Children’s Blankets – Sealife and Flowers

Just before Oliver turned 1 I decided I wanted to make him his own children’s blanket.  I didn’t crochet when he was born so I didn’t have the opportunity to make him one.  I did knit but I didn’t really enjoy it enough to make, what I considered at the time, a big project.  So I went to shop for wool and looked at blanket patterns.  The only thing I really knew was that I wanted it to be a single sized blanket that would last him throughout his life.  After a lot of searching I found out about the ripple stitch and thought it looked a lot like sea which I thought would look great in the blue stripe wool I had found at Hobbycraft.  So it was on 3 for 2 I naively purchased 6 50g balls thinking that would be enough.  I started work on the blanket and very quickly realised that that 6 balls was no where near enough and after some calculations I ordered a further 54 balls!

Unfortunately it was one of those repetitive projects that once started ends up being left whilst other projects that are more fun come along and are completed.  So the blanket set half started, and whilst it was originally intended as a 1st birthday present was in reality not finished until just after his second Christmas.   I put his finished children’s blanket in the cupboard meaning him to have it for his 3rd birthday, but I completely forgot, so he actually received it last Christmas.   It has mostly lived on his bed, but I had no idea how attached he was to it until I asked him if he wanted me to decorate it.  I was instructed to put a pirate ship, 5 turtles and 5 starfish on the blanket.  However, he would not allow me to take it away to work on overnight.  So instead I made the motifs as instructed and sewed them on the following morning so he was not without his blanket.

I love the fact that he loves it this much that he is not wanting to be separated from it.  I hope he continues to love it as he grows older and that one day maybe he can pass it on to his son, if he has one!  If you want to make Oliver’s Sealife blanket then I have uploaded the pattern for you to try.

Crochet Pattern for Sealife Blanket
Olivers Sealife Blanket

Lily did have the benefit of getting a homemade baby blanket, since I was definitely hooked on crochet when I was pregnant with her.   I made this daisy blanket for her when she was born, although I couldn’t get the hang of those particular flowers, so she got something a little different.   I used her baby blanket in the car, however, now she is coming up to 2 she is much to big for the size of blanket, so I decided to extend it to a children’s blanket size.  I was recently pointed in the direction of a pattern called Around the bases which seemed a perfect way to frame the baby blanket, but still make it large enough to grow with her.

I was lucky enough to be able to exactly match the colours I had used in the original blanket, and I also decided on some contrast colours to make it a little different.   It only took a few weeks to extend Lily’s baby blanket (much quicker than Oliver’s) and I am really pleased with the results.  I really enjoyed this pattern, and I learnt many new stitches which I will definitely be making use of in the future.   I did skip the 14th inning as my blanket was getting large and I couldn’t find a way to work it in with my colour scheme.  It ended up much larger than a children’s blanket – it is huge, almost 1.75m square, definitely the largest project I have made so far and will fit nicely on a double bed one day for her.  I decided to remake the flowers that I originally put on the blanket in the contrast colours to the original blanket squares and I really like the effect it gives.   The flowers were peach blossoms from the book 100 Lace Flower’s to crochet by Caitlin Sainio and I think they look perfect with the blanket.

The blanket is a bit to large to get a good look at the details so I have added extra pictures to show the detail in the stitches and the original baby blanket in the middle.  I has come out looking wonky but that is just the angle of the photo, the actual blanket is square!  It is now all ready for Lily’s second birthday in July – I hope she likes it as much as Oliver likes his blanket!

Lily's Baby Blanket
Lily’s Baby Blanket
Lily's Extended Baby Blanket
Lily’s Extended Baby Blanket
Baby Blanket Section of Lily's Blanket
Baby Blanket Section of Lily’s Blanket
Detailed View of Lily's Blanket
Detailed View of Lily’s Blanket

I hope that you have enjoyed this weeks post on children’s blankets as much as I enjoyed making them.  See you next week for something I am working on for easter.

Vicky x

Playmats

When I first started to crochet when Oliver was a baby I remember coming across a pattern for an Island Play Set which I thought he would love.   I was still fairly new to crocheting and it took me quite a while to make for him but he really enjoyed playing with it.   I was certain that I could probably make it much better if I tried again but I didn’t for a while.

When Lily turned 1 last summer in decided to try again but with a woodland theme this time.    I used a similar idea crocheting in the round but used 2 strands of Wool together to create a different effect.  I also added a couple of trees and mushrooms as well as a bridge and butterflies to make it a bit more interesting for the animals to go on.   I much prefered this than the single palm tree on the island.  I added 6 animals for the woodland playmat (I prefer even numbers) some I made up as I went along, like the bunny and owl, whilst I used others patterns for the deer, hedgehog, Fox and squirrel.

For Oliver’s birthday I made another theme, underwater with a centre of coral. Again I crocheted a large circle of blue and then made up the coral parts in the middle.    I added a dolphin, turtle, clown fish, manta rayseahorse and octopus.  I added magnets to the top of the sea creatures so my son could go fishing for them with a magnetic fishing rod we already had.   He really loves this aspect!

The final playmat I have made to date was for my niece Holly’s second birthday.   She had a rectangle jungle playmat with animals from Look What I Made blog.   You can find all but the monkey in her blog, the monkey I combined a couple of the patterns to get the effect I wanted.  I really enjoyed making these animals and I learnt new techniques and stitches which I have implemented into other areas of my crochet since!  This playmat is comprised of three sections, short grass, long grass and sandy area with a winding river across the whole mat plus a few trees.   I didn’t end up making the trees as sturdy as I would have liked but I can work on that for next time!

One asepct I really liked from the original island playmat was that it folded up to allow storage for the toys although that does unfortunately leave a long cord which meant I couldn’t leave the kids alone with it.   I therefore tried to add handles and use poppers to fold it up although that wasn’t entirely successful.  The next playmat I secured it with buttons which was slightly more successful.   However, I am most pleased with using zips on the rectangle shape to make it into a bag.   They don’t come undone like the buttons and poppers and there are no longer and dangerous cords.   It was definitely more work but worth it!

Most of these playmats I made up as I went along, but I have tried to work out what I have done for each playmat and written out the instructions as best I can.  They can be found by clicking on their names here; jungle playmat, woodland playmat and coral playmat.

Top: Jungle Playmat
Middle: Woodland playmat, Ocean playmat, Island playmat
Bottom: folded playmat

 

I hope you have enjoyed this week about playmats.  I would love to see any that you make!

Vicky x

Toy Hammocks

I remember when I was around 8 or so going to a friends house and seeing all her stuffed animals in a toy hammock.   I remember thinking how cool that was and I wished I had one.    Mine instead lived on the end of my bed.   Time passed and I didn’t think anything more of it until now.

My children both have a growing collection of stuffed toys, some which they have inherited from their Father and I, but they take up so much room on the end of their toddler beds.    It’s a pain to have to take them all off and on when changing or making them and they can never find the ones they want!

I’d been thinking about ways to store them for a while and remembered the hammock I used to love when I was a kid.  I looked around for patterns but didn’t see anything I liked quite enough to make it – so I decided to experiment and make my own.    I have some chunky blanket wool I bought a while back when aldi had it on offer.   I had no plans for it and this seemed a good use for it.

I started to create the first hammock in pink sparkly wool for Lily since it bothers her the most having her toys on her bed and very quickly Oliver announced he wanted one too in blue.    I had some blue left from the blanket I made on the sofa but not enough for the whole toy hammock so he agreed to half of it being in silver.

They work up very quickly in a couple of hours and I am pleased by the results.  I create the whole toy hammock without any sewing (am part from the ends) which should great as I don’t enjoy sewing particularly.   The loops allow it to be hung in two ways – so Lily has hers hung with both loops on one hook and Oliver’s has it more open.   They both love them and the access to their toys they have without them being in their way.

Oliver’s Hammock
Lily’s Hammock

You can find the pattern for the toy hammock here.   I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did.   See you next week

Vicky x

Lacey Wedding Clothes

If you follow Cosy Crochet on Facebook you may have noticed the WIP I posted at the end of last week.   I was working on a silver lacey shawl.   We have a family wedding in a couple of months and I knew both Lily and I would need something in case it’s cold in the evening.   Knowing the UK weather that’s likely even in May!   I have been wanting to try to crochet some lace patterns for a whole and after a few hours searching pintrest I came across the following pattern which I loved.    I had some spare silver wool I bought a while back when aldi had one of their special weeks and it had been sitting around waiting for a project and this was it.

The project worked up quickly and although I increased the length by an additional 20 rows than the pattern initially suggests it was very quick and easy to do.   This is the first piece that I have actually gotten around to blocking and it definitely benefited from it.   To block I used my kids old foam puzzle tiles that have been in a cupboard for ages.   With a couple of towels on top to absorb the moisture from getting it wet and some seriously bent pins I was very pleased with the result.  It has definitely bought out the lacey design and I will definitely be blocking more projects in the future (as well as buying some more pins).

Top left to right: creating the shawl, the pattern after blocking. Bottom: the finished shawl

I had 2 of the silver 50g balls of Wool left and decided to make something inspired by the above shawl pattern for Lily to wear.    I decided on a half length, short sleeved jacket.  The main is HDC (half double crochet with a lacey edge at the bottom and a simplified version of the lace for the sides, neck and sleeve edges.   I finished it off with a silver rose on one side.   I was going to add a button to close at the top but I couldn’t find any in my supply I liked and I didn’t feel when I had finished that it needed one enough to go out and buy one!

I am very pleased with the result even if Lily wasn’t too thrilled with trying it on and modeling it for me – the picture below was the best I could get after giving her bribery!  Hopefully she will like it for the actual day!   If you would like to try making your own then the lacey jacket pattern is here. 

The Lacy jacket and Lily wearing it

I hope you have enjoyed the lacey wedding clothing post as much as I enjoyed making them and I will try and get some pictures uploaded after the wedding of Lily and I wearing them!

See you all next week

Vicky x

Animal Ponchos

Last year I decided to make Lily a poncho.    I was searching through various different types patterns and pictures to find something I liked the look of for her.   I eventually came across this pattern for a hooded fox poncho.    It’s a paid pattern, although I generally use the free ones I love this so much I bought it.  I could also see that the pattern could be adapted for other animals and so I decided to make Oliver one  as well as both my niece’s one each for Christmas.

I actually made one in grey with a white trim and bunny ears initially as I happened to have this wool already.   The pattern originally calls for super chunky wool, but I ended up using 3 strands of aran to give the same thickness.    My niece Holly really loves her bunny and so this one was for her.

I then went shopping for wool to make the remaining 3 ponchos and could only find chunky wool in the colours I wanted.  I had to adapt the stitch count and hook size to get the ponchos to come out in the size I wanted.   After a bit if work adapting one I just copied them for the others.    In the end I had created 4 great looking animal ponchos.   Oliver has a green dinosaur, Lily the fox, Holly the bunny and my other niece Layla has the panda.

Top left to right: Fox poncho, Dinosaur poncho, Bottom left to right: Bunny poncho, Panda Poncho

I deliberately made them a little big to give them room to grow into them so they would last longer.   As a result I think they will do better for next winter than this one so I haven’t really got photos of them all in them.   I have bribed my two kids with sweets to model them for this blog post though!  I really love how they turned out and actually wouldn’t mind an adult sized one for me!   Maybe when I have some spare time I will make one for me for next winter!

Oliver in his dinosaur poncho and Lily in her fox poncho

Hope you have enjoyed this week’s blog post.   See you again next week.

Vicky x