Every now and then I get this massive urge to finish all my projects, but these last months that urge has been powered by a very different motive. In just two months our family is expected to grow by 50%, and it is not because we are getting a puppy (although my husband would love to have a puppy. Or two. Or more :D).
So, these days the craft-section of my brain is saying, “Got to knit and crochet all the cool stuff for the baby! But first, let me finish all the other projects! But first, let me start a few new projects, because when the baby is here, I’ll have no time for any of that! But got to knit and crochet all the cool stuff for the baby!”
At least I have managed to finish one thing, a Bunny Lovey, and I am loving it! The pattern for the head is from Bunny Lovey by Victoria Stewart, and the tutorial for the star blanket can be found here.
Here’s a sneak peak on what I am working on these days. Don’t you just love how the brightness of the colours!? It is a great way to use up some of the leftovers from the Hygge CAL (which I still haven’t blocked, by the way). I do love the range of colours that Scheepjes Catona comes in, but I really really can not approve of their new 10-gram format. It might work when it comes to embroidery, but you can hardly start crocheting anything when you already have to grab the next skein.
However, during my last order I picked a few skeins of a different cotton yarn: Scheepjes Cotton 8. I am not yet sure what I will make of them, but I have a few ideas. Until then, I just enjoy the colours.
My question about the appropriateness of a hippo without a head got answered by a 4-month old boxer pup we were babysitting over the weekend. The hippo was still headless, halfway stuffed and got a very loud growl from the puppy. So, in the interest of babies from all species, I had to complete the full toy.
The Happypotamus has already moved in with its new owner – a 5-week year old baby boy called August. He didn’t growl at it, so I guess he approves 🙂
I know that my latest blog posts only talk about starting new projects… Occasionally some of them actually get completed as well.
I have to start with a declaration: I am not a great fan of April Fools’ jokes. I think they are fun if you have kids, or there is a certain tradition with your family or friends, but generally they are just not my cup of tea. I am lucky that my husband does not care much about this kind of jokes either.
However, the Estonian weather has its own sense of humour. So, on the morning of the 1st of April, when everyone was already dreaming of spring, we had a snowstorm. One of those proper traffic-stopping, turn-your-heaters-back-on-and-sing-Christmas-carols type of snowstorms.
That kind of weather made me brew a bucket of tea, dig out the ball of Aade multicolour wool that I got as a gift for Christmas, and start on a pair of knee-high socks.
I love Aade’s yarn: being 100% wool it is quite rough, but it reminds me of my childhood. My grandparents used to have sheep, and even though the socks and mittens that were made of them were not particularly soft or sweet, they sure did their job of keeping warm. Aade’s yarn, of course, can boast a selection of colours we never even knew to dream of back then. And this particular colourway has all my favourite blue and green hues. The cabled pattern comes from Mary Webb’s “Knitting Stitches”, my go-to book for simpler lace patterns for years.
Another running joke around here is that winter is nothing compared to the weather during midsummer night. Well, whatever it will be, I have a pair of socks that will help me survive however cold it will be. Let’s see who’ll laugh about that, Mr. Weather!
Can I get away with giving a headless stuffed animal as a gift to a newborn, and say that it is a great way of stimulating his imagination? Or will the poor kid get traumatized for life?
A few months back I started another Happypotamus for a colleague who was due in the end of April. Her expecting a spring baby, and it being a baby boy, I had the perfect leftovers of Scheepjes Colour Crafter for the project: blues, greens, purples with a thin contrast line of dark yellow just for fun.
And, of course, I ran out of the contrast colour right before I could start crocheting the head. To avoid adding to my stash, I first turned to the local craft forums and Facebook groups to see if anyone had a bit left over. No luck. Then I started scanning all the local yarn stores, and came up with the same result. So, I had no other alternative but to look at online stores abroad. And I couldn’t just order one skein of yarn, because the postal costs would have been ridiculous, so I threw in a few extras in different colours and fibres 😉
I can not say a single bad word about the service of Black Sheep Wools, however online yarn shopping is just not my thing. I need to see and touch and compare and coordinate my yarns, or there will be consequences. This time, the consequence was that I ended up with 5 new skeins of Colour Crafter, none being the right colour. And I only have myself to blame for that, because I did not double check the colour codes properly.
So, what does a rational crafter do in that situation? She’ll start a new project with the newly arrived yarns. And I know I will be running out of the light blue soon, but that is ok. Gives me more reason to make another order. And this time, I will be checking the colour codes for at least three times before making the purchase.
Obviously, knitting with multiple colours is not my strong suit… So, it made sense to pick a new project to practice exactly that aspect of my knitting. However, I had no clue what kind of a challenge it would end up 😀
So, meet my husband’s newest pair of socks. I picked the Moose Parade pattern, because it seemed relatively doable. As I already had to tweak the pattern due to different yarn and sizing, I decided I will make my life easier, and just knit it how the pattern said – from the top. Boy, was I wrong about the easy part.
I actually studied how to knit that type of heel in school, but ever since I have preferred knitting socks from the toe. It is more intuitive for me, and to me it seems like it gives a more polished look for the toe and the heel. Added bonus is, that you never have to worry about running out of yarn halfway through. But now I had to scrape up the bits from my memory, watch through dozens of youtube and blog tutorials, and figure out how to go back “old-school”. I kid you not, I think I frogged and re-knit the heels more than 20 times.
I was so proud of myself when I finally finished this pair! I am still not completely happy with the tension, or the heel, to be honest, but my husband says he loves them. And even if he does say that just because he loves me, it is ok, I still choose to believe him 🙂
Of course, to recover from the heel trauma, and to celebrate a project that actually got finished, I had to celebrate by starting a rehabilitation project.
What does a woman do when she already has about a dozen half-finished project, and she is about to head to a 10-day trip to her in-laws? Of course, she takes on new projects with her!
Unless it is a work trip, travelling is a great opportunity for knitting and crochet. All those hours in airports and on planes, in buses and trains. All those long chatting sessions at cafes, or around living room tables.
The only problem is, that to actually get things done, one has to do some proper pre-trip planning. And as you can imagine, there is plenty of other things that need to be taken care of before getting on that plane. So, I had a whole 10 minutes to come up with something, and drew up a quick plan of:
- Something that is travel-proof, including getting-through-airport-security-proof. That generally means crochet with a bamboo hook, something quick and easy.
Please note the curve of this crochet hook. This thing is such an experienced traveller it should have its own frequent flyer membership.
- Something that actually fills up my time, meaning more mental effort.
My excuse to starting two new projects? No new yarn was purchased for either of them, so it is kind of a stash-busting trip 😛
I’ll let you know how it all goes… 😉