Saturday, September 25, 2010

And now for something completely different... *almost* rabbit-free post.

Unless you're a friend of mine on Facebook or you've clicked on that link to the right that says "my crochet stuff on FB", you might not know that one of my hobbies is crocheting. I'm by no means an expert; I tend to stick to simple stitches and stitch combos and less complicated projects such as shawls/wraps/ponchos, afghans/throws/blankets, scarves and the occasional hat or bag. I usually go with other people's patterns from books or yarn labels, although I do occasionally come up with my own stuff. I'm very proud of my work, though, so I do like to show it off from time to time.

I recently finished three blankets for the next grandchild-to-be (my oldest stepdaughter is expecting a baby boy on or around Dec. 5th), although I had to wait until after her baby shower today to post this on the off chance that my stepdaughter reads this blog.

Blanket #1: My own design, "Yankees Pinstripes"--done in the NY Yankees colors of navy and white. Since my stepson-in-law is a Yankees fan like me, I had to encourage passing on the tradition. The yarn is TLC Cotton Plus, a cotton/acrylic blend (and let me say that trying to find navy cotton yarn suitable for a baby blanket at a reasonable price is a near impossibility--come on, yarn makers, what's the deal there?)

A closeup shot of the details: the bobble stitches are supposed to represent baseballs. If I'd had more time (and more skill), I would have tried to add the interlocking NY logo to the border, but just didn't feel up to the task this time. I'm definitely going to work on that when I get the chance.

Blanket #2: "Cauliflower"--this is a pattern from a book of baby blankets, and is one of the hardest patterns I've ever worked on. The pattern itself is relatively simple; figuring out what the heck the designer wants you to do is the hard part. I swear these patterns are written in Sanskrit sometimes.

Closeup of the details: the yarn is Bernat Cottontots in white. I love the softness of this particular yarn, so it's one of my favorite yarns for projects like this.

Blanket #3: "Striped Blanket" (that's the name of the pattern, not the description) --another pattern I purchased, although I used a different border than the original and chose to use one color instead of going with stripes. The funky stripe in the middle is what happens when you use variegated-color yarn and the pattern of the yarn colors is slightly off on one or two skeins. I had no idea that this had happened until I finished the blanket and was spreading it out to take a picture of it. Needless to say, I was not thrilled (and actually wish the funky stripe pattern was on the entire blanket), but what can you do?

A closeup of the funky stripe: The yarn is Bernat Cottontots in Sweet Dreams. This is a super-easy pattern, so it's great when I've got a last-minute gift to do. I want to do a full-sized version someday, it's a super-comfy blanket.

I'm currently working on creating a bunny square to use for a blanket, but it's not coming out as easy as I thought it would. I'll have more details in a future post.

I was planning on making this a completely rabbit-free post, btw, but Mr. Mick surprised me today while I was giving him his afternoon meal. Every day, I crumble up a couple of papaya tablets in his pellet mix. Many times when he's sticking his nose in my way and looking to get treats even after he's gotten his share, I'll offer him a whole tablet before it gets crumbled up. His usual response is to give it a sniff, then turn away, although he will eat the tablets once they've been crumbled into the mix.

Today, he's doing his usual poke-poke-nudge-nudge-c'mon, where's the treats? routine, so I hold out my hand with the two papaya tablets in it. To my surprise, he snags one and goes back into his cage, munching away. When he poked his nose out again, I offered him the other one, but that one was rejected. I guess any treat will do in a pinch if you're a desperate bun.


SixBunnies said...

Jade, you are very talented! Those are beautiful! And, thanks for the note at the end about Mr. Mick! I love his personality.

FrecklesandDeb said...

What a delightful post. You do a very nice job! I was just today thinking I needed to get some yarn to crochet a baby blanket -- and here you are with some inspiration!

Jade said...

SixBunnies: Thanks--and yes, he's a character. There isn't a day when he isn't doing something to cause a reaction.

Deb: Glad I could help--Bernat Cottontots is a lovely soft yarn for baby blankets, pretty easy to work with, too. Good luck with the baby blanket!

Lisa said...

Grandchildren?? Are you serious?? But you're so YOUNG!

Beautiful blankets. I crochet too, have since I was a little kid. Bunny pattern? really?? do share!

I can't believe Mickey doesn't like the papaya tablets! My buns go crazy for them. They're addicted too, they get one every night and when that special time rolls around they start to itch and tweak out. Maybe Mickey has to get used to them...

The Fab Furs said...

Great looking blankets!!!

So you're trying to create a Yankees fan, huh? I think you should try to make one of those knitted/crocheted hats with the rabbit ears so that the child grows up liking rabbits too.

Does Mick prefer the papaya tablets over the dried papaya? I have a hard time finding decent dried papaya around here, it's all dried mango, but I'm not sure mine would go for the tablets.

Jade said...

That's why I'm working on a bunny square, so I can make him a bunny blanket as well. :)

Mickey will eat papaya fresh, dried and in tablets. My main goal in giving it to him was to help keep him from getting hairballs, and the fresh has always been best for this, but he doesn't always want to eat it that way. There is dried papaya in his pellet mix, but not a lot of it becuse it's higher in sugar. Of course, being that they're higher in sugar, Mickey loves them most. I started giving him the tablets because I wanted him to get the benefits of the papaya without the sugar content, so they're last on his list of preferred treats, but apparently either they'll do if he's desperate or he grabbed and ate without realizing what it was.

Karen M said...

Love the crochet work! The Yankees blanket is perfect. And actually, I really like the way your funky striped piece turned out. What is it about patterns that they have to be so hard to read?

My buns stopped eating papaya tablets after the formula changed. I never thought of crumbling them on the food, I'll have to try that. What a personality your little Mickey has, hmmm?

Michelle May said...

Beautiful Jade!
Cauliflower is my absolute favorite though!
My buns would never eat the tablets, only the real thing.
Have a fun week!