Tag Archives: cotton yarn

Crocheting Toddler Blankets Is Keeping Me Busy

26 Mar

Although I am not a grandmother yet, I recently became a Great Aunt. And I have more ‘grand’ babies on the way. I am excited. I love seeing a new generation and watch my nieces and nephews become parents.

I have, over the years, seen many of my friend’s children and former students become parents. And I have enjoyed buying gifts and holding these new arrivals. But it did not occur to me to start crocheting gifts for these beloved babies.

I think I was so wrapped up in my doily making that I forgot that I could make something bigger. I made lots of baby and toddler blankets and sweaters when my children were little. I stopped when I broke my elbow. I only made small items after the accident. However, I have been healed for years.

My other issue is that I love cotton yarn. I do not like to crochet with polyester and other synthetics. So what to do? Baby blankets are usually soft and cuddly because they are made with manufactured yarns.

Thanks to a post on a Facebook group that I follow, Crochet Addict, I had a answer. Someone asked what else could be made with Sugar’n Cream, 100 percent cotton yarn. This yarn is usually used to make kitchen towels and washcloths. I have made some washcloths for a good friend from this yarn. I love crocheting with Sugar’n Cream yarn, but did not know quite what else to do with it.

On the comment line, someone said they made baby blankets from this yarn. I was hooked. Baby blankets? I could do that. The next day I went to one of my local mega craft stores (Michael’s) and bought some brightly colored Sugar’n Cream yarn. I also bought a pattern book for crocheting “Blankets for Toddlers.”   And I began a new journey. The other thing I like about this yarn is that it washes so well. Since it is made for kitchen work, it is also strong. Perfect for use with little children.

First two blankets with Sugar'n Cream yarn.

First two blankets with Sugar’n Cream yarn.

My first blanket is slightly off kilter. I did not plan well with the weight of the yarn and the pattern. So it is longer and narrower then I wanted it to be. But then I saw that people make blankets this size to use in strollers. So it will be used. I am presenting it to a neighbor who just had a little girl on my husband and my 35th wedding anniversary. She is the first baby born since I started making blankets.

My second blanket has come out much more in the shape I wanted.   I went back to Michael’s when the store was having a yarn sale. There is one problem with this yarn. It is sold, at Michaels, in just 2 ounce and 2 ½ ounce skeins. It is difficult to find enough skeins with the same lot number to make a full blanket! (The lot number means that the skeins were dyed on the same day at the same time. If they were not dyed together, then the colors can be slightly off and fade differently.)

I solved this problem by buying three colors and putting skeins of the same dye lots together, while separating them from other dye lots with the other colors. It forms a striped blanket, using one stitch throughout. I think it looks darn good.

Now I am ready to begin blanket number three. I have to make four in all by September. I was out and about and decided to go to a different mega craft store, Joann’s Fabric. I was in for a surprise. At Joann’s, the Sugar’n Cream yarn comes in bigger skeins! There are both three and four ounce skeins. But more than that, the store sells 14-ounce skeins on the cardboard tubes. I can definitely get the same lot numbers there. I now have enough yarn to make my third blanket. And I have a plan in mind for blanket number four!

My new Clover hooks.

My new Clover hooks.

I am having a great time. Especially since with this blanket, I will be able to use my new crochet hooks. Clover crochet hooks were another great idea from the Crochet Addict group. Someone posted a photo of these wonderful European crochet hooks that have a thicker handle. That is the most difficult part of using this yarn for me, the slipping handle. I am hoping these new hooks work better and cause less stress on my hands.

Once I finish the blankets I have promised myself I would make for grand nieces and nephews, I know I will keep making baby blankets. I posted a photo of the two I finished and now some of my younger generation friends want one for their children. I am happy to oblige!

When I am done with those, I will still make the blankets! A friend I know makes them and donates them to a hospital NICU for new babies who need lots of love. I will crochet lots of love in each blanket I make.

I am so happy that crocheting toddler blankets is keeping me busy. And am happy that all my blankets will be going to loving homes.


I Am Proud To Be A Cotton Thread Yarn Addict

25 Dec

I snuck over to the fabric store today. I needed one little spool of ribbon, but I knew it my heart it would be difficult to avoid the yarn aisles, especially the thread yarn that I use for crocheting doilies and table clothes. I am somewhat addicted.

I quickly found what I actually needed. But then, even with a creaky cart, I strolled over to the aisle with my favorite yarns: Aunt Lydia and Bernat Number 10 cotton thread yarn.

There were so many beautiful colors. So many colors I have not seen for a while. This is my favorite time of year. Right around the holidays the store seems to stock extra colors and extra yarns. New books filled with doilies patterns often appear.

Suddenly, I found myself in the right aisle, even though I had not been in the store for several months. The cart seemed to know the way on its own. I had a little chill of a thrill when I saw my yarns.

Yes hats and scarves are supposed to be here as well. A few are mixed in. Yes hats and scarves are supposed to be here as well. A few are mixed in.

Did I need any yarn? NO. I have lots of yarn in my house. I have a cabinet filled with colored cotton yarn. I even have started putting my yarn in the closet. Where there is supposed to be hats and gloves, now yarn has taken over. But I bought so much today, that I do not think I will find enough room there. I might have to find a new storage area.

But I did get the most delightful colors: a deep plum and then a multicolored yarn that goes with it. I got turquoise and teal, bright coral and grey. I never saw grey thread yarn before.   It is lovely! I even found two books that I did not yet own. I own them now.

Thank goodness for the coupons I found on line. It did save me a little on my spending spree.

I must admit, I stood in the aisle for a good fifteen minutes going through all the yarns that I liked and checking to make sure they had the same dye lot code. This is important because even if the yarns are the same color, if the spools of yarn are not made at the same time with the same exact formula, they often a slightly off. As the doily or other crocheted article ages, it will fade differently with different dye lots.

As other people came into the aisle, I was a polite consumer. I did move my cart out of the way. But I stayed in front of the yarn I was inspecting. Luckily the two women who came down the aisle were looking at other yarns.

Sometimes I can control my yarn addiction. When my daughter still lived at home she would stop me from going to the yarn store. But she is out of graduate school, out of the country and living far away. This gives me free rein.   I could fill my house with yarn and she cannot stop me.

I filled my cart with new yarns! I filled my cart with new yarns!

I actually took a photo of the yarn as I was filling my cart and I sent her an email of it.   Yes, I did! I told her that she could do nothing to stop the addiction now. And buying yarn gave me enjoyment. I could envision in my mind what I was going to make. One of the items was for her!

To be honest, I am not the only person I know who has a yarn addiction. My friend, Sue, is much worse than me. For a while she was using a loom to make shawls and afghans. She had tubs upon tubs of wools and yarns in color-coordinated bins, divided by yarn types, colors and weight.

My yarn cabinet is stuffed with yarn, books and finished doilies. My yarn cabinet is stuffed with yarn, books and finished doilies.

I am beginning to think that is a good idea, as my thread yarns are just all thrown into a space in no order. My main yarn cabinet is a bit of a mess filled with yarn, books and finished doilies. When my husband, who loves to do jigsaw puzzles, told me that my yarn cabinet would make a great puzzle, I decided I might need some help. I think next time Sue is over, I am going to show her my mess and ask for help. She has always been much better organized than me.

An additional reason for my yarn addiction ‘issue’, concerns the debate of nature versus nurture. Although some of my yarn enjoyment is learned behavior from friends who also love yarn, I am not the first person in my family with a yarn issue. I definitely remember that my paternal Grandma Esther had tons of yarn as well. She was always making an afghan or a sweater for one of her children or grandchildren or great grandchildren.   I remember her forays to yarn stores.

Yarn stores are much more prolific in the Midwest, in the Kansas City area, where I live. But near to where my parents lived in New Jersey, I finally find one store where I could get cotton thread yarn when I was visiting. This was important because I sometimes finished all the yarn I brought with me. And to be without a project causes me some stress.

One time I was in the middle of a project when I ran out. I was in the Catskills, and I was desperate. One of my cousins was going to a store in Monticello. I gave her a small piece of yarn to try to match it. There was not much of a choice. My lovely sea foam doily has a beige border. Beige was the only color she could find.

Having yarn was especially important when my parents were ill and in the hospital. I spent hours crocheting in hospital rooms while I sat with a sleeping parent.   Crocheting calmed and soothed me. While crocheting I could control what was happening around me, the only thing I could control then.

Perhaps that is why I find discovering new yarn colors so exciting?   Crocheting is a pastime that relaxes me and takes away all tension.

So why should I feel badly about this yarn addiction? I will not. I love cotton thread yarn. I like getting new books and trying new patterns. It makes me happy. That is it! No more making excuses or sneaking to the craft store! I am proud to be a cotton thread yarn addict.