Monday, February 25, 2013

Catan Afghan

 Last fall we started playing The Settlers of Catan.  It's a fun game, in which you get to assemble the board each time from little hexagonal pieces representing different terrains.  We soon expanded with the Seafarers set.  For Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa G sent us the Extension sets so all six of us could play together.  Good times.

And those little hexagons inspired me to crochet a Catan map.  Cthulu Crochet showed me it could be done.  But I wanted an extended seafaring map, with more texture.  So I drew my own.

I decided about what size I wanted my afghan to be (it ended up at 42" x 55"), and figured out that I'd need hexagons that were 6 inches across.  (Learn more about hexagon calculations here.)  I printed some hexagonal graph paper from Incompetech, and made a map based on Scenario 8 from the Catan Seafarers 5-6 Player rule book.  I changed it to fit the proportions I desired, eliminated those useless desert pieces, and moved islands around until I liked it.  I bought some yarn, pulled some out of my stash, and started crocheting hexagons.  With the bulkier yarns, I used the single crochet hexagon pattern from Cthulu Crochet.  With the rest I used the double crochet hexagon pattern by Marie Segares.  Either way, I often needed to make adjustments to reach the 6" measurement.  Sometimes a dc hexagon needed a round of sc to reach the right size.  My Brick hexes needed a round of slip stitch in the back loops.  I did what I needed to meet the measurements.  Some hexagons came out more regular than others.  But they were all pretty quick and fun.

Here is how I made the different types, according to the way I think of the products of each terrain:

I used Lion Brand Hometown USA-Tampa Spice yarn and my N hook to make sc hexagons.
I used Red Heart Light&Lofty-Zebra Stripe and my N hook to make sc hexagons.
I used Lion Brand Homespun-Golden and my J hook to make dc hexagons.
 I'm not sure about the light green yarn--it might be TLC Essentials.  I made the sheep with Red Heart Baby Clouds, by inserting a two-dc popcorn stitch as I made the dc hexagon, I think with the J hook again.
I ran out of one unknown dark green worsted, and used another as well.  I inserted Homespun popcorn trees, as with the sheep.
For the gold ore, I used Red Heart Celebration-Gold/Silver.  It is a narrow yellow yarn, twisted with silver.  I added some light worsted brown yarn, and crocheted them together with the J hook.
 I used Red Heart with Love-Iced Aqua for the water hexes.  It felt nice as I made so many of them.  
Apparently D2 thought a valuable resource was missing from the original game, so he created Cheddar Cheese cards.  If one collects 4 cheese cards, one may build a Cheese Fort.  None of us has managed to accomplish this yet, so I'm not sure what advantage it would impart.  It was fun to make the hex, though, with Red Heart SuperSaver and more Iced Aqua.

When I had crocheted all the land hexes and the nearby water, I spread them out according to my diagram.  I slip-stitched hexes into columns where the flat sides met, then stitched the columns together, lengthwise.  Then I crocheted a border with the Iced Aqua.  I followed the contours of the hexagons, taking the corners according to a Ripple Afghan pattern.  It probably wasn't quite right for the angles I had, and came out a bit wavy after 5 rounds.  But, since it's the ocean, I think waves are appropriate.  This was a fun project, and I'm pleased with the result.
The boys want to create playing pieces to go with it, but for now they're content to be the snugglers of Catan.

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