The biggest problem I have with social media is that many people look at somebody’s account and feel like they aren’t as good/as pretty/as talented as this person appears to be. I honestly hope that nobody thinks that everything I do turns out perfectly, because it definitely does NOT.
That’s why today I want to share two of my more frustrating projects that I’ve worked on in the last six months. Both of these are tops that I looked forward to wearing. Neither one of them are wearable yet.
My first project is the Solari Poncho, found at Annie’s.
Doesn’t it look comfy and warm? I thought this would be great to wear on the slightly chillier days that we have at the end of September. I purchased Premier Basix DK yarn in Fog Gray for my poncho. The yarn is great and I really love working with it. I enjoyed the pattern so much that I didn’t realize I had reached the end of it. The poncho seemed too short. I had a lot of yarn left, so I added a bit more at the hem for length. It didn’t work out so well.
Addie is obviously much smaller than me so it looks good on her. It doesn’t look so great on me. The hem, even with the added length, falls just past my elbows. Then there’s the weird way the back hangs. And it just wasn’t as loose and flowing as the picture in the magazine appeared. To be fair, I didn’t check my gauge. Why? Because it’s a poncho! I chose the largest size figuring that it couldn’t be too small. I was wrong. So, where did I make the mistake?
I honestly think my stitches are too tight. It was the first time I had attempted to crochet cables and I was nervous about them looking right. I think that going up a few hook sizes would help. And my hem didn’t really work. So what am I going to do? I’m going to rip it all out and start over. Not immediately, of course, but that’s the plan. I still like the look of the finished garment. I just have to figure out how to loosen my hold on the yarn.
My next project is a sweater that I’ve had for quite a few years. I actually bought the yarn kit from Craftsy shortly after I learned to crochet. In fact, I’d had the yarn boxed away for so long I thought that I’d purchased brown, not the gray that was actually in the box (apparently I’d forgotten about wanting a nice gray sweater).
Zoey Zig-Zag Box Cardigan by Nicole Wang
This is a great cardigan pattern. It’s quick and easy to make. The problem I ran into involves the sleeves. For this pattern you crochet the whole thing flat, and then fold over and sew your shoulder seams so you don’t have hardly any piecing to worry about. After I had the shoulders sewn together I tried it on to see how it fit. It was a great fit! Jay asked me if it was supposed to be a vest, or was I going to put sleeves on it? You see, to make the sleeves you just crochet the edging on and you’re done. I didn’t think that would look too good so I added a little bit to it.
I added five more rows of the pattern, this time in the round, and then doubled the rows for the edging to give it a little bit of a ruffle. Then I wore it to work to see how I liked it. I didn’t. I came home, ripped out the ruffled edging and redid it.
I kept the extra bit of pattern in the round for the length, but I put the called-for edging on it. I think I like this much better. Just to give you an idea of how long the sleeve would have been without the extra length, the edging would have fallen about 4″ higher up on my arm in the middle of my bicep. That’s not really where I like my sleeves to sit.
Once I fix the other sleeve the cardigan will be finished. I’m going to wear it a bit to make sure I like it, but I’m already planning one in brown and possibly white. This won’t be the only one I make.
As you can see, though, nobody is perfect. My best tip for making wearable garments is this: When you think you’re done with it, don’t fasten off right away. Put a stitch marker in the last stitch and then either wear it to work or wear it around the house. That will be the best way to determine what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully it will be something easy to fix. If it’s not, you might have to rip it out and start over. And that’s okay! Half of the fun is in the process of making the item.