Learning on the job

My next project was to make fingerless gloves to go with the scarf.   Again, something I’d never done before.  I chose the versions of the easiest pattern I could find: a square of double crochet with a sewn up seam, leaving a gap for the thumbhole.

Hanana Banana, Ravelry

I finished the first glove easily and started the second on the go.  One evening I looked back at the pieces to see how it looked so far.  To my horror, they were completely different!  The second piece was an inch longer than the first.  How could this be?  They had the same number of stitches which I was sure to count and recount.

It dawned on me the importance of having two identical pieces.  Scarf – a couple of bumps easily knotted up and rectified.  I could not do this with a second glove.  And I couldn’t work out the error.

Learning crochet was so different to the way I did things.  For example in a drawing, adding line, correcting a curve with heavier intent changes the mark and flow on the paper.  I am free-form and love to take my feet off the pedals on the downhill.  Not this time!

I looked and looked, did and re-did.  What was happening?  Was I improvising stitches?  Maybe I wasn’t actually doing double crochet!  And worse, I really couldn’t remember what I’d done for sure on the finished one.  It was time to go back to the basics manual, three words at a time.

The first thing I realised was that I had hooked into single rather than double stitches, which resulted in very loose, more wobbly and of course, larger fabric.

Tension gauge.  I always ignored this instruction on patterns – it looked too hard.  And who could be bothered making a swatch!  (Although I have to say, I really do like swatches in themselves).  It also proved to me that what I thought was dc looked nothing like the swatch showing the stitch.

Eventually, I did get to finish my first pair of Jack & Jill Fingerless Gloves (the name appeared before me by itself – the lightbulb does exist)!  I took pleasure in decisions made about choice of yarn for wear and tear, warmth and comfort, and colours that could match different outfits, including the scarf.  I decided to make them in two colours and reversible where the dark side could be worn to hide grubby palms.  Alternatively, the light pink, acrylic side could also be worn on the palm side because it was hard-wearing.

I especially enjoyed 'finishing off' with a contrasting trim, a great idea from my 2nd pattern.
This was a very practical way to keep the edges from catching, looked nice, and was like a closing prayer.

I hope these gloves bring warmth to hands and heart.

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