Striped Crochet Baby Blanket

crochet-baby-blanket

A former coworker commissioned a blanket for his nephew. After asking if he had a design in mind, he replied in typical guy fashion: “It’s for a baby. Can you make it blue and gray?”. Sure can, Sam, sure can.

I chose four skeins of yarn for this blanket–I was picturing stripes.

crochet-baby-afghan

We had’ light blue, dark blue, soft baby blue and a variegated black/white/gray to tie it together. I’ haven’t fully embraced bold hues for baby blankets (you can’t deny there’s something cuddly about cloud blue yarn), although I do like mixing saturated colors with the typical baby palette.

It’s my way of blending compliance with creativity.

Once the yarn was selected, I got to work. I’ll tell you a secret, though: sometimes having no direction is the hardest task–all I have is yards of string to make a blanket.

After a few designs, nothing was coming out quite right so I revisited old instructions–a soft wave pattern I used for a rainbow ripple blanket a few years ago. It turned out great! The yarn creates a cozy design when striped together and I love the soft border of baby blue yarn.

Project Details: 

  • Free Pattern: Crochet Ripple Afghan from Attic24
  • Yarn: About 600 yards varying weight
  • Hook: Size I crochet hook

The finished blanket measures 35 inches wide by 42 inches long, should be just the right size for the newborn. Afghan was packaged and mailed off today. I hope it brings many warm nights with it. Thanks for the project Sam–hope your nephew enjoys!

crochet-baby-blanket-stripes

 

Finished Project: Crochet Baby Dress

When coworkers are pregnant, I crochet.

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I found this beautiful crochet baby dress pattern from Bev’s Country Cottage (on Ravelry) and knew it’d be perfect for the soon-to-be little girl. I used sport weight tan yarn and accented the dress with pink baby cashmerino flowers.

The crochet baby shoes (Dainty Mary Janes from Ravelry) worked up in no time and they’re so tiny! Just look at how cute they are.

crochetbabybooties

I followed the dress pattern as written, but made it a few rows longer. I’m hoping it’s 0-3 months, though it might be larger. Not having a real baby handy, I’m unsure of the sizing. Hoping all this fits, but figured she can always grow into it. Also made a small little headband in the same pattern.

crochetbabydress

crochetbooties

crochetbabyheadbandI highly recommend the crochet baby dress and shoes patterns. They work up quickly and only use a little bit of yarn. If you’re looking for a last minute baby shower gift, whip up the booties, dress, or both and they’ll be sure to get plenty of “awwws”. The best news is both patterns are free. Enjoy!

 

Crochet Picture Frame Pattern

crochetframefreepattern
While I’m partial to hats and afghans, I’ve been working on a great new partnership with tillie & rose, a small boutique opening in Ligonier, PA.

I met the two-women-duo of Andria and Jen at a craft show and we started planning. In the months that followed, we talked designs and sketches to come up with a line of crochet frames that matched tillie & rose’s photography.

This is the first prototype, but I was so excited, I had to share. I based the design off this Dutch blog’s pattern and have included the free crochet picture frame pattern below for easier reference.

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Finished Size: As an oval, inside edge is 4.5 inches x 4 inches; Outside width from ruffle to ruffle is 5 inches x 6.5 inches. Frame can also be shaped completely round as a 5.75 inch circle.

Materials

Crochet Pattern

Chain 55, join with sl st to make loop.

Rounds 1 & 2: Chain 1, sc around. Join with sl st to join.

Round 3: Do not turn.  Chain 3 (counts as first dc). Work 3 more dc into same stitch. 1sc in next stitch. Skip 1 stitch. Repeat: *4 dc in same stitch. 1 sc in next stitch, skip 1 stitch* around. Join with sl st to join.

Fasten off. Weave in ends.

crochetframe2

The pattern is simple and works up quickly.

My piece of advice is that when making a crochet picture frame, the yarn you choose is important. You want to use something that’s delicate enough to show off your stitch detail, yet sturdy enough to stand on its own.

Flimsy yarn just won’t cut it. I found the perfect combo for these crocheted frames to be Vanna’s Glamour, but I’m sure there are other yarns out there. I have a cotton blend to try next and think it’ll provide some good structure.

Have you even made a crocheted picture frame? I’d love to hear about your experience.I’m still working out how to attach the frame onto a picture, so ideas are welcome.

I’m also testing out some new frame patterns and will be sure to share the instructions here once they’re completed.

crochetframepattern

crochetframe

It’s Finished: The Crochet Granny Square Afghan

I’ve been crocheting the granny square picot afghan for the past year.

Like the two blankets before it, this blue-purple-red-green-yellow combo was a treat to make. The 3-D granny squares have raised centers that look complicated, yet become easy after the 80th repeat. (If you’d like to try your hand at making a square, you can with this picot granny square video tutorial).

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A few weeks ago, I finished crocheting the blanket based on Lucy’s original design. I had just ended my last square when I realized there was enough yarn to make another repeat–which would mean three additional rows. The ‘inspiration afghan ‘is a rectangle, but adding the extra rows made this one into a square.

I forged ahead and am glad I did. I rather like the extra inches since it makes the blanket even longer for maximum warmth.

rainbowfull

Project Details: 

  • 52 Skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino
  • Size E (3.5mm) crochet hook
  • Inspired by Attic 24′s flower granny square afghan
  • Time to crochet: 1 year
  • Worth it factor (WIF):  YES!  Loved learning how to make the raised granny square flowers. Could be my favorite blanket of the bunch.

rainbowafghan2

My favorite part of designing this afghan was not using the same bordering color for a square in any given row OR column. It was like playing sudoku. I even enlisted the help of my roommate. We’d pause the episode of Friday Night Lights we were watching (hello, Tim Riggins) and whisper to ourselves, “light pink…? no. maroon?….. no. Ooh – navy!” as we’d scan the rows and talk through color options until finding a suitable choice.

Adding on the three extra rows, I didn’t think it was possible, but without any real planning it worked out. A rainbow afghan of totally random colors.

Afghan edging is a faux-picot stitch repeat of [3 slip stitch,es *sc, ch 2, sc* in next stitch ] around.

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I’m packaging up this afghan tonight and am sad to see it leave, though it’s going to a good home, joining its hexy and ripple afghan sisters. Keep the faith, dear reader, as there is already a fourth afghan in the works. The kaleidoscope continues!

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival: 2014

Last weekend (March 14 – 16th), I attended the 10th annual Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival in Cranberry, PA. I’d heard of the festival before, but was never in town to attend. The festival attracted over 70 different booths and some big name teachers. I talked to the coordinator, Barb, and she said there were well over 3,000 attendees. Not too shabby for a knitting festival!

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival

From my perspective, the festival was largely geared towards knitters, but I didn’t mind – it seems to be the preferred craft among fiber artists (don’t worry, crochet, you’ll always be my first love). I’d say about 90% of the classes offered were knitting; only a few were crochet. Vendors also offered knitting patterns and had knitted samples of sweaters, blankets and accessories, but only a few crochet items.

I purchased a two day pass for Friday and Sunday and zipped up to the festival after work on Friday to check things out. I got there for the last two hours and spent the time looking at vendor booths and talking with other crafters.

Neutral Yarn

On Sunday, however, the real fun began.

I’d purposefully signed up for “Borderline Personalities: Knitting on the Edge” for the sole reason that it was taught by my all-time crochet hero, Lily Chin. While Lily is a master crocheter, she’s probably better known for her skills with knitting needles. Meeting her was a DREAM COME TRUE. She’s a feisty 5-foot tall woman who doesn’t take crap from anyone. She kept the class moving, called out students who were knitting the wrong thing, yet was personable and talked with me at the end.

An exclusive, inside look at what a knitting class looks like (I know you’ve wondered).

Lily doing what Lily does best - teachin' knittin' class.

Lily doing what Lily does best – teachin’ knittin’ class.

The class was 3 hours long and the best $50 I’ve spent in a while.

Lily Chin and Me. I know, RIGHT?! Lily the crochet master Chin.

Selfie with Lily Chin. I know, RIGHT?! Lily ‘the crochet master’ Chin.

I didn’t end up purchasing anything at the festival (I’m on a yarn sanction), though I did pick up a mannequin bust for $55. I envision using it to 1. display scarves rather than begging my roommate to model and 2. taking it to craft shows as part of my display.

The other notable part of the weekend was getting to see two Olympic sweaters from Sochi. One of the few things I love more than the Olympics is knitting, so to see both combined in the sweaters for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies was a dream come true. (I hope my true excitement is coming through – If not, maybe this picture will convey my love for the games.)

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 Opening & Closing Ceremony Knit Sweaters from the 2014 Sochi Olympics

Opening & Closing Ceremony Knit Sweaters from the 2014 Sochi Olympics

Overall, great weekend, even though I didn’t spend much time at the festival. Next year, I’d like to go with other people who knit/crochet because you can only walk around a large hall filled with yarn so many times by yourself before you look creepy. If you get the chance and are in town for next year’s Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Fest, definitely make it a priority to go!

Picot Flower Granny Square – Crochet Pattern + Video

crochet picot granny squareHello, friends! As you might know, I’m currently crocheting another multi-colored afghan, as inspired by Lucy’s design from Attic 24. After requests from fellow crocheters about how to go about making this beautifully unique picot flower granny square, here it is!

I’ve written out instructions and made a video showing how to make the first four rounds of this crochet + picot flower combo. Remember: Lucy’s the designer, I’m merely the interpreter. :)

Materials:

  • Size 3.5mm (E) crochet hook
  • 5 colors yarn, I’m using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmireno

Pattern:

With first color, chain 3, sl st to form ring.

Round 1: Ch 1, Into ring, work 7 more sc. (8sc total)

Round 2: Ch 3, sl st into first ch (first picot). * Working in front loops only, sl st in next stitch. ch 3, sl stitch in previous sl st made (picot).* Work from * to * around until you have eight, ch-3 picots.

Round 3: Change to second color if desired. Ch 1 + 4 (counts as sc + ch 4). Sl st into top of sc to form first picot. *Working in back loops only of Round 1, sc in next stitch. Sc, work Ch 4, sl st in sc (picot). * Work from * to * around until you have four, ch-4 picots.

Round 4: Chang to third color if desired. Ch 2 (counts as first dc). Work 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc into sc in between ch-4 picots from previous round. *3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc into sc between ch-4 picots.* Work from * to * around twice more until you have four corner spaces of 3dc, ch 2, 3dc.

Round 5: Change to fourth color if desired. Ch 2 (counts as first dc. Work 2 dc into same space. Ch 1 *3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc into ch-2 corner space of previous round. Ch 1. Work 3 dc into space in between corners from previous round. * Work from * to * around.

Round 6: (Not pictured in video). Change to fifth color if desired. Ch 2 (counts as first dc. Work 2 dc into same space. Ch 1. *3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc into ch-2 corner space of previous round. Ch 1, 3 dc into next space. Ch 1, 3 dc into next space. * Work from * to * around.

Fasten off.

What are you planning to make with this pattern? Are you also making an afghan or using the square for something else? I’d love to know!