Kickshaw Stroller Blanket by Charles Voth

Kickshaw Stroller Blanket

I have been a member of the Life Long Crochet Facebook group for many years now. The group is run by Charles Voth and Rebecca Mattison, both designers. Last month there was a call for testers, to test Charles’ latest design, the Kickshaw Stroller Blanket.

I used Touch of Alpaca by Lion Brand Yarn. The yarn was soft, but gave a bit of a rough look to the stitches and the yarn split easily, which was a pain in the butt. It was almost like working with homespun yarn, which is also soft but a pain to crochet with.

I have been thinking about trying pattern testing for a while now. My biggest fear is just the time needed to test and the commitment. I’m slow at crochet and I’m usually pretty busy. The post for testing came in mid-May and the de date was June 15, but I figured that I can typically get a baby blanket done in two weeks, so I decided to try my first pattern testing experience.

The pattern has these loops, that look a bit like broomstick lace. It involves creating a lot of loose loops, so I used one of my circular knitting needles to hold the loops (the Tunisian hook was too short to hold them).

Partly I feel bad about testing the pattern, because there was nothing to correct, no issues with the pattern, everything was well documented and explained well. The only piece that gave me any confusion was the concept of creating all the loose loops, but after watching a video that Charles posted, I was able to visualize it and it was done exactly as described.

For a while there I was running behind schedule. The yarn took a week to arrive and I had family visiting Memorial Day weekend, so I didn’t really get started until the end of May. At a certain point I had to create a calendar, assigning sections per day so I could stay on schedule. But I did finish the blanket on time and was able to give my notes on time, so overall this was an easy and quick first pattern testing experience. And now I have a gift for my friend’s daughter, who is expecting her first baby.

Filet Squares Baby Blanket Pattern

I wanted to design and make my own baby blanket, but I’m still pretty new to designing my own patterns.  I searched through my “The Crochet Stitch Bible” and looked for a stitch to make the base of my blanket.  I ended up selecting the filet squares stitch.  I like the simple look of the stitch and there is not a lot of lace for tiny fingers and toes to get struck in, but enough small holes to add some venting for a summer blanket.  If you pick up The Crochet Stitch Bible it includes the charts as well as the written pattern for the filet squares stitch.

img_0493

Continue reading

Baby Washcloths

I decided to add a few baby washcloths to my baby gift basket.  I bought some cotton yarn (20 Skein La Mia Mini Cottony 100% Turkish Cotton Baby Yarn) for the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival to use in classes. It gave me a variety of similar yarn in different colors to work with. The yarn itself is nice, but not the easiest to work with. It splits and isn’t twisted tight, so there are some limitations on the stitches you can do with it since it snags easily on the crochet hooks.

img_0482

Ripple Stitch, Leaf Stitch, Half Double Crochet, Tunisian Simple Stitch, and Spiral

Continue reading

Call the Midwife Blanket and Piotr the Polar Bear

Spring is coming and with spring, more babies.  Two of my coworker’s wives are having babies, so it’s time to make more baby items. Call the Midwife Blanket and Piotr the Polar Bear.

img_0326

This time I decided to try the “Call the Midwife” blanket.  I’ve seen this one posted on my crochet groups and I always thought it was cute.  I never knew where the name came from.  The linked blog post to Little Monkey’s Crochet tells the story of the blanket and how she recreated the pattern from images on a TV show.  Cool story.  I love when people can reproduce something from what they see.

Call the Midwife Blanket 2

This pattern is easy and well written.  I was able too finish it pretty quickly.  I found this cute multicolored yarn at Michael’s called Kai in Bubbles colorway.  It’s pretty, but acrylic.  It was a bit rougher than I prefer to use on a baby blanket.  To soften it up, I used some Cupcake yarn from my stash on the border.  I did the border with just a few rows of sc all the way around.

Call the Midwife Blanket

To go with the baby blanket, I made Piotr the Polar Bear from Edward’s Menagerie.  I also used the Cupcake yarn on Piotr.  I used it on the blanket border, so it would match with Piotr.  He’s the fourth stuffed animal I have made from this book.  I’ve also made Emma the Bunny Alexandre the Russian Blue Cat, and Bridget the Elephant.

Piotr the Polar Bear

I modified his eyes and nose a little, to look more polar beary using some discount black chenille yarn I had in my stash.

Call the Midwife Blanket and Piotr the Polar Bear 2

More Little Hats, Big Hearts

I finished making my baby hats for Little Hats Big Hearts.

But first, my husband got me this photography tent for Christmas.  This was my first time playing with it.  Still working on setting up the lighting.  But, this is the first time using it and showing off my pictures with it.  OK, my photography skills need some work, I admit it.

More Little Hats, Big Hearts

All seven hats completed

Continue reading