The project was marking as being easy, so away I went. My first challenge was getting the #&*$ magic circle right. This was a huge challenge for me. It required a bazillion YouTube videos and a bunch of websites. Finally, someone on Facebook posted a link for me to try and hurrah! this method worked. My biggest problem now is pulling the magic circle closed correctly. I'm very hit or miss at that. This is a magic circle with a mysterious extra loop. I don't know how I did that.
With my first hurdle crossed, I was off and stitching.
This bottom section involved increases which were actually fairly easy. It was simply a matter of keeping track of when to increase and which stitch I was on. I used a stitch marker to let me know where I'd started.
As I finished the bottom, I was met with a new maneuver that I had yet to learn in my beginning crochet class. Luckily, it was easily understood from the name and I figured it out without having to go to Google. I crocheted into one side of the stitch instead of the full stitch and began crocheting the sides of the basket.
I was happily stitching away and failed to notice I was having a few issues going on. The first was that I would forget to add a stitch that I needed. The second was that I was adding an extra stitch here and there. This was all happening at the end/beginning of the circle, and by the time I was nearly done, it was noticeable and it was ugly.
I folded over the icky side to sort of hide it from the picture. It's on the left where you can see the yellow stitch marker. The side most visible is the part that doesn't look bad. :-)
The class instructor had mentioned that she often doesn't correct mistakes she makes because they weren't that visible. That might be the mistakes she makes. The mistakes I made were blatant and I decided that I couldn't live with them. I ripped the entire basket apart and ended up with a spaghetti pile of yarn.
Lessons learned. Count stitches. This was what totally tanked my project.
Pattern knowledge gained: I didn't like the little handles on the basket. The pattern also had me going taller than I needed or wanted. Next time I attempt this small basket, I'll stop at the row before the handle row. All I wanted was a small basket into which to toss my car keys.
Overall thoughts/feelings: Disappointment was high. I actually wanted to finish a project and have something tangible for all the hours I'd spend crocheting swatches. But I'm consoling myself with the fact that I gained experience and learned things I couldn't have picked up without doing an entire project. As they say, experience is the best teacher.