Well, now... After the recent depressing string of events that have occurred, I've been looking forward to what's left of my lighthearted "Lost Crochet Files". But I have to admit that opening the files for the first project stopped me in my tracks - That's Mom's doily. I made her two of them for some candles she kept on the coffee table. So, it took me a while to get it back together and start this post. Other than that minor setback, finding these photos made me happy. We can all do a little happy dance and shake it off, because now that they've been found, I can use the pictures to recreate a pattern I was very proud of. Sooo....
Whoop! For all the times I've been reminded of the bad feeling of losing my projects, I finally got to something I actually needed. Now I can be not-so-mad about the dog-eaten notebook... Okay, I'm still and always will be mad, but this helps. Let me introduce you to what was going to be my first-ever free crochet pattern on the blog:
Mom got her doilies, and my notebook got destroyed. I probably could have asked for one of them back to copy the stitches, but I didn't want to do that. I thought I could recreate it by memory, and I wanted some doilies for myself. I started recalling the details to make a set in colors matching my decor. The biggest thing that stood out in my mind was the round of butterfly stitches in a second color:
I remembered that the center was started with a large hole, to save a bit of yarn since it's under a large jar candle anyways. Mine were also going to be under candles, so I would copy the same idea. Honestly though, it's only a ten-inch doily... I don't know why I was worried about saving yarn. But hey, save it if you can, right?
I chose my colors and got to work. In no time at all, I had my doilies finished and a new pattern written. I was satisfied with how they looked, and company complemented them when I had them on display. Confident that my pattern was special enough, I published it on the blog. But after finding the pictures of the original doily, I think I could have done better. Comparing the two makes me wonder if my crochet skills went on a crack-smoking binge that day...
I do enjoy the second design of my doilies; it goes well with the spiderweb, skull, and dragon-filled theme of my decor. But, like my cheap furniture, it looks flimsy compared to the first design. I rushed to recapture what I had originally taken time to create, and it shows. It's still a good pattern. It's just not the same.
And, since most of the "Lost Crochet Files" have followed a theme, I have one more that fits in with these round doilies. It's also another "fail". No, not the design - that was good - The purpose of this pattern was a fail. Back then, this beginner-designer had an "awesome" idea for a set of hot pads with a baking theme... Cool, right? Sure it is! And I went through all the work of creating this so-cool cherry pie hot pad, the first design of the series... In acrylic yarn.
(That bit of yarn in the middle is just holding the pieces together while I join them; it's not part of the design.) The pattern itself would have made a cute doily, or maybe a dishcloth... It would even make a great hot pad, if made in cotton! Thankfully, I didn't find out my mistake in the "ouch, there goes dinner" kind of way. I actually found out about a week after finishing it, when I tried to iron another acrylic project. I couldn't get it to block out to the right shape, so I thought I would iron it.
Right. I've learned some things the hard way. I keep saying that throughout this series. I'm not a beginner-designer anymore, but I do still learn things the hard way. I think I always will. I learned that scraping melted acrylic off an iron can be a great workout for your triceps, and that if it won't block out, you're not going to iron it out, either. I'm just glad that I can look back and laugh, and I don't have any major burn scars from hot pad disasters.
I even learned that not everything is a disaster. After finding the photos to compare projects, I actually considered pulling the pattern for my Butterfly Stitch Doily. The project could be made better, the pattern could be written better... And surely the photos could be better. But then I checked the stats on the page to find people are still viewing it regularly. Not a lot of people - about 50 a month - but there's views there. It's not bots or crawlers or any of that fake-traffic stuff that I barely understand, but real people that are viewing it for more than ten minutes at a time. I liked it before I compared it to Mom's doily. I guess I'm not the only one.
The lesson: Don't ever be discouraged just because somebody else doesn't like your work. And maybe you shouldn't be discouraged when you're the one who isn't pleased with a project. Somebody out there likes it. Where you see holes, somebody else sees beautiful lace. When you think flimsy, someone else thinks delicate. Everyone has different tastes, and what you don't like will please somebody out there. And if in the end, you can't find one single person who enjoys what you've made, then you can count it as a learning experience. Like learning why not to iron that acrylic yarn, sometimes learning can be painful or messy. But hopefully, there will be a minimal amount of scarring and scraping, and you can call yourself more experienced when it's over.
Interested in more doily patterns? Check out two of my most popular: