Mudpie’s Crochet Easter Basket

Mudpie's Crochet Easter Basket

While there are many beautiful Easter baskets on market these days, I knew that I wanted to crochet Mudpie’s first Easter basket for her. I loved the idea of it being her “main gift” this first Easter and something that could be used for several years as she grew. While I probably could have figured out a pattern on my own, I try to remember that it’s silly to reinvent the wheel and set out on my own Easter search. 
 
March 26, 2015 at 0125PM_picmonkeyed
 
 
 
I found this adorable pattern by Jam made that was just the style I was looking for. I decided to use the yarn I had left over from her baby blanket as the color pallet. I had bought extra of each color to have for other items for her since I think it’s fun that many of her items coordinate. 

March 26, 2015 at 0125PM (2)

 
The pattern is simple and delightful to work up. I haven’t worked with two strands of yarn at the same time before, but was surprised to find that it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Working with two strands created a nice and sturdy basket. The handles are sturdy too, although I find that when lifting it from the handle the basket bends just slightly so I’m thinking about maybe adding a cardboard base next year. For this year it’s fine though. I think the size works well – small but still large enough to fill with goodies or eggs. I even added an extra element not in the pattern that really pushed this project over the edge into “Love!” land for me. I’ll share that and what is going to be in Mudpie’s basket this year a little later in the week, so stay tuned! 

Little One’s Blanket

Little One's Blanket
When I got to the stage that my friend circle began having babies, I decided I really wanted to have a standing gift that I could give to welcome all the kiddos into the world. It needed to be useful and able to be personalized for each family. And simple because, let’s face it, I don’t do well with complicated projects on a deadline and I’d prefer to give them to the mommas before the baby is born, not on their first birthday!

 

I decided on crocheting a small baby blanket that could be customized with the baby’s room colors. I make them in cotton or acrylic so that it can be used and washed. Typically I make them from the Tiramisu Baby Blanket pattern, which is a really beautiful pattern, but I have ventured into some different designs as well. I love that I can make the blanket special for each family and pray over that child while I’m crocheting. It makes it feel like I can stitch a little extra love for them.

 

When I found out I was expecting Little One, I knew she needed to have her own special blanket made by Mommy. I knew she would be getting several baby blankets (and she did get some beautiful ones from people who love her already) so I decided to make her a blanket that will fit her bed when she’s a toddler and will be big enough to wrap around her when she can toddle in to watch tv with Mommy and Daddy on the couch.

 

I decided on the Granny Stripe Blanket pattern, since it was a pattern that I’ve been eying for awhile. It was really a wonderful pattern and a joy to make, even at a larger size. I usually get downtrodden about halfway through big projects like blankets, but did not with this pattern. Surprisingly enough, I was even able to get this done before her baby shower!
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I also took my time picking the colors. This was the first time I’ve really used Pinterest to pin color pallets and narrowing down what I wanted the feel of her room to be like. When I got word that Little One was a she, I finalized my plans and picked out the yarn at Hobby Lobby. They have beautiful colors in “I Love This Yarn” that are reasonably priced and feel nice and soft.
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Overall I’m very happy with how it turned out. I’d like the edging to look a little smoother, but I can deal with that. I love the reverse crab stitch that I used on the outermost edging. The colors are bright and remind me of a fun woodland scene, which is what I was going for. Hopefully Little One will like it just as much!
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A Simplifed Wardrobe While Pregnant

In November of last year I documented what I wore for the entire month (you can see my outfits here). I had cut back on my wardrobe just a bit and I really enjoyed the process of actually seeing what I was wearing each day. Surprisingly, the outfits seemed to look better on me in the photos than I felt that they did when looking in the mirror (good angles maybe? I’m going to go with I probably look better than I think I do most days). I liked making combinations from fewer clothes. I had mentioned to some friends that I was considering trying Project 333 for the Spring or Summer.

And then I got pregnant.

 2014-03-15 13.26.01No one but us knew we were expecting when this photo was taken, but I was already in need of new clothes to fit my changing body!

Since I was already close to not fitting in my clothes, I immediately had to go out and buy a few stretchy items to get me through until we started telling people and I could request my thrifty momma watch out for deals at the clearance racks, thrift stores and yard sales (she’s since provided me with at least 75% of my pregnancy clothing from there!). I felt frustrated at the thought of trying to figure out how to thriftly clothe my changing body over the next year (let’s face it, things are still going to be a little complicated clothing-wise when the little one comes).

2014-05-18 13.14.01 My mom found me this great skirt on clearance. 

But the process has been more smooth than I expected and I’ve learned a lot about dressing simply and with less through the experience. Here are some tips that have worked well for me while trying to clothe my ever-changing baby-growing body.

1. Visit your thrift shop down the road…

I haven’t bought much new since becoming pregnant. A few pieces that I have gotten a lot of use out of, but for the most part maternity clothes (like everything “special occassion”) seem to be overpriced. Plus, I feel like I don’t know what my body is going to be like in a few months and I don’t feel like paying $20 for a t-shirt that may or may not fit. My aforementioned momma has been great at helping me find clearance, thrifted, and yard-saled items at great prices.  Most are in great shape and, if they don’t fit very well, I don’t feel guilty putting them away for after the baby arrives or passing them on.   2014-07-26 16.03.29

My Sister-in-Law helped me find a great on some maternity tops (including this one) on a Facebook yard sale group she is in.

2. Re-organize and store your “old” clothes.

While you can probably still use many items for long into your pregnancy (I’m currently wearing two pre-pregnancy shirts right now), you won’t be able to comfortably fit into everything. Don’t let those pieces clutter your closet and choices. Get a nice plastic bin and pack those away for the time being. Once I got those clothes out of the way, I found it a lot easier to re-organize how I stored my clothes. I’ve loved this since it makes finding clothes to wear easier than before!

3. Keep it clean.

I’ve recently began the habit of doing a load of laundry each day (or so). This keeps my favorite pieces always fresh and clean and ready to be worn. While I’m not against getting a few wears out of clothing, the summer and being pregnant means that isn’t happening right now. Staying on top of the laundry means I can wear my super comfy maxi skirt to work each week if that’s what I want.

4. Don’t be afraid to invest in great pieces.

I’m certainly not for breaking the bank, especially when your body is changing all the time, but if you see a good investment piece don’t pass it up. The skirt pictured below was purchased at full price, but I’ve worn it at least once a week during my pregnancy so I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth out of it. I’m expecting to be able to use it for at least a little bit after the Little One comes as well.

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I love maxi skirts now that I’m pregnant. I may never go back!

While I’m not officially doing Project 333 since being pregnant, I am dressing with less for sure. The whole process has surprisingly made me feel even better about trying Project 333 when my body finds its way back to normal. Courtney also offers a micro-course about dressing with less that I may try to kick off my new wardrobe when that time comes!

(This post does contain an affiliate link, meaning I’ll benefit if you purchase from this link, but there is no added cost to you. The thoughts and opinions shared on this post are completely my own!)

Ravellenic Games 2014 – Owl Scrubbie

One of the best things about participating in the Ravellenic Games is I’ve been encouraged to go ahead and try several small projects that I’ve come across. I love smaller projects because, while I do enjoy other parts of the process, having a completed project is my favorite part of crafting.

There are so many cute owl projects out there these days, thanks to their popularity. I have several in my favorites list that I hope to get to one day, but I thought a variation on this pattern might be a great one to whip up for the games.

I love the ideas behind the original pattern, but I made some adjustments to make it work for the supplies I had on had. I don’t currently own any nylon that I can use, so instead I made a one layer small owl scrubbie. I love little cotton scrubbies this size for getting down in cups and pots and bowls and really being able to get some power in your scrub.

I’m happy with how this little guy turned out and picture many more cute owl scrubbies in my future. It’s a great stash buster. Recognize that cream yarn from my frogged babydoll dress?

Ravellenic Games 2014 – Aerial Unwind

I love Ravelry, the wonderful site for knitters and crocheters. They do a wonderful set of games that coincide with the Olympics. I’ve never participated before, but was invited to join a team this year and I’m so glad I was! I’ve had a great time participating in the games and it’s given me a shove to get back into crocheting/knitting and complete some projects I’ve had on the list for awhile. It’s been a lot of fun!

My first event that I decided to take on was the Aerial Unwind, which was to find a project and frog (unwind) it. I’ve had this uncompleted Babydoll Dress in my bag for years (originally started in 2008) and I didn’t see myself ever finishing it and, even if I did, I honestly don’t know if I would wear it at this point in my life. I decided that it was time to let this project go and would be the perfect entry for the Aerial Unwind.

Look at all of the yarn I got out of this project! I’ve already made a small project from some of this yarn and still have a lot to go!

Before

After

My Fat Hat

I had made a hat from the Fat Hat pattern last summer for my mom and really liked the way it turned out. Not only did it fit great, it was also very comfortable. After several weeks of ice and snow, I decided that it was time for me to pull up the pattern once again and make one for myself to help warm my noggin through the winter. This pattern is wonderfully simple and easy to fit to your own head, which is a great thing for people like me with large noggins. I love it!