It was a long week with my two older boys suffering from a stomach bug. These are the joys of motherhood. I have so much to catch up on: laundry and cleaning and homeschool and errands. But I was able to whip up this adorable little crochet penguin with a Valentine scarf for Clara and her new incoming teeth. Free pattern is here.
Get ready for the 2017 crochet along! (and yes, I realize I’m a bit behind on this!)
Is it really almost Febraury? I keep forgetting how much time taking care of a newborn actually takes up. But we’re finally out of that fourth trimester and yes, she is actually sleeping through the night, and that has given me (a little bit of) time to catch up on some of the many projects that have been waiting for me. And if you’re one of those who left me a comment or sent me an email, please hang in there. I’m slowly making my way back through my inbox that still has unread mail from September!
The first thing I wanted to start up on was the 2017 Block-a-Month Crochet Along. And if you’re looking to join in a CAL, January and February, the beginning of the year, are great times to do it The new group for the year is here: 2017 Block-A-Month Crochet-Along, and even though I’m only sharing my squares now, I actually did make them toward the beginning of the month.
The main square for the first of the crochet-along is Moody Blues by Helen Shrimpton, and can be found free on her website. Link to the Ravelry project page is here. This square is full of interesting textures and stitches, so it was a lot of fun to make. This was made exclusively for the bamcal, and that’s exciting. There’s so much inspiration to be found when a bunch of creative types come together for all sorts of variations on one pattern, and it’s so much fun to see what each person comes up with.
The filler square is the one that is voted on by the crocheters, and the winner for the first month of 2017 is the Kaleidoscope Crochet Square by Julie King of Gleeful Things. The pattern is free and comes with very detailed instructions and photos for new crocheters, and it can be found by clicking on this link here. If you want to add the project to your Ravelry queue, the link for the pattern page is here. I had fun making this one. I love the green yarn that I’m working with for this year’s 2017 crochet along. It’s chartreuse from Caron’s Simply Soft line. It’s one of my favorite colors. They don’t seem to sell it in stores around here, so when I put in my last order for Joann’s online, I threw in a couple of CSS colors that I don’t see often locally. And then I fell in love with it! The same goes for the yellow color, which is actually gold. And the addition of the orange in the color scheme really made it pop. I’m enjoying working with this set of colors.
Finally, the Efflorescent Window crochet square by Delphis is another square that I made a long while back. But it was fun to make it again years later with different colors and (dare I say it), more and better knowledge of what I’m doing crochet-wise. The pattern can be found as a free Ravelry download by clicking here. This was a block in the 2013 Block-a-Month crochet along (which was my second year doing this – wow, can’t believe I’m going on 5 years of bamcals!). I never finished that bamcal, but I recently pulled out all those old blocks and printed up the patterns, so it definitely is a goal in the next year or so to get that one together. I so love the color scheme on that one. And funny enough, there are a couple of colors in there that I’m using for this year too, such as the off-white, and the brown. The yellow is a bit lighter, but still the same tone. I suppose I know what colors I like using! That was the year that I went a little crazy with borders. No regrets, it was a great learning experience, but wow did it ever take a lot of time. My version below has the petal looking border repeating with some extending rows beyond that. Pretty! But lately I’ve been enjoying more simplicity in patterns, and I think that shows in the 2017 crochet along.
In the meantime, stop by the bamcal 2017 crochet along group on Wednesday to see what the crochet square selections are going to be for February (they’re usually heart and Valentine related!). I certainly will be!
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.