Friday, March 29, 2013

Naptime: Day 10 - Free Crochet Baby Aviator Hat Pattern

Two of my best friends, both named Sarah, are due to have babies within two days of each other. The first Sarah found out she was having a girl. See her gift here. The second Sarah, who is having her second child, found out she is having her second boy. This is her "It's a Boy!" package. I went with an airplane/transportation theme for this one.

A fleece blanket with crochet edging.

An airplane crochet baby lovey (with a chart for those who want to make one).

A little outfit. I love the helicopter embroidered on the bum.

And a crochet aviator hat.

Cute, huh? Want to make your own? Here's how...

1 skein worsted weight yarn (I used Bernat Waverly in Turtle Green)
Small amount super fuzzy white yarn (This was in my stash, but I think it's Red Heart Baby Clouds)
"I" hook
Two buttons

The hat is worked in joined rounds, and the ear flaps and front flap are worked in rows. This pattern is for a 0-6 month old, or for a 16 to 18 inch head - add or subtract stitches in the first row, and increase or decrease rows for different sizes. Like the hat but don't know how to crochet? No problem! You can buy one at my Etsy shop, The Sequin Turtle. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Here are six patterns to help you resize this hat if you need to.

Round 1: In magic circle, 11dc, join to first dc
Round 2: ch 2 (counts as stitch throughout), dc in same stitch, 2dc in every stitch (22 stitches), join to beginning ch

Round 3: ch 2, dc in same stitch, *dc in next stitch, 2dc in following stitch, repeat from * (33 stitches), join

Round 4: ch 2, dc in same stitch, *dc in next 2 stitches, 2dc in following stitch, repeat from * (44 stitches), join (measures about 4.5" in diameter)

Round 5- 12: ch 2, dc in each stitch (44 stitches), join (measures about 6" in length)

Making First Ear Flap:
Row 13: ch 2, dc in next 7 stiches, turn (8 stitches)

Row 14: ch 2, dc2tog, dc in next 4 stiches, dc2tog (this will include the beginning chain), turn (6 stitches)

Row 15: ch 2, dc2tog, dc in next 2 stitches, dc2tog (this will include the beginning chain), turn (4 stitches)

Row 16: ch 2, dc2tog, dc2tog (this will include the beginning chain) (2 stitches)
Fasten off

Making Second Ear Flap:
With right side facing, count 18 stitches from the edge of the first ear flap. Join yarn and repeat directions for First Ear Flap.

Continue Hat:
With Fluffy White Yarn
Round 17: With wrong side facing, join yarn to the front of the hat, just in front of the left earflap and sc around the entire hat, working approximately 8 stitches into the sides of the ear flaps and 2sc into each of the two dc at the bottom of the ear flap (otherwise the ear flap will curl in too much), join with a sl st to the first sc.

Round 18: Ch 2, dc in each stitch until the right ear flap (18 stitches), turn.
Round 19-21: Ch 2, dc in each stitch. Fasten off and weave in ends. Note - with this super fuzzy yarn, it can be hard to see your previous stitches. Don't worry, just keep track of the number of stiches per row, and always try to get your last stitch at the end of the previous row - anyways, plus or minus a couple of stitches won't be noticeable. Two of my rows had only 16 stitches instead of 18 - oh well! (Flap measures about 3")

Sew the front flap onto the hat, and sew on the two buttons. Safety pins help keep things in place.

Congratulations! You've just finished your own baby aviator hat! If you use this pattern, I would love to see a picture!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Naptime: Day 9 - New Projects!

Today, my mom came over again, so I had a bit of time to run some errands. I had a couple of ideas for new things to make last night, so I had to run to the mall and to JoAnn's and pick up some supplies.

Here's what I bought:
  • a pair of cheap red flats
  • 1/2 yard of brown leather-looking vinyl
  • 1 small doily
  • silver and black rhinestones
Any guesses as to my projects? Here's a hint - there's two of them, and I already had some of the supplies for one of the projects at home...

The only thing I've done so far for either of these projects, is to soak the doily in a 1:1 mixture of glue and water, and pin to a cardboard box covered with freezer paper to dry...

Stay tuned to see what I'm up to!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Naptime: Day 8 - Finishing Up

Today I spent some time finishing up stuff...

Finishing up a book I started last night.

Finishing up a larger version of my crochet baby lovey with a train for Elijah.

Finishing up my crochet flower scarves.

Finishing up the woven paper journal covers I started earlier.

Just finishing up. It feels nice to finish things.

What 75 Crocheted Flowers Look Like

Here are the three flowered scarves I just finished for my friend, Cassandra. Whew! That's a lot of flowers!

Like the scarves? Want to buy one? Head over to my etsy shop, TheSequinTurtle, and order one. It comes in both an adult and a kid's version.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Naptime: Day 7 - Fabric Covered Button Bracelet Tutorial

So, I've seen these kinds of bracelets on etsy and pinterest, and I thought I'd give it a try. Super easy and super fast!

small amount of fabric (this is a great way to use up scraps)
cover button kits - I used 3/4" and 5/8" (second one isn't pictured because I realized I needed smaller buttons halfway into the project)
E-6000 or similar adhesive
bracelet blank

Step 1: Cut out the pattern from the back of the button kit

Step 2: Cut out your fabric.

Step 3: Flatten the metal piece used to sew the button on to things (I tried to use the pliers to remove it, but that proved to I just flattened them instead - worked fine) Note: If you're using the pliers from your husband's toolbox in the garage, wash them first. Notice in the materials picture how the handles look black? I used them, took one look at my grime covered hand and washed them. Surprise, the handles are blue!

Step 4: Put the fabric wrong side up on the mold.

Step 5: Push the button shell into the mold (I used one handle on the pliers)

Step 6: Push the fabric into the button shell and lay the button back down on top.

Step 7: Use the pusher to push the button back into the button shell.

Step 8: Pop the button out, and admire it! They are super cute!

Step 9: Use your adhesive to glue the buttons onto the bracelet blank. I did this in two steps (mostly because I realized that I had to go buy the smaller button cover kit). Do this in a ventilated area as the glue is rather potent. I found it easier to place the buttons upside down on a paper plate and glue them. That way the once I had already glued down didn't move as much when I glued the other ones on. And when I needed to move the bracelet to a safer area to dry, I just picked up the plate.

Step 10: Let dry - I wait 24 hours just to be safe.

Step 11: Enjoy!

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!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Naptime: Day 5 - A Clean Sweep!

Today I decided to tackle the ever annoying garage. Having an SUV and a one car garage means that it always feels like a tight fit. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to rearrange everything (really what we need is shelving), but I could take care of the floor. As I mentioned earlier, you get to our garage by way of a gravel alley, so our garage floor (and everything else in the garage) gets covered with a fine layer of dust and grit. It was time to sweep it out!

Here is a before picture:

Halfway through:

All the stuff I swept up...eww, right?

And here is after all the sweeping and a little tidying up of all of our junk:

Not bad for a half hour's work! I also managed to clean out my car (why not? it was next to the garbage can, anyways), do a load of laundry (washing machine and dryer are in the garage), clean the litter boxes (again, in the garage), and even run the dishwasher (not in the garage, but was easy enough to do). After that, I cleaned the master bathroom, and did some spot treatments on the carpet.

Now, I would like to mention that this is in no way normal! I take advantage of my breaks from work to get some deep cleaning done...which means the whole house gets really clean once every 10-12 weeks. On an average week, I'm happy if the toys get picked up, the dishes get done, there's toilet paper in each bathroom, and the laundry makes it into the dryer. During the break though, I pick one or two areas a day to really clean - I'm talking hands and knees scrubbing behind the toilet kind of clean :) Sometimes, depending on the area, I can get it done while Elijah is awake...other areas (like the garage) need to wait for naptime.

Now, to relax for about 15 minutes...then naptime is over!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Naptime: Day 4 - Polymer Clay Keychains/Pendants

I like crafts that are simply and quick. This is both of those.

     polymer clay
     rubber stamps
     rolling pin
     kitchen knife
     glass baking dish (not pictured)
     large needle or other tool for making small holes (not pictured)
     acrylic paint
     paintbrush (not pictured)
     small split rings
     jewelry closures

Step 1. Knead your clay until it it pliable.

Step 2. Using the rolling pin, roll the clay flat (1/8 - 1/4").

Step 3. Press the rubber stamps into the clay.

Step 4. Cut out the shapes with the knife and carefully put them into the glass baking dish. I like to round off any sharp corners.The little round ones in the picture have Elijah's finger print in them - I'm thinking Grandma gifts...they love that kind of stuff, right? :)

Step 5. Using a large needle, create holes in the clay shapes where you want to add the split rings.

Step 6. Optional - keep Play-Doh on hand for the inevitable moment when your kid wants to do the same thing you are doing - especially after you let him press his finger into your clay and then take it away and he has a minor meltdown :)

Step 7. Bake the clay at 275 Degrees for 20-25 minutes (depending on thickness). Let cool.

Step 8. Once cool, paint the whole piece with the acrylic paint, being sure to get paint into all the little nooks and crannies.

Step 9. Wipe away the paint from the raised parts, leaving only the recessed parts painted.

 Step 10. Let dry.

Step 11. Add split rings and closures.

Step 12. Hang on your bag zipper or add to your keychain. You could also easily turn these into pendants by adding jump rings and a couple of beads. Or just use beading string like I did here...By the way, that bead box was once organized...I left it on the table and a one year old Elijah pulled it off. It hasn't been the same since...and now it NEVER gets left on the table! :)