Sharing the crochet love. And some robots.

Posts tagged ‘baby’

Do I Rip the WIP with the Blip?

 

 

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Here it is, the latest work in progress. Sorry about the title, I couldn’t help myself!

 

This is an order I am working on for a lady who saw the “Accidental Cardigan” from an earlier post, and wanted something similar for a Christening present. I thought I would try it in a different colour, something that would be more of a contrast to the white sleeves.

 

The “blip” in question isn’t the variation in colour, that is a feature of the yarn I am using – called “Marble” or something similar – I’ve lost the ballband.

The blip is to do with the size of the cardigan. I think it might be coming out too big. This is often a problem when working from a “head-pattern,” as you really do have to make a guess and then wait and see how it turns out. 

 

The question now is, do I rip it out and try again, or do I give the lady a slightly larger cardigan, knowing that the wee tot will probably grow into it in no time? I am leaning towards carrying on…can’t figure out whether that is my laziness coming out though! 

 

Oh well, I will let you know what I decide, and hopefully share a pic of the cardigan when it is finished. Have a lovely Friday everyone xxx

Staying out of the fridge..

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Some people lose their appetite in times of stress, but I am not one of those people. I develop an insatiable craving for junk, and could happily graze my way through the days until the “threat” has passed. The worst time is the evening, after the kids are in bed, as I have free rein then to go and raid the kitchen cupboards and the fridge, piling up my plate with the fattiest, sugariest, saltiest rubbish that I can get my hands on.

 

 

    Of course, I am well aware that this is not a healthy coping strategy. I am aware that this is not very grown-up behaviour, and I am horribly aware that my kids need a better example than this. But in my darkest moments, food has always been a friend to me. My weight reflects my relationship with food; I have been obese, and I have been skinny, and I have been every size in between. At the minute I am hovering around the “running out of jeans that fit and don’t want to buy more in a bigger size” kind of mark, and need to find a better way to deal with life’s issues.

 

   Enter crochet. I have been a crocheter for several years now, and it is the perfect distraction in the evenings. My hands are busy, my brain is working, and at the end of two or three hours, I have something pretty to look at and share with someone. Out of darkness comes something with a fluffy tail, or googly eyes. It works for me.

 

   I know it isn’t the answer to everything that we are having to deal with right now. I know there will be some very hard times ahead; and I know things will probably be worse before they are better. (Abusive ex, traumatised daughter, child counselling appointments looming, ex partner accusing me of poisoning her against him, daily texts and phone calls, fear, anger, guilt, etc etc etc.) 

 

   It seems impossible that a hook and a bit of yarn can offer an escape from so much worry and heartache, but it does, and it is much less damaging than trying to eat my cares away.

 

We will get through this time, my children and me, and come out the other side smiling, healthy, and happy. And with a whole mountain of woolly bunny slippers to boot. Yay for us 🙂

 

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If this strikes a chord with anyone; never be afraid to ask for help. The people who care the most about you are probably just waiting for you to ask... 🙂

 

Panda Feet, Bunny Slippers

ImageI have always loved baby feet, baby shoes, cute bootees, animal slippers, anything cutesie for little tootsies. So this latest project has seen me working away at trying to make the perfect panda shoes. I do like them; but unfortunately, they are far from perfect.

I have trouble getting faces, and eyes in particular, just the way I want them. In the past they have turned out either looking horribly evil, or just plain messy. This time I thought I would try out these button eyes……but as they are not safety eyes, I couldn’t shake the worry that a determined baby would be able to detach one. I double, triple, quadruple stitched them in place, but in the end I gave in to the worry-voice, and put them on the feet of someone I knew would not end up choking – my son’s cuddly tiger. They are a great fit, actually!

While I was working on the panda shoes, I thought I had found a way to get some ears on the shoes while they were being worked up, to avoid having to stitch them on afterwards (always looking for ways to avoid the making up!) So I made some little bunny slippers to see if it would work – and it did, hooray!

Image I am delighted that the ears worked, and decided not to stress too much over the faces this time, since these shoes are destined for another teddy bears feet – if my son gets a pair for his tiger, my daughter also needs a pair for her bear! She hasn’t seen them yet, I am going to sneak them onto her bear tonight for her to find in the morning.

I would love to be able to get these little faces just right so that I can create something super cute for all the little babies I know. Does anyone have any tips or advice for me? I would love to hear it!

Make some tiny pants today

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Here they are, tiny little trousers for tiny little legs. I’ve used a pen for scale today, mainly because the apple from my last pic has been eaten by my boy.

Most of the patterns I come up with remain inside my head, but this one I have written down and am going to share. I don’t mind what you choose to do with this pattern, but if you do give it a go, I would love if you could donate a pair or two of these little trousers to your nearest NICU ward. (They were designed with teeny babies in mind.)

I have used dk yarn and a 4mm hook for this, and use US crochet terms. (I’m not in the US, but my magazine habits have caused me to US-ify my terminology!)

  1. Leaving a long end (roughly 12 inches,) ch 21. HDC in 2nd chain and HDC to end. 20 stitches. Place a stitch marker in the bottom of the 10th stitch from the hook.

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2. Work 12 rows in HDC.

3. Work HDC into first 9 stitches, then fold work in half so that the stitch marker is beside the hook.

Now work into the underneath of the marked stitch; back into the opposite side of the foundation chain. Complete this row by working a HDC into the next 8 stitches.

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You have now completed one leg of the trousers and your hook is at the waistband, ready to begin the next leg. Turn your work. Here is how it should look.

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4. Work a HDC into the next 9 stitches, turn. Make 12 chain stitches.

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5. HDC into second chain from hook, and into next 11 chain. HDC into 9 stitches, back up to waistband again. You should now have 20 stitches again, for the second leg.

6. Work 12 rows of HDC into these 20 stitches.

7. Fold this leg in half. You can now slip stitch the 11 stitches of the leg seam together.

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I’ve left the stitch marker in place to help you make sense of the photo, in case my instructions are not clear enough!

8. From this point, you can also slip stitch the back of the trousers together. You may notice a slight gap, caused by the extra row between the trouser legs. I normally just ease the edges together and slip stitch them ,the extra row  is not noticeable once the trousers are finished.

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9. At this point, the hook should be back up at the top of the waistband again.

Chain 1, then work a row of SC evenly around the waistband of the trousers. The actual number is not important as long as they are evenly spaced. My count was 28 on this pair. Slip stitch to first SC.

10. Chain 2, then work a DC into each SC around. Slip stitch to first DC, then fasten off and sew in the loose end. Make a drawstring from about 70 chain stitches, then thread it through the gaps between the DC.

11. Finally, using the long end, slip stitch the first leg seam, and fasten off. Weave in the last loose end, turn the right way out, and you are finished!

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If you prefer not to use a drawstring for a baby, you could always put in a length of elastic, but I find that stitching the drawstring in place gives reassurance if needed.

I have shared this pattern for two reasons;

First of all, it was World Prematurity Day a few days ago, and the whole month of November has been dedicated to raising awareness of premature babies and those who care for them. I thought sharing a pattern would be a nice way to do my small bit for them.

Secondly, if you are just learning to crochet or just beginning to design your own items, this pattern is a great way to see just how versatile crochet can be. Who knew you could create a pair of trousers with no making up to do and only 2 loose ends to weave in?! (Making up and weaving in are my two least favourite bits of this craft – so lets just not do them!) I have also found a way to make a cardigan with very few seams and very little making up – I may be sharing that pattern at a later date 🙂

Once you get your head around changing direction and seaming-as-you-go, the possibilities are endless. So many ideas – I would quite like to turn these into dungarees, for example, or see them in stripes, like pyjama trousers. If you decide to give them a go, I would love to see your pictures! Enjoy 🙂

“Accidental Cardigan”

Sometimes in the past, when I was crocheting something and it started to look…well…rubbish, I would rip it out and feel very annoyed with myself. This happened especially when I was following a pattern, and what I was making didn’t look much like the picture. (This was usually because I had used the wrong yarn, or hadn’t read the pattern properly!)

A friend of mine asked me to make a cardigan for her niece, and it looked as though this cardigan was going to go the same way. I chose a nice soft sparkly yellow yarn, and was aiming for a matinee-style coat, with a flared skirt and a more fitted bodice, like so many vintage baby patterns. I got to this point, and realised it did not look as good as in my head;

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The skirt part didn’t flare out enough, the design was a little babyish for a one year old, and the yellow was turning out to be a little bland for such a large garment. I still love the yarn, but for smaller clothes, I think. (It’s called “Stardust Wondersoft,” by Stylecraft, and it is really, really soft!)

Instead of ripping it out and then eating biscuits in a bad mood for the evening, I did this;

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Please excuse the collar in this pic, it hadn’t been blocked yet and should sit like this;

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I wasn’t sure about white and yellow, but it really worked and I was delighted not to have to start again. (This was actually my third time starting again, I ate a lot of biscuits this week. )

So I guess sometimes, something looks like it is going horribly wrong, but if you try to think “around” the problem, the solution is often as simple as different coloured sleeves.

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I am going to have to borrow a baby for future photos, clothes always look better being worn.

Now that the cardigan is finally finished, I am free to get on with the next project….but I have been so inspired by all the lovely pictures on everyone’s blogs, I don’t know what that project will be yet. So many ideas! So much yarn in my stash!

lovelovelove!

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Because most babies kick before they can walk…football boots!

Because most babies kick before they can walk...football boots!

Another dreadful photo, my apologies! It’s an old one, actually, that I came across when I was sorting out some old pics on the laptop.

I was obsessed with making the cutest bootees ever, and thought that little football/soccer boots would be quite sweet.

HOWEVER……..I failed to take into account the extra chub that little people like to wear around their feet, ankles, legs…well, all over really. Which meant that these particular baby shoes were almost impossible to get on – oops!

I thought I would share the pic anyway in case anyone out there is in a babyshoe kind of mood and would like some inspiration. Just remember to allow for babies’ adorable fatness when making up the “sock” part 🙂 If anyone does re-work this idea, I would love to see a picture!

Tonight I am working on a cardigan for a friends little girl, who is almost a year old. It should be finished by tomorrow, with luck, and I look forward to sharing some pics – as the design took on a life of it’s own, as these things often do. For me, at least!

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For the baby who has everything…Hedgehog Shoes!

For the baby who has everything...Hedgehog Shoes!

I made these a while back because we found out we had a hedgehog visiting our garden and I was fascinated by the wee guy. Or girl, it’s hard to tell.
Sadly the visits stopped very abruptly late this summer, and I hate to think what might have happened. With any luck, it has just changed it’s habits because of a lady hedgehog nearby.
With it being mid November now, it will be next spring before there is any chance of another sighting. Until then I will just have to keep my fingers crossed, and maybe make do with a few more crocheted critters instead.

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