And quite the pattern! Just figuring out the stitch pattern took me quite a while. I finally looked up the Catherine Wheel stitch pattern in a stitch dictionary, copied out the instructions for it, and used it to make a dishcloth to practice the stitch. Then I went back to the afghan and studied the specific variation of the Catherine Wheel - how many stitches in the wheel, how many chains, etc. The other thing I did right away was to pull the long yarn tail through all of the loose stitches and knot it to the short tail. It meant when I went to do the actual work, I had less yarn to work with, but it also meant that I didn't have to worry about additional stitches pulling out.
When it came to actually putting the missing stitches back in, it was a slow process. Basically what I did is to do 1 stitch take the loop off the hook and insert the hook through the loops of the stitch in the row above, then pull the loop of the stitch I just completed through the stitch above it. I bet that's about clear as mud. In the picture above, you can see the hook inserted through the stitch in the next row, and the loop of the stitch I just completed hanging down below the hook.
|Grab the loop of the just completed stitch and pull it through|
|Turn the hook around and work next stitch|
I had to be very careful with my counting to be sure that I was putting the right number of stitches in the right places - fortunately, it was pretty easy to tell where the stitches should work into, since those places were stretched out. : )
I did run out of yarn and had to finish off with some yarn I had on hand, so there is that small patch where the color is a little off. I didn't really want to run around trying to find an exact color match and then end up with an entire skein of yarn left over for just that tiny amount. You can certainly see where the "patch" is and you can tell the difference between my stitches and the original work if you are looking for it - but all in all, I'd say that's a pretty good fix, and an accomplishment to have figured out the solution all on my own! And the method could be applied to I think just about any crochet piece. All it takes is a little patience.