If at first you don’t succeed, figure it out

These are the words of wisdom that grace a tee-shirt I bought a couple of years ago when I dropped my youngest son off at Space Camp. I had stopped by the gift shop on my way out — conveniently located just a few steps from check in — and decided to get myself something, and the tee-shirt in question was what I got. I had thought that it would be a good reminder to me that sometimes when a solution doesn’t turn out to be a solution, sometimes you just need to persist and figure it out.

And I have spent much of this weekend attempting not quite succeeding and attempting to do what the tee-shirt states: figure it out.

The results have been mixed.

While I did finish the crocheting the four circles inspired by my grandmother’s embroidery on a card table tablecloth:

four crochet circles
The four circles inspired by my grandmother’s card table tablecloth embroidery

my efforts to duplicate the embroidery at the center of each circle was not as successful:

crochet circle with embroidered diamond
My first attempt replicating the center embroidery

While the individual stitches were straight, the lines they formed were not, and overall effect was much less polished than my grandmother’s handiwork, so I set the circles aside and turned my attention to this long-stemmed tumbler that (along with five others) had originally been given to my paternal grandmother’s maternal grandmother (Elisa Catharina Appel) on the occasion of her marriage to my great-great grandfather (Friedrich Louis Hill) in April of 1859:

long stemmed water tumbler
One of my great-great grandmother Hill’s long-stemmed water tumblers

I situated myself at the former dining table that now serves as the nerve center for my crafting operation, got out some Red Heart Super Saver light gray, and attempted to recreate the long stemmed water tumbler in crochet

I got off to what I thought was a strong start:

My first (and partial) effort at recreating the long-stemmed water tumbler in crochet as I work to figure it out
My first (and partial) effort at recreating the long-stemmed water tumbler in crochet as I work to figure it out

but then my efforts (which were so numerous I did not bother to document them all) faltered, and I decided that the best option at was to set my crochet aside and allow my brain to let my marginal successes and abject failures percolate into something that more closely resembles the glass from so long ago.

I do not expect that as Elisa embarked on her marriage, an occasion that would lead to the sequence of events that would allow for my existence, that she even considered the possibility that someone would one day want to recreate this family heirloom in crochet, but I would expect that as the wife of a farmer in the middle of the 19th century, she probably experienced plenty of challenges that required her to devise novel solutions to the problems that confronted her, and my guess is that if at first she didn’t succeed, she just continued until she figured it out.