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baby washcloths

  • One-Skein Baby Projects

    Please welcome our Guest Blogger, Sharon Silverman.  Sharon is the author of Crochet Refresher, Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets, Tunisian Shawls, and most recently One-Skein Baby Projects.  Her very popular Heirloom Frame Crochet Blanket ePattern gets rave reviews on LeisureArts.com.  She has two brand new ePatterns that you can be among the first to download.  They are a Mosaic Blanket ePattern and a Lacy Crescent Shawl.  Sharon is here today to tell us about her latest Leisure Arts Book: One-Skein Baby Projects.  

    “Good things come in small packages,” the saying goes, and that’s certainly true for babies and for crochet projects.  My goal for One-Skein Baby Projects was to create adorable designs that crocheters could whip up for a special little baby without a large investment of time or money. I’m delighted that Leisure Arts was on board with the concept and gave me the go-ahead.

    Photo 1, book cover One-Skein Baby Projects book cover.

    The first part of my design process was to decide what items to focus on, and to select yarn for each project. I was inspired by Bonbons and Vanna’s Palettes. Both are mini-skein sets from Lion Brand. So cute to have all of those colors in one package! Those seemed ideal for toys.

    Photo 2, Pretzel Rattle Pretzel Rattle

    I used Vanna’s Palettes for the Pretzel Rattle. Why a pretzel? I should probably confess that pretzels have fascinated me ever since I wrote a travel guidebook about my home state, Pennsylvania Snacks: Your Guide to Food Factory Tours. I learned that Lititz, Lancaster County is home to the first commercial pretzel bakery in America, and that the history of the pretzel extends as far back as 610 A.D. That’s the first documented instance of European monks rewarding children who had memorized their Bible verses and prayers with a pretiola, Latin for “little reward.”

    A pretzel-shaped rattle has other advantages, too: lots of places for baby to hold on, and holes that are perfect for peek-a-boo.

    Safety is always my top priority when designing baby items. For the rattle, I used an unopened tube of beads completely encased in clear, waterproof packing tape. It’s positioned in the middle of fiberfill stuffing so it’s completely hidden from view, from feel—and from little teeth. Unless an elephant steps on the rattle and then a tiger rips the packing tape and the bead tube to shreds, the beads pose no danger.  (If you are in regular contact with an elephant and a tiger, omit the bead rattle—although a choking hazard may be the least of your worries.)  

    Bouncy Block uses Lion Brand Bonbons for a bright-colored, highly textured cube that’s fun for little hands.

    Photo 3, Bouncy Block Bouncy Block

    I think crocheters will enjoy making this because each side is different. Instead of fiberfill stuffing, I used washable cotton batting because it is denser and keeps the block nice and plump while retaining its shape.

    Every baby needs a “lovey” to cuddle and snuggle with. The Snow Bear Lovey (Bernat Baby Sport and Patons Astra) is a sweet bear-and-blanket combination. I chose a textured stitch pattern on the blanket to keep it interesting for crocheters and for babies. The head, muzzle, nose, ears, and arms are made separately, then assembled and attached to the center of the blanket. The ears are definitely my favorite part of the Snow Bear’s head. Something about them makes me go, “Awww…”

    Photo 4, Snow Bear Lovey

    Once the toys were finished, I worked on baby garments from head to toe—literally!—the Bubble Hat (Red Heart Anne Geddes Baby), Ribbed Vest (Caron Simply Soft), and Booties for Cuties (Red Heart Baby TLC).

    My own children are in their twenties now and hence no longer suitable models for baby gear, so it was thrilling to see the smiling little boy wearing the Bubble Hat and the Ribbed Vest in Leisure Arts’ photos. Way to make my work look good, buddy!

    The hat is sized for 0-3 months, 6 months, and 12 months; the vest is sized for 0-3 months and 3-6 months.

    Baby Bubble Hat Bubble Hat
    Baby Ribbed Vest Ribbed Vest

    Booties for Cuties are designed to keep little tootsies warm. High cuffs cover the ankle and keep the footwear right where it belongs. This project is sized for 3-6 months and 6-9 months.

    Baby Crochet Booties for Cuties Pink Booties for Cuties - Pink
    Crochet Baby Booties for Cuties Blue Booties for Cuties - Blue

    One other garment, the Hibiscus Top in Lion Brand LB Cotton Bamboo, has very recently been published as a stand-alone ePattern by Leisure Arts on its website.

    Crochet Hibiscus Top Hibiscus Top

    Every parent will tell you that you can never have too many bibs or washcloths. The final three projects in the leaflet are two bibs and a set of washcloths.

    The Bright & Easy Bib (Patons Grace) is worked in single crochet so it’s nice and dense. The ties are worked as part of the neckline so there’s no chance they can come loose.

    Crochet Bright & Easy Bib for Baby Bright & Easy Bib

    The Pullover Bib (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton) has a stretchy neckline that makes it easy to get on and off. A variation on single crochet produces a tight weave to keep messes from getting through. This bib is sized for head circumference 14” and for 16”.

    Baby Pullover Bib to Crochet Pullover Bib

    Sunshine Washcloths (Lily Sugar ’n Cream) brighten up baby’s nursery or bath. Thick and thirsty cluster stitches make these quick cloths pretty and practical. Make a few, roll up and tie with ribbon, and pop them in a basket with baby toiletries for a charming shower gift.

    Baby Crochet Sunshine Washcloth Sunshine Washcloth

    It was a pleasure working with Leisure Arts on One-Skein Baby Projects. Along with doing the editing and photography, they added helpful video links to the patterns. What a great way for crocheters to learn something new or to get reacquainted with a technique they haven’t used in a while. In the past I’ve written Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets, Tunisian Shawls, and Crochet Refresher for Leisure Arts; another leaflet, Easy Afghans, will be published this spring. They also offer some standalone ePatterns of my work on their site.

    My hope for One-Skein Baby Projects is that relatively new crocheters will find easy items to suit their skill level, experienced crocheters will enjoy exciting stitch patterns and techniques to hold their interest, and that the finished projects will put a smile on the faces of babies and their parents.

    One-Skein Baby Projects Table of Contents Table of Contents

    To tell you a little bit about me, I’m a lifelong crafter who switched gears from travel writing to crochet design after I rediscovered my love of crochet about ten years ago. I’m a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America and a design member of The National NeedleArts Association. I was a featured guest on HGTV’s fiber arts program, “Uncommon Threads,” and have been interviewed on numerous radio podcasts. Recently I expanded my crochet work to include large-scale museum installations, indoors and out. I love to travel and explore the outdoors, especially with my husband, Alan, and our two grown sons. So far I have visited 48 states, 5 Canadian provinces, and 9 European countries. You can find me on Facebook and Pinterest at Sharon Silverman Crochet; on Ravelry at CrochetSharon; and on my website, www.SharonSilverman.com. I would love to hear from you!

    Happy crocheting!

    Photo 14, Sharon Silverman Sharon Silverman
  • Baby Washcloths Part Two

    Baby Washcloths to Knit

    Alright the knitting part of my baby washcloths is done. What am I going to do with all 9 of them? I am going to crochet them together and make a baby blanket. I got the pattern for the washcloths out of the book from Leisure Arts called Baby Washcloths to Knit by Melissa Bergland Burnham. It took me a few tries to get it all worked out and it to look how I wanted it to look. It only a couple hours to finish it once I sat still long enough. A lot of procrastination went into this project. I started this project back in May. Then my ADHD kicked in. I think that I was worried how it would turn out. I get ideas for projects some work out some do not. I am so happy that this one turned out so well.

    Crochet HookIMG_7889

    After I tucked in all my ends on the washcloths, I placed all 9 washcloths out and into 3 rows. Again I used white Egyptian cotton for this project. Then I began crocheting the sides of the washcloths together with a single crochet until I had 3 panels. I then crocheted again using a single crochet a panel on the top and the bottom through the cast on row and cast/bind off row. Make sure before you crochet together that once not upside down or wrong sided. When all this was done I then used a yellow Egyptian cotton to do a simple border. I did a single crochet around the blanket and 3 single crochets on the corner turn and 3 single crochets into the first stitch. This gives it a nice rounded edge. This is for a boy so I didn’t want to do anything frilly.

    FullSizeRender (28) Front
    Back Back

    There is another washcloth book that I want to make a blanket out of and that is Dishcloths for Special Days by Julie A. Ray. I thought how cool it would be to make a baby’s first blanket. Do it in all different colors like a patchwork quilt. The important thing to remember is to make sure that you buy and use the same type of yarn but in different colors. Why? It is important because all your pieces will be the same size and easy to piece together.

    FullSizeRender (31)FullSizeRender (30)

  • Baby Washcloths Part One

    When I found this book by Leisure Arts called Baby Washcloths to Knit by Melissa Bergland Burnham I wanted to knit them all for my new baby cousin. So I set to work with knitting all 9 washcloths it take me about 6-8 hours to knit a washcloth but doing all 9 took more time because I get bored, busy with everyday tasks, and/or I work on other projects. But the one thing that I like about knitting washcloths they are small projects and you can take them everywhere.

    IMG_7863

    When I started I used 3 stitch markers or place markers and placed them after the first 5 stitches on the start of the wrong side, purl until you get to the last 5 and place the second marker. The third I used to mark the right side that is the side that is your pattern side. I like using these because sometimes I get so busy knitting away that I will knit straight across or purl, when I am supposed to be doing the opposite, and then I have to back out and try again. My favorite out of all 9 is the Sailboat and the Butterfly. I used Egyptian cotton on all 9 washcloths. Stay tune for tomorrows post to see what I plan on doing with all of these washcloths. I am super excited. I thought about doing this the moment that I saw this book.

    FullSizeRender (27) All 9 Baby Washcloths

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