Finishing Things. Awesome!

Hi fellow crafts lovers, here’s a post that has been a long time coming. It’s about love and girl friends. It’s also about a number of crafts projects I finished at the end of last year. And it’s about a poncho, check it:

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A while ago, I mentioned that my friend N. and I were doing a sort of a crochet-along. We planned to give our mutual girl friend I. a poncho for her birthday, one half to be done by her and the other by myself. It was I. who introduced us some 10 years ago, and many life-changing events have taken place since then. There were moves, break-ups, new loves, a wedding, a few funerals, jobs lost and new jobs found, new careers started and businesses launched. A number of children were born, and both N. and I have started doing crafts. We’ve become close over the years, bonding over so many things, but most of all over our little cluster of country cottages, our cherished spot outside of town.

It took N. and I a while to make the poncho happen. Initially, we fussed about color schemes, material and patterns. But after we agreed on everything, and the big day rolled around, we had actually gotten as far as the center pieces, so could show I. what she was in for.

We began with a simple granny square, and despite a little unraveling here and there – because sweet N. is strict about her color schemes (to the absolute benefit of the poncho, for sure) – we made good progress until the whole thing screeched to a halt in June because we were both crazy busy with work, school and community work. We paused over the summer holidays, but finally finished the darn thing before fall rolled around, and handed it over before it got seriously cold. I sure hope it’s well loved – we enjoyed making it a great deal, and we’re both really happy with how it turned out – and as you can see it looks beautiful on I.’s petite, graceful frame.

I’ve done a number of crocheted gifts over the last few years, and I always find it rewarding to create something really personal and individual for someone who will appreciate the love, time and care you pour into these pieces as you go. Making them is almost as good as giving them away :-).

Here’s a few pics of stuff I managed to finish up before the holidays:

Dreamy short-sleeved mohair and silk sweater for my fabulous friend E. It has a diagonal-stripy openwork lacy pattern, which took me some trial and error to find the right design for, not to mention time. I’m pleased with the result, although I must confess I do not enjoy knitting with that kind of flimsy, silky, slippery yarn and monstrously wide needles… glad I was finished, and hope she will enjoy her birthday present.

Next, there were those twin cushions, much like the one I did for my friend A. the year before, but with different color schemes. I love both, but if I had to choose, I’d go for the – yeah, the lime green one, how on Earth did you guess?

Then, I made a knit hat for my son’s sweet friend L., who asked for one for her birthday – much like the one I made for my daughter early last year.

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L.’s uses the same pattern but is made from a blue-and-black tweedy yarn and sports a black furry pompom. More fitting for a beautiful, style-conscious teenager. Cool is important :-)!

And then of course the Funky Blanket must make another cameo appearance, because it’s so glorious – not to flatter myself, but to give it another well-earned moment of FAME:

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And, dare I say it, I’m almost done with the sweater of 14 years also. Will show that once I’m finished with it. But that belongs in 2016, so there’s time for that.

Finishing long-term projects can be a pain, but in the end, when you get it right, it can be liberating like few other things. Even if you didn’t bother with them for years, these half-baked ideas have a tendency to clutter your creative mind, gather dust, add some discontentment and ultimately start nagging at you … sometimes they need a little tough love, sometimes a fresh idea and, more often than not, some more work. And yes, sometimes they need a mercy killing.

I’m signing off today with the nice prospect of putting in the last few stitches on that Big Black Husband Sweater tomorrow – my crafts club is meeting, and I look forward to casting off with a huge and heartfelt Phew!!!, surrounded by lovely knitting, crocheting, chattering friends.

Days are already getting longer – even if you hardly notice when the weather is this bleak. In the meantime, I recommend ranunculi :-).

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