When good crafts go wrong

We’ve all had them: projects that just don’t turn out the way they’re supposed to. Sometimes that can be a good thing, like when something turns out better than you expected.

And then there’s this:

A really big mess with extra long sleeves.

A really big mess with extra long sleeves.

It’s so big that it practically fell off when I tried it on. I nearly cried. All of that crocheting (and several skeins of expensive mohair blend yarn!) for what? The bottom of the sleeves were down by my knees – which may have had to do with the fact that the opening for the collar fell over both shoulders. (The photo shows it inside out. Thankfully I didn’t weave all the ends in – that might make disassembling it a little easier.)

I did everything right. I checked the gauge. Twice. Crocheted the pattern exactly as written. Carefully assembled it precisely as directed. Front. Back. Then sleeves. The first time I saw the sleeves next to the body I thought something was wrong, but I trusted the pattern.

It still turned out over-sized and out of proportion.

This would-be sweater is composed of floral motif squares in two sizes — one being 7.5″ square, the other slightly larger. The pattern doesn’t mention an exact size for the larger squares (which are used for the sleeves), but they weren’t much larger than the smaller squares. I blocked the main squares to the exact size. So what went wrong?

I’m still not sure. But if I can separate the squares I think the sweater might be spared. Mohair likes to cling to itself, so disassembling the monstrosity might be a challenge. If I am able to free the individual blocks I should be able to re-assemble it as a smaller size. Who knows, I might have enough blocks left for a second sweater. Maybe a third.

Have you ever had a good project that somehow went utterly wrong? Were  you able to salvage it? Did you turn it into something different? Or did you scrap the whole thing?

What have you leaned from some of your crafting mistakes?


About Paula Hendrickson

I'm a full-time freelance writer with an addiction to yarn, cooking and all kinds of crafty things. I come from a long line of creative and entrepreneurial types on both sides of the family, making creativity almost like competitive pursuit.

Posted on March 15, 2012, in crochet, failures, gauge, mistakes, motifs, Projects, re-do and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Everything I do on my loom at this time is a learning experience. I mean, come on, who thought scarves would be difficult? Particularly in a nothing-fancy plain weave. Up shed, down shed, up shed, down shed … I bought some beautiful veriegated cotton yarn ($22 per skein X 2 skeins), and used a solid cotton for the warp. When finished, it was like wrapping a rug around your neck (not soft, no drape). It’s too thick and short for a table runner and so about all I can do is fold it up nicely and put it on a shelf in my weaving corner. Since then I’ve made four more, and every one is a learning experience – BUT, I am learning! And enjoying every minute of it!

    • Paula Hendrickson

      Ouch! I’m not familiar with how weaving works, but can it be un-woven? Or does force of the loom lock the fabric up too tightly to pull it apart?

      Maybe one of these days you’ll figure out a way to use that piece. Decorative wall hanging, perhaps?

      I’m glad you’re having so much fun since you started weaving again, Deborah – joy is the best part of any kind of creative endeavor. Maybe one of these days you can give me a crash course in weaving!

  2. Another learning experience today. You CANNOT warp a loom with mohair … Started at 10:30. Fought it all the way up to the point where I was about to start weaving. Realized the folly of my ways. Had to cut it all off the loom. Oh well. Next project.

    • Paula Hendrickson

      Neither of us is having much luck with mohair these days!

      I hate it when yarn fights back. It gets all knotted up and thinks it’s won…until we bring out the scissors.

  3. I have a story on how a project went terribly wrong. Years ago I started to crochet a lace Christening gown in the hope that some day I will had a little girl to wear it. I probably had 30 to 40 hours in this project as at the time I was still learning to crochet and not that fast. Well my lovely (only sometimes) bulldog Rahja decided she was upset with us and while we were away, she raided my yarn stash. Yarn everywhere in our living room, pieces torn, balls of yarn unraveled. What a mess!!! Then I find it, the crochet christening gown I haven’t touched in years, partially chewed up and torn. I couldn’t help it, I was so made at her for making a mess and destroying some of my yarn, then to find this piece damaged, I started to sob….loudly!!! Oh and to put icing on the cake, she chewed up the pattern book to!!! There was no salvaging this piece, trust me I tried. Fast forward to a few weeks later, I found a copy of the pattern book and bought some more yarn (well actually its more like thread, its #10 cotton) Someday I will start it over again because its a beautiful piece but I am careful about putting my stash away and when we are not home, both dogs stay in their crate!!! Lesson learned people!!!

    • Paula Hendrickson

      No! How horrible. I hope your dog didn’t suffer any ill effects from eating too much yarn! I suppose the upside is that you’re a more experienced crocheter now, so the second attempt will go faster.

      I’ve noticed my dog and my frequent guest dogs are especially drawn to wool and alpaca fibers, but they usually just sniff.

      • Happy to say she did not suffer any ill effects and by the looks of the extend of the “debris field” she had a blast with my yarn!!! I was to upset to take a picture, I wish I had. Now I can almost laugh about it, almost. You are right, I have more experience and will be able to make that project faster and I know how to count my stitches and rows with ease to. Just need to finish a few projects before I start that one over…

      • Paula Hendrickson

        I’m glad she’s okay – and hope she learned a lesson (other than “Yarn’s fun to play with!”).

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