Wednesday, February 29, 2012

PDS 3/ (un)raveled

I think I need to repeat that I have only ever crocheted ONE scarf in my life. It was black, wonky, and Eric still wears it (if it gets REALLY cold) because he's sweet. But really, this has not been one of my major talents in life. So why a blanket? Well, I wanted to make something that was BIG. Significant and impressive, at least to me. I wanted to make something that Eric and I can have in our house after we get married; something I can show people and say (casually), "oh yeah, I did that."Like it's no big deal, right?
So when I saw this blanket on Elise's blog, I got really inspired. I don't knit, but I thought, "crocheting a bunch of squares is a lot easier than making one GIANT blanket... and then I can patch them together and VOILA! Instant, crafty, fabulous, blanket. I think I should also add that all this dawned on me while I was at work, probably around 0200 in the morning, which is about when the "pumpkin-ness" sets in (sort of like how Cinderella's carriage turns into a pumpkin after midnight - more on this phenomena later). So now it's the middle of the night, on an unusually slow night at work, and I am SUPER charged and inspired to make this blanket - like I want to start NOW!!  So I start thinking about how I am going to stop at Michael's on my way home, pick out some yarn, then maybe start a little bit before I go to sleep. A few hours later I realize that no yarn-selling store is open when I get off work, and at that point, I realize how epically tired I am, so I won't be waiting for someplace to open.
Fortunately, I have a very crafty Mama who had a stock of skeins at home that she wasn't using! :) So I picked out a pretty blue color, not knowing what other colors I would choose to go with it later.  I don't want to do a two-tone checker, I want at least three colors, all hodge-podgey on the blanket. So I picked a color, a hook, and curled up in bed, started one chain, took a picture and posted my last post, and knocked out.
Thinking that maybe I'll have another slow night at work (this NEVER happens, so I was worried that I would be jinxing myself, but I did it anyway), I threw my project in my work bag. And yes, it was slow. So I started working away with the company of my lovely fellow nurses. I worked on it during "tea time" (another fabulous thing that deserves it's own post) while I was chatting away with everyone.
Turns out I'm not a very skilled counter, and that if I don't focus 100% and count every stitch, I end up with a very misshapen square. I started with a chain of 30 stitches. Somewhere along the line I started counting again, and I had a row of 41!  Explain THAT!  I'd rather not...
So this morning....I did this.
This time, I took my time. I did and re-did my first chain about 10 times to get the right tension. I counted every stitch until I got into the right rhythm, and saw where every stitch was supposed to go in a row, and when I stopped counting, I counted again. I worked on it for about an hour before I started to go cross-eyed from sleepiness. I tucked it away for my nap, and then when I woke up and felt refreshed again, I went back at it. I had to unravel a few more rows when I realized I was skipping a stitch somewhere, but I started back up again.
And about 1 hour ago, I got to this point...
I finally got to square one! As you can see... I don't know how to finish the square off yet, so the entire project is on hold until I can ask my mom (I tried to read a how-to book on it, and was so confused it gave me a headache!). Fortunately, it won't be but another 40 minutes or so.
The funny thing is that now that I've written this all out, I realize how much of it is a metaphor for life. Unraveling and restarting. I need to work on applying the discipline of this one little square into the rest of my life, the rest of my projects. There's a lesson to be learned somewhere in here, I'm sure it will keep showing up for the rest of this blanket (I've just told Eric about it and he wants it to be a REALLY BIG blanket... we'll see about that!).
Oh! I forgot about the colors! It all came to me during tea time last night at work. One of my nurse-friends suggested I use a heather gray with this blue (the blue is more muted than it looks in these photos), and I LOVED the idea (I love heather gray). Then I thought black would go well too. So it's going to be blue, gray, and black. And THEN I thought, why not make some heart appliques - just a few - and patch them over some of the squares. The hearts can be a deep, contrast-y red color. I think it's going to be fabulous, just fab. At least for now. What do you think? Oh, and anyone know of an easy how-to site for crocheting heart appliques?