Have you ever felt frustrated with a project? Or not satisfied with the result of hours of work? The mermaid tail which I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks is causing me a headache! The pattern, which is free and really well backed up with videos, has fallen out with me. I had 600g of yarn, and realised after using 400g that I was in a game of yarn chicken. You see, the pattern it’s worked from the top down to the bottom, where it decreases and joins.
I measured what I’d done against my 5 years old as his cousin is the same age. It came to his ankles so I began the decreases, knowing I still had the tail to make. I’d estimated how many rows I could work with the yarn I had left, including making the fin. What I failed to take into account was that the decrease rounds (the clue is in the name) had less stitches and therefore used less yarn. My panic was unnecessary as I finished the body and the fin. I then persuaded my son to try it on again. (Bribery was needed this time, he wasn’t impressed with the girliness!)
It was too short. Not by a little bit, but by a lot. I also had ‘quite a lot’ of yarn left. So now I had a ‘finished’ project that wasn’t finished, and half of a ball of yarn that wasn’t enough to make anything else with. I’d followed the pattern carefully, but perhaps my hook size was different or my gauge was out compared to theirs. I can’t fault the pattern, which is by Yarnutopia.
Now was the time to let my inner perfectionist have a battle with my practical mind. I had three choices.
1) I could have frogged it but it was ‘done’, and there was no way I was going to give all that work up; it wasn’t that bad.
2) The first row of the top was treble crochets, before the shells were worked. I could add more shells to the top of the ban, thpugh they would mirror the rest of the shells rather than going in the same direction.
3) Do the same as in step 2 but with a different stitch to avoid the mirrored shells looking odd.
In the end I went for option 2 as I couldn’t think of another stitch with the same count. I used the other shells as a guide for the first row so that they matched perfectly. I then mirrored the shells and used the same pattern until I ran out of yarn. Simple!
I was worried initially that it would look ridiculous with shells going in both directions. Then I decided that, since it was done neatly and mirrored the others, my niece would probably not notice (or care!) Also, it helped to fix the problem, I no longer had ‘spare’ yarn and it had a shell top rather than a straight one.
It was a tricky one at the time, but I’m choosing to see it as an adaptation to the pattern rather than a total failure!
Have you ever modified a pattern? Was it through necessity or choice? What did you do?
Proudly linking up with Wool on Sundays with Janine at Rainbow Hare.