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Crocheting a Chullo. Still. Or am I?

Well.

I'm still crocheting the Modern Chullo pattern from Hats & Scarves.  Maybe a more truthful thing to say is "I haven't unraveled my project for the Modern Chullo pattern lately because I'm letting it rest."

It's not the hat.  It's me.  

Well, let's back up. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was working on the Modern Chullo pattern and all was well.  The increases were great, the gauge was good, and my colors looked fantastic.

Carrying my yarn in the back for whole rows was going fine and I really liked how this was going. Until I didn't.

You see these yarns?

The black yarn is your run-of-the-mill, regular ol' Red Heart worsted weight yarn.  So is the gray yarn.  The blue yarn is some little scraps of what I am guessing is Lion Bran Wool-Ease that I found in a bag of destashed yarn from a friend.  It's all Category 4, worsted weight yarn and I was just using a little bit of the blue.  I figured it wouldn't be that big of a difference and the stripey portion should be fine, right?

WRONG.  Of course.

I didn't think to take a picture of the wrongness, but the best way I can describe the problem with using the very squishy blue yarn with the much stiffer gray yarn was that it looked like the blue stripes were being eaten by the rest of the hat.  They were inconsequential blips just marring up some crocheted fabric.

That time, the problem wasn't so much me as it was the yarn I picked out.  You could say that was an error in my judgement, but then I would tune you out and never speak to you again.

Either way, the end result was truly pitiful and I ripped it all out without documenting my failure.   Well, I ripped back to the first two rows of gray.  And then I used some red Red Heart yarn.  After all, the model in the book looked great with red strips against the gray background and using the very same yarn in different colors should solve all of my problems.  Right?

WRONG.  Again.

This time, it was all user error.

And I have no idea how it happened!  I was watching what I was doing!  I was awake and properly caffeinated, and with fewer distractions than I normally have!  When I was crocheting, the rows looked fine.  I crocheted two rows of gray after the colorwork, and was nearly finished with the whole body of the hat when really stopped to look at this mess.

It's wrong.  It's spectacularly wrong.

And here's where I began and ended some rows incorrectly as well.

Sorry if the craft fail seems gratuitous at this point.  Hide your pets and children.  Tender eyeballs should not gaze upon this monstrosity.  I'm not that fond of looking at it, either. 

Which is why I have sitting in a hidden timeout.  I think this is an adorable pattern and I really do want this hat for myself.  But I feel a little like I'm going crazy with this project.  I'm trying to figure out if I want to start the whole thing over in just one color, or if I want to try to read a chart and work with color and pay really, really close attention to every stitch and hope that the third time's the charm.

I think I'm going to let this settle a bit longer while I think on it.  I hope you're much happier with your WIPs this week!

(And if you're not, then I feel your pain.  I really feel you.  Yikes.)

34 thoughts on “Crocheting a Chullo. Still. Or am I?”

  • Connie Morrisroe

    I really do feel your pain. Last week I was working on a pair of lacy mitts, and I had to frog it four or five times (using two different yarns, one of them the exact same yarn as in the pattern) trying to match gauge. Usually I crochet a bit tighter than most people and have to go up a hook size, but even after going DOWN two hook sizes, it was still humongous. I gave up and moved on to a pattern that worked ;)

    Reply
  • Linda

    Been there, done that. It's amazing to me how many projects I can start and then for some reason I quit working on them. After crocheting for 40 yrs you would think I would know that if I lose interest in a project it might as well be ripped out immediately because there is something wrong with it and it won't get finished properly. Instead I let it sit for months..... :)

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    • Neesie Davis

      Same here! Which is why I have a million little bags of half done projects and I wonder where all my hooks went to! :o)

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    • S. B. Helm

      I, too, have a gazillion bags with UFOs. But at least I've solved the problem of "where are my hooks?" I bought a bag of those plastic beads that have letters on them. I put one on a safety pin type stitch marker, choosing the letter that matches the hook size. And that gets pinned to the working loop of the UFO. Of course, this lets me start even more projects that may never get finished. Some have been waiting for over a year.

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    • Karen L.

      S. B. Helm, What a wonderful idea you came up with for marking the hook size to a UFO without having to leave the hook with the project! I will be purchasing some of those letter beads next time I am in the store for sure. No more hunting for those wayward hooks. Thanks for posting this idea.

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    • Jen

      The bead idea is fantastic! I don't know what the fix is for letting something sit around, though. I, too, leave things in bags to ....um, rest?

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    • April Schilpp

      LOVE the bead idea! Went and bought a couple of hooks and then found the same size in a project I had forgotten about...

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  • Shellie DeYoung Dunn

    Ah, the joys of crocheting! I have just written a blog about the very same frustration, but mine wasn't colorwork, it was the pattern itself. I tore down an afghan 5 times before the light finally went on. Sometimes the best thing is to step away, let the brain unravel the problem in the background and then, when the light goes on, pick up the work and start again.

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  • Catherine A. McClarey

    The first time I tried to crochet mitts, I think I must have frogged back at least 4 times (using some very pretty - but VERY hard to unravel - Louisa Harding Millais yarn) before I found a pattern which didn't work up ginormous when worked as written. And then just last month I repurposed 16 10"x10" granny squares for a Project Linus afghan into 3 different projects, because the worked-1-at-a-time squares were just too mismatched in colors to work together, even if bordered all in the same color. So I feel your pain!

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    • Jen

      Oh bless your heart. I'm glad you found a pattern you liked, and I'm really wondering what is up with crochet mitt patterns after reading some of these comments!

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  • Kristina

    Oh, don't we all have some wonderful failure stories! I crocheted a basketweave throw, don't remember the yarn I used but it's perfect for a basketweave throw. The problem is, I'd bought the last 6 or 7 skeins of this yarn at a store that was closing up its storefront thinking it would be just right for the small throw I wanted to make and, not having done this stitch before, it used up my yarn much more quickly than I'd expected and the fabric it made was more dense than I wanted. So it ended up being too small without much drape. And of course I didn't come to this realization until I was on my last skein. But easy fix, right? Just take it out and start over with a BIG hook. Bought the hook, started unraveling, realized the yarn was now very curly, started steaming it over a teapot spout as I unraveled, ran out of things to watch on TV as I unraveled, and put what was left in the basket in which I was collecting the balls of yarn I was making as I unraveled. Now I've gotten so used to the look of the basket on my mantle, I realize I'd have to come up with something else to decorate the space if I take it up again. Someday I'll have the lovely basketweave throw I'd once envisioned.

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    • Jen

      Oh my goodness, I was reading through thinking "Where is she going with all of this" and then I just got so tickled at your beautiful basket of mantle yarn! I'm cracking up! I hope you do get your basketweave throw someday.

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  • BeMedina

    Well, I like your "wrong" chulo. Most genuine chulos have lots of mistakes on them - they give them character.

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    • Jen

      Ah man, I didn't even THINK about trying to pass the mistake off as extra character! That's one of my favorite perspectives on crafting, too. Thanks for the kind words.

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  • Jen Howe

    I was sitting next to my dad crocheting one day and ripping out a piece. He asked why I was taking so much out. I told him I made a mistake and had to fix it. He asked where it was and I showed him. Bless his soul he said to me that you know only you would see that or think that was a mistake. I looked at him funny and he explained the people who do not crochet or knit would not see any mistakes because they do not notice thing like that. Only you who do these beautiful things do because you are the creators. Geez I miss that man, he always made me feel so good about my work. Jenny.............

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    • Jen

      My husband suggested I give this to his little brother as a belated Christmas present because it looked like his style and he'd never notice the mistakes. That's a lovely story about your dad--thanks for sharing it!

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  • Deborah Bryant

    Oh My Goodness...so glad to have run across this blog confession...I AM NOT ALONE!! I too have what you refer to as UFOs...like over 25 years worth of little, medium, large and somewhere in between. ( may take shape at a later date) cast aside for one reason or another. I am SO very grateful to discover that I am a 'normal' crocheter. Now ...to convince the rest of the family! Oh, and S.B. Helm...Awesome idea with the letter beads...I have always enjoyed finding a hook I had forgotten I had, but I have also given hook companies way too much of my hard earned money over the years and I am most definitely going to switch to your very practical idea! Thank You!!

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    • Jen

      I was about to feel relieved that at least none of my UFOs were 25 years old, but then I remembered I've only been crocheting for 21 years. And there are some granny squares I'm apparently going to hang on to forever because I never know when I might need them! I could totally fall in love with peach and burgundy (together) again! (No, I won't.) It would appear that we ALL have this problem!

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  • Kimberly Samuel

    Jen, Your hat is cute. I would use the oops to designate the back from the front, you know like a tag. :)

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  • bebe hammond

    I have you all beat. I started an afghan for my husband before we were married (38 years ago) and have it almost finished (the edging). But never finished it because I wanted to crochet letters on it, and don't know how. So I keep dragging it, in its big ole bag, every time we move, over 12 times. But I can't seem to get rid of it. It keeps my closet warm :).

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  • Cynthia Bishop

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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  • Cynthia Bishop

    What a funny story. Now I don't feel so bad. I was working on a set of lowly dish cloths. Thought what a good idea to learn some new stitches. So I bought the book from Leisure Arts "Dishcloths, 12 Crochet Designs" and have never been so frustrated in my life. These are the hardest and most poorly written instructions I have ever tried. Ended up throwing the book down and ripping out my 3rd attempt. Sorry Leisure Arts! Thanks for a cute story.ReplyDelete

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    • Jen

      I don't know if I've tried that book but I have noticed that a crochet dishcloth pattern is either really great, or the absolute worst pile of word salad ever. There's no in between! Better luck next time, and thanks for the kind words. And never feel bad about your projects not working out--you're apparently in very, VERY good company!

      Reply
  • waiting4you

    I stumbled onto this blog and as I was reading I felt like I was looking into a mirror and telling my frustrations with my projects. The idea of using beads should be submitted by S.B. Helm to various crochet magazines. Some of them give a year's free subscription for great ideas like this.After 40+ years of crocheting, I am not familiar with the term "frog/frogging". Could someone enlighten me as to what this means, please?To my fellow "hookers" out there, keep making those beautiful projects with the "tie (yarn) that binds us".P.S. As an afterthought, crocheting is extremely therapeutic so all our UFOs could be considered therapy sessions we didn't complete. Does anyone have a suggestion of how to label UFOs and the patterns they were started from?

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    • Jen

      I create project pages for most of my projects on Ravelry. That way I can remember what yarn I was using, size hook or needles, where the pattern came from, etc. If it's not in their database, I usually wind up shoving the project into a sack somewhere with a few notes on a piece of paper--and the pattern if it's not in a book. I always try to make a note of what hook or needle I was using! Or....I just find a blog post about it.

      Reply
  • Andi Sparks

    Frogging is a funny term that we use because we "rip it, rip it, rip it" when we are unraveling to go back and fix a mistake or any other reason. As for the beads, I also agree, fabulous idea! I also use paper tie-on tags to label my UFOs with pattern, maybe magazine issue or what have you, as well as hook size. I have been known to use stick on labels on the outside of bags, too. But now that we have such inexpensive scanner/printer/copier set ups at home, I have started making a copy or printing the downloadable pattern and putting it in the bag to rest with the project....

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  • DianneU22

    Sounds like we all have crochet horror stories, but I have problems with ALL patterns. I swear I have never made a project where the pattern was written correctly, or some other issue arose. I end up changing nearly every patten I work on. Then I have to work on my anger control. Happened again today. Trying to make slippers for my daughter to match a pair she had. I bought a kit - with a pattern and the yarn, an exact duplicate. But the direction are for 5 sizes without telling you how to get each size difference. The guage swatch instructions are even wonky. "With H hook work 10 stitches, with I hook work 12"....and then what? No other instructions to help you know to size the things! It sure gets aggravating when you find a perfect pattern, then it doesn't work out correctly and YOU haven't done anything wrong. The money too, is an issue. When you pay good money, it should be perfect but it never is - at least for me. Yes, I feel your pain and I feel it nearly every time I use any pattern I can find. Does anybody else have problems like this too? If not, maybe it's my way of crocheting that's off. I can make anything, as long as I DON'T follow a pattern precisely!!

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    • Jen

      Pattern instructions are more like suggestions. Or so I like to say, anyway! I'm glad you're usually able to find a way to make patterns work for you, though! It would seem you're not the only one who has this problem. It looks like we're in excellent company!

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  • Cynthia Bishop

    Jen, and Dianne thanks for your comments. Yes it appears I am not the only one having problems with some patterns giving word salad directions. To tell you the truth, I have had better luck printing FREE patterns from the internet, than books I have paid for. I do think one of my "problems" is that when starting a new round the directions are all different . Sometimes they say crochet into the "next stitch" sometimes they say the "second stitch from the hook" sometimes it is "crochet into the same stitch". Then it throws off your stitch count for that row. Wouldn't it be nice if someone put out directions the really HELPED you along and actually explain where you might go wrong. Does this make sense?

    Reply
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