I’m writing this post to help you. I’m writing this post because, even though craft books and blogs want to make crafting look easy and fun and satisfying, the truth is that things can go Terribly Pear Shaped and they can do it very quickly, when you craft. I want you to know this so that, when they go pear-shaped for you, you don’t take it personally.
I started Chenille Blanket III as soon as I was done with Chenille Blanket II. I wanted to make another one because the first two had been so successful and trouble-free that they were making me feel really, really good about sewing. I wanted to feel good again. Also, I still had some of that garbage flannel with holes left, and it perfectly matched some of the Nicey Jane I had on hand. So off I went.
I’d sewn the first two diagonally across the blanket, because that’s the way the original tutorial did it. This time I thought I’d simplify things and sew straight up and down the blanket. That was my first mistake.
When I began to cut the chenille, I discovered that it had been a mistake. The stitching NEEDS to be diagonal to the fabric’s grain so that when the fabric is cut, ALL the fibers are quite short and held down by stitching. That way when you wash the chenille, they all stay attached and fluff up.
With lines of stitches going in the same direction as the grain, you get long un-secured strings that, when the blanket is washed, will separate from the blanket entirely and create a rat’s nest.
Undaunted, I thought I might as well finish the cutting and see how the blanket looked after a wash. So I kept cutting. The problem is that these long, un-secured strings gum up the chenille cutter, which makes cutting a fiddly, frustrating process. I ended up pushing and pulling at the cutter really hard to get it to cut just a few more inches before the next de-gumming. Which is when The Disaster happened.
I pushed on the chenille cutter so hard that somehow, some way, don’t ask me for further explanation, the blunt plastic guard on the bottom of the cutter penetrated the backing fabric and zzzzzzzzip, I slashed the blanket in two.
I should probably throw the blanket away. I am certainly putting it in time out and moving on to other projects that (haven’t yet) caused me grief. If I decide to repair it and soldier on (in spite of the long threads that will come off when the blanket is washed), I’ll probably use a length of ribbon to patch the backing.
But we’ll see. Sometimes you just have to let things go.