The Last Dance on the Beach: weeks 3 and 4

Last Dance on the Beach, week 3Week 3: Sunset

Yarn: Scheepjes Colour Crafter, Leeuwarden

Hook size: 4

Sometimes I am good at sabotaging myself. Following the discussions I got the impression that this square was problematic to many. So, I mentally prepared myself for a challenge. And a challenge it was – it took me 45 minutes to complete the first line! I crocheted, and counted, and frogged. I read through tens of Facebook posts to see if everyone had the same problem as I did. I watched the instructional video over and over again, paying extra attention to the complicated bits.

And then I discovered that my problem had nothing to do with the complicated bits. I had just added an extra stitch to the pattern every single time I tried to complete the row. And it took me so long to notice that, because all my effort was spent on the “complicated” part. But after that, it was all smooth sailing!

Last Dance on the Beach, week 4Week 4: The Waves

Yarn: Scheepjes Colour Crafter, Delft

Hook size: 4,5

This poor square got no love from me. I struggled with the dark yarn, I struggled with getting the hook size right, I struggled with what seemed like never-ending rows of 28 half-trebles. Even though it is not a very complicated pattern, I estimate I frogged at least 4 full squares before I got 4 wonky squares that were more or less ok. Blocking helped a bit, but I think I overdid it with stretching a bit.

But look, put it all together, and it almost looks like a blanket already!!! 🙂

Last Dance on the Beach, weeks 1-4

The Flying Monkey

I have a dear friend who was born in the year of the monkey. Considering, that the current year is also the year of the monkey, and in the beginning of the year I came across this wonderful pattern at Heart & Sew, it seemed very appropriate to make her a cheeky monkey as a gift.

Flying Monkey, Pattern by Heart and SewI call it the flying monkey, because most of the work got done on flights between Helsinki and Moscow and Dubai. I must say, I love my bamboo crochet hooks. My hands do get tired with them, but at least I can take them on board of airplanes with no problems!  For a very long time the poor animal was blind – it took me more time going to shops in different countries to find suitable eyes than crocheting, stuffing and sewing the thing.

Flying Monkey back, pattern by Heart and SewI tweaked the original pattern on the go, mainly due to the fact that I ran out of the lighter-coloured yarn. From the photos you can also understand that my monkey is especially cheeky – it was the first toy I have ever crocheted. And in the process I realised that what toys require is a good sense of symmetry… which I don’t think I have a lot of :D Somewhere along all those flights and packing and unpacking I lost one of the arms. Redoing one that matches the other took me at least 6 attempts, even though I was following the pattern stitch by stitch :O

Instead of making a fez from the original pattern, I thought of dressing the monkey up a bit, but finally decided to leave it naked. I know my friend will get a good laugh over that… because she is a bit of a monkey herself 😉

Last Dance on The Beach: weeks 1 and 2

Let’s be honest, these last days I have spent an insane amount of time crocheting and scrolling through the Facebook group for this CAL. Here is my progress report:

Last Dance on the Beach, week 1Week 1: The Popcorns

Yarn: Scheepjes Colour Crafter: Den Bosch

Hook size: 4

It was very nice of the organisers of this CAL to start off with some low-hanging fruit 😉 I have never done the popcorn stitch before, but making the square went nice and easy. The perfectionist in me feels that the kernels could be more similar to each other. But I do not think such small details will be an issue when the whole blanket is ready. During the swatch-making I realised my work needs to be a bit more loose. Considering the first blocks are slightly bigger than the swatch, I say mission completed!

Last Dance on the Beach, week 2Week 2: The Stars   

Yarn: Scheepjes Colour Crafter, Kampen

Hook size: 5

Carried by the sense of success I got from completing the first squares, I optimistically dived into the next ones. And there was one trouble after another. Firstly, the yarn is too dark to understand what is going on. When I finally got a hang of the stitch, I struggled with getting the hook right. There were moments when I had a perfect-sized square ready, but upon counting the stars I found out there were 13 instead of 14. Or 15. But now that I have them ready, I really like the texture of these block. I am looking forward to making them for a lighter coloured blanket.Last Dance on the Beach, weeks 1 and 2

Things I need! :)

The past two weeks I have spent hiking, and biking, and driving, and travelling by ferries through 4 countries, so I have had exactly zero time for being crafty. But to make up for it, I have been to a lot of souvenir and handicraft shops, which always give me new inspiration for projects to do, and trinkets to buy.

Plywood needle gauge from Tallinn, Estonia

Just look at those cute needle gauges I found in a handicraft shop in Tallinn, Estonia. They are made out of plywood, inexpensive, and incredibly cute. I especially love the sheep, as it can be used as a keyring. And, look at the tińy sheep attached!