Panic crochet

03Jan10

On the run up to Christmas, I’d decided to make a few gifts for various people. Little by little time started to trickle by, and before I knew it, run away with me completely. I was going to make bunting, but then that plan was scuppered by someone faster with the same idea, I was going to make a monkey, but decided that the recipient was probably still a bit young. I was going to make a lavender bag, with the little piece of Irish crochet I’d made, but didn’t have time to get to a fabric shop, and… and… like I said, time just disappeared.

On 23rd December, I knew I had a failsafe plan for a friend who had made me some cushions for my birthday – which I *loved*. I was going to make a Queen Anne scarf – the pattern for which is available for free here. (It seems to be missing its pictures, but if you’d like to see pictures, Flickr has lots). It’s a lovely pattern, works up pretty quickly from what I’d read, and I knew just the yarn, as I’d spotted it on Ravelry.

Except that on 23rd December 7.00pm, John Lewis had decided to take the remaining few balls of this yarn off the shelves  – and put it at the bottom of a huge cage in the stock room, unreachable by human hands.

I switched to a different yarn. ‘It’s pretty similar,’ she said, ‘it should work out fine.’

Except that it was nothing like it. I started the scarf. It was tiny. You’d be lucky to warm the neck of a Barbie, let alone that of a full grown friend. I switched patterns. I started the Boteh Scarf instead – I knew I could do it, I’d made it before. Except  I had my doubts. Was it right in this yarn? It was a bit heavy wasn’t it? Not very delicate. Doesn’t feel that special. Ack.

I searched Ravelry to see what else people had made with the yarn I had available, and lo and behold, I found a lovely pattern!

I crocheted into the night. I crocheted while I waited for a kettle to boil. I crocheted on the phone. I crocheted on the train. I crocheted on Christmas day and on Boxing day. I finished on 27th December, and it was ironed and blocked by the evening.

If I’m honest, I’m not sure I’d recommend this yarn for this pattern. The yarn is nice, the pattern is great, but to do the pattern real justice, I think something less textured would be better. This is a bit fluffy and so some of the detail gets lost. But the details are lovely when you can see them.

So it all worked out ok in the end. And I’ve learnt a few things:

• I’m no good at making things to order. Being an Occasional Crafter means you’re pretty good when the pressures off and you can faff about staring into space now and again – but when the push comes to shove, you’d rather stick the kettle on and have a nice cup of tea

• That it’s fine to be a faffer – it’s a hobby afterall

• That Ravelry is really pretty amazing. There’s a ton of patterns on there, which is great – but that you can search by yarn first and see what things people have made with that yarn. Who even knew you’d ever want to do that? Well – proper crafters maybe, but it was rather a revelation to me.

Happy New Year 🙂

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