Have I mentioned how I would have been done with this blanket already if not for my cat, Louis?
Louis’ philosophy on life is basically, ‘Eat it and let my stomach sort it out.’ She’s less a cat, more a goat. Toilet paper. Paper towels. Magazines. And I can hear you now. “Oh, my cat loves chewing on stuff, too!”
NO. Louis is not just chewing on these things. She is swallowing them. And then, usually, she barfs them back up. Do you know the lengths we have gone to in this house to keep shit out of Louis? The rules guests have to follow? The amount of times I’ve sprinted at her from across the house because I didn’t know I dropped a fucking dryer sheet and she was choking on it??
Okay, that one only happened once. Still, though.
A little over a year ago I put down my yarn to go to the bathroom and in the space of three minutes Louis had chewed off and swallowed a foot and a half of it. She had to have emergency surgery, her entire belly was cut open, and then she had to wear two cones for a month because she managed to get around one. And yet, because she’s dumber than a tube sock full of nickels, she still tries to eat my yarn. All the time.
So, anytime she wants to cuddle in my lap, I can’t crochet. I just can’t. She’s all over the yarn, trying to swipe at it and stuff it in her mouth before I can stop her. And if she can’t sit with me, she pouts. I’ve probably lost a cumulative fifty hours of crochet time over the past year because this cat with the brain of a garbage disposal loves me so much.
Anyway, I’m just ranting and I’ll be emotionally crushed when she dies. Let’s talk about the…
Meridian and Sunfall Squares
Meridian is the capital city of the Carja and the biggest city on the map. It’s located pretty close to the middle and includes the Sun Palace, the Hunter’s Lodge, a couple of action working elevators, more merchants than people to sell to, and a lot of snarky Carja ripping on your style choices to your face.
Sunfall was once upon a time the summer getaway for the Sun King – which makes no fucking sense to me because it’s not like the weather is going to be any better, you’re still in a fucking desert – and then was essentially Burning Man for a while with a bunch of artists and then when the shitrat insane king was knocked off the throne the Shadow Carja took it as their own capitol. It’s nice…but not as nice as Meridian.
Since both cities share a bond, whether anyone wants to admit at the moment or not, I decided to go with the same square in different colors. Initially, I was going to do the same outfits squares for both the Carja and the Shadow Carja to show they’re connection, but decided that wasn’t fair as the Shadow Carja Stalwart is really its own thing from the Carja outfits. This was a nice compromise.
The thing I like about this square is the pop-out effect of the petals of the flowers, achieved by chaining five between single crochets and tucking them behind the already-created petals. It gives the square a little dimension without being too bulky.
The Sunfall square was made with the same collection of purples as I used for the Stalwart squares – as mentioned before, these are a people with a singular aesethetic – but for the Meridian square I really had to play around. Everyone’s brain works differently, and crocheting has really made me realize that I am turrible at visualizing how something is going to come together. Even if I pick the colors I want for a square and set the skeins next to each other, it still doesn’t really tell me what the square is going to look like. I usually end up settling on a colorway through trial and error, which is what I did for this square. And let me tell you, there was a lot of error.
The first one, with the bold red and yellow, flat out looked like something more appropriate for the Banuk. Which made me realize that while, yes, the Carja do love color, their colors are more sedated, like everything had been sun-bleached in the desert (wonder why?). As you can see, I was also trying a different pattern that used a lot of colors, but ultimately picked a new one because the ratios of the colors on the first pattern were all the way off. Something I could only recognize once the piece was directly in front of my face. In the end I think going with this flower pattern made more thematic sense, too, as two of the three Carja squares and both Shadow Carja squares involve flower patterns. It turned out to be a very floral Utah.
I ripped into the Nora for naming every single settlement in there ‘Mother’s Something’ but I have to say, the Carja aren’t doing much better. We get it, guys. It’s hot. Don’t settle in a desert next time, smdh.
Anyway, Sunstone Rock is a prison. It’s far in the southwest corner of the map, smack in the middle of an area known as the Jewel. The Jewel corresponds to the Monument Valley area of the real world, but there’s something different. I don’t know, maybe you can spot it.
Putting this lush, dense jungle in the middle of the American southwest is, I think, the biggest liberty the creators took with changing reality, and honestly good for them. For getting the rest of the map as close to reality as they could for a game like this, and then getting to this section and going, ‘fuck it, we want a jungle.’ Don’t get me wrong, I love the desert, but you can only look at so many yellow stones and cacti before you start craving a new color.
I really thought outside the bun on this one, and I am equally excited and terrified to see how it stands out surrounded by the other squares. Because, again, I can’t visualize stuff like that.
Holy shit, I am suddenly terrified of this entire blanket.
Whatever, I’m in too deep for this.
I think my motivations for using this pattern and these colors are pretty clear: the yellow, orange, and red in the middle are the ‘Sunstone,’ the square shape is the ‘Rock,’ and the green around the edges is The Jewel. Taa-daa.
Far more interesting is the construction of the square. It uses front post and back post double crochets, something I also used for my Oseram Sparkworker square. In that square the FPDC and BPDC were interchanged to create that highly textured fabric. With this square the BPDCs make the ridges by looping around the post of the previous stitch and forcing the knot to sit on top of the fabric
This one was super fun and worked up quickly for how intricate it looks, although I always have to look up the difference between a front post and a back post double crochet when they come up, and then I always have to stare at the article for a few seconds while the fat hamster tries to climb back up on its wheel, because my brain is not having it. Same with the magic circle, but since I’ve decided the magic circle is bullshit I don’t have to worry about that anymore. These are too much fun to give up on.
Also, I’m glad we talked about the importance of blocking last week because holy shit.
This square was essentially trying to fold itself into a very colorful fortune cookies, but it only took some tap water, two days, and about two dozen pins to get it behave.
Guys, I Fucked Up
I have no one to blame but myself for this, so I will, of course, be blaming the technology.
I was using Google Sheets to plan out the banket. I had one Sheet where I numbered all the outfits and mapped out where they would go. Next to the map I had a list of how many of each square I needed.
Then there was another sheet, that listed out the outfit, the pattern and colors I planned on using, and again the number of each I would need.
You can already see where this is going.
I did this over a year ago, so I literally have no idea how I managed to change the counts between the map Sheet and the pattern Sheet. None. And it’s not like I messed up on just one or two outfits! Only the Banuk made it out unscathed, every other tribe had either some or all of their counts wrong. And every single mistake was too few instead of too many.
All told, I’m short twelve squares. Twelve! When I thought I was done!
I’ve made some changes and replanned, all of which I’ll go over next time. I’m still pretty sure I’ll be finished on time, but man this sucks.
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