Saturday, October 30, 2010

His and Hers Baby Blankets

My babies and my husband are about the only things that I love more than making stuff. Above all, I like to make stuff for babies, particularly mine or other babies in the family. So I had to make something special for my new niece and nephew (TWINS!) that are due to be born sometime in the next several weeks.

For my first nephew and my daughters, I was still working full-time so I had the money to go all-out and make the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch n' Bitch in Koigu KPPPM (about $100 per blanket). With two kids of my own and being a stay-at-home mom, I knew there's no way I'd have either the money or the time to knit two Big Bad Baby Blankets. Heck, with my second daughter, that blanket was a photo-finish. I finished the last two rows and bound it off when I was about 6 hours into labor!

So I thought of the perfect solution. What's fast and easy to pick up and put down? Crochet! I had recently made my oldest daughter a granny square afghan, but I hated seaming the million 4-inch squares together. Then I happened to be reading the Purl Bee and saw this brilliant idea: a gigantic granny square! The Purl Bee's giant granny square is, once again, in the delightful, amazing Koigu KPM. I couldn't afford to do that, so I went for my go-to acrylic, Lion Brand Vanna's Choice and Vanna's Choice Baby.

I hate most acrylic yarn. I'm not a yarn snob or a fiber nazi, but I do prefer natural fibers just because I prefer the way they feel and they are what I like to knit and wear. That said, there is something about Vanna's Choice that transcends its 100% acrylic content. It's just better than any other acrylic I've found. It's soft, cushy, shiny, has an unbelievable selection of colors to choose from, it's even softer after washing, launders extremely well and can often be found on sale at Joann's or Michaels for $2.50 a ball or less. What's not to love? I made my daughter's granny square afghan using it and I also made her a sweater using it that random bypassers comment on, the Theodora Sweater. Since I already knew I loved it and could afford to make two blankets with it, Vanna's Choice was Sara's Choice for this project.

Et voila... Baby Boy Blanket

And Baby Girl Blanket

I thought others might love a sure-fire, easy, affordable baby blanket, so I wrote it up as a pattern, which is a free download from Ravelry. Since it's so simple, it's a perfect first crochet project, if you're thinking about testing the waters and giving crochet a try. I have only been crocheting for about a year and a half, but given its speed, ease and versatility, I am (har har)... hooked!

Here are the details on the pattern:

Yarn: Three balls of Vanna's Choice Baby/Vanna's Choice. I used:

Girl’s Blanket: 1 ball each of Vanna’s Choice Baby in Angel White (A) and Pink Poodle (C)
1 ball of Vanna’s Choice in Pink (B)

Boy’s Blanket: 1 ball each of Vanna’s Choice Baby in Angel White (A), Aqua (B) and Little Boy Blue (C)

Hook: J/10 – 6.00 mm

You'll also need a tapestry needle for weaving in the ends.

Gauge: Not terribly important for this project. The blanket should be about 30 x 30 inches when you're done. For me, this took 19 rounds. If your gauge is tighter and 19 rounds doesn't make the blanket big enough, just crochet a few more rounds. I only used half a ball of each color for each blanket... you could get two of these blankets out of 3 balls!

Download it free right here: download now

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