This is the first of many posts about baby items that I’ve made. I loooooove making baby blankets, hats, booties, mittens. Baby stuff, all day every day.
I learned to crochet when I was 8 from my neighbor, Carrie-Lou. Since my grandparents were already quite old by the time I was born (therefore most of them died when I was very young), I didn’t really have grandparents growing up. My dad’s father, Big Dave, was around and was always happy (or perhaps simply tolerated) letting me come over and tinker on my grandmother’s piano or watch NASCAR with him. I have fond memories of spending time with him.
I digress. Carrie-Lou was the closest thing to a grandmother I ever had, and I’ll always remember her with great affection. She died when I was 12. Fun fact: she was the first person to tell me what varicose veins were (haha!) because she herself had them and I asked her why she had lines drawn on her legs. She handled my impetuous question with more grace than I could ever muster.
On to the projects! Here’s 6 examples of my favorite baby blanket projects I’ve made over the last few years.
When I was pregnant with P, specifically around 6 months pregnant and visiting Finland in January 2015, I decided to make a little lap blanket for her. It’s funny talking about it now because it was in regular use, but when P was really little I was just too tired (i.e. foggy) to go out very often, so I don’t have too many photos of it. It was a pretty simple project, double crochet rows and a shell border made of double crochets put into one chain. I think I gave this lap blanket away to a friend, but it served us well!
Honestly, I don’t remember who I made this blanket for originally, maybe for my best friend and his wife. I do know, however, that I ended up using this blanket for P and then washed/tossed it in the dryer and IT FELL APART…sort of. It lost its density and became really stringy with loads of holes in it. From what I remember, I frogged it and re-crocheted it into something new. Voilà!
Asymmetrical Design AKA I didn’t know how much yarn I actually had for this project and needed to improvise
“Tranquil Blanket” by Lisa Wears
I set out to make this blanket for a currently-pregnant friend of mine, but I’ve realized very quickly that one must ask the pregnant person first before they want any blankets, since said friend is both crafty and has already been gifted a small mountain of baby blankets. After I finished this, I decided to just hang on to it in case any other friends became pregnant and then I’d have an instant gift – and that’s what happened! We had friends over for coffee one day and I asked if second-pregnant-friend-of-the-year would like any handmade items. She’s not into handicrafts herself and seemed pleased at the prospect (which of course I loved if for no other reason than to CROCHET MOAR THINGS). Two birds with one stone: I got to make a cute blanket, and friend got a nice lap blanket for the new baby.
Granny Square Baby Blanket
Those of you who’ve been following me on instagram for some time (and through the various accounts I’ve created, deleted, then created again – ha!) remember this one because it was very much a labor of love. I made this for a dear friend who lives in Germany out of 100% wool yarn that I bought in Finland. I do love the colors and it’s super toasty. I only recently learned, though, that if you want yarn to last longer it’s better to get a poly-wool blend, so like 80% wool and 20% poly or nylon, since it’ll give it more strength and is less prone to breakage and falling apart. Good to know!
I also made a matching bag to go with it because I made so many granny squares that I had leftovers. I lined the back and used some cotton woven quilting fabric for the insides of the straps so they wouldn’t stretch over time.
Baby Blankets for a Friend
I have an old friend (seriously I met this chick when I was 18.) back home in Pennsylvania who had a baby last year. I went a little nuts making stuff for her, but since she’s crafty in other ways (her interior decorating is TO DIE FOR) I figured I’d send along a bunch of stuff. I made the Baby Ripple Afghan by Tiffany Roan and a modified version of the Granny Square Baby Blanket by Lauren Brown. I was really pleased with the granny square blanket. I cut some flannel bedsheets to size and stitched them on the back of the blanket. As you can see, it’s turned a bit odd; the next time I make a granny square blanket like this, I know now that I’ll need to turn my work after each row. Regardless, the blankets got lots of use as far as I know! 😀
Modern Colorblock Granny Square Baby Blanket
I have a former academia-twitter buddy (I used to be really active on academic twitter but then decided academia wasn’t for me) with whom I’ve kept in contact over the last few years via social media. She just had a baby last month and I made a few little goodies for her as well. I made the Modern Colorblock Granny Square Baby Blanket for her but a waaaaay sized down version as a lap blanket. It turned out so cute and lovely along with the other bits and bobs I sent along – which I’ll put in another post!
I normally have a strict rule of “Do NOT ask me to make anything for you” with crochet, so I can do it as a gift for others, and I prefer to offer because sometimes I simply don’t have time or the mental energy to make stuff for people. No pressure for me! As of late, I am happy to make stuff, but like any human being my energy levels vary depending on whatever else I have going on in my life. Anyway, with that slightly ranty bit done, I really do enjoy making things as gifts for friends and especially making baby stuff. It’s usually pretty quick and easy and always useful.
Do you ever crochet anything for friends? If so, what do you make?