I come from a long line of "make it work" type people. My grandpa was the classic jack of all trades. I frequently helped him on house projects - even as young as age 2 when he dropped a hammer behind a half-built wall and "somebody small" had to be dropped back there to retrieve it. (Don't tell my mom - I'm 40 and that story still bugs her.) He was a master of good-enough-is-good-enough. Clearly this mindset was passed on to me because I am having a tough time with the concept of precision in my crochet garments.
In my first post on my first project here on the Bernat blog I talked about how much I expected to swatch. And I do. I swatch like crazy. But I'm not carrying that level of care forward when it comes to the decisions I make at every single fork-in-the-road of these patterns. Should I do this or do that? And my answer seems to be whatever is expedient.
In that first project, I wasn't truly happy with how narrow the top back portion of the sweater turned out - the top 6 inches really should have been frogged and redone with fewer decreases. The "good enough" voice in my head had taken over and I had already fully mattress-stitched the sleeves in place. I wear the sweater, but every time I turn around in the mirror I sigh just a little and wish I had slowed down and pinned the sleeves in place first. I suppose the lesson here is that for me, seams are the point of no return.
Back to the Crochet Vest. I'm trying to learn my lesson. As of last week, I'd completed the back and the left front. This week, I found myself reluctantly staring at my project bag for days. In this pattern as well, I was concerned that I had over-enthusiastically decreased at the top back again. It was a real effort to NOT quickly crochet the right front side and seam the whole thing together in a day.
This time, I pinned the pieces I had completed and carefully considered how my stitch pattern change had altered the intention of the pattern. Ultimately, I ended up not frogging the top of the back, but instead made it taller. I lightly basted everything in place, tried it on, and I think it will work.
I'm still banking on the fact that - as a vest - the back doesn't really need to be as wide as a normal sweater. Which might sound like seat of the pants "make it work" thinking, but I think even Grandpa would say I came to this conclusion thoughtfully and without rushing. Check back in next week and I'll show you the completed vest.