Catch Up Crochet

Catch Up Crochet -
Baby Love

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. 

Pane in my Dahlia Crochet Square -
Pane in my Dahlia Crochet Square

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!

Lotus Pavilions Crochet Square -
Lotus Pavilions

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. 



Crochet Gifts for Baby

Crochet Gifts -

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!

Crochet Gifts -

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. 

Crochet Gifts -

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. 

Crochet Gifts -

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…

Crochet Gifts -

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. 

Crochet Gifts -

And what is a post about baby crochet gifts without a gratuitous picture of the sweetest baby in the world? 

Crochet Gifts -

Isn’t she beautiful?  I’m so madly in love with her.

Have a wonderful Monday!


Crochet Pumpkin Hat and Booties

Crochet Pumpkin Hat -

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. 

Pumpkins -

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.

Knit Pumpkin Hat -

Crochet Pumpkin Hat -

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?

Crochet Pumpkin Hat -
Daddy’s hat with baby’s crochet pumpkin hat

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.

Crochet Halloween Booties -

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. 

Crochet Halloween Booties -

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. 

Pumpkins -

Happy Halloween,


Clara Ann

My daughter Clara Ann was born two weeks ago.  She is beautiful; she is amazing; she has brought with her so much love. 

You may have noticed how quiet things have been around here.  This was certainly not my intention.  I had planned so many crafts for this baby – crochet blankets, little girl hats and booties, burp cloths and dresses; I had planned on crafting right up until labor, and had planned on having another peaceful homebirth with my littlest love, like I did with my two elder boys. 

Clara Ann -

But you know what they say about the best made plans.

As the later months rolled around, eighth and especially the ninth month, I started to get that first-trimester-like fatigue again.  Had I really forgotten how hard the ninth month was?  I was more than tired – I was exhausted.  I spent my days lying on the sofa, running out of breath, achy and a bit lightheaded.  Still, I didn’t feel bad per se, and so I kept pushing on best I could.   However, as the month progressed and I felt even worse, a visit from my homebirth midwife established that there was indeed a problem – I was suffering from a fast-progressing preeclampsia.  My midwife urged me to call the hospital first thing the next morning.

They had me come in immediately upon calling and barely needed to do more than check my blood pressure when they sent me over to Labor & Delivery and hooked me up to a Pitocin drip, a magnesium sulfate drip, and proceeded to check my blood pressure every fifteen minutes.  Not long after that, I was put on blood pressure medication because it kept spiking even with the magnesium sulfate.  My hospital bed was fitted with pads in case I started to have seizures. When labor was not progressing fast enough to keep my blood pressure under control, they broke my water.

Clara Ann -

This was far from the intervention-free birth I had originally planned for, but I am very lucky that I was in the hands of so many people who took such good care of me when things could have gone so badly.  My nurses were kind and compassionate and the midwives and physicians were professional and competent.  And a few hours later, I safely and happily gave birth to my first daughter with tears of happiness and gratitude.

Now that we are home and have all had time to welcome little Clara into our lives, I’ve had some time to gain back my strength and pick up where I left off a couple of months back.  There is still so much to do and catch up on, but my heart and home are so filled with love and happiness.  The happiest days truly are when babies come.  And there are so many happy days yet to come.