They were fun to make-- especially the first two styles of flower. I made a mistake on the ones in the top photo, using two colors for the textural rounds where I was supposed to use just one-- but no-one looking at the finished blanket "in person" will ever know that.
I tried laying out all the squares I've finished so far (as I'd seen some people do on the spoiler thread on Ravelry). It's not as easy as you'd think to get them laid out in an even rectangle or square! Eventually, I gave up and more-or-less copied another person's layout. (g)
I'm curious to see how they really are meant to be arranged... I'm pretty sure I'll want to either add more squares or an extra-wide border to my blanket. Since I'm using thinner yarn than recommended (Simply Soft/Pound of Love instead of Vanna's Choice), my blanket will come out smaller than the pattern indicates, otherwise. I don't require a huge blanket, but something big enough to work as a "lapghan" would be nice.
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Someone I know (who is paranoid about giving out specific information about such things) is preparing for an up-coming trip that will include two looong flights. (We're talkin' transatlantic here, folks.) She's a nervous flier, and she's never mastered the art of sleeping on airplanes. (Or sleeping sitting up, anywhere. She can doze fitfully, but somehow that almost makes the hours drag by even slower.) Basically, she's not looking forward to the actual flying part at all, and has been dreading it since she learned about the vacation. (She is a confirmed nervous nellie.)
She's been planning things to help pass the time. She'll bring an mp3-player full of music and audiobooks... an e-reader loaded with reading material... and of course there are the in-flight movies, but in the past, she hasn't found it easy to focus on those for very long. This is the first time she'll be flying since she really got into crocheting, and she's convinced that crochet is the key. It's perfect for soothing frazzled nerves, since it requires physical movement-- something that usually helps when she's anxious. (Yep, she's a pacer/compulsive cleaner.) If she could have a couple of projects on the plane with her-- say, one thing relatively repetitive and another thing that's more complicated-- she might be able to pop in the earbuds, turn on some music or an audiobook, and lose herself in the crochet for at least a few hours of the flight. That would be heavenly.
But now (true to form) she's found a new source of worry. Namely, will security allow her favorite metal hooks on the plane, or will they confiscate them? Technically, in the places she'll be flying at least, knitting needles and crochet hooks are supposed to be allowed-- but there's always this caveat that the final decision is up to the individual security officer's discretion. This irks the heck out of me. It's just so durned stupid, really. If you have bad luck and get stuck with someone who inexplicably decides your crochet hook looks like a potential threat, they can take it away from you, and you'll be left hookless! (Those d**n terrorists. Let me at 'em! Waterboarding! Ha! Mere child's play, compared to what I'd do to 'em.)
So. Some people insist that wooden or plastic hooks are more likely to pass security than metal, but (*pitches hissy fit*) I don't like plastic hooks as much! If I took a metal hook and they confiscated it, I'd be aggravated by the loss of a good hook, but a hook doesn't cost that much, so what would be most annoying would be having to take the long flight with no crochet hook...
I guess what makes most sense is this:
-- Pack spare hooks in the checked luggage-- that way even if they confiscate every hook in the carry-on, at least you'd be able to crochet once you reached your destination. (This is important, people!! Some of us NEED our crochet!)
-- For the carry-on luggage, if you prefer metal hooks, bring one that's metal and one that's plastic. If they take the metal hook, well, maybe they'll leave the plastic. It's better than nothing.
-- Don't bring a hook that is especially valuable (in terms of money or sentiment).
-- Be in the middle of a project. (More practical for a crochet than a knitter.) Maybe if they see the hook "in context" they'll be less likely to consider it a threat.
I'm somewhat concerned that a tiny steel hook is more likely to be confiscated than a larger aluminum one... and *cough* my friend wanted to bring one, because thread takes so little space. (There are hours of crochet time in one of those little Cebelia balls!) ...I guess she'll just have to decide whether or not to risk the hook. If someone takes it away, she'll probably privately wish she could soundly slap the person twice across the face-- but it might be worth the risk. (Just the cost of the hook and the time she spent applying a polymer clay cover to it.)
Gosh. How long can someone dither and whine over crochet hooks, do you think? (The answer: Too, too long.) ...Well, anyway...
...Yarn-related plans for the day: Spend the evening working on the next clue for the Mysteryghan. Maybe start unraveling a thrift-store sweater... (It's 100% merino wool, at least worsted weight! So soft and lofty! And it only cost me a dollar! Woo!)