Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Alaskan Baby Blanket

One of Dandelionslayer's colleagues recently became a father, so I had to whip something up for the new baby.  While the men have a running joke about Gollum from The Hobbit, I just didn't think that would be a comforting image for a blanket.  Instead, in keeping with the new father's outdoorsy personality and Alaskan background, we picked out some squares from The Crochet Crowd's Alaskan Inspired C2C Character collection.  There are 19 large squares in the free downloadable pattern book, and it was hard to narrow down the choices.  So Dandelionslayer selected six, and I crocheted them using 3 hdc per square, instead of dc, to keep them smaller.  It's still a big blanket, but he's already a big baby.
We did make some adjustments to a couple of the patterns.  Dandelionslayer redrew the caribou to have a more natural looking nose.
And I thought the moose ought to fill more of the square and have a more impressive rack.  (It has eyes, too.  You can see them up close.)

You can download a copy of our hand-drawn graphs here:
Moose and Caribou Graphs PDF

Still trying to keep it small, I only used the first round of the border described with each square, then joined the squares with one row of sc.  I then outlined the whole with one more round of sc.
This was a fun project for the summer, since the squares didn't get too big on my lap.  While most took longer, I did complete half of the moose square in one morning, waiting for Scoot to pack.  As soon as he finished, we dropped him off at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, where he's preparing to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He'll be serving in Belgium and the Netherlands for the next two years.  It's exciting, but I'm glad I had the moose to keep me calm that morning.

Dandelionslayer is pretty pleased with the baby blanket, and keeps using it as a cushion.  I hope it will still be in good shape when his friend returns from paternity leave!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Crocheted Waterfall

I haven't been to a bridal shower for a long time.  I just didn't know many eligible young people for a while.  But a year or so ago, I realized that some of my sons' friends were entering that stage, and figured I'd better prepare.  The Waterfall Throw pattern seemed like a good place to start.  It went quickly, using thick chenille Bernat Blanket yarn.  I'm not sure it turned out to be a "throw" size--that's one of my nearly 6-foot boys holding it up.  But I like big afghans.  I finally gave it to a bride who's not that tall, but is marrying a much taller young man.  It should keep him covered--if she'll let it go!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket

My friend asked me to crochet an afghan for her sister's baby, and sent me a picture she'd found on Pinterest.  I haven't been able to find that particular shot, so I won't share it with you, but it was a ripple afghan in rainbow colors, with white ripples in between.  It looked like a fun project.

To make sure I got the ripples right, I followed the Easy Ripple Afghan by SusanB.  I used my favorite I hook, and (mostly) Red Heart Super Saver yarn.  I stitched two rows in each color, alternating Soft White with these colors:
  • Dark Orchid
  • Medium Purple
  • Royal
  • Turqua
  • Paddy Green
  • Tea Leaf
  • Cornmeal
  • Lemon
  • Carrot
  • Red Heart With Love Tigerlily
  • Burgundy
  • Cherry Red
  • Light Raspberry
  • Baby Pink
I followed the pattern for a 40 inch wide afghan, envisioning a standard 40"x60" size.  By the time I'd gone through all the colors once, the blanket was more of a square.  My friend thought 40"x40" was a good size, so I finished it off with three rounds of single crochet in Soft White.  If you want a longer afghan, I'd recommend stitching three rows in each color, or starting the colors over again until you reach the size you like.  

I used about 12 ounces of Soft White yarn, and about half an ounce of each color.  So I have plenty of colors left for more Rainbow Ripple baby blankets, or other vibrant projects!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Handmade Gifts

We had a nice Christmas.  How about you?
 In spite of a power outage and an impulsive movie run, I finished these before the last minute.  They are jerseys for the boys' homemade game, Penguiness.  It's kind of a rough game to play in the living room, but they haven't broken anything for a while.
And I made sure I could differentiate the shirts in the laundry.
 I also made a few things to send away, like this watercolor portrait of my sister's cat,
 and coordinating monkey shirts for my other sister's little boys.  I used this pattern, and I liked it.
One of those little boys hasn't been born yet, but I know he'll need a blanket.  I made this with my boys' old jeans, and scraps from other projects.
The back is soft and gray, the border sunshine yellow.  I was looking for a rainbow-peeking-out-from-the-clouds effect.  What do you think?
 Some other babies have caught my attention, too.  I decided this little guy needed the Four Corners quilt I made a while ago.  I improvised a couple of  crocheted hats to go with it.
Some other friends actually had a girl, after three boys.  I don't know many baby girls, so I was excited to finally crochet the Eloise Baby Sweater.  I hope she enjoys wearing it as much as I enjoyed making it.
 This was fun, too.  I was invited to bring a prize to an '80s-themed bingo party.  After a brief brainstorm for topical ideas, I struck on a unicorn hat, with a rainbow mane.  I used this Sock Monkey Hat pattern for the white earflap hat, then added the ears, mane, and horn from the Unicorn Hoodie in Brenda K.B. Anderson's book Crochet Ever After.
 Even though the unicorn parts were meant for a child's hood, they fit just right on an adult's hat.  And I had all that yarn hanging around already, even the sparkly yellow for the horn.

At the party, I watched people open their wrapped prizes.  Most contained things like soap or candles, the dull things women give to each other when they don't know each other well.  I hoped fervently that whoever picked the hat would appreciate it.  She happened to be sitting next to me--a young horse enthusiast who doesn't remember the '80s, but loves unicorns.  She was so thrilled, it was contagious.  Crochet (and other crafts full of love) for the win!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Halloween 2018

Hope you had a happy Halloween!  Here we are setting out for trick-or-treating.  I know, the boys are big enough to not need my services as an escort very much.  But I enjoyed the walk, and seeing all the costumes.

Speaking of costumes, D2's was based on his hair.  It was sticking up when he awoke in the morning.  He refused to wear any sort of costume to school, but consented to don the old lab coat in the evening.  That little skeleton has been wearing a child-sized bathrobe for the past couple of years, so he got undressed for the occasion.

Photo credit
Scoot found his Chinese jacket at the thrift store.  Doing some research later, he found the same pattern has been worn by influential people in the past. 
Rollo had a very specific vision for his costume.  He wanted to be a Sandmaster, from Brandon Sanderson's graphic novel White Sand, illustrated by Julius Gopez.
I modified an old pajama pattern to look like it wraps in front, and added a hood from another pattern.  The sash came together pretty well when we found some a couple of cheap belts and some quilting cotton with a suitable pattern.
He was pleased, and did wear the outfit, sans sword, of course, to school all day.
We're all big fans of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and when I saw her new outfit in the (second) #1 issue, I knew it was a costume I could live with, too.  Thanks, Erica Henderson!
It was fun to make, and to wear.  I even ran a 5k in, well, most of the costume.  Being unbeatable, Squirrel Girl herself would never enter a race with ordinary citizens, so I left my unfairly (dis)advantageous tail behind.
I crocheted the ears, and made the earrings out of real acorns.  When we went to the trunk-or-treat at church, Dandelionslayer consented to wear a tail, too, to be Squirrel Girl's pal, Chipmunk Hunk.  I'm not sure why no one wanted to be Koi Boi.  Maybe next year!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Best Seat in the House

You've met Pengui, haven't you?  This little penguin puppet was D2's constant companion for years--until he got lost.  Even with the abundance of other penguins in the house, there was a Pengui-shaped hole in all our hearts until last winter, when he reincarnated.  D2 and Pengui picked up right where they'd left off, and we were all happy.

Well, my littlest boy just turned twelve.  He didn't ask for much, but he did really want a bean bag chair.  After searching far and near, I finally decided to sew one for him.  The day before his birthday, I took Scoot to the fabric store, and we did some brainstorming on the way.  I was thinking about a fun print for the outside, when I had a vision.

Me:  "Wait.  I just envisioned a giant Pengui head."
Scoot:  "I would love to sit on a giant Pengui head!"

At the store, we considered all the options, but Scoot's encouragement set me back on track.  I followed these instructions, more or less.  I wouldn't recommend them for beginners, but I figured things out.  I started with the muslin lining, and I'm so glad I did.  It was good to already know what I was doing when I started on the gray plush.  Fitting the face on the curved surface was a challenge, but I persevered.  And a day and a half later, I presented D2 with this:
Everyone gasped, and, yes, everyone loves to sit on the giant Pengui head.

So, there's my Flight of Fancy, for you Project Run and Play fans.  I did sew the penguin pajamas, five years ago, for Scoot.  No, I didn't sew Pengui.  But the bean bag is one more last-minute crazy gift for my record, and I think it turned out well.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Peas, please!

I'm going to need some help picking peas this year.
Good thing Rollo is getting so tall!