"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Part One--"Heads Up"

*For the sake of privacy I will not be using the kids' names. I've always called them my nephews and niece, but they're not blood relatives; they're my best friend's kids. My older nephew will be eight next month; his younger brother is five; and my niece is eighteen months old. They're terrific kids, but they have those times when they can be a real handful, just like any other children their ages.*

As my younger nephew watches over my shoulder, I do a web search for a free Yoshi crochet pattern. I have no luck finding Yoshi, but I find a great blog by WolfDreamer (http://wolfdreamer-oth.blogspot.com/). She's posted some terrific video game-based patterns. My nephew is so excited to see the picture of Toad and Toadette that he asks if I will make them. I give him a definite maybe. When his brother gets home from school, the two boys talk me into making them: Toad with red spots on his hat for the younger nephew, Toad with yellow spots for the older nephew, and Toadette for my niece. I promise I'll buy the yarn as soon as it goes on sale. Little do I know we'll have to wait a month for a sale on Lily Sugar 'n Cream at Michael's. I chose cotton yarn because I've been using it quite a bit lately and I like the texture.

Okay, yarn acquired...time to begin. Step one is to crochet the faces (remember I'm making three at once, so I'm working assembly line style). Done...no problem...faces look great, just like the picture. It's time for step two: make the caps. As I crochet the first one, the shape looks great, but as I reach the half way point, I begin to wonder about the size. It looks awfully large to me, but I decide to finish it and then assess. I figure the worst that can happen is I'll have to remake it.

Sure enough, the finished cap is too large. It's so big, in fact, that the head fits inside the cap. Even with all my years of sewing experience, I know I can't attach the head to the cap and make it look good as it is. I try a quick fix first: crochet one more decrease row to shrink the size of the opening. The opening is now the right size, but the cap is too out of proportion to look right. I carefully examine the picture of the finished project and I can tell there's no mistake in the pattern. I figure my stitches must be too loose so I begin again with a hook one size smaller.

Yeah, okay, no... The cap is a bit better (smaller) this time, but it's just not going to work. I go back to the drawing board. Using the original pattern as a guide, I rewrite it so the proportions are the same but the finished product will be smaller overall.

Victory! This time it's perfect and I'm able to bang out the other two without any problems.

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