Archive for learning

Well, That Was Fun!!

Lots of confusion swirling around over at the ‘Yarnplayers’ group last night. Naturally, being the curious type, I had to find out what it was all about. One of the ladies was trying to complete a square from the book, 99 Granny Squares to Crochet. (It’s #2 if you’d like to give it a try). It seems that the very last round was giving her fits, and another person was trying to help her out…. all by way of Facebook posts!

When last I left them, I think they had both given up and gone to bed and I decided to do the same. But this morning, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided I had to give this thing a try. All went well as I made my way through round 7. Then, sure enough, when I got to round 8 I had pretty much the same reaction: “Okay, I’ve put my treble and my double crochet stitches here, here and here, and I’ve done the corner….. hmmmmm…. what the heck is that long 7-chain going to do? Just dangle there to tickle my toes when it’s finished? No, that can’t be right!! So I studied the pattern some more, tried to figure out what the designer was trying to accomplish, and finally went to Ravelry to study the picture again. Aha! It appears to me as if those puzzling stitches have been worked around that silly 7-chain. Not sure why. Not sure it’s purpose. Except that, maybe it’s simply a connecting strand to make the transition from the side to the corner. Anyway, that’s my conclusion, and I’m going with it. However, may I say, if that was the intention, I certainly would not have written the instructions the way this designer did. So, here we go…. my interpretation, as best I could figure it out, and it looks like the picture, so it must be right (or close enough for my purposes anyway!!)

Here’s where the problem begins. The instructions say, ‘Working in front
of
the 7-chain loop…..’ Whatever that means!! I tried following literally what the instructions said, ended up with a length of chain just hanging there on the back of the square, with no conceivable purpose. That couldn’t possibly be right!

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Inserting the hook for the very first treble

I studied the photo again, and decided that the confusing stitches had actually been worked through both the 7-chain and the 5-chain. Well. That’s certainly not what I got from the instructions! But I went ahead and tried it that way. It seemed to work. I think maybe I got it right. Anyway, once again, it’s good enough for me!!

It seems I do a lot of this ‘make-shift designing’ whenever I’m using a pattern. Maybe that’s why I don’t like to use patterns. I always end up re-designing them anyway! ;)

So here is a series of pictures showing exactly how I did this confusing round on what turned out to be a very lovely square. Quite challenging! And quite fun!

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After inserting your hook under both chains, work the tr and 3 dc around both.

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First treble completed

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Treble and first double crochet completed

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All four stitches worked around two chains, and first half of corner completed

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Hook inserted under both chains on opposite side of corner, getting ready to repeat the process

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Getting ready to make first dc on second side

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First dc completed on second side

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3 dc and 1 tr completed, ready to move on to working the side stitches

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Heading along the side, first sc completed

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Here's how the back looks when finished. I don't know if I did it the way the designer intended, but at least there are no loose, dangling chains! :)

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And here's the front of the completed square. Turned out very nice, I think. I believe I'll use it for my very first YFA-ICE block!

Getting Into Design Mode

Today was a very worthwhile day–I learned something new! I learned how to create a .pdf file so that I can make my patterns available as a download that people can print. And, it wasn’t even difficult. Or costly. Just wrote it up in Google Documents and downloaded it to my computer in .pdf format. Nothing to it! If I’d known it would be that easy, I might have tried it a little sooner.

I don’t know if I can really call it my design. I created it by looking at a photo that was posted by one of my yarn friends. I tried to duplicate the flowers, but I don’t think I was successful. Does that mean I actually didn’t plagiarize it? I hope so. Anyway, it’s my version of what I think are some very lovely flowers:

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On the left, the picture that was posted online. On the right, my version as best I could duplicate it without a pattern

And here it is, the instructions for my copy of these flowers, my very first ‘official’ published pattern: A Big, Bright Flower

Meltdown!!

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Defeat, staring me in the face!!


See that tiny little four-color innocuous-looking round thing, towards the bottom center of the photo? Yes, that’s the one–the one labeled EVIL EYE!! This thing has had me tearing my hair out for the better part of an evening!! Yes, it can be made. See the photo above it, in the pattern book? That’s how it’s supposed to look. I know it’s possible–I see the photo. I’ve seen photos online. I’ve even done one before. And as I recall, I had about this much difficulty the last time! But still, I decided to take it on. (Good sense is not what I’m famous for!) How hard could it be the second time around, right? HA! If it wasn’t for sheer stubbornness and determination not to let this thing get the better of me, I’d pick it all up and dump it unceremoniously in the nearest trash can right this second! Instead, I think I’ll pick up the pattern book and toss it across the room! Maybe I’ll have better luck figuring this out on my own!!

The first couple of rounds went well. About round three, I wondered, ‘Shouldn’t I be placing the decreases one stitch farther apart each time? After all, this thing is basically a circle. And I am an expert at circles!!’ But no, the pattern says to continue each round in the same way, increasing every other stitch. Well, sure enough, about five rows into the thing, I could see that I was creating a ruffle, not a flat piece. So….. back to the drawing board.

I started over again, this time (despite what the pattern said to do), spacing my increases as if I were making a plain circle. All was going well when I began to notice my stitch count was off, and I was running out of stitches, before I got each segment of color worked. (It’s a spiral, you have to drop the yarn four times per round and switch colors–YIKES!!). So I thought, no problem, I’ll just ravel out one round until I find where I made my mistake and pick up from there. Hopeless, hopeless, hopeless. In this endless round of color change upon color change, it is absolutely impossible to determine exactly where the beginning of each round is supposed to be, never mind where each color change is supposed to occur. By this time, the blood pressure has bumped up a few pegs, and my head is beginning to throb.

Okay, so no big deal…. I’ll go all the way back to round 1, start from scratch, and figure out what I did wrong….. By now I’m so hopelessly confused, even round 1 is a puzzle to me…….So I began digging through all my pattern books, freeform books, searching the internet…… Help!! I can’t take it any more!!!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Okay….. I think I’ve figured it out: ‘What I did wrong was……
trying to make this blankety-blank spiral in the first place!!’ Gr-r-r-r-r-r….

TO BE CONTINUED…….