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. ❤

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!