You might even be familiar with this particular pattern, it's called 'Drop in the Pond'. The pattern is for a lapghan (smaller then an afghan) and there is a video tutorial too, which is step-by-step and has some handy hints.
This crochet project started out really well. I realised the pattern was going to cover a much smaller area then what I wanted and it wasn't long before I deviated from the original pattern.
Crochet Pattern Deviation 1
The first deviation was actually in how I made the granny square and that's just because I'm so used to doing them one way that I had the first square finished before I realised my mistake, I decided to just go with it.
The pattern calls for 3dc, ch1, 3dc and in the corners ch2 between the corner shells.
Instead I skipped the ch1 in between shells (3dc=1 shell) and for the corners I ch3 instead of just the 2.
How the first deviation effects the pattern.The top corners of each shell get a little covered by the base of the shell of the next row making a less visually pleasing finish, but a tighter finish (or less holey finish) which makes for a warmer afghan. Neither has an effect on how well the pattern works.
Additional Droplet Sections - Crochet Pattern Deviation 2
The second deviation was that I made five sets of the granny squares (droplets) and chevrons (ripples).
I worked them with more and less chevrons on each side; I'm not sure how to explain this in words so I'll show you how I worked them using 'O' for the granny square and '>' & '<' as the chevrons.
I planned to join all the droplet sections up into one big centre section with the granny squares forming a nice diagonal row as shown.
Joining The Droplet Crochet Sections - Crochet Pattern Deviation 3
When it came to joining the droplet sections things started to get interesting.
First I tried the 'join as you go' method which would provide a nice clear separation between the section colours.
Edging the droplet sectionsWhen it became clear this joining method wasn't going to work I realised I would need to edge each section to provide that separation between the sections. I edged all five sections in the dark blue using the first row of the side row patterns from the drop in the pond pattern.
Selecting the right crochet joining methodThen I trialled both the zipper join and my plaited join.
Both joins refused to behave nicely even when trying to compensate with adding extra stitches (plait) or picking up extra stitches (zipper).
I finally settled on the the braid join which gave the flattest finish. I joined all of the sections
|Can you see the raised bit that won't sit flat?|
It was at this stage that I realised that the afghan was not going to sit flat after all. The wobbly finish was annoying me but I continued on anyway because I'm supposed to be practising embracing imperfection.
|How about here? Can you see it now? Every point refuses to play nice and lay flat.|
The Cause Of The WobblesI knew what was causing the wobbly problem and I knew how to fix it too. Every point - or convex corner - had 3 extra stitches to it's corresponding ditch - or concave corner - and extra stitches were causing the wobbles because there was just no room for them in the join. They would all bunch up and create those lumpy wobbles.
Fixing The WobblesTo fix the wobbles I would have to undo all of the joins and all of the edging rows in blue and redo those edges without those 3 extra stitches at the points.
How the second and third deviation effects the pattern.My change to the construction of the afghan also resulted in these extra shells at the ends of the rows.
|Do you see the extra shells?|
|See those 3 pesky shells?|
I pondered figuring out some sort of solution that didn't require undoing all of that work, but in the end I decided I just couldn't live with both problems. Fixing the wobbles would also allow me to use the zipper join I so wanted to try (at least in theory).
So I frogged the joins and the edging rows,
How to stop these extra shells from happening
Don't start the edging row at the spot between the chevron point and it's corner like the pattern says, instead begin the row in the corner.
To finish the edging row it should be stopped at the spot in-between corner and point as per the pattern. Do this on every edge working from right to left and it works out perfectly.
This was not the end of the grief this particular afghan gave me. Stay tuned for part 2.