I intend this blog to help me keep track of what I’ve learnt so far. In that spirit, and even though it bothers me a little to have to think of all the mistakes I’ve made, here’s a list of lessons learnt from my first eleven crochet projects:

  1. Swatching helps. Although I still prefer projects where gauge is less critical (blankets, shawls, bags), swatching is essential if I want to make wearables for myself and others.
  2. Blocking can work miracles – but there’s a limit! Blocking, either wet or with steam, can make stiff fabric softer, relax tight or wonky stitches, and generally improve the look. If the measurements are wrong, though, it depends on the stretch in the yarn and pattern stitch how much you can achieve with blocking.
  3. Spread your work out every once in a while and look at it. This sounds obvious to the point of stupidity. But when I spread the baby blanket out to block it, a nasty skipped-two-chains error suddenly appeared. By then, the error was 80 rows back…
  4. Keep several projects going at once. You WILL get bored working on just one project. A small, easy project is perfect for trips and walks.
  5. Triple-check before assembly. I inadvertently flipped one of the squares for the poncho while assembling it, and now one square is, very obviously, wrong side out.
  6. Use a closed pillowcase for felting. You can avoid nasty fuzzies from any items put in to increase agitation.
  7. Count your rows and stitches! The alpaca sweater, which is still not finished, will have eight stitches too many from the waist up because I missed one row of decreases. I could have avoided much agitated frogging by counting my stitches better.
  8. Practice makes perfectly okay. I’m surprised by how quickly my skills have improved from the start at easter. I would never have thought then that I could be crocheting this shawl now.
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