that's an etymological fact i'd advise you to remember should you ever embark on an afghan, purse, or other crocheting project with a hexagon motif that needs to be attached on all six sides. here's a little rule of thumb for you: if the sides of the individual hexagons buckle or warp at all as separate patches, the effect will be multiplied tenfold when they're all sewn together. if you can't produce totally flat motifs, start over-- perhaps with a completely different pattern-- or go do some nice relaxing trigonometry, or have a root canal, or something *FUN* like that. trust me. not that i'm bitter. ok, maybe a little. mostly because, in common with all truly difficult crafting experiences in which the finished product is less than ideal irl, the totebag in question photographed beautifully:
yeah. that's the last straw, really, isn't it?!
i should probably mention that i made this as a gift for someone very special, i chose the pattern based on how gorgeous the colors were, and i do not begrudge one second of the time it took, i LOVE making things for my friends and family! the problem is that the pattern was not well written, or even accurate; something which might be a tad annoying if penned by an independent knitter sharing it on ravelry or her own blog. this was a professionally written pattern, offered by a yarn manufacturer--NOT lion brand, i hasten to say; i've never had a bad pattern from them! :) if i had paid for these instructions, i'd be naming and shaming the source in public; seeing as it was free, i'm just going to shut up but warn you to read any hexagon-based yarncraft patterns all the way through quite carefully, especially the finishing instructions and if you think to yourself, "i'm not sure that makes sense" or "they don't seem to provide much in the way of advice or photos for making the hexes into the bag" ...RUN AWAY!!!
the good news is, i learned A LOT from this project, which is why i decided to post it, with rants included. i learned that i'm pretty good at figuring out what to do in the absence of sensible instructions; i learned the best way ever to make super-sturdy crocheted handles for totebags*; and, especially, i learned that there's serious satisfaction involved in finishing a job successfully, even if you don't really love how it came out. i also learned exactly why "hex" is another word for evil spell or curse. :)
*the one awesome thing in this pattern as written was the method for constructing the handles; they are solid, sturdy and will not (as commonly happens with crocheted handles) stretch out and get saggy over time. well-done, handle pattern writer! now could you have a word with the cretin who thought up everything else? ta v much!