Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ode to a Granny Square Afghan

I don't know anyone who doesn't love a beautiful homemade afghan.  They are not just warm and cozy, they have a beauty and charm that you can't find with store bought.  They are made up of not just yarn or thread, but hours of love, care and attention to detail.  Each one includes a piece of the soul of their creator.  They become family heirlooms.  Many of us have one made by or passed down by a grandmother/great grandmother.  But for those out there who don't crochet, knit, or have one of these that's been passed down through the generations, they go to someone (like myself) who specializes in selling handmade.
People buy handmade for several reasons:  they want something unique that wasn't made by a machine, but by a person's hands; something they will not find in the stores;  They may want something that no one else will have;  Some just want to be able to help support a person over a business.
That being said, many people often wonder why these handmade afghans cost so much.  In particular, the "granny square" variety.  These prices vary by maker, but the bulk of these afghans( of any substantial size) go for hundreds of dollars.  Many people ask, "why so much?"
Well, here it is.  Many things must be taken into consideration when buying/making/selling an afghan.  We'll use the popular granny variety as our example.  First and foremost, is the yarn.  Let's say you use a cheaper (found in Walmart) acrylic yarn.  Let's say you want a big afghan (like 5 or 6 feet) that you want to cover a bed.  Many skeins of that yarn will be needed to stitch enough squares(hexagons, circles, etc.) to cover a bed.  I'm talking anywhere from 150 to 200+ squares.  That yarn is at least going to cost $35+. 
Now imagine how many hours it will take just to create all of those little "squares".  Especially if there are many color changes.  The constant cutting/adding of colors and sewing in the "tails"(the little yarn ends).  Once all 200 or so are made, now they need to be attached, or in some cases, they need a border first.  Once again, an activity that takes hours of work.  And once again, requires that all the "tails" be sewn in.  Now that that is finished, you'll need a border.  Yup, you guessed it!  More hours of work (at least an hour or two) depending on the size of the afghan.
While some may charge by the "square" or by the square foot, the fact of the matter is that it is hours and hours of intricate work.  If we charged by the hour (like any 9-5 job) they would cost far more.

But even though they are a lot of work and take so much of our time, most of us will tell you that we love to make them.  I love the process.  I love the rewarding feeling I get upon completion.  And I love knowing how much that afghan will be loved by its new family.
I am currently working on a rather large hexagon afghan (6' X 4.5') in Halloween colors!  I am loving it!  Halloween being my favorite holiday, I could not pass up an oppurtunity to make this incredible piece.  There are oranges, yellows, greens, and purples, along with black and white.  Each hexagon is colorful with a surrounding black border that will give it that "stained glass" look.  This is destined to be a gorgeous afghan.  One that I will probably have a hard time parting with too.

In other news, I am still adding to my vendor list for my 750 Fan Celebration!  I will have a few items that I will be offering in addition to a couple of other vendors who have already signed on, and more to come!
If you are a vendor and would like to participate in this giveaway, please contact me either through private message on facebook or email me at:
Once I have compiled my full list of vendors and prizes, I will put together a photo album on my facebook page of all the items up for grabs.  The giveaway will take place here, on my blog with a simple rafflecopter form.  You will need to be a fan on facebook and a follower of my blog to be eligible for the prizes.
In the meantime, why don't you pop on over to Peace, Love & Diapers aka Hippie Heiny's;  Amanda Laurette Photography;  and  Expression Fiber Arts  and show some love.  They have already signed on, and they're offering some great stuff.

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