Crochet Star Blanket for Baby

Just a little crochet star blanket for my sweet little baby…

Crochet Star Blanket for Baby - mellieblossom.com

I’m behind on everything.  I’m behind on messages, on comments, and on keeping up with this blog.  Taking care of four kids is no joke, lol.  It’s actually wonderful, with the sweetness of an infant and the joy of a toddler, this time with two older boys who are old enough to watch the girls so I can shower or take the pups out while the Mr is at work.  It’s a home full of happiness, yes, also full of chaos and craziness, but also full of love.  I’m homeschooling the boys again this year, and even though it seemed like it would be an impossible task with caring for the babies too, along with a whole household full of animals, we’ve actually fallen into a pretty good routine. 

However, something had to give, and so there’s been little time for crafting and crocheting.  It’s disappointing, but also, I suppose, very normal for this time in life.  So the little bits that I do finally finish here and there are wonderful accomplishments that I’m always excited to share.  And I am starting to eke out little bits of time here and there again for myself, now that the fourth trimester is over and Alice is able to spend more time exploring the world around her without being constantly latched at the breast.

Crochet Star Blanket for Baby - mellieblossom.com

So here is the latest accomplishment, a crochet star blanket for my littlest baby.  The pattern is called Beth’s Little Star Afghan, and can be found for free here online.  It actually work up quite quickly, and what I like best about it is that it’s going to be really easy to add more rounds as she gets bigger and bigger.  I kind of like the idea of a baby blanket that grows with baby. They grow so quickly too…

Crochet Star Blanket for Baby - mellieblossom.com
… snuggled up in love …

I’m cherishing these little moments.  I hope all of your crocheting has been productive!

~mellie

Crochet Owl Cocoon for Alice

So in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been lately, I went and had myself another beautiful baby!  This is my sweet newborn, Alice Rose, posing wonderfully for the camera in this lovely crochet owl cocoon set that I made for her.  Isn’t it the cutest thing? (Almost as cute as she is… almost!)

Crochet Owl Cocoon - mellieblossom.com

I’m so in love with her – we all are.  Her big sister is learning to adapt better than we thought, which was a concern, because she’s been mama’s little girl since day one.  But things have gone on relatively smoothly. 

Of course, there are a few things that I’m still learning.  Figuring out the best way to grocery shop with four kids, including one curious toddler and one newborn, for example, has been a bit challenging!  But I have no doubt that I’ll figure something out eventually.  I hope. 

Crochet Owl Cocoon - mellieblossom.com

Anyway, the crochet owl cocoon and hat was such a cute photo prop that I couldn’t resist making one for Alice.  All things considered, it was quick to make, too.  The pattern can be found as a Ravelry download, and has a price of $2.95 as of the time of this posting.  The pattern is very clear and has a lot of photos.  And who doesn’t love a crochet owl?  It’s classic crochet.

I did do a few things differently than suggested though.  The first thing I did was alter the way the crocodile stitches were made.  Rather than go through some of the more complex back post steps to making the crocodile stitch, I simply changed the direction of the way I crocheted in order to make them.  So rather than going from left to right, like one would usually do following a pattern, after I made the round of dc stitches, I turned the cocoon upside down and went from left to right that way, making regular dc stitches up and down the posts (so 5 dc down one, and 5 dc up the other).  And in between, I added picots for some pointier tips (3 sc, and then a sl st in the 3rd sc).  The stitches turned out quite textured, but I like it, and with some blocking would lie more flat, I think.  But I like the fluffiness of it right now. 

Crochet Owl Cocoon - mellieblossom.com

And look how cute this crochet owl hat fits my little love.  She snuggled right up into this and fell asleep, so I think I would call this project a success. 

Since Alice is my fourth, and likely last baby, I’ve been taking so much extra time to really enjoy these first few baby months with her.  They go by so quickly, and it’s so easy to forget how little they are and how fast they grow.  I’ve been maximizing cuddle time and enjoying that baby smell and the soft baby skin, and the way that babies just sink into their mothers.  It is such a precious time, and I’m so grateful for another little one to snuggle and hold. 

I hope your summer is going just as happily as mine!

~mellie

Crochet Pumpkin Hat and Booties

Crochet Pumpkin Hat - mellieblossom.com

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 - mellieblossom.com

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 - mellieblossom.com

Crochet Pumpkin Hat - mellieblossom.com

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 - mellieblossom.com
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 - mellieblossom.com

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 - mellieblossom.com

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 - mellieblossom.com

Happy Halloween,

Mellie

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 - mellieblossom.com

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 - mellieblossom.com

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.

~Mellie