Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Janet's Flower Garden


I believe that I've mentioned before that I dislike it when I'm crocheting in the round, and the pattern says, "You will notice the edge is starting to curl up at this stage. Don't worry, it will work itself out over the next few rounds." Or worse yet, "You will need to block it at this point to make it lie flat." For all the crochet - and knitting - projects I've done over the years, I've only ever blocked a few. I think I was still a teenager when I made an afghan for a friend's baby. The instructions said to block it so I did, though I'm not really certain why I was doing it. And I honestly don't think I needed to. I was just following instructions. Then there was the cowl I made with Charisma yarn. It was so stiff that I tried washing it to see if it would soften up, and blocking it afterwards. It didn't help. I also tried blocking the loom-knitted scarf that I made for my ex because it kept rolling up like a sausage. Blocking really didn't help that much either. (You can see both of these projects in this post). And then, of course, there are these round afghans... I really don't think that you should have to block to make crocheted circles lie flat. Years ago, I cut something out of somewhere (a magazine?) that told how to make crochet circles lie flat. It's just a matter of adding enough stitches per round. It shouldn't really be that difficult. Okay, I know that certain patterns require a certain number of stitches in order for the pattern to work out evenly. But crocheters have been making doilies for generations (and I still haven't figured out why), and they lie flat. And they have lovely, fancy patterns that work out evenly. Were people just better at math and therefore pattern development back in the "olden days" when people actually used doilies? I really don't know, but I do find it irksome. 
But with this particular afghan pattern (Queen Mandala Throw by Annamarie Esterhuizen), I found that I had to make too many adaptations to make it work. It's not that I can't follow directions - I just don't like to have to keep forcing things to work. I'm not a pattern designer, and I have a lot of respect for those who do develop patterns. But they need to work. And I feel sorry for inexperienced crocheters, who may end up thinking it's just them and not the pattern. I would really hate to see someone give up on crocheting before they really even got started because of a faulty pattern.  
So, this afghan was getting plenty big enough, and I was plenty frustrated enough, and I decided to start squaring it off. Once I got it reasonably square, I finished it off, mostly using directions from another afghan pattern (Sophie's Universe by Dedri Uys), and finally adding a butterfly on each corner, with directions (which I also had to adapt) from a youtube video. 
So I took it out this afternoon for its photo shoot.  And sooner than post all of the individual photos, I will share the video I made on Google.  
I keep trying to accomplish my goal of finishing all of my WIPs and UFOs before starting anything new, but there's always another "must do" popping up... At least I'm glad this one's finished.