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Practice pattern - monochromatic afghan

I've been dreaming of crocheting a blanket of my own for a ridiculous amount of time. At the moment I'm taking a fancy to ripple afghans and when I saw this pattern,  I wanted it. It's an old school black and white catalog picture, so you're meant to imagine all the wild colors, but I wanted what I saw - a strong b&w pattern. So last night I tackled my first blanket practice pattern {with grey in stead of black}. It's a bit dodgy on the bottom row, but it's slowly getting better as you go up. I'm quite pleased with myself as I was able to relatively quickly pick up the pattern - although, they're meant to be quite straight forward, aren't they ... 

I found a gorgeous pattern on Lion Brand Yarn for a Shaded Ripple Afghan, but since the crochet lingo was blowing my previous minimal amigurimi based mind, I went to YouTube for help. The Art of Crochet by Teresa was a phenomenal help to me. Thanks to Teresa, the Shaded Ripple Afghan pattern lingo makes complete sense to me now and I'm ready. So ready that I bought two ridiculous skeins of yarn {see regular skein pictured alongside}.

The pattern I'll be using is different to my practice piece - it doesn't have loops in the double crochet increases. Fingers crossed I also learn to tidy up the sides ... 

With a strong contrast of black and white, I'm hoping this blanket will turn out to be quite the accent for my apartment. Is it weird that I'm so excited?

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