Crochet Star Blanket for Baby

Just a little crochet star blanket for my sweet little baby…

Crochet Star Blanket for Baby -

I’m behind on everything.  I’m behind on messages, on comments, and on keeping up with this blog.  Taking care of four kids is no joke, lol.  It’s actually wonderful, with the sweetness of an infant and the joy of a toddler, this time with two older boys who are old enough to watch the girls so I can shower or take the pups out while the Mr is at work.  It’s a home full of happiness, yes, also full of chaos and craziness, but also full of love.  I’m homeschooling the boys again this year, and even though it seemed like it would be an impossible task with caring for the babies too, along with a whole household full of animals, we’ve actually fallen into a pretty good routine. 

However, something had to give, and so there’s been little time for crafting and crocheting.  It’s disappointing, but also, I suppose, very normal for this time in life.  So the little bits that I do finally finish here and there are wonderful accomplishments that I’m always excited to share.  And I am starting to eke out little bits of time here and there again for myself, now that the fourth trimester is over and Alice is able to spend more time exploring the world around her without being constantly latched at the breast.

Crochet Star Blanket for Baby -

So here is the latest accomplishment, a crochet star blanket for my littlest baby.  The pattern is called Beth’s Little Star Afghan, and can be found for free here online.  It actually work up quite quickly, and what I like best about it is that it’s going to be really easy to add more rounds as she gets bigger and bigger.  I kind of like the idea of a baby blanket that grows with baby. They grow so quickly too…

Crochet Star Blanket for Baby -
… snuggled up in love …

I’m cherishing these little moments.  I hope all of your crocheting has been productive!


Handmade Baby Clothes

Handmade baby clothes are one of the best things about having a baby (besides the obvious, of course!).  I have a handful of adorable sweaters – a couple newborn sizes and a couple toddler sizes – that I’ve had sitting here, just waiting to be photographed.  So finally, here they are. 

I did not make any of these sweaters, nor do I have any pattern links for them, though I wish I could say that I did!  Many of these sweaters were either given to me by friends or family, or found at the local Goodwill.  I always seek out those gorgeous handmade baby clothes and blankets and such that are passed along to donate.  I know how long and how much effort goes into making handmade things, whether crochet or knit, or whatever.  So when they end up in a donation, I like to honor the unknown maker by buying that item and appreciating it the way that I think it should be appreciated – from one fiber artist to another.

handmade baby clothes -

This infant sweater is one of the first.  My in laws picked it up at a thrift store, I believe, and even though it’s 100 degrees out and little Alice likely won’t be wearing it in this heat just yet, I certainly hope that it will fit through the cooler months.  It seems like it might get up to a 6 month size, we’ll see.  It’s knit, and cuddly; baby colors throughout.  I can only imagine someone sitting, night after night, working on this sweet little sweater for a loved little one. 

handmade baby clothes - This is another tiny sweater or jacket that a little one might wear.  This one has a lot more detail, including the variegated yarn, the cables, even the hood (below).  I think that this one, even though it’s relatively small, can be used as one of those shrugs that the girls can use as they get a bit older.  The arms are longer, so it has a lot more flexibility. 

handmade baby clothes -

I wonder sometimes about the people who might have made these items.  It seems so sad that they end up in goodwill or other thrift stores, going for just a few pennies, when I know how much effort and care went into making something like these.  I wonder sometimes that my afghans will one day end up going for a buck or two somewhere.  I’d love to think that handmade baby clothes and other handmade goods would become family heirlooms and be appreciated and passed down through the generations, but I suppose that there’s just so much stuff anymore that handmades are just one in a pile of textiles. 

But I still like to think of it as “rescuing” these handmade baby clothes or blankets or whatever when I’m out and about thrifting and come across them.  Sometimes they need a little bit of TLC and I’ll weave in some ends that have come undone and started fraying, but in the end, they’re good as new, and filled with a lot of life left in them.  One such is the sweater below, which really had a lot of loose ends flying about when it was first given to us.  But oh, what a difference a little care makes.  Check out how unique and beautiful it is:

handmade baby clothes -

If we’re speaking of handmade baby clothes that were made with a ton of love, this is my absolute favorite of the bunch.  I in love with this adorable, elaborate sweater, that was obviously made with lots of love over a decent period of time.  This is more than just your everyday knit sweater.  It’s full of details and all sorts of goodness.  The colors, the added animals, flowers, stars; even the structural elements like the pockets and the zipper – all of them have been painstakingly added to create the cutest little sweater you’ve ever seen. 

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And look at how sweet the back of it is – just as much thought and detail as the front.  I love the little raindrops and the appliqued rain cloud.  And wait until you see the elfin-like hood:

handmade baby clothes - It’s soooo cute!  Seriously, I cannot get enough of this sweater.  Clara wore this all winter long.  She’s not wearing it right now, since it’s in the triple digits, but if it doesn’t fit her by the time that fall comes around, you can bet that I’ll be saving it for Alice.  I love this so much, I’m even debating whether or not to recreate it in a crocheted version.  Even if I did, though, the knit version has so much more detail than a crocheted version could contain.  I love it.  Isn’t it the cutest thing?  If you do happen to know the pattern to this, or even who could have made it, definitely let me know!  This is fiber artistry!

handmade baby clothes -

And last, but definitely not least, the only crocheted sweater of the bunch.  This one will definitely fit the girls for a few years to come, with its extra length.  It is a well-structured garment made solely of double crochets; but it’s beautiful.  I love the simplicity and the minimalism of it; I love that it would work well as both a spring jacket or an over-garment for another dress during the colder months. Someone, again, put a lot of time and effort into making this piece, and I hope to do its maker justice by seeing that it’s well worn and loved.



Crochet Owl Cocoon for Alice

So in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been lately, I went and had myself another beautiful baby!  This is my sweet newborn, Alice Rose, posing wonderfully for the camera in this lovely crochet owl cocoon set that I made for her.  Isn’t it the cutest thing? (Almost as cute as she is… almost!)

Crochet Owl Cocoon -

I’m so in love with her – we all are.  Her big sister is learning to adapt better than we thought, which was a concern, because she’s been mama’s little girl since day one.  But things have gone on relatively smoothly. 

Of course, there are a few things that I’m still learning.  Figuring out the best way to grocery shop with four kids, including one curious toddler and one newborn, for example, has been a bit challenging!  But I have no doubt that I’ll figure something out eventually.  I hope. 

Crochet Owl Cocoon -

Anyway, the crochet owl cocoon and hat was such a cute photo prop that I couldn’t resist making one for Alice.  All things considered, it was quick to make, too.  The pattern can be found as a Ravelry download, and has a price of $2.95 as of the time of this posting.  The pattern is very clear and has a lot of photos.  And who doesn’t love a crochet owl?  It’s classic crochet.

I did do a few things differently than suggested though.  The first thing I did was alter the way the crocodile stitches were made.  Rather than go through some of the more complex back post steps to making the crocodile stitch, I simply changed the direction of the way I crocheted in order to make them.  So rather than going from left to right, like one would usually do following a pattern, after I made the round of dc stitches, I turned the cocoon upside down and went from left to right that way, making regular dc stitches up and down the posts (so 5 dc down one, and 5 dc up the other).  And in between, I added picots for some pointier tips (3 sc, and then a sl st in the 3rd sc).  The stitches turned out quite textured, but I like it, and with some blocking would lie more flat, I think.  But I like the fluffiness of it right now. 

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And look how cute this crochet owl hat fits my little love.  She snuggled right up into this and fell asleep, so I think I would call this project a success. 

Since Alice is my fourth, and likely last baby, I’ve been taking so much extra time to really enjoy these first few baby months with her.  They go by so quickly, and it’s so easy to forget how little they are and how fast they grow.  I’ve been maximizing cuddle time and enjoying that baby smell and the soft baby skin, and the way that babies just sink into their mothers.  It is such a precious time, and I’m so grateful for another little one to snuggle and hold. 

I hope your summer is going just as happily as mine!


More Crochet Along Squares

I’ve been slowly moving along on catching up on some of the crochet along squares from years past.  These are a lot easier for me to work on than bigger projects with a toddler underfoot, and half the time I’m working on them as a car passenger while the family’s been running errands, or when I’m waiting to pick the kids up from one activity or another.  A crochet along square is easy to pack up and bring along, and even fifteen minutes here and there eventually add up.  Sometimes I really need to be able to start and finish a project and be able to see it from beginning to end, especially in these mothering years where everything else tends to be an endless cycle of repetition. 

My 2015 blanket is the last large project that I finished, and turned out to be so successful and is used in our home every day, so I figured the 2016 and 2017 deserve a chance to be finished up too! Hopefully in time for the holidays this year, because I have two families that would love them and that I would love to share my creations with.  So, with some slow and steady progress, here are a few more squares from the 2016 Block-a-Month Crochet Along group from Ravelry that I’m adding to the pile of finished creations!  And if you’re following along with my progress, here is my gallery for the squares I have finished for this particular blanket on Ravelry.  Hopefully one that will be growing incrementally!

For all of these squares, I used Caron Simply Soft yarn and a G (4mm) hook.  The colors I used black, off white, light country peach, and red.  Because I use a smaller hook and sport weight yarn when most of the patterns call for worsted weight and an H or I hook, I make my squares 9″ instead of 12″ and often have room for a bit more of a border. 

Blue Jeanne Crochet Along Square

Blue Jeanne Crochet Square - Crochet Along Square -
Blue Jeanne Crochet Square

The original version of this square was designed with blue yarn, hence the name, but I think the red and peach turned out pretty well too.  I love the way the center motif of this crochet along square turned out – very unique but not overly difficult to make.  Blocking squares that have a million back post stitches are always difficult, so I hope I captured the essence of how pretty this square turned out to be!

Block-a-Month Crochet-Along Square: 2016 November Filler square

Free Ravelry Download: Blue Jeanne Crochet Square

Designer: Hooked on Sunshine

Price (at time of post): Free


Rebirth Crochet Along Square

Rebirth Crochet Square - Crochet Along Square -
Rebirth Crochet Square

This is the most recent of the 2016 squares that I completed, and I love it.  It’s been on my list to make since it first came out, with its strong zigzags and clean lines.  This one was made to be a little fancy by using tapestry crochet to carry the puff color through the dark background.  I also added a little bit of embroidery as flower puff “stems”, which I think turned out kind of fun.  I fall in love with this square again every time I look at it.

Block-a-Month Crochet-Along Square: 2016 December Filler square

Ravelry Download: Rebirth Crochet Square

Designer: Magdalene Lee

Price (at time of post): Free


Queen of the Meadow Crochet Along Square

Queen of the Meadow Crochet Square - Crochet Along Square -
Queen of the Meadow Crochet Square

This crochet along square is so unique.  It was the main square for August of 2016, and captures the essence of summer breezes, as was intended.  I did make a few changes, mostly in the “breezy” aspect of the white surrounding smaller stitches.  The original called for it to actually look like they were flying off in the breeze.  However, my picky sense of symmetry forced me to follow the alternative layout of the simple repetition instead.  Still, I love how it turned out. 

Block-a-Month Crochet-Along Square: 2016 August Main square

Free Ravelry Download: Queen of the Meadow Crochet Square

Designer: Lettice Rose

Price (at time of post): Free

Sometimes after I’ve been working on a crochet along square for a while, I get so caught up in making the details as perfect as I can that I forget to take a step back and look at them as a whole.  I’ll want to start an entire square over if I decide after the fact that a round should have been made in a different color, for example.  Being able to put them away for a while and go back to them helps me appreciate the work I’ve done.  Just posting these here makes me inspired enough to want to work on more squares today!  I’m so glad to share them, and each step closer to the final project being finished is progress made!