FO – Blanket Stitch Baby Blanket

Hi All,

I just realized the month of June is almost over and I never got back to you about a couple of projects I talked about in my last OUAS (Once Upon A Sock) post. Today, I’ll share with you a little labor of love.

In March, my (step) Aunt Debbie asked me if I could make a baby blanket in lavender for her son’s soon to be arriving baby girl. She wanted something small that she could use as a baby and then be able to use for her baby dolls as she got a little older. Baby girl was due to be born in the middle of May. I thought that would be plenty of time to make something, so of course I said yes! Plus, I love knitting for babies…what could be better?

I rushed out immediately and picked up some Lavender yarn at JoAnn’s called Red Heart Soft Baby Steps. This stuff is so soft and is perfect for babies, as well as the easy care that new Mama’s appreciate. I spent the next few days searching patterns on Ravelry; but nothing was floating my boat. I finally decided to keep it simple and cast on for a 9 stitch ribbed baby blanket.

It was super easy and mindless knitting; however silly me totally forgot that I was in the midst of packing and moving. D’oh! I got all the way to here (see pic below) by May 9th and realized there was no way in the world I was going to get it finished in time. 😦 If I had gone a little smaller, maybe. But I wasn’t going to rip all that out and start over. I will continue this blanket at another time for another baby girl…I already have one in mind!

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So what to do? I know I can crochet super fast and started looking for quick and easy crochet patterns. One of my very favorite crochet blogs is called Mama in a Stitch and I just so happened to get an email that she had posted a new pattern. Eureka! Why didn’t I think of it sooner? I set about to searching her blog for a baby blanket and as soon as I clicked on the link, I knew it was meant to be.

It’s called the Blanket Stitch Baby Blanket and is her go-to pattern for blankets. I think it might be mine now too! She specifically gives instructions for a baby size blanket and a throw size blanket, but you can use the pattern to make any size you want. She used chunky yarn and I knew that I was using a worsted weight, plus I wanted the size to be a little smaller…more of a stroller blanket instead of a crib blanket.

I decided to use a size I (5.5 mm) hook and I crocheted my foundation chain until I was satisfied with the width I wanted, which was 22 inches (84 stitches) and I was off and running! I crocheted until it was 30 inches long and then crocheted a single chain along the edge to make the border even. For those of you that might be new to crochet or have never heard of this stitch, she has a YouTube tutorial on how to create the stitch.

In between unpacking, working, and all that life holds, I happened to crochet this blanket in 15 days. The little nugget was born on 5/15 (the day before my birthday) and I finished on 5/19. Just in time for Mama and Papa to get settled in while I popped it in the mail. Here are pics of the finished blanket…it was difficult to photograph the color; however it is closest to the one where it is draped over a chair. Mama, Papa and Grandma are super happy with the results 🙂

And here’s baby girl sleeping peacefully under her new blankie.

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I’ll be back soon to share another project I’m working on…also crochet. It is a commissioned project and I need to get moving a little bit quicker.

Until next time, Happy Crocheting (and Knitting!)

 

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FO’s – Unicorns Galore

Hi All,

Back at the beginning of December, I had high hopes for lots of blogging to show you some of the items that I had to keep secret as they were gifts. Now, it’s nearly the end of my three week vacation and I’m wondering where the time went! I’m going to share a couple of items with you today, just to get things moving again.

First up, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen some “In Progress” photos. Several months ago, my cousin and a friend saw a Unicorn Blanket pattern that both wanted dearly. I found the pattern on Etsy (later realizing I could have bought it on Ravelry) and printed it out. It took me a little bit to purchase all the yarn I would need as several stores would have 1-2 skeins of it…I needed A LOT!

I learned a lot with the first blanket. I had never crocheted in the back loop only before and found that it creates a look much like ribbing with knit. I used office supply binder hooks to hold the hood and the blanket together for placement and sewing. I learned that I should use a much smaller hook with the yarn for the horn as it came out way too big. I also learned that since the stitches were larger, white fiberfill does not look as good. Although the horn is secure, it is not as firm as I would have liked. I also learned that gauge really does matter when you are trying to make a toddler size blanket. It turned out to be sized for a teenager. This was originally for Iris aka “Rainy”; however I gifted it to her Mama instead.

Ravelled Here: Unicorn Blanket by Keri Palbicki

Started/Finished 9/12/17 ~ 9/23/17

Yarn: Blanket used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in the color Celebration; horn and hair used Lion Brand Landscapes in the color Boardwalk Promenade

Hook: Size US P (11.5 mm)

Final Pictures:

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I called the second one, Unicorn Shlanket since it’s a hybrid between a hooded shawl and blanket. I incorporated all of my learning from the original blanket, although I knew I wanted to make this a special fit for my cousin Nichole.

I made the hood with a size US M/N (9.0 mm) crochet hook, which made it much smaller. I also used a size US I (5.5 mm) crochet hook for the horn. I bought black fiber fill off of Etsy to stuff it with and it made a world of difference! I also made the mane much fluffier than the first by using a ton more yarn. I decided to make the hood first so I could maximize the amount of yarn used in the shlanket part and this turned out to be a wise decision.

The shlanket itself was made with a US P (11.5 mm) crochet hook and I decided not to add the fringe since it was so long. Unfortunately, I do not have finished pictures of the full shlanket because I forgot to take them before shipping this off to my cousin (hint, hint!) and she has not gotten back to me with final pictures. I do have picture of the hood however, and I think you’ll agree that it turned out much better! Also included is a picture of the “In Progress” shlanket part. I used the same yarns; however the shlanket is in the color Fisherman instead of Celebration.

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Until next time, Happy Knitting or Crocheting!

 

 

FO – Rainbow Baby Blanket

Hi All,

Mama (aka Megan) and the family have received their package, so it’s time to start blogging about everything I made for Baby Rainbow (aka Rainy). In case you missed it, here are the Baby Mitten Socks and Tulip Stitch Headband I made for her and blogged about in the past.

Let’s start with the Rainbow Blanket. I knew that Megan might like a rainbow blanket. The first thing I did was start a Baby Rainbow board on Pinterest and send it to her to get an idea of the colors she was drawn to. She really liked the natural colors of the rainbow versus the pastel palette that I liked so I’m really happy that I sent the board to her first. I did not let her pick the blanket itself because I wanted it to be a surprise.

Next, I had to decide if I wanted to knit or crochet. Knitting takes longer; however crochet uses more yarn. After thinking about it, I knew I was starting so far in advance of her due date that I could do either. After that it was a simple agonizing choice of which blanket. Guys…there are literally hundreds of thousands of baby blankets out there! I was very attracted to the Honeycomb Throw by Red Heart just because of the way it looked. While browsing pictures of others FO’s in Ravelry, I saw a rainbow one and was immediately hooked.

I knew that I was going to have to buy yarn, even though I’m on a yarn diet, because I didn’t have all the colors of the rainbow. A lesson learned here…I had Red Heart Super Saver Solids in Lemon and Pumpkin. When I went to the store, I bought Caron Simply Soft in the other colors I needed, plus the sparkly white for the cloud appearance of the border / honeycomb pattern. Don’t do this! I repeat…do not do this! Although everything worked out in the end, the Red Heart was a thicker ply than the Simply Soft, even though it was listed as the same ply and weight. It had me really worried the entire time I was making the blanket.

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One set of rainbow complete!

I swatched and didn’t like the fabric on the recommended needle size of US 10 (6.0 mm) so I went down to a size US 8 (5.0 mm). I also knew that I didn’t want it as big as the throw size from the pattern, so I had to do a little math to determine the proper size. I wound up casting on with 142 stitches. I needed 10 stitches total for both ends (the border is knit at the same time as the honeycomb pattern) and the honeycomb pattern itself was in multiples of 8 stitches + 4. My math was correct (yay me!) and the final blanket wound up being a perfect size of 32″ x 40″. She’ll be able to use this her whole life if she wants.

Also, this…for those who do not like finishing…this would be your worst nightmare. Look away if you must. Believe me, I was not going to wait until the end to weave in all those ends. I think if I would have waited, I would have never finished it.

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Ends Galore!!!

I washed the blanket in Newborn Dreft and then steam blocked it since it’s acrylic yarn. It turned out super soft and snuggly and smells so good. Normally, I would list out all the information, however I’m going to send you to my Ravelry link this time for the project because there is just too much yarn to list and too many notes 🙂 All in all, I really loved the pattern and would definitely make this again. The honeycomb pattern itself was easy to memorize and a lot simpler than it looks.

Without further ado…the FO!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Once Upon a Sock: June Edition

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Hello All!

Can you believe it’s June already? Where the heck did May go? I’m on vacation this week…a staycation; although it has been busy with trips to wineries in Saratoga, as well as Gilroy and Morgan Hill. We had a lovely barbecue with a great friend with some fantastic wine. We also took a trip to Monterey and went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Tuesday and had a delicious seafood lunch on Fisherman’s Wharf. When you live in California, every day can be a vacation 🙂

Since it is the first Thursday of the month, it’s all about the socks! Have you guys heard about this craze that’s been going on for several years? You take your sock yarn (or any weight really) scraps and make a blanket out of it. I heard about it a year and a half ago and have been diligently saving my yarn scraps, as well as swapping and buying mini skeins. The pattern I’m following is free and is called The Coziest Memory a recipe for a scrap blanket by Kemper Wray.

This week I decided I have enough yarn to finally start. Well, I probably could have started a long time ago. I just got the gumption to do it this week 🙂 I have one square completed and although I have a pattern and have watched tons of YouTube videos, I’m still trying to determine how to add my next square so it’s centered the same way and I’m working on the “right” side (it’s all garter stitch). I think I have it figured out and will let you know soon! For my first square, I used the yarn from Baby Eric’s socks and I have the next ball wound up and ready to go. I’m using size US 2 (2.75 mm) DPN’s and the first square came out to 2.75 inches squared.

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In addition to the Cozy Memories Blanket, I’ve also been working diligently on my Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B Anderson. I started these on July 10, 2016. Isn’t that crazy? I hope to have them finished by next months post, which will make them a year long project. As my long time readers know, I was sidelined by a hand injury and it took a long time to recover. Luckily, I’m back in the groove, although taking it easy on such tiny needles so I don’t injure myself again.

Guys, we have heels! OMG!!!! Can I tell you how excited I am? I have never worked with afterthought heels before and it was extremely nerve wracking learning this new technique. After knitting 2 inches past the waste yarn, I picked up the stitches on both sides. With the first sock, I picked up the wrong leg on one side of the heel; however that was easily fixed by reorienting the stitches as I was knitting them. Since these are being knit TAAT (Two at a Time), I left the socks on the Magic Loop needles and used my 24 inch size US 1 (2.25 mm) needles to work the heels one at a time. Here’s a little tip for you…when knitting TAAT, place your second ball of yarn inside your second sock to prevent tangles. It worked awesome for me.

After finishing up the heels, I went back to knitting in the round and now I’m 10 rows into the foot. Like I said before, it’s been slow going; however, they are getting there!

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Have you seen my fellow sock enthusiasts posts lately? Why not hop over to their pages and show some love! And if you want to join us, let one of us know, post on the first Thursday of every month with the title “Once Upon a Sock” and link up! We would be happy to have you!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

FO – Baby Boy Blanket & Hat

Hi All!

Now that Mama & Papa have received their package, I can finally reveal all the yarny goodness I sent to them for the newest baby boy. You’ve already seen a hat I made, using the MJ’s Hospital Hat pattern. What you didn’t know is that the hat was way too small. I checked with one of knitting group friends who recently had a baby and she said it needed to be 14 inches around. I measured and the hat was only 10 inches unstretched and 11 inches stretched. Oops! So, I donated the hat for a Preemie. I’m sure some little one will get some use out of it.

You’ve also seen the Baby Mitten Socks that I highlighted in my monthly Once Upon a Sock post. What you haven’t seen is the new hat and baby blanket! I’ve made this hat pattern before for my great nephew, so I knew that I needed to make the Newborn size instead of the Baby size so he would be able to wear it home from the hospital. I love the rolled brim on this and it should fit him for a little bit. Here are the details:

Ravelled Here: Simple Baby Hat
Started / Finished: 4/6/2017-4/8/2017
Yarn Used: Caron Simply Soft in the color Blue Mint (35 grams)
Needles Used: US 5 (3.75 mm)
Size Made: Newborn (14 inches unstretched)

The other item finished is the baby blanket! It felt like I whizzed through this, taking it with me on my trip to Hawaii, and finishing it up at home. I love the feature of the garter stitch square and edging and Mama loves how soft it is. I washed it in the washing machine on Delicate using Newborn Dreft, partially dried it in the dryer on Gentle, then hung to finish drying. I didn’t have to steam block as everything fell into place from patting it into place as it finished air drying.  It is a free pattern from Tin Can Knits called Malt and was super easy. I highly recommend for the beginner knitter or for the more advanced knitter who wants something easy for tv / talk knitting. Here are the details (You can click the images to see larger pics):

Ravelled Here: Malt
Started / Finished: 2/16/17-4/5/17
Yarn Used: Caron Simply Soft in the color Blue Mint (399 grams – 2.35 skeins)
Needles Used: US 8 (5.0 mm)
Size Made: 31″ x 36″
New Technique Learned: Icelandic Bind Off (Perfect bind off with Garter Stitch and stretchy too!)

That’s one baby boy down and one baby girl to go! Stay tuned for updates on her gorgeous Rainbow Blanket, pink socks and headband! *Check out my Instagram for sneak peeks 🙂

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 3

Yesterday I talked about my current WIP’s…those that are actively being worked on. Today’s question jumps off of yesterday’s by asking:

Do you have any other WIPs (works in progress)?

Doesn’t everyone? Okay, maybe not everyone does…especially those that are monogamous knitters. I’ve got three that have been hibernating for a long time and I would dearly love to get at least one of them back in the current status pile. So, let’s take a look, shall we?

Chunky Blanket by Lynne Knowlton (free pattern)

I first saw this blanket on another blog and fell in love with it. I ordered the super bulky yarn and the humongous needles, as I didn’t have either on hand. I started out with 3 strands held together and size US 50 needles. Let me tell you, it was rough! It was way too bulky to work with and was hurting my hands and arms. I experimented a little and finally went down to one strand of yarn and size US 19 needles. That made it a little easier; however I think I was a little disenchanted. This was started on April 20, 2015…which was only a couple of months after I really started knitting, so maybe if I picked it up again now it would seem much easier than it did back then. For now, it lives in a drawer and the 50 bazillion balls of yarn are in a clear tote mocking me for taking up so much room for such a long time.

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Bernat Really Big yarn in the color Morocco

Folded Squares Cardigan by Purl Soho (free pattern)

I was so excited when I saw this pattern. One of my knitter friends from our Thursday Knitting Group Meetup knit this and showed it off during our Show and Tell session. All of us tried it on and it was fabulous. I immediately looked up the pattern and got to planning. I knew that I didn’t have enough yarn for it and definitely didn’t want to spend a gazillion dollars on the Purl Soho yarn, so off to Knit Picks I went. I think they were having a sale at the time and I purchased the Comfy Sport in the color Planetarium for a really good deal. I can’t quite capture the color on camera; however it is a beautiful blue that I think will be neutral enough to go with just about everything. The only thing I don’t like is that it is fuzzing inside my project bag. I hope that is not a harbinger of things to come. I started this on September 24, 2015 so it’s been almost a year since I cast on…and this is the one that I really, really want to complete. It would be so perfect for fall!

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30 Garter Ridges

Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder (free pattern)

I have one of these socks complete and the other is about 10 rows into the cuff. I adore the yarn and was having such fun with the pattern. Why did I put them down and start another pair of socks instead? I started this project on September 26th and put it down for a long time for Christmas gift knitting. When I picked it back up in January of this year, I must have forgotten to mark a row complete on my pattern. I messed up the pattern in the foot section and have been debating for a long time about whether to just frog it and start over. Or to frog to where it was messed up; however I did that twice and still couldn’t get back on pattern. Indecision has kept me wavering and so this sits in its little project bag with a pair of my size US 1’s. Maybe, someday, I’ll pick it up again.

The 30 Day Knitting Challenge is the creation of Meggiewes who blogs at Knitting in Wonderland.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

FO’s – Baby Goodness

Hi All! In my last post, I promised to show you what’s been keeping me busy lately. At the beginning of May, I shared a quick sock post with you that showed the baby socks I made for my niece Brittany’s new baby boy, who is due in September. After that, I went into extreme mode on the test knit, the Gypsy Moss Shawl. Once I finished that, and in between working on my current pair of socks (amidst other things), I finished a baby hat and a baby blanket! I’m feeling very productive lately. I also promised big brother an orange monster (his favorite color), so he won’t feel left out when the baby gets all this new stuff. I started on it this morning and will share pics of that soon. So, let’s get down to the details!

Here’s the information on the baby blanket (free pattern on Ravelry):

Ravelled Here: Crocodile Stitch Baby Blanket

Crochet Hook: Size I (5.5 mm) from Furls Crochet Candy Shop line

Yarn: Bernat Baby Sport in the color Pale Blue (816 grams – 2.72 skeins)

New Techniques Learned: Crocodile Stitch, single crochet edging when Crocodile Stitches are involved.

I did not use the ruffled edging / ribbon that was in the pattern. I wanted something a little more masculine, so I single crocheted around the blanket and then double crocheted another row around.

This blanket is a serious yarn hog, due to the amount of stitches used to create the Crocodile Stitch. It was a little fiddly getting started; however once the first two rows were complete, it was a breeze. I would definitely make this again; however I would make it the same size as the pattern. The final size on this is 46″ x 47″…I know, it’s huge! It will make for a good crib size blanket and keep the little man warm on cold Illinois nights.

The beauty (see one my dog’s butts behind the chair? LOL):

Here’s the info on the hat:

Ravelled Here: Simple Baby Hat (free pattern on Ravelry)

Needles Used: US 5 – 3.75mm DPNs

Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby Solids and Marls in the color Flannel (30 grams – .22 skein)

This was a super easy baby knit and goes perfectly with the socks I made. I’ve included a pic of the hat and socks together here. I would highly recommend this for a quick knit when you need something fast for a baby shower! I made the baby size instead of the newborn, as I want him to be able to wear it a little longer. I love the rolled-up brim that can continue to expand the length as he gets bigger.

The cuteness (I’m not sure why the pictures posted with the tops cut off; however you can click each one to see the full detail):

So, that’s what has been keeping me busy lately! How about you?

Until next time, Happy Knitting!