The über groovyghan

The first time I saw a photo of Tracy St. John’s groovyghan, I knew I had to have one:

Tracy St. John’s Groovyghan

The pattern was available as a free pdf at her website, Tangled, and I wanted to get started on the project the moment I saw it.

At the time, however, I was doing my best to be sensible and finish up other projects that were clamoring for my attention, and I was doing really well resisting the siren call of the groovyghan until a friend from high school asked a seemingly unrelated crochet question.

It was an innocuous enough question about what you do when you find yourself working with a color you really don’t like. Do you continue, or do you take it out and start over. I told her my personal criteria for such a situation and asked her what she was working on. The reply I got was a link to Tracy St. John’s groovyghan.

At that point, resistance was futile. I wanted my groovyghan, and I wanted it now, so I set to work.

The first challenge I faced was limiting myself to seven colors.

Mindful of my friend’s question about working with a color you didn’t like, I did a test granny square using seven colors I thought were contenders. The the first square was not entirely successful, but I was able to take what I learned from that effort, and eventually I put together an array of seven Red Heart Super Saver colors that seemed to work well together: cherry red, pumpkin, bright yellow, spring green, delft, dark orchid, and shocking pink.

With the colors finally selected, on March 4, 2011, I made the first stitch of the many thousands that were to follow, and today, just 115 days later, I wove in the last end.

This past month with the groovyghan has been a bit of a slog. A month ago I had thought I was within days of finishing. I had completed all of the pieces and joined them as shown in the photos. All that was left to do was the border:

The groovyghan on May 27, 2011

Or so I thought.

But when I posted a picture at Facebook with the note that all that was left to do was to make a border, my friends weighed in. Not only did they not approve of a border, they felt it was antithetical to the ethos of a groovyghan:

She says it lacks a border, but it looks done to me.

tell her borders just cause strife and separation, anyway

Well put ..! It would definitely take the ‘groovy’ out of the ‘ghan’! It don’t need no stinkin’ borders! :o)

I decided my friends were right.

I had to rethink how I would frame the project.

Three possible treatments came to mind.

The first was to add a regular, garden variety fringe. It would be easy to make and completely in keeping with the crochet aesthetic of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the time period I associate with the groovyghan. I tried it out and while it was okay, it did not move me.

The next treatment I had in mind was to add a chained fringe similar to what I had done with this camouflage circle jacket:

Manly fringe

Stymied by the logistics of a chained fringe that was constantly changing color, I tried the third option that had come to mind: the hyperbolic curlicue, and once I had made a few, it was clear I had found the proper finishing treatment for my project:

The groovyghan gets a hyperbolic fringe

Even with the fringe in place, I felt the groovyghan needed a little something to put it right over the top, and after some consideration, I settled on four somethings:

These butterflies from Little Birdie Secrets:

Little Birdie Secrets’ butterflies done in worsted weight yarn

These adorable bows designed by Adaiha Covington that were item number 79 on my crochet bucket list:

Adaiha Covington’s bows make with worsted weight yarn

Mandy’s favorite five-petal flower pattern:

Flowers made with worsted weight yarn using Little Birdie Secrets’ flower pattern

and this heart pattern from Little Birdie Secrets:

Hearts made with worsted weight yarn

Once they were all attached to the groovyghan, I was satisfied that the completed project was as groovy as I could make it:

I finish tricking out my groovyghan

And while I was in Alabama earlier this month, I discovered that not only did Circle K sell much needed fountain drinks at a summer promotional price of 69¢, but they also have an ongoing contest to win a fully restored (resto-mod) ’69 Volkswagen Bus.

With any luck, I’ll win the van and have a vehicle that coordinates with my groovyghan, but even if I don’t win, I still have the groovyghan and that’s pretty groovy.

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15 Comments on The über groovyghan

  1. Jenny
    June, 27th 2011 at 3:38 am

    This project turned out great. I love the little additions.

  2. Lyn~
    June, 27th 2011 at 8:57 am

    Leslie: truth be told as I was reading about the additions (after the hyperbolic fringe) I could not have imagined that those little additions would have added positively to the groovyghan; but man was I WRONG!!!! Groovy and nearly psychedelic!!!!! Very impressive!

  3. valeria cristina colombara
    June, 27th 2011 at 9:12 am

    amei!!!
    parabéns!

  4. Kelly
    June, 27th 2011 at 10:12 am

    This is truly the grooviest ghan I have seen in some time. You did a brilliant job finishing. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

    The Heart in Hand Project

  5. Leslie Stahlhut
    June, 27th 2011 at 11:58 am

    Thanks so much to everyone!

  6. Marie/Underground Crafter
    June, 27th 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I love your additions to the pattern — they make it truly your own! Great job.

  7. Olive
    June, 27th 2011 at 6:00 pm

    That is an awesome groovyghan! Oddly enough, this pattern has now made its way into my queue.

  8. Leslie Stahlhut
    June, 28th 2011 at 9:36 pm

    @Olive these things happen. I’m sure that the groovyghan queued itself. :) @Marie Thank you! Years ago I made an afghan that I never finished to my satisfaction, and it still bothers me. I really don’t think I’m going to look back on this and think I overlooked something.

  9. Candy
    June, 28th 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Now that is one GROOVY afghan! Bright colors, butterflies, flowers, and fringe…The perfect definition of groovy! You did an amazing job on this project…one to be proud of!

  10. Rowe
    July, 1st 2011 at 5:00 am

    Love it! Stunning

  11. Darlene brown
    July, 1st 2011 at 2:13 pm

    LOVE IT-how do you make the hyperbolic curl?

  12. Melissa
    August, 12th 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I LOVE it!! It’s so totally awesome!! My mum is a child of the 60’s & 70’s. I’ll have to give this afghan a try for her.

  13. Kim
    October, 26th 2011 at 1:08 am

    I am in the process of making this afgan, but i am stuck. PLEASE HELP!! I made the 7 flower motifs but have no clue how to crochet each square they go in. Could you please give me the pattern for that? I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

  14. Judith Cody
    April, 13th 2012 at 11:04 pm

    I absolutely love this. I am so excited, going tomorrow to start buying the thread. I have other projects that I need to finish, but will probably start this as soon as I get home from Hobby Lobby. Thank U, Thank U for show-casing this on FB. One thing. I will start out with the granny squares. What are their finished size? Thanks Judith

  15. Feralglance
    March, 17th 2013 at 11:19 am

    I thought the little bits would be too much, but your groovyghan totally rocks!

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