Just a little crochet star blanket for my sweet little baby…
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.
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…
I’m cherishing these little moments. I hope all of your crocheting has been productive!
I’ve been slowly moving along on catching up on some of the crochet along squares from years past. These are a lot easier for me to work on than bigger projects with a toddler underfoot, and half the time I’m working on them as a car passenger while the family’s been running errands, or when I’m waiting to pick the kids up from one activity or another. A crochet along square is easy to pack up and bring along, and even fifteen minutes here and there eventually add up. Sometimes I really need to be able to start and finish a project and be able to see it from beginning to end, especially in these mothering years where everything else tends to be an endless cycle of repetition.
My 2015 blanket is the last large project that I finished, and turned out to be so successful and is used in our home every day, so I figured the 2016 and 2017 deserve a chance to be finished up too! Hopefully in time for the holidays this year, because I have two families that would love them and that I would love to share my creations with. So, with some slow and steady progress, here are a few more squares from the 2016 Block-a-Month Crochet Along group from Ravelry that I’m adding to the pile of finished creations! And if you’re following along with my progress, here is my gallery for the squares I have finished for this particular blanket on Ravelry. Hopefully one that will be growing incrementally!
For all of these squares, I used Caron Simply Soft yarn and a G (4mm) hook. The colors I used black, off white, light country peach, and red. Because I use a smaller hook and sport weight yarn when most of the patterns call for worsted weight and an H or I hook, I make my squares 9″ instead of 12″ and often have room for a bit more of a border.
Blue Jeanne Crochet Along Square
The original version of this square was designed with blue yarn, hence the name, but I think the red and peach turned out pretty well too. I love the way the center motif of this crochet along square turned out – very unique but not overly difficult to make. Blocking squares that have a million back post stitches are always difficult, so I hope I captured the essence of how pretty this square turned out to be!
Block-a-Month Crochet-Along Square: 2016 November Filler square
This is the most recent of the 2016 squares that I completed, and I love it. It’s been on my list to make since it first came out, with its strong zigzags and clean lines. This one was made to be a little fancy by using tapestry crochet to carry the puff color through the dark background. I also added a little bit of embroidery as flower puff “stems”, which I think turned out kind of fun. I fall in love with this square again every time I look at it.
Block-a-Month Crochet-Along Square: 2016 December Filler square
This crochet along square is so unique. It was the main square for August of 2016, and captures the essence of summer breezes, as was intended. I did make a few changes, mostly in the “breezy” aspect of the white surrounding smaller stitches. The original called for it to actually look like they were flying off in the breeze. However, my picky sense of symmetry forced me to follow the alternative layout of the simple repetition instead. Still, I love how it turned out.
Block-a-Month Crochet-Along Square: 2016 August Main square
Sometimes after I’ve been working on a crochet along square for a while, I get so caught up in making the details as perfect as I can that I forget to take a step back and look at them as a whole. I’ll want to start an entire square over if I decide after the fact that a round should have been made in a different color, for example. Being able to put them away for a while and go back to them helps me appreciate the work I’ve done. Just posting these here makes me inspired enough to want to work on more squares today! I’m so glad to share them, and each step closer to the final project being finished is progress made!
There’s an owl that lives in the woods outside my home. He comes and goes at various points throughout the year, but he always returns, and sometimes he has scared the living daylights out of me. There have been plenty of nights, when the kids are asleep and I’m sitting in the dark that I’ll hear some little creature screech and hear loud wing flapping and then for the next minute or so, it sounds like some terrible fight is taking place. But there’s never any evidence in the morning, even though when i go out looking, I half expect to find mangled, horrific remains from the sounds of the struggle. But it is likely just this little owl who does his nocturnal hunting and then returns to his nest to hoot through the night.
This crochet owl blanket has shown up in my Pinterest feed so many times, and I’ve favorited it, saved it, marked it. But with the advent of this new little one on the way (and coming soon, I might add!), I was inspired enough to start a new blanket for her (yes, it’s a her!). I love the rainbow colors of the original blanket – I think it was made with KnitPicks’ Chroma? But the color scheme was a bit too close to my Little Hearts Scrapghan (the eternal work in progress), so I decided when selecting my colors for this project to do something a little less bright. So naturally for a crochet owl blanket – I decided to go through all my woodland colors and find a nice blend of earthy yarns.
I ended up going with Vanna’s Choice colors, with a couple of outliers and lot of discontinued colors. Mustard, taupe, kelly green, fern green, olive green, terra cotta, beige, and honey are all from the current VCFC line. The dark brown is the discontinued espresso color, and of course, my favorite discontinued color of all, pea green, makes its appearance as well. The light brown is a mystery yarn that is the same weight as the VCFC line, but I honestly don’t know where it came from, only that I found it in my stash and it went well with the color scheme.
The link to the crochet owl blanket pattern can be found here in the etsy shop TheHatandI. It’s called “Owl Obsession” and is (currently) $5.99. If you’re a novice crocheter, the pattern is filled with photos and details on how to make the blanket, so it’s a decent project. I made some modifications myself just out of personal preference, such as skipping the back loop only through the octogons, and modifying the way the ears were made just to make things a little more in the shape I want it. Of course that left me with a bunch of ears that need to be tacked down, so that’s one of the things I’ll be working on as I finish this up But overall, I’m quite pleased with the results.
Anyway, this etsy shop is amazing, and no, I’m not getting paid to say this, lol! It’s hardly just the crochet owl blanket – I love the selection of patterns, the colors, and the creativity involved in them – like, cute little turtles next to the ocean? What’s not to love? These are some others patterns from the same shop that I have in one queue or another that I do hope to make one day – check out the patterns for sale if you like:
And as for my own owl blanket, I have a little bit of work left. I have to finish up the half octagons for the side and get a border on there – I’m not certain which border I might use yet, but I have some ideas. But it will definitely be ready in time to wrap my little bundle up in some love!
So here we are at the end of February, and I’m only just recently starting to pull myself together for the 2018 Block-a-Month Crochet Along (or bamcal for short) group on Ravelry. These past couple of years have found me so busy that I’ve barely done any crochet at all (well, from what I’m used to). But I’m really hoping that will change. I’ve been in nesting mode – it’s true, we’re expecting another sweet little one at the end of spring. My heart is swelling with joy, and we’re all so happy. And chances are that this will likely be my last little one, so I really want to take all the time in the world to enjoy every last minute of being a mother to an infant.
Clara has been a dream of a baby – easy going, a good sleeper, calm. I’ve really been blessed with her, and she just bubbles over with happiness and love for life. I’m hoping that she will embrace being a big sister just as much as she embraces everything else. My older boys, too, have stepped up to the plate so much to help – watching Clara when I need to nap, helping with feeding when necessary, and entertaining her when I need a few minutes to myself. That’s one of the reasons why I have had a bit of extra time to myself. Although I’ve spent more time than necessary on cooking and cleaning, I’m making sure lately to see that I am also getting time to create, even if it’s just a round here and there of crochet, or doodle on the sofa while I’m nursing. And so, I’ve fortunately been able to start catching up with the 2018 crochet along.
So here I’m sharing the first three January squares for the 2018 crochet along. The first one here is called Grumpy Grandad square by Sadie Cuming, found for free (as of this writing) here as a Ravelry download. I added a little bit of decorative embroidery in the center, just because, and went a little crazy with the blocking, because the lines of this are so striking.
I’m using my new colors for this year’s bamcal, which are from the Caron Simply Soft line. The colors are white, soft green, blue mint (from the brite line, as the deepest blue), and robin’s egg blue for the midtone blue; the lighter pinkish color is the same light country peach that I’ve used in previous bamcals (and which I stocked up on when I thought they discontinued the color, but now it’s available everywhere again, so who knows!?); and the deeper pink is plum wine. I was a little hesitant when selecting these colors because there’s such a huge trend right now in crochet with the turquoise/pink thing, but I think the contrast works well with the addition of the green and peach. The color flow is so soft and pretty.
Sunrise Beach by Jen Tyler was the group’s choice for the filler square for February. The pattern is available as a free Ravelry download here. I love this square. Especially with the colors; it goes so well with the femininity of the ruffles, the floral theme, the embellishments and puffs. I really had a lot of fun designing the color layout and then making the square.
Both the squares are made for worsted weight yarn and come out to 12″ in the pattern. But since I’m using a sport weight yarn, I also use a smaller hook than is usually recommended as well. These were both made with a 4.00mm / G hook. Because of this, they don’t come anywhere near to 12″. In fact, I usually need to add a few rounds to get them up to 9″. But 9″ is perfect, because, as with my 2015 bamcal blanket, the squares are all in multiples of 3″, so I can mix and match them at the end of the year into a pleasing pattern.
And finally, the 6″ square for January is Knotted Puffs by Amber Schaaf. This is another Ravelry download (also free) that can be found following the link here. These came out smaller than 6″ for all the reasons I mentioned above. Usually I just add a few extra rounds onto the squares to bring them up to 6″, but instead I did something a little different by putting them together into a 4-square and then adding the borders around that to bring it up to 9″. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of 6″ squares by the end of the year that a few of them can be pieced together like this just fine.
Anyway, friends, thank you for all the comments and emails. Like I’ve been promising (and promising, I know), I will eventually get back to you and answer some of the questions that you’ve left. Thanks for all your support and patience, I truly do appreciate it!