Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Guest post from our little brother, Jordan -- Memoirs of a Gigolo, Part II

After a long month of furious single crochets, I have finally finished the afghan I made for my awesome buddy Tim. It was inspired by our latest motorcycle trip together, one we took in the summer of 2013 from Seattle to Santa Barbara. I chose the colors to match our bikes- navy blue for my Yamaha, burnt orange for his Triumph, and tan for the dirt that tends to glom on to everything one owns during a road trip.

The bikes:

The afghan:

I tried to create a pattern analogous to the way the trip manifested. The afghan (starting on the left) began much like our trip did, focused on the two bikes. We started the journey by zooming south, gradually staying longer and longer at the various destinations. I represented this by increasing the length of each color as the afghan took shape. Down at the end in Santa Barbara we parted ways and Tim headed back up north to Seattle, so I finished it up with alternating orange and tan. The rest of my own trip is another story, another afghan.

With each color change I crocheted into the back loop in an attempt to create texture and overlapping waves. It sorta worked, but the vast fields of single crochet madness somewhat diminishes the effect:

This bad-mamma-jamma of an afghan was a zig-zag pattern with a base chain of 220 knots, worsted weight Red Heart Super Saver, done with a J-hook. I calculate that there are 32,120 knots all tied up in there. You had better believe it took me a long time to complete. I am not the fastest hooker ever, at least compared to the greased lightning I once witnessed when Erin completed a one-skein scarf in like 5 minutes.

The edges are a little curvy and the afghan, as a whole, tends to wave a bit with the pattern. I figure Tim will beat this out of it via marathon Xbox sessions and cuddle time with his latest main squeeze. Seattle gets cold in the winter, hence the single crochet battlefield. No holes or gaps that might let precious heat escape!

Knowing this would be a loooooong project, I was tempted to keep track of the man-hours spent behind the hook but instead I logged all of the full-length albums I listened to. I also crochet during football games, getting in a few knots between each play as well as during commercials and halftimes. This is the complete list of all albums/games enjoyed during the afghan process, in chronological order:

Kansas- Point of Know Return
Keller Williams- Dream
The Band- Music From Big Pink
Sunny Day Real Estate- Diary
Viva Voce- Get Yr Blood Sucked Out
Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Show Your Bones
Cake- Comfort Eagle
The Flaming Lips- Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Jethro Tull- Thick as a Brick
Devotchka- Una Volta
Ween- Quebec
Outkast- Aquemini
Rush- A Farewell to Kings
Rush- Moving Pictures
My Morning Jacket- "Z"
Man Man- Life Fantastic
Built to Spill- Keep it Like a Secret
Broncos vs Raiders- Broncos win 34-14 and set all sorts of records.
Panthers vs Falcons- Panthers win 21-20.
Belle & Sebastian- If You're Feeling Sinister
Phish- Billy Breathes
The Decemberists- The Crane Wife
Ween- Quebec
49ers vs Green Bay- Niners win 23-20.
Jack Johnson- Brushfire Fairytales
Saints vs Seahawks- Hawks win 23-15! Go Seattle!
Steely Dan- The Royal Scam
Steely Dan- Pretzel Logic
Steely Dan- Countdown to Ecstasy
Broncos vs Chargers, Broncos win 24-17. Go Broncos!
King Crimson- Discipline
Spoon- Gimme Fiction
System of a Down- Hypnotize
Steve Howe- Homebrew II
Tool- Undertow
Built to Spill- You in Reverse
Arcade Fire- Neon Bible
Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
Gomez- How We Operate
Pink Floyd- Animals
Smashing Pumpkins- Siamese Dream
Broncos vs Patriots, Broncos win 26-16, Super Bowl bound!
Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
Arcade Fire- Reflektor

Such good music! Such good football! Such tedious crocheting! This was a once-in-a-lifetime pattern, because once was enough. Yes, I realize I listed Ween's Quebec twice, because I just so happened to listen to it twice- it's that good. I also went on a bit of an Arcade Fire tear there near the end.

Tim, hope you enjoy the afghan!

We met on a disc golf course, and said goodbye on a disc golf course. Next time we meet, it might be at a disc golf course! Well, it will realistically be in the terminal of an airport, but rest assured we will head straight for the nearest set of frisbee links. Here's us parting ways at the course at Lake Casitas, just south of Santa Barbara- Tim's the one on the left:

Best bros. I hope this afghan will always remind him of not just the road trip but all of the kick-ass times we shared when we hung out on a regular basis. Blood, sweat, and cabernet sauvignon were all spilled during this project but you'd never notice the stains 'cause I'm bunny-quick with a washcloth.


Note from Erin -- Yes, I am a quick crocheter, but perhaps it only seems that way because I choose small amigurumi projects most of the time!! I had to swear off afghans because I would get so bored making them that they would sit, languishing, as works-in-progress for months, if not years. I wonder if maybe I wouldn't have given up crocheting for several years around the time of Sonia's birth if I had realized my love of amigurumi earlier. Anyway, Jordan is a crocheting genius (he is so much more of a natural at this-- I mostly need patterns, and he comes up with his own as a rule). I frickin' love this afghan and wish I had it. Oh, and I totally approve of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Cake!! And a lot of the rest of the music list, too. Also, the thinking behind the pattern of this afghan makes me a little teary-eyed: friendship and a road trip captured in a crochet project.

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