Wrestling with my crochet demons

While yesterday’s crochet efforts were very nearly effortless, today’s endeavors did not come with the same ease.

In deciding what projects I would tackle, I determined that however much I might want to work on something new and easy, I was going work on at least one of the more challenging projects that has been bedeviling me.

To prepare myself for the challenge, I got out one of Lianka Azulay’s designs that I have been working on: a crocodile stitch shawl.

It was supposed to be a warm up. I was going to start the third of five skeins of yarn I have for this project, complete the row where the last skein has run out, and work another two rows.

That was the plan anyway.

While I successfully joined the new skein of yarn, matching the changes in the variegated yarns, I then proceeded to crochet mindlessly (in contrast to mindfully), and when I got to the end of the row, I found I had difficulty determining where the V-stitches on the return row would go.

It turned out the difficulty was due to the fact that from the point at which I had joined the yarn, I had made twice as many stitches as were called for. While it created an interesting ruffled effect, it did not work with the many previous rows of stitches. There was no question, I would have to frog my work.

And frog I did, but not quite as far as I should have which I didn’t notice until I had again reached the end of the row.

This is how the shawl-to-be looked after I had crocheted, frogged, crocheted, and begun to refrog:

crochetbug, crochet stitch, crocodile stitch, crochet shawl, crocodile crochet stitch shawl, vintage yarn, use what you have
My crocodile stitch crochet shawl just before sunset today

At this point, I decided that since the “easier” of the two projects was not going anywhere, I might as well try to make progress on the less easy project.

In November I began work on a yellow carpetbag that I was going to fashion out of yellow rug yarn that had been part of a large vintage stash acquisition. Using Alice Merlino’s Starling Handbag pattern and an 5.0 mm hook, I initially had good success with the project before I encountered a not-entirely-surmountable problem: I didn’t have enough of the yellow yarn to make the bag.

To work around this insufficiency of yellow yarn, I took some of the red and blue rug yarn that also came in the acquisition, put it on yarn bobbins so that it could be more easily used, and then promptly set it aside.

Today, I got out my 5.0 mm hook, took a deep breath and attempted to execute my crochet vision. After half-an-hour of working with the various bobbins and bits, I had completed just over two new rounds:

crochetbug, crochet purse, crochet tote, crochet bag, single crochet, mondrian, use what you have, vintage yarn
I begin reworking the once yellow carpet-bag-to-be

By the time the sun was about to set, I had made slow, but steady progress, and the addition of the red and blue yarns seemed to be conserving the yellow yarn at a sufficient rate to allow for me to make the bag as large as originally called for. Here is a slight side view of the bag-to-be:

crochetbug, crochet purse, crochet tote, crochet bag, single crochet, mondrian, use what you have, vintage yarn
I begin adding blocks of red and blue to the once yellow carpetbag-to-be

and here is a view from the top:

crochetbug, crochet purse, crochet tote, crochet bag, single crochet, mondrian, use what you have, vintage yarn
A view from the top of the carpetbag as it once again begins to take shape

I have not done a lot of work with bobbins, and I expect that just about the time I get used to the process of carrying a half-dozen or more different bits of yarn at a time, the bag will be done, and all of the flaws and errors will, no doubt, reveal themselves at an inconvenient moment, but there is no way error-free way to learn, and the price of moving forward is that sometimes you must take a step backward.