Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Due to a complete lack of sewing motivation I've been hunkering down in a corner of the sofa with the afghan I've been working on. The color changes and the brights alternating with the neutrals have kept it visually interesting and kept me moving along, eager to see it as a finished product. Then came Monday night when I laid it out on the floor to see how it was coming along when it wasn't spread across my lap. And that's when I wanted to punch a wall. Only the fact that walls are hard and I generally don't punch things kept me from following through.

"Why?" I can hear you asking yourself. Because at some point my lovely blanket got a case of the single-edge tapers. It's an official crochet disease. Look it up. No, don't. I just made it up.

Oh, so you think that's not so bad? Let me line it up with a straight edge for you.

It keeps getting worse as I go. I've checked and rechecked my work, counted blocks--it's nothing like that. I thought that the new hook I bought might be different, even though it's the same brand and the same size (but with a comfy handle). Because, as my sister would say, "Riiiiigghhht. It's the hook's fault. It couldn't possibly be yours." And she's right (harharhar). I never let my hook tension get away from me, like my mother suggested. There's no way I started pulling tighter and tighter, making this thing go all crazy. I refuse to believe it. But there's no other explanation for it, so I must. Because that's exactly what happened.

I tried to think of a way to fix it, but it seems to be going a bit wonky in a way that an extra square here or there wouldn't fix (and the differing numbers of blocks in each row would really bother me). If I pull in the side to even it up here's how much extra there is towards the bottom:

It seemed that the only thing to do was to start over, but I really hesitated to pull this out right away. When I started this I had thought the blocks would be larger, but the standard size for this seems to be a five stitch block. I did want larger blocks so it would look a bit patchworky, and less like argyle. So I did some craft math and restarted. I did double the stitches for the width of each block, which leads to one that is four times the size of the original.

And now it's about where I'd like it to be. It was a bit rough getting the first row down as I had to think of how the smaller size goes, while counting for the larger size, but once the first row is done each successive row seems to make itself . I adore the woven look it has, as well as the color play. I'm hoping all will be smooth sailing with it from now on.

I'm trying not to think of the weeks and hours I've invested in the little bit that I had managed to finish--but it helps that right now I'm on my way to the afghan I envisioned instead of the one I "settled" for because I thought the math would hurt my brain (which it didn't). Happenings like this reduce my momentum, but take away the stress of "Gotta get it done! Gotta get it done!" even when it's not for anyone or anything specific. And reduced stress leads to better tension which leads to a better finished product.

So I am off to hook a bit more, as I've got the winter blues a little bit and need to feel productive while I'm pretty much doing nothing. Ta for now!


  1. Oh, not the single-edge tapers! I always have tension problems when I crochet, so I know how that feels. At least you get a chance to rework it in the size that you prefer! =)

  2. But crooked is cute, said the Society of Single-Edge Tapers. Hehe

  3. Oh NUTS! That is so frustrating!!!
    xo KRIS

  4. Oooh, that would irk me mad!! Colors looks nice though.

  5. oh no! How annoying, and even more frustrating that there doesn't seem to be a reason for it.

  6. Oh I might just have had to have a drumming my heels on the floor and screaming type of a tantrum over that one. Just a little one. Just til I felt better... ;o) Loving the look of the super size squares though

  7. My crocheted afghans *all* do the same thing, no matter how hard I try to maintain the same tension. I think the problem is that in the beginning, you are going slowly and checking the pattern for each little stitch, but once you've memorized the pattern, you take off and stitch much faster, resulting in a tighter tension. At least, I think that's what I do. I have never gone back and redone a project. If it's a little wonky, I'm fine with that. It proves it is handmade with love. And, since it's folded up on the back of the couch or at the foot of my bed most of the time, who's gonna see a little wonkiness? I'm glad now you've got *two* afghans to cuddle with!



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