Friday, July 23, 2010
Ladybug Afghan Modifications
Okay, I'm taking time out from the ENDLESS task of weaving in all the ends of my set-in sleeve sweater to address a grievous omission. About a week ago, at this point, someone messaged me on the Crochetville Forum, asking if I could detail how I modified the Ladybug Afghan. I finally have some free time to explain...
Those of you who've seen Janice Slocum's crocheted Ladybug Afghan will agree with me, I'm sure, when I say it is hands-down the most adorable child's afghan ever. One might even say it is "cute as a bug" (pun intended).
However, I'm sure you'll also agree with me when I say it's one of the MOST frustrating patterns to follow. If you follow the directions to the letter, you will end up with an excessively wavy afghan that frankly looks ODD. At first, I thought it was me. As a knitter, I'm pretty much dead-on with the stated gauge of a pattern. As a crocheter, however, I'm all over the map. I checked out Ravelry, though, and I found that I was far from alone in my angst over this pattern. Everyone has pretty much struggled with the directions.
So, to this end, I decided to modify the pattern, so that my final product wouldn't look bizarre.
1) To start with, I decided to throw in a straight row every 5th row, to even out the wonkiness. This meant I needed to adjust all the increases. Once you understand that there are 12 increases in a row, all you have to do is space out the 12 increases evenly for each row. This involves painstaking counting for each row, plus basic math, but the results are well worth it.
2) I found that I needed to add 4 more rows than what is indicated in the pattern. This could be me, as my double crochets (DC) are sometimes shorter than usual, even when I carefully do a gauge swatch and think I'm right on the money.
3) Seeing as I was adding straight rows, I ignored the directions for the black face after Row 14, where she has you begin with two black DCs in a stitch--I did do this. However, this is what I did after Row 14. When I got to the black section for each row, using the black yarn, I crocheted one DC before the black stitch. I crocheted to the last black DC, and in that last DC, I crocheted 2 DCs, then changed back to red. I counted this double DC as one of the increases, adjusting the placement of the rest of the increases accordingly. When I had to do this on a "straight" row, I made up for it by eliminating one of the decreases in the following row.
This all sounds weird, but it works. Since you are turning the afghan every time to get to the end of a round anyway, the double DCs alternate on each side of the face. This fixes it so that the face doesn’t get too wide.
4) Finally, I didn't place the increases at the same point every time (you especially can't do that when you're doing the black face). I found this made for a rounder afghan (I mean, really, have you ever SEEN a ladybug with 12 flat sides???
I hope this helps!