Having a little baby brings out all the best in kindness from other people – even complete strangers. And it also brings out the most beautiful crochet work. It seems sometimes that crochet goes hand in hand with little ones. I’m fortunate and honored to be the recipient of such a lovely crochet babyghan from the girls over at the VCFC group on Ravlery, who organized and put together an entire babyghan for me and baby Clara.
It was a snowy, cold day when this blanket arrived, the perfect kind of day to wrap a little one up in warm, snuggly blankets. And that’s exactly what we did, after admiring the handiwork and composition of this gorgeous babyghan. These beautiful squares are from a free pattern called Maybelle Square (found for free here). The border and edging are expertly done and we couldn’t be happier with this crochet babyghan gift.
I was even lucky enough to receive some super soft washcloths for Clara as well. The pretty colors and lacy design are just perfect for delicate baby skin, and so much better than the regular washcloths that we’ve been using on her. They’ve been getting a lot of use! It’s been so wonderful to know that there are so many kind people out there sending us their love and their time. I so appreciate all the effort and cherish all the handmade gifts.
Once again I’m working on some catch up crochet. 2016, this year of pregnancy and new baby have gone by in the blink of an eye, especially with a newborn. These have been such a happy months, and it’s hard for me to believe my little one is 2 months old already! They grow so fast, don’t they? And after having two babies who never liked to sleep, Clara has been a dream! She sleeps well through the night and cuddles up to me in the sling, napping throughout the day. I love snuggling her and breathing in her baby scent, and her big brothers love her to death, too. They have even acted as watchful eyes over her, letting me actually get showers in, and even an uninterrupted meal or two! To say I feel blessed would be a huge understatement. I’m over the moon!
I’ve even been able to get (a little bit of) crocheting in. That’s been less easy, considering that crochet takes two hands and what Miss Clara makes up for with her napping is the desire to be held most of the time. This leaves me with only one free hand. But during those naps, when I’m not trying to catch up on the housework, I have managed to get a little bit of time in. (Anyone want to invent a one-handed crochet method?)
I’m pretty certain I won’t be making crochet gifts for everyone (or anyone) for holiday gifts this year, and it’ll likely be midway through 2017 before I finish up the 2016 bamcal squares. But I am getting a few squares done here and there. It’s almost essential to my well being to not go too long without crocheting at least something.
Like this square, for example. This is the November main square for the crochet-along. Pane in My Dahlia is a hilarious play on words (read about it and get the free pattern here). I’m not usually a big fan of huge, 3d floral motifs, but in some cases, the results can be stunning, and this is one of those scenarios. I love the way this flower looks. I used the crochet tapestry method, carrying yarn along the back in order to achieve the white petal outlines, and I added a slip stitch around the edge of the flower into the back loops and a fpsc into the posts. The red center petals photographed a little bright, but I really like how the overall square turned out.
The other one that I finished up is the September filler square, which is Lotus Pavilions by Helen Shrimpton. I knew I’d like this pattern because I love Helen’s crochet designs to begin with. This one was no exception – well written, pretty overall and well detailed. It’s available as a free download either through Ravelry or on her website, Crystals and Crochet. As complicated as it looks, it was so much fun to make that time flew!
The other bamcal squares will slowly come along. I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to get things done with a newborn; I know this song and dance all too well. With all the stacks of unfinished projects alongside me, it’s hard not to want to work on them all. But I have to remind myself to take deep breaths and pace myself. The yarn will be there waiting for me, but my baby keeps on growing.
One of the best things that babies bring with them (besides the snuggles, the wonder and the joy) are the crochet gifts! I love making gifts for tiny little ones, and so do many of my crafty friends as well. We received some beautiful handmade goods in the first few weeks of Clara’s life, and I thought I’d share some of them here. Unfortunately, I don’t have patterns for any of them, but they are definitely worth ogling!
First is this soft and fluffy crochet blanket from a family friend. She calls it a “LoveGhan”, and she’s made quite a few for her recent grandbabies lately, so I was both surprised and honored to have received one as well! I’ve wrapped Clara up in it and snuggled her up, and it will make a great floor blanket for her too, once she starts picking her head up some and rolling around.
The next “crochet gift” is actually a misnomer, since it’s actually knit, but it was made by Clara’s grandmother herself, so I’m including it as well. The colors incidentally coordinate perfectly with the other crochet blanket above, with pinks and greens, but this one includes some neon pink for a little bit of personality. It’s a gorgeous blanket, and was definitely made in an act of love.
With all the crochet I do, it’s nice to have a knitted blanket. I think I’m going to move knitting up on the list of things I want to become better at. Maybe as a New Year’s resolution…
And finally, this assortment of crochet gifts for baby is adorable. The headbands are crocheted over some type of elastic, and the hat is simple but sweet.
And what is a post about baby crochet gifts without a gratuitous picture of the sweetest baby in the world?
Isn’t she beautiful? I’m so madly in love with her.
Happy Halloween! This year has flown by far too quickly. Halloween sets off the flurry of craziness that is the holiday season around here before we settle into a months-long cold and quiet winter, and with Clara being born just a month ago, even Halloween sneaked up on us this year. But I did get in a little bit of crocheting in time to celebrate the season.
All of these adorable crochet pumpkin accessories are so incredibly cute. Right after her birth, we got this cute little knit pumpkin hat from a friend who volunteers for our local CSA pickup. It was so perfectly fitting, considering all the squash and pumpkins we’ve been receiving in our shares for fall. And she looked so sweet in it. But it wasn’t long that Clara (who is nursing and gaining weight like crazy) grew right out of that hat. And I decided to replace it with a crochet version of my own.
So I went on Ravelry and found this crochet pumpkin hat and was able to whip it up in a single afternoon. Of course, Miss Clara’s head seems to be growing exponentially, so I had to add a second round to the edging so that it would come down over her forehead (she has her daddy’s big head!) but it’s enough to get hopefully a few weeks of wear before she’s inundated with winter hats. I did go down a hook size when making this, using an I instead of a J hook, as my gauge suggested. Next time I would stick with the J hook though. It did fit her newborn head, but they just grow so quickly, don’t they?
The crochet pumpkin hat that I chose was not a free pattern, but it was very well written with good photos, and even includes video links, so it would be great for a beginner crocheter. This Pumpkin Beanie is available on Ravelry for $4.95. Another great feature about this pattern is that it goes from infant size up to adult size, so next fall I can make crochet pumpkin hats for everyone in the family! Won’t they love that, haha. Fortunately, everyone here is very accommodating with my constant crocheting for them!
For the hat, I used Vanna’s Choice yarn in Terracotta and Kelly Green for the leaf and curl. The flower was made with an E sized hook and Caron Simply Soft yarn in off-white. I wanted the flower to be small enough not to overwhelm her head and the hat, but I would probably use a worsted weight yarn for the flower on an adult sized hat.
After the hat was done, the only logical thing was to make a matching pair of baby booties to go along with them, right? I had started this pattern for booties a couple of weeks before she was born, but because I became so ill, I didn’t finish them. So they again took no time to finish making. This pattern for Fairy Blossom Baby Booties is free and can be found here. These actually turned out a tad bit bigger than a newborn size, but that works, because she’ll have plenty of time over the cold winter to use these to keep her beautiful baby toes snuggly warm.
For all those of you who have been so kind to check up on me and send me messages and emails, thank you. We’ve been recovering well from Clara’s birth. Our whole family has fallen in love with her, and she’s proven to be my easiest newborn yet (knock on wood!) in terms of high needs. Her big brothers have been a wonderful help in terms of watching over her while I get showers and a little bit of sanity in, so that’s been a blessing. And Daddy just adores her; I love to watch his heart just melt when he holds her. I can’t believe it’s already been a month, and yet I can’t imagine how life was without her. This has truly been a magical fall.