Another item done! Let’s be honest, I cheated a bit. I found them in my yarn stash, all knitted and stitched together. All that was left to do was to wash them, weave in the ends and add the tulip buttons. And voila! I had a little addition to the gift of the baby blanket.
Both the blanket and the booties went to their new home yesterday, and as expected the parents-to-be were impressed. Partially it is because they really appreciate handmade things, and I am very grateful for that. But partially it is also because whenever you make something tiny, it is bound to leave an emotion.
I did forget to take photos of the blanket, so I need to pay them another visit and check out how it fits into their nursery.
The first finished project of 2017 is done! It is a bit wonky, but I am happy and proud! Even the colour scheme, that seemed loud and conflicting in the beginning, does not bother me that much any more. At first it was because me and that blanket went through so much together, that of course we bonded over that. Suffering does that to you 😀 But when I showed it to my other half, his first reaction was, “So beautiful!”, followed by, “Wait, is that the ugly blanket?! It is beautiful though!”
So, we’re calling it the Ugly Blanket. With a lot of love, of course. I also refer to it as the biggest swatch I have ever made. This CAL taught me a lot, and I will probably be making some more squares some time in the future. But until then, me and my Ugly Blanket will snuggle up on the sofa. And yes, you can see it right, I am knitting for a change.
Last night I went out to dinner with a friend, and finished it up with a coffee. Of course it resulted in me staying up until 1am, watching the news and crocheting. My hands were also fuelled by the weather forecast that promised sunshine for the next day. This meant, that if I could get the Last Dance on the Beach blanket done, I could wash it in the morning, and it would have a full sunny day to dry up on the balcony.
And here it is today, sunbathing on the balcony. I still can’t believe it is finally done! The realisation hits me every time I pass the window and see it hanging out there! I won’t consider it completely done just yet – I want to press it a bit, and then I can present it to you in its full glory. Until then, however, I can share the key learning points from joining the squares:
- If there is an instruction, I should never improvise! I don’t know where my confidence comes from, but every now and then I look at the pattern or instruction and decide that I know a better or an easier way. About 95% of the times this does not prove to be true.
- The best protocol for joining, especially if I am doing the type of join for the first time goes like that: count, pin, re-count, re-pin, re-count, crochet. I can’t tell you how many times I frogged, because a) it is just embarrassing, and b) I don’t think there is enough characters in the blog post available.
- I have said it before, and I’ll say it again… never ever ever try a new technique with dark-coloured yarns. Because this is a guaranteed way of going blind. Or mad. Or possibly both.
The baby blanket is coming along nicely. It is already too big, so I can’t fully spread it out on the sofa for photographing, nor can I fit the full picture into the blog post 🙂 Don’t you just love knitting or crocheting a piece when it is big large enough to keep your knees warm at the same time?
However… I ran out of yarn… AGAIN!
If I have an unpleasant or scary task ahead of me, there are usually two great forces that give the best results. One of them is procrastination, meaning you have to have a task even more unpleasant or scarier facing of you. You can’t imagine how spotless and tidy my home was back when I was writing my thesis 😀 And the second one is desperation.
I was working on my current pet project, the baby blanket, and ran out of yarn. So, the first night I just replaced it with reading a book (I am currently in the middle of Kafka by the Shore). The second day I did not have time to go downtown to stock up, so I kept on reading and trying not to think of my itchy hands… the last thing I need right now is to start on a new project.
And then, on the third day, I finally get to the store, and they are closed for inventory! I go back home empty-handed, pull out the pile of unfinished projects, and start working on the Last Dance on the Beach blanket. I have most of the squares ready, but the thought of joining seemed so daunting that I hid them all under my stash. And now it is out in daylight again… scary. Maybe I should go and clean the kitchen instead 😀
These past days we’ve been having snowstorms and cold temperatures in double digits, so I’ve really only went out of the house for the inevitable – work, gym, and a few meetups with friends that were long overdue. The rest of the time I have mostly spent wrapped up in blankets, with my back against the heater and a hook in my hands.
The picture above is the colour scheme for a baby blanket, which I need to finish by end of January. This is when I get on a plane to visit family friends, who are expecting a baby! They have told us the gender of the baby, but I tend to prefer gender-neutral colours for bay stuff. So this time, the blanket will have natural greens, beige, and a little bit of sunshine tied in. We all need a bit of sunshine these days.
I am using the Neat Ripple pattern from Lucy of Attic24. I love her work. What she does is so simple, but at the same time her colour combinations are an instant cheer-up!
Now, who wants to be my cheerleader, so I can get this thing done by January 24th? 😀
By now the holiday season is really over – this morning I even took out the juniper branches that was our version of the Christmas tree this year. I know I am a week late with my resolutions… I’ve been dwelling whether to set myself any craft goals for 2017 or not since Christmas, and finally decided to do it. There are two main reasons behind it.
For one, I feel that in general, I have been rather passive towards life this past year. To be honest, I can’t complain about 2016 on a personal level at all – I got engaged, I got a new job, I got to do some pretty fun freelance projects, I got to travel a lot and visited 3 new countries. However, with so much happening, it is so easy to just let things take place, and lose the habit of taking initiative. Instead, there are just excuses. What’s the point of calling up a friend to set up a dinner date, as I am in the country for just one week… I’m too tired from my last plane ride, so instead of reading a good book, let me waste my time on Facebook instead… I would totally finish knitting that baby blanket now, if only it wasn’t in the other apartment right now…
The second reason is much more pragmatic though 🙂 I held Christmas dinner for my close family in the apartment I have been living in on and off (and more off) for the last 4 years. My dinner table is usually pushed against a corner, and it has provided a nice dark little hiding place for all my yarn, unfinished projects, and who knows what else. But now when we had to move the table, there was no way to ignore the pile of boxes and baskets staring at me.
So, here are my resolutions for 2017:
- No more purchases of yarn until I have sorted out and started making use of the chaos in the corner of the living room.
- I will finish one project each month. And to help that I will start writing things down (so I can’t discard a project just because I forgot which size hook I used, or how I did my calculations), and blog about it to be more accountable.
- I will be more proactive. This does not only apply to yarn and crafts, but if my choice of entertainment for the evening is look at cat photos on the internet or knit, I will choose the latter!
Let’s keep an eye on each other, so we all actually pull through 😀