And so long as each individual project is not too complicated I've found I have been able to juggle the different patterns required as necessary.
The last few weeks have brought home to me just how wonderful a thing, a really clear pattern is. A lot aren't. I don't mean that the basic stitches are unclear but that there are Omissions and "Lacunae" on various small but crucial matters. A case in point is the "Better Homes and Gardens Sampler Afghan" which I began a little while ago aiming to complete one or two squares a week as a way of both completing the afghan and learning some new techniques a bit at a time. It's lucky I was not aiming to finish it in a hurry!
The blocks which make up this afghan are not as simple as they may look. The instructions seem clear enough even for the complicated ones but I have done more frogging than I care to think about and this is on some of the simpler blocks as well as on the complicated ones. Despite trying assiduously to follow said clear instructions my blocks have not entirely satisfactorily resembled the pictures. And often this is not because I have miscounted - always a possibility with my numerically challenged brain - but for silly little reasons such as the omission of directions as to how to tie in a new colour. To "end off" (as directed) meaning "and pull the yarn through" or "end off" meaning "no longer use the old colour and proceed with the new one while leaving the final loop of the old colour on the hook as the beginning of the new stitch"? With a simpler, single body of crochet this doesn't seem to matter so much, or hasn't in my experience, but with these complicated blocks that constantly change colour and where each colour plays an important role in defining the shapes and design of the block as a whole, it certainly does matter. A defining circle needs to look like a defining circle not like a circle with a squashed fly that has sat down heavily at one point on its circumference. In the past, trial and error have usually arrived at a satisfactory resolution if it hasn't been clear in the pattern but with this, trial and error have not always solved matters.
I am not the only one to find the "Better Homes And Gardens" instructions slightly sketchy. Crochetbug found similar issues when making this afghan and has most helpfully got notes on her blog here to assist the befogged frogger and these have rescued me on more than one occasion. Thank you so much, Leslie!
Crochetbug, however, is a virtuoso crocheter and has far more skill at her disposal than I do to resolve some of the rather basic problems that I've encountered so ...
... to end off or not to end off - that is the question both in a micro sense of the yarn in various rows and a macro sense of the project as a whole. I am wondering whether to admit defeat on the original plan and reduce my sights from blanket to cushion cover. We'll see.
I have seven completed blocks so far. It may be some time before they double in number let alone multiply sufficiently to make the whole blanket.
In the meantime I am giving heartfelt thanks to all those who, in varying formats, give patterns in clear and simple language without unnecessary complications or basic omissions - thank goodness Lucy's instructions for the complicated flower petal cushion here were, so long as I kept counting carefully, limpidly clear to follow - thank you big time, Lucy! And now that the top of my flower cushion is finished (just the back to make now), as is also my Summer Has Come From The Sunny Land Blanket (apart from the edging) (I'll post pics of these when the last full-stop, hooky stitch has been made in each respectively) and I feel I have made enough face flannels for current and immediate future needs, I have had to start something new, that is blisssfully straightforward, as therapy for my stretched brain, if nothing else.
Although you can't see properly from the pic, this, for a change, does actually look reassuringly as the end result is meant to look. I'll show you more when a few more feet have elapsed! Any guessses as to what it is?! Clues are in the typos!
In the meantime I shall try to Keep It Sssimple!