The Horizon Zero Dawn Blanket: Bonus Squares

The HZD Blanket


As I mentioned last time, I somehow fucked up the counts of the squares and ended up twelve short. I still don’t know how I managed to do it. Obviously I wasn’t paying enough attention. Why wasn’t I paying enough attention? Let me answer a question with another question: why would I know that?

Anyway, let’s move on to the Tip of the Day:

When Something Goes Wrong, Allow Yourself Time to Pout

I finished what I thought was my last square around noon on a Sunday. I pulled my basket of squares out of the closet and started to count. It took me roughly ten minutes to figure out I was short, and another half hour to formulate a plan to fix everything.

Then I sat there and pouted for the rest of the day.

I’m not kidding. I usually crochet on the couch while my husband plays video games. Instead, while he played something, I read bullshit on my phone and sulked. Because I thought I was done and would be able to start stitching everything together, and instead I was looking at a few more days of work and a tighter deadline. It sucks.

I’m a firm believer in allowing yourself to wallow for a little while, and I really hate that there’s this culture on social media that you should be happy all the time, at your best all the time, producing all the time. It’s untenable. Sometimes bullshit happens, and you should be allowed to experience those negative emotions about it for at least a couple of hours before moving on with your day. You can’t stay in that negative space, obviously, eventually you have to pick yourself up. But, for me, sitting with the disappointment, or sadness, or anger, for even five minutes makes me feel better when its time to move forward. Even if it’s for something as silly as miscounting the squares for a crochet blanket.

Okay, enough of whatever this is, let’s talk squares!

Rost and Aloy’s Home

I feel like Rost is an excellent example of how even generally good parents can still impart lasting damage on their kids. All Rost wanted was for Aloy to integrate fully into Nora society and all Aloy wanted to do was win the Proving and throw up her middle fingers for the rest of her life. He was, quite literally, her only family for her entire life, but before the Proving he’s all, if you win you can’t talk to me anymore! Yay! Because he can’t see how his daughter’s experiences are different from his. You know. Normal parent stuff.

The square itself is done in a filet style, with alternating double crochets and chain-ones to create the mesh. Then the heart is made by replacing the chain-ones with another double crochet, essentially filling in that square. I went with the heart motif because, yes, their relationship is strained, but Aloy does love Rost. Now that she knows there’s a wider world the only reason she continually comes back to Nora land is to visit.

It’s been about a year since I finished the primary Nora squares and moved on, so using the Nora colors again was weirdly comforting.

Mother’s Crown

There’s a lot of little settlements in the Embrace, all of which start with Mother, but I went with Mother’s Crown because it’s the furthest Nora settlement away from Mother’s Heart and this is where you pick up the most quests in the Embrace.

It’s real world counterpart is the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, and if you have the chance I highly recommend it. It’s potentially the weirdest thing you’ll ever see five minutes off the highway, and most of the paths around the formations are paved so its an extremely easy hike.

This square is made with single crochet rows in the middle, more filet around the outside, and then some top stitching to create the mountains and the border. The stitching was done with a hook, not a darning needle, and it was more fun than I thought it would be. A little nerve-wracking getting the peaks to line up but I think I did pretty good for my first time out.

Nora Outcast

All of the main outfits listed are purchased from merchants, but when you meet Aloy she has to be wearing something. The outcasted Nora aren’t allowed to talk to the rest of the Nora or each other but they’re allowed to, you know, dress themselves. The Nora Outcast is, for obvious reasons, a very simple outfit with little accents and nothing in the way of protection. You pretty much only have it for a few hours before it’s replaced with the Nora Brave.

To highlight how simple the outfit is, I went with a simple pattern. Hell, it’s even called Simple Stripe. It’s lines of single crochet with a few color changes. There. Done.

Nora Brave

This is the outfit that quickly replaces the Outcast, and I think is potentially worn for less time than the Nora Outcast. Soon after you receive this one, the world opens up and you’re able to purchase way better shit from merchants. I always hold onto this one for sentimental reasons but once I can get something prettier (aka the Silent Hunter Light) I never put it on again.

The outfit itself is essentially the Outcast with a few bells and whistles, so I used the same Simple Stripe pattern and added in a few more stripes for the new details.

Tallnecks

Man, when you put them side by side it almost looks like I made chibi-tallnecks. Little chubby guys.

Tallnecks are your basic in-game watchtowers where you climb them and reveal more of the map, except these guys walk around in huge circles and generally look like very gentle robot giraffes, so they’re the best map towers in gaming history. They’re also the only machines in the game not looking to kill you on-sight, and sitting on top offers protection, so they’re sort of soothing. Also, very photogenic.

The square background was made with the Full Moon pattern in The Big Book of Granny Squares, but for the actual tallneck I went off book. The tallneck itself is called an applique – which I keep thinking of as a-pleek but apparently is pronounced a-pluh-kay but let me tell you how little of a shit I give, I’ll keep saying a-pleek until I die – which is made separately and then sewn on with a darning needle. I used this pattern as a base and replaced the giraffe head with a simple oval.

These squares are going to be in the middle of the blanket, where you would actually find the tallnecks on the map. There are five total, and I picked the background colors based on the local fauna surrounding the tallnecks, aka the one in the Jewel has shades of green, the ones in the desert have this Almond color, etc. The loop of color highlights the circuits they walk in.

Cauldrons

I’m not going to get into what cauldrons are because they’re too cool to spoil. So let’s talk about the square.

Again, I used appliques, this time using this pattern for Greek letter lambda. I made two, one slightly smaller, and voila! It was hard getting the sizes right so the bottoms fit together, so they came out a little wonky, but I still like the way they look.

For the backgrounds I took this opportunity to experiment with various stitches. Nothing too complicated because I didn’t have too much time, but still some techniques I hadn’t gotten a chance to use yet. I used the Onyx Heather on top of the Coal black as these will be going in the border.

Now, initially I was going to represent each cauldron with their Greek letter designation. But then I decided to just go with this symbol as this is the symbol that shows up on the map for all cauldrons.

But I was wrong! The symbols are different for each cauldron, correlating to their Greek letter. I debated going back and making the correct symbols, but with so little time left I’m going to keep the ones I made. If I were putting these in the body of the blanket I’d be more inclined to change them, but because these will be going in the border I’m willing to live with the mistake.

Metal Flowers

Horizon Zero Dawn™_20220120130809

These are a collectible you can find around the world and turn in for prizes. There are a few other collectibles scattered around, but I chose to represent the flowers because I had an idea for the square design and I fucking love it.

I used silver in the middle to create the flower, and then Haze Heather, a very very light purple, for the triangle of flowers that surround them. These are going to be border squares, in the corners, otherwise I would have gone with a purple closer to the game color. With these, you can’t quite tell there’s any purple in the triangles at all until you get close enough. I again used the same page of Greek letter appliques, this time Delta.

And that’s it! Those are all the squares in this blanket! Time for the last step, stitching everything together. As I’m writing this on January 20th I’ve already started. I’m trying to be done with enough time before Horizon Forbidden West releases to hand wash and dry it and put up a final post about it, so that leaves me with about three weeks to get it all together.


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