I had help, of course. I consulted these designs from Simpelway and Strepie93 on Deviant Art, combined my favorite features from both, made some other adjustments, and hand-drew this graph. Then I rounded up some yarn, and started crocheting.
- If you've never done a C2C project, try the technique on a smaller pattern first, one with fewer color changes.
- Determine your own gauge. I used my favorite I (5.5mm) hook, and worsted yarn. With 3 dc in each square, my squares came out at about one inch (2.5 cm) per side. But yours will probably be different. Crochet a few squares, measure them, then decide how big you want your blanket to be. Change hooks if you want a different size blanket. The graph is 55 squares tall, 47 squares wide.
- Now pull your sample squares out. How much yarn did you use for each square? Use this information to determine your yarn requirements. I used two skeins of the background color, the light gray, and the belly color. One was enough for the other colors.
- Also use this information to make color management easier. I found the length of yarn I needed for each raindrop, cut those lengths, and wound each around a clothespin. After crocheting one square, I would clip the pin to the area, so the yarn was ready when I needed that color again. (It turned out that the scrap yarn I was using for raindrops was only long enough for 22 raindrops, not 23. So I edited my copy of the graph before beginning.) There was plenty of tangling with the large-area colors; having the small ones contained was wonderful.
- Divide the large-area color yarns into 2 or 4 balls, so you can work one on one side and not have to cut it when you get to the other side.
- Most of the small-area colors were yarns I had on hand, and the black and bright red yarns were thinner than the rest. So I made each of those squares with 4 dc instead of 3, and they fit fine.
- Keep paying attention! At the beginning of a project like this, I'm excited to change colors, and careful to mark what I've done. Toward the end, I'm excited to eliminate colors from the tangle. Hurrying to finish this one, I made some mistakes following my own pattern. Oops! I'll attribute the raindrops' levitation to the power of the Totoro's grin. But you can avoid (or fix) things like that by checking each diagonal carefully before you finish.
- A round or two of sc is a great way to finish a C2C afghan. Instructions for my Acorn Border are now available.