only on Rnd 1 and at corners. Between corners on side edges the first half of cluster is worked in same sp as preceding cluster and 2nd half is worked in next sp. When changing colors always fasten off one color after the joining sl st. To attach next color, attach yarn in the corner ch-2 sp. ch 1, turn, then pull up ½’’ loop to begin cluster.
NOTE: It’s not too late to turn back now.
SQUARES: Make 176. With bright red, work 50 squares through Rnd 2, finish 10 with green (A), 26 with deep blue (B), 14 with turquoise (C); work 18 squares through Rnd 3, finish 6 with green (D), 4 with turquoise (E), 8 with deep blue (F); work 38 squares through Rnd 4, finish 19 with deep blue (G), 11 with green (H), 8 with turquoise (J); work 14 squares through Rnd 5, finish 7 with deep blue (L), 4 with turquoise (M), 3 with green (N); finish all with seep blue (O). With dark red, work 29 squares through Rnd 6, finish 14 with turquoise (P), 13 with green (Q).
I wasn’t surprised that there was no square I, as it could easily be confused with the letter J. However, O and Q can also be mistaken for each other, and there’re both there. Plus there’s the mystery of why there’s no square K.

Perhaps “I” was omitted to deliberately eliminate the artist’s ego from her creation, which would also explain why she chose to remain anonymous. As for “K”, it’s true that Nikita Khrushchev was no friend to sophisticated modern art, but c’mon by 1974 he’d been dead for three years. Time to let it go, my droog.
Ch 6, join with sl st to form a ring. Rnd 1: Work 8 clusters in ring, sl st in top of first cluster, sl st in next ch-1 sp, turn. Rnd 2: In same ch-sp as sl st, work (1 cluster, ch 2 and 1 cluster) for corner. ** ch 1, yo insert hook into the same space. * pull up ½’’ lp (first half of cluster made), yo insert hook into next space, pull up ½’’ lp, yo, pull through 5 sts on hook, ch 1, (second half of cluster made) *, yo and in the same space as 2nd half of previous cluster repeat from * to * once, ch 1, work corner in same sp as 2nd half of last cluster, repeat from ** around, end last repeat work second half of last cluster in same sp as first corner, ch 1, sl st to top of first cluster, sl st in corner sp, turn. Rnd 3: Repeat Rnd 2 having two more clusters n each side edge between corners, and working corners as before in corner ch-2 sp between clusters – 4 clusters on each side and 4 corner groups. Rnds 4, 5, 6, 7: Repeat Rnd 3, increasing the clusters on each side respectively to 6, 8, 10 and 12.
Note how modern artists don’t have any truck with straightforward instructions or spaces between rounds. Conformity kills, man!
FINISHING: Following the color sequence chart, sew or crochet the squares together.
And by colour sequence chart, they mean a hidden word Sudoku gone horribly wrong.

Hey, I bet if you read the chart just right, it will reveal the whereabouts of the artist who inflicted this sport yarn nightmare upon us. So far, I’ve only able to figure out Mop, Hop, Pop, and a scatological word that I won’t repeat. I can only conclude that Cluster Stitch Barbie’s hiding out in an adult’s only Dr. Seuss book.
Edging: With dark red, work 13 rnds of cluster st around entire afghan.
That’s right, because what this pattern needs is more red.

Now that you have your afghan work of art, you need a place to display it. And I know just the place for it in Anchorage, Alaska.

Quick, get that man a redrum afghan before he catches a chill!

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. FYI, I laughed for a good ten minutes at the title of this post.

  2. I just about killed myself coming up with that title. I went through 50 different possibilities, I swear, and then went "Ah, this one will have to do!"

    So, thank you very much!

  3. I just enjoyed reading your notes in between the pattern! Hilarious!
    Thank you

  4. You're welcome! I'm glad you're enjoying my site. :-)

  5. "a hidden word Sudoku gone horribly wrong."

    I really must learn to not drink anything while I'm reading these.

    1. Handmade By Mother is not responsible for keyboard damage and loss of limb, life or sanity, while visiting this site.