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Friday, July 25, 2014

And That Concludes Baby Week!

I am concluding Baby Week!  The Ribbed Blankie from Precious Knit Blankies for Baby isn't finished yet, but it will be by the end of the weekend.  I've tried out some cute little projects to add to my gift stash, and I had a great time focusing solely on babyness this week.  We'll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging about dishcloths and cowls next week, and I'm looking forward to that.  And!  You should check on the blog over the weekend because there's going to be an extra post!  From somebody else!  I think that's exciting and I think you'll like it.

For now, please enjoy this post from last summer about why I get so worked up about crafting for babies.

"Do you read the Yarn Harlot's blog?  You should.  She's funny and talented and pretty much the Queen of Knitters.  I read her post about knitting superstitions and why we knit what we do and for whom and on and on, and man.  You can go ahead and read it now.  I'll wait. It's fine.


I am squarely in the 'knit for babies before they're Earth-side' camp.  I don't think it jinxes anything.  Everything related to having a baby--carrying one, adopting one, or even just knitting for one--is an act of faith.  That's some reckless optimism to think about bringing another person into your life and trusting that this was a good idea.  I think anyone who does that deserves all my enthusiasm and hand-crafting as early as possible.

So with all those baby feelings and stashed yarn in mind, I read the post on Friday morning and thought about it all day.  I have a lot of ongoing projects and other obligations and I have a lot of plans for my impending nephew and most of them haven't been made yet.

I downloaded Knit in a Day for Baby because I had seen pictures of the striped bib and I wanted to make one.

Or maybe several.  Whatever.  Look at how precious this is!  It's a cottony, garter-stitch dream!  Never mind that this baby won't even need a bib for, like, forever.  I wanted to make one.

So I did!

There are stripes!


And a red button!


I like these colors!  I like this pattern!  I like this book!

I meant to print only the pages for the bib pattern, but wound up printing off the whole thing.  That's about 94 pages of quick knitted goodness.  I had already intended to try out several of the other patterns, and now they're right at hand! I plan on trying out a lot of these patterns for my nephew or my daughter--or maybe even both of them!  I have a lot of daydreams about matching outfits.

This little baby is going to have a pile of handmade things waiting on him, and I've got to get on it!

I can't wait to welcome this little guy into the world!" 
This post was originally published on August 26, 2013.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Getting Cozy

I crocheted the Baby Bottle Cozy from Baby Stuff.  Ta da!

Some people write poetry.  Some people go on archeological digs.  Some people compile witty lists with hilarious accompanying pictures.  I crochet baby bottle cozies and blog about it.  It is what it is.  And that's fine. 

A baby bottle cozy seems like a silly item to make, but I like to be silly.  This was quick and easy, which makes it even better.  After all, I don't want to work too very hard if I'm being silly.  This is a fun little addition to a baby gift, and a nice use of scrap yarn.  It's a few rows of single crochet stitches and double crochet stitches.  And!  This calls for cotton yarn!  I like it when patterns call for cotton yarn.

This is a tidy little creation.  The cotton yarn can soak up bottle sweat, and the color changes make the project a little more interesting.  This is nine little rows of simple stitches, and just plain cute.  I've enjoyed the projects I've tried from Baby Stuff so far, and this is no different.  It's an uncomplicated pattern, and the end result is adorable.

I don't have much to say about this, but it's a little tricky to come up with lots of words over something that took so few yards of yarn.  This is one of the smallest projects I've made in a while!  It fits this little 4 oz. bottle perfectly, though, so I guess it's perfect.  Crocheting this was a nice and silly diversion for me and I think it will be a pretty little color pattern for a baby to focus on.


Super silly and super adorable. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Knitting a Precious Ribbed Blankie

I'm knitting the Ribbed Blankie from Precious Knit Blankies for Babies and it is so very precious!

I've decided that this is the blanket I'll be giving as a gift this weekend, so I hope I can finish it up quickly.  I'm about a fourth of the way through it, and it's going pretty quickly.  The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and #8 needles for a little ribbed blanket that's 26" X 32".  I cast on fewer stitches than the pattern required because....well, I just wanted to.  Blankets stretch and sag over time (something something, joke about childbearing, something something), and I'm not sure how big this thing will be.  Also, let's be honest. I'm pressed for time.

I'm not sure why I've been so indecisive about picking out patterns and getting started on my baby shower gifts, but it's really kicking my tail now!  I have a baby shower this weekend and I have nothing ready for it!  Yesterday's pixie bonnet doesn't seem quite right for this baby, so I'll need to make some little booties or something to go along with the blanket that I still haven't finished.  Or maybe I won't need to make something extra.  Blankets take time and my time is precious and this blanket is precious because the book title wouldn't lie about that sort of thing!

Um, that logic seemed a little less circular and a bit more logical before I typed it out.  What I am mostly saying is this:  I am once again a cautionary tale about procrastination and crafting and falling into the habit of yarncrafting for every little baby that comes along.  And while I am incredibly ticked at myself for my lack of planning, I don't think I'll stop making blankets or sweaters or hats or booties or whatever else I'm in the mood to make for every little baby whose mama's belly catches my eye.  Seriously, if we've seen each other in the past year, I'm going to feel like I should make your little one something.  Babies are precious!  They're small and helpless, but also strong and amazing.  I have no idea how they keep growing!  Parents work so hard!  They love so much and need to know that people are rooting for them (something something, breastfeeding joke, something something), and I always felt so loved when people made things for my daughter when she was a baby.

Plus, this blanket truly is precious.  For the first four inches, I felt weird about not using variegated yarn like the model photo.   Can you imagine how great this would look with Lion Brand Amazing?!?! Because I've been imagining that a lot while I work on this.  But then the work got a little bit longer and I could see this simple ribbing a little better and the dark purple looked simple and beautiful.  I had originally considered crocheting a row or two around this in pink or gray, but now I think it's going to be perfect just as it is.  


I just have to finish it so I can find out for sure!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Crocheting a Sweet Little Pixie Bonnet

I crocheted the Pixie Bonnet from Baby Hats and it's incredibly darling. 

You might remember me mentioning how much I like this little hat back when I posted about this little pattern booklet from Annatasia Cruz, and I was pretty excited to try out one of these quick and easy pattern.  Also, like I said, it's incredibly darling. 

And simple!  This is crocheted with worsted weight yarn and worked flat.  If you can manage half double crochets and double crochets, you'll be set.  You just work a few rows, fold this in half, and start crocheting your seam together.  The ties are added on in a way that's simple and tidy, and the whole simple design of this pattern makes me love it even more. 

I had already wanted to try this pattern because pointy baby hats are always delightful, and because there was something so classic about this little bonnet.  This is beautifully old-fashioned and very cozy.  I'm sure this will keep a little baby plenty warm when it gets a little cooler.  I went ahead and made the 6 month size because most of the babies I know are being born right now, and because some babies have ridiculously large heads.  I want someone to get some adorable usage out of this!

I went with red yarn because it's gender neutral.  It's a classic little baby color.  It's bright and easy to find in the piles that wind up appearing out of nowhere in the first year you're trying to keep a tiny human alive.  And really, I just wanted to make a little red bonnet.  I just wish I could have taken some pictures of this on an actual baby.  I know it's going to look wonderful surrounding some sweet little face.  And how could it not?!  A sweet baby wearing a snug little bonnet is a classic look for a reason.

Monday, July 21, 2014

So Many Babies. So Many Projects.

I've started knitting the Basket Weave pattern from Car Seat Blankets and I think it's going really well!

I know, I know.  I normally don't start posting about a pattern when I'm a meager ten rows into the thing, but that's where I am with this pattern.  And really, this post is mostly to tell you that I've decided this week is Baby Week.  I know I tend to post a lot about baby patterns anyway, but would you believe I was actually pacing myself with one or two projects a week?  You just have to trust me when I say that I have totally shown restraint with these baby posts.  But I know a lot of people with a lot of babies in their lives and while I was attempting to make things that weren't for babies, a couple of babies went ahead and were born without my permission. 

Babies do not care about schedules.

So now neither do I!  Every project I post about for this whole week is going to be baby-related!  If you're not a big baby gift knitter or crocheter, drop back by some time next week.  Seriously, I may still be going.  My gift plan lately has been to give co-workers a blanket.  Friends of friends get a blanket and a little accessory like a hat or a pair of booties.  If my math is right (and it usually isn't), I need to make three blankets and four (?) accessories. 

The granny square I made last Wednesday?

I need to decide if I can make it into a blanket by Saturday's baby shower.

And the half-finished purple blanket that I need to make a decision about regarding border colors?


I'm going to make, well, some kind of decision about it.

There are so many patterns!  So many yarn choices!  So many babies!

So I'm going to work on the Basket Weave Blanket for right now.  I love a good basket weave pattern, and this is for a friend whose nephew was born earlier in the month.  I had already crocheted a Star Wars-inspired hat for this friend's nephew, and I was just starting to think about a blanket to make when the baby showed up a bit early! 

It was all downhill from there.  From a crafting perspective, I mean.  And I like the colors I've picked out!


I think this will come in pretty handy in a few months, and I think the bright colors will be a wonderful distraction for a little traveling baby.   Car seat blankets are fairly small, so finishing this up shouldn't take long.  I think it's a great way to kick off my Great Big Project of finishing up all these small projects for small people.  Happy Baby Week!

Wish me luck.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Little Boy Blue: Crocheting a Sweet Granny Square Baby Blanket

It's a good week for granny squares! I crocheted Square #49 from 99 Granny Squares to Crochet, and this granny square project looks a little different from the last time I made Square #49.

I love this square pattern.  It works up pretty quickly, and it has some nice detail with the front post treble crochet stitches without being too fussy that you can't think about anything else while you work on it.  Which is great, because I stayed up the entire night watching murder mysteries and crocheting these squares and sewing them together for a baby shower I'm going to today!  I couldn't be more pleased!

And by that, I mean I really like this blanket.  I don't like that I spent the night crocheting instead of sleeping, but these things happen sometimes.  Especially when you spend more than a week trying out baby afghan patterns and ruining them every single time with poor yarn choices (Dark blue?! Dark blue!!!), incorrect yardage, or plain ol' common error.  I've set an unfortunate precedent of giving yarncraft baby gifts at my work, and now would not be a good time to bow out.  Since I was short on time and skill (man, I hope my ability to follow a pattern comes back soon!), I went with a cute granny square pattern that I knew I could handle. 


I used an I hook and some Red Heart yarn because I firmly believe that baby blankets should be made from acrylic yarn at all times.  Even when people appreciate super fancy gifts made with natural fibers and would normally be fine with special washing instructions, I'm hesitant to give a new parent something that requires special care.  People with new children have enough in their lives that requires special care, and sometimes babies do things to blankets (sweaters/hats/lovies) that can only be helped with some strong detergent and high heat.  Red Heart gets softer every time you wash it, and lasts for decades.  Plus, I think these colors are pretty.  After seaming the squares together, I crocheted a single crochet border around the blanket.  One row was gray to tie everything together a little more, and the last row was the light blue to perk things up a bit.  If you're curious, I used Blue Suede, Turqua, and Grey Heather.

And I was pretty thrilled that when I joked with my husband about picking up a skein of gray yarn while he was out running errands, he actually picked up a skein of gray yarn!  I can always use some more gray yarn, but I didn't think I'd use up a whole skein on this!  However, I totally did and I started in on the second skein for the last two squares.  The new skein of gray yarn was a little lighter than the other skein, so I placed those lighter squares in corners across from each other diagonally so the difference would look intentional. 

Let's pretend like I planned every aspect of this from the very beginning and I wanted this particular blanket all along.  And maybe I did! 

Fine, I didn't.  But I'm thrilled with how this turned out and I'm glad I had such a good time making this.  But how could I not?  After all, there are granny squares.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Variegated Dishcloth

I have made another fairly impractical-looking dishcloth because they're my favorite right now!  It's summertime and I am full of whimsy.  This time I made the Variegated pattern from Dishcloths by the Dozen.


I don't think I'd ever seen a dishcloth with drop stitches before, and I remembered a few years ago when tons of scarves were made like this.  I didn't want to try it out because I like for scarves to be more solid, but when I saw the pattern I was intrigued.  In fact, I was even a little more intrigued after reading the less-than-glowing reviews of the dishcloth on Ravelry.  It's not that anyone had complaints with the pattern itself--they just didn't like how not-solid the knitted fabric of this dishcloth was.


This is made with tons of yarnovers and then knitting (or purling) two stitches together on top of all the long stitches.  It's basically a lace dishcloth.  I don't care, okay?  I don't care!  I love when dishcloth patterns are written with variegated yarn specifically in mind, and I thought it would be fun to knit the Variegated pattern from Dishcloths by the Dozen with the same yarn I used to crochet the Variegated pattern from Dishcloths.  It's summertime and I'm full of silly ideas like that.


I like my silly ideas.

And I like this dishcloth!  I like the yarn, which is some I Love This Yarn! (a Hobby Lobby brand) cotton yarn that a friend gave me. I like these colors.  I like the construction of this dishcloth.  I liked knitting it because I went ahead and used #7 needles (I love #7 needles, but they give me a pretty loose gauge with cotton yarn) because I figured that it wouldn't matter if my stitches seemed loose when this was already so open.  And it didn't matter.  I think this will still be a fine dishcloth.  Not the scrubbiest or sturdiest, but still a good dishcloth.  And that's really what I like making: a dishcloth that's fun to work on and tough enough to use while still looking pretty.  I think this fits the bill just fine!

I'm already scheming for next week's dishcloth.  I don't know if I can top this in terms of silliness, but I just don't feel up to making another salt-of-the-earth, super humble-looking dishcloth right now.  So I'm going to stay fancy for a couple more weeks.

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