I want to take a moment to talk about something important. Anytime you make a large afghan (basically anything bigger than a baby afghan!!), make sure you have a plan! Let me explain. No, it's too long. Let me sum up (who can guess that??). I once read the blog of an old friend of mine. I knew him in junior high and even then, he was an astounding artist. Now he has an illustration degree from BYU and does some pretty impressive work. I was checking out his blog and really liked a post he made. He said that any artist, no matter what the medium or size, etc, must always have a plan before you start creating. A plan helps you stay on track, stay accurate and true to what you are trying to accomplish, and you will know what to expect and what materials you will need to complete the project.
That really struck me. I realized that even if I am doing a simple bit of crochet, I need to make sure I have a plan and that I stick to it. I have never attempted to make a large afghan/throw blanket before, and I honestly didn't know what to expect. I used the first pattern I found, but realized that I could have done just a little more research and could have saved myself a lot of trouble and grief. There are a lot better (and easier and faster and less yarn-consuming) patterns out there. If only I would have taken a little more time and not rushed into this blindly. I just get so excited sometimes!
Now, I'm not trying to complain and I have obviously learned my lesson for next time. But the point of my post is just to tell you all, my fellow crocheters and knitters, that if you are planning to make something big, like really big, make a plan. Do your mesasuremnts AHEAD of time. Figure out how much yarn you'll need so you don't have to make extra trips to the store and spend unnessary money. Decide the texture/thickness you want and make swatches if you need to. Play around with hook sizes. All in all, just...plan.