|Totally, stole the idea of a picture of the real thing posted under the crochet item from Totallee.net. I love the comparison.|
Yarn shading choices: 2 of the browns I chose are a little two close in color. When I introduced the white (in the eyes) I changed from a bright white to a cream. BUT when I got to the top of wolf's background (between the ears) I think it would have looked better had I used the border color.
Tying off tension: I was tying so tightly that my knots were pulling themselves back through to the right side of project. What I did wrong for me was I laid the project down tail side up and knot it close to stitches. Now I lay it down tail side down. Then I knot with a little room close to the top of the worked stitches. This gives me some slack in my knotted tails to pull through for a nice finished look.
Pulling knots through at an appropriate time: First I found using a crochet hook 2 sizes smaller than the one I'm using for the project made it easier for me to pull the knots through. I used a G hook for the project and an E hook was perfect for pulling through the knots. The minute there is a row of knots on the right side pull them through. It's easier to crochet the piece. It's easier to pull one row of knots through when not tangled with other knots from previous rows. It doesn't leave a lot of work for latter when pulling through many rows of knots is VERY tedious.
Don't get lazy about counting stitches: When I got to the dark brown patch there were long stretches of one color. So, I would just count the yarn change stitches at the beginning and at the end. Well, some where and some how in the brown section I skipped a single crochet. I can see it now (I don't think anyone else would notice). I got about 14 rows away when I started counting the smaller section of brown and realized I was one stitch off. So, being a practice piece I increased one stitch in the brown section (again I don't think anyone else will see it) and continued on. Had this been a intricate photo piece I might have had to rip back 14 rows to keep the piece looking nice.
Don't get lazy about correcting mistakes: Do I have adult dyslexia? I would sometimes read the pattern Color 4 stitches 2, but when I got to my piece I'd crochet Color 2 stitches 4. Though each row changes as you go I found I can kind of see when things aren't looking right. Like why is this dark brown row starting right above this cream row. Then I'll double check the pattern. "Oh it's supposed to change here" OR "Oh no I've reversed my instructions." So, going back one row and correcting a mistake is way better than going back 14!
With my new gained knowledge I feel fully ready to move on to anything I want to do.
I have a silly cartoon dog pattern I'm going to do next. It was my free pattern when I signed up to learn CBN from Todd Paschall. I have over half the colors to do the dog that's another reason I'm doing him next. I think I really only need a dark blue, but I'll double check the list before I start.
Random addition: Friends have seen this piece and one wants me to make her one. I know her well enough to say, "Yah, right!" I sat with her and discussed the amount of time I put in not counting the cost of yarn. I figured I'd paid myself $10 an hour just to make the math easy. I would have to sell this piece for at least $600.