So. We're a full 5 days into July and the Tunisian Crochetalong and I have finally produced a gauge swatch that seems to be mostly workable. 2 hook sizes and several yarn choices later. Also, some fussing and swearing. And Internet research and video-watching.
The good news is that I now know a lot more about some of the stitches used for the Sapphire Wrap from Short Row Tunisian Fashions. And I've gotten in a lot of practice! My swatch of 10.5 stitches and 15 rows came out to a mostly 4" square. It's a little skinnier than it is tall, but since I've already gone up a size in hooks (and the difference between a J hook and an L hook is significant), I think I just need to ease up a bit on my tension.
It's a bit difficult to control your tension--both in your yarn and in yourself--when you know that this particular yarn has to work for you because you've already ordered 8 skeins of it. And you're trying out something new and showcasing your crafting failures when not-so-deep-down, you want to portray yourself as a crafting genius.
(Don't we all want to be crafting genius heroes? Maybe with capes? Or at least secret crafting lairs?)
Anyway, I'm sure I'll be able to relax just a bit once the yarn gets here, even though I'm starting a bit behind. There are a few reasons for my being relaxed:
1. I don't think my yarn will get here until after the weekend. I am nearly always relaxed after the weekend. I'll play with my daughter and work on some other crafts during her naptime and just do things that make me happy.
2. My yarn is Stitch Nation's Bamboo Ewe, which is a blend of wool and bamboo. I've used it for a ton of projects before and I'm comfortable with it.
3. I already know I'm not a big shawl-maker. If I ever turn into one, it will be several years down the road from now. So if this isn't amazing, it's fine.
4. I joined this because I thought it would be kind of fun to learn new things. And it usually is. And since I'm in a crochetalong group, I'm seeing other people's pictures and learning from their trial and error. Kim is stepping in with help and advice and everyone's pretty positive.
5. My life is not at stake here. It's pretty easy to freak out over crafting things, especially because I do think handmade things are so important and how I spend my time is important and doing my best to make something beautiful is important BUT at the end of the day, I'm not performing surgery. I'm not investing bajillions of dollars, saving lives, or arguing before the Supreme Court. I'm just trying to learn a new thing and talking about it in a friendly place. Which is more exciting and encouraging than stressful.
And lastly, BECAUSE I FINALLY GOT GAUGE.
Everything will obviously go perfect for me now.
Or so I hope.