The Horizon Zero Dawn Blanket: Mother’s Heart and Blackout Squares

The HZD Blanket

Mother’s Heart

There’s a lot of Nora villages, and a handful of important ones where Aloy can pick up quests, but their main village is Mother’s Heart so that’s the one I chose to represent with a square. Also so I could make this adorable pattern.

It’s a little wonky, mostly because I’m not great at bordering a square I otherwise did in rows, but it should pull out okay in the blanket. If it doesn’t this one was super easy, only taking me about an hour, so I can make another.

I used the Gull as the base, previously used in the Nora Protector for the machine parts, mostly to get the square to stand out a little in the sea of Almond and Merlot Heather. I was initially going to go with the obvious choice and make the hearts red, but my husband pointed out the Nora barely use red at all, and that the blue they put in every outfit is obviously special to them, so I went with the Solstice Heather.

This is another pattern that doesn’t utilize any special stitches. It’s all made by mixing in stitches of different heights and a few chains here and there. And credit where it’s due – there were no mistakes in this pattern and it was only a little bit confusing. Good job, Big Book of Granny Squares! You did one right!

The Blackout Squares

My first thought was to make the blackout squares with two separate blacks – I already had a bunch of the Coal black from knitpicks, and they have another shade called Penguin. Of course, when I went to order some of the Penguin they were sold out. The restock date wasn’t for another three weeks. I mean, I wasn’t even going to start any of the blackout squares for at least three weeks. But I am oddly impatient in very specific areas of my life, and apparently buying yarn was one of them. I went with the Onyx Heather instead, one of their darkest grays.

With each square I just eyeballed it, picked which colors I thought were lighter and which were darker, and then just replaced those with the Onyx Heather and the Coal, respectively. I made four each for the Nora Survivor and Protector and two for the Silent Hunter. And I made them directly after I made the main squares because otherwise if I tried to come back to a pattern I knew I’d essentially have to relearn the whole thing.

My Crochet Supplies

Since this is a shorter article, I wanted to highlight the supplies I use for crocheting. One of the things I like about crocheting is how it can be relatively cheap. Of the things I’m going to go through, all you really need are the hooks. After that it’s just a matter of how much you want to spend on yarn. Even these other supplies weren’t expensive, and they make crocheting a little bit easier.

The Hooks

These are the hooks that came in the Crochet for Beginners set I bought off Amazon when I started, and honestly I don’t see myself replacing them unless I lose them. They’re comfortable, they’re colorful, and they’re hooks. Hooks. How is spending more going to get me better functioning hooks? They also came in this cute case which is a little flimsy but again, why spend more for something a little better? I’ll keep using this thing until the zipper inevitably rips, and then I’ll crochet my own replacement.

The Yarn Bowl

My husband, Peter, got this for me for Christmas a couple of years ago. Before using the bowl I would just sit the yarn between me and the side of the couch and let it dance around while I pulled on it. The bowl is nice for two reasons:

  1. I can use the bowl to hold the other end of the yarn so I can pull it taut, which makes more complicated stitches like trebles easier.
  2. I can keep the yarn in front of me at all times, so certain death-wishy cats can’t sneak up alongside me and start feasting on yarn snacks until I notice.
She would absolutely eat this sweater if she could unravel it.

Of course, the yarn bowl doesn’t actually work unless you ball your yarn, which I never did because it was a pain in the ass. It took hours to ball one skein of yarn and they usually got to the point where they were too big for my hand and then they’d go flying and I’d lose all my progress and screech about it until my husband would look at me like I’d just eaten a bunch of fish raw. Which is why my very favorite purchase is…

The Yarn Baller

Actually, it doesn’t make yarn balls. It makes yarn cakes, which I like better because there’s a lot less rolling around. This thing is twenty dollars. Besides yarn, obviously, the most expensive thing I’ve spent on this hobby. And I love it. It makes a yarn cake in about three minutes. It’s super simple to use. It only cost twenty dollars. I didn’t buy the swift because that was sixty bucks and I don’t think I buy the right kind of skeins to make that work anyway, but it doesn’t matter. Just let the yarn sit beneath it and watch it dance as you spin the wheel and just make sure you don’t have any cats trying to fuck with it.

Once you have the yarn cakes, you can put them in your yarn bowl, and use the yarn hooks to just have a yarn old time.

Update from the future: After eight months of consistent use, the thing broke. Apparently, this is not uncommon. I mean, it is twenty dollars. The gears underneath are plastic and slip or break. If you’re getting into crochet and you’re uncertain you’ll stick with it, I think this is still the one to buy. It’s like with any tool: buy the cheap version first, and if you break it you know you use it enough to go for the expensive version. If you don’t, well, you’ve saved some money.

Coming Up Next

I’ve finally finished all of the Nora squares needed, so it’s on to a new tribe! I will be doing the squares for the Oseram next, a little because it sort of makes sense, plot wise, and a lot because while I needed fourteen to eighteen of each Nora square, I need less than ten for the Oseram. It’s like a working vacation!

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