The Cloud Blankie

Hello hello lovelies! I hope everyone is enjoying your summer weather (or winter weather, for my friends in the southern hemisphere!); it’s been very warm here in Seattle, but we’re finally have a little break today, and it reminded me that I hadn’t posted about my latest blanket. I’m calling it “The Cloud Blanket” because I think the stitch looks kind of like a cloud, and its made with a super soft and cushy yarn in sky colors…or at least the skies here in the Pacific Northwest!

Tunisian shell stitch crochet baby blanket, made with Cascade Yarns Cherub Chunky in blue, gray, cream

This blanket started out as an experiment; I saw the Tunisian Shell Stitch Shawl and was intrigued by how complicated and pretty it looked, so I looked it up (this post is an excellent tutorial) and started practicing. I really hadn’t been intending to make a project, just play around with the stitch and see how it worked, but…well, I think we all know how that goes! I absolutely loved how it started looking, and a design slowly started taking shape in my head, so I went with it. Once I got going, I decided it would be a baby blanket for a special little guy who was due in a couple of months – I still hadn’t decided on a baby shower present, and it seemed perfect.

Tunisian shell stitch crochet baby blanket, made with Cascade Yarns Cherub Chunky in blue, gray, cream

I used Cascade Yarns Cherub Chunky because it’s what I had on hand, and I ended up sticking with it, because it’s just so darn cushy. It’s a newer yarn from them, a chunkier version of their cherub line (also check out the Cherub Aran, Cherub Baby, and Cherub DK…I love them all), which I appreciate because I’ve been doubling Cherub Aran to make thicker stuff, like the Transenna Blanket. As I’ve said before, this is my favorite acrylic yarn – it’s incredibly soft, washes well, and is very affordable. I’ve made everything from sweaters to blankets to slippers from this yarn (in all different weights) and have been pleased every time. This blanket is made in Ecru, Grey, and Baby Blue.

Tunisian shell stitch crochet baby blanket, made with Cascade Yarns Cherub Chunky in blue, gray, cream

I didn’t really swatch, so I just cast on however many stitches I thought looked right, and of course it ended up much larger than I had been intending, at 45″ X 50″. By the time I realized that it was going to be way too big, I was too far along and decided to just soldier on, figuring that it would make a good floor blankie for tummy time, and that eventually he’d grow into it! I’m writing up the pattern for this one, but making it smaller will be a major tweak in the final write up…unless there’s demand out there for a huge baby blanket pattern?? Let me know in the comments! I’d like to start a list of possible pattern testers as well, so please also let me know if you’d like to be included!

When it was all done, I thought it needed a finishing touch, so I added some edging in the cream color (and had just the right amount of yarn left to do it!). I’m not exactly sure what this edging stitch is called, or where I learned it, but I think it was the right choice here.

Edging on tunisian shell stitch crochet baby blanket, made with Cascade Yarns Cherub Chunky in blue, gray, cream

I really love how this one turned out, but more importantly, I got the best reaction from new mama-to-be Aliya when she opened it! This is the face you hope everyone makes when you give them a handmade gift :).

Woman opening tunisian shell stitch crochet baby blanket, made with Cascade Yarns Cherub Chunky in blue, gray, cream

Happy friday and have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Paddington Bear Wholecloth Quilt

A while ago I got a commission to make a simple baby quilt in gray and cream. Looking around for cute gray fabric, I stumbled across the new Paddington Bear collection from Camelot Fabrics, and it was perfect! I ended up with a soft, drapey quilt that still had an cute (but not cutesy) design:

Gray baby quilt, Paddington bear fabric with teal binding

The gray colorway is Tonal Paddingtion in Grey and I really loved working with it; the cotton is so soft, it almost feels like flannel. For the back I used Medium Dot in Cream on Cream by Riley Blake:

Riley Blake Medium dot Cream on Cream wholecloth quilt, teal binding

Paddington Quilt 8

To get accurate circles, I used my making pen (always test first!) and a compass to draw them as straight and close together as I could, then quilted those lines. I really like the little diamonds in between each circle, and by following one curved line after another (so, top half of one circle into the bottom half of the one next to it), I kept the stopping and starting to a minimum.

Tracing circles onto a wholecloth quilt

This technique worked well and I’m definitely going to use it again, although I think I’d make my circles smaller, just because I tend to like things more densely quilted. I added some teal binding (Ta Dot in Teal by Michael Miller) and once the baby was here, his initials and the date of his birth.

Folded Paddington Bear Quilt with teal binding

I usually just freehand when I do initials, but I wanted these at a specific spacing within the circle, so I used my ruler to give myself some lines while I was writing.

Close up of embroidered initials

All in all it turned into a pretty little blanket even without the piecing I usually do, and it was certainly a lot faster! I think I’m going to do a few of these when I’m having one of those “need to sew, but don’t want anything super complicated” days.

Paddington Quilt 2

Undercover Blanket

I’ve had some trouble settling on a knitting project lately. Temperatures have been a lot hotter than usual around here, and I find that it really saps my motivation to do anything that has to sit on my lap. But, I can’t sit there without anything to do, either! I decided on a baby blanket, since they’re pretty quick and don’t take up much lap space. I’ve had the Undercover pattern from Beata Jezek in my Ravelry library for a long time now, and I had a stash of Cherub Aran in Denim Blues that turned out to be perfect:

Blue hand knit lacy baby blanket, made with Cascade Yarns

As I’ve mentioned before, I struggle a bit with variegated yarns. I often love the colors but hate how they look on certain projects, so I generally end up using them in blankets with a lot of stockinette, which can get boring to knit. Not so with this pattern! It has a really pretty lacy repeat that looks a little like leaves, but still shows off the yarn colors beautifully. It also knit up in only a few days, which satisfied my need for instant gratification.

Close up of blue hand knit lacy baby blanket, made with Cascade Yarns

And it’s finished with a seed stitch border, also known as my favorite way to end a blanket, particularly a baby sized one – I’m pretty sure I can point to the influence of Debbie Bliss for that one :).

Close up of blue hand knit lacy baby blanket, made with Cascade Yarns

I did find the instructions to be slightly confusing at first, so I wouldn’t recommend this for a beginner knitter. You’ll need some experience to get started, but once you get the pattern established it’s pretty easy sailing, and it’s looks really gorgeous when it’s done.

Folded blue hand knit lacy baby blanket, made with Cascade Yarns

I’m not the only one who loves it, either…I took it outside for a photo shoot, and in the minute my back was turned, Zoey managed to steal it for a cuddle (excuse my shadow, it was too cute of a picture to pass up).

Dog laying on blue hand knit lacy baby blanket

I definitely recommend this one, and Beata has a bunch of other really pretty patterns, so check them out if you’re looking for a new project (or even if you’re not!).

Variegated Spiral Baby Blankets

I’ve been working on a few pretty intricate quilts lately, so when I ran into some Bernat Handicrafter yarn on sale in pretty summery colors, I snatched it up to start on an easy project. Generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of variegated yarn, but I was totally swayed by the colors in this case, and I love how they turned out.

Two spiral knit baby blankets, one in pink cotton yarn and one in blue cotton yarn

The sherbet colored one is color “Strawberry Cream” and the blue/mint/yellow one is in color “Peppermint Patty”. A quick look seems to indicate that these colors may have been discontinued, but they have a bunch of other ones that look just as nice.

Close up of two spiral knit baby blankets, one in pink cotton yarn and one in blue cotton yarn

I based them off of this pattern on Ravelry and added a teeny ruffle on on the outside edge of each by working a row of knit one, yarn over at the very end. The sherbet one is slightly smaller than the other one, since it was the first one I made and I wasn’t sure how far the yarn would stretch. It ended up being about 32′ across.

Spiral baby blanket made from variegated pink cotton yarn

The blue one ended up just a little bigger, at about 34′ across.

Spiral baby blanket made from variegated blue and yellow cotton yarn

Since the yarn is 100% cotton, it’s a pretty lightweight blanket that should be perfect for late spring and summer, and it was nice and soft to knit with. These were extra large skeins, with 608 yards in each of them, and they were just about perfect for a baby blanket size. They shrunk slightly in the dryer, so I think I would recommend that these be air dried only to avoid further shrinkage.

Close up of spiral baby blanket made from variegated pink cotton yarn

I couldn’t resist using our yard as a backdrop; everything is blooming at the moment and these bright blankies fit right in :).

Spiral baby blanket made from variegated blue and yellow cotton yarn

If you’re looking for an easy, pretty pattern, I would highly recommend this one. Or, if you’d rather have one of these, they are both available in my Etsy shop!

Mod Chevrons Baby Blanket

Remember this design? My friend Aliya saw it and ordered one for a good friend of hers, who just had a baby. Meet the yellow and grey blankie 2.0 (I think I’ve now settled on “Mod Chevrons” for the title…given how much people like it, I’m sure I’ll be making more!):

Image

I made it teeny bit bigger this time around, and I used a slightly different yellow polka dot fabric too. I couldn’t find the original one that I used, so I ordered a couple of yards of Kiss Dot by Michael Miller and hoped that it would be close…I ended up loving it even more than the original! Michael Miller’s cottons have an almost silky feel, and don’t seem to fray as easily as some other ones that I’ve used. I loved quilting with it it, and it washed up nicely (even though I forgot to prewash!). For the back I also ended up with a Michael Miller print, this time in a flannel called Zoology:

Image

Image

I’m so in love with those teal hippos, I may go back to get more to make myself some PJs :). For the actual quilting, I went with free motion swirls and curlicues. When talking with Aliya about what she was looking for, she kept saying “girly”, so it seemed right.

Image

She also asked me to embroider the initials and birth date on the back:

Image

I just freehanded it, trying to keep up the swirly theme, and I think it turned out pretty well. A little ribbon and some washing instructions…

Image

…and it was ready for this cutie pie!

Image

Image

A big thanks to baby J’s mommy and daddy for sending and letting me post the pictures – seeing the blankie being loved made my day!

And a programming note – I’m trying something new this week by linking up to Leah Day’s Free Motion Friday roundup. You should definitely check out all the other AMAZING links!

Bailey’s Blanket

My mom has a good friend who just had her second granddaughter. When they let everyone know that they were expecting again, I added a blankie for the new baby to my list of to-dos…and then proceeded to totally miss the due date. Whoops! Nine months goes by so fast! Baby Bailey was born last month, and I realized I had to get to it. This cute little receiving blanket is what I came up with:

IMG_1944

Image

Since time was a factor, I went with something super simple and did a plain seed stitch in pink and white (yarn held doubled), then added a pretty crochet border (scalloped edging makes everything better!). It still felt like it needed something a little extra, though, so I added a little “B” in one corner.

Image

Image

Image

I basically want to add this edging to everything, ever. Good thing my husband pulls me back or all the things I’ve made for our house would have it :P.

Image

I used Caron Simply Soft again; it’s perfect for baby blankets because it’s very soft and can be machine washed and dried. Plus, it comes in a bunch of colors and is easy to find if you need more! Luckily I had enough in my stash – it only took about half a skein each, and even less of the border color. Not bad for a quick project, right?

Finished project – watercolor baby blanket

So after frogging and knitting it again with smaller needles, and several trial and errors with the border, the Watercolor Blanket is done!

Image

Originally, I had planned to add a piece of fabric on the back to hide my less than neat colorwork, but then I just couldn’t take it. I felt like there was too much space between stitches for a baby blanket, so I ripped the whole thing out and started again. The original was knit on size 6 needles, which themselves are two sizes smaller than the label recommends. I ended up doing the final product on size 3…I guess I just like my blankies with a really tight gauge. I’m even happier with the way the colors blended with the smaller needles.

Image

After several tries with attaching the fabric to the back, it just didn’t seem right still, so I ended up completely bagging that idea and just doing a simple seed stitch border on each side. As far as I’m concerned, the seed stitch is the perfect border; it’s simple and clean and works really well for baby stuff. I suspect that I feel this way because a lot of Debbie Bliss patterns include seed stitch, and I love her designs, but I suppose it doesn’t REALLY matter :).

Image

Image

This time around I managed to be a lot more neat about switching the colors around, so it actually looks pretty good as is. The blanket I made is up for sale in my Etsy shop, or if you fancy making your own, you can get the pattern here. Let me know what you think!

WIP – Watercolor Blanket

Normally I avoid color work; the twisted strands and multiple balls of yarn seriously stress me out. This project may have changed my mind, though:

Image

This is called a tweed stitch in my trusty dictionary, but I think the slipped stitches make the colors blend a bit to look more like watercolors. 

Image

The yarn is Caron Simply Soft again, in colors that were just left over from some other projects, as I’ve really been trying to stash bust lately. It will be baby blanket sized (30 inches by 30 inches) when it’s done, although right at the moment it sort of looks like an oversized dish cloth :P.

Image

Since my colorwork is slightly less than neat on the back side, I’m planning to back it with some simple flannel or cotton and do a couple lines of running stitch across the square to keep it in place. I think it will end up being a cozy little baby blanket…and a bit of a departure from all the pink and purple things I’ve been making lately :).

 

 

Finished Project – Chevron Baby Blanket

I woke up last weekend with an idea for a chevron quilt in my head, and this little blanket is what came out of it:

Image

I used a really cute elephant print and a glittery pink, both cottons, for the front. The squares are just four triangles put together:

Image

The print pattern doesn’t quite match up, but that would have been REALLY tough with these elephants, and probably would have wasted quite a bit of fabric, so I just went with it.

For the back, I used a blue gingham print (also cotton), and bound it in a teal color that matched the little flowers in the elephant print:

Image

I’m really pleased with the binding: it came out nice and thin and even, just like it’s supposed to!

Image

I was going to free hand quilt it, but that seemed a little busy on top of everything else, so I just quilted along the stripe lines with very light pink thread. It made for a cute pattern on the back, I think…my resident quilt tester certainly seems to approve :P.

Image

The blankie (but not the kitty, sorry) is for sale in my etsy shop – go take a look!

A Quilt for Baby River

We live in a very close knit community, so when I found out that our next door neighbors were having a new baby boy, I knew I had to get started on making him something cute. This was the result:

Image

The apples and pears fabric was a one off that I found at our local Daiso (if you’ve never been to Daiso, find one immediately. It’s a Japanese store and you can find the best stuff there for about $1). I had originally purchased it intending to make hand warmers for Christmas presents…but I wasn’t really on the ball about it so it was still hanging around after the holidays and seemed perfect for a baby blankie. The green polka dots was from my stash, and the blue binding is a flannel that I thought would be super soft. It was indeed super soft, but also taught me why most advice on binding calls for cotton – flannel is WAY thick and was tough on my machine in spots, not to mention being bulky at the seams. I managed to tack everything down though!

This is the back:

Image

Image

The back was from my stash and is flannel again – one of my favorite choices for quilt backing, especially for baby quilts. For the actual quilting part I used white cotton thread and straight stitched some, and then free handed some curved stitching over it. It was a bit more stitching than I usually do, but made it drape really well.

One more of both front and back:

Image

This one was one of my all time favorite projects – usually I’m pretty critical and see ALL the flaws, but this one makes me smile every time I see it. And as for the recipient, baby River arrived about three weeks ago, happy and healthy, and his mom says he uses the quilt all the time – exactly what we crafters like to hear!