Personal, Projects

Digger Loader

Often I am asked to make animals, but it’s rare to get the opportunity to making something else, like a truck. So when the opportunity does arise, I jump into it with open arms. Yes, please. Lay it on me. But, boy, I went in a little over my head with this one. In the end, I’m glad I made it and I applaud the pattern maker for figuring this all out, but I had some missteps along the way, and I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned.

First of all, This was a gift for a little boy who LOVES trucks. And I was SO excited to make him a truck, because I had never made one before. What can I say? Change excites me.  After scouring the internet for days to find what I felt looked like the PERFECT truck for him, I got to work immediately. Lesson One learned: “Don’t judge a pattern by its picture / Read over the pattern first”

Don’t get me wrong, this pattern is written just fine. I’m not trying to bash the pattern or pattern creator at all. You come out with a perfect, joinable, finished product. I however, was judging by the photo and cuteness alone, and not considering the amount of work that would need to go into it. I failed to notice that the carriage piece was not designed to be crocheted in the round. Had I reviewed the pattern before beginning, I might have caught this and decided it wasn’t worth all of the time it would take to crochet and join each side individually. Which leads me to Lesson Two: “Not all amigurumis are crocheted in-the-round”

While it does make sense for this truck- joining each side gives the truck harder edges than what you would get from crocheting in the round- most stuffed animals are not made by creating each side individually and stitching them together. The majority are crocheted in a circular, continuous shape where you work all the sides at once. This is what I had been most familiar with, and when I went back and reviewed some of the other trucks I passed on earlier, I realized that those trucks were written to be crocheted in the round. I looked at the pieces I had finished at that point. Several had been made 2 or 3 times over to get right, and I still had more to do. I felt like giving up. I wanted to quit and start over, and do one of those patterns instead, even if they weren’t what I had imagined initially. Wouldn’t it be easier to just stick with what I knew? It definitely would be faster. No, I decided to stick with what I was doing, because I could learn a new technique along the way, and hopefully, hopefully, I wouldn’t come out with a completely butchered finished product and have to start all over anyway. Lesson 3: “See it through, learn something new”

There’s always something you can take away from a pattern. Everyone has some kind of technique or unique thing that they do that can be applied to something new. While I admit after having my little breaking point I still messed up a lot on things and had to remake them, eventually I was able to figure everything out and see it through. The new stitch I had to learn (it’s used for the big arm and the two buckets) is very sturdy and stiff. I don’t know exactly what it’s called, but I instantly thought of a few projects I could use it on. It’s too thick to use on a stuffed animal, but I think it could be used to make sturdier home decor, though I’m not well-researched in crocheting those types of items, so maybe this is already being used and I’m just unaware. I will have to do some research and/or testing and see what I can come up with, then follow up about it in another post. For some reason my mind just keeps thinking ‘magazine holders.’ Do people still need/use those? I guess we’ll find out.

 

In all seriousness though, while stitching isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do, this pattern is pretty amazing, especially considering that it’s FREE on Ravelry. And despite my constant worrying and doubt in myself, I think the finished truck turned out okay, and I’m thankful for the experience that I earned in making the project.

 

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