Problem Solving Tunisian Crochet w/ a Migraine on Saturday Night...
Designing is always full of it's own ups and downs, at least in the way that I design. I'm thinking that most of us have experienced the excitement of starting a new prototype, getting ten or so rows in and then coming to the conclusion that we must start ripping it back. Ugh! Well, if I'm lucky and that only happens once, then I think nothing of it, but when I've done the Rip'it dance three or more times, I look around to see if "frustration" has shown up with her suitcase for a visit.
Well, on Saturday, after the Mad Scientist and I had our dinner, I realized that I had breathed in enough pollen to choke a horse during my trip to run errnads and my head was pounding to a beat that was not pretty. Living back in Illinois has reinstated my horrible allergy/sinus migraines. Anyway, back to the point, I settled onto the sofa waiting for allergy meds to take and release the band that had set up it's evening gig in my head and started to work on my new design, which is in Tunisian crochet. When low and behold, the edge was turning into a ruffle, not rolling up as one would expect with Tunisian, but a side to side ruffle. Now if this blanket design wasn't figural and really needed a flat edge, this ruffle would have been quite pretty in the end. I may have been able to block it out in the end, but picturing my myself in total panic if it didn't block out was, in my current condition,just the kind of thing that I wasn't willing to bet on. So, I ripped back and tried something new. Then I ripped out and tried something. Then I ripped back and tried something new. Get the picture here, nothing was working....
Yes, the piece is sitting on top of my leg and those are my cuddly pjs. More important, do you see the side to side ruffle? That was the problem.
I went and made a cuppa tea, mostly because the steam would help my head and of course it would taste yummy. And there it was, a tiny thought that said, send the maven of Tunisian a note on Facebook and see what she has to say. The Tunisian Maven is of course - Kim Guzman.
I didn't expect to hear back from her late on the Saturday night, but sure enough a little ding from the computer told me there was a message waiting and it was Kim. We chatted for a bit and then she suggested that I try a smaller hook for the base row. Of course, so simple, it had to work. Finally said good night to Kim and started the piece again. Now you're expecting me to say it worked perfectly and I just kept working away. Well, not completely. It did make the ruffle a bit softer, but it still wasn't flat and crisp. Well fiddle sticks!
Back to drinking tea and starting to relax a bit as at this time the meds were taking effect and my headache was going away. I started thinking about all the ways that I start a normal crochet project and I landed on the Foundation Single Corchet that I use for sweaters and shawls. It couldn't hurt to try. Right? I mean all I would do is rip it out again and make "frustration" her evening cuppa tea so that she could settle in right next to me.
Well, well, well, looky, looky here.... IT WORKED!!!!! Edge flat as can be from beginning to end. Frustration apologized for the intrusion and left through the front door. Yeah!!! This is what I did...
Now, look at that pretty straight edge. Sitting there so nice and neat. Love it!!!
Using a crochet hook two sizes smaller than the one I was using for the main project, I made a base of Foundation Single Crochet in the number of stitches equal to the width of the piece. Then switching to the project size hook, I started my pattern/row repeat of one row Tunisian Double crochet followed by one row Tunisian Simple Stitch.
All was well, and I went off to bed with my head only slightly pounding from the sinus migraine, but happy in the knowledge that I had figured out the problem of the ruffled edge. Many thanks to Kim for her help as well, as in reality it was her idea of the smaller hook and my idea of the Foundation Single Crochet that came together to make everything good.
So, how do you problem solve when a project isn't going right? I'd love to hear your story.
Peace and joy to ya all...
Diana, The Green Girl