Introduction: How to Build the Roman Aqueduct in Segovia, Spain With Yarn
First Prize in the
Lion Brand Yarn Build with Yarn Contest
This Roman Aqueduct project is perfect for anyone who is just learning to crochet and wants a lot of practice. I hate following patterns in crochet, and am actually very, very bad at making my loops even and uniform. To make the aqueduct the outside measurements have to be precise. However, the actual crochet loops represent the stones used in building the aqueduct, which are all different sizes and shapes. Because the Romans built the aqueduct using only stones, without using any sort of cement or glue to hold it together (!), I thought I should construct my aqueduct using only yarn, with no items to stabilize it or give it shape (!!). In the end, I did have to use some stabilizing structures, (there is a limit to what yarn can do, after all) but there is very little, and your aqueduct will end up being about 95 percent pure yarn.
Step 1: Before You Start
6 skeins of dark grey yarn
3 meters of very dark grey or black yarn
10 meters of a strong, sturdy and lightweight support material (will be explained in a later step)
a lot of old cardboard
1 large cardboard box
hot glue gun
3 bottles of liquid starch
1 bottle of spray starch
bottles of liquor
empty juice boxes
4 thin dowels that are at least 80 cm long
Things to remember throughout the whole project:
1. Don't worry about assembling all of the materials right away. All you need to begin is yarn. You can work on putting the rest of the things together as you progress through the project. Also, don't worry about using exacly the same materials as I did. You should be able to find things around your house or at the dollar store that will serve the same pupose, although they aren't exactly what I used. I tried my hardest to reuse things that I already had
2. The size of the crocheted pieces is very important. When the pieces are starched and stretched, they will lose their original dimensions. You can either crochet an extra 2 cm (aprox) before starching or after starching. I found that adding extra before starching was much less annoying. All of the dimensions provided are what you will need for the final size.
3. After achieving the perfect shape to your arches never , ever think, "Ok! Perfect! I'll just spray this down with liquid starch so that it's extra strong". All you will do is make the arch wet and cause it to completely lose its shape. Do, however, use the spray starch liberally while the pieces are still on their starching bases. Whenever I had something drying, I would periodically touch it, and when I felt that a piece was dry but not very hard, I would use the spray starch.
Step 2: Disclaimer
When I look at my aqueduct, there are a lof of things that I want to change, fix or improve. Because I had never made an aqueduct out of yarn before, I tried a lot of different things on a lot of different orders. I started this on Feb 3rd and finished in time for the original deadline on the 20th. I got 7 tries for each step, so when something didn't work very well, I never tried to fix it, I just moved on to the next post and tried something different. In some of the pictures it may look like something I've already told you to do is not done. This is because some times I took the picture and thought I had completed a step, only to find that the next step I had planned to do would now not work.
When the contest date was extended, I chose to create a diarama instead of redoing parts of the actual aqueduct, pretty much because I didn't want to touch any yarn for a while. The instructions for the diarama are not included, but they involve a lot of cut & paste with pictures and furtively trying to pick out the right size rocks while people stare at you. (The gravel on the base of the steps is actual gravel from the actual Roman Aqueduct!). If anyone would like to do this project and needs any of the photos to create your backdrop, I will send them your way (thanks Juanlu).
In short - Follow the instructions in the order that they appear here, and don't worry so much about what's done or isn't done in the photos. The instructions here are what I learned was the best order to do everything and what I wish I had done the whole time.
Step 3: Phase 1- Planning
Take a walk down to the Roman Aqueduct and sit down on a bench in front it. Spend some time thinking about how much of the aqueduct you would like to represent with yarn and how big different parts should be in comparison to one another. Use the grid paper to sketch a rough estimation of the sizes of different parts and how many of each part you will need. Don't have a Roman Aqueduct within walking distance of your house? Luckily I have provided you with the dimensions.
While you're out, buy yarn. I chose dark grey and bought two slightly different colors on purpose. My thought was that the slightly different colors would give the structure texture and a more realistic look, since the real aqueduct is by no means one uniform color. If you prefer to use only one color for your aqueduct, go for it.
Choose the surface where you will display your aqueduct and figure out the dimensions of the finished project. The surface I have to use was 80 cm long, which was perfect because my drawing was 39 squares long. So, I just rounded to 40 and then used every square of grid paper as 2 cm of yarn.
Step 4: Phase 2- the Bases
Crochet 28 rectangular pieces that measure 6 cm x 34 cm. For these pieces, the important thing is that the end result is an even rectangle. I used mostly a simple double-loop crochet stitch and didn't worry too much if I missed a stitch or picked up the wrong loop. I focused on keeping the edges of my rectangle straight as I went up to 34 cm. If at any point the edges started to get uneven, I just crocheted down the side and picked up the loops until they were even again.
Step 5: Phase 2- the Bases
Crochet 7 squares that measure 6 cm x 6 cm.
Step 6: Phase 2- the Bases
Attach one large rectangular piece to each side of the square piece. Make sure that the rectangular piece is on top of the square when you put them together. Before attaching the pieces, gently stretch the rectangular piece across the width, so that it will line up correctly. When you add the second rectangular piece, make sure that the corners of the two rectangular pieces touch, even if this means that some of the square piece will hang over extra. For this step I used my crochet hook like a needle and just kept pulling the yarn through both pieces and then through the loop I had created. Repeat 7 times.
Step 7: Phase 2- the Bases
Connect the sides of the rectangle pieces to create a hollow, rectanglar prism. When you pull up the rectangular pieces to connect them, make sure that any over-hang from the square piece is on the outside (meaning that the stitching done to connect the square and rectangle will be on the inside of the prism. To connect, pinch the sides of two rectangular pieces together and run a simple loop stitch up the outside of the prism. Make these stitches very small and close together (otherwise you will just have to redo this step after the pieces are starched). Stitching this way on the outside gives a better square shape by clearly defining the edges. Repeat 7 times.
Step 8: Phase 2- the Bases
At this point, realize how much work you still have in front of you and start drinking heavily. No, seriously, now you need something that forms a 6 cm by 6 cm square, and as I was looking through my house, I discovered that a bottle of José Cuervo was the perfect size. Enlarge this bottle to 32 cm high by using very strong cardboard and taping it to the bottle at the point where it started to narrow. Go to the bar and discover that the bottle of Beefeater Gin they are going to throw away is also the correct size. Take this home in your purse and make another structure with cardboard. Realize later that you wished you had 7 of these structures, so if it's possible, find 7 bottles and starch all of the base pieces at the same time.
Step 9: Phase 2- the Bases
Put the rectangular prism pieces on over the bottle. The base of the prism should be at the base of the bottle. Stretch all 4 sides up to the top of the cardboard and fold any extra over to the inside. Use the pins to secure the yarn to the cardboard. I put the pins right into the top of the cardboard.
Step 10: Phase 2- the Bases
Walk to the store, because it's a beautiful day, and buy starch, which incidentally is called almidón in Spanish. Find the larges tub that you have. Ideally this tub be big enough to allow you to put the base pieces in on their side. Unfortunately, my tub was not large enough, so I held the piece over the tub while I used a bowl to distribute the starch. I really saturated these pieces and then set them onto wax paper. Allow these pieces to completely dry. You will have to turn them to allow the bases to dry.
Step 11: Phase 2- the Bases
Step 12: Phase 2- the Bases
Crochet the top of all of the base pieces closed. This is where having the extra bit of material helps, because it's much easier to pull together. However, if your pieces ended up a little short or uneven, there is no problem, you will just have to crochet through the starched pieces (which is a bit difficult, but do-able).
Step 13: Phase 2- the Bases
Do a general clean up of the base pieces. Cut all the hanging thread. If there are any gaping holes, crochet through them to fill them up.
Step 14: Phase 2- the Bases
Create the "landings" on the base pieces. This is done by crocheting a straight line all the way around each base piece at 6 cm high, 14 cm high and 22 cm.
Step 15: Phase 3 - the Arches
Crotchet 6 rectangles of 6 cm x 10 cm and 6 rectangles of 6 cm x 20 cm. These pieces are going to be important anchors for the rest of the project, so they need to be crocheted tightly. Luckily, by this point in the project, you have had so much crochet practice that this is not a problem. I used a single, simple stich, and kept the loops tight.
Step 16: Phase 3 - the Arches
Cut pieces of cardboard into half circles. The bottom (straight part) will need to be 6 cm long and the arc should rise to 5 cm for the (from here on out refered to as) small pieces (6 x 10) and 7 cm for the (from here on out refered to as) large (6 x 20) pieces. Don't throw these away until you are completely finished. You will use them again for the second row of arches.
Step 17: Phase 3 - the Arches
Step 18: Phase 3 - the Arches
Place a large tub under the arch part and pour the liquid starch over the arch until it is saturated. Catch the extra starch in the tub, swap the tub with a large bowl and then use what was in the tub to cover the next arch (so that you don't waste starch). Use the cardboard pieces to stretch the arches into the correct shape. You will be putting two cardboard pieces into each arch. It is much easier to place all of the bottom (the part touching the floor) pieces first. Make sure that you put these cardboard pieces as close to the edge of the arch as you can. Any extra overhang will curl up and shrink and you'll have to pull it apart and add more yarn in the end. (annoying!) Pull the yarn over the cardboard pieces and then use the base pieces to support the cardboard and keep the arches stretched.
Allow these pieces to dry while you continue crocheting!
Step 19: Phase 3 - the Arches
Once the small arch pieces are dry, it's time to move on to the large arch pieces. The large arch pieces will need to connect from the middle of one base piece to the middle of the next base piece, going over the small arch piece. Once you have connected all six pieces, use the spray starch to saturate the large pieces and put the cardboard pieces in place, following the same rules as for the small pieces. Try very hard not to spray the small arch pieces while you do this step. Continue crocheting while you wait for these pieces to dry.
Step 20: Phase 3 - the Arches
At this point, you are going to give your arches their final shape, So you will want to secure the base pieces. I used a large cardboard box, because in the end I am planning for this aqueduct to be in a diorama. You can choose to just use one long piece of cardboard, if you'd like.
Measure out a line going lengthwise down your cardboard so that all of the base pieces will be in a straight line. Find something square that measures 5 cm x 5 cm (I used a juice box) to make the seperation between the base pieces even. Use a hot glue gun to glue the base pieces into their spot. During this step, it's important to make the base pieces straight and equidistant.
Step 21: Phase 3 - the Arches
Connect the short arch piece to the long arch piece. You may notice on my picture that there are varying qualities of arches, especially in the bottom row. It took me a lot of experimentation to hit upon the best way to make these arches, and because of the time crunch, I didn't go back and change the methods that didn't work out so well. The method provided in the instructions is the one that allowed me to connect the pieces in this manner and yielded the best arches. Ideally,tthere should be room for 2 crochet loops between the two, so you would just start on the long piece, crochet two stitches down and then connect the bottom piece. Start this in the corner of the base piece and continue around the entire arch. I say ideally, because at some points you may need three loops, and at times, you may need only one. Do your best to keep the space between the two arch pieces even and to keep the arch shape you have created by starching.
Step 22: Phase 3 - the Arches
Connect the two long arch pieces together. The two pieces that meet in the middle of the base piece need to be connected for about 2 cm of their height. This is an easy step, but it is also easy to pull the pieces too far apart or change the arch shape you have created. Stitch loosely, but firmly. I used only 5 loops to connect each piece, making sure to start in the corner and move across the entire arch piece to the next corner.
Step 23: Phase 3 - the Arches
Use the contrasting yarn that you have to create the look of the stones on the arches. Secure the yarn to one end of the aqueduct (in the back). Wrap the yarn around each arch 5 times and then distribute the yarn so that it is equally spaced around the arch. Secure the yarn to the other edge of the aqueduct in the back).
Step 24: Phase 4 - Support Boxes
Now you need 2 boxes that measure 3 cm x 6 cm with a height of 6 cm. Crochet 1 rectangle that measures 3 x 6 for the base piece. Crochet 2 rectangular pieces that measure 3 x 6 and 2 rectangular pieces measuring 6 x 6. Follow the same instructions as you did to create the large base pieces in Phase 2. Connect the rectangular pieces to the base piece, connect the rectangular pieces at the edges to create a rectangular prism. Use the same vinyl pieces and cardboard to create a support structure for these boxes. The support structure should measure 3 x 6 x 6. Pull the rectangular prism (yarn piece) over the support structure and crochet over the top to close the structure. Create 2 of these boxes.
Step 25: Phase 4 - Support Boxes
Place these boxes on to the two base pieces that are the ends of the aqueducts (where no arches go up, because there is nothing to connect them to). Attach these pieces first with the glue gun and then go over the three edges with crochet loops to secure the boxes to the base pieces.
Pull the long piece of the arch that is next to the box over so that it meets at the top of the box and secure it with a line of crochet loops from front to back.
Step 26: Phase 5 - B Primed
I forgot to include this piece in my initial calculations of things I would need, so I labeled it B primed on my drawing (because it went between pieces B and C) and the name stuck. This is a long piece that goes across the top of the arches, so it needs to be the entire length of the aqueduct. My piece ended up being 6 x 88, but at this point you will want to measure the length of your aqueduct and create pieces of that length. I crocheted 2 identical pieces of 6 x 88 and then used loops around the edges to connect the two pieces, one on top of the other.
Step 27: Phase 5 - B Primed
Lay down wax paper to be the same length as your piece of yarn (or use the same wax paper from Phase 1). Soak the B primed piece in liquid starch and lay it out on the wax paper. Double the wax paper over, so the yarn is completely covered and place heavy books on top to make it lay flat. This will take a while to dry, so continue crocheting the next pieces while you are waiting.
Step 28: Phase 5 - B Primed
Once the long piece is dry and hard, find 2 long, sturdy dowels and glue them across the piece, close to the edges.
Step 29: Phase 5 - B Primed
Place the B primed piece on top of the aqueduct. Use the hot glue gun to secure it to the top of the two support boxes.
Step 30: Phase 5 - B Primed
You are now going to attach the arch pieces to the B primed piece. The best way to do this is to start at the apex of each arch piece at the very front of the aqueduct. Bring the crochet hook up through the arch and B primed. Make a loop at the top (bring the yarn from the back) and then move backwards towards the back of the aqueduct, creating 5 connections for each loop.
Step 31: Phase 6 - Second Row of Bases
You are going to repeat Phase 1 with different measurements. For this phase, you will need 4 rectangular prisms that measure 5 x 5 on the bottom, with a height of 12 cm. Follow all of the instructions that are in Phase 2:
Create the rectangular side pieces (5 x 12)
Create the square bottom piece (5 x 5)
Connect the rectangular pieces to the square piece
Connect the rectangular pieces at the edges
Find something that measures 5 x 5 x 12 to stretch these pieces (I found that juice boxes worked perfectly)
Stretch the pieces over the juice boxes and saturate with starch
Allow to dry
Creat 4 support structures measuring 5 x 5 x 12 with vinyl pieces and cardboard
Gently remove the yarn from the juice boxes
Place the yarn pieces over the support structure and crochet closed
Clean up the pieces (remove extra yarn, crochet closed any gaping holes)
Step 32: Phase 7 - the Large Rectanglar Box
This large rectangle runs from the middle between large bases 2 and 3 to the middle between large bases 5 and 6, so it needs to be 6 cm wide and about 40 cm long (this you should measure on your aqueduct, to make sure it is the right length. This will have a height of 6 cm (half the height of the second row of bases. Create this pieces using the same principal as in Phase 2:
Crochet 4 pieces that measure 6 x 40
Crochet one square that measures 6 x 6
Connect the rectangular pieces to the square
Connect the rectangular pieces at the corners
Use the gin bottle to stretch out the prism. You will need to add new cardboard so that this structure has a height of 40 cm.
Saturate with starch
Allow to dry
Create a support structure using the vinyl pieces and cardboard that measures 6 x 6 x 40.
Gently remove the yarn from the bottle and put in over the support structure
Crochet the top piece to close the structure
Clean up the piece by cutting off any loose yarn and closing any gaping holes
Step 33: Phase 8 - the 3 Smaller Pieces of the Second Row of Bases
At this point you will be ready to quit. Don't do it!!! Think of the Romans. They made this structure out of stone! Of course, they had many minions to do their bidding. Wish that you had minions to crochet rectangular pieces for you. Try to enlist your husband to be your minion. Spend Valentine's night alone on the couch watching Dirty Dancing and crocheting until you have a blister on your right middle finger. Don't give up. Keep your eye on the prize.
Step 34: Phase 8 - the 3 Smaller Pieces of the Second Row of Bases
Now you need 3 pieces that when combined with the Large Rectangular Box are the same height as the 4 second row of base pieces (12 cm). Since the Large Rectangular Box should be 6 cm high, these pieces should also be 6 cm high, but you might want to measure as you make them, and if they need to be a bit shorter or a bit taller, don't worry.
Follow the same general principal as in Phase 2 to create these boxes - although watch out - because there is a change at the end with one of them:
Create the rectangular side pieces (5 x 6)
Create the rectangular base piece (5 x 6)
Connect the side pieces to the base piece
Connect the side pieces at the edges
Find something to stretch these pieces (I used the juice box with a little bit of cardboar inserted into one side to stretch it out to 6 cm)
Saturate the pieces with liquid starch
Allow to dry
Create 2 support structures of 6 x 5 x 6
Gently remove the pieces from the juice boxes
Put 2 of these pieces over the support structures
The other piece is the place where Mary goes, and we will deal with it next. Set it aside for now.
Crochet over the top to close these structures
Clean up the pieces by cutting off any loose threads and closing any gaping holes
Step 35: Phase 9 - Mary's Alcove
There is a hotly debated statue of the Virgin Mary in the center of the Aqueduct in Segovia. Because she is currently there, I am going to include her in my project. She rests in the middle piece of the Smaller Pieces of the Second Row of bases. You will use the piece that you set aside in the previous step.
Step 36: Phase 9 - Mary's Alcove
Cut 2 cardboard pieces that measure 5 x 6 and 2 vinyl pieces that are 6 cm long. Glue the cardboard pieces to connect the two vinyl pieces at the top and the side (to form a 90 degree angle). Place this structure into the rectangular prism so that the bottom of the vinyl pieces come out of the part that is not closed of the prism. The part that is not closed is going to the bottom of the prism, and the part that is opposite the cardboard piece that completely connects the two vinyl pieces is the front.
OJO! The picture is of a shoddily made structure I created in less than a minute with scraps. It was hard to describe what this piece looked like, and I forgot to take a picture. The actual piece used is evenly cut and without holes.
Step 37: Phase 9 - Mary's Alcove
Bend the front piece of yarn back to create an opening. Secure this by crocheting on the sides, to make the part that will surround Mary thicker. You will have to play with the yarn a lot to get it into the right shape. Just keep bending it and pulling it back until you have an opening in the front. It is already starched, so it should be resistant and bendable instead of floppy.
Step 38: Phase 10 - Attach the Large Rectangular Piece to the Smaller Pieces of the Second Row of Bases
For this step you will need to measure using your large Base Pieces. The three Smaller Pieces of the Second Row of Bases should end up directly over the large Base Pieces. Once you have them in the right place, secure them using the hot glue gun. Then crochet the loops together around all 4 sides. At this point, the structure with the Large Rectangular Piece has 3 Smaller Pieces of the Second Row of Bases, and the whole thing should be the same height as the Second Row of Bases (12 cm high).
Step 39: Phase 11 - the Second Row of Arches
To create the Second Row of Arches you will follow the same instructions from Phase 3, except that the pieces will only be 5 cm wide (because your base pieces you will connect them to are now narrower). You should go back and follow the exact steps that are listed in Phase 3, but here is a general outline:
Create 6 rectangles measuring 5 x 10 (small pieces)
Create 6 rectangles measure 5 x 20 (large pieces)
Choose the best sides of the Second Row of Base Pieces and lay the whole thing out on wax paper with the best side up
Attach the smaller arch pieces to the edges of the Second Row of Base Pieces
Soak in liquid starch
Use the same semicircular cardboard pieces (oops, I forgot to tell you not to throw those away!) to give shape to the arch
Allow to dry
Connect the large pieces to the middle of each base piece
Soak in liquid starch
Use the semicircle pieces of cardboard to give these shape
Connect the large arch to the small arch
Connect the large arches to each other in the middle of the base pieces
Run the contrasting yarn around the arches
Step 40: Phase 12 - More Support Boxes
Now you need 2 boxes that measure 2.5 cm x 5 cm with a height of 6 cm. Crochet 1 rectangle that measures 2.5 x 5 for the base piece. Crochet 2 rectangular pieces that measure 2.5 x 5 and 2 rectangular pieces measuring 5 x 6. Follow the same instructions as you did to create the large base pieces in Phase 2. Connect the rectangular pieces to the base piece, connect the rectangular pieces at the edges to create a rectangular prism. Use the same vinyl pieces and cardboard to create a support structure for these boxes. The support structure should measure 2.5 x 5 x 6. Pull the rectangular prism (yarn piece) over the support structure and crochet over the top to close the structure. Create 2 of these boxes.
Step 41: Phase 12 - More Support Boxes
Place these boxes on to the two smaller base pieces that are the ends of the aqueducts (where no arches go up, because there is nothing to connect them to). Attach these pieces first with the glue gun and then go over the three edges with crochet loops to secure the boxes to the base pieces.
Pull the long piece of the arch that is next to the box over so that it meets at the top of the box and secure it with a line of crochet loops from front to back.
Step 42: Phase 13 - the Part That Actually Carries the Water
Up until now, all of this aqueduct has been simply for decoration. The top part is what actually carries the water. You will need a large rectangle that runs the length of your aqueduct (aprox 90 cm) with a width of 5 cm and a height of about 4 cm. To make this, follow the same steps you've used for creating every other rectangle, except that we're not going to create the same support structure
Crochet 2 side pieces of 5 x 90
Crochet 2 side pieces of 4 x 90
Crochet a base piece of 5 x 4 (All of this will seem to take you forever, because they are the last pieces you have to crochet, but they are so long that it will feel like it's never going to end. You're almost finished! You can do it!)
Attach the side pieces to the base piece
Connect the side pieces at the edges.
Find something to use to starch these pieces. Remember my juice boxes? They're 5 x 5, I just squashed them a little with tape to make them 5 x 4 and then put all of them (I had 6) in a row into the piece. In the end, they were almost long enough. I used cardboard pieces to hold the end into place.
Starch this piece and allow it to dry.
Step 43: Phase 13 - the Part That Actually Carries the Water
Remove this piece from the juice boxes and choose which side is going to be the front and the top. Construct a support piece by cutting cardboard to the height of three sides. You will probably need to tape multiple pieces of cardboard together. Use heavy-duty packing tape. Then use the hot glue gun to attach one of the dowels to run the length of 2 of the cardboard pieces. Glue the third cardboard piece to the two dowels, to create a three sided box.
Step 44: Phase 13 - the Part That Actually Carries the Water
Put the support structure into the yarn piece. This can actually be quite tricky, because the piece is so long. If the piece is very hard you will have better luck, but if the piece starts to lose its rigidity, it's easiest to put it on the support piece in the same manner in which you put on a pair of nylons. If you have never put on a pair of nylons, find someone who has to help you.
Crochet up the end to close the structure. Clean up the structure by filling in any gaping holes and cutting away stray pieces of yarn.
Step 45: Phase 13 - the Part That Actually Carries the Water
Create the canal for water in the top part of the structure. The top part is the side that has no cardboard. Place the last dowel right lengthwise into the top of the structure and use it to press down the middle of the top (Wow! That's a complicated sentence.). Use the starch to your advantage and bend the yarn down until you have a canal running across the entire top of the structure. Crochet over the dowel to hold it in place.
Step 46: Phase 13 - the Part That Actually Carries the Water
Place this structure on to the top of the aqueduct, but do not attach it yet. Because it is the top piece, you are going to use this to make sure all of the other pieces are in the correct place. So, for now just put it on the top. As you follow the next few steps, you will find yourself moving and adjusting this piece until the aqueduct is straight.
Step 47: Phase 14 - Botox
It's possible that after all of the things that have been piled on top of them, the lower row of arches have sagged a bit. This is easy to remedy. Simply fold cardboard pieces in half and use them to lift the B primed piece. Put them right in between where the two arches meet, and maneuver them on top of the base piece until the apex of the cardboard is underneath both of the dowels holding B primed. I can't tell you how high to make these pieces, it will depend on how much you need to lift.
Step 48: Phase 15 - Fill in the Space
You will now need to fill in the space between the arches (where the Botox cardboard is). This can be done by doing crochet loops straight down from B primed to the Base pieces until the space is covered. You should then go over this area with horizontal stiches, starting at the bottom with loose stiches and pulling them tighter as you move up to B primed. This will give you a look that this piece is actually incorporated into the arch structure instead of tacked on at the end.
Step 49: Phase 16 - Orthodontics
Staringt at the bottom and working always from the middle to edges, align the aqueduct to make all the pieces straight. Check to make sure that every part is securely fastened and that there are no holes. If a piece is leaning, pull it with small tight crochet loops in the direction it needs to go and fasten it tightly to the piece that is nearest. If this can be done from the back, that's better, but if you have to readjust in the front, remember that the crochet loops will be seen and try to incorporate them into the general pattern.
You will see from my picture that I did not realize this when I first started this step. By the time I figured out how to do it, I didn't want to undo anything and lose the straight bases I had achieved. So, keep this in mind as you start the step and you won't have any unsightly yarn loops all over.
Step 50: Phase 17 - the Final Piece
Realize the night of the 19th that you have run out of hot glue sticks and that you will need more yarn. Panic because the deadline is tomorrow and tomorow is Sunday and you will not be able to buy these things on Sunday. Obtain yarn from a friend (thanks Inés!) but do not find hot glue. Decide that all of the attaching of the last piece will have to be done with crochet loops instead of glue or both, as previously planned.
(This is the only step where I can't say for certain that after trying many different things, this was the best method. In the end my piece is straight and in the right place and attached quite well. I need to go over the final piece because it has a lot of large holes where you can see the support piece if you look closely, but I had to use the yarn I had to attach, instead of fill in holes.)
Step 51: Phase 17 - the Final Piece
Hopefully you've not bumped your aqueduct or had a cat knock it over, and the top piece is already perfectly in place because of all the aligning you've done. If that's the case, go ahead and attach it. Work from the outside to the middle, attaching the two end pieces all the way around and then bringing the middle pieces up to make a straight line.
Step 52: Phase 18 - a Second Round of Botox
At this point you may or may not need to lift some or all of the second row of arches. (I lifted the three in the middle). You may or may not need to pull some of the yarn from the arch up to meet the top piece to give it a better rounded look. (I only needed to attach the two on the end). You will need to cover all of the holes between the arches using the same procedure as for the bottom arches.
Step 53: Phase 19 - Mary and the Ratty Flag
Go to every single souvenir shop in town before finally admitting that no one sells a small sized statue of the virgin that is on the aqueduct. Go to the aqueduct and take a picture of the Mary. Print this picture out and glue it to cardboard. Make everyone you know promise to keep their eyes out for this statue so that you can swap it out.
Here is the picture I used. I give you permission to use it too.
Step 54: Phase 19 - Mary and the Ratty Flag
There is also occasionally a ratty Spanish flag up next to Mary. At the time I made this project, the flag was there, so I included it in my aqueduct. I printed out a small copy of the Spanish flag, balled it up and batted it around my house for a few days. Then I unballed it and stuck it next to Mary. (This is seriously, about as good as the actual flag on the actual aqueduct looks.)
Step 55: Phase 20 - Coloring
The starch will leave all the pieces of the aqueduct with different colors and kind of whitish. If you'd like to even this out a bit, you can use a light dusting of grey/silver spray paint. You can also use brown spray paint to heavily color the Last Piece (because this is a greyish-brown color that is much darker than the other pieces of the aqueduct. You could also use the brown to lightly dust the entire structure, so that the structure is not all completely the same color.
Step 56: Phase 21 - Debriefing
Why did I build this? I often wonder why the Romans chose to build such an elaborate aqueduct. Surely they could have found an easier way to take water to the castle. I mean, there's a river right next to it and they probably could have created some sort of pulley and bucket system. Perhaps they just wanted to show off. Perhaps I just wanted to show off my mad crochet skills. Actually, if I were to boast about this project, it would not be because of my crochet skills, which were looping and haphazard, but about my math skills, which were acurate and precise.
Perhaps I made this because every year I make a diaorama for an Mariah's Easter party, and I couldn't do it last year, so I wanted to make something ridiculous this year, even though I won't be able to go to the party.
Perhaps I just wanted to win some yarn.
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.