Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I am learning to crochet. Whenever my life seems too wacky or out of control I take up a new craft. That said, I am making a very glamorous wrap out of a purple "plush,trendy yarn" perfect for all of my projects- so says the description on the package. So far I have learned two important lessons.

Believe the Directions:
When they say "repeat rows 2 through 5" they mean it. And just because 3 and 4 seem to be the same as 1 and 2, do not be tempted to skip any rows, because, after about a thousand stitches you will realize that you have really messed up. Do not make matters worse by pretending that it's not that noticible. It is and it will bug you for the life of the project. Do not pretend that you are Amish and that the mistake was intentional in order to take away the "proud factor". They do this in their quilts on purpose for that reason. I have also read that some of their "mistakes" are quite lovely. I have come to realize that even without glaring mistakes, I would not be in any great danger of becoming too proud of my work.

Guage Matters:
"Correct guage is the difference between a treasured heirloom and a yardsale bargain." says Donna Kooler, author of "The Encyclopedia of Crochet". Guage is basically the number of stitches per square inch of crochet. "Take time to check your guage" is often written like this:TAKE TIME TO CHECK YOUR GUAGE. So why did I think that was optional? When I held up my purple stole to show my husband, he asked me if I were crocheting Barney the Dinosaur.

According to Family Circle's "Easy Crochet" magazine, fixing mistakes is easy. "Simply remove the hook from the work and pull out the stitches until the error is removed. Establish where you are in your pattern and continue crocheting from that point." It's a little like time travel. Go back to where the mistake occurred, remove it, and it's like it never happened. It's not really that easy, but how many fresh starts do we get in life? Taking care of mistakes and doing the right thing may seem painful at the time, but in the end it will be worth it. Sadly, it is too late for Barney...