strawberry steampunk... and a sock

Earlier this spring, I had an idea to use up some of the acrylic worsted I inherited from my grandmother, and make an afghan. Afghans themselves can be rather boring unless there's an interesting angle to them, and after some consideration I decided to try to make this one fit the steampunk aesthetic. Okay, mostly because I had a big skein of burgundy to use up, but hey, inspiration comes from everywhere.

I found a suitable spiky/gearsy block to make, and started off...

...only to figure out I really hated making this block. The grey-purple "floating" shells involve several two-colour rounds with some awkward hook manoeuvres, and produce elements which look like they need to be scraped off and checked under a microscope. The block itself took forever to do. Blech.

Lately there's been a lot of buzz around the African Flower/Paperweight Granny motif. I liked the look of it, and especially liked that you can hook up one in only four rounds (not counting the joining border). So I tried a bunch of different combinations, based on how much yarn I had in each colour:

Much better, in my humble opinion, and the long stitches on the final round still give it that gear effect when worked in these colours. (It seems like the big trend is to work it in bright, clear colours, which I am so not doing. Oh well. Still works.)

I joined some blocks together, just to get a sample big enough to calculate the final afghan size:

I like how the final round of the motif shows up when it's edged by the joining border.

If I've done the calculations right, I'll need 87 blocks to make a 45x150cm afghan. I'd like it to be more like 170cm, but I'll have to see how far I get before I run out of yarn.

Meanwhile, the socks I started before the Iceland trip are back in active rotation:

It'll be nice to get these done — this is still only the first sock.

It'll be nice to get everything done.