WHERE have I BEEN, you ask? Well, after a crazy run of brother-in-law’s wedding, my family visiting, sick babies, and general craziness and havoc, I’ve had my hands full. But I have not been idle! Actually, that’s not entirely true. With the change of seasons, I got a little craft-stuck: I could not, for the life of me, think of anything to make that wasn’t a big fluffy scarf or mittens or some other wintery thing. Plus, I was bored of making the same ol’ projects. So I decided, what the heck. I’ll give something more complicated a try. How ’bout a baby sweater? Sure. And if it’s a disaster, I’ll rip it all out and wind the yarn back into a ball and never speak of it. It will be my disastrous little secret.
So I hopped on Ravelry and searched through their patterns, automatically tossing out anything that was knitted (duh, since I don’t knit), super girly, or super complicated-looking. This left me with just a handful of patterns, two of which I thought had the most potential. Then I got freaked out by the prospect of sleeves, and piecing it together, and ending up with something inside out… Which left me with the Bombay Love pattern from Yarny Days. And PEOPLE, this pattern ROCKS. It rocks in an all-caps, italicized kind of way. It is adorable and so easy it’s shocking.
This short-sleeved little sweater is crocheted in one piece from the top down. There is nothing to piece together, no separate sleeves to make, nada. And it’s worked in double crochet, so it goes very quickly. As usual, I made a couple modifications of my own, but nothing major to the pattern.
Here’s what I used:
- Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn in Seaspray (for the sweater) and Red Barn (for the edging and closures). It uses less than one skein for a whole sweater!
- A size J-10 (6 mm) crochet hook
- A large-eyed needle
- 2 buttons
A few notes:
- You can easily change the size of the sweater by changing hook and/or yarn size. Mine is larger than hers (worsted weight yarn and a J hook gave me a sweater that I think is 6 month size, meaning, it was a little small on my boys) but it took a couple tries to get it the size I wanted. I started another sweater, again with worsted yarn, but this time with an H-8 (5mm) hook and it’s more like a 0-3 month size.
- The pattern author recommends 2 sc in each corner when you’re doing the edging, or the edges will curl. I’m still having a little curling, so I would recommend 3 sc in the corners.
- I sewed on my buttons so the sweater front is crossed over the other side. I like this look, plus mine turned out a little wide, so this made it narrower. For a very chubby baby, this might make it too slim.
- The pattern author made her sweater closure by knitting a cord with double-pointed needles. Like I said, I don’t knit, so you have a couple options. You could buy a little bit of cord or ribbon, or (and this is what I did), you could crochet a simple closure. Here’s how I made mine: ch 26; leave enough chs to make a loop that your button can pass though; sc in each remaining ch and fasten off.
So gather your yarn and head over to the Bombay Love pattern at Yarny Days. Get a move on!
If you remember my Fashionable Lovelies post a couple weeks back, my brother-in-law is getting married this weekend. Both boys are in the wedding (because it would be pretty awkward to only include one twin) as ring bearers; they’ll be pulled down the aisle in a little sled the bride-to-be fixed up for them. This means FANCY clothes for my baby monkeys—and all white. I looked everywhere for white baby pants. I decided, finally, against sewing pants, since they would have to be lined to not be see-through. The only pairs I found to buy were either a) too thin or b) too holy-cow-these-tiny-pants-are-$40-per-pair expensive.
So what do you think I did? Bought a big skein of white yarn and made 2 pairs of baby leg warmers. I looked at all the crocheted baby leg warmers patterns I could find, like this one and this one here, but finally settled on this one from Alli Crafts. It’s a little fancier-looking without being too girly, and W O W, did it work up fast! I will definitely make these again for a baby gift, maybe with a little matching hat?
Here’s what I used:
- Red Heart Super Saver yarn in White (I barely made a dent in 1 skein after completing 4 leg warmers.)
- An H-8 (5mm) crochet hook
- A large-eyed needle
Then go visit Alli Crafts for the pattern. And while you’re there, you really should check out her many other awesome (and FREE) patterns!
Work in progress: You can see the neat ribbed effect from the fpdc.
I used Alli Craft’s own modification to fit 6-9 months. My boys wear 6-9 month clothes and this fit perfectly with the yarn and hook I used. (Her original pattern was much too small for them; I tried it first and pulled it out. Great for a newborn, though.)
I did add a ribbed bit to the top cuff to make it look more finished. Here’s what I did:
- After completing your final round, join with slip stitch and chain 6.
- Turn, single crochet in back loop only beginning in the 2nd chain from the hook. Slip stitch into the top of the last round.
- **Ch 1, turn, sc back loop only in each sc (5 sts). Ch 1, turn, sc back loop only in each sc (5 sts); slip stitch into the top of the last round.
- Repeat from ** all the way around the leg warmer. Slip stitch through back loops of first and last rows to connect. Weave in ends.
I recommend a nice, soft yarn if your baby will wear these more than once. The Red Heart is fine since they’ll wear them once, but it isn’t very soft.
Rich’s cousin Kate (of Gossycrafts) is an amazing crocheter. Seriously amazing. She’s made some of The Awesomest baby gifts for my boys, including dinosaur hats (!!!), a star garland, dinosaur toys, and little sweaters.
She just made a little set for a baby shower: baby booties and a little fox hat. They are so, so (, so, ad infinitum) cute! That Mama and Daddy are going to love them.
Now, go check out Kate’s blog for the whole story and patterns, plus more amazing projects, patterns, and works-in-progress!
Ladies and gentlemen, I am late again. Maybe I should just move my Naptime Craft posts to Wednesday and always be on time! (We all know that wouldn’t happen, though; then I would end up posting them on Thursdays.) BUT the point is, I have another craft for you, and oh baby, it is so cute. See?
I’m in that stage of life where people start popping out babies like crazy, and I’ve just sort of fallen into making them all baby hats. I’ve made several of my Baby Bear Hats in different variations and colors; one of my favorites was for my cousin’s wife, pregnant with a little girl, and done in light gray with a yellow band around the bottom and tiny yellow flowers by the ears. I love that Baby Bear Hat—it makes me happy every time I make one, like this one here I just finished for Baby Jacob (modeled by Will, who was less than thrilled to have a hat on):
(What is it about babies in hats with ears that just makes my heart melt?)
This time, though, I wanted to try a new pattern. My brother’s amazing girlfriend Margot told me about the Lion Brand yarn app for the iPhone, which is full of wonderful, searchable, easy-to-do-able patterns. I found one I mostly liked—Mini Hat Trick. I say I mostly liked it, though; I made a few changes of my own. I changed colors for the last row of the hat, as well as the ear flaps, and only did one row of edging (because I was afraid three rows would make the hat too long). I left off the ties; any long, stringy thing makes me nervous on babies (like bibs with ties or hoodie toggles). And for the finishing touch, I added a flower and a couple of leaves. The hat came out so cute that I’ve been walking around with it on an acorn squash just to admire it! (Yep, I’m a huge dork. And acorn squash is the most newborn-baby-head-sized thing around here.)
Here’s what I used for the hat:
And for the flower and leaves:
Here’s what I did:
- Follow the Mini Hat Trick pattern. (See above for the changes I made, if you want to make the same ones.)
- Create your double flower following Action Hero’s tutorial. I looped my pink yarn back through the center of the flower to add contrast once the flower was completed.
- Make your leaves. Mine is one little pointy-ended oval I sort of made up as I went, increasing at the beginning, decreasing at the end, then single-crocheting around the whole thing. (If you want a pattern, here’s a simple pattern for leaves I just found—look below the flower pattern.)
- Sew the leaves, then the flower, to your hat.
- Tell everyone in earshot how unbelievably adorable your hat is, then give it to one lucky little baby girl!
(One day, he’s going to hate me for sticking a girl’s hat on his head and taking a picture. He was less than thrilled already!)
P.s. If you were thinking this hat looks cute enough to make for yourself, follow this Lion Brand pattern—Flagstone Earflap Hat—for an adult-sized similar version.
My boys are at that fun stage where every object they see is a fascinating discovery to be stared at and grabbedfor and intently studied and finally, put in their mouths and chomped on. They especially love bright colors and interesting textures. This project is a great toy for this 6-month stage, but also wonderful for younger babies, since it’s bright, soft, lightweight, and easy to grab, and also for older kids who can stack them (then knock over) with no damage. Older kids can even make them themselves with a little grown-up help.
Here’s what you need for each block:
- Fleece (or felt)**
- Embroidery floss
- A needle with an eye big enough for the floss
- Good, sharp scissors (you know, the ones you only use for fabric!)
- Stuffing (batting, fabric scraps, the stuffing from an old pillow… You could even use beans for a different feel.)
What I did:
1. Cut your fleece into squares. You need 6 squares per block. I made mine 4 inches square, but 2 or 3 inches square would go much faster.
(Pardon the gratuitous fleece shot. It was just so pretty!)
2. Lay out your fleece as shown below, to be sure you will actually end up with a cube.
3. Working your way around the block, sew wrong sides together using a blanket stitch. (I found that it doesn’t make much difference which seams you do first.) Leave the final seam open so you can stuff it.
4. Stuff your block and stitch that final seam shut. Done! You made a toy!
Go ahead, make a few! Get crazy and sew/ embroider/ stencil letters on them; spell a name; use crazy patterns! And have a blast.
**For my 4-in. x 4-in. block, I needed 8-in. x 12-in. (if I was using all one color). A 3-in. x 3-in. in one color would need 6-in. x 9-in.; a 2-in. x 2-in. would need a 4-in. x 6-in. piece.
Hi, my name is Bonnie, and I have twins in diapers.
Rich and I chose not to do cloth for several reasons, but BOY are we glad we didn’t now that we haven’t had a washer and dryer for a few months! I don’t know what we’d do with no washer, no laundromat in town… and SNOW! This leaves us with a problem, though (besides the trauma of paying for diapers for two babies): diaper boxes!
We buy our diapers in the big value packs to save money, which means lots of boxes. The boxes are actually great, though: nicely sized, sturdy, and with handles. We’ve used them to pack for our move, store things in our storage unit and rental… and there are still. more. boxes. That’s problem 1.
Here’s problem 2:
Yep. That’s toys. THEY’RE EVERYWHERE. I’ve had them in a reusable shopping bag under the end table since we moved in, which is super classy and efficient. NOT.
Solution? You guessed it!
Here’s what you need:
- Fabric: I used Ikea fabric left over from the boys’ quilt (same leftovers as the yo-yos– we’re getting major mileage from those 5 yards!). You need enough length to go all the way around the box’s sides plus a little overlap. Mine is 8″ higher than the box height, making my piece of fabric 52″ long x 16″ high total. (My box dimensions are 15″ long x 9″ wide x 8″ tall; make sure you measure yours since all boxes are different.)
- Spray adhesive
- Sharp scissors
- And oh yeah, a diaper box. (No kids in diapers? Find someone with a little one in diapers and ask for one of theirs- they will not fight you!)
Here’s what I did:
- Cut off the box flaps.
- GO OUTSIDE and spray the wrong side of your fabric with spray adhesive. Working around the box, smoothing as you go, adhere the fabric to the box sides.
- With more adhesive, glue down the fabric into the inside of the box. Flip it over and adhere the fabric to the bottom as well. (I chose to leave the inside of my box unfinished, but you could easily line the inside with fabric as well; just cut to fit and adhere.)
- Leave the box OUTSIDE (or in the garage or on the porch) for a day or two until you can’t smell adhesive any more. This is important! You don’t want toys that go in baby mouths getting stinky glue all over them.
Fill with toys, and you’re done! This is one of my favorite crafts, because it’s cute, practical, and no-sew.
Kids (and babies) can be some of the most difficult people to give gifts, especially if you aren’t up on all the latest trends. Because HEAVEN FORBID you give that special Little a Tickle-Me-Elmo when that is so last year, GEEZ. So here are a few of my faves for you to make, if you’re feeling crafty, or buy, if you aren’t so much.
- Scratch-off world map, Uncommon Goods, $24
- Cirkustalt circus tent, Ikea, $19.99
- Tooth Vessel, BROOKLYNrehab, $25
- Ekorre toddler wagon/walker, Ikea, $19.99
- Hug and Hide Owl, Skip*Hop, $18
- Organic Driving Toy, Little Sapling Toys, $32
- Orange Secret Robot Plushy, designlab443, $40
- Leather-soled wool slippers, WoolyBaby, $38
- Tag blanket: SO easy, and babies go nuts over all the little ribbon tags.
- Angry Birds crocheted soft toys: These are amigurumi, little crocheted creatures that are made by single-crocheting in the round. You only need to know that one stitch!
- Roll-up busy book: Great for plane and car trips, doctor’s offices, church… anywhere you have a Little to keep occupied, and quiet(ish).
- Storybook-page placemats: A great way to save beloved children’s books that have been battered and beaten.
- Silly monsters wall art: Great for a big-kid room.
- Simple dollhouse: It’s Charlie and Lola-themed!
- Baby 3-button boots: Hip footwear for even the littlest Little.
Want more? Here are some fantastic sites to check out for inspiration for all your favorite Littles: