Who doesn’t love babies…

Really though who doesn’t love babies? Maybe it’s because I just took my baby (he’s 12), to see Boss Baby, or my love of making baby things, that today I write about babies! If you have been a follower/fan of The Cotton Road, you know that I love to crochet for the home and you guessed it babies. It’s really no surprise. Ask any of my friends that have had a new bundle of joy and they’ll tell you they all received something homemade from me!

So lets talk about those baby items!

My favorite thing to make is blankets! There is just something about a blanket that gets me. My current obsession is the Paddy Blanket by Little Doolally. It’s completely unisex and has endless possibilities. I just created this one in the new Colorwheel Yarn from Michaels Craft Store. It’s a gift for friends who are welcoming a baby boy next month!

Paddy blanket 2

Paddy Blanket

My next favorite thing to make is Sweaters! Now this one is tricky there isn’t as many options for little boys, but the little girls sweaters I have made are so adorable. My go to for baby sweaters, well baby clothes in general is Mon Petit Violon. My favorite is probably the Zara Sweater, but I really do love them all.

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Zara Sweater

While were at it I’ll just tell you my favorite dress is also from this designer and its the Halter Ruffle Dress.

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Ruffle Halter Dress

Which brings us to my third favorite item, toys!!! I am obsessed with the ragdoll patterns from A la Sascha. Seriously I have 99% of the patterns, but I must say my favorite one of all is the princess ragdoll. If traditional amigrumi is scary for you, it is for me, then this is perfect for you. Minor stuffing of the hands and feet and a bit more for the head, but just as beautiful.

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Princess Ragdoll

So…baby season is upon us. Whether it’s showers, the arrival, or just because, now is the time to buy something. If you don’t crochet and want something made now is the time to act. I have a promotion going on right now in my Etsy Shop, spend a $100 and receive $25 off with the code “because” don’t put the quotes in when you use it. You can purchase one thing or ten things as long as the total is $100. The code is good until 4/24/17. Here is the link to my Etsy shop!

~Blassings

Mel

Brrrrr…its cold outside

If you live on the East Coast you know that there is a giant storm. Maybe you’re snowed in, or wishing you were. It’s winter’s last big hurrah before spring is officially here. Lets be honest though in certain parts of the U.S., Buffalo, New York being one of them, winter is never very far away. So while I did go to work on the first day of the storm, I’ll be home for the second day with my mini me. So I’ll be doing lots of crocheting! I have several projects started and a few new designs on my hook. It’s not a coincidence that three of those are blankets. So here is a sneak peak of my new blanket design and a few of my favorite blanket designs and a link to the patterns. Stay warm and snuggle up under your crochet!

new blanketNew design that is currently nameless but if you follow me you know I love ripples and cotton blend yarns. Pattern coming soon!

 

 

 

Charlie BlanketCharlie Blanket by Kristen Ballering

 

 

 

 

Rizo Crochet Baby BlanketRizo Crochet Baby Blanket by Fairmount Fibers Design Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hyden blanket Hayden Chevron Blanket by Lakeside Loops (I really want to make this)

 

 

 

 

wave blanketWave Blanket by Jane Green

 

 

 

vintage blanketVintage Crocheted Blanket by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas (I’ve made lots of these, its one of my go to’s for baby blankets)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow RippleRainbow Ripple Blanket by Celeste Young

 

 

 

 

monets garden throwMonet’s Garden Throw by Felted Button (Any thing by Susan is amazing)

 

 

 

 

 

Winfred blanketWinifred Baby Blanket By Little Doolally ( One of my favorite designers ever, I really could have chosen all her blankets. I’ve made several)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its a blanketIt’s a Blanket by Mamachee

 

 

 

4 seasons chevron4 Seasons Chevron Blanket by CrochetObjet

 

 

 

 

Vintage Fan Ripple Blanket Vintage fan rippleby A Creative Being ( I’ve made several of these too, and it’s FREE)

Finally Finished…

DSCF4748It’s hard to think that someone could work on a baby blanket for over two years, but that my friends is what this post is about. So the backstory goes something like this…

I have an obsession with baby blankets, and baby clothes, and toys, ok crochet in general, but blankets are my favorite thing to make. So I find this designer Little Doolally, and she has the cutest baby blanket patterns. I seriously bought the majority of her patterns in one day! But this one just called to me…the Retro blanket! It was seriously the coolest looking DSCF4746blanket ever. So I go to the yarn room, yes I have a yarn room, no judging, and i’m scouring the room for a Dk weight yarn in several colors. I find the mother load! Apparently I’m obsessed with cotton blend yarn too, eye roll, duh of course I am. But I really liked this Bernat Cottonish Yarn by Vickie Howell because I had every color made, or close to it. I had ten skeins in ten colors. I decided to get a little funky and use it all!!!

I’m sitting at the computer trying to figure out how I’m going to make this work and I decide I want it to be completely random, in terms

Retro Blanket

Progress at the first blog post

of the pattern. So I assigned each color a number. I then Googled random sequence generator. I found an awesome site (random.org) and I put in 1 – 10 as my numbers and hit generate. It literally gave me a random sequence of the numbers. I did this seven times and wrote the numbers down on an index card along with the corresponding number.

It’s now the evening of March 11, 2014. I sit down down in my crochet spot and I start. I make a good bit of progress. To be completely DSCF4741honest I’m not sure what project or event stopped my progress but on January 9, 2015, I write a blog post WIPS, WIPS, and some more WIPS professing my need and determination to complete these unfinished blankets/projects. DSCF4739Needless to say 2015 goes by and no finished blanket. I’m determined now, this is ridiculous. It’s already April of 2016, I have completed my orders, made a few new items from patterns that have been sitting about as long as this blanket, and I decided its time. May 1, 2016 I complete my Retro blanket, two years and two months from the day I started it. I have put it in my Etsy shop and will sell it if someone wants it, but this labor of love will be hard to let go, should that time come! On a side note. I posted a finished picture on Instagram and tagged THE Vickie Howell because of the yarn and not only did she like my photo, she commented! I almost fainted! 13124993_10208035613465520_3746751511780813101_n

Moral of the story perseverance always pays off, and at the end a famous person might take notice, wink wink! Here’s my post with Vickie Howell’s comment!
Blessings and Happy Hooking

~Mel

 

 

Over the Rainbow

rainbowA few weeks, maybe a month ago, a friend sent me a photo and said “Remember that rainbow sweater you made a few years ago for my friends baby, can you do something like this? She’s having a new baby.” Looking at the picture I was skeptical that I could. I have confidence in my skills but on this one I wasn’t certain. I told her I’d do some searching for a pattern and get back to her. So as usual with these kinds of requests, I head to Google Images. I find the picture and it links to a Ravelry page. Yeah! I’ve struck pay dirt because she has linked the original pattern.

I review both the original pattern and the woman’s page with her changes and let my friend know that I can tackle this project. She tells me I have time but I want to go look at yarn. I head over to my happy place, JoAnn’s and decide on Deborah Norville’s Everyday worsted yarn. I send her a picture and she’s liking the colors. I buy the yarn and head home. This is r3where things get sketchy.

I had just taken a new job and was pretty focused on working on my designing and getting things to the magazines for publication. Things are going great, I love my job and the magazine patterns are coming along nicely and out to testers. Then it happens my new job has informed me that I will be going to training in South Carolina in September. Now this is not a surprise I was aware that this would be happening but so soon….(interest scared, nervous, and maybe crying emoji)!

I’m in overdrive now as the two patterns need to get to the magazine before I leave. I’m handling things and then an email from an idol in the crochet world.

Hello!

I’m a huge fan of your work, and I’ve been happily following you in Instagram for some time!

I’m working on future issue of our publication, and I was hoping you could create some pillows for us for future issues. Here is our submission call, complete with theme schedule and outlines…

Please contact me anytime, with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you, and working with you, soon!

Salena Baca

What?!?!? She follows me on IG! Of course I’ll design something, how can I DSCF4303not! So I’m elbow deep in designing and crocheting when I get a text…”babe whats going on with the rainbow blanket” … oh crap! My response was when do you need it? Her response “soon”. At this point I leave for South Carolina in two weeks. I start making rainbow clouds at my son’s football practices. Sleep, well lets just say that I didn’t get much. I did however get everything done but one thing. So lets run it down in a month and a half I wrote three patterns, had all three tested. I had a photo shoot for two of those patterns and made a rainbow blanket. What!?!? You may be asking what didn’t I get done, the third pattern is written, but I unlike my testers, did not get to finish mine so there
are no pictures. That pattern may not make it into the magazine. I plan to take it with me to South Carolina and finish it while I’m there but not to sure about the photo shoot. I will release it on my own if I can’t get photos in time for the DSCF4304magazine.

So the only thing I can show you out of those four things is the rainbow blanket. The other three are secret until the magazines come out (November and December).

As I said in an earlier post, I started writing patterns this year and its been a whirlwind. Some times I feel like Dorthy, and I must be dreaming and I’m ok with that; I’ll just keep following the rainbow. I confirmed that I work well under pressure and sleep is over rated.

 Blessings

~Mel

What Does Vintage Mean To You?

DSCF2269        Vintage is a word that you might find anywhere, from magazines to antiques to the runway, the model kind. They say history tends to repeat itself right? If that adage holds true then why wouldn’t the furniture, clothing and other items that people attach the vintage logo to make a comeback every 30 years, give or take. But does it come back in the original form or does it come back with a touch of modern flare to it? While you might find something vintage at an antique store, flea market etc, you are more likely to find something new as “Vintage Inspired”.

Lets look at the difference to be Vintage means, even that needs to be defined. A search on the Google machine, too lazy to find the real DSCF1803dictionary, actually says that Vintage is as noun defined: 1. The yield of wine or grapes from a vineyard or district during one season 2. Wine, usually of high quality, identified as to year and vineyard or district of origin or 3. The year or place in which a wine is bottled. I will concede that vintage wine is the best kind, I’m not writing about wine. If we look at vintage as an adjective it means, 1. Characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal; classic, or 2. Old or outmoded. We’re getting somewhere now, classic, mature, old, uummm maybe not getting somewhere. Vintage inspired is an item that has been inspired by or modeled after something old, out of date, etc.

DSCF1960Why am I going on and on about definitions. I was recently, 4 months ago, that’s recent in my hectic life, stumbled upon a blanket pattern and instantly fell in love with the pattern, not the price of the pattern, but the pattern. It was unlike any blanket I’d ever seen. I found a link on Pinterest while searching for crocheted blankets. It took awhile to find a link that wasn’t broken, but I did and for a few weeks I admired it, as its now pinned to my Blanket board. I gave in and bought the pattern and looking back now I’m sure glad I did. The name you ask “Vintage Crocheted Blanket” by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. While I purchased through Raverly, on online pattern website, you can purchased from the website. There are two versions. The baby blanket or the adult throw and afghan. I purchased both. The blanket had vintage in its name and when you read the description on the blanket from the website it says this to describe the blanket:DSCF1810

“Nostalgia with a modern twist.” Among the many things we miss about our dear friend Pam Reece is her crochet savvy. She loved to take a familiar, even nostalgic idea and give it a modern twist.”

No matter which semantic you use, vintage, or vintage inspired we can revel in that nostalgic feeling, something that maybe reminds of years or people that have passed but allows us to impose our personality into it.

For me Vintage is an idea of things from the past. Things that may be gone, old or out of date but can be reinvented, revamped and be useful today, it simply takes someone willing to see the potential in the old to be new.

So I urge you to not pass over things that may seem old, or out of date, but to embrace your creatively and add a bit of the modern touch you may like. History repeats itself after all, its your job to make your history just a bit better, because someday someone will reinvent your idea of history.

Go forth and be creative. On your way I hope that you find inspiration in my “Vintage” blankets or search for vintage inspired patterns….

~Mel DSCF2270