Bobbly Flowers Crochet Blanket (and Discontinued Yarn)

Thank you for all the messages, comments and emails over the past month!  I have a lot to go through.  I’m sorry I missed everyone who came by for the Nuts About Squares 2017 Crochet-Along, but I’m so happy to have you here!  I am working on a future photo tutorial post for the border of the Tropical Delight square, and if you are waiting on a message from me, I’m slowly working my way through them!  Thanks for your patience and support. 

~*~

Bobbly Flowers Crochet Blanket - mellieblossom.com

I have a lot of unfinished crochet projects.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of finished projects too, but for one reason or another, and with blankets especially, I take my time and work on them when I’m inspired to do so, in between other projects.

But.

The one problem with this is that over the course of a year or two (or three or four), some of the yarn colors that I started out using were discontinued.  I know that you’re supposed to purchase all the yarn color up front for dye lot continuity, but for acrylic projects that use no real dye lots like Red Heart or Vanna’s Choice, I’ve never really considered that necessary.  There’s a craft store right down the street from me, and it’s no big deal to run out for ten minutes and grab a few more skeins of the color that I’m running low on. 

Bobbly Flowers Crochet Blanket - mellieblossom.com

Big mistake, though.  Because back in 2012, I participated in an awesome swap with the VCFC gals called “Pink Lemonade”, featuring a great color scheme of pinks and yellows.  And when the swap was over, I decided to use up my leftover yarn on the gorgeous Bobbly Flower crochet blanket.  I worked on it for a while, and it got put away during a move, placed in a basket on a shelf, and took a bit of a break in my project rotations.

Fast forward to a few years later, I’ve pulled it out again and have found that not one; not two, but SIX out of the eleven colors I used in it have been discontinued!  Yikes!  Of the colors:

  • Olive Green
  • Pink
  • Kelly Green
  • Fern Green
  • Antique Rose – ?
  • Duckie – discontinued
  • Lamb – discontinued
  • Pink Poodle – discontinued
  • Pea Green – discontinued
  • Soft Pink – discontinued
  • Wild Berry – discontinued

Has Antique Rose been discontinued?  I’m only able to find regular Rose online, but I’m so out of the loop these days I don’t even know!

Bobbly Flowers Crochet Blanket - mellieblossom.com

Now fortunately, I do have an admittedly small stash of most of these colors; others just a skein or two, so I’m planning on continuing the project for now, but I’m fully aware this may end up to be more a lapghan than an actual blanket.  It’s just such a bummer to have such great colors disappear seemingly overnight.  I especially miss Soft Pink – there were so many projects I wanted to use that color in, and all of the substitute yarns I’ve tried so far have been close in color- but not quiet there. 

Bobbly Flowers Crochet Blanket - mellieblossom.com

 

So now I’m debating whether to include some new colors in this, or make do with what I have?  Or maybe I’ll hit up the eBay circuit and see what I can collect.  I’m not sure.  This pattern, with all its bobbles, certainly does use up a good deal of yarn.  And at the very least, I’ll enjoy making what I can with what I have left.

~Mellie

A Baby Skirt for Clara

I’m so in love with this patchwork baby skirt I made for Clara! (And with her too, for that matter!)

A Baby Skirt for Clara - mellieblossom.com

Our family has been doing a lot of sewing over the past couple of weeks.  It was my eldest son who was tired of not finding the toys he wanted anywhere and decided to be a little like mama and just make them himself.  I took him to the craft store with a hefty $5 budget to pick out all the felt he wanted and he came home with a nice bundle and started hand sewing. 

After several (wonderful) attempts, he asked me to teach him to use my much-neglected sewing machine.  I was half thrilled and half apprehensive, but I set it up for him anyway.  My sewing machine is so old.  I got it as a birthday gift – on my 14th birthday – and that was some time ago.  And while there was a period in my life where I was sewing every day, lately it’s been just sitting in front of me on my desk, there to remind me that I should use it, but with me always having something else to work on.

So it was inspiring to see my son catch onto using the sewing machine so quickly!  I mean, he was threading that needle within like two attempts of being shown how.  And then problem solving when the thread got stuck or when the tension was off.  His passion for his creativity makes my mama heart so proud.  The next time he took a sewing break, I decided I might try to make a little something myself.

A Baby Skirt for Clara - mellieblossom.com

I bought this fat quarter square of fabric many, many years ago.  (See, this is why I like to hang onto things – the sewing machine is being used again, a 9-year old fabric stitch is being used now… I’ll never be one of those clutter-free mavens!).  The fabric is from moda and is called Prairie Paisley II by Polly Minick and Lauri Simpson for moda (pdf).   I fell in love with the Americana feel of this fabric when I first saw it and so I bought a couple of bundles and put them aside for the perfect use… which hadn’t come until now!  I had purchased a few pre-cut 5″ charm bundles, but all I could find anymore is a link to some of the fabrics which seem to still be for sale in shops such as here and here.   

Don’t even get me started on how many cute fabric bundles are over there on moda right now, too.  I didn’t think it would be dangerous to take a peek around there, thinking that a bundle from 2008 would obviously not be there, but there are so many other cute fabrics that would make such adorable clothes for Clara that I’m trying to evaluate any wiggle room in my yarn budget to make room for more fabric!  The Charm Packs, which are the perfect size for this kind of patchwork, are here

A Baby Skirt for Clara - mellieblossom.com

So anyway, I was trying to decide what kind of project would be easy to make.  So I peeked through some of my pins on my sewing pinterest board and came across this very easy and adorable little patchwork baby skirt by Create Kids Couture (download link is at the bottom of the linked page).  And really, it was so simple to make.  The pre-cut squares made the process even easier, and within an hour or so, Clara had herself a brand new baby skirt.  The best part about it is that the elastic waist and long length of the skirt (on her right now) will last us many, many months in the future!  What more could I ask for?

A Baby Skirt for Clara - mellieblossom.com

Maybe just some more patchwork baby skirts for her.  And some more adorable baby pictures! <3

~mellie

Spring Crochet Squares

I say spring crochet squares, but I’m actually an entire year behind. 

Since last year was spent in a pregnant blur, I missed out on the bulk of the two blocks a month crochet-along  (2bamcal2016) on the Vanna’s Choice Fan Club on Ravelry.  I made a couple of squares before the pregnancy, but after that, so much crochet work came to a screeching halt.  So I may be a year behind, but I still plan on finishing up this blanket.  I love the colors, I’m having a lot of fun with the patterns and not putting too much pressure on myself to make them perfectly.  And it’s been nothing but fun.

Spring Crochet Squares - mellieblossom.com

Since I’m going back almost a year, the squares that were selected had a spring theme – and that’s fitting, considering that the weather is warming up around here.  I’ve finally started hearing morning birds outside my window again.  And the Mr. isn’t paranoid about me being outside because of Zika because I’m no longer pregnant (never mind that there have been no cases of Zika here; he excels at worrying about us all!)  I was able to put Clara snug in a wrap and we gathered the kids and the pup and we all went for a long and much needed walk in nature today.  It felt wonderful to be outdoors with the wind in our hair and the muddy grass beneath our feet.  Our pup greeted each and every dog he met with happy leaps and the boys played up and down the trails.  It was really nice.  I’m glad that winter is ending.

Spring Crochet Squares - mellieblossom.com

I digress, though.  The squares for the VCFC 2bamcal use a worsted weight (Vanna’s Choice) yarn and a larger hook (5.00/H) than I use in the monthly bamcals, where I do more intricate work.  I don’t know why I put so much pressure on myself to get things “just so”, but nevertheless, I do.  However, since these are already larger by yarn weight and hook size, it takes much less time, especially when I stop at 9″, and occasionally 12″ (always multiples of 3 for me to make my jumbled afghans!).   Not all of these patterns are free either.  They may have been at the time of the posting, but they aren’t at this point.  I’m always happy to support my fellow crocheters with their pattern writing efforts though; the end results are usually totally worth it. 

For these squares, I’m using Vanna’s Choice yarn in the following colors (a dark rainbow): brick, mustard, olive green, navy, honey, and beige.

Spring Crochet Squares - mellieblossom.com
Spiralling into Spring Crochet Square by Margaret MacInnis (free)

This is such a gorgeous square, isn’t it?  I mean, I can just look at this project and think: so lovely!  This pattern incorporates tapestry crochet, where you carry one yarn color underneath the other.  I use it often in my work, but this style of using the color switch in chains rather than stitches was new to me.  Fortunately, there are detailed instructions on how to do this, and it turned out wonderfully.   The pattern is by Margaret MacInnis, whose patterns I’m a big fan of to begin with.  You can find this pattern as a free Ravelry download here

Spring Crochet Squares - mellieblossom.com
Promise Me Spring Crochet Square by Margaret MacInnis ($2.99)

This next square, Promise Me Spring, is also by Margaret MacInnis.  One thing about her patterns is that you’ll never get bored making them.  This one, for example, was made by making the four centerpiece motif edges separately and then connecting them all together.  Pretty unique!  But also pretty fun to make.  This pattern is available as a Ravelry download for $2.99 here

Spring Crochet Squares - mellieblossom.com
Mirror, Mirror Crochet Square by Funny dieBarbarin ($1.99)

Finally, the Mirror, Mirror Crochet Square has really nothing to do with spring crochet, but it’s still flower-ish and pretty (and the other one I completed and took a photograph of in time for this post), so it’s being included anyway.  And who’s to say that we’re not all looking at ourselves in the mirror before the warmer weather comes anyway (and admiring the gifts of pregnancy? ha.)  Anyway, this is another lovely square to make that is very detailed in instructions.  I like that it doesn’t pull at all, which some other square tend to do.  Nice, straight edges.  And there’s a good variety of stitches involved. Follow the link here to find it on Ravely for $1.99.

It got chilly overnight, and it surely looks like rain, so today seems like it might be a good day to stay inside, cuddle up with my littles ones under some warm woolies and catch up on more crochet and netflix. 

~Mellie

 

 

Crochet Trends: 2017

There are some things that seem to go hand-in-hand with crochet: baby blankets, baby hats, comfortable afghans, amigurumi toys; but as crochet becomes more and more popular, there are a lot of crochet trends that I’ve noticed popping up.  Now, I’m not an expert in forecasting or anything like that, but I prowl Pinterest and Ravelry and other sites enough to notice there are a few crochet trends that are becoming more and more common.  I’ve included some links to patterns within each trend, just click on the photo caption to take you to the pattern.  Also, all the patterns are free except where otherwise noted.

Hygge

The word of the season – both in crochet, and on every other front it seems (try typing it into Pinterest), is hygge.  Hygge, pronounced “hoo-gah”, is a Nordic term that is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”  This is the kind of warm and fuzzy feeling that I associate with being safe and warm in my comfortable home, surrounded by family and the things that I love.  While hygge is more of a state of mind, as an emerging trend, it has come to encompass the its own style as well.  Far from the cries of minimalism, or cold, structural modernism, the hygge style embraces sorts of things like candles, family dinners, homemade teas and pies, softness, and warm blankets and woolies. 

Crocet Trends - Hygge - mellieblossom.com
Hygge Crochet Along 2017

Besides the fact that crochet and blankets go together like peas and carrots, there are crochet patterns that are dedicated solely to hygge.  My favorite thus far, and one that I’m most excited about, is the Hygge Crochet-Along hosted by Scheepjes. This beautiful wrap is made by cross-stitching on top of rows of single crochet.  Some of the projects in progress are just wonderful – I can’t wait to get started on mine!

Messy Bun Hats

Bun hat patterns seem to have exploded this past winter.  These hats, which have a hole at the top of the head for a ponytail or bun to stick out, are so fun.  I wear my hair up out of my face a lot of the time, and having one of these (yes, it’s in my queue) would help alleviate the big bulge where my clip is under my hat or my avoiding wearing one all together.  Anyway, there are a lot of really cute patterns for these crochet bun hats – they’re not too complicated and I think they’d make great gifts for the holidays next year (yep, I’m always planning ahead for Christmas gifts!)  Here are a few that I like:

Crochet Trends - Bun Hats
Ribbed Bun Hat by Naztazia
Crochet Trends - Bun Hats
It’s All About the Messy Bun by June Nemeth
Crochet Trends - Bun Hats
Linen Stitch Ponytail / Messy Bun Hat by Jennifer Pionk

 

Octopuses (Octopodes? Octopi?)

Owls have always been a common trend in crochet.  I’ve made an owl bookbag, there are owl baby cocoons, owl hats, and page after page of other owl patterns.  But lately, octopuses have been taking over.  Amigurumi octopuses are popular, from the realistic to the cute miniatures.  Perhaps bolstered by the news that crocheted octpuses seemed to help some babies born prematurely, “octopuses for preemies” has also become a common pattern with a lot of fun variations.  I’d love to crochet some octopuses for little babies!  I may have to call hospitals around in my area and see if they’ll accept donations. 

Here are some of my favorite octopus crochet patterns so far:

Crochet Trends - octopuses
Octopus for a Preemie pattern by Gosia / My Nomad Home
Crochet Trends - octopuses
Claud the Octopus by Kate E. Hancock £4.00 GBP
Crochet Trends - octopuses
Octopus for Preemie – Octo Project by Anastasia Popova
Crochet Trends - octopuses
Mini Amigurumi Octopus by Sarah Hearn

 

Mermaid Tail Blankets

Some months back, I started being tagged by a lot of my friends on Facebook, where they would all lead me to a Mermaid Tail Blanket, usually with a hinting question like “can you make one of these?”  Since then, many variations have popped up, and they are definitely a hot crochet trend right now.  I have yet to make one for my daughter, but the Mr has mentioned that he wouldn’t mind the shark version.  Perhaps another Christmas gift?  Here are three such patterns:

Crochet Trends - Mermaid Tail Blanket
Mermaid Tail Afghan by Nadia Fuad
Crochet Trends - Mermaid Tail Blanket
Jillybeenies Mermaid Tail Blanket by Jill Harrison $5.00
Crochet Trends - Mermaid Tail Blanket
Bulky & Quick Shark Blanket by MJ’s Off The Hook Designs $5.99

 

Mandalas

Okay, so mandalas have been making the crochet rounds for a few years now, but they are becoming more and more popular as crochet patterns.  The circular symmetry of crochet motifs is a perfect medium for mandalas, and so they’ve been showing up in blankets, squares, wall hangings and all sorts of other unique ideas.   

Crochet Trends - Mandalas
Spanish Mandala Pillow Overlay Crochet by Tatsiana Kupryianchyk $5.50
Crochet Trends - Mandalas
Rainbow Mandala Waistcoat by Sara Huntington £3.50 GBP
Crochet Trends - Mandalas
Amazing Grace Mounted Mandala by Dawn McIntyre
Crochet Trends - Mandalas
Mandala Madness by Helen Shrimpton

Have you noticed any crochet trends that I forgot?  If so, let me know in the comments! I love watching these kinds of trends emerge, and how they play out through all different parts of life, including what we crochet. 

~Mellie