Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lessons Learned

I have made this patch of afghan six or seven times now.  And I think I might finally have it.

Well, there is one mistake, one side of the last point is a set of three double crochets short.  But, well, I can live with that.  
I haven't done a ripple--that's what this pattern is--in a very long time.  And I wasn't good at it last time, hence the long wait to try again.  But I came across a reference to a Granny ripple, which essentially uses the telltale three double crochets of the typical Granny stitch (best known in squares.)  I'm partial to the Granny right now and wanted to give it a try.  And I was curious to see if I'd gotten better and more able to do a ripple afghan.

Mercy, it's been a trial.  Even though the pattern says beginner!  In fact, I'm following my second pattern, in the book 100 Ripple Stitches to Crochet because the first one via Ravelry on a Project Linus site, just wasn't working (or I wasn't working it!)  I think I made it twice and pulled it out twice before switching.  And it was still a series of mishaps.

First, I reaffirmed that I'm not a good counter.  I knew that.  When I tried chaining 132 or whatever it was, I couldn't get to the number without getting lost, usually when I counted but didn't complete a stitch.  I was having trouble counting the chains afterwards because of the curly nature of the Lion Brand homespun.  Sigh.  I even tried stitch markers, but when I did the first row, I came up about 7 stitches short.

I tried again and realized that my dc3tog stitch wasn't sitting correctly, so I looked it up.  Only to find that it wasn't sitting correctly because I was double crocheting incorrectly!  I was adding a whole yarn over and pull up a loop to the stitch!  I wonder when I started doing that.  Must have been about the same time I added a step to the single crochet, which I think I had been doing wrong for years, as I recently found out while trying Amigurumi with Mama.  I pulled everything out and got my double crochet back on track.

While I had aimed to do a lap afghan and had adjusted the size accordingly, it was coming out too wide, which is when I discovered that I was still doing the dc3tog incorrectly on the first row!  Sigh.  See, at some point, I had switched from reading the pattern written out in words to using the pattern diagram printed out in symbols, a new approach for me.  The written words were confusing; the diagram clearly showed the dc3tog.  So I pulled it all out.   Interestingly, the diagram is actually different than the photos accompanying the pattern--the diagram has you stitching the dc3tog in the tops of stitches while the photos of the finished afghans clearly show that it is worked in the chain space!  I could have actually pulled it out one more time.  But I'm satisfied with it now.

Talk about a lesson in patience, humility, and persistence!  Usually by now, I would have either buried the mistake or quit completely.  I certainly would have stopped for a long break.  Or at least thrown some yarn across the room.  I don't know what made this time different, except I REALLY wanted to make a ripple AND I didn't want to be beaten by some yarn.  And I wanted this time to be different.

There you have it, twelve or so rows of a Granny ripple afghan.  I doubt it'll ever be one of my favorite, go-to patterns, but I'm glad to have learned more about crochet . . . and myself.

***Pattern is incomplete.  I'm still figuring out how to write it.

My Granny Ripple Lap Afghan
Lion Brand Homespun
K hook

Ch 79 (or a multiple of 26 + 1; each set of 26 gives you another peak)

Row 1:  Ch 4 and work 3 dc in 5th ch from hook.  (*ch 1, sk 2 st, 3 dc* twice; sk 2 st.  Work peak:  3dc, ch 2, 3dc in same st.  *ch 1, sk 2 st, 3 dc* twice; sk 2 st.  Work valley:  3dctog, sk 3 st, 3 dctog)  Work entire pattern inside () to end of row (ending on halfway up "peak.")  Then ch 1 and dc, turn.

Row 2:  Ch 4

Repeat  to make afghan.

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