Goldi's Locks of Yarn

My place to discuss my raging obsession with yarn and crochet along with happenings in my life and the world at large

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Labor Pains (massive)!

Okay, now I HAVE to write about this, before I do some serious damn damage. I am LIVID. I am SEEING RED!!! I am ready to hang up my hooks, give away all my yarn and QUIT!

I can't keep a pattern straight to save my life. Dropping stitches. Adding stitches. Checking my work is useless - I don't even SEE the damn mistakes until I've reached the spot on the NEXT fucking row! I am SOOOOO PISSED!!!!

I have been working feverishly - and with great anxiety as I watch the clock run down toward the deadline when this MUST be completely done - on the shrug for my daughter. The design isn't hard, it's a simple rectangle to start, with crocheted rounds of the stitches of my choice around the edge after sewing it up on either long side to create "sleeves". It's based on the schematics provided by a generous soul who calls herself "Mrs Who" at CVille, found here.

Me, being me, I decided the shrug, which I'm making from Lion Brand Microspun in Black (first challenge: working with a color that swallows all available light and demands more in an environment sadly lacking in that department), wasn't "fancy" enough. It needed something to make it sparkle: beads. (second challenge: choosing to work with materials never before attempted).

I scrambled around for a week to several different Hobby Lobbys, collecting what I hoped would be a large enough supply of beads for the project (this being my first attempt, I had no way of knowing how much would be "enough"), they just happened to be having a half-price sale on said beads that week, fortuitously. Then I set about trying to take a crash course in the best ways to work with beads on clothing, finding not much in the way of information available. Plenty of how-tos for making necklaces and other such items, but no embellished clothes.

So then I spent some time (far too long, unfortunately) thinking things through, and stringing as many beads as I could, after working out and acquiring the right sizes of thread/string the different sized beads were willing to slide onto. The 6/0 beads went very nicely onto the black #10 crochet thread I bought, but the 10/0 beads said "no way!", and so I went and bought a small cone of black sewing thread, which they liked better (but now I'm worrying the thread, which is VERY thin, might not be strong enough!), all the while puzzling how to apply them to the project. It occurred to me that I couldn't just crochet them on in strung fashion, because neither the #10 thread or the sewing thread will stretch, and this shrug needs to maintain that ability. So I came up with a clever solution (at least for part of this project): knotting a small cluster of the 6/0 beads on a short length of the #10 and tying it to the centers of the spiderweb pattern I'd established for the rectangle. That worked very nicely, but it took forever and a day to hide all 100 loose ends! Until I got that done, though, I couldn't progress with the rounds, and I found myself running into this weekend still stuck at that point.

This shrug MUST be complete and ready to hand over for use by Wednesday!

So, this gave me only this weekend, plus two (very short) evenings to complete it all, beads and all (I still have more beads to apply!). So I started into the weekend already in a full-blown panic.

I don't crochet well when I'm hysterical. To add to my misery, the PMS has kicked in YET AGAIN (barely done with the last cycle, good ole menopause - when does the "pause" come???). But, by late last night (early this morning, truth to tell), I had managed to make enough progress that I had started to calm down a bit. I had laid down several rounds on the body of the shrug, and it was shaping up quite nicely. Looking good - maybe I can make it after all!

I picked up the work late this morning, having slept in to make up for the extremely late arrival to bed, and proceeded to work the next round (with the thought it might be the last, though that has not turned out to be the case yet, as I try it on for size each round). I got several stitches into this new round - and ran into the first mistake. Instead of the 2 tr-ch 1-2 tr, I'd made 2 tr-ch 1-3 tr! Arrrgh! Panic immediately set in, as this meant I would have to frog the ENTIRE previous round to fix the error, since it occurred at the beginning of the round! I looked at it, contemplated it and thought about my shrinking timeline - and decided to live with it. It wasn't that noticeable, though it bothered me greatly (being the perfectionist that I am). And so I continued, on until I nearly finished the round - and ran into ANOTHER error! This time, instead of the 2+1+2, I'd done a 2+1+1! AGAIN, it would have required the frogging of a full round of work to correct it (and I was already feeling the blood pressure rise from the fact that my visual inspection hadn't caught that before I'd started this round). Again, I decided I would just have to live with it, I simply did not have the luxury of time to be frogging that much work to fix these errors.

Feathers ruffled, I finished the round and had the usual try-on, determining that yes, one more round at least was still needed, and so I proceeded to start it. Just reached the end of it a short time ago, only to discover that ON THE VERY FIRST SHELL, I'd ADDED a stitch! ON THE VERY FIRST ONE!!!

Mt. Goldi erupted over this one! The lava is still flowing hot and heavy! Because of the prominent placement of this particular error, I have to frog THIS ENTIRE ROUND! And here it is, 4 pm on Sunday - and I still have the sleeves, not to mention the beading, to get to! Oh yeah, and there are some unavoidable chores I have to squeeze into this day as well, before the misery of work tomorrow. My head is NOT in a good place!

The right thing to do would be to frog all 3 rounds to fix all 3 errors (it's otherwise going to be driving me crazy, knowing they are there). But can I handle that kind of a set-back with this deadline breathing down my neck?

I don't know yet if I can do it, but I am looking at the notion of taking Tuesday off from work, to save on gas, since I'm short on money for it, as well as to give me at least one more full day to work on this thing. That would at least take some of the pressure off and give me a little more wiggle room. But it's not going to help if I keep making stupid mistakes like this and losing any of my valuable time reworking what I'd already done!

It is now very obvious to me that I no longer am able to work well under pressure - I've discovered that in spades at work, which has become a personal hell for me as a result (they keep upping that pressure to where it's near my breaking point now, but that's a rant for another time). This never used to be a problem for me, but now it's become rather routine, and that frankly freaks me out to the max.

Somehow, I'm just going to have to take a deep breath, calm down (writing about it is helping), and then get to frogging...

Here's a pic of things so far.
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I'm really hoping I can persevere, because the shrug in my mind's eye is mighty pretty indeed. I really want to see it get translated to this piece of fabric. If I don't destroy myself, and it, in the process of trying!


  • At 7:14 PM, Blogger Deneen said…

    I completely understand about crocheting under pressure. Whenever I have a job someone paid me to do, I put myself under an unrealistic timeline and end up making stupid mistakes. I work so much better when it's just stuff I'm keeping, or making for Elena or some family member.

    The shrug is absolutely beautiful. You'll have to post how much yarn and the stitch pattern (please...). I also understand how the littlest mistake annoys the hell out of you, even if it's not noticable, you know it's there!

    Deep breaths now girl..............

  • At 12:33 AM, Blogger goldi said…

    Deneen, you're a sweetheart - just the words I needed to hear at a time I needed to hear them! Thank you!

    And thanks for reminding me to write this down, better do it before the shrug leaves my hands. Will be taking notes from here on in - I did give the details on the center part in a previous posting, but I'm officially winging it beyond that. I just hope I have enough time to get the beadwork onto this thing that I've envisioned, at least some of it. Given enough time (which we know I don't have!), I could get pretty nuts with this project! But beyond the time restriction, I am also working under a bit of "recipient restriction" as well - my daughter would not like it to be too glitzy, it's not her style. Guess I will just have to plan to make one for myself so I can let 'er fly without restrictions, lol! Just add that to my infinite "to-do" list...

  • At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Joe said…

    Hi there. I have the same problem with egging. If I rush, I miss little details or forget to cover an area with wax. There's no way to go back and fix it (well, there is but it's difficult). No one sees my mistakes but I sure do.

    This is one reason why I do not generally take commissions. Egging and deadlines don't mix.

    Good luck!


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