After the absolute ball I had making my Phoenix by Hooked on Sunshine (you can have a look at it here) I was itching to start a new HoS pattern. This time I wanted to make something for my Dad – he loves the ocean so Atlanticus seemed to be the perfect fit, and I had some water/sand coloured yarn in mind that I thought would work well.
I have to admit, after finishing Phoenix, I was feeling pretty confident and dove into Atlanticus head on. This was, uncategorically, a mistake. After 4 – yes FOUR – failed attempts at starting I was ready to give up. I actually started something completely different to convince myself that I could still crochet at all. (On the plus side, I now have another new blankie on the go, but that’s another story!)
I forgot one of the basic laws of crochet – not all yarn will work with every pattern. The yarn I had for Atlanticus, Caron x Pantone, is gloriously soft, squishy and just plain beautiful. And therein lies the problem. It was TOO soft and squishy to show off the stitch definition properly. Add in the fact that it comes in ridiculously tiny little skeins, is quite ‘splitty’, and is a total PITA to join, because it’s so slippery and it’s no wonder that I was ready to hand back my Crochet Card and donate my hooks to someone with more skill.
After walking away from it for a few days I decided to start again, but this time with yarn I had used before and knew would most likely be fine. What a revelation! What had given me so much trouble just a week earlier whipped up in no time at all with the new yarn. Of course, that might be because I’d had so many ‘practice runs’ at it already, but the less said about that the better …
It was SO great watching this grow after so many failed attempts. I loved how different it looked depending on what colour was on the outside too.
I alternated colours for each round to begin with, then once we got to the part of the pattern where it starts to square off, I decided to start using wider bands of each colour.
I ‘ooopsed’ at one point and bought totally the wrong blue yarn, and was going to trek out to take it back but instead decided to introduce a lighter light blue into the design. It added an awesome lift to the overall look of the blanket so it actually turned out to be one of those happy mistakes.
What I used
Atlanticus was created using Marvel 8ply from Spotlight and a 4.5mm aluminium hook (another Dollar Shop cheapy, but so great). Here’s where I learnt another important lesson: if you’re going to switch to a new hook mid-project, make sure they’re both either tapered OR inline hooks – you can’t just interchange the two!
Almost the whole way through the blanket I visited a gorgeous little shop in Bateman’s Bay (NSW) called Whilby Loved – you can find them here on Facebook. I may at this point have gotten sidetracked by their beautiful yarns and selection of crochet hooks … you know how it is! So I bought a new 4.5mm hook. It’s dead sexy, but it’s also inline, whereas my ol’ trusty aluminium one was tapered.
Oh what a huge difference it made – and not in a good way. I don’t know if it was worse because the section I was working on had a lot of Single Crochets and a lot of Front Post crochets in it, but man, did Atlanticus pick up a nasty wave. Sadly, I was crocheting that part in the car on the way back from Bateman’s Bay and so didn’t lay it out flat between rounds like I normally do once a blankie gets to a certain size to make sure it’s all sitting nicely.
You can see the difference between the two types of hook in the photo. I seriously never guessed that it would have made that much difference, especially considering they’re the same size, but there you go.
Enter a rather sweary session with our friend Mr Frog, as 3 hours of work (most of it SC) which was otherwise perfect had to get pulled undone and re-crocheted. I’m not saying that I invented entirely new sweary words during that time, but I did get awfully creative with some existing ones. Plus, you have to admit, that this little green tree frog that I found at Mum and Dad’s place is pretty adorable 🙂
Who would I recommend it for?
Once you complete the mandala in the middle Atlanticus is a pretty minimalist pattern that repeats stitch combinations without being a ‘repeat’ pattern (if that makes sense).
The minimalist look makes it perfect for gifting to a male recipient and I’d recommend the pattern for the ambitious beginner who wants to learn a bunch of new stitches and techniques – especially in the centre mandala.
As of March 2020 there is an Atlanticus CAL happening, along with a new compendium and a video ‘fairy’ to make it smooth sailing to get through. Plus – as with all HoS patterns – there’s loads of help and support to be had in the Facebook group.