Sunday, February 22, 2015

An Enchanted Baby Gift

This post is about the second baby gift I made this year. Because the two expectant mothers were sisters, I wanted to give each equal yet different gifts, so I turned out another baby blanket, pair of booties, and bunny.

This is the Enchanted Castle Afghan, designed by Nicky Epstein. It's available for $9.00(USD). There are a number of comments on this pattern's Ravelry page complaining about the printing issues with this pattern, and I have to agree that, especially given that this was such an expensive pattern, it was irritating that I had to spend so much time figuring out how to print off the chart for this afghan, hand correct the pattern (some elements of it didn't show up in the print out), tape the pages together, and then deal with an unwieldy multi-page chart. Sure, this is a cute pattern, but in the end it wasn't really worth it.

However, what's done is done, and this is my version of the Enchanted Castle Afghan. I had some of this winter white Bernat Super Value acrylic worsted on hand and was able to buy another skein (that whole "no dye lot" thing can be awesome sometimes), so that is what I used.

With the blanket done, I moved on to the booties. I selected the Criss Cross Booties pattern, designed by Angela Juergens. This pattern was published in 60 Quick Baby Knits: Blankets, Booties, Sweaters & More.

This is my version of the Criss Cross Booties pattern. I used the winter white Bernat Super Value yarn for them as well.

And this is the bunny I sewed to go with the blanket and booties. I used McCall's pattern 6907 and a cuddly and durable dark brown stretch velvet. And I hope no one I know has any more babies for at least six months. I produced two baby blankets in a month and am baby blanketed-out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Blooming Baby Gift

At present, two of my nieces are expecting babies in April, which meant that as the New Year dawned I realized I had some serious gift preparation to do because I wanted to give each niece a baby blanket, a pair of matching booties, and a stuffed toy that I had made (and I added a book as well, but I could just buy those). This post is about the first gift set.

The elder of my nieces told me she is decorating her nursery in purple and going with a "zoo garden" theme. I looked specifically for a baby blanket pattern that would suit this theme, and found the Dahlia Blanket, designed by Daniel Yuhas. This pattern was published in Knitting from the Center Out: An Introduction to Revolutionary Knitting with 28 Modern Projects.

This is my version of the Dahlia Blanket. It's knitted in Loops and Threads Impeccable, in Lavender, which I bought at Michaels. It's an acrylic, which will make it indestructible and easy care. I'll definitely be using this baby blanket pattern again. It's lovely and the "centre out" construction is really cool.

With the baby blanket finished, I moved on to making the booties. I looked for a worsted weight slipper pattern with a floral theme, to go with the blanket, and found the Leaf Lace Booties, designed by Jacqueline van Dillen. This pattern was published in 60 Quick Baby Knits: Blankets, Booties, Sweaters & More.

Here's my version of the Leaf Lace slippers, knitted in the same lavender worsted as the blanket.

Finally, I made a stuffed bunny toy to round out the set. This toy was sewn from McCall's 6907, which I have had for years and used many, many times. These toys make a great, easy-to-make gift for baby showers. I can whip together two in about two and a half hours, and I usually have fabric and ribbon on hand that I can use. This bunny was made out of a dark brown stretch velvet, which is very soft and cuddly as well as being easy to work with and fairly hard wearing.

So that's one gift set down. Stay tuned for my next post, which will be on blanket, bootie, and bunny set number two.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bug's Birthday Sweater

My grandnephew Bug will be turning two this year. I'm being very frugal just now (out of dire necessity, not out of virtue, alas), so when I planned his birthday sweater, I looked specifically for a free pattern that could be made with yarn I already had. I selected this one, the Everyday Pullover Sweater, designed by Raya Budrevich. It's simple yet eye catching and manages to avoid being a "stripe across the chest" style that is so cliché in men and boys' wear.

And here's my version of the Everyday Pullover Sweater, size two, in dark blue and lime green acrylic worsted. Since I am sure Bug will be unimpressed with a sweater as a gift (toddler boys would just as soon not wear any clothes at all), I have also bought him a bag of blocks.