Improv is Okay! (Dealing with the First Round)

Welcome to the third weekly tutorial for the Granny's Monster Crochet-a-Long! All month long I am going to be posting tips to help us along as we make our monsters together. Be sure to check out the CAL announcement for more information and head on over to the Monster's Toy Box Ravelry group to join in on the monster-making fun.

Dealing with the First Round of the Head

This week will be a bit different as it isn’t a tutorial, per say… rather, a bit of advice that applies not only to a potential problem spot in the Granny’s Monsters but also to crocheting amigurumi in general.

It’s okay to improvise sometimes!

Let’s face it, we have all run into those spots while crocheting where somehow something went awry. Usually, ripping it all out and trying again is either too difficult or just isn’t worth the effort—when that happens, find a way to work around it… you won’t get in trouble for deviating from the written pattern, trust me!

 Like I mentioned in last week’s blog post… those granny squares can be a bit finicky. Even if you took your time and tried to line everything up perfectly, sometimes they simply just don’t want to line up perfectly. And there is no better time for them to start acting up than the first round of the head when you crochet around the top of the granny body.

The pattern instructions say to single crochet in a total of 9 stitches in each granny square. However, if your grannies are misbehaving, there’s a possibility that gaps could form where the squares are joined together if you single crochet 9 stitches in each square exactly as written.

Amusingly enough… this never happened when I was working on my CAL Monster when I sort of wanted it to so I could demonstrate. However, look closely at my pattern sample and you might notice where I had to improvise a little to get those gaps closed up.

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The trick that both I and one of my pattern testers discovered to fixing those pesky gaps is to deviate a bit and do a SC2tog into the last chain stitch of one square and the first chain stitch of the next square. It really closes up those holes nicely! If you do happen to have to do this, just double check that your stitch count is correct at the end of the round (I count that SC2tog as the first made into a square… you will still have 9 stitches to a square, but one of them will be a SC2tog).

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And speaking of deviating… I goofed up pretty badly on my CAL project. I got so into making last week’s tutorial that I completely mixed up the order the colors were supposed to go it (I guess I should update Tip #1 to be: Lay Them Out and Line Them Up Correctly!). As a result, I have places where squares of the same color are sitting right next to each other.

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I didn’t realize it until I had nearly finished seaming and woven in all of the ends— I will just have to roll with it and live with this one!

There have been a bunch of finished monsters popping up on over at the Monster’s Toy Box group this week. There is only one tutorial left to do during the crochet-a-long. No monster is complete without a great big smile and I will share how I make my monster’s mouths.

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