Chunky striped baby blanket

Another one bites the dust.

Back in the fall, Anselm and Perpetua each chose a skein of yarn for me for my birthday. I wasn’t sure what to do with them: they’re both bulky weight which I don’t typically work with, and one skein each was probably too small for most of the things I usually make. A few weeks later, though, I found yarn in the “special buy” aisle at Aldi (that aisle is a veritable wonder-of-wonders) that more or less matched the weight, in complementary colours. Problem solved. I don’t remember which child chose which yarn, but I’m glad to have put the first to good use.

The pink yarn (my birthday yarn) is Lion Brand Hometown USA in “Phoenix Azalea,” and the off-white is Easy Home Chunky Yarn in “Cream”. Since both yarns are so thick I worked them up on an N hook, the largest I own. At that size, this project came together incredibly quickly, probably only 3 hours or so all told.

The pattern is simple: chain until it’s wide enough, do five rows of moss stitch in colour A, 3 in colour B, then alternate 10 rows of A with 3 rows of B until it feels long enough, and finish up with 5 rows of colour A. Weave in ends. If you use the yarns I did, prepare for some frustration on this step because they both fray like crazy. You can see a few puffs of yarn end in this picture because of that. I mostly fixed them after taking this… by which I mean I got them all sticking out on the same side.

I didn’t think to grab something to show the scale, but this blanket is probably about eighteen inches on the short side, and long enough to drape comfortably over my lap with room to spare on either end. This will probably be the last project I make for the ministry at church as we prepare to move (OH, did I mention we are moving?) but I am so glad that I got to be a part of it for these past few years.

“Carrot Cake” lap blanket

Unlike the last project I posted about, this lap blanket offered me no frustrations at all: just smooth sailing from start to finish, plus the fun of using a new yarn. I was given a gift certificate to the local fancy yarn store, and so this is actually my first foray out of acrylic-land. This was worked up with three(ish) skeins of Ella Rae Seasons yarn, in the colourway “carrot cake”. I liked it; it’s a soft, springy wool blend with long gradient transitions between colours that ended up making a wonderful stripe. Best of all, it promises — despite the wool content — to be washable.

I worked this up using (my beloved) moss stitch, with a J hook. At that size, the individual stitches really stand out — which gives an effect that reminds me a bit of houndstooth:

The “ish” designation appended to my skein-count is because I had to chop off several lengths each time I changed skeins, so that the pattern would be more or less consistent. I don’t mind; making prayer squares for church means that I always have a use for those little balls of scrap yarn.

It even works as intended!

Freehand toddler dress

Recently I was bit by the creative bug — or perhaps an impulse to clear out stone of my yarn stash — and I decided to see if I could work up a little crochet dress without a pattern. I had a lot of blue and white yarn left over from my Christmas crafting, and since those are perfect colours for Perpetua, I thought I would see what I could do.

For those interested in the nitty-gritty, this was worked from the top down in a 4-weight acrylic using a G hook. The bodice is single crochet worked in the round, and the skirt was done in moss stitch to give it a little more drape. It’s made according to Perpetua’s current measurements (with a little room to grow) so is probably around an 18m size.

In retrospect, there are some things I would do differently next time. Despite using moss stitch, the skirt is pretty stiff; I should probably have switched to a larger hook to get a little more airyness in it. And leaving room to grow on the straps means that the bodice is lower than it should be. If she wants to wear it without a t-shirt underneath I will have to extend that top panel upwards a bit. Which is fine. This was a learning project, after all!

Overall I am very pleased with how this came out. I very rarely work from a pattern, but many of the things I make are shawls and blankets and similar. Making a piece of clothing without a pattern was a stretching experience, but I am very pleased to have done it!