Every once in a while, the powers-that-be put me back in my place.

Many Cats Cushion
© Pony McTate

I found this cat cushion a little while back, and sent it to a fellow cat-loving friend, mostly as a joke. “But I actually love it,” was the response. Never one to deny my loved ones anything, I sighed, acknowledged my fault in all of this, and proceeded to stash dive. However, this was just the beginning of my misfortune.

If I had to pick one fiber art in particular that I would consider myself a master in, it’s crochet. I’ve been at it non-stop for more than 15 years, and I know just about all of the “rules.”

The problem is when those rules are thrown out the window…

For instance, when you’re working crochet in the round and you want it to lay flat, too few stitches will cause it to curl. On the other hand, too many stitches will cause it to ruffle. There’s a couple of magic numbers for this, but really since every yarn and tension is different, you just need to be ready to frog it and add or lose stitches.

This pattern even mentions “Hey, your squares will likely curl, here’s a fix to add stitches in the corners.” I thought, “Great, I’ll do that, and I don’t like the chain corners. I’ll add more stitches for corners instead.” And I can do that, ’cause I’m a crochet master.

Except this time I couldn’t!

I added three-stitch corners, and the square was more like a circle. Ripped it out, added five stitch corners, and it ruffled. I learned my lesson and went back to the original pattern with two-chain corners, ruffled (and still awfully large chain corners). Did the same with one-chain corners, curled.

At this point, I honestly thought I had it. “Great!” I said. “It’s curling. I’ll rip it out, add those stitches to the corners, and this is the square. I’m sure of it.”

Nope. Ruffled. Switched back to the crop top before I did something I’d really regret. Then, I did the only thing one can do when faced with an insurmountable problem like this: slept on it.

With the morning sun came the clarity of my true problem: basic math. Two stitches in a chain corner was not enough, and four was too many. It stands to reason that three would be perfect. “But symmetry!!” cried my internal critic. Okay, sure, we need it to look symmetric, so what if I did four stitches in the corner but skip the first stitch on the side of the square?

This was the answer!

a flat square

I’m so thrilled I could spit, but I won’t. It took me eight tries to get here, and honestly, it’s kind of exciting to know that I’ll never be a true “master.” There’s always going to be new things to learn and challenges to overcome, and I am here for it.

6 thoughts on “Eureka!

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