Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What's Happening Wednesday

This week I have a finished project to share with you. (I actually finished 2 projects this week, but one of them cannot be shared until the gift recipient receives it.)

As I posted earlier in the month (See my blog entry HERE) I have been participating in my first mystery stitch along. This one was sponsored by Bernat yarn and JoAnn's Fabric and Craft Stores. Each Monday in the month of October they have posted "clues" to a finished blanket. They offered patterns for both a knitted and a crocheted one. I did the crocheted one.

With this week's clue in hand, I sat down to complete the blanket and was very pleased with the final result.

Now to reflect on the experience....

There are several aspects I need to consider when talking about this project.

1) Yarn Selection- This was my very first time working with the Bernat blanket yarn and I discovered that I really like it! Bernat offers a wide variety of colors: brights, typical crayon box colors, pastels, and variegated blends. It is very easy to mix and match and put together unique combinations that turn out to be beautiful together.

I was a bit concerned that the blanket would be bulky and cumbersome, but it wasn't.  While the yarn is nice and thick it does not create a weighty blanket. The finished project is just thick enough and warm enough to be comfortable. I am sure that my blanket would be enjoyed by some young girl or teenager, especially one who is like me and stays cold in the winter months.

2) The Mystery Aspect- As I mentioned in my earlier post, I am a self-proclaimed control freak. I carefully plan out every aspect of my projects from color to yarn selection to stitch count. Because of this, I found this Crochet Along to be a bit of a challenge. Weeks one and two were fine, but at the end of week three my stitch count was off and I was a bit discontented with the order in which I had used my colors.

Nearly as soon as I finished week three's "clue" however, I went online and discovered that many other ladies had also finished the third week's stitching and they, like me, had an incorrect stitch count. It did not take very long for Bernat to jump on top of things and realize that their original pattern, as posted, was incorrect. They prepared a corrected version and posted it.

After looking at the new instructions and counting my stitches (twice) I discovered that I was now only 2 stitches off and I could easily correct that as I worked week four's "clue". WHEW! Tragedy averted!

3) Overall Experience- Looking back on my experience with this Crochet Along I have to say that I am pleased with it. I debated and debated whether to purchase my yarn weeks ago. (After all, I had plenty of other things in the works. I truly did not need another project on my plate.) I typically jump into a project only when there has been a customer request or I have a purpose or recipient in mind for the finished project. I could not "pre-plan" this time, so I truly do not know what I will do with the finished blanket, even now. It may end up under a Christmas tree. It may end up as an item in an upcoming Christmas craft sale. Whatever happens to this finished blanket, I am glad that I participated and did this.

It required me to stretch myself and turn over a bit of control to someone else. Letting go of the reins actually helped me come to a realization. I have learned that crafting is not always meant to be a controlled process. Yes, there are typically patterns that are used, but it is nice every once in a while to allow those little "friendly accidents" to instill more character and personality in the finished product. I may not have exactly the number of stitches that the pattern says. My finished blanket may be smaller than the measurements posted on Bernat. BUT..... I have a brightly colored, warm, beautiful blanket that someone will love!

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