When I stay hotels, I often do things that I don’t do at home… take a bath or watch TV, for example. And if it is a trip with a more relaxing schedule, I do things that I don’t always find time for at home. So, of course, when we drove off for a romantic weekend at the spa, of course I packed a book and crochet with me! 😉
After completing the latest large project, I decided to treat myself to something more fun and quick. And what’s more fun than Happypotamus!? I’ve claimed my admiration towards that pattern before, but just look at that hippo bottom, isn’t it cute!? And, it gives me a great chance to use up a good chunk of my blanket leftovers.
I have about half of the hippo ready now… I just wish the spa weekend would have been longer 😉
I can’t believe the blanket is finally done! I have decided to call it Dance Around the Globe, because here are just a few examples where those squares were made:
- A park bench at State College, Penn State;
- During a drive between Krk and Split, Croatia;
- On an overnight boat from Stockholm, Sweden to Tallinn, Estonia;
- At our friends’ summer kitchen in Toronto, Canada;
- On a 46th floor balcony in Dubai, UAE;
- In a funky-smelling hotel room in Bengaluru, India.
So, bits of this blanket got to travel a lot with me between August 2016 and February 2018. And finally, it has found its place in our bedroom!
8×11 squares, most of them from the original pattern. I left out the more airy squares. Where we live right now, we crave for everything warm. (My initial plan was to take photos of the blanket outside, but it is -17 degrees Celsius outside today!). When I ordered the colours, I picked them quite randomly, but I am very happy with the overall look.
But there’s no time for getting too proud of my work… there is a list of WIP’s that desperately need attention!
About 18 months ago my husband started his Master’s degree. And about 18 months ago, I started a big blanket project.
Last week, he started his last semester of school, and that made me realise that I need to up my game. So, for the past weekend you could see us either home or at cafes – one completely absorbed in his homework, the other vigorously crocheting (although, there was an hour or two where I too tried my hand at linear equations ;)).
Here’s my progress so far, 87 squares, all from the Last Dance on the Beach. Compared to the first blanket, where I had absolutely no say in picking the colours, this one looks so timid and calm. Maybe a bit too timid and calm.
Tonight will be all about that 1 last square, weaving in ends, and spending hours on obsessing over the right layout. And, as my husband will start writing his thesis, I will start joining the squares. Seems like an equal amount of work to me 😀
Autumn hit us early and hard this year. I have spent hours on Ravelry looking at patterns of mittens and hats, regretting that I had not thought of it earlier. Like in June. Although, to be hones, even June required hats and mittens on certain nights.
But instead of knitting practical stuff, I have been working on something more fun. Meet my first attempt of Happypotamus, the hippo made out of African flower motifs.
I’ve been eyeing Heidi Bears’ patterns for a long time – they are so cute and colourful! And, they are well-worth the money you pay for them: the pattern has written instructions, and photos and pattern schemes to help you along. And it is so much fun to pick the colours for each motif.
I used Scheepjes Colour Crafter, as I had lots of leftovers from the Ugly Blanket. The eyes are stitched with yarn only – Happy will be moving in with a 6-month-old baby, so I did not want to have any bits that could potentially come loose.
Happy and his cute bum will be getting on the plane tomorrow to fly overseas to his new home. And I am very tempted to postpone the hats and mittens even longer, so I could make the next one… a camel maybe?
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.
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 😀