Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baby Shrug

This was a super fast knit that was nice to work on when I fancied something that's a little mindless. It's Debbie Bliss's baby shrug from the 'Simply Baby' book (now available online as a free pattern). I made size 3-6mths and used some more of the Mama Blue poppy sock yarn that I'd used for Penelope, and to trim the cheerleader's dress.

Baby Shrug

I'd actually decided on the shrug thinking it would be nice to 'girly up' some of the cute onesies that Joe has been buying for BOB. When it came to taking pictures though I figured I'd match it with the cheerleaders dress and I think it is a winning combo!

Baby shrug with the cheerleaders dress

I'd added the little crochet flowers to make the top a bit more interesting. Not needed of course, but to me it looked a little plain without them. (I didn't actually make these flowers -- I bought them from a scrapbooking store. I don't think I can look at another crochet hook for a while, after working on the blanket border!)

I'm thinking it's now back to the adult knits for a while... little lady should be set for her arrival!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Alphabet blanket

I'm still here. Or maybe I should say that BOB is still safely tucked indoors all cosy and warm. Joe's told me (read 'ordered' ;0) that I sit back and take it easy now. So that means lots of crafty time for me, and consequently a finished alphabet baby blanket for the nursery!

Alphabet blanket in the nursery

The inspiration for this baby blanket is Debbie Bliss' Alphabet Blanket from The Baby Knits book. I used her lacy alphabet charts to create the intarsia alphabet squares with Rowan 4 ply cotton, and needle size US 4.

When the blocks were completed and sewn together it looked a tad small. And a little unpolished. So I pulled out some Rowan Cotton Breeze in a lovely bright pink to add a crochet border around the entire blanket - 4 rows of double chain and then one row of scallops using a 2.5 hook (I'm a self-taught crocheter - don't inspect too closely!)

A glimpse of the backing

So far, so good. Except I was thinking of little baby fingers plucking at the back of the intarsia squares: it could really do with a backing. Which is all well and good except 1) I have no clue how to do that and 2) there isn't a functioning sewing machine in our house. So I trolled the Internet for adding a backing to knit fabrics, by hand. I came across various different techniques, and am thinking I might have employed them all (and a couple I'd made up too!). Whatever works I say - and it seems to.

Blanket laid out in the crib

In case you are interested in the backing details:
I washed both the knit blanket and the flannel first, to make sure that any shrinkage happened before the 2 were permanently attached. Once dry, I laid the knit fabric out, taking care not to stretch. And then measured the dimensions of the blanket minus border. I then cut and hand tacked a piece of the cotton flannel to match this size.

Next I added a blanket stitch border to the cotton flannel, using the same pink cotton yarn that I'd crocheted around the entire border - I used this as an 'anchor' to crochet the flannel and the existing border together. But before crocheting, everything was pinned in place, including the intersection of every block to the backing (later I hand tied some of the pink yarn at each intersection). After all of that was done, all that was left exposed was some of the blanket stitch border on the flannel and so I added another couple of rows double crochet to cover that up and backstitched the edge of it to the flannel backing.

Flannel back of the blanket with crochet border

It was quite the labour of love you could say! And any experienced sewer/crocheter may be shaking their head in disbelief! But it all worked out, and at this point I have nothing but time on my hands as I play the waiting game! Oooh I'm happy to have this done before the wee one makes her arrival.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Showered with gifts

This weekend my knitty friends threw a wonderful baby shower for the little lady and I, on valentines day (great was to spend a valentines morning - brunch with good friends!). I don't think anyone has ever been soooo very spoiled in the history of baby showers! And check out the fun theme -- that's right, knitty goodness!

Baby centerpiece

Baby shower decorations

There were soo many gorgeous, thoughtful and generous gifts I could hardly believe it. I think I spent the entire day with a massive grin plastered across my face. Thank you ladies. It means the world to me that you been supportive and excited throughout this journey. And that you'll all be there to love on BOB when she makes her debut.

Since this is primarily a knitty blog, I'll highlight some of the gorgeous handknits (but believe me I got soooo very many other fantastic goodies... they can all be seen on my flickr page):

First there's the group project -- a beautifully soft blanket made from exquisite sock yarns. I think this is going to be a favourite with the little lady. And the cute backing material is monsters! Yay! And then Kim had knit these gorgeous socks. Check it out - not 1, 2 or 3, but 4 pairs! She's been very very busy and little lady is going to be spoiled with handknit socks from the get go -- between her and her Dad I think I may have a full time job whipping out hand knit socks in the future! And in case 4 sets of socks wasn't enough, Kim also made a couple of hats. Super cute! (And perfect for this chilly weather).

Handknit socks from Kim

Terrie had made some gorgeous booties. How adorable are they! Something I'd been meaning to do, but never quite got around to. Another treasured keepsake. And then there's Hermann Bear too. Perfect size for a (not so) wee one.

Booties and bear from Terrie

Speaking of Monsters, Jeni has also added to the collection with another danger craft monster - Sammie the sock monster. Hee hee I love these guys. He has now joined the rest of the posse in the nursery. And Jeni also made this beautiful cardigan in some deliciously soft yarn and beautiful colours. Aah I think precedents are being set that may be hard to uphold!

Gorgeous hand knit sweater and a fun pink monster from Jeni

Stacey has also been very busy with the knits -- there's a couple of gorgeous and fun hats to go with some onesies she gave me. Loving the bright colours and fun designs on these.

Knit hats and outfits from Stacey

And then there is the knitted papoose. I'm soo very happy to have one of these to model my newborn baby in for her first photos. Another thing I'd been meaning to get round to, but, erm, never did.

Knitted papoose and hat from Stacey

Speaking of which, it appears that BOB is on her way sooner rather than later. Was at the docs on Monday and she thinks it could be any day now... we'll see!

Thanks once again for the wonderful shower. I had such a nice time with you all and can't thank you enough. Big hugs, Sam xoxo