The über groovyghan
The first time I saw a photo of Tracy St. John’s groovyghan, I knew I had to have one:
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:
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! )
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:
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:
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:
These adorable bows designed by Adaiha Covington that were item number 79 on my crochet bucket list:
Mandy’s favorite five-petal flower pattern:
and this heart pattern from Little Birdie Secrets:
Once they were all attached to the groovyghan, I was satisfied that the completed project was as groovy as I could make it:
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.