I knew from the pattern pictures and the diagram on the bottom of the page, that there was an intimidating round of sweet little flowers coming up, but how bad could it be? As I was making my first flower, twisting and turning my project so that I could get the correct stitch placement, my first thought was, "you are kidding, right"! Each flower consists of 35 chains, 28 single crochets, and 8 slip stitches for a total of 71 stitches, not counting the 13 single crochets separating each flower. On about the 5th flower, I timed myself to see how long it took me to complete one flower. The time was five minutes and the round (are you sitting down) consists of 61 flowers. That means that this one round has a total of 5,124 stitches and is going to take me about 5 hours! Even if I get my time down to 3 or 4 minutes per flower, which by about the 30th flower I would like to think that I would be quite a bit faster, that's still 3 to 4 hours. That's just for one round on a teeny tiny dress that would fit a newborn.
After a moment or two of panic, I thought about all the wonderful things that my friend had done for me over the years and I got to work. It wasn't that bad at all. I crocheted for a bit...I did some housework...I crocheted for a bit more and so on....by late evening I was well on my way to completing the round. With only 8 flowers left to make I did a quick count of the remaining loops from the previous round and there was one chain 7 loop too many. I must have counted wrong so I recounted. I recounted again, and slowly I came to the realization that I had made a mistake...sad days...
If you play with string you are going to run into tangles and if you crochet enough you are going to run into mistakes. That's just part of the deal. Now, the question was, how bad was the mistake? Much to my dread I found the error just after the 18th flower which would mean ripping out 35 flowers in order to make the needed correction.
I think that our tendency with crocheting is to try and ignore any mistakes and move on, but we need to keep in mind that every new stitch is another stitch away from making any corrections. Whenever I find myself in this position there is a series of questions that I ask myself. How bad is the mistake? How much do I have to tear out? Is it a mistake that only I would find or is it a mistake that someone who doesn't crochet could find? How much is the mistake going to bother me?
Since I wanted to make something really special for my friend and because this was a noticeable mistake I decided to tear it out. I had already put a lot of hours into the dress and difference between not feeling overly great about my finished project and feeling proud of my hard work was really only a few hours. What's a few more hours of crocheting? There are worse things in life.
I ripped out my work last night and right away I got into making a few more flowers. This morning while I was enjoying my coffee I crocheted a bit more and already I am over half way around.
I would love to hear from others about that row/round that you thought that you would never get through.