Gecko Ridge – done and dusted

Yup. Done at last. Took me ages to get this sewn up – it’s been *nearly* done for weeks and weeks.
[A crochet adaptation of the fabulous Lizard Ridge, for short-row-phobic crafters. For details, see below.*]
As I’ve said before, this project was a bundle of fun. It was easy, mindless but not boring, perfectly portable, and the colours were delightful.
But I’m not convinced by the finished product.

Partly this is, perhaps, because of not-great finishing. (For reasons including the non-square-ness of my squares; see below.) But at the same time I kinda like the slightly rough finishing. I definitely like the “wrong” side better than the “right” side.
It’s also because, in retrospect, I think my colour strategy was poor. That is to say, I didn’t have one. I wanted, originally, to have every square a different colourway; but then I got impatient, and got muddled, and also realised that there are a handful of colourways that look almost identical anyway. So keeping them properly separated from each other in the final layout – while still arranging colours in a pleasing flow – was a nightmare.
Other factors that made the layout difficult were the interesting points that, while all made by the same person, using the same hook and the same yarn, the squares were not all the same size. I’m not sure whether the brighter dyes actually worked up to a tighter gauge (it seems that way, and I do remember other projects where dark colours came out much tighter than light in other yarns, but I don’t really understand it) or whether perhaps my crochet tension is just all over the place.
So the width varied; and then there’s the length issue. My basic “work till you have a square” plan was a little flawed, maybe because of the width issue, maybe not. Turned out that sometimes, a perfect square waved in the same direction on both top and bottom (this is what you want in modular working!), but more often both the first and the last waving rows were either both inward-waving, or both outward-waving. I attempted various things to deal with this problem while working through i; the main tactic became to start alternate squares at a different point in the wave, so that they would match up to each other even though I didn’t have an even number of waves in the square; and it more or less worked out, but I wasn’t exactly making life easy for myself when it came to the layout.
I have no idea if the above paragraph even makes sense. Sorry.
So ANYway, I have pretty mixed feelings at this stage (and somehow the colours don’t look nearly as brilliant as I think they should!), and it’s honestly hard for me to look at this objectively and figure out whether it’s acceptable for gifting, as originally intended. I rather suspect it isn’t, which is a huge pity.
Still and all. If I were to suddenly stumble across 30 balls*** of Kureyon, would I do it again? Absolutely. I’d *love* to. But two little changes, I think, would make an awful lot of difference:
1. I’d restrict myself to just 6 carefully selected colourways; and
2. instead of working square by square, I’d work it in 5 strips.
I’d plan the colour layout before I started, with each strip containing the 6 different colourways in a different order. It would make them rather less portable, after the first couple of balls, but it would be so very much better in every other way.
* To crochet one “square”: work 38ch, then turn and work 1dc in 3rd ch from hook. Work 1dc in each chain to end. Next row: 2dc, *1htr, 2tr, 3dtr, 2tr, 1htr, 3dc, rep from *, end 2dc.
Next row: dc to end.
Next row: CHANGE WORKING YARN, 3ch, 1dtr, *2tr, 1htr, 3dc, 1htr, 2tr, 3dtr, rep from *, end 2dtr.
Next row: dc to end. Change working yarn.
Repeat these four rows, alternating working end of yarn** every 2 rows.
** You know how this works, right? Lizard Ridge uses one ball of Kureyon per square; the stripes are created by alternating between the centre-pull and the outer end of the yarn.
*** Yeah, that’s another thing; the crochet squares do come out rather smaller than the knit version, using the same amount of yarn.

10 thoughts on “Gecko Ridge – done and dusted

  1. Well *I* think it looks fabulous! I am part of one square through a Lizard ridge, and this encourages me to complete it no end! I really like the sewing-up ridges, too.
    BTW, do you shop at Waitrose? The current mag is all about South Africa – I want to cook Bobotie and lots of other things….

  2. Ooh! Fantastic tip, Emily. I don’t usually go to Waitrose (there isn’t one conveniently located for me) but I think it’s worth a special trip.
    My mother brought over one of my favourite treats – waatlemoenkonfyt (watermelon preserve); it’s one of those things you only get in Cape Town, not even in the rest of the country. It’s made from the rind, with lots of ginger, and has a completely unique texture. I am savouring every mouthful.

  3. Well, looking at it objectively, I think it looks great! I find it’s often hard to step back and be happy with larger projects; when you’ve spent so much time with them it’s hard to see how they actually are – does that make sense? Hopefully in a few weeks times you’ll feel differently about it.

  4. Actually, I feel better about it already. Lots of positive comments from you lovely knitters (and a few Ravelers) definitely helped! So did my lovely husband, who was very enthusiastic. So, okay. I’m happy now (more or less).

  5. waatlemoenkonfyt sounds fabulous, Robynn – I’d be very interested in a recipe for that (but I guess i may be something you buy?)
    I love seeing the etymology in words, knowing some German and then seeing the dutch ancestry of this sort of word – I guess??? – fun!
    BTW – do you think a Lizard Ridge would work well as a baby blanket? I think it wouldn’t need much washing with all those colours. It would be a Lizard, not a Gecko as I am acrochetic (through experience rather than choice – in that I have no experience of crochet).

  6. PS – want me to post you a waitrose mag? I go in often, and get them free (only reason I have a Waitrose card, I’ve never spent anything on it).

  7. Ooh, I would love you to send me a mag – yes please!
    I wouldn’t recommend Kureyon for babies, it’s really scratchy. Pity, as it would be so pretty, and fun to make a mini-Lizard. If you could somehow find an alternative yarn with looong colour changes… Rowan Tapestry is the only one I can think of that even comes close, but the colours aren’t anything like as much fun.
    Btw if you have any interest in learning to crochet, Gecko is an excellent starting point: very easy (no corners to turn) and you get practice in a range of stitches.

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