“I’m going to crochet an afghan for my mother-in-law to give to her on Christmas Day!”
Famous last words…
Seriously, what was I thinking? The most I’ve ever crocheted is a scarf I haven’t even finished. I struggle with tension or whatever that is and I have to watch videos every time I see a crochet style I’ve never heard of. What is a front post double crochet?
I decided to go with a pattern with nothing too fancy. Single crochet, double crochet, slip stitch. Oh! I totally know what I’m talking about now. How hard can this be?
“A month to make a blanket. That’s heaps of time.”
I chatted with my friends about the end goal. How great it was going to look. How perfect I could make it. Cuz I totally understand everything about crocheting.
I finished three rows and discover. I’ve got the count wrong. I have to start all over again, but that’s okay. I still have 6 weeks to Christmas. This’ll still be fine!
December and I have nearly finished what I thought would be the halfway point. Only a tiny problem, though. It looked more or less like 1/6th the size of even a lap blanket. I needed wayyyy more yarn. About 8 more balls to be exact. Surely the craft store will have that much. I’ve only spent ten hours so far on this, so that means… another ummm 20 hours to finish it. I can do this!
I go to the craft store to buy more yarn. This isn’t cheap yarn either. It’s $15 a ball. It’s all the best colors. Her favorite color is burgundy and mine forest green. This yarn has both and more. It’s perfect.
“What do you mean there’s none?” I say to the shop clerk. Next delivery is after Christmas.
OMG! What am I going to do? I’ve already committed to this blanket. I have to do it.
The pattern was meant to be combined as one solid blanket.
Creative thinking was required now. And I had just the plan. What if I modified to pattern to be individual sections? Then I could use different colors for a quilt-like pattern. That could work.
I buy four more balls of yarn that still has burgundy in it and take it all home. The only negative? I gotta de-thread everything I’ve already done.
I got to start all over again, then. I de-thread and start the project anew with a modified pattern. I got it completely wrong twice before I realized how best to complete it. Then it was smooth sailing. Six hours to create one square, then 4, then 2, and finally after 10 of them, 1 hour each. I had a few mishaps along the way, getting tangled on the train ride to work and getting the stitches wrong on several rows.
But finally all done to the best of my ability. Little hearts all around. All crooked, all slightly wrong.
I realized then that this mammoth task was going to take me upwards of 30 hours total. I needed 24 of these damn squares to make just a lap afghan. Four columns by six.
So I started researching how to join the bloody things. I surely couldn’t give it as a “build-your-own-quilt”. That would just be rude. I found an awesome pattern and tested it out. It was settled. I black border would cover every heart. Got it wrong a few times again, but finally, I had something that looked like this.
And then this, when I realized I hadn’t finished the border totally.
The pattern I found actually explained how to join them too. It was going to look amazing!
So I finished all 24 squares and started the bordering in earnest. It only took… another hour each square! I finished the final square on Christmas Eve.
So I practiced the join. It was meant to look something like this.
But winded up looking exactly like this.
Bad. Bad. Bad. Omg. She’s going to hate it. What was I thinking? Seriously. I’m terrible!!
I de-thread the attempt and start over again. Just doing a basic sew technique that I watched on YouTube a hundred times. My original plan of four columns and six rows, though, has to be thrown out. It’s enormous. I change it to three and six. Instead of being a lap afghan, it’s almost a full double bed size. Huge!
The end result? Crooked. Awkward. Probably will fall apart at the slightest catch.
But I’d spent over sixty hours on this. I could… I would not let it defeat me. I packaged it up and gave it to my mother-in-law on Christmas lunch. Somehow, she found it in her heart to love it. And punched me when I mentioned how flawed it was. Sometimes, I guess, it’s the effort that really does count.