I have had the theme to “Rocky” running through my head all day.

I finished this albatross of a blanket this weekend. And by finished, I mean bound off, washed, dried, folded, and stuffed into a shipping box. It’s California-bound in the morning. My niece should get it sometime next weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the blanket. But by the time I cast off the ten stitches, I was ready to see it go and get it the hell out of my house. I started this thing back in December, but abandoned it in favor of more interesting and challenging projects sometime in February.

Then, come July, like the worst kind of fair-weather friend, I picked it back up as a much-needed respite from said challenges. Additionally, I was completely exhausted from working 50+ hour weeks, so it was the kind of mindless, no-counting, worry-free knitting that could make me feel like I was accomplishing something.

It was supposed to be a Christmas present, for crying out loud. And in December, it would have actually been an appropriate one. But at this point, I don’t give a shit. It’s the biggest thing I’ve made to date, and it taught me some important lessons. Like, for one thing, if you want to actually make visible progress on a large object, use bigger needles. Red Heart Super Saver could, I’m guessing, accommodate a US 9 needle and still produce a decent-looking fabric.

At any rate, I needed to finish this weekend so I could start on this:

Same niece is turning 3 in October, and she wants her party to have a “pink pirate” theme. How cool is this kid? Most girls her age would probably rather have a Barbie or Princess or whatever-the-kids-are-watching-these-days birthday.

So I scratched my brain a bit to think of things I could make her, and I came up with the pirate treasure bag and some eyepatches (I’d like to get enough made so every kid at the party can have one, although I have a feeling they may not last too long. Toddlers are not known for their physical dexterity, and removing their depth perception entirely probably wouldn’t help matters). I also actually paid for a pattern for the first time, for a tri-corner hat.

I just love that little bag, though. I was going to try and tackle intarsia, but I thought maybe I should try something simpler first. So I actually found a chart and did the whole thing with duplicate stitching. Sure, intarsia would probably look cleaner and more uniform, but it’s for a three-year-old, for cripes’ sake. She’s not going to care. Even the adults who’ve seen it have been all “ooooooh”.

Next time I’m near Party City, I’m going to pick up some of those fake gold coins.  Then, once I finish the obligation portion of this project, I’m going to make another one of these for myself. Because, let’s face it, that is pretty oooooooh.

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