“Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.”
Booker T. Washington
Maybe Booker T. Washington wasn’t wasn’t referencing my efforts to make what I think of as my über poncho-to-be, but if hard work is an indication that something will be worthwhile, then this poncho should be spectacular.
I have read time and time again about the value of swatching, and I’m sure that is incredibly valuable tool, except when it is not.
Yesterday I took time to make the swatch seen here:
Using the measurements from this swatch, I determined the number of stitches needed for the base chain and began work on the poncho-to-be.
I dutifully counted the 96 stitches that would form the foundation of this project, joined the first stitch to the last, and moved forward.
I carefully chained 3 and then worked a double crochet into each of the next two chains, creating (as it were) the first 3 dc cluster. I chained one, skipped one chain on the foundation, and then worked one double crochet into each of the next three chains.
After I completed the first round, I was careful to add an extra 3dc cluster to the front and the back, creating the points that typify a poncho, and add the increases needed to create a well-fitting garment.
I did this until I had completed four rounds.
At that point, I took a break to make sure the poncho-to-be would fit over my head.
I found that not only did it fit over my head, it slipped down my shoulders.
It had taken me what felt like f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get to my crochet today, my progress seemed minimal, and I was reluctant to pull out even one stitch.
I tried adding a single crochet border to the neckline. Not hideous, but completely unsatisfactory.
I tried adding a slip stitch. Hideous and completely unsatisfactory.
Finally at 4:21 pm EST, I did what I had to do, and I frogged my work, uncertain that I would have anything to photograph before sunset.
But it seems that either the adrenaline or caffeine (or both) kicked in, and I not only frogged what needed frogging, but I got this far before the daylight was completely gone:
While the incessant admonitions to make a gauge swatch probably have value, sometimes a swatch does not, in fact, accurately translate into the world of ponchos, and there is no substitute for hard work.