Performing Crochet Surgery

A few months ago I got an email from Vogue Knitting asking me to make this dress that I designed (shown on the left) for their crochet issue. Of course I said yes! With the holidays and everything the deadline sort of snuck up on me.

So there I am in my apartment frantically crocheting a couple of days before the dress is due and feeling pretty good about my project. When I am about to join the two halves of the dress with the center cable, disaster strikes.

There were supposed to be two lace panels on either side of the front but to my horror there were two on one side and only one on the other. After about twenty minutes of staring in disbelief, I had to accept that I had accidentally crocheted one of the panels on the back. That panel took me almost and entire day to crochet! There was no way I had time to take it out and do it again.

After throwing myself into my bed and wailing that my life was over and I was a sham as a designer, my boyfriend tried to console me.

“Calm down, I’m sure you can fix it.”

“I can’t fix it!” I moaned. Fix it. Ugh, men. He doesn’t know anything about crocheting. He obviously doesn’t understand. “It’s not like sewing, it’s not like I can just rip out a seam and sew it onto the front!”

But wait, can’t I?

I sprang out of bed and prepared myself for surgery. There was hope for this project and I was determined to save it.

Step One: I got a tapestry needle  and threaded it with a contrasting yarn. Then I guided it through the base of the first row of trcs above the chain that attached the panel to the project.

Step Two: I cut the crochet chain and  carefully unraveled it. It was important to be sure to cut the chain near the beginning of the row not the end. That way when I got to the end of the row I had a nice long tail of yarn and it decreased the risk of accidentally unraveling a trc. Once this step was done I was able to completely remove the panel from the piece.

The patient had survived so far and was still stable but we weren’t out of the woods yet. The last leg of the operation would require concentration and finesse.

I started a new chain in the proper spot on the front of the dress. Every three chain stitches I would pull the chain through the base of the trcs, following my white yarn. Stitch by stitch I inched along being careful not to miss a loop so that the stitch wouldn’t unravel. Finally, about two hours later, the procedure was finished…

The patient survived! With no signs of her near death experience, my dress was now symmetrical and ready for the pages of Vogue.