So Easter came and went and April is whizzing by and Lovely Baby continues to grow longer and longer. It is possible that I have birthed a giant. I managed to squeeze in a bit of Easter crafting, although not as much as normal, but enough to make me feel a bit on top of my life:
The cards were made with paper and wooden shapes from Lidl of all places. I love Lidl. You never know what you might find in there but there is always something. And it is so cheap! Joy.
I also made some seasonal chocolate crunch:
I don’t really know how to describe chocolate crunch beyond its name. It is a secret family recipe; where other people have ‘rocky road’ or ‘tiffin’, we have chocolate crunch, which has the chocolate/biscuit base in common with the aforementioned snacks but is….better. It is really bad for you (I put apricots in it which obviously cancels out all the bad) but so so so tasty. Basically it is my go to cheering people up cooking. Best of all, it involves no actual cooking as it is a chilled traybake. This is doubly great because our oven is still broken. We are eating a lot of pasta.
I have also been doing great battle with a granny square. For those of you who do not crochet, this is a square, that you crochet, by starting in the middle then adding layers by going round and round until it is the size you want. If you had to imagine crochet, you would probably think of a granny square blanket. They were also popular in the 70s for the making of jumpers, but I am not sure how I feel about that. The foot warmer for the pushchair that I talked about in my last post is made of granny squares.
ANYWAY. This particular granny square was in response to a competition on a crochet pattern site which I frequent, perhaps a little too often (allcrochetpatterns.net). The goodies looked so amazing I decided to put all other projects aside and concentrate on designing a square, something I had never done before. The only rules were: it had to be square and have a certain number of stitches in the final round (20 per side).
How hard could it be?
Despite deciding to never do any crochet that involved copious colour swapping again after the lovely but extremely stressful hedgehog blanket
I thought that probably I would do some colour swapping crochet and make a sloth. Some people say that women forget the pain of childbirth, which is how they can have another. Well I don’t know about that because I had a section, but I certainly forgot the pain of colour swapping.
TOO MANY THREADS.
However, I get ahead of myself. First I made a sloth face, which was relatively simple although it left me with a preposterous number of tails for something so small (please no jokes about how sloths don’t have tails, I am too tired):
I gave him a layer of fluff also:
Then I needed to add a border that would make a straight line:
Then I needed to make it square in order to abide by the rules. This was tricky as the central starting point was in fact oval, meaning that what I actually had was a rectangle:
NO GOOD TIMES. I have never been one to let Maths get the better of me so I persevered. I decided I would do the same pattern again, but on a smaller hook, making the stitches tighter and the overall ‘square’ smaller. This would definitely, magically, transform my rectangle into a square.
The more perceptive of you will by now have realised that this is not how shapes work.
Not to be deterred, I repeated everything, pulled apart the border a few times, counted to 20 more times than I care to think, got cross, threw it across the room, tried again and eventually gave up because, you know, I have a five month old and my time is limited and I was fed up using it on something that was making me feel this angry. #didn’tchoosethecrochetlife
BUT, because of Lovely Baby, inspiration struck. I was awake at about 3am two nights ago (the competition entry deadline is tomorrow) and had an idea. The best ideas are often to be had at 3am but without Lovely Baby being so extremely hungry having not been fed for approximately 45 minutes, I wouldn’t have been awake. Today I acted upon that idea and BOOM TING
I had a square. It is still confusing to the eye because the inside bit is an oval then a rectangle but there are the same number of stitches on each side and I promise you each side measures the same. This makes it a square, or so I am led to believe.
I then had to sew in ALL OF THE ENDS which is why I hate this kind of crochet with such a passion:
And then I had to block it so it looked more like a square. Blocking is basically when you make what you just knitted/crocheted a bit wet, stretch it to the shape you wanted it to be/it was supposed to be in the first place, pin it out and then leave it to dry. Then you have to take the pins out which is a very nervous-making activity. If you have not got it wet enough/left it long enough, it will just ping back into the shape you didn’t want it to be. If you have done it right, it stays the shape you have forced it to be. Luckily, since I was working to a deadline, it worked and I had a definite square:
The final touch was to sew on his eyes and a smile:
Then I had to send it into the competition. I have never entered a craft competition before so I don’t expect to win anything but I actually really enjoyed the process of working to a constraint, apart from how stressful it was what with the counting. But now I have done it, I have a whole host of animal based ideas which I will work on when I next have a minute (LOL). This little chap needs to be absorbed into a sloth themed blanket somehow.
I think I am most pleased with his sticky-out nose:
Lovely Baby has been a total gem today which is the only way I could have got this done. He has just mastered turning onto his front by himself which is excellent, although he has not quite worked out what to do next. Instead he lies there with his face on the floor looking at me as if to say: ‘Evolution made me do it but why?’ This soul searching has kept him occupied so I have been able to sew in ends and restitch the smile five times to try and make it more even.
We also managed to squeeze in a walk in his comfy (for both of us) new sling. He promptly went to sleep and dribbled all down my front. Such is the glamorous life I lead.