Sunday, April 13, 2008

When bad crafts happen to good people, or why I should have spent more than 15 minutes on the tutorials before attempting a pattern

Oh dear. I didn't expect perfection, or anything, but I thought I could attempt a stuffed-animal sized ripple blanket as my "learn to crochet" project and end up with something at least usable. Clearly I am having trouble not only following the pattern properly, but there's definitely something (or several somethings) terribly wrong with my overall technique, since...
...I am getting all these raised ridges as I go and...
...it looks NOTHING like the perfectly flat work in the book. Am I yarning over incorrectly? Anyone know why I have those ridges? Dean, being the most amazing young man one could hope for, said, "oh, just keep going -- it will flatten out when we wash it and I love the colors!" But as much time as it has taken me to go this far, I'm on the fence about either starting over by ripping out, starting over by just tossing this bit, or keeping going with the idea that it will just look pathetic but Dean won't mind and I may "learn" as I go. Suggestions? To be honest, this is kind of why I hate attempting new things; I expect to be able to do things passably well right off the bat (although why I operate under that illusion is beyond me) and I don't like to take the time to work through every tutorial project before doing the thing I really want to do. Finding someone to give me some pointers in person would help, or I may do some searches today for some online tutorials. I do suspect that I'm not yarning over, or picking up the yarn for each new stitch (same thing, right?) correctly. I'm also not as keen to start over because I see after just a day that crocheting is going to really kick up the arthritis in my hands and I wonder how worth it that's going to be. But of course I invested in the 8-hook set at JoAnn's the other day (had a coupon!) and I dream of making crocheted softies....

Meanwhile, Operation Fun Town (while the daddy's away, the mice shall play) continues right on schedule. Chinese take-out last night while we watched Enchanted (VERY funny, although the camp-y-ness was a little lost on Dean), coffee cake and coffee for breakfast (it's all right -- his was really coffee milk more than coffee), extra Wii time (for him) and a friend coming over to play today. We need to remember to leave the basement door unlocked so Ken can get it at some point very late tonight, and I need to catch up a little more on the laundry. And get a little more crafting time in.

11 comments:

Quilt Pixie said...

your ridges are caused by where in the previous stitch you're pushing your hook through I think...

If you've got some cotton you could skip all the tutorials, start a 10" or 12" square, and end up with a dishcloth -- a great way to work out kinks, without a huge investment, nor the tedium of tutorials.... :-)

Diana said...

It's been a long time since I crocheted...are you inserting the hook under BOTH of the little stitches across the top? The top row should look like a row of arrows. If you insert the hook under both of the parts of the arrows, I THINK your work will look flatter. Worth a try, anyway!

Raesha D said...

I agree with Diana - it looks like some of the stitches are only through the first little stitch across the top. Be sure to put your hook under both of the little stitches from the previous row. Regardless - I still think it looks great:)

Laura Jane said...

OOOh, tips from people who sound like they know! I'm officially in awe. I'm in the what the heck category! But I do like the sound of a dishcloth as a trial piece. I'm all for achievable projects...which a toy-sized blanket should be, I agree.

However the thought of achey hands post crotcheting is not appealing.

I love the sounds of your mice playing weekend!

Thanks for your email!

Back to my own to-do list...

Lesley said...

Try YouTube for watching crochet at work. You'll maybe lucky enough to get someone explaining what they're dping as they're doing it.
I've found all sorts of helpful stuff on there - like how to do kitchener stitch at the toe-end of a sock.
I had absolutely no luck when i started a ripple blanket - mine went all daggy at the ends.
Hope you had an outrageous wekend!

Linda said...

I too have tried crocheting many times and I have had mum to teach me! I go great guns then I get home and continue and suddenly I just lose the plot then give up. I have a dream too to crochet little softies. So much to catch up on with your blog. Happy VERY belated birthday to Dean. He sounds like such a wonderful chappy! Isobel is knowledgable about Pokemon too, she loves it. It is her birthday on Saturday so I am going to attempt a Pikachu cake. I made one for Zoe's 8th birthday nearly 8 years ago and that turned out OK, hope I can do it again. Your banner looks great. I have wanted to do it for ages too but when I try the banner takes up the whole blog! What size did you have the photo??take care xx

Sam I Am said...

bwwwahahahahahaha!!!
oh my goshhh..i had to bust out laughing when i read your post title.."When bad crafts happen to good people" LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hang in there.. go reread the tutorial lol.. im sure you'll get it..and it will look perfectly fine :) :) :)
All i can do is manage to crochet or knit a scarf.. it never makes it to anythingmore.. my brain just can't handle those complicated stitches :)
lol
hugs..
sandy

Linda said...

ps
I just did the Jane Austen quiz, it was great fun. You should join GOODREADS site if you read lots it's a great way to find out about books and meet like minded people, have a look through the link in my sidebar if you get time :)

Bitterbetty said...

can't help with the crochet... but I love it when dad leaves town... on stop laugh riot. Not that dad is a huge drag, but when he's gone I get to be the cool parent for a bit.

Lil D said...

I'm no help, sorry - I only know about 3 stitches so far. I've just got a book on crochet out the library, though, so I'll let you know if there's great enlightenment within its covers...

Felicia said...

LOL Oh my goodness Jennifer, I feel your pain. I'm only a simple crocheter myself and I don't do that very often. I recommend checking YouTube for a video that might help. Keep at it and it'll eventually click :)