Last week I struggled and struggled in my first attempt to crochet a baby blanket for a little one who is due to arrive in mid-December. I must confess that normally I do not always take the time to pay as much attention to details as I should which means I do not always give things my best shot in my eagerness to complete a task and move on. Sigh... we all have our shortcomings and I am not the most patient individual who ever walked the planet.
This project though, was special. Even though I did not expect to produce a blanket comparable to someone who had years of experience, I wanted to produce something that was not only functional but looked nice as well. In other words, I did not want my blanket to look like a trapezoid or have the mother embarassed to let it be seen in public.
I spent three days stiching rows only to turn around and rip them out again. Something was not right. I carefully counted stitches, at least I thought I did and thought everything was fine for awhile. In fact, when I laidit out after about 15 rows, I even thought all was well... until I took out my tape measure and measured it. That was when the truth was revealed. The last row was a good threeinches wider than the first row. It was time to stop for I could not continue to do the same old same old if I hoped to get a different result. I had to stop what I was doing and look for the mistake. If I could not find the mistake, I would have no choice but to start over once again.
I had to begin again. Sigh...
Carefully I counted the number of chains and made my foundation chain. Over and over again it became apparent that something was wrong. Sometimes I thought I would see where I had made my error. Perhaps I had added or dropped a stitch, perhaps I had miscounted and I would recount things over and over again muttering, "That can't be right. I must not have counted correctly because it looks right." Pretty soon though, I would have to admit that it was not right and it would be back to the drawing board once again.
I was about to give up. This was too hard for me. I was tired of looking for mistakes. I was tired of working so dilegently only to have to rip out things again. I had practiced and practiced and practiced but it was no use. Perhaps I simply could not do it and that was that. There are a lot of people in my family who are good with their hands. I am not one of them. In fact, due to a defect, my hands are rather clumsy with short stumpy fingers that do not want to move independently. The result is that I have poor dexterity.
My desire to be successful was stronger than my desire to give up. I had to resolve that I no matter how many times I had to go back to the beginning, I was not going to give up. I was going to persevere until I got it right.
One morning, I ripped out all the rows inmy blanket for the last time although I didn't it would be for the last time. Carefully I counted 41 chains, turned my work and began to make 40 half double crochets. Suddenly I stopped. Wait a minute! I had assumed that I was dropping stitches in the rows I made after my foundation row or that I was not making the right number of chains in the beginning but could it be that the problem was my foundation chain? I thought I was properly doing a half double crochet stitch in each chain stitch but was I? Could it be that I was bypassing a link accidentally in the beginning.
I began my foundation chain once again, this time, I took it very slowly, scrutinizing my work very carefully. Wait a minute... stop... is that where that stitch goes? Whoops, I almost missed that link. Whew! Slowly and carefully I counted each stitch and then counted several times after I had finished it. I laid it down on a flat surface and eyed it critically. Then I got out my tape measure and noted the length.
I turned my work and counting carefully, I completed that row. I had the right number of stitches and when I measured the row, it was the same length as the foundation chain. I did another five rows, slowly and carefully counting during and after I had finished the row. I measured each row once again and the result was the same as the chain.
It took me all of the afternoon and evening to finish my blanket but when I did, the corners were straight and the sides were even. It did not look like a trapezoid. It looked like a blanket. My problem had not been rooted in the rows. My problem had been the foundation they were built upon.
We can be like my stitches, well-formed and looking good but if we are built on a poor foundation, the end result will not be good. Jesus illustrated this in his parable about the wise man who built his house on the rock and foolish man who built his house on the sand. The materials for the house might have been good. The design and the workmanship might have been excellent. It might have been a house anyone would have been proud to live in except for one thing, it was not built upon a solid foundation.
How's your foundation?
Reminds me of many hours I spent going over the assurances in Christ we have. I knew the preaching, teaching and what Paul said. Even what Jesus said but I needed it to fit together like your stitches in scripture.
Well done, we need to review our standing now and again. Though I fear that blanket would never be made by these hands. Ha, never started.
A great analogy, K!
I enjoyed reading this blog very much and admire your tenacity to work toward the technique required until the blanket was crocheted correctly. I'm not a crocheter, but I do embroidery from time to time so I well appreciate your insistence that your work reflect the beauty of having used the right technique. I believe that needlework is an "art" - and deserves exactly the degree of effort that you've put into it.
And as my long ago Hawaiian friend would say, "Good on you!"