**patterns at the bottom of this post
One of my good friends from college is having twins next month and I made the almost 2 hour drive, one way, to attend her baby shower last week. I would not have missed it, and not only because she is my good friend, but because I got the chance to see a few other good friends that live in all corners of New York State and that I hardly ever get to see.
I don;t make friends easily and I can count on one hand the number of close friends that I know I can count on when the chips are down. So, this was a big deal to me and I enjoyed every minute of it. I set out on my road trip, leaving the kids with Roy, and followed the roads into the southern tier of New York. Today I could wear earrings without the fear of a baby grabbing on and I could turn up the cd player with music containing questionable lyrics.
It was great to get away for the day and to see people that i had not seen in quite a long time and we all took part in the traditional baby shower games and cake eating. I correctly guess the circumference of my friends belly with my selection of streamer and won a lottery scratch off which resulted in a $2 profit for me.
The opening of the presents was eventful since she is having twins so there was twice as much to open. I had knitted two sets of infant hats and used two new crochet patterns for the two blankets I made. She received only a few handmade gifts and they were the ones that were passed around and discussed long after the gift bags were all opened. Two beautiful handmade baby quilts, a few sets of knitted hats and mittens, and some stuffed animals made from both knitting and crochet. One of my good friends made two very professional looking scrapbooks, complete and ready for photos. Another friend owns and operates her own chocolate candy business and there were baskets filled with all types of twin and baby themed treats.
In the past I have questioned homemade gifts and how they are received - wondering about that little feeling of disappointment that shows up, however small, when someone opens a hand made gift. Knowing that these types of gifts are the best in that they truly are in the spirit of "it's the thought that counts", can we as a society retreat from the 'store bought is better' mentality that we have had since about 1945? Are we too entrenched in store bought that we can't go back to having home made mean more?
From this baby shower, I can honestly say for one of the first times, that the reactions to the hand made gifts from everyone there hinted that we can go back.
Popcorn Baby Blanket (white):
15 sts = 4 in. (10 cm) in Popcorn st. BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR GAUGE. When you match the gauge in a pattern, your project will be the size specified in the pattern and the materials specified in the pattern will be sufficient. If it takes you fewer stitches and rows to make a 4 in. [10 cm] square, try using a smaller size hook or needles; if more stitches and rows, try a larger size hook or needles.
Popcorn St (multiple of 3 sts)
Foundation Row: Work 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, *sk 2 ch, (sc, 2 dc) in next ch; rep from * across, ending with sk 2 ch, 1 sc in last ch.
Row 1: Ch 2, turn. Work 2 dc in first sc, *sk 2 dc, (sc, 2 dc) in next sc; rep from * across, ending with 1 sc in top of turning ch.
Rep Row 1 for Popcorn st.
Work in Popcorn st until piece measures about 28 in (71 cm) from beginning.
Row 1: Work 2 dc in 4th ch from hook.
Row 2: Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in first dc, dc in next dc, 3 dc in top of t-ch.
Row 3: Ch 3, turn. Dc in first dc, dc in each of next 5 dc, 2 dc in top of t-ch.
Row 4: Ch 3, turn. Work 2 dc in first dc, dc in each dc to t-ch, 3 dc in top of t-ch (2 dc inc at each end).
Row 5: Ch 3, turn. Dc in first dc, dc in each dc to turning ch, 2 dc in top of t-ch (1 dc increased at each end).
Rep Rows 4 and 5 until there are 48 sts. Do not fasten off.
Next Row: Ch 1, turn. Sc in first dc, *sk 2 dc, (sc, 2 dc) in next dc; rep from * across to last st, work sc in t-ch.
With wrong sides together, pin Hood to one corner of Afghan.
With right side facing, join yarn with slip st in any corner of Afghan. Work Row 1 of Popcorn st evenly spaced around outside edge of Afghan, working through both thicknesses around Hood to join, working (sc, 2 dc) in each corner, and sk 1 or more sts to end evenly. Fasten off. Weave in ends.
ABBREVIATIONS / REFERENCES
Click for explanation and illustration
ch(s) = chain(s) dc = double crochet
rep = repeat(s)(ing) sc = single crochet
sk = skip st(s) = stitch(es)
t-ch = turning chain
Small amounts of sport-weight soft, washable yarn in pastels, or colors of your choice
US3 (3.25mm) double-pointed needles
6.5 to 7 sts = 1in (2.54cm), depending on your yarn
A slightly different gauge will give you a slightly smaller or larger hat, but all baby heads are different anyway.
11-12in (28-30.5cm) in circumference
CO 72 sts and distribute to dpns. Join, being careful not to twist.
Work k2, p2 ribbing for 30 rnds.
Crown Shaping (Ribbed Version):
Rnd 1: *k2, p2, k2, p2tog*; rep between *s around - 63 sts.
Rnd 2: *k2, p2, k2, p1*; rep between *s around.
Rnd 3: *k2, p2, k1, p2tog*; rep between *s around - 54 sts.
Rnd 4: *k2, p2, k1, p1*; rep between *s around.
Rnd 5: *k2, p2, p2tog*; rep between *s around - 45 sts.
Rnd 6: *k2, p3*; rep between *s around.
Rnd 7: *k2, p1, p2tog*; rep between *s around - 36 sts.
Rnd 8: *k2, p2*; rep between *s around.
Rnd 9: *k2tog, p2tog*; rep between *s around - 18 sts.
Rnd 10: *k1, p1*; rep between *s around.
Rnd 11: k2tog around - 9 sts.
Cut tail and thread through remaining loops. Pull tight and tie off. Weave in ends.
Pretty Squares Afghan (blue):
Worsted weight yarn (MC and CC)
"N" and "I" crochet hooks
WITH "N" hook. Ch multiple of 3 + 2
Row 1: Ch in second ch from hook, *ch 2, sk next 2 chs, sc. REP * across. Ch 2(3), TURN.
Row 2: *3 dc in ch 2 loop. REP * across. 1dc in last sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 3: Sc in top of FIRST dc. ch 2, *sc in sp between next 3 dc group, ch 2. REP * across to last dc. Sc in top of ch 2(3). ch 2(3), turn
Rep row 2 and 3 for pattern ending on a row 2. DO NOT FASTEN OFF
Note: NEVER TURN THESE RNDS!
1. Work 4 MORE dc in last sc on last row completed. Working down side of afghan, Place 3 dc in each end of DC rows. Sk sc row ends. Work in this manner until next corner. Work 5 dc in corner. Now working across bottom, *3 dc in each ch 2 loop. Rep * till next corner. Work 5 dc in corner. Working on other side, 3 dc in the end of each DC row. Sk sc rows. Work till next corner. Work 4 DC in this corner because ch 2(3) at the beginning of last full row worked will count as 1 dc for corner. Fasten off.
2. Join CC. Continuing with "N" hook, Join with sc to any space in between 3dc groups. ch 2, *sc in between next 3dc group. ch 2. REP * around to 5dc for corner. Sc in between last 3 dc group before the 5 group. Ch 2. Sk 1 dc, sc in next dc. ch 3, sc in between next 3dc group. Continue *. Work all corners the same. Join to first sc.
3. Next row: Sl st in first ch loop ch 2(3), 2dc in same loop. 3dc in each loop till corner 2 loops. Work first corner loop the same (3dc in loop). In the second loop (3dc, ch 1, 3dc). Continue in 3dc in each ch loop. Work next 3 corners the same way. Join to ch 2(3)
4. Last row: WITH "I" hook, *work 5 sc in center DC of each 3dc group. sl st in between groups. Rep 3 around. There is no need to make allowances for corners on this row. Finish off.