Flush with the success of successfully creating a yarn doll, I decided to try the Mountains and Valleys again. I really liked the original blue and white fiber I used. The white is sparkly! But I decided to do something just the size of a hot-pad, so I cut the number of stitches to 40 - just enough for two Mountains!
My crocheting friends all "encouraged me" to relax when plying the hook. (OK, they threatened me!) I took their encouragement to heart, and just let the yarn slip through my fingers, without any tension at all. Their advice (and their prying my fingers loose from the hook) seems to have had a beneficial effect. You can see this piece is much "floppier" than the other piece. And the lines are going strainght up and down now, rather than looking like demented pickup sticks!
It was a lot of fun to do, and didn't take very long at all.