Thursday, May 26, 2011

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

After making a fall sweater recently, I've been making more of a concerted effort to get my crafting mind to focus on the season at hand for once.  There were a couple applique shirt ideas for Little C. floating around up there (you saw the octopus tee last week) and also an idea for an orange crochet shrug for me.

I like to wear tank tops sometimes in the summer, but I usually want to throw something on over them if I'm heading out in case I'm cold or want to cover up. Orange is on trend (this is completely unimportant to the Little Man, and probably also to the pediatrician, and the average person at my local supermarket. And since these are the people with whom I spend the most time it seems kind of pointless to care about it but I do),  and crochet is also big for spring/ summer. Why not marry the two into a little shrug, I thought?

I found a pattern that seemed easy and got started on it using Lion Brand Cotton Ease in terracotta.

It was smooth going at first; I was whizzing through the pattern. You start out by making granny squares. I had to make 10 for my size. It probably took a week of on and off crocheting. Wow, this pattern is so fast! I thought as I finished the last large granny.

I looked back at the pattern. Let's see, what was next? Oh, you just make some smaller ones, and a couple half grannies. No big deal. Oh yeah, and then, like, you just sew 'em up, and slap on a collar. SO EASY.  I wish I had taken more pictures of "in the making" but I was on a roll and couldn't stop for it. I was going to be finished the shrug in no time. Woo hoo!

After finishing the first 10 granny squares in, like, no time flat, I started on the smaller ones. Then I started on the halves. I started to feel like the project should be close to completion, but all I had were a stack of grannies in different sizes.

Now it was joining time. Ok, now I was nearly finished, right? Maybe I'll be able to wear the shrug tomorrow, I thought, as I searched for the diagram in the pattern that was going to help me put the whole thing together.

No, I wasn't going to be able to wear it tomorrow. Or the next day, or the next...I was in for even more "starts and stops" (as a fellow Ravelry member put it regarding this pattern) as I searched online for the diagram. The link was broken on the original site and it took some detective work on my part to find it on a different website (eventually found it on

Anyway, back to joining the pieces. I knew this part wouldn't be fun. And it wasn't. I don't even have the energy to elaborate on why. When this was finally all finished there was still work to do: I had to tidy up the borders and make it even so I could begin the cuffs/ collar. And after trying it on I had to sew the neck up a little too, so that it fit. It seemed oddly big/ wide to me.

Finally, the end was in sight! Hallelujah! I started the first cuff. I worked on it for about a half hour before I realized that I was doing it completely wrong (I had picked up stitches and started crocheting. FYI: no picking up stitches required). I had to pull it out and begin again.

After the cuffs were mercifully completed, I began my truly final step: the collar. It was slow going (took a couple days) but I kept at it and persevered.

I stepped back to wearily admire my handiwork. Upon closer inspection,  I realized I added 3-4 stitches to the width as I got about 1/2 way around. I stared at the imperfection with bleary, bloodshot eyes and considered ripping it out and fixing it.

I considered doing this for approximately 1 second.

Do you think I did ?

My issues with this pattern mostly have to do with "my issues." I can see some other crocheter enjoying the process and not being impatient with it. I think I expected it to be a pretty fast project, so I kept wanting it to be done already. Also, I'm not the most intuitive knitter/ crocheter and there were some parts of the pattern that weren't spelled out enough for me. That being said, it was also very detailed in some parts. I'm calling it "The Contradiction Shrug".

I definitely think I will be wearing it this summer, so my struggles were not in vain. If I were to make it again (shudder) I would probably make the ribbed collar smaller in width--and not just the part I messed up! I think it will look pretty cute with a white tank top under it (and not the navy shirt I just worked out in).

1 comment:

  1. Adorable!!! Wear it on Friday, please. Great color!


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