Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Cozy Blankets and Yarn

I'm not sure where to start. A lot has happened in six months, but are they interesting enough for a blog post? Maybe, maybe not. Today I am going to begin with catching up on projects I've completed. There are a few that should satisfy.

In the last post I mentioned that I was awaiting a yarn order to start the baby blanket for my sister's baby. It took 10-14 days to come in and I was happy with it. This was my sister's 4th baby and she decided to find out the gender. She was having another boy and so requested I do a chevron wave pattern using navy blue, grey, and white. I used a pattern I had used several times which made it easy to work on. I completed the blanket in two weeks and it turned out beautifully!

I used Caron Simply Soft yarn. Usually for baby blankets I use yarn specifically for baby blankets, but decided to branch out with this blanket. It was easy to work with and the softness when it was finished was perfect. Washing it made it softer! A finished blanket with Caron Simply Soft is quite heavy, but not so heavy as to be a poor choice for a baby. While Michael's does carry this yarn, the colour selection leaves you wanting. Thankfully, The Knitting Warehouse has a larger selection and comparable pricing. I only have one minor qualm with the yarn. When it washes, it becomes pretty fuzzy and then fuzz and lint sticks to it. It is definitely not a deal breaker when deciding whether or not to use Caron Simply Soft.

Once I had finished the blanket for my nephew, I began working on a blanket for a mom in a Facebook mom's group I am a member of. She also wanted blue, grey, and white, but instead of navy she wanted a light/baby blue. She sent me the Cuddle Me Blanket pattern and after having to redo the first row a few times, I finally was able to read the pattern correctly. It was not my favourite pattern to crochet, but it is a beautiful pattern and with the right motivation, I would consider making another blanket using that pattern. I also used Caron Simply Soft for this blanket.

I made two more blankets using Caron Simply Soft yarn ordered from The Knitting Warehouse. My husband and I were expecting our second child and just as we did with our first baby, we did not find out the gender at the 20 week ultrasound. I used colour schemes I had found on Pinterest and did my best to match the yarn colours to the schemes without physically having the yarn in front of me. While the colours had a definite difference, they all still worked together. Being due in November, I wanted to pick fall colours and a thicker pattern to keep my little bundle warm. With the help of my sister, I chose the Greenway pattern. I have made this one before just for fun, but the colours were a bit too bold for my liking (pictured left). My husband helped me decide on the colour order for the baby blankets. The boy colours were perfect for fall and I fell in love with them, wanting a full size blanket in the same colours for myself. My brother described the girl colours as 'regal'. While I do like the girl colours, I was not as in love with them.

Due to a pregnancy condition, it was a possibility for me to go into labour early or be induce at 37 weeks. I was 34 weeks and hadn't even started the blankets. I hurt my shoulder that same week and could not lift my toddler so my mom came to help me so I could heal before having a second baby to care for. The only thing I could do that didn't hurt my shoulder was crochet.

It took me about two weeks to finish the boy blanket and nearly finish the girl blanket. I ran out of a couple colours for the girl blanket and had to order more. The girl blanket is still not finished as our second boy arrived 3 weeks and 2 days early. I plan on finishing the baby girl blanket, but for the moment it is taking a back seat until I have more time. Perhaps during the holidays while my husband has days off I will get some down time.

That's it for blanket projects. My life is full of baby and toddler snuggles and trying to balance our new normal. So far, so good with zero casualties. I've committed to a Christmas bake swap with some mom's from my Facebook moms group and have to make 6 dozen cookies next week. I chose shortbread: Quick, easy, and a classic! I may add some crushed candy canes to make them even more festive.


Thursday, 2 June 2016

New Adventures

It has been a while since my last post. Life has been busy and projects slow.

My husband and I started house hunting again in March. Our lease would be up at the end of April and it was just time for more space. We looked at several different houses, a few nice ones and some definite 'no' houses. None of the nicer houses seemed right to me. They had all of my husband's requirements, but fell short on some of mine.

On March 19th, we went and looked at a cute 3 level split house. The house was well kept with new siding, shingles, and laminate flooring. The walls needed some paint and the bathroom could probably use a small reno, but everything was in working order. The yard was pretty decent and even had the potential for a garden one day. Add a double detached garage to the list and this house met the majority of our requirements. It was also right within our price range.

We made an offer, which they countered. We countered back and they accepted. Possession date was set for May 2nd. Moving went well with little hiccups and a month later we are still unpacking boxes, but for the most part are all settled in. We have already painted one room and it makes it look fresh. I'm looking forward to painting the rest of the house and making it our own.

As for projects, I have only had one. A friend asked me if I could make a toddler-sized mermaid tail. I used Lion Brand Homespun Quick and Thick in Teal. It turned out well, but the yarn was different to use and I had to take out a few rows due missing a stitch. It was a big hit at the baby shower apparently.

The only other project I have on the go right now is a baby blanket for my sister's baby. She is due in a month, but hoping baby comes at the end of this month! I tried ordering the yarn for the blanket off of Hopefully it comes quickly.

That's all for now! I hope you all have had a pleasant springtime so far!


Friday, 29 January 2016

Baby Trio

This is by far the largest project I have been commissioned to make and completed. As I said in the previous post, the request came from a friend of a friend. I thought it was just going to be a blanket, but once the lady emailed me, she was asking for a blanket with a ribbon border and booties and toque to match. I agreed and it took me a little longer than I had anticipated due to a teething, fussy baby.

The hat was easy enough to make, but I could not find a pattern using lightweight yarn like I was using for the blanket. Finally found this one at Tampa Bay Crochet.

I made these cuties for the booties. It took me a while to decide on the size as the infant seemed too small, but following the larger pattern seemed much too big. I decided to size down my hook and they turned out a good size. I hope they fit. I wanted them to be big enough to fit for at least 6 months. If the baby's feet are anything like my son's, they will be lucky to fit for 3 months.

And now for the blanket. I knew the pattern already as I used it when making my son's blanket. I like how gentle it is compared to the traditional chevron look. I used Loops&Threads Snuggly Wuggly Silly Sprite. It is a beautiful and unique colour and I like it. I filled in the valleys on border so as to make the border a straight line. I thought this would make sewing on the ribbon when the time came.

When the time came to choose the ribbon, I found out the woman had had a baby boy and so the customer requested a blue ribbon if I could find one that matched. If I couldn't, she was leaving the colour to my expertise. I found a dark navy bias that seemed to look nice with the green. I bought it, ironed a centre crease, and began sewing it on.

The sewing machine was a huge challenge. More than it should have been. My sister allowed me to borrow hers. I had to look up how to create the bobbin and the way to do the zigzag stitch I wanted. Then I did a test strip. The bobbin thread kept bunching and breaking off. After probably a good 30 minutes of frustration, I turned to my husband. He came and sat down beside me while holding our son and I showed him what I was doing. He then took the piece from me, looked at it once, and figured out that I wasn't pushing it in far enough for it to lock in like I thought I was. Oops. I did a couple test strips for the stitch and then began on the actual blanket and border.

Since this was my first time sewing a border, let alone a border on a crochet blanket, I'd say it turned out pretty well. The front looks good, but the back isn't as even. I'm hoping that it is normal, or at the very least alright because it is on the back. I do like how it looks with a border and would like to try more borders some time, but I would like my own sewing machine first.

I do have the other mermaid blanket to work on, but I think I can safely take a break until next week.


The Ocean In My House

Mermaid tails and a shark were swimming over the floor of my tiny basement. They turned out beautifully, as I knew they would. Both mothers who ordered for their children said they might have to have one made for themselves. One also has put in an order for her niece.

The little boy who received the shark didn't quite get how the blanket worked. He crawled in head first and tried to walk around. He thought he was going to BE the shark, not just wear it. Oh, the logic of kids.
Right before Christmas, a mother from a Facebook group messaged me saying her old coworker was looking for someone to crochet a baby blanket and if she could pass on my contact information. I agreed and soon was in for more than just a blanket. The lady wanted booties and a toque as well, but that is a separate post.


Om nom nom.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Current Projects

The Ariel-esque mermaid tail is finished! It turned out pretty close to what her tail would probably look like with the sun shining on it through the water. It has already arrived at it's destination and the customer and the recipient of the gift are both pleased with it. It makes me happy when people are satisfied with their purchase and my work. It fuels my love for crochet.

I love this pattern and Country Loom yarn. There are a few colours I wish I could buy and have in my yarn collection, but alas, yarn is too expensive to purchase and just to have it lay around. I already have too much just sitting around, waiting for the right projects to pop up.

My husband's birthday was at the beginning of November. He said I didn't need to get him a gift, so I didn't. I made him one instead. He did not have a toque for winter so I quickly whipped one up with the yarn I had sitting around. I'm not sure how warm it is as the weather is still fairly nice for Canada in December.

I have made another a Paw Patrol hat for a mother for her son for Christmas. It took me only a couple days to make.

These slipper boots by MJ's Off the Hook Designs work up so quickly. I made a pair for a mother who had been in the hospital with her 3-month-old baby and I thought she would appreciate a bit of comfort during their stay, but by the time I finished them, she was back home. I have also made another pair as a Christmas gift for someone. I do not have a photo of the ones I have made but I will get one up as soon as possible.

I have been asked to make three more mermaid blankets and one shark blanket. The shark blanket is also written by MJ's Off the Hook Designs. I haven't made one yet, but judging from her other projects which I have tried, it should be pretty easy to follow and figure out. The mermaid tails will be purple, dark purple, and turquoise. The shark will either be grey or dark blue, depending on if I can find the right colours in the right brand of yarn.

In between commissions, I've been working on my retro circle squares for the blanket I hope to piece together. The yarn will be Loops&Threads Impeccable in colours Pumpkin and Teal with an off white border. I would like to make it large enough to fit a double size bed or a couch throw. Perhaps I'll put it up for sale when it's finished.

That's it for current projects. What are you working on?


Friday, 30 October 2015

Yarn, Yarn, Yarn

I love yarn. I could spend hours upon hours in the yarn section at Michaels, dreaming up projects and ogling the beautiful colours, shades, and combinations. Sales and coupons are the bane of my existence as a crafter. I used to pick up a new colour every time I would go. As a result, I have several balls of yarn just sitting around, waiting for me to pick them up and make something from the long strings.

Adele, the author of 3 Beans in a Pod provided links to some sites where she purchases her yarn. I have just spent a good 45 minutes perusing the stock and wishing I won the lottery and could buy the site out of stock. I am not sure if the price is comparable with Michaels prices (with use of a coupon), but I will be looking into it more and considering purchasing yarn from Deramores for my next baby blanket project. The site has more colour and style options than Michaels does. Plus, I could just order the yarn and have it shipped straight to my house! No more bundling up my baby and carting him around to the craft store. A dream come true.

Now you know one of my obsessions. What is one of yours?


Monday, 26 October 2015

Mermaid Tail Blanket

I finished the mermaid blanket for my niece last Sunday. The pattern written by MJ's Off the Hook Designs was easy to follow and quick to crochet. It took me a few days to fully complete the blanket, but if I had worked on it continuously, the blanket would have been finished in a single day. The yarn - Loops&Threads Country Loom - for the tail is so soft and thick making it a warm blanket. I made the children's size and I fit into it so my niece will fit it for quite a few years down the road.

I posted my photo to Instagram and Facebook and I received a commission off of it. We're going with Ariel-esque colours. The customer asked that the fin be sparkly if possible. I'm still looking for a sparkly green that will go well with the tail colour. I may have found one, but the Michaels I was shopping at was out of Country Loom Solarium tail colour.

I need to pick up a few more balls of Solarium to finish the tail so when I go pick it up, I will compare the two and find the best match.

I also want to make a blanket like the one found here at 3 Beans In a Pod. I love the colours she uses in the blanket pictured in the tutorial and this one. Grey is a favourite colour of mine. After perusing the website further, I discovered she is the author of the same blog I followed to find the pattern when I made my harlequin blanket. Her colours were what drew me to the pattern. (The original pattern can be found on this website.) I'm looking forward to browsing this blog further as she seems to have many beautiful patterns.

That's it for now. Hope you all are having a fantastic Monday.