Presents for Baby Ellie

These were made for a friend’s second baby girl. They are a little late with delivery … but since Ellie isn’t here yet, I may be ok for the moment.

Baby Headband

Rose Headband (forgive the lighting)

This was made by using the Blooming Rose pattern and sewing the finished produce to a brown headband from Hobby Lobby.

Squirrelly Swaddling Blanket

I believe the fixation with squirrels is due the fact that my friends were members of a sorority whose mascot was a squirrel.  I’m not sure what sorority … and I was never part of a sorority so I have no clue about the reality of this belief.

One large blanket with squirrels

After my custom test swatch of fabric came in, I ordered 2 yards of this fabric and 2 yards of my custom designed fabric.  Due to the unforseen circumstances, the custom fabric will be hidden until my friend gets pregnant again.

However, I can give glowing (unsolicited and uncompensated) recommendations for Spoonflower.  Both fabrics look amazing and have bright colors.  There was some moderate fading from washing this fabric before I used it, but not enough fading to make me unhappy with the fabric. The lines were still very sharp and the colors still seemed to pop off the fabric.  I will definitely use the service again.

This is based on the Swaddling Blanket from The Purl Bee.

Acorn and Flower Pacifier Clips

Knitted Acorn Pacifier Clip

A Knitted Flower for Ellie

These are made using a few different patterns.  The green piece on both clips is made using the technique from the Ladybug Paci Clip.  I’ve tried a few other methods, but I like this one the best due to the button and attachment method.  The acorn is made based upon this acorn pattern while the flower is from Susan Anderson’s flower paci clip.

Baby Hat

Baby Hat

This hat is based on a pattern that I got off the Internet when I started knitting years ago.  I haven’t been able to find the original pattern and I have had a few people ask me how to make this.  I’m not sure who the designer was or even where I found the pattern … but this is the pattern as I have it printed.  I actually altered the pattern  for a modified beanie for babies.

Unaltered Pattern

Baby Hat Pattern (From Unknown Source)

Materials Needed:

  • An 8 ply yarn (worsted weight) yarn (original pattern used 1 25 gram ball of Cleckheaton … but I’ve never found or used this yarn)
  • Size 3 and Size 6 knitting needles (straight)
  • Optional: 16 inches of 4mm wide satin ribbon

Gauge Required: 22.5 sts to 4 inches, 30 rows to 4 inches

Pattern Instructions:

  1. Using size 3 needles, cast on 57 stitches.
  2. Row 1 and 3: K1, *P1, K1, rep from * across.
  3. Row 2 and 4: P1, *K1, P1, rep from * across
  4. Change to size 6 needles and knit across the next row, increasing 3 stitches evenly spaced for a total of 60 stitches.
  5. Purl the next row.
  6. [Optional] To make an Eyelet Row (RS): K1, *K2tog, yarn forward (under the needle).  Rep from * across, ending with a K1.
  7. Beginning with a purl row, work in st st until 3.25 inches.  Decrease 4 stitches evenly spaced across the last WS row for a total of 56 stitches.
  8. To shape the crown, follow these instructions:
    1. Row 1 (RS): *K5, K2tog. Rep from * across.
    2. Row 2 and all WS rows: Purl
    3. Row 3: *K4, K2tog.  Rep from * across
    4. Row 5: *K3, K2tog.  Rep from * across
    5. Row 7: *K2, K2tog.  Rep from * across
    6. Row 9: *K1, K2tog.  Rep from * across
    7. Row 11: K2tog across the row
    8. Row 12: Purl
  9. Cut yarn and thread through remaining stitches.  Draw the stitches securely close.  Sew back seam.  Thread ribbon through the eyelet row, tying a bow in the center front.
  10. To make for a preemie, work until the length is 1.6 inches before starting the crown shaping.

There is a mistake in the pattern somewhere in the shaping section, but it only relates to the number of stitches that are left at the end of each row.  I have omitted the stitches totals at the end of the rows due to this error. My advice is to stay as true to the shaping instructions as you can.

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Custom Fabric Testing

My friend picked maps and travel for her nursery theme.  Pair that with teal and chocolate-brown and you have a recipe for disaster.  This disaster is not caused by the theme or the colors, but by the difficulty in finding appropriate fabric for a swaddling blanket.

At least until I discovered the many possibilities of digital printing fabric.  I stumbled upon this blog post  from 2009 which compares the major digital printing fabric companies (Spoonflower, Fabric On Demand, Karma Craft & Eye Candey [which was no longer accessible]).  After reviewing the post and comparison chart, I decided to use Spoonflower for the super special secret baby blanket.  Spoonflower has been around longer than the other sites and had the best results from the blogger.  Spoonflower also is the only site with an online community which includes contests and a fabric of the week.  I liked the website interface better than the others; it was easier to use for me and seemed to encourage your creativity as opposed to simply being a service for fee.

I uploaded my image and altered the design size. I tried to make the image bigger on the fabric by increasing the number of dpi from the default of 150 to 300 (I’m not sure if this will help).  I also changed my pattern to have a half drop repeat and order a test swatch (8″ x 8″) to see if the design will be right without alterations. The price for a test swatch was $5.00 for your basic quilting cotton fabric with a $1.00 shipping/handling fee.  I should receive the test swatch in about 6 to 7 days … but in the meantime, my fingers are crossed that everything turns out perfect!

If the fabric turns out ok, I will probably end up buying this squirrel fabric for another friend’s upcoming bundle of joy, this roller derby fabric for another, and this mushroom fabric for yet another.