Grandbaby Update

So, the kids have decided to take the baby to term. Doctors have told them that they can expect the child to live for approximately 10 days, after birth.

They are going to have the baby Baptized and then they will have a funeral for him – it’s a boy.

Because of his condition – he doesn’t have a skull (but don’t worry, there is no pain or discomfort associated with this condition) – they expect him to have a delayed due date. Since his original due date was June 13, I guess we can expect him a week or two later.

I have offered to make them a Christening blanket. This is the pattern I’ve chosen. So far, it’s been fun to make. I’ve just started working on it today. It is a knitting pattern, so I am using my knook. I’ll post pictures when I’m finished.

Grandbaby Fibonacci Sequence Blanket

Hi!

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to make something using the Fibonacci sequence in stripes. I’ve always liked the way it looks, but I’ve always dreaded making a blanket in some sort of solid fabric.

Grandbaby Fibonacci Blanket 3

I’m the first to admit that I get bored easily. And while I love afghans, I tend to put them on a shelf when they’re only part way finished.

Grandbaby Fibonacci Blanket 2

That said, I’ve found that baby blankets are doable. Especially when they’re blankets made for my grandchild who is due in June.

I did get a bit distracted from this blanket, but that’s only because I have been trying to stock my etsy shop. I figure that one blanket for my grandbaby and one or two for the shop would be good.

Grandbaby Fibonacci Blanket 1

For this blanket I did double crochets in rows of: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 13.

I’m still waiting to find out the gender of the baby.

For my etsy shop, I’m currently working on a filet argyle blanket. For the baby, I haven’t decided yet…

Oh and here’s my latest addition to the shop! I seem to have neglected to make a post about it, earlier!

Drumroll Please!

Well, after pretty much EVERYONE telling me to get an Etsy Shop and start selling my crochet stuff, I’ve finally done it!

It’s really scary! I’ve never sold anything, except commissioned pieces. I’m afraid that no one will buy anything and that will hurt my feelings, because I’ll think that it’s because they don’t like it. Which is completely ridiculous, I know…

I’ve talked to my friends about pricing and I guess that’s the hardest part. So, I’m going with the fairly common practice of taking the cost of materials and multiplying it by three. Then I’m adding to that the cost of listing the item and the cost of shipping. We’ll see!

If you’d like to see the first item I’ve ever listed for sale, it can be found in my Etsy Shop here.

And if you have any feedback about my listing – the price, the pictures, the verbiage, please tell me. I need all the advice I can get!

Grandbaby Granny Square Blanket

First of all, I have to apologize for the colors in these photos. The colors I used are purple, turquoise and white. However, it was snowing and I had a heck of a time getting adequate lighting. Of course, I’m impatient and wasn’t going to wait another day to take pictures. I’m actually impressed that you aren’t seeing horrible photos that were taken in incandescent light – I finished the blanket the night before.

Grandbaby Granny Blanket 3

The purple and turquoise yarn was part of my fantastic gift of yarn by the parents of this child. I was eager to get it finished and photographed so I could send them the pictures.

Grandbaby Granny Blanket 1

It’s just your standard Red Heart Super Saver yarn. I found a pretty cool granny square generator – here. And used this to help me make the blanket look more random – because I completely lack imagination and would pretty much just make diagonal stripes or something. Yes, I’m truly that boring.

Grandbaby Granny Blanket 2

This is a very simple double-v-stitch edging that I think is pretty perfect for granny square blankets. I found it here. The blanket is just a simple square of two rounds per color. I used the join-as-you-go method for joining the squares. I had forgotten that I wanted to try the Celtic Lace Join – found here – for my next project that included squares. Ah well, maybe I’ll remember on the next blanket.

Grandbaby Granny Blanket 4

Tah-dah! It took me about three days to finish.

Mom and dad tell me that they love it. That makes me infinitely happy.

By the way… See how it’s kind of ruffled? That was not on purpose. From what I understand, it has to do with how many clusters are put into the adjoining corners of the squares when doing the border. I don’t usually put borders on blankets, so I didn’t realize that this would happen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. We have celebrated the holiday twice in the last seven days. Needless to say, we are feeling fat and happy.

I’ve been holding on to some good news. But, now that it has been officially announced, I am free to tell the world… My son and his fiance are having a baby! I’m very excited!

Naturally, I immediately began searching for crochet and knitting patterns.

I’ve started a crocheted blanket based on the “Drunkard’s Path” quilting pattern. But, with 120 squares to make, it is turning into a tedious project. Of course, I’ve been sidetracked a couple of times.

The kids were here for our turkey day celebration last weekend, so I had to really work fast to get their first blanket finished.

Bavarian Baby Blanket 3

Their favorite color is purple. Since we don’t yet know the gender of the baby, I thought purple would be a safe color to use.

Bavarian Baby Blanket 2

I had never done a Bavarian project before and had to watch some YouTube videos to learn the technique. It is so easy!

Bavarian Baby Blanket 1

I wanted to make the blanket a little bit bigger, but I was running out of time. I had to stop where I was the night before the kids left. This not-so-big square took the better part of a full skein of yarn in each color. It really is a wool eater!

But, it is super thick and it will be very warm for the little one. I figured that it really doesn’t matter how small it is, they are going to be getting more blankets from me. This one will take the child until he or she is 4- or 5-years old.

My sweetie likes the look of the reverse side and wants me to make one for him. I guess that will just be plain Catherine Wheels. I’ll probably just make it rectangle and work it back and forth, rather than in rounds. I think that would be easier.

I have been having some trouble finding a baby booties pattern that I like. Most patterns out there are really geared towards either male or female. There are some super-cute patterns and I can’t wait to find out the gender of the baby…

I found a pattern that met my preferred criteria: crochet, worked flat, and uses big yarn. Not that I’m completely opposed to knitting in the round with sock yarn… I’m just a slow knitter/knooker.

And, the kids brought me my Christmas present when they visited and it included a skein of Bernat Baby Blanket yarn (in the Pink/Blue colorway). I know that I don’t have the proper size knitting needles or knook to use this yarn and I knew it had to be turned into booties.

You may recall my previous experience with this yarn… I’m not a fan. Though, at least this time, the yarn doesn’t smell weird. This skein is the 100% polyester version and I wonder if the last stuff I used was the 100% nylon… This yarn is still stretchy and I still had a hard time identifying my stitches half the time. But, it took me less than an hour to make a set of booties (even with this difficult yarn), so that’s a huge plus!

The pattern is Bev’s Baby Cloud Booties. I like Bev’s patterns; they are simple and usually pretty quick to make.

Baby Booties 2

I think next time I make these booties, I will just hold a few strands of a different yarn together.

Knooking Tutorial

I have been crocheting for many years; but I’ve only learned to knit in the last few.

I’m beginning to get arthritis in my hands and knitting with two straight needles is pretty painful. I discovered circular needles and that was better – but still a bit painful.

Part of the problem is that I have some needle insecurity issues going on. I’m afraid that my knitting will slip off the needles and I will lose my work. In my experience, this is a valid concern, as it has happened to me several times. In order to compensate for this insecurity, I keep a death grip on the needles. This causes me pain and makes knitting a not-so-fun-and-relaxing experience.

Also, I have always found executing knit stitches and purl stitches on needles to be awkward and un-intuitive. I blame this on the fact that I’ve been crocheting for a long time.

A couple of years ago, I discovered knooking. This is actual knitting, but using one modified crochet hook rather than two needles. This is better for me, as the tool is familiar and it doesn’t cause me near as much pain. I’m not forcing my aging joints to learn new motions.

Unfortunately, when I was first learning to knook (using YouTube videos) the experience was still quite awkward. Forming the stitches took a lot of effort and it was very challenging. As a result, I ended up putting the knook away and just resigned myself to no more knitting.

I did acquire a couple of knitting machines and those are great, but not quite the same as working by hand.

Recently, I decided to give knooking another try. I found a Leisure Arts video on YouTube: click here for video. Evidently, this was a different method of making the stitches and (happily!) I have found it to be much easier than my earlier efforts. This method is called “western” and it is more akin to crochet and most crocheters find this to be the easiest method for them to learn.

Because I bounce back and forth between knooking and crochet, I found that I was forgetting how to form the knit and purl stitches; so I made myself a mini tutorial that I can refer to whenever I need a refresher.

Knooking for right-handed folks:

Getting started: cast on (crochet chain) desired number of stitches, then pick up stitches (working right to left, pull loop through each chain stitch, leaving each loop on the hook). Slide stitches off of hook and onto cord. Turn your work so that the hook is on the right and you’re working right to left, just like in crochet.

Knit Stitch:

Yarn held in back.

Insert hook from left to right.

Knook Knit Stitch 1

With hook above working yarn, grasp yarn and pull through stitch.

Knook Knit Stitch 2

Purl Stitch:

Yarn held in front.

Insert hook from right to left.

Knook Purl Stitch 1

Wrap yarn over top of hook, grasp and pull through.

Knook Purl Stitch 2

After all stitches have been worked, slide stitches off hook and onto the cord. Turn your work and continue as per pattern.

Binding Off:

Knit the first stitch (one loop on hook).

*Insert hook into next stitch (now there are two loops on hook), wrap yarn around hook and pull through both loops on hook (back to only one loop on hook).* This feels like a single crochet, but it is actually just doing a slip stitch two together.

Continue * to * until all stitches have been done.

Cut yarn, weave in ends.

I hope this helps all of you who are interested in learning. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need clarification on any of my instructions.

:)