Cheery Trees

Evening all. I am amazed that I am sat down with my laptop open! TTB has a cold and his back teeth are hurting … it sounds very mild to write it so simply like that when I can see how much pain and discomfort he is in. This does mean that when he goes to bed he wakes up every 20 minutes or so until I go and stay in there all night with him. I know that he needs me to make him feel better but being needed so much day and night is a bit draining. I feel mean feeling frustrated about him being poorly and I’m trying not to dwell on it. It won’t be forever and the best thing I can do is just cuddle him (upright) and chuck all manner of vapoury mentholy calpoly things his way until he’s better.

Until then, I am going to cheer myself up with these trees. When we stayed with my mum a couple of weeks ago we went for a rather glorious Autumnal walk in the woods. It was perfect really, bright blue sky, sunshine, a bit chilly and lots of Autumn things like leaves and mushrooms and sweet chestnuts. The later were rather shrivelled and no good but TTB thought the spiky cases were most excellent and collected loads of them for my poor mum. He didn’t seem to notice the spikes on them at all but did push them quite hard onto her hands and she definitely felt the spikes!

How many times have you seen a photo of feet in leaves this Autumn? I bet its a lot. I know I do it every time I am walking in leaves in my boots!

Well, I’ve been up to TTB 6 times in an hour and a half so I’ve given up and now he’s on my lap “helping” me write this. I can’t reach the keyboard to type much so I’ll just say: I love trees, pretty light, lots of leaves, TTB loved the woods. There! Now, I guess I’m going to have to go to bed so I can hold him upright again!


Seaside Blanket

Typically, just after I posted about the light being dreadful it started to beam in through TTB’s bedroom window and made it all glowy and lovely. I grabbed my camera and the little blanket that I needed to photograph and took a handful of hasty snaps – I’m glad I did, the weather has been miserable since. Let’s have a bit of a “ta-daah” moment today shall we?

This blanket won’t come as a huge surprise to any of you as I did post almost-complete photos of it a few weeks ago. Of course, it then sat around for ages waiting for me to sew the ends in. The time it takes for me to get round to doing that last bit is usually longer than making the actual blanket but hey ho, that’s just me.

I used Rico Baby Classic dk in Vanilla, Blue, and Ice Blue, and a 3.5mm hook. (You can buy the yarn here.) I am pretty sure that I only used two balls of each – there you go, I actually made a note for you for a change!

This is the first time I have attempted to make the ripple straight at the beginning rather than straightening it afterwards and I’m really pleased with the effect. I don’t have any plans to write a tutorial for doing this but if you want to try it, here’s a photo of my workings out. It’s not TOO hard to do, but I want to stress how important it is to do a few practice pieces and get the hang of it first, and then when you come to do it on your actual blanket you should make sure you have some quiet time to concentrate.

I made the foundation chain like usual, and then I worked 1TR stitch (as usual that’s English terms, it’s DC or double crochet in US terms) into each chain, but only out of one loop, not two.

For the next row I worked the different height stitches: triple crochet, TR, TR, HTR, HTR, DC, DC, DC, DC etc all the way along and then on the next row started the Neat Ripple pattern. I’m sorry if that sounds confusing, if you’re familiar with ripples just give it a try and see what you think.

The top edge is always easier to straighen. I did write some basic instructions on how to do this, I think it was when TTB was a newborn which was fairly impressive now I think about it. Lucy also has a very thorough ripple how-to on her blog which you may prefer to follow as her’s wasn’t written in a baby fog!

As usual, for the border I put two TR stitches into the end of each row, I just love that effect and I’ve done it on all my ripples. It works for me, tension wise, and doesn’t make the edge of the blanket too bulgey. Then the next round of the border is simply TR into each stitch, and finally to finish it off I slip stitched VERY loosely (you must do this so loosely, like you are only laying the stitches on top, otherwise it will pucker horribly and be very tight and pulled out of shape.) in another colour to make it look finished.

There we go – finished! Perfect for a crib or a carseat. I meant to say as well, about the colour order. I did Blue for every 4th row and then alternated the other colours: ice blue/vanilla/ice blue and then Blue, and then vanilla/ice blue/vanilla. You see what I mean.

I haven’t measured it but I think the starting chain was 126. It’s slightly smaller than how a Stylecraft ripple would turn out as the Rico yarn is quite a light dk.

And I just wanted to show you this! TTB got a proper single sized bed a couple of weeks ago (he is SO pleased and proud) and the Big Elmer looks so good on it. He had it on the cotbed sized mattress before and it covered the whole thing and I was a bit sad that it wouldn’t cover this one but actually it works really well as his legs barely reach down to where the blanket is! It just makes me smile every time I see it, and it’s just really satisfying to be able to use it every day. I have made lots of blankets that we don’t really use! I sent my mum home with two last time she visited. I really love this blanket.

ETA: The seaside blanket is for my cousin and his wife who are expecting their first baby in March. I know some of you thought that this one was for me … well, it’s not, but she is due the week before me so I did have a bit of a chuckle to myself when I posted about it before. I couldn’t believe the timing when they announced their pregnancy!