The first three months of 2023 have found me engaged in baby layettes, and the baby blankets have been the stars. With a new generation of parents, I have had the opportunity to learn new stitches and to pull out old favorites for the other pieces. My first set featured a V-Stitch striped blanket in white with stripes of varying thickness of lavender, darker purple, yellow, and sage green. The second blanket showcased the Modern Granny Blanket from Daisy Farm Crafts in white sky blue and green. With my third layette, I was ready to take on a more challenging piece. This time I used Joanne's house yarn Big Twist with sky blue as the main color and navy, white, and khaki as the contrasting stripes. Again, I have to thank Daisy Farm Crafts for their pattern, the Block Stitch Blanket.
For the third blanket, I crocheted with an H hook (5.0mm) with an initial chain of 113 stitches for a multiple of 5+ 3. Then I crocheted in single crochet to provide a base for the blanket stitches. The directions showed that a chain of 103 stitches plus a border would yield a blanket 36" x 45". . Even though I added 10 more stitches in the initial chain, my finished blanket with a 2 inch border on each side only measured 28 inches. I like this pattern and want to repeat it. However, I would add at least 10 more stitches in the initial chain for a base of 123. I really don't understand the problem as the Big Twist Yarn is an even heavier #4 weight than the Caron Simply soft suggested in the directions. Another solution might be to move up to an I hook (5.5mm)
After the initial set up, there is a 2 step repeat to form the blocks. The first row begins with 2 single crochet stitches. Then chain 3 and skip 3 stitches. Repeat across the row to end with 2 single crochet stitches. In the second row, the crocheter makes 5 double crochet stitches in each 3 chain space. More specific directions are provided in a relatively easy pattern from Daisy Farm Crafts.
After the final row of single crochet, I made a border of alternating Front and Back Post Double Crochet (FPDC and BPDC) on the top and bottom of the blanket. Then I picked up stitches along the sides to complete the two inch border.
My cardigan in sky blue and white comes from the Leisure Arts Book, Crochet in a Day for a Baby by Candi Jensen. The 6 month size sweater was crocheted in a Griddle Stitch aternating white and blue stripes. To make the Griddle Stitch, alternate Single Crochet and Double Crochet Stitches. In the following row, Single Crochet in the Double Crochet Stitch, and Double Crochet in the Single Crochet Stitch. The cardigan is crocheted from the bottom up in one piece for the body. Then divisions are made for the right front, armhole, back, armhole, and left front. A diagram is included to show how the one piece will look. There is little seaming. Sleeves are crocheted separately and sewed or crocheted together to form the sleeve tube. Sew or crochet the shoulders together. Then fit the sleeves into the armhole and sew t complete that part of the sweater.
For a border, I started to single crochet up the right front to stitch up the sweater and continued around to neck and down the left side.I chained 1 and reversed for row two. After finishing row two, I placed pins along the left side to mark the 4 buttonholes. If I made the sweater for a girl, I would place the pins along the right side. In row three, I made the button holes on the bands opposite to the markers. To make the buttonholes, I began with two single crochet stitches. Then chained 2 stitches and skipped two stitches. Next I single crocheted to one stitch before the next marker.and continued to make button holes. In the fourth row, I chained 1 and single crocheted down the band. I made 2 sc in each chain 2 space. At last, I completed the band with a fifth row of chain 1 and single crochet for the complete length of the band.
To complement the cardigan, I made 2 hats and a pair of mitts. the first started with 8 Half Double Crochet stitches in a magic circle. I added stitches to the crown until there wee 56 stitches. Then I stitched the sides by stitching around in a griddle stitch until the hat was 5.5 inches from the top of the hat. The second hat was based on the adult version of Lakeshore Beanie. However, I stopped at 50 stitches before beginning the sides in alternating Back and Front Post Double Crochet. Stripes were done in white, blue, and khaki. For the mitts, I used the Green and White Mitts pattern in single crochet to make the white mitts with blue tips for size 3-6 months.
The final piece was the Amigurumi Little Boys-Free Pattern so that the child would have a 9 inch baby that was the just the right size for him hold.I crocheted with the same Big Twist yarn bib blue for the clothes and khaki for the face. A multicolored scarf accented the piece. I used a G (4,0mm hook) in single crochet for relatively tight stitching.
I am pleased to lhave finished the baby layette with a variety of pieces. The baby will be born in June, and so the 2 hats, sweater and mitts will be just right for the Falkland winter months. The couple is special to us as we haveknownthe father ands parents for decades. Besides the baby's father used to ride his bike over to our house when he was in high school to work on his papers with our computer. We wee delighted to attend the wedding last June, and were thrilled to hear about their baby to be.
As always, I appreciate your feedback and reflections. Please join me on my stitching journey.