Monday, March 25, 2013

Naptime: Day 6 - Sarah's Having a Girl + Free Crochet Baby Lovey General Pattern

(Scroll down for the lovey pattern)

My best friend just found this past weekend that she's having a girl! It's her first baby, and I'm so excited for her. I sent her one of my "It's a Girl!" Packages, one of my absolute favorite gifts to give! Right after we found out that Elijah was a boy, one of our family friends gave us a gift. I loved the idea of giving a gender specific gift as soon as someone found out whether the baby was a boy or girl, and I have continued this ever since!

This gift always includes a fleece blanket with crocheted edge, a matching crocheted hat, and a crochet lovey. Sometimes, I add in burp clothes or an outfit, but that all depends on the recipient.

For Sarah and her baby girl, Elladie, I decided on a purple/orange/teal/green color theme. I know Sarah is planning on doing a peacock theme for the nursery, so I used similar colors, with purple thrown in to make it a little more girly.

I found this fleece blanket for a few dollars and added a crochet edge to it, using the blanket stitch that was already there. I also added a flower that I designed especially for Elladie. She is due in August, so her birth flower will most likely be a poppy. I found this picture of an oriental poppy and used that to help guide my design. I added a pin back to the poppy, so Sarah can add it to the hat or a headband or something else that needs a little decoration. Of course, if Elladie comes early, Sarah can expect to get a crocheted larkspur(ish) pin in the mail :)


I also made this hat to match the blanket. It has a long brim so that it will fit for a longer period of time. When the baby is little, the brim can just be folded up.


I also included an outfit and 2 burp clothes. She's my best friend...she gets the whole shebang!


But here's what you came here to see: the lovey! I originally made this for my son when he started going to daycare. He was five months old, and they don't swaddle at his daycare. I was afraid he would have a hard time sleeping, and he was too little to just be given his own blanket. I decided to make him a little crochet square with lots of holes to make it safe if it somehow ended up over his face. He LOVED it...and still does. We have 2 or 3 of them hiding around in his bed. They are so much easier to carry around than a large blanket, and when he has his "blankie," he knows it's time for bed. I have made one (and sometimes more) for all of my friends who have had babies since. They are a huge hit! I should warn you though, they're not really a huge hit until the baby is 3 or 4 months, so don't be surprised if you don't get much of a response before then.

Elijah's first lovey was a simple mesh stitch square. I got a little more creative with the second - working his first initial into the square (so it wouldn't get lost at daycare...of course, none of the other kids have one anyways...but whatever). Since then I have worked in trains, airplanes, hearts, flowers, and most recently, a peacock feather. This is also a great way to try new stitches, and actually have something useful when you're done.

Crochet Baby Lovey General Pattern
Create a design on graph paper (or in Excel) of the initial or picture you would like to have (you can also research filet crochet patterns or cross stitch/embroidery patterns and use those as well). I plan on each square of the design being 4 stitches in length, and two stitches in height. I try to keep my designs to 15 columns and 13 rows (26 rows of crochet). This equals about a 13.5" square (give or take).

To crochet your design, count the number of columns you have, multiply by 3 and add 3. This is the number you will need for your starting chain. So, if your design has 10 columns, your beginning chain will be 10x3=30+3=33. You will make your first dc into the 4th chain from the hook. Always count your turning chains as a dc. Then just follow your design, working two rows of crochet for each row in your design. An open square will be dc, ch 2, skip 2 stitches, dc, and a filled-in square will be 4dc (with the middle 2 dc worked in the ch 2 space of the previous row). I like to finish my loveys with a sc border in a contrasting color - be sure to work 5sc in to each corner to prevent the lovey from curling.

I generally use a worsted weight acrylic yarn and an "I" hook, but use what you have. I do suggest you use a machine washable yarn though. This is for a baby after all - it WILL get dirty! And what new mom wants to hand wash anything?

Here is a picture of the design I used to make Elladie's lovey with the finished product below it:

This is  a quick and easy, but very thoughtful gift to give to an expecting mama...or a new baby! It's also nice to include more than one in the gift, so when one is in the wash (or lost), baby can still have their favorite comfort item. In fact, I'm off to make a second one for Elladie right now! I'm thinking orange with a teal border and a lowercase "e"...Happy crocheting!

This item is also available for purchase in my etsy shop. Check out TheSequinTurtle to purchase your very own personalized  baby lovey.

Here's the whole gift
 
Packaged up and ready to go!


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