“Do It Once and Do It Right.”

Today I decided to heed some words of wisdom.  “Do it once and do it right” was apparently the motto of one of my husband’s high school teachers.  My husband now uses it often with the kids.  It’s time for me to listen to it, too.  Some projects are just not meant to be quick ‘n’ easy.

Almost a year ago I discovered the patterns written by Heidi Bears.  She designs animals made with joined geometric shapes, using the crochet African Flower motif.  They are beautiful, and I fell in love with the hippo and giraffe.

I decided to make the giraffe first because it has fewer pieces (35 to the hippo’s 44.)  And the design with the flowers is stunning.  Last summer I chose some yarn and get started.  I never finished because I made a few big mistakes.  First, the yarn and hook I chose weren’t good for the pattern.  The hook was far too large and left big holes.  And the yarn was nothing special.  you need special yarn, or special colors, for a moderate to large project.  Second, I decided not to use the African Flower shapes.  I thought they would take too long, so I just did solid hexagons.  That was a big, big, enormous mistake.  All the charm of the pattern lies in the flowers.  It turned out looking like a kind of lumpy, boring, headless, giraffe.  It will likely remain headless.

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In the fall, I decided to try a smaller project, the Fat Little Owl.  It only needed 16 pieces, so it should haven been easy, right?  I decided to make one with chunky yarn, knowing it would be huge and I would have to sew an insert for it.  I did use the African Flowers, though!  I got it almost done before running into two problems.  First, life with five kids.  I don’t even know what happened, but something interrupted me and I never got back to it.  Second, I’m really not into owls.  I have no idea where the project ended up, so no picture.  I probably will finish it whenever I find it, because I did like the colors.

A few days ago I embarked on project #3.  I impulsively decided to try the owl again, but with simple granny-square type shapes, and grabbed some yarn I had nearby.  Clearly, I learned nothing from the first two projects.

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Last night I finished up the fourth baby gift I needed for this winter/spring.  I will share photos once they have all been given to the intended recipients.  I have a few more projects on the back burner, but I want to do something cool, just because, just for me.  Time to really make one of those animals.

I will finally “Do it once and do it right.”  I’m still making the giraffe, even though the hippo (and elephant!) really has my heart.  Hopefully that isn’t a big mistake.  The giraffe is really cool, too.  I am using the African Flowers.  I chose Caron Simply Soft yarn because I have a bunch of lovely colors, and it has a nice sheen to it.  I am using an E hook.  It’s very small for the yarn, but the pattern requires a small hook.  I started on the motifs this morning.  Now I just need to follow through until it’s complete.

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My colors are: “off white” for the centers and sc borders, “bone” for the background, and “lite country peach,” “mango,” “sunshine,” “pumpkin,” and “victorian rose.”  The pumpkin is actually a dark, rusty orange, not red.  And the mango is not neon.  I hesitated on the rose because it makes the project less gender neutral, but I really love the color and I feel like it fills out the palette nicely.  Fingers crossed I actually finish this one.

And I am working on writing on the catnip rat.  It should be quick and easy to write, but my cats discovered where I had hidden the catnip.  One night they opened the drawer, tore open the several layers of bags, and spread the dry catnip all over the floor.  I have to go buy some more.

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