Making a crocheted Tree of Life afghan for a wedding gift

I made this afghan, using Lion Brand Yarn's Tree of Life crochet pattern, this summer to give as a fall wedding gift.

It is huge - it would fit nicely on a double bed - and it turned into a gift I thought was perfect for a special bride and her new husband.

Blog PhotoI've switched almost exclusively to knitting since then, as it's easier on my right wrist, but it was such a pleasure to watch the pattern in this afghan unfurl itself.

A knitting pattern for this afghan exists, but I'm pretty sure it would take forever to finish. (Please forgive the funny light in the picture to the left. That's the light from a nearby window at the bottom.)

I know it's nuts to make a blanket this big in July, but I worked on it while I was dogsitting a couple of neighbor dogs. It was the perfect project to work on every night while spending time with them. I probably spent a couple of hours on it every evening for about two weeks.

Obviously, you could stretch that into a much longer time frame, and I could see it as a really enjoyable winter project. However, if you need to get it done in a hurry, I recommend setting setting goals for how many rows you'd like to crochet each night. 

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Also, make sure you keep careful track of what row you're on, because it's a charted pattern. I wrote down the number of each row I'd finished on a printout of the pattern.

This afghan also required me to learn a new skill: reverse single crochet. It was definitely a challenge for me at first, but practice makes perfect. By the time I was finishing the three rows of reverse crochet border, I was an old pro at it.

I used about three full pounds of Caron acrylic yarn to make this afghan. I didn't like how the leafy border looked, so I ended up ripping that out. (I chose acrylic yarn because I'm allergic to wool and 

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wanted the cream-colored blanket to be easily washable.)

Rob and I attended the recipients' wedding in late September, and I was thrilled that the blanket fit in well with the wedding's decorating theme.

It was an outdoor wedding set just under the swell of a tiny country cemetery. The reception was in a tent nearby and featured centerpieces made from wood and limbs.

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