Project Updates and The Return of the Machine

Y’all, I’m gonna level with ya: baby brain is for real. I’ve totally forgotten about this blog, some projects I wanted to do, and updating my Ravelry projects and that really just shouldn’t happen. Little guy is T-minus 6 weeks from being born and I’m barely into row three on his blanket. And the stockings I need done before St. Nicholas Day? FORGET IT.

However now that things are for the most part out of the way and I begin prepping for my maternity leave, I did have time to sit down and work on a post and some more of the blanket. Again, I can finish a 53×53 inch blanket in about a month so the blanket will get done. But the exciting thing that I have to share today is that I got the sewing machine back! For those interested, it’s a Bernina B350 so it does embroidery as well as just being a simple little electric machine. I’m reading through the manual again because it’s been about a year since I’ve used it, but everything looks like it works okay.

The first few projects I’ll no doubt make on it will be the changing pad covers and a sleep sack. After baby though, I’ll need it to help make some clothing that has been difficult for me to find lately like cigarette pants and other 50s silhouettes. I’ll also use it to alter a jacket I have into a cape (I love the material of the jacket but the fit is not ideal) and fix the lining on my red trench coat. Having this machine will be a huge help!

So starting this weekend I promise that if you follow my projects on Ravelry there will be activity! And once I get the stuff to make them I’ll probably have pictures and instructions on making a changing pad cover. I’m using an IKEA blanket to make a couple colorful stripy covers for ours. And this time Honeybear doesn’t have to take me to the fabric store for project materials, because I’ve found an excellent online store for inexpensive fabric and notions. I’m in love with a gray plaid wool they have, it would make a darling skirt!

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Handmade Gifts Speak Volumes

So we just got back last weekend from our trip to the US. We had a beautiful baby shower put on by my mother, aunt, and cousin and while it was very small I was surrounded by my family and with my best friend.

Now, I have two aunts who also practice hand knitting and crochet. One of them gifted us this beautiful and simple blanket made from a cream yarn shot through with gold fiber.

I adore it because she took the time to make this for our son. Handmade items, made with love and care, are something I will never fail to appreciate. Being someone who enjoys making and giving away handmade gifts, I feel they speak volumes to the level of respect and love the giver feels for the receiver. This isn’t to say that store-bought gifts are inferior, but rather that a great deal of time and effort goes into making something by hand that factors in when you get a gift like this.

It took me a month to complete the blanket I made for my little cousin Liam. A lot of hours of stitching went into it, which more than once aggravated my carpal tunnel syndrome and my arthritis. I made it though, because I love and care for my husband’s cousin and his fiancé and I adore their baby boy. They still use it to this day, and never fail to tell me how they appreciate it. When you get a gift like this, you become aware of the love and work that someone else is willing to put in for you.

So when you get a gift that is handmade, please don’t look at the possible flaws or the fact that it’s not bought. Take a moment to reflect on the effort, work, and love that went into making the gift. Appreciate it for the labor of love it is. ❤

Crochet Project List 2017

So this year promises to be one full of crochet projects! I already mentioned the Rippled Security Blanket but to start with I need to do a little stash busting, and I have a few projects perfect for the job.
First up on the list is the Pinterest favorite one-square rabbit plush from Studio Knit! It’s basically a single knit square that is strategically sewn and stuffed to create a rabbit. I’ll be doing crochet instead of knit and I have some white I Love This Yarn left over from Liam’s blanket and a spare ball of Yarn Bee in the colorway Biscuit, so a cute bunny is a good way to use that up! It also helps me get back into crocheting after the break I took for my language class.
Next up is two pairs of crib shoes using this pattern from Louise Mac Designs made from the last of the gray and blue yarn for Liam’s blanket. Since they’ll be the super simple and Pin-worthy kimono style they’ll work up quickly and give me a chance to take a break while I work on the blanket. it’s basically a T-shaped piece of fabric that is then sewn into the shape of a shoe, and is too stinkin’ cute for words!
The last major project on the list is these three Christmas stockings from the Bernat Design Studio. I adore the patterns for this! We’ll be doing red instead of blue and switching the snowman for the Santa on the green. It’s another really big project though, so hopefully our annual US trip will knock out the blanket (since it’s three weeks long) and I’ll have four months or so to do these. I’ve proven I can knock out a blanket in two months so I shouldn’t take too long!
Bunny has already gotten to row three so it’s begun! See you guys when the bunny is finished and I begin work on the baby blanket!

Leapin’ Liam Blanket: FINISHED!

I TOTALLY FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES FORGIVE ME.

But the blanket is 100% done! I decided not to do a fancy border or anything, instead just turning over the raw sides and stitching them up. I felt that both time constraints and the want to create a simple blanket for a boy helped me make this decision, and the parents LOVE it. Next time we visit our cousins (which should be soon!) I’ll be definitely taking photos.

In the meantime, I’ve become pregnant myself! So I’ll be getting to work on the next baby blanket project soon. I’ll be doing the Rippled Security Blanket by Underground Crafter for that, in a sunny pale yellow and aqua color palette from Yarn Bee’s awesome Soft and Sleek yarn collection! I love blue and yellow as a color combo so I an itching to try it out.

Leapin’ Liam Baby Blanket

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Okay so now that I’m past halfway finished with this, I figured I could accurately comment on this project and give you guys an accurate idea of what working on it is like! I also have my notes (a constant stream through the first half of the blanket) available to look at on Ravelry.

The Leaping Stripes and Blocks Blanket pattern by the awesome Tamara of Moogly is by far the most fun and most gloriously textured pattern I’ve ever worked on! I’ve been working for a bit over half a month now and this blanket is a dream to work up. I’m using I Love This Yarn! from Hobby Lobby in three shades, and the yarn works great for this kind of project.

The only snag I hit when making this was stitching the second row. The written pattern says to double crochet OVER the single chain, but I had no idea what this meant and the blanket started looking really weird. A bit discouraged, I ripped out the stitches until I was left with only the first row and checked the video instructions for answers. After repeating the same section at least fifteen times, I realized what she meant by over and after that the blanket worked up in a flash! Watch the video if you get stuck guys, it’s really helpful!

Now that I’m where I am in the pattern, the behavior of the fabric is apparent; the drape is lovely and thick, and the fabric is nicely heavy. This is a wonderful baby blanket that will keep a little one warm and cozy, which is highly desirable if you live in the more northern parts of the world like I do. Belgium can get cold enough for snow, so keeping a baby warm is a must! I’m hoping to have it finished before Liam’s baptism in April, he’s our first cousin once removed and it’s the first baby blanket I’ve had the chance to make.

This pattern really should be blocked after you finish it, and if you add a border to it then blocking is even more important. Luckily the yarn I’m using is able to be machine washed and machine dried, so this step will be easy! That will have to wait until I finish though.

Check me out on Ravelry, or buy my soap and support my crafting!