Mar 7, 2016

Margaritomancy Monday

margaritomancy ~ divination using pearls

I have a very good reason for being late with this post today. Honest!

I was sitting here last night, crocheting, and as it grew later I did think I should get to work on today's blog post, but at the same time I didn't want to stop what I was doing.

Okay, maybe I should start from the beginning.

First of all, I hate just sitting watching TV. It makes me antsy. But there are a lot of good shows on, mostly just Monday, Tuesday, and Friday nights - the rest of the week is pretty sad and pathetic. But I digress. Sometimes I'll have the lap top open to write a letter or catch up on my emails, but mostly I just play solitaire, Text Twist, or some other mindless games. And before you even say it, there's no point in trying to write when one of my shows is on because it takes too much concentration.

So I have come up with what I call my TV crafts, namely embroidery, knitting, and crochet. Once upon a time I used to do baby quilts - nothing fancy, just embroidering every other block with some sort of baby animal scene, then sew them all together and either machine quilt them along the seams or just tie them. But then people started having babies faster than I could embroider and I switched to knitting.

The problem with knitting is that, unlike embroidery, it requires a bit more attention than I'd like. It's okay during the boring parts of a show or during the commercials, but during the action parts it's all too easy to drop a stitch or lose my place in the pattern. Which is why I haven't gone back to work on the navy blue cardigan I started knitting myself a couple of years ago. It's going to be beautiful ... some day.

Now while some crochet patterns require a lot of attention, at least I don't have to worry about dropping a stitch, like I do with knitting. And with crochet I like to work on big projects, like afghans and throws.

So. When I decided to stop wasting my TV time on mindless games, the first thing that came to mind was crochet. I have a small stash of yarn left over from various projects and I figured I could start a scrap afghan. You know, just granny squares of all these different colours and then join them together. You should know by now that nothing is ever so simple as that for me, right?

I had two big balls of variegated pastel colours - white, pink, blue, mauve, green, and yellow. I think I'd originally bought them for a baby blanket, but I decided to use that as my base colour and match up the other colours to it. This worked with the first colour - mauve. I had enough for seven 10 inch squares and then ran out. And looking through my stash I was chagrinned to realize I had nothing else that went with the variegated. I checked my leftover stash and I checked my big stash - nothing.

Now I could have just put a wide border around six of the squares and sewn them together for a crib blanket (which I didn't even think about until now), but what I did was go to Walmart and found a pale blue that worked. Seven blue squares later (I decided that I'd do seven squares of each colour to match up with the mauve) I had to go out of town to the nearest Michael's where I found pink, yellow, and green.

Fast forward to me finishing all 35 squares and then I started joining them together - five rows of seven squares each, made easier by the fact I was smart enough to weave in the ends of each square as I finished. Now the squares themselves were patterned thusly: two rows of variegated, one of colour, two variegated, one colour, two variegated, and ending with one colour. This made the logical choice for joining them the granny stitch because it carried on the pattern of two rows of variegated between each square.

Joining the squares into rows was easy. But the problem with the granny stitch for joining the rows is to make sure everything lines up right. I'd granny stitch my way down to the corner where four squares meet, go a couple stitches further, check my work, and invariably discover that the four rows did not meet in a nice, clean square. They'd be off kilter. So I'd rip it out and try again. And again, and again, and again. I probably re-did it enough times to make a couple extra afghans before I was done.

And yeah, in the great scheme of things no one but me would notice it's a little off, but if a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing right. Right? And besides, it had gone from being a scrap blanket to being a blanket for the grandbaby when she comes for a sleepover. You know, when she's old enough. In a couple of years time. ;-)

Anyway, I finally got the hang of getting the rows to line up properly and I was close enough to being finished last night that I didn't want to stop for fear of having to go through the frustration of trying to figure it out again. So instead of stopping to write this post, I kept on crocheting thinking that during this week's TV time I'll only have to worry about the border. Easy peasy.

Except ... when I spread out the afghan, thinking to take a picture for this post, I couldn't help but notice the first two rows were - you guessed it - off kilter. *sigh*

Did I really think the granny stitch join was easier?

Silly me!

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