Hooked on Needles

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh No! What Have I Done? A Crochet Mistake

I've been diligently working on the Mitered Square Baby Blanket lately so I can get it done and move on to something else. Just the other day I started working on the last row of blocks. How exciting! Closer and closer to doing the border and finishing it up. A good feeling to be sure.

I have also been enjoying a little Olympics viewing in the evenings while working on this project ... Michael Phelps, USA Volleyball gold medals, all that exciting stuff. When I worked the first block of this last row, something wasn't quite right about it. I looked and looked at it trying to figure out just what was wrong, but couldn't, so I continued crocheting and enjoying the Olympics. The second block was finished and I started the third. After that only four more blocks and on to the border.

Well, last night I was about halfway finished with the third block and it was time to put my work down and go pick up my daughter from work. All this time I was still bothered by the feeling that something just wasn't right about this last row. I put my crochet hook down, spread out the blanket to see how it looked, and It Hit Me! Right that very moment, I realized what I had done wrong. I was working this row onto the side of the blanket instead of the top! So instead of working a seventh row of seven blocks, I was working an eighth row of six blocks. No wonder it didn't look right. Why hadn't I noticed that before?

Mitered square baby blanket mistakeSo this is what it looked like at the Moment of Realization. Notice the row along the bottom now has eight blocks in it. The pattern calls for this blanket to be seven blocks square. I was pleased to see at least that the shading that makes the triangle shapes was still intact along the new row, but I was not happy with how the right edge of the new row was slightly different from the joining edges of the other rows.

Mitered square baby blanket mistakeThe partial block on the left is the new eighth row so you can see the joining edge of that block with the block in the center. Compare that edge to the right edge of the center block and perhaps you can tell the difference too. The new block begins with a valley and the center block begins on the right side with a peak. These valleys and peaks, or ridges, are formed as a result of crocheting only into the back loop of the stitch instead of into both loops of the stitch.

Hmmm...what a quandary. Now I am wondering a few things about this mistake I have made.

  • Would anyone else besides me, and everyone who reads this post, even notice this mistake?
  • If I rip out this eighth row, should I reuse the yarn to begin the proper seventh row and if not, will I have enough yarn to finish the project?
  • Do I like the blanket as it is turning out, that is rectangular? Or would I prefer it to be square as the pattern calls for?
  • Will it make a difference in the overall look of the finished blanket if I finish it as it is now?
  • Will it bother me in the end that I noticed a mistake and didn't fix it?
These are all good questions to ask after discovering a mistake in a piece of work. In most projects, I would say definitely do what you can to repair your mistake so your work will be finished properly and will look just right. There is no sense in doing all that work and spending all that time to end up with a piece that isn't just right. However, in some kinds of projects, a little mistake can add to its charm or actually make it work out better in the end.

So to answer my questions, I would have to say:

  • I doubt that anyone else would even notice the mistake.
  • Since this project is crocheting and not something like needlepoint or embroidery, ripping out lots of stitches shouldn't do any damage to the yarn and it should be fine to reuse it, so I don't have to worry about running short on yarn to finish the project. Also since each row is worked with one continuous yarn instead of the yarn being cut after each block, I will not end up with several short pieces of yarn after ripping it out.
  • I do actually prefer rectangular baby blankets, but this blanket is not for me and will most likely end up being a gift for the next niece or nephew who has a first baby.
  • No, I don't think it will make a difference in the overall look of the piece, except to someone who is a very perceptive and detail oriented expert crocheter.
  • Yes, it would bother me to know that I finished a piece without fixing a mistake. Unless I decided I liked what the mistake brought to the finished piece.
I think that last answer is the key to what I should do next. Do I like what the mistake has brought to the piece? I haven't decided. I'll have to think about it some more and see how I feel about this. When next I show you the blanket, I will be working on the border so that's when you can find out what I decide to do about this dilemma.

What do you think?

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  • I had to laugh when I read this, because I can't follow a pattern without making a mistake. People don't usually notice, and often working with the mistake enhances and personalizes your project. Even though I rarely bother with patterns anymore, I still have "oops" moments, and then the creative brain kicks in! That's actually the fun part. The blanket looks very snuggly, by the way.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At September 17, 2008 at 2:25 PM  

  • I can see myself in your description, these are exactly the same questions and answers I have when I make a mistake in my work :D

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 28, 2010 at 7:24 PM  

  • When I was growing up and trying new things my mom always told me a mistake is like a signature, secret or not. It stuck and now I always opt to keep those slight oddities :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At March 8, 2011 at 11:01 PM  

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