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Topic: Frustrated and ready to give up crochet  (Read 2827 times)
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« on: December 29, 2006 05:28:09 AM »

I guess there are two parts to this post—a vent about my frustration with crochet and a request for an objective poster assessment of a project in progress.

Vent: I do everything “right”—I make a swatch, count stitches with nearly every row and mark with safety pins, measure every couple of rows, triple check my math when I alter a pattern, mentally try to keep track of consistent tension, and frog with regularity.  Everything will seem to be fine and then one day I’ll look down and see warped edges and uneven stitches.   

Project: I have started working on a variation of Lion Brand’s 4 ½ Hour Afghan at the suggestion of another poster, using Caron’s Simply Soft.  Using a different yarn and increasing the size of the finished project, I knew going in that it would take more than 4.5 hours.  I’ve spent over 20 hours over the past month on this project and have completed only a 5’ x 20” portion.  And believe me, those measurements aren’t consistent throughout the work.  Needless to say, this is not the fault of the poster who suggested the project, but my own ineptitude.

Vent part 2:  Well, this should go away as I get more experienced, right?  But I’ve been crocheting on a semi-regular basis for SIX YEARS.  I’m not a beginner and 99% of my projects still look like crap.  In that time, all I have to show for my efforts in terms of acceptable projects are three scarves and two single crochet neck pillows—and a significantly lighter wallet.  Will this ever get better?  What the heck am I doing wrong?

Project part 2: Is this project salvageable with adjustments of tension through the rest of the work?  I took photos from each end of the project (notice the placement of the yarn ball and hook) and overhead shots of the edges.  (Please disregard the mess in the photos—it’s post-holiday chaos at my place.)

Any words of wisdom on either subject are most welcome. Thanks for listening.




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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006 06:04:56 AM »

I don't think it looks that bad.  Have you tried blocking it?  I know you usually do that after completing the project, but maybe you could try pinning and steaming it to see if it helps.

Something I like to do when my edges go wonky is to add a ruffled border to it.  Borders solve a LOT of my project problems!

Don't call it trash...I can make something with it!!!
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006 07:11:04 AM »

I sometimes find that my tension is off at the beginning and end of long rows, I think because of the weight of the blanket. I'd suggest continuing with the project, and pay attention to your tension near the edges especially.

Like the PP mentioned, you could add a great border/edging when you're finished to even the edges.

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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006 07:54:57 AM »

I think it looks fine.  It certainly looks better than any work I've tried to do...

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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2006 01:27:31 PM »

The blanket looks exactly right to me.  Because you're using sc and dc, it causes the sides to be "lumpy" or wavy.  Also because you're using a thinner yarn and, I assume, smaller hook, and you're making it larger, it's going to take way longer than 4.5 hours.  Many of the blankets that I've made have taken in excess of 30 hours.  One thing that I've noticed is that if I'm frustrated, it shows in my work.  I think if you're too aware of tension, that itself can make it go wrong.  I find that if I just relax and turn on a movie or music, and just trust my hands to do what they know to do (kind of like playing the piano), it all works out.  Plus, if you're doing things like blankets and scarves, I wouldn't check gauge at all.  Even in clothing, I rarely check gauge, but I know that's naughty.  Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2006 03:48:57 PM »

I think it looks fine. I know what you mean about warped edges, I got that on a rug that I made recently. It might help if you sc around the edges, and hdc where you think it's dipped down a little. That would even it out.

Maybe it's the yarn you're using, too. Cotton tends to stretch and be annoying when you're making blankets.

The Donna
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2006 05:09:42 PM »

I don't think it looks that bad. Like others have said, perhaps if you crochet around the whole thing when you're finished, it will even out those edges.

As far as how long it's taking you, that hook looks pretty small. Small hooks take forever! I'm a crochet snob. I won't crochet anything that calls for a hook any smaller than H. And, if it's a large project (like an afghan), I wouldn't even go that small. I'm easily frustrated, too, and I know from the get-go that a small hook equals more time spent on a project.  Cheesy

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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2006 05:29:05 PM »

That afghan actually has instructions on how to edge it so that it evens it out Smiley

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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2006 05:36:00 PM »

I don't see anything at all wrong with it. Just do a row of sc down the sides if you want to even it out.

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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2006 07:35:47 PM »

I think your afghan looks lovely!  I especially like the color.  I'm like DisneyFan, I rarely check the gauge when doing large projects like that.  naughty, naughty.  When you're done with it, you won't notice any small imperfections like a ruffly edge...It'll stretch out with use anyway.

But again, I RARELY do large projects.  I find the perfect answer to crafting frustration is to make a smaller, more manageable project.  If you're really great at single crochet, why not make a cute amigurumi project?  It's all sc and (almost) instant gratification.  Plus you'll have a cute friend to cheer you along while finishing your afghan. 

Don't give up yet!  Maybe just take a break from it!  Kiss

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