Confessions of a modern-day Maiden Aunt

Without a plan or a thought, I have become a modern day Maiden Aunt. You know the one in literature who arrives unannounced with hand-made gifts for the Baby. I’m not sure I was quite ready for the role, but you can never choose your family profile. Perhaps it is the time of year, or maybe there is something in the water, but all my cousins are having babies. It is joyful news, especially for a family as widely scattered around the world as mine is, but nevertheless, it brings its own problems.

Crochet baby blanket edge

What do I make? What style? Pattern? Colour? Yarn? As I’ve not seen these cousins of mine since they were children themselves, it’s all a bit of a minefield. I’ve put all my other projects on hold to enter full baby present create mode and I’m almost done.

Here are my creations ready to go in the post – what do you think?

Crochet Floral Baby Blanket

crochet baby blanket

Made in strips and then sewn together. Could also be made in colours to bring out the petals and the background as leaves, but I’m a sucker for self-striping yarn. And crochet is so quick. I finished it off with a shell edging.

Certainly a bit on the wild and whacky side!

Left-Over Yarn Jumper

Baby topI had yarn left-over from the crochet baby blanket. I hate waste and my stash is big enough already. So I started by knitting a small square on the bias to see where it would take me.  And here it is – a geometric feel, slash-neck baby jumper. Before you ask, it’s going to a different family from the blanket.

Owl Pram Blanket

Owl baby blanket

I made this a while ago and it’s been waiting for a home. I’m still in love with the pattern (owls – see below) and I still think the colours are androgynous.

Owl close up of blanket

Let’s hope my cousin does!

Old-fashioned baby cardigan

Baby cardigan

Do you remember those large and rather difficult to manouvre perambulators? With beautifully dressed babies safely strapped in (or not) but always wearing a short lacy cardigan to cover up the straps? Well, here’s my version. Short enough not to get caught under baby’s bottom but long enough to keep the waist warm.

baby cardigan yoke

And my take on the lace. Fuss-free YO and K3togs!

The “I-shall-finish-this-blanket-even-if-it-kills-me” Baby Blanket

As you may gather from the title, I’m still struggling with this one. The pattern has rebelled. The lace has stopped flowing, the purls have turned into knits. I’m determined to write up this pattern and belatedly send it to the recipient.

And now for a discreet message to my family – PLEASE stop having babies!

Do you have a favourite pattern you always make for babies?



About monsteryarns

I am a yarn enthusiast and knitter.
This entry was posted in baby, colour, Craft, crochet, family, Knitting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Confessions of a modern-day Maiden Aunt

  1. Hannie says:

    My go to is granny square blankets in every colour imaginable. (Literally after that one I made for Blueberry!). I might eventually learn something else to make.

  2. PJ Lightning says:

    Um just pointing out that you have a child therefore can’t actually be a MAIDEN aunt. 😀 😀

  3. PJ Lightning says:

    ps LOVE the blanket. Maybe it’s time I learned to crochet. (Must finish jumper first though.)

  4. boredflower says:

    I like a ripple blanket for a baby, I love your colourful self striping on though. Really pretty!

  5. My go-to baby gift is usually an amigurumi and a matching baby blanket.

    • monsteryarns says:

      How sweet! I’ve yet to try amigurumi. Bit put off by the Japanese origins as all Japanese knitting patterns I’ve seen are always so complicated!

  6. Pingback: The Spiral Cot Blanket – a Pattern |

  7. Pingback: Dahlia Cardigan – It’s Finished |

  8. I love the floral crochet baby blanket with that yummy “sherbet” colored yarn…so much that I want to learn to crochet!! Is the pattern available?

    • monsteryarns says:

      Yes it is! It’s not one of mine. It is in a pattern book called Under Cover – 60 Afghans to Knit and Crochet. And the original looks like this
      It’s a reasonably easy pattern – crochet in strips and join together. I would suggest that you follow the pattern blindly without trying to see the flowers emerge and then all of a sudden it all pops out at you. You will see that you make one half of each flower and then the other half. It’s only then that you get to see the pattern. It threw me a bit as I was expecting bit more of a granny square approach where you get to see the pattern straight away.

      • Thanks so much for the info on the Under Cover book! Did you use the same yarn as they suggest? I’m guessing they change colors every other row or so and there will be a gazillion ends to weave in! But those colors are just divine so I have to begin this soon! I am so grateful to you for answering me so promptly. Many thanks! Pat

      • monsteryarns says:

        No problem!
        I used a DK self-striping baby yarn as I didn’t want to deal with the ends as you say. You can work in the ends as you go by crocheting them together with the new colour, but whatever way you go it’s fiddly! Good luck.

  9. Did you use Adriafil Knitcol yarn for your Sunshine Floral blanket? After much hand-wringing, I think I’ve identified the particular color of your yarn as Jacquard DK-Beethoven. Am I right? I have chased all over Michigan to locate this particular yarn. Please tell me if I am on the right track! I’m so in love with the “sherbet” colors in your crochet blanket!

    • monsteryarns says:

      I used Ice Magic Baby! Adriafil Knitcol is a fantastic yarn and would make a beautiful blanket.

    • monsteryarns says:

      I just had a thought – Knitcol is self striping and self patterning. That really doesn’t work well with crochet. Please don’t use that yarn for this project as it will not look right. I have a blog entry about this which explains it more if you are interested.

      • Pat Yarbrough says:

        I’d really like to read your explanation about the self-patterning yarn if you would point me to it! I thought all those color changing yarns were the same!!

      • I was SOOO sure I had identified the yarn you used for the crochet Floral Baby Blanket……that I searched it out and bought it! I realize I got a little ahead of myself and should have asked you for the name of the yarn you used. My Knitcol is lovely but after reading your blog I realize I will not get the same result. Can you tell me the color name or number on the band of the Ice Magic Baby yarn that you used? The pictures on the internet don’t look at all like your blanket and I can’t buy the wrong yarn again!!

      • monsteryarns says:

        I used the pink, lilac etc shades
        The colours are not as pastel as on the website and when crochet together it is vibrant.
        You could use the Adriafil for the swirl baby blanket..

      • I looked at the Ice yarn on the website you gave me. The very top skein of yarn that popped up looked like the right colors, but it said it was self-patterning and with spots between the stripes. I’m not sure that is right! Can you give me the exact sky number? I am so sorry to be such a pest! The pattern suggests 10 skeins of Wintuk at 213 yd/skein. Do you agree that this takes about 2,000 yds?

      • monsteryarns says:

        Unfortunately I don’t have any of the bands left as I used most of the yarn for the baby blanket!
        I’ve now double checked the colour and it was definitely this one
        There are no spots! Only stripes on this one.
        I used three and half skeins in total so not quite as much as 2,000 yards as the pattern makes quite a large blanket and I didn’t want my cousin’s baby to be swamped.

      • yarbrop says:

        The picture of the yarn on the website is good and I’ll go with that,as you suggest, and the colors listed seem right on. I appreciate you selecting it for me! I was having a terrible time seeing much of a difference with some of them. Did you make your blanket smaller by decreasing the number of repeats…it calls for cast on of 145 and you make 18 flowers. Did you make less flowers? If so, I will seek out a shop and have someone help me to figure out how many to cast on so I get fewer flowers. I’d really like to make this smaller! I would know how to do it if this were knitting, but crochet, no. If you did it, then I will pursue it!

      • monsteryarns says:

        Yes I did. I don’t recall the number of repeats I did but basically chain as many as you need for length. If you can use Doris Chan’s ‘cast-on’ chain as you get a nicer finish and don’t end up with a massive long chain row to work into. If you divide 145 by 18 you’ll see that each flower is 8 chains wide. You have 1 chain left for turning. So any multiple of 8 plus 1 will work.

      • I’ve read Doris Chan’s instruction about cast-on chaining but I am confused about one thing. Her instructions show a finished chain, much thicker and rounder than a normal chain. However, you said you preferred hers because you do not wind up with a massive long chain row to work into. Hers looked massive and long! Is there a specific name for her chain? Maybe I’m not reading what you want me to read. Thank you for the tip about multiples of 8. If I want to make this blanket only as long as 15 flowers, instead of 18, I can just cast on 120 (15 X 8) plus 1 and that gives me a total of 121 to cast on for the initial chain. I guess my question is “Do I need to cast on 121 and make this initial chain first or is there a way to do a cast-on and begin the flowers at the same time as I go along? Pat

      • monsteryarns says:

        She calls her chain Base Chain/SC. It is thicker than an ordinary chain which always makes me think that it’s not as long as a standard chain but that’s just me. Sorry! But it’s easier to work the first row into it than a standard chain row and gives a nice firm base row.
        I don’t know any way of working the base chain with the first row at the same time, although I’m sure there is a way to do that!

      • yarbrop says:

        That clears it all up!  Thanks ever so much!  Now  I understand that I have to do a full chain of 18 times whatever number of flowers I want…plus 1.  My yarn should be here in a few days so I think I’m ready to go.  I’ll start practicing on the Base Chain.  You have been so patient and generous to answer all my questions.  I certainly appreciate your help!  Pat  

      • monsteryarns says:

        You are very welcome!
        Good luck with the blanket. Do post photos!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s