This adorable little guy is a present for my mum and also the second elephant I have made from the pattern on the "all about ami" blog (http://www.allaboutami.com/). Anyone who has read past entries of the blog may have seen my first attempt, the little lilac guy that I made for myself:
Now as I'm sure you can see there are some definite differences, even though they came from the same pattern, and this is where the title of todays blog came from.
ALWAYS FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!
The pattern advises to use a 2.5/2.75mm hook. I thought that this seemed a little on the small side. So I had a look through the comments and saw that someone else, like myself, had questioned the use of a small hook. The authors reply confirmed that it wasn't a mistake/typo and that a 2.5/2.75mm hook should be used. Still in spite of this, I decided I knew best and decided to use my trusty 3.5mm hook which as you can see from the photo has been used to the point where the paint has worn off.
Now this wasn't just me thinking I knew better, when I'm trying a pattern I hadn't used before I like to use a hook I'm comfortable with. I also decided this was best after reading the pattern and seeing the, slightly daunting but worth it in the end leg attachment. When I finished I did notice that my elephant didn't look as lovely as the ones on the blog (not that it makes me love my lilac elephant any less). Originally I thought maybe it was just that it was the first time I was following this pattern, and bad ear placement.
However when my mum asked me to make her a yellow elephant I figured I would give it a go with a 2.5 hook just to see if it made a different, and it really really did.
This guy looks a lot more like he's supposed to, and his ears are in the right place. You can also see the difference when the elephants are sat side by side. The lilac is slightly bigger but I think the yellow one ends up with a better overall shape, more spherical than the lilac one who is a bit more boxy.
Also because the stitches are smaller they can be seen less in the photos. The trouble I did have with the yellow one, which I'm not sure was down to the hook, was that there was a slight hump left from where the initial foundation chain had been made. It was easily remedied with a few stitches between the elephants back and belly, but it wasn't something I had to do with the lilac one.
So goes to show, no matter how good your crocheting is or how long you've been doing it for, there's always room for trial and error. Sometimes there has to be a practise elephant. However, one of my next projects - Dave's surprise secret Charmander, recommends using a size F hook. Now I work in mm so I found a comparison chart which said it was 3.75mm. Now I know I said that its important to follow the instructions, but.... I'm wondering if the stitching will come out better if I stick with a 2.5mm?