Texture Lap Blanket: Baby Blanket for Our Little Man

It’s almost time for little man’s arrival. I just managed to get this finished in between packing hospital bags, working on my French for the hospital, and trying to get the house and children ready for me to be gone for a little while. (The average French hospital stay after giving birth is four days. What will I do? Not sure. I might go crazy from the lack of yelling and general hubbub, or it might feel like a silent spiritual retreat to only have one child around that sleeps the majority of the day.)

In any case, this texture lap blanket is done. And here are the details!


Yarn Used

Stylecraft Bambino DK – Mellow Yellow, 800 grams

Yarnspirations Caron Crochet Texture Lap Blanket

Cost

15,6 Euros (approximately $17.20ย )

Time it Took

Began project on October 23, 2019. Finished January 23, 2020. Completed more than 30 smaller projects between, so not as much of my time was completely devoted to this blanket. Hard to estimate.

Texture Lap Blanket inspired by Caron Crochet

Final dimensions

42″ x 39″ (106 x 99 cm)

Pattern notes and changes

I used the Yarnspirations Caron Crochet Texture Lap Blanket pattern; however, I changed the size significantly and also altered the border. For the border, I used a front post double crochet/back post double crochet repeat for three rounds to create a ridged look.

For other blankets (like this one!) or tah-dah posts that I’ve done recently (man is it hard to track down decades of progress photos!!!), you can either look at my Ravelry profile or in my finished objects category.

Now that the blanket is done, I just need to wrap my head around what life with a newborn will look like again. I find myself googling phrases like “newborn schedule” and other things that came intuitively the last time, which was five years ago. Ah well. It’ll all shake out, and little man will be so loved.

Scarf Central: (Ta-DAH!)

I feel a bit like William Carlos Williams any time I use the phrase “This is Just to Say,” but I have to use it in this case.

This is just to say that I’ve finished 30 scarves and one baby blanket in the last six weeks. (For 21 of the scarves, I used the easy pattern I wrote about here.)

Things I’ve learned:

  • Start Christmas projects earlier. Ha. Hats are on the docket for next year for the guys we work with, so prepare yourselves. I’ll be starting somewhere around September probably.
  • Pink as a feminine color is an American social construct. My husband offered the first choice of scarves to one of the “leader” asylum seekers at the refugee and asylum seeker housing ministry we work at. He asked for us specifically to reserve a pink scarf for him. Here I had been worried all along that I was using up scraps of pinks and purples in the scarves and that these teenage and young adult boys would balk at the femininity of the scarves. Nope.
  • Always check your length when making scarves for men. The first scarf I made and we handed out was honestly a little short because this boy wrapped his scarf differently than I was used to wrapping scarves around my kids. He did the neck loop instead of the tie around. (For pictures demonstrating what I mean, see here.)
  • It’s possible to make a baby blanket in a day.
  • I need to buy more yarn.

I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season and also taking time to reflect how you can make the world a more beautiful place in the coming year. All it takes is small acts with great love, right? Simple steps? Maybe preparing for a more beautiful tomorrow? However you go about it, set about it with intention, and together we can make the world a more beautiful place.

Cheers to 2020!

Easy (and Free!) Crocheted Men’s Scarf Pattern

This is the easiest crocheted men’s scarf pattern out there. I recently made 21 of these scarves for young men, most over 6-foot tall. Because we live in a country where men’s scarves are folded in half and looped through generally instead of tied around the neck, the scarves needed to be plenty long to provide ultimate warmth and comfort.

Project: Crocheted Men’s Scarf (Double-Stranded)

Materials Required

This pattern is designed to use two strands of yarn, held together. I used DK weight. It takes approximately 350 grams of DK-weight yarn.

Size J crochet hook

Project Final Dimensions

80 inches (L) x 10 inches (W)/ 203 cm (L) x 25.5 cm (W)

Gauge: 9 SC stitches x 9 rows produces a 3″ square with yarn held double stranded

Crochet Instructions

Row 1: Begin by chaining 28 with two strands of yarn held together.

Row 2: Double crochet in third chain stitch from hook and continue double crocheting until you get to the end of the row.

Row 3: Chain 3 (this functions as a double crochet) and turn. Double crochet in each stitch in the row.

Rows 4-117: Repeat row 3.

For color changes, see options below, or create your own!

Color Variations

I have several color variations of this project that I like to do.

COLOR VARIATION 1:

Hold Color A and B together for 3/9/13 rows. Follow this with color B and C held together for 3/9/13 rows. Then you will hold color C and D together for 3/9/13 rows. If you use the 3-row repeat, you’ll need 39 color combinations. When using the 9-row color option, you’ll need 13. Finally, if you use the 13-row color option, you’ll need nine blocks of color combinations. (Note, I choose odd-number color variations, so that the color changes don’t all end up on one side of the scarf, as this can create a dimpled look on the edgings…)

COLOR VARIATION 2:

Have approximately 175 grams of color A and use it throughout the entire scarf, adding in color B, C, D, and so on and so forth throughout the scarf. Again, you can use the 3/9/13 row idea, as written above, or you can create your own number.

COLOR VARIATION 3:

For one of your strands, use a solid color pattern, either A/B/C/D/etc. or A/B/C/A/B/C in 3/9/13 row repeats. For your second strand, either make a magic ball of yarn or use up scraps of yarn. Your color changes will likely not occur perfectly at the end or beginning of a row, so you must be okay with a more fluid-looking scarf and the idea that you *may* not be able to make it into a symmetrically designed scarf.

A side by side of solid color running all the way through scarf, 3-row repeat, 9-row repat, and 13-row repeat.

I hope you enjoy making this easy free crocheted men’s scarf pattern. It’s really easy and makes a fantastic (and fast) gift for those hard-to-shop-for guys in life.

Two Finished Scarves

Finished this scarf today. I intentionally made it shorter for this kiddo, because he stretches out his scarves to previously unheard of lengths. I’ve learned a thing or two over the years of parenting.

I also finished this scarf, made from a magic yarn ball I threw together a few nights ago. I have enough left in this magic yarn ball to make at least one, if not two, more scarves. I think I’ll switch up the patterning, though, because I like variety.

Unfortunately, the lighting is such in northern France right now that I can rarely get a “good photo.” Having to be content with poor lighting, and that means that my photo colorations are wonky. Ah well.

I began another scarf in bright oranges, reds, and yellows, because there’s a kiddo in my life that shares my affinity for bright colors. It’s such a joy to knit multi-colored things after a few solid items. This one will be very simple in just a seed stitch. But it will work up really quickly for my little pal.

Six Months In France and A Beastly Blanket

I’m feeling a little ridiculous posting now, beginning this again, and I almost feel the need to reintroduce myself. However, I’m going to just press into this post. We’ve managed to find beauty in all sorts of places in the nearly six months since we moved overseas. Beauty in discomfort. Beauty in sadness. Beauty in nature. Beauty in flavors. Beauty in a feeling of home.

It took us a few months more than we thought to find a place to call home, but we’re here now, finally settling in. And we have internet! While we still are very limited in our furnishings, it is so nice to just spread ourselves out and begin routines.

I finally finished up a blanket for our daughter. It was a tough one because I was using up scraps of old purples and pinks, her favorite colors. (Not MY favorites…) I reworked the blanket three times for various reasons. It just is what it is now.

My husband chose the edging, and I don’t think it’s half bad, but I will never voluntarily make a blanket in colors I despise again. (Remind me of this in a few months, right?) I don’t have glamour shots, because my daughter wanted it the instant I was done, and her room is…spartan right now. (Missionary life.) I’d really love to make her room a little more beautiful than it is. Currently, it’s just a bed in a very large room. Not pretty for staging. Ah well.

horrible night lighting. Hopefully someday, I’ll get a photo to show you the colours in a less garish light.

I also knit up a scarf for one of the older boys with some leftover rust-colored yarn. He calls it his “jaunty scarf.”

I did order some grey-blue wool yarn and some ochre wool-blend yarn for a few more projects, because we have another little boy joining us in February. I plan to knit some leg warmers and a hat and to crochet a blanket for baby boy.

I do want to work more on my knitting skills because I’m honestly still a little scared of cable work. I hope to make myself a cardigan or pullover sometime in the next year, but we’ll see. It is nowhere near as cold here as it was in Minnesota, but it’s a consistent damp feeling, so I find myself reaching for sweaters even when it’s only 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius).

We’re learning to be much more economical than we were even in the States. It’s a constant stretching of creativity in terms of where we can skimp and where we need to add flavor (or quality). One of my goals in our lives as a mom and a missionary has been to not really allow our kids to feel a sense of financial sacrifice. It’s been challenging and has stretched my creativity.

Of note: homemade nacho sauce with French cheese and without access to jalapenos is just NOT a good idea.

Now that I’ve finished that beast of a blanket, I do hope to write here more often. Maybe I’ll throw in some non-craft-related posts, just to remember our first year in France. We’ll see.

A Lovely Gray Celtic Afghan (Ta-DAH!)

On my birthday, I drank my favorite coffee, got to hold a baby, my husband took me out to a creamery, and I picked out some tulips to celebrate. It was delightful.

I also finished this blanket.

celtic afghan, celtic blanket, crocheted cablework,

This particular one was begun out of necessity, rather than plan. We’re in the process of moving overseas, and our initial visa application was denied. What’s a girl to do when her entire life is inaccessible because it’s packed away in boxes?

I try to live by the old Shaker phrase “Hands to Work, Hearts To God.” So instead of sitting around googling visa application horror stories or sure fixes, I chose to make this Celtic afghan instead.

Details About The Celtic Afghan

Pattern details: free on Ravelry.  Lion Brandยฎ Vanna’s Choiceยฎ Celtic Afghan, Pattern Number: L20303

Yarn details: Big Twist Rainbow Classic Yarn – Gray.

The time it took to make: 21 days. I don’t know how many hours, but there were quite a few days that I didn’t work on it at all.

This lovely blanket is so comforting. It’s also quite heavy for a blanket, weighing at around 5 pounds. It’s the perfect blanket for curling up in our cold Northern winters.

celtic afghan, celtic blanket, crocheted cablework,

The first day or three, I struggled to learn cablework. I crocheted and then “frogged” about 20 or so times. It became a joke with my husband because he thought it was so unusual to see me struggling with something related to crochet. But soon, since it’s only a four-row repeat, I was able to proceed pretty quickly. It’s a pretty bulky yarn, so things worked up really fast.

Future Projects To Look For

I enjoyed it so much that I’m foraying into other cable work and plan to design my own little cabled blanket in a smaller baby blanket size. Look for a work in progress update and maybe a free pattern here on this website! I also have a design in the works for a really fun vintage quilt-inspired pattern.