Alternate title for this post: Crazy Doesn't Begin to Describe Me.
Oh, what have I gone and done now? I should start by explaining that although my state of "mental breakdown" over this project is more satire than serious... It is a fact that I'm questioning my sanity after beginning another (right, ANOTHER) one of my "giant plarn" projects. And before we move on to the actual subject, I'd like to provide the link to the last giant plarn project that still isn't finished:
I mean, I can't even get my camera settings right... I took half a dozen pictures of my new pile of giant plarn while trying to figure out why the photos are so dark. Uh, maybe it's because the photo is in black and white? I can't remember to turn off a monochrome filter, what business do I have starting another giant plarn project when I already have one on the hook?
So there's all that, plus more: This project was supposed to be oval shaped. To achieve this shape, I used 14 stitches in the beginning round. This number was fine until somewhere around the tenth round, when too many stitches started causing ripples.
My genius brain decided to fix this problem by cutting the number of increases in half, so... Seven. Seven increases per round to achieve a symmetrical shape. I realized my mistake when the project became not-an-oval. Then big-brain kicked in again to fix this problem by alternating the places where I was making the increases... I swear I'm not an amateur, but this project is no help at proving it!
Anyway, none of that really matters as much as the mistakes yet to come. This WIP is going to be a cat bed, and I'm hoping the cat won't mind that I managed to work the ripples out by fudging the oval into a circle after working back up to an even stitch count. What's more important to me is not having to frog a project that has 15 bags in each round.
I'm cutting and joining the material using the loop method (video tutorial here) and I don't want to rip back all those stitches with all those little knots in between them! Fifteen bags in one round. At least I've found a trick that's helping save my hands from the friction of the plarn...
A pair of lightweight gloves makes this job slightly easier. Within the first few rounds I was developing a sore spot that would have become a blister on my thumb. The gloves also catch the bit of ink that wears off of the bags instead of having to wash my hands every time I put the project down. So there's one positive thing that came out of this disaster!
Now, let's get back to all the stuff I'm messing up: I want the sides of the cat bed to be fairly stiff, which I thought I could naturally achieve with the thick-cut plarn. Once I reached the desired size I began working even, but the edge didn't curl tightly enough because there were still a few too many stitches all around. That's when I did this:
What is this thing that I've done? Well, I've crocheted one row over another. What is that called? I have no freaking clue. Again, my brain seems to have gone on vacation. (Can I go too?) My memory wants to call this the "roll stitch" but I also know darn well that's another name for the bullion stitch. There's a name for this! I swear I'm quite experienced at crochet...
Perhaps I should just stop trying to convince anyone that I know what I'm doing. My row-over-row crochet work did nothing to help stiffen the sides. Instead, the sides seem to be too bulky and don't hold themselves up at all. I should be gaining vertical sides now that I'm working even, but it still seems to be growing outward...
I can keep track of the number of bags in a round because I'm following a color pattern as I join the bags. Each round for the sides uses 15 bags. And now I'm crocheting a row over a row, so it's taking twice as many bags to create the sides.
Twice as thick, yet the sides still fall. Instead of doing the smart thing and frogging back a few rounds, I threw a few decreases in there and kept powering through the now twice-as-hard project. Can ya'll please give me a call if you happen to see my brain wandering around somewhere?
The sides finally took shape with those decreases, if you can really call it "shape"... A better description might be "how much were you drinking when you made this?" but I'm leaving it just as it is. It's for a cat... Do you think the cat will care if the bed is perfectly round?
This is the worst-looking thing I've made in a while, but for once it doesn't matter if I've made a few mistakes. I would say I hope the cat will be happy, but there's me not thinking again... You can't make this cat happy. She's old and grumpy, which is why I thought she'd like a nice squishy bed, but the only thing that makes this cat happy is taking what you didn't give her... Oh, wow, it just took writing an entire blog post to realize: I'm just wasting my time anyway, aren't I?