April has gone by in a blur. I couldn’t tell you where the time went. My full-time job has been keeping me so busy that I am surprised when I have the energy to work on the blog or the book in the evenings. I have a feeling I will need to take some time off this summer to get all my squirrels in a row.
This month – in the car, on the bus, in parks, and mostly on weekends – I concentrated on finishing up the set and creating the first new pattern for the book. For the set, it was all about trees, which I made from Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Platoon – a variegated yarn in the perfect tree bark colors. I crocheted the trunk on each one with single crochet stitches through the back loops only. That is what gives it its ridged texture. I created the little hole in the trunk by crocheting a flat oval in black and then crocheting around it as I was working on the trunk. I really enjoyed making the tree’s exposed roots and am still amazed at all the texture you can create with variegated yarn. It was so neat how the colors magically worked together. I just tried to step back and not interfere too much – I was afraid that if I edited how the colors were laying out on their own, it would end up looking overworked. I’m really pleased at the natural patterns that were created in the bark.
When I was done crocheting the trunk, I joined the ends into a tube and inserted a foam cone to give it a solid form that would help it stand. I worked Fiberfill stuffing into any empty spaces and played with it a bit till I got the shape I was looking for. Then I threaded a length of yarn through the stitches at the top and pulled it tight to close it.
After this main tree trunk, I made another, skinnier tree that will be placed at the back of the set. Seeing these two together, I wonder if the background looks a little barren. I might whip up some bushes to fill it in a bit. What do you think?
There are also a few details like knots and tiny branches that I still want to add to each trunk. You’ll have to join me over on Instagram this month to see the final trees.
The other big task in April was to create an oak leaf pattern and crank out as many oak leaves as I can. I used a gift card my brother gave me for Christmas to get the Cascade 220 Superwash in Shire and Celery for these leaves. It is so cuddly and divine. I’m going to need a lot of leaves to create the frame for the cover of the book and for the trees, of course. We want them to look happy and leafy.
I’m thinking that after I have used them in the story, I will connect all the leaves to make a bag or a pillow or a place mat. Whichever I choose, I will be sure to include instructions for it in the book!
I also met with the artist, my dear friend Sylvie, who will be doing the layout and illustrations. I am so incredibly grateful for her talent and her guidance. She was quick to advise me that we should start working on the cover as soon as possible, so that is what I will be doing through May – starting with finishing all those leaves! I know that having a cover will be an inspirational touchstone to me throughout the rest of this year. And I can’t wait to show it off to you!