Look what I've done: I've managed to join up all my African flower-hexagons - using join-as-you-go! I'm very pleased about this as I'd never tried it before. It was quite fiddly, but I can see why it's such a great method as by the time all the white rounds are finished, the cushion is also all done, done, done!
I am quite amazed at myself about this: it is only the third crochet project that I have ever actually completed (I still haven't found a chance to blog about the other two yet!); and I have managed to go from start to almost-finished in less than two weeks! For me, that's amazingly quick!
I kept going back to Flickr looking for guidance from others and Elizabeth Cat in particular was a GREAT help to me (thanks so much, Elizabeth!). The pattern and join-as-you-go advice are all there on the Crocheting Afrcian Flowers Pool (scroll down on the pool's home-page).
But I misunderstood the directions on how to do the final round of white and I left out an all-important chain stitch along each side. (You can read my confused ramblings here!) By the time I realised my error I was more than half-way through, and decided to carry on regardless. This extra stitch would have helped my work to lay flat, and without it, the edges of each hexagon are buckling up a little bit. I am hoping that blocking will help reduce this - I'll just have to wait and see.
Once they were all joined I added a final round of double-crochet (that's treble crochet in the UK - I prefer the US terminology) all the way around the whole thing. I think it looks "finished" now:
Now to the challenge of turning this into a pillow! And a HUGE pillow it will be - I don't know what other African Flower-lovers are using, but with my cheap acylic yarn and 4mm hook, this arrangement has ended up HUMONGOUS! I was thinking it might be better as a very small rug, or maybe a cushion for the floor as it really is so BIG! I am going to attempt to make a cover using an old jumper following Lucy's wonderful cushion-cover tutorial over at Attic24 (a most wonderful and inspiring blog - if you haven't visited her, please do!, I'm sure you'll love it).
This really has been a great learning experience for me in so many ways: colour arrangement and placement (I get a bit OCD about this and need to learn to let it be a bit more random - i.e. there is no "right" or "perfect" colour arrangement!); using join-as-you-go; finding out that sometimes things you make just end up HUGE; and making the hexagons themselves - all firsts for me. And it's been great. :-)
Anyway, this is meant to be a blog about patterns I've tried, yarns I've used, and how it all turned out, in the hope of advising anyone else contemplating the same projects. So here are the details for you all:
Pattern: African Flower Pattern
Pattern source: Crocheting African Flowers Pool on Flickr (just scroll down the the bottom of the screen to find it), also on Ravelry as "African Flower Hexagon"
Yarn: Panda Magnum 8ply - this is 100% acrylic and I think 8ply is about equivalent to DK weight?
Dimensions: 53.5cm across (!)
Date commenced: 30 March, 2010
Date completed: 10 April, 2010
My reflection: A great pattern and the info and support on Flickr are fantastic. No idea why it ended up so huge! And now I also know why so many crochet-lovers complain about weaving in ends. Overall, I'm very happy with it and with myself. :-)
I was originally going to give this to a good friend of mine, for her beautiful 5-year-old daughter. I was thinking about my friend when I started this and all the way along as I worked on it - but I'm not sure crochet is her thing? I'm hesitant to offer it as I hate to think of her graciously accepting something that she doesn't actually like! My own daughter loves it, though, so she will be most happy to have it on her bed (or bedroom floor!) instead. :-) She's also 5 and is a very girly-girl and so loves this very flowery design!
If you have ANY questions at all about this - please feel free to ask/comment below. I would love to hear from you, and I'm more than happy to help. :-)
Til next time,
Sunday, 11 April 2010
All Joined Up!