16 September 2006

These Booties Were Made for Walkin'

The baby shower was today and I was up until after midnight last night and before nine this morning, but I finally finished these damn booties! They really are quite sweet, but my pictures don't really do them justice. Here's the image from the pattern:

The pattern indicates these are "easy", but I might go as far as to say they are a good intermediate project. There's nothing too funky about them - your basic stitches and decreases - but they are a tad tricky. Since they're crocheted with the teeny-tiny D-hook and skinny-mini baby yarn, they're a bit difficult to get a handle on.

Plus, as you can see, they're a combination of 3 separate pieces, and there's a tiny bit of sewing involved. I can't for the life of me remember where I found the pattern, but if you want it, just let me know and I can send it to you. It's from the June 2005 issue of Crochet World magazine, and it's a welcome change from all the basic (boring!) bootie patterns. Although, these are quite feminine... not sure if you'd want to make them for a boy. But hey -- to each their own!

I also did up another quick baby hat avec fleur (pattern links on the right ----->).

~ Em

09 September 2006

Hats are *Tops*!

Finally -- something good to come of insomnia!

I forgot that I had a ball of Patons Shetland Chunky in Charcoal grey left over from a cable scarf I knit for my husband, and I've got enough baby yarn to clothe an orphange, so, while I was busy not sleeping, I figured -- why not try an adult size hat?

It features the same Two-Layer Irish Rose as discussed in my last post, only this time I decided to try it with two colours.

And -- instead of ending with a round of sc like the Double Crochet Head Hugger pattern suggests, I opted to do a row of ch3, sk next st, hdc to give it a slightly more decorative edging.

This is one of those classic looking hats that looks good on everyone, and never goes out of style. (Which is fortunate for every woman I know with a birthday between now and March!)

I'm looking forward to trying this out with a less chunky yarn, but I'm still pretty happy with it as is.

I crocheted a couple of these flower appliques thinking I would use them on this hat, but it would definitely have been overkill, so I will either save them for my next chapeau, or they'll get attached to one of the baby projects.

~ Em

08 September 2006

Flower Power

Okay, so I'm really digging this hat thing. I can't believe how fun and easy (and quick!) it is to make a good lookin' toque. (And I cannot wait `til the walking casts go on so I can peruse The Naked Sheep for some funky green and yellow yarn! It's about time I made something for my damn self!)

Knowing pregnant lady #1 is having a girl, I figured I could safely whip up a pink baby hat, but to make it that much more special, I wanted to attach a flower. I Googled "easy crochet flower" and a free pattern for a Two-Layer Irish Rose was one of the first I found. And it was so much easier than I thought it would be.

The best thing about crochet is that you don't need to follow the instructions to a T to get the look you want. If you know what you want the finished product to look like, you can easily improvise and no one will be the wiser. I'm not sure I did "exactly" what the directions asked of me, but it turned out great anyway. I knew the theory behind what I was doing, and there was certainly more than one way to acheive it.

That used to scare me because I used to think I needed to be hand-held every step of the way, but I don't think I was giving myself enough credit. As soon as you start taking some chances and it pays off, you get more and more confident that you can figure things out on your own.

I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be many, many more crocheted flowers in my future...


07 September 2006

Baby Steps: My First "real" Crochet Projects

Fortunately (and coincidentally), right before I found out I needed to have surgery on both my feet, my good friend T-Ra taught me the basics of crochet. Her 45 minute lesson was enough to get me started on a "Dish Soap Apron" - a really great beginner project, that although can't be classified as "useful", was still fun to do, and hey - it's better than looking at a plain, plastic bottle.

Seeing as how I know a total of 5, yes FIVE pregnant ladies (2 of whom are due mid-October), and I can't use my feet, I figured it'd be a good time to use my hands and try some baby crochet projects. My first project was the Bernat© Baby #296 Beautiful Baby Blanket. (This pattern is free - just register with the site.)

It only took about 3 (8-hour) days to complete (I can't walk anywhere, so what else was I gonna do!). I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out. The knitted blanket I am/was working on is a much tighter stitch - less "baby" feeling and just not as soft or elegant. I much prefer the delicate look of crochet for baby stuff. (Plus, I'm an "instant gratification" kinda gal, and crocheting is MUCH faster than knitting, so this has been working out pretty well for me!)

After searching and searching (and searching), I finally found a great beginner Baby Bootie pattern. I read about ten bootie patterns before this one (maybe more), but this was the only one that made sense. And the best part? Beginners, like me, can crochet a pair in less than an hour.

Next, I tackled this Baby Hat by Susan L. Kraus. Much to my surprise, this was, by far, the easiest project. It took about an hour (give or take), but the results are pretty impressive (especially considering nearly the entire thing is double crochet). Susan aslo has a matching bootie pattern which I am anxious to try out. Thanks, Susan!

I really like the look of classic white or ivory baby items, but I am looking forward to crocheting in colour. Since none of the ladies (except one, and her shower is next Saturday) knows the sex of their baby, I see a lot of green and yellow in my future!

Anyway, I hope other hookers find this blog. If you want to share any tips, tricks or patterns, please do so -- that's what it's all about!

~ Em