Slow llama crochet

When I got up this morning, I was certain that I would get my current front burner project done, but llamas are notoriously fickle and independent, and the animal’s reputation seems to extend to projects inspired by them. Rather than finishing the crochet llama hat I am working on and wrapping up all of the details, I have instead experienced what I will call “slow llama crochet.”

Initially, things look promising,

I had all of the pieces crocheted:

I began my slow llama crochet with yarn to be braided and pieces to be appliqué and attached to the base of the hat
Where my crochet day began

I thought I would get the braids braided, embroider the llama nose and mouth onto the crochet llama snout, appliqué that piece on, attach the ears, and then work on the fringe, and it look like I might do just that, but while the braids when smoothly, once I had finished them, I hit a wall of slow llama crochet.

I embroidered the face with a light brown yarn I had, but the color was too subtle, and it wasn’t easy to read the face. Inspired by the success of my Kool-Aid yarn dyeing, I decided to take it out and soak the yarn in coffee and vinegar to get color that would be easier to read against the deep pink of the snout.

And it worked, but only after I made a few mistakes and twice found myself cleaning the microwave as a result.

What this means in practical terms is that I am not the one in charge, the project is. This is not the first time that a crochet project has defeated my personal schedule, and still, I struggle to understand how it happens.

Why, I want to know, do some project seem to finish themselves, while others throw up roadblocks big and small.

But I didn’t have too much time to spend wondering because I had to get the fringe for the hat cut and then dyed.

Using a foot long ruler, I quickly had seventy foot-long lengths of yarn ready for dyeing:

Off-white wool yarn for the llama's fringe cut to the correct length
Undyed yarn for the llama’s fringe cut to the correct length

I got out my packets of pink lemonade and watermelon flavored Kool-Aid and got to work.

My first effort looked anemic, so I reheated the water and added two more packets of Kool-Aid to the mix along with the yarn, and this time, it looked “just right”

Yarn for the llama's fringe dyed to the correct color, a vibrant pink.
Yarn for the llama’s fringe dyed to the correct color

But a clump of yarn will not dry, so then I had to take a few minutes to lay them all out:

Yarn dyed pink for the llama's fringe laid out to dry
Yarn for the llama’s fringe laid out to dry

And even more minutes to let them dry out.

On the bright side, I now have everything ready to go for tomorrow morning:

My progress after a day of slow llama  crochet and kool-aid yarn dyeing
The pieces ready for the final assembly

and I will do my best to move forward, one stitch (and one bit of fringe) at at time.