Shortly after my son, Konik, was born and still had that fresh newborn smell, I decided I would crochet him a pair of woolen diaper pants. They would serve partially for warmth on those cold autumn nights and, after being felted down, would also be a nice waterproof barrier to keep any potential diaper leaks from leaving the little guy with soggy jammies. Happy for an excuse to leave the house by myself, I went to the fabric store and perused the yarns. Lingered over the kitchen cotton. Caressed the bamboo blends… What was I here for? Oh right, wool. Oh, lovely wool, look at all the marvelous colors you come in! After several more minutes of visualization-through-osmosis (that means I have to touch it all), I finally selected Patons Classic Wool in the Harvest colorway.
Looking back on this decision, I can now see that it was heavily influenced by postpartum hormones. In my right mind, I avoid orange like the plague, I shun red, and I steer clear of lime. Oh, sure, there are times when each of those colors serves a purpose, but, in this case, they combined to exact a mischievous revenge. I blithely bought two skeins.
A year later, I’ve got an itch. An itch to try something new. I’ve been hearing about Tunisian crochet (it’s not just for afghans anymore, kids!); I saw a book in a catalog: Tunisian Crochet, by Sharon Hernes Silverman. I must have this book! No matter that the internet is probably littered with free patterns and instructions, the book is it. So I bought it. At this point, I didn’t have a single Tunisian crochet hook, but I still enjoyed flipping through my brand new book, admiring the patterns.
Christmas came and oh! what joy! One of my nephews sent me Tunisian crochet hooks! Once the flurry of the holidays was over, I set out to teach myself this new craft. Facing a move in June, I resolved to bust through as much of my yarn stash as possible. Rummaging through the bin (and the other bin, and the large bag, and the smaller bag, and that cloth bag), I found a full skein and a half of the soon-to-be infamous Harvest wool. Why not use this stuff up? This was going to be fun! Except… one and a half skeins of yarn doesn’t go very far. Well, there is a pattern in the book for a pillow; I suppose that will suffice. Except… I don’t really like that stitch, so how about… Ooh! This honeycomb stitch is pretty cool! So I Franken-patterned and got to work. A couple of rows in and I realized, as I looked around the living room, that the last thing this house needs is another pillow for the kids to throw on the floor. I’ll beat them to the punch and make it a rug! Pleased with this decision, I kept plugging away. Tunisian crochet is not quick.
75% of the way through its formation, we had a couple of trips to take, and my Harvest colored wool rug was set aside. And with it, everything that I had learned about the honeycomb stitch. My confidence in my abilities, however, was still intact. Pride, you are a wicked imp. When I finally picked up my, um, creation, I struggled through the last few rows. Try as I might, my brain could not wrap itself around the honeycomb stitch. A mighty battle between my perfectionist nature and my desire to Just Be Done With It ensued. Impatience was the victor, so I chose to ignore the badly formed rows and stitched and stitched and stitched until a mere six inches of yarn was left. Ha, Patons Harvest Wool! I have vanquished thee! But my celebration was cut short by the underwhelming appearance of the finished product:
It barely measures 20 inches “square” (as it were), which makes a rather paltry rug. Its dimensions are too odd to even sew together into a pillow, and it is pretty obvious where the stitch pattern took a turn for the worse. That portion also has the annoying tendency of rolling up like a scroll. Again, not a particularly rug-like characteristic. I have dubbed it The Woolen Rhombus and, while it didn’t turn out quite how I had envisioned (ok, nothing like what I had envisioned), it is useful: it stores one and a half skeins of Harvest wool until I have time to rip it out and make something else!!
You may be wondering whatever became of the wool diaper pants. After felting, the wool came together nice and tight and Konik got to wear them for all of about a week because they shrunk down to such a ridiculously small size; my daughters don’t even have any dolls for these to fit.
Harvest wool hates me.