9 Months

Motherhood.

Motherhood - mellieblossom.com

When I first saw that little line show up on the pregnancy test, 9 months felt like it was so far away.  But here we are, 37, almost 38 weeks later, and I don’t have any idea where the time went.  I had all these great plans for crocheting up a baby wardrobe and several baby blankets, and then I got so busy with resting up… homeschooling… life… and well, here I am with just a couple short weeks left and a whole pile of crafts half done. 

Motherhood - mellieblossom.com

So much is different with this pregnancy than it was with those of my boys. There’s the obvious big gap in years and the maturity and wisdom (I hope) that comes with it. There’s also a little more peace of mind in knowing what to expect with a third child; so different from the panic and worries of a firstborn.  I had no experience whatsoever with babies and children when my eldest was born.  There was so much to learn.  And that time in my life coincided with some very drastic life events too – sickness and death in the family, significant job issues for loved ones, and the isolation that so often comes with new motherhood that hasn’t yet assembled any sort of tribe around her.

Motherhood - mellieblossom.com

I’m so grateful that I was able to find so many like-minded women near me, who were (and are still!) able to hold my hand, walk me through the things that are new to me and experienced to them.  I count my blessings each time I am gifted with their wisdom, and their support during the hardest times of my life is immeasurable.  I learned more from them about birthing, motherhood and taking care of myself than I ever could have from any book or website.  They laughed with me, cried with me, and lifted me when I thought I couldn’t ever get up.  ­

Motherhood - mellieblossom.com

Motherhood is not for the weak.  It’s full of struggles and questions, of worry and overwhelming love.  I’m thrilled for this opportunity to experience this journey all over again, this time, hopefully able to enjoy the little moments more. 

Motherhood - mellieblossom.com

In the meantime, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m too big to comfortably nest much more.  Our home is (relatively) clean, I have freezer meals that I’ve prepared and put away for when I’m too tired to cook, and I have the basics ready for a newborn.  Now, I hope to spend the last of these quiet days amidst yarn and fabric, books, and my older children and patiently wait for this little one to decide to be born.    

For Baby Miles – Crocheted Baby Blanket

Crocheted Baby Blanket - mellieblossom.com

It’s time for the inundations of crocheted baby blankets to begin!

If there is anything better than being pregnant with a much-beloved little one, it’s being pregnant with one of your very best friends and her much-beloved little one!  A dear friend of mine, with whom I’ve gone through so much over the years, found our life paths on the same track once again as we’re welcoming new babies into the world.  Miles was born a wee bit early, and I’m coming around my final month here, but we’re still delighted to be going through these happy times together.  And of course, I promised that I would make baby Miles a crocheted baby blanket all his own.  He’s already been in this world a few weeks, and I’m a little late, but I finally finished it up the other day and it is filled with stitches of love for him and his mama too!  (And next I really need to get working on finishing up all these crocheted lovelies for my babe!)

Crocheted Baby Blanket - mellieblossom.com
I don’t remember when I came across this pattern on Ravelry, but it was right around the same time that I found Caron’s Simply Soft Ombre and picked a few colors up.  The pattern seemed to fit perfectly with the softly shifting hues, and I started to experiment with the pattern and yarn together.  The pattern seemed to create itself, and it kept the entire project interesting and vibrant.  The colors that I used were the only ones available at the store at the time (though now that I’m looking online, I see a few other colors I would have liked to have added – oh well!), and those colors I used are Avocado, Rosewood, Stormy Weather, and Teal Zeal, along with the same off-white color I’m using for the 2016 bamcal.  (Find them here on Amazon if they’re not at your local Joann’s). 

The pattern is one of the mixed-stitch stripe blankets that I really enjoy making.  This one is called Fantasy Blanket by Ana Contreras and can be found as a free Ravelry download here.  The instructions are very clear and charted as well as written, which I tend to prefer, so it worked out nicely for me.  And the variety in color makes it look like I used a lot more color than just five yarns, which also saved me the effort of having to weave in a million ends (though I still spent a solid few hours doing just that anyway!)  I didn’t follow the pattern perfectly – I added a few extra rows here and there, and altered the height on the repeats of dc.  But I do think I kept the essence of the pattern in tact. 

Crocheted Baby Blanket - mellieblossom.com

I wanted to add a bit of a special touch to the border, and to make something that was a little less lacy, so I decided to go with a random edging pattern that I found while browsing.  This is called simply, Edge for Fleece Baby Blankets (Unisex Style) by Arina Purcella and featured a variety of options in creating it.  I went with the minimum along with a bit of green at the very edge, and I really like how it turned out.  The free pattern for the border can be found here

For those who have asked before, one of my secrets for getting such a straight border up the sides of these kinds of crochet work is to work a couple of rows of slip stitches on the jagged sides (the ends that are woven in).  As you can see in the photo above, I started with one row of loose slip stitches (I actually went up two hook sizes to make certain that it wasn’t too tightly stitched) and then across the top and bottom, I used a blo sc stitch, so as to keep the stretch in the horizontal pull.  Then into the blue slip stitch/sc, I worked another round of off-white slip stitches (and sc’s).  Finally, I started the border into the back loop of the second slip stitch round.  This avoids the messier look of working stitches directly into the ragged edges and also allows you to straighten up any overly loose or tightened ends by making sure that the first slip stitch line is straight.  It takes a little bit of extra effort, but it’s well worth it, in my opinion!

Crocheted Baby Blanket - mellieblossom.com

Anyway, this blanket is off to its new home in order to wrap baby Miles up in warmth, love and a lot of color!  And now, with just a few weeks left to go (if I make it a few more weeks that is), I have a bunch of baby projects to finish up!  Stay tuned.

 

~mellie

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap Squares

The title of this post is a little misleading, because while Pink Puddles is the latest crochet swap I joined, I’m not actually swapping any squares.  I joined in the crochet swap as a CAL (crochet along-er), because I’m fairly certain with the little one on the way, that I won’t be on time getting my squares finished and sent out.  But because I loved the color scheme so much, I’m still sort of joining in.  Just from the side.

We know that we’re having a girl, due to all of the extra testing we had to have done earlier this year, so when I saw the color schemes for the fall crochet swaps on the Vanna’s Choice Fan Club on Ravelry, I fell in love with two of the color schemes (the other of which I’ll write about later).  But my number one favorite was Pink Puddles, which is a beautiful, gray scheme offset by a touch of pink.   Perfect, I thought, for a baby girl.

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap - mellieblossom.com

The yarn colors are a little less warm than the original photo selection, and actually upon closer inspection, there are no real grays in the inspiration photo whatsoever, but these were the colors that were agreed upon, so these are what I used.  I actually added a third gray to the color scheme, charcoal, which is a much darker gray; but I think it gives the color scheme a little bit of extra drama and pop.  The yarn, of course, is Vanna’s Choice:

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap - mellieblossom.com
Silvery Gray, Silver Heather, Linen, Taupe, Pink,

So on deciding what squares to use for patterns to start off this blanket, I decided to join in on the Moogly Crochet-Along.  The squares are not as complicated as many of the ones selected for the BAMCAL, and it felt like a relaxing way to enjoy the colors, make some progress, and try out some new patterns.  And so that’s where I’ve started.  (Ravelry group for Moogly CAL is here). 

I’m not following any particular order for the Moogly CAL, rather, I just printed out all the patterns at once and picked up one and started working on it at random.  These are the two I have completed so far:

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap - mellieblossom.com
3D Flower Granny Crochet Swap Square

First is the 3D Flower Granny Square by Sarah Zimmerman (link to free pattern here).  I altered this one up just a little bit by adding a little more variety to the ou ter rounds, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  I’m not usually a fan of small motifs in squares, but the outer rounds really accentuate the simple, yet pretty flower in the center.  And the 3D effect is just as subtle, fulfilling the depth factor without obnoxiously bursting out of the center of the square. 

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap - mellieblossom.com
3D Flower Granny detail

You can just barely see the little charcoal leaves underneath the flower when you view it from the side, and that adds a little bit of nuance to the square as well.  I enjoyed making it, and I like how it turned out. 

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap - mellieblossom.com
Winter Bloom Crochet Swap Square

The second square I’ve finished for this crochet swap is the Winter Bloom Afghan Square (link to free pattern here).   This is another one of those that I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, and ended up being very pleasantly surprised.    I’m also really enjoying the neutral palette being offset by the slightest bits of pink here and there.  I think this is going to end up a very lovely blanket for my new little baby girl!

I have plenty more squares to make in this color scheme, but I’m going at a relaxing pace.  Still, I’m excited to make some progress on this.  More to come!

~Mellie

Crochet Along – 6 Inch Crochet Squares

I meant to get this up  on Tuesday, so I’m a few days late, but better late than never, right?  Anyway, Monday I shared the large squares from the 2016 Block-a-Month Crochet-Along on Ravelry that I made in my new updated colors.  Today I’ll share the 6 inch crochet squares. 

If you’re unfamiliar with how the bamcal works, each month, two larger squares are selected for the group to make – one by the moderators and one voted on by the group.  There’s also one six-inch square that’s selected that you have the option of making.  I usually  make four.  For the first couple of crochet-alongs, I joined all four to make another 12″ square, but in the subsequent CALs I decided to randomly place them throughout the blanket.  So I still make four, but I no longer join them until the final piecing.

2016 Crochet Along Squares - Sweet Daisy Crochet Squares - mellieblossom.com
Sweet Daisy Crochet Squares

This is the Sweet Daisy Square, from April.  There are a lot of pretty variations of this square, and I think it would be lovely in some floral colors, but it was still fun to make with this current color scheme I have goiing.  Lots of puffs and separate leaves, it makes a decently solid square.Please note that this square was available for free at the time of the crochet-along selection, but it’s now a paid pattern, and you can find the download pattern here.

2016 Crochet Along Squares - Lest We Forget Crochet Square - mellieblossom.com
Lest We Forget Crochet Squares

Lest We Forget Square was the 6″ selection for July.  I didn’t think that I would love this square as much I as I do, by the time I was done making it, it was on my list of top favorite 6″ squares.  I love the poppy motif.  Here is a link to the pattern download page.  and the Ravelry pattern link page is here.  There is a very detailed, step-by-step picture tutorial for making this, so it’s a great square for newer crocheters.

2016 Crochet Along Squares - Lest We Forget Crochet Square: Detail - mellieblossom.com
Here Lest We Forget Crochet Square (detail)

Rather than leave the four squares separate, I decided to do something a little different with them this time.  Since my final squares are in multiples of 3″ (for easy piecing), I decided to piece two of the squares together and then add some stitching along one side to bring it up to a 6 x 9″ rectangle.  I used a simple repeating V-stitch (dc, ch1, dc, sk2) all the way across.  Even though I don’t know yet how the final blanket will end up (I usually do that more toward November), I think having some variety like this will be fun.

2016 Crochet Along Squares - Petal Patch Squares - mellieblossom.com
Petal Patch Crochet Squares

And finally, the Petal Patch squares were the June 6″ selection.  They are relatively simple to make and ended up quite lovely.  The pattern link can be found here to the pattern, and here is the Ravelry page.

That’s it for the squares I’ve caught up with (both making and photographing!) but there is still lots more to come!  I still have a lot of work I want to get done before this little girl of mine decides to make her appearance! Stay tuned!

~mellie