Edges were all jagged and it appeared that I had made some mistakes.
So I tried crocheting it in the round, thinking the problem was the back and forth (front and back) crocheting that was creating the uneven edges. But when I crocheted in the round, I noticed that the design was slanted:
If you can't see the slant, just believe me. The snowflake is slanting. To the right. And the edges are messier still.
Now, I've done crochet colorwork before and I know the edges of the design aren't going to be what anyone would call smooth, but I don't recall it looking this messy. Ella (of Un-Becoming Me) suggested trying this project with a different yarn. As I thought about that, it occurred to me that in using smooth mercerized cotton thread, the edges of the design (which aren't smooth to begin with) were going to look even more messy contrasted with the fine yarn.
Thank you, Ella! You got my head in a better place about this project.
Oh, and let's be honest... trying do colorwork with doubled strands of yarn (of each color) was kind of crazy. That just complicated the whole thing.
So I gave up the double-stranded smooth thread and fished out some sport weight cotton/acrylic yarn I had in my stash, and decided to give the pattern one more try crocheting it as a flat piece of fabric (back and forth) - the way the designer intended:
Oh my... this is so much better. It's not that the edges are any smoother, but using a yarn with even just a bit of fluff to it, the ragged edges become part of the homespun design. I'm not sure if it's possible to get a totally smooth line when crocheting colorwork, (though this article makes me want to try) but for now I think I'll just forgo trying to combine such casual designs with smooth thread. Thread that is meant to produce a finer finish than the casual design would suggest.
I was so pleased with the results, I'm making all three designs in the set:
The Christmas Tree is, by far, the easiest design.
I suggest starting with this one. And then the next two will be a breeze.
And soon I'll have the reindeer bag finished:
Using Scheepjes Stone Washed sportweight yarn in cotton/acrylic, I intend to make one or two more of these little bags before I call this whole project finished. At the moment I have a plan to use these bags as part of something Christmas related. I'm not giving away my secrets just yet, but if I manage to get this larger project done, I'll be sure to post about it when the timing is right to do so. Probably after Christmas (which will be here before we know it!)
Having had success now, I definitely recommend the pattern. Look at the designer's projects and follow her lead regarding yarn. A yarn with a bit of fuzziness, and small amount of variation in the colors will serve this little project well.
While I was cooling my heels a bit between these little bags, I whipped out another market bag:
I'm not even following a pattern at this point. Once one gets the bottom a good size, it's just a matter of crocheting UP!
I made the body of this bag a little shorter, and the strap not as long as most, the whole while imagining that I may just eventually perfect the humble crocheted market bag. Stretch is the thing with these bags. Too large a bag with too much stretch and it's hard to feel confident in its holding power (that, and they're just awkward to carry). Too small, though, and they don't hold much. I'm (sort of) feeling the challenge to find the perfect size and stretch quotients for such a bag. Goodness knows I have enough cotton yarn to make dozens more in my quest for the perfect market bag. Until I tire of experimenting, that is... 😉
To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.
2018 Yarn Stash-Down: 31.22/100 Skeins