Now that the news is fairly humdrum compared to the last few years, the time I spend reading newspapers online has reduced considerably. I’m still mostly housebound because of Covid-19 and cold weather, so I have been looking for things to do.
I finally finished making a child’s hat and scarf that I began about a year ago, I have vacuumed and dusted everywhere, and I have made a good start at reading from my latest supply of books. I have gone out to the shed to whisper positive thoughts to the seeds I optimistically planted a week or so ago, and I have arranged for someone to come and clean out the eavestroughs. In spite of all that, I still have too much time on my hands.
In an effort to keep myself out of trouble, I ordered a kit for crocheting a four-colour blanket using a textured fan pattern. It was identified as being at intermediate level, which I thought would suit me. I’m neither a beginner nor an expert, so intermediate sounded about right. At least, so I thought.
After the kit arrived, I made a start at reading the pattern and got stuck at row 2. The first row was simply to chain 194 stitches. The second row, however, was supposed to produce the foundation for 16 fans, but I had only 15. No problem, I thought. I’ll just start again. And so I pulled it all apart.
The next day I started again and this time I got as far as row 4 before I ran into problems. I could not make heads or tails out of the pattern instructions. As I said, I am not an expert, but neither am I stupid. Why couldn’t I figure this out? With my frustration paramount and my indignation in high dudgeon, I went online to see if anyone else had the same problem. Lo and behold, they had. I had typed in the pattern name and number with the word “review” attached and found that Lois B, who considers herself an expert, said that the directions were completely wrong. She had to rewrite them to make the pattern work.
Woo Hoo! I felt validated. Someone out in the internet universe can’t do this either! There is something profoundly satisfying about not being the only one experiencing a thing, and thanks to a web search I was satisfied. Unfortunately, Lois B. did not explain how she fixed the problem. For that I was on my own. Realizing that what I had already done was probably hopelessly wrong, I pulled it all apart again. By this time I had undone about five hours of crocheting.
That evening I wrote to the company who sent me the kit and explained my discombobulation. I asked them if they had published any corrections to the pattern. Alternatively, I asked, could they direct me toward an instructional video? I have not yet received an answer.
On the third day of trying to make this blanket, I went once again to seek the advice of Lord Google, and once again he came through for me. With only a little effort, I found a video showing exactly how to produce the desired effect, stitch by stitch. The woman who produced the video, Oana, is now my favourite person. (Sorry, children.) She is unhurried, careful, thorough, and clear. She repeats where necessary and has edited out any parts of the video that were redundant because of the slow and repetitive nature of the work.
I have successfully reached row 4 for the second time, but now with much more satisfying results. I have also created a whole new written pattern for myself using the instructions provided by the video lady and the shorthand of the original pattern. I really think I may have this thing figured out. But, don’t hold your breath, friends. Remember, it took me almost a year to finish making a child’s hat and scarf.