I’m a bit late posting this beautiful afghan. It was a Christmas gift for my son’s girlfriend. She has a huge thing for black and white buffalo plaid and I thought it would make a great gift. As usual though I had so much going on that I didn’t get it completely done by Christmas morning. Fortunately it was only ends that needed to be sewn in and I had managed to get one side done. So I wrapped it all up with the nice and pretty side facing up. When she opened it she was so happy, until I told her she couldn’t keep it. Her face was priceless. It took me a bit more time to finish it up but it got done and she loves it. So does the dog.
The yarn was Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn. I was going to use grey like many of the crochet and knit black & white buffalo plaid blankets you see use but Hobby Lobby actually had a perfect black/white marl yarn that would make this afghan more like the original buffalo plaid designs.
What is Buffalo Plaid?
Buffalo Plaid or check is a plaid with large blocks formed by the intersection of two different color yarns. That intersection is the mix of black and white. When you think buffalo plaid the first thing you probably think of is a lumberjack with a shirt of red and black squares. But black and white buffalo plaid has seemed to take over household decorating for a while now.
Ok, so what is the difference between buffalo plaid and gingham? Really it seems the only difference between the two is buffalo plaid has larger blocks than gingham.
The pattern I used was roughly based off one from Daisy Farm Crafts. I wanted a larger blanket with larger blocks but did use the grit stitch like she did. I really like the texture of the blanket by using that stitch and it doesn’t look so bland and flat like you get with simply single or double crochet. The combination of single and double crochet stitches gave it a nice weave without leaving gaping spaces. I’m going to end up using that stitch a lot more I think in the future.
I did 11 blocks in each row/section and ended up with 11 sections. Each block was 14 stitches and 14 rows. The first row, or section, were the black and the black/white marl blocks. Start the next section with black/white marl and then white blocks and keep alternating until you have 11 sections/rows ending with black and black/white marl blocks.
I also dropped colors to change the yarn on each block instead of carrying it through like the Daisy Farm Crafts blanket. I don’t really like the feel or look of afghans that carry the yarn over the back. It’s a personal thing. Many people like carrying the yarn over because it saves time from constantly changing colors. I would rather take the extra time to drop and change the colors for each block and sew in ends when I’m done even though I absolutely hate that part of crochet. I don’t like being able to see even a glimpse of some different color yarn in my white or black blocks. I also think it makes for a more stiff and heavy blanket. This one is so soft and cuddly that I think it was worth the extra time.
The problem with dropping each color to add the next is how can you do it efficiently without getting your skeins of yarn all twisted and mixed up? I have yet to find decently sized bobbins for big projects. I have the little plastic ones but do you know how fast those things would empty? So I made my own with some stiff cardstock. I cut the cardstock into wide strips and then used two strips and folded them in half to create four layers of paper. Cut a couple of notches for yarn ends and you have perfect yarn bobbins. There are few adjustments I decided that needed to be made the next time I might want to use them, like for my Minion blanket, but these worked out well enough for the time being.
The border was all black and I ended up doing a couple stitches of half double crochet alternating with a front post double crochet to create ribs all the way around the blanket. I love how it turned out. It looks absolutely perfect in her home but she says she needs to put her buffalo check pillow coverings back on so it all matches.
Now I want one for my living room only in shades of blue and brown. I’m already searching out yarns.