The Blanket That Won’t Make Itself

I’m struggling, you guys.

I had (and still have) the best intentions when I excitedly told my friends that of COURSE I would make their children a new blanket, since the one they’ve had prior to now only fit them as babies and it was more of a stroller size.

When I got the request, I did all of this research to find the “perfect” blanket and ended up choosing this one from Red Heart, which uses honeycomb squares in Tunisian crochet surrounded by standard crochet borders that you slip stitch together before adding more lovely border.

I got all of my squares done in the requested colors and then the daunting task of doing the bordering began. I only have eleven three more of these to do and it feels like Mount Everest.

I thought I’d have this blanket finished by now, honestly. We’re into June and this thing is not even halfway finished.

I feel like I’m allergic to bigger projects or something. How can so many people whip out blankets left and right and I’m STUCK?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m  determined to stick this out and finish it. I just hope my friends’ children aren’t teenagers by the time I’m done with it.

I posted my progress in a group I’m in on Facebook, and a woman said she’s made TWO of these already.

O_o

Once I finish the remaining three squares, I have to weave in All the Ends, have a drink, and attempt to tackle the joining (using the slip stitch join).

Here goes nothin.

Any seasoned crocheters out there who have joined motifs and have any words of wisdom or encouragement for me–please leave some!  ❤

Tunisian 1_zvc Tunisian 2_zvc Tunisian 3_zvc Tunisian 4_zvc

 

 

Trashed: A Crochet-Fail Story

Not too long ago, I wrote about how I was trying my hand at Tunisian crochet. Still loving it, although I had to shelve it for a little bit while I worked on other projects and orders.

One of those other projects that I have been undertaking is learning different joining methods for motifs. Specifically, I wanted to become completely comfortable with JAYGO, or join-as-you-go.

I came across the designer and blogger Heidi Bears, who puts together the most beautiful patterns and dolls using the African Flower motif, and knew I had to make one of her designs. I pored through her patterns until I found one that looked reasonable and which she deemed a good one for beginners. (For the record, it is this one.)

After much research and planning, I bought a bunch of colors of sock yarn and I got started making the motifs. I read through the entire pattern and the perused her joining tutorials. I felt ready.

While it definitely took me hours a little while to get the hang of it, including double checking what I was doing with a YouTube video here and there, I eventually and successfully made my first series of joins. I was on my way! Emoticon small

IMG_7286_zc

I carefully went through the pattern little by little, making the various required shapes and joining them. I found my groove and thought I would have this thing done before June was over, easily.

But my grandest project to date–my “Titanic,” if you will–struck a proverbial iceberg when I realized waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too late that I had joined one too many sides of a heptagon (7-sided shape).

Just keep joining, just keep joining....

Just keep joining, just keep joining….

I did my best to fix it; I thought I was being quite ingenious, even, for coming up with a workaround. Alas, it still wound up being a fail. I ended up with a lumpy body with the hole for the head being in the wrong place (not to mention having what looked like a dent sticking out of its backside).

The Iceberg

The Iceberg

I tried cutting just the joined yarn and saving the motifs but it was not to be borne. I was going to have to redo all of my motifs and start again.

There are some valuable lessons to be had, here, but I’m not gonna lie: it reeeeeally sucked to know I would have to repeat all of the motifs I had spent hours on already.

The two quasi silver linings I managed to dig up were: 1) I’ll get to re-order the motifs more strategically the second time around so that half the owl’s body isn’t half dark, half light. 2) When I went back to study the JAYGO method again, I learned that I may have been doing something slightly off with my join method and there may be a way to make it even flatter than it was the first time around.

In any case, some life events have recently caused me to set aside my Owl Redo but I will get back to it and you shall absolutely see the end result when I have conquered this thing. (Maybe this should be called the FAYGO method: Fail-As-You-Go.)

If you have tried your hand at one of these designs or any JAYGO method, I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you may have. This is definitely a work-in-progress, considering I just crashed and burned with my first attempt.

Before I deflated it and started all over *Taps playing*

Before I deflated it and started all over *Taps playing*