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?
I read Agent Crochet’s post on how she has different crochet projects not only for when she is outside of the house, but also different projects for different parts of the house. And then I realised, I too have “assigned” projects to different circumstances. Here’s my current “pipeline”:
Hygge for evenings on my living room couch – colourful and cozy, requires a certain amount of attention and stability, and it goes well with watching the news or British crime series 😉
Haapsalu shawl for when I am travelling by land – is light and fits into a purse. As I am still working on the central part, which has a fairly basic pattern, I can knit and be sociable at the same time!
And for flights and long layovers – granny squares! I am using a bamboo hook, so no-one freaks out at the security control. There is absolutely no system to the colours, so it does not matter which ball of yarn I pull out of the bag next. And it really helps pass all the hours I spend travelling.
I’ll be absolutely honest, there are a few other works-in-progress here and there, but they are on hold for now… I guess until I find a time and place to assign for them too 🙂
When it comes to international post, both of the countries I currently live at are considered the backwaters of the world. So, when ordering something, I try to keep my expectations under control. However, when everyone else started posting the photos of the Hygge kits they received on Facebook, I got a little bit excited every morning I went to work, and every evening I returned… Because maybe, just maybe it had arrived.
The post office system at my original home country also likes to keep things exciting. They don’t deliver packages to your door… they leave you a notification to go pick up your package at their shop. And the notification always states it is “an international letter weighing 100 grams”. So, you never really know what you are getting until you are at the post office.
Needless to say, the 100 grams of international letter consisted of a box of Hygge this time. And of course, despite of all the other unfinished projects, I had to open the kit and start on the swatch that very moment.
I must say, love the colours and the texture of Catona. To me it seems it makes a much better yarn for embroidery than knitting/crochet. And did I tell you that I love the colours?
The first ball of Stone Washed is a major disappointment though. It has a nice little “Easy Start” tag attached to the centre-pull end to make things easier. But when I pulled it, a huge mess came out: both the outside and inside ends were completely tangled with each other, and . Both of the ends were completely tangled inside the skein. In addition, one of the ends had several knots, so I had to cut off a bit.
So, my swatching proceeded in the following rhythm: crochet a row, untangle yarn for next row, crochet, untangle… But guess what, my swatch is ready!!! And it makes me all happy and optimistic, so I am really hoping that the next balls of Stonewashed will be better.
I ´went to visit the expecting couple again, and sneaked upstairs to their nursery room to get a few pics of the blanket in its natural habitat. The photo shows only a bit, but apparently I really hit a colour jackpot! Somehow, without having any idea what their nursery would look like, I had picked the colours that really fit! The only way the blanket had been more harmonious with the room, would have been if I had stitched some monkeys on top of it. Yes, they have little monkeys on the walls of their nursery room! 🙂
By the way, I also listed the blanket on Ravelry. I am still very new to this, so I am not really sure how it works, but I’ll figure it our along the way.
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!