Looking at when I last posted it might seem like I have fallen off the Earth. In a way it is true: for the past four months my universe has had a new centre. And while I have slowly been finding ways to crochet and knit from the side of a newborn, blogging requires more focus and energy than I have had to spare.
Even though I have finished quite a few items over the past months, there have only been a few things for my own kid. Somehow gifts for others are easier to plan and complete. Here is a collection of Happypotamuses that have found new homes from UK to Estonia.
The fun thing about those hippos is that when made with a 3,5 hook and Scheepjes Colour Crafter, they end up slightly larger in size than newborns, making them a great photo accessory for mini-birthdays.
And finally, my munchkin has a Happypotamus of her own! Lord knows this kid does not suffer from a shortage of toys… I suspect there is dark magic involved: we have tried to be very conservative in buying toys, but they are sneaky and come in from doors and windows as well-meaning gifts from friends and family. To my defense, I wanted to add at least one more hand-made toy to her collection… while store-bought toys come and go, I hope this will last as something special through the years. Maybe it will even inspiere her to crochet something herself one day?
It has been an exceptional summer for us Northerners this year… it actually has looked like a summer most of the time since the end of May! And to be honest, some of us find all that summer difficult to cope with, including yours truly. It is rather embarrassing: after having lived in (and most of the time enjoyed) the climates of Mediterranean, North Africa, Inda and the Persian Gulf; Norther Europe poses a challenge for me this year… I blame it on the hormones and the extra load I am carrying. My due date is just two weeks away, and I really hope I’ll turn back to “normal” again after that.
So, due to my inability to spend a lot of time outdoors, I find myself more and more on my sofa, working on projects. The most recent one I finished is yet another Happypotamus, this time in the colours of really sunny skies… The hippo will travel to UK to keep company to a fresh little baby boy, I hope it brings lots of sunshine to him too, even when that exceptional summer is over.
Lately I have been getting very antsy with minimizing my stash. I mean, I do have a rather modest amount of yarn, however there are skeins in these boxes that have been waiting to become something for years. Now, pair that with that foggy evening when I was feeling particulary low, and boom! a unicorn pony started to happen!
I will not get tired of saying how much I love HeidiBear’s patterns. They are fun, easy to follow, yet keep me busy 🙂 So, as a bit of retail therapy I decided to purchase her Fatty Lumpkin pattern (I do have to do some research on why on earth would she a call such a lovely animal like that?! :D).
From the bottom of my boxes I found several skeins of Steinbach Wolle, a mix of acrylic and wool. These are all leftovers from the time that I made dozens of baby blankets. Honestly, I am not sure how the babies who got those blankets feel about them, because right now the yarn feels rough and rather unfriendly. Sorry, babies!
However, the yarn feels like a good toy yarn. Here’s my progress so far… only the nose and the “accessories” to go…
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.
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 🙂
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.
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 😉