Baby Afghan – Reverse Single Crochet Border

The first project I started working on for my nephew was gender-neutral. My brother and sister-in-law hadn’t found out yet that he would be a boy, and I didn’t want to wait to get started crocheting. I looked over some free patterns online, and saw this adorable star blanket. star blanket

Adjustments to fix some problems

Pattern was wrong

– It’s entirely possible that I read the pattern wrong, especially since I taught myself to read patterns. Whatever the case may be, I had to do some revising. My problem really started to show around Round 5, but it started earlier. I think there may be a problem with where the asterisks are. As I worked the blanket, my seam was located along the line of “skip two dc” but when I followed the asterisks, I was adding extra stitches with each round. After restarting a few times, I got a star shape and kept going. My fix to the pattern was, essentially, to slip stitch into the dc on the far side of skipping 2 stitches.

Awkward seam

– I wasn’t happy with how my seam looked after about half a skein of yarn. It looked like there were too many holes in the blanket. I stopped where I was, made another the same way, and that’s how I got my bonus pillow. Then I started a third time, with the fix to the pattern and an adjustment to the seam. Instead of counting my ch 3 as the first double crochet, I would chain only 2 then dc in the same stitch. When it came time to join the round with a sl st, I ignored my ch 2 and slip stitched into the first actual dc. It made it easier, and the seam less noticeable.

Cheap yarn

– I’ve almost always used Caron Simply Soft yarn. It’s soft, it comes in almost any color, and I used to be able to find it anywhere. However, Hobby Lobby seems to have stopped supplying it. I didn’t want to go to another store since I was already at Hobby Lobby, so I bought the closest they had–Yarn Bee Soft Secret. I was unimpressed. It’s nice and soft like Simply Soft, the yarn had many knots, weak spots, loose strands, and thick spots throughout each of my 3 or 4 skeins I used on the pillow and blanket. It was very frustrating to work with. I kept telling myself it was just a bad dye lot, but I had the same problems with two skeins of red yarn a few months later. Next time I will definitely make the trip to a different store to get my tried and true Simply Soft!

Curling edges

– The edges of my blanket were curling pretty badly. I don’t know if I had tension issues, or if I’m used to working a blanket back and forth instead of in the round, or what the problem was. I decided to do a reverse single crochet border. This gives a sort of corded effect, and since you’re reversing the direction you’re working, it pulls out curling edges a bit.

Bonus Pillowstar pillow

– Like I said, I ended up with a bonus pillow out of this pattern. I bought some yellow flannel the same color as my yarn, and traced one of my star pieces on it. I cut out the fabric about an inch bigger all the way around for a seam allowance. Then I sewed my fabric, turned it right side out, stuffed it, and started sewing the two crocheted pieces around it. I just used a yarn needle to whip stitch it.

Lessons Learned

Downloading a pattern online, even one that’s from a reputable company, doesn’t always give you the results you want. Either through pattern error or user error, you should pay attention to where your project is going as you crochet. Fixing problems early is the best way to save a project.

Don’t start a huge project with untested yarn. At the very least, try out a hat or something with it first to make sure it’s going to work for you.

And finally, try to turn your mistakes into something you still like. No one has to know you screwed up unless you tell them!

What’s next?

I’ve been working on learning cross stitch! I’ll share some of my attempts with you!

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