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

Sweaters: My New Obsession

So I go through phases of obsessions. They never really leave I just get new ones. I still love making baby blankets. I’m still very obsessed with Tunisian crochet!! In fact the first two obsessions have been put together and I’m working on a Tunisian baby blanket. A blog post will happen once I complete it. It’s been a labor of love. So the newest obsession you ask…well its been here awhile but recently leapfrogged to the head of the list, sweaters.

I’ve made a few baby sweaters in the past, even a toddler, and adult sweater. Sweaters are one of those items that I feel only look good in pictures if they’re being worn. My baby isn’t a baby anymore, and most of the sweater patterns are for little girls. So generally they are made to order which makes it hard to get orders, oh vey. So when a co-worker announced she was having a little girl and she was due on my birthday, I decided instead of my customary baby blanket I was doing a sweater…or two.

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Classic Baby Cardigan

I have two favorite clothes designers, Holland Designs and Mon Petit Violon. Trust me they are my go to’s. I head into my pattern library mostly on Ravelry. That’s another great website for us crocheters, it’s great for knitting too. There it is the classic cardigan by Holland Designs. I must make that one!!! I look at the suggested yarn and head into the yarn stash and find a beautiful cotton blend in lilac (the lighter purple in the picture). The pattern is quick and adorable. I posted the finished picture on my Instagram account and within a day someone wanted to buy it. Good and bad news! The yarn is discontinued and they wanted that exact color. So I thought about it and decided to sell the original sweater and made another for my co-worker in Cottonish by Bernat and Vickie Howell. I made them both in 0-3 months because she was due in July. I just love this pattern and think that for little girls it might just be my new go to baby shower gift.

1-2Y Zara Cardigan

Zara Sleeveless Cardigan

 

I wanted to make a short sleeve one too, so I went back to the library of patterns on Ravelry
and settled on the Zara Sleeveless Cardigan, from Mon Petit Violon. I used the same Cottinish yarn but this time I used Jade, a beautiful green color. I made this one in 1-2 years because it has no sleeves She would be able to wear it next summer.

I have almost all of Mon Petit Violon’s patterns here are a few items that I’ve made with her patterns. I still have so many that I haven’t made yet too!

PicMonkey Collage

Other Mon Petit Violon patterns I’ve made

I highly recommend these two designers if you have the need or the desire to make adorable baby girl items.

Blessings

~Mel

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

 

 

Being Connected….

As a crafter, you create from what you aBaby Bear Hooded Cowlre inspired by. I see a pattern on Pinterest and I must make it. I have people send me pictures, with a quick can you make this?. I love to put my own spin on things. I have a Facebook page, Instagram, Google+, and Twitter account. If your reading this you know I have a blog. I sell on Etsy. In the ever growing and changing world as we know it you have to be connected to keep some what up to date on things, there are a few hashtags I still don’t get.

All those social media sites are great and has allowed me to become fans of and receive fans from across the country to across the pond and into England, Australia, France, Saudi Arabia and other far away places. I am grateful for those fans and new inspirations but it has also allowed me to sell items to those countries. It makes me happy to know that somewhere in Australia a little baby is playing with my Monster Eyeball Rattles.

The great thing about being connected in this way is the people that I have actually met or had a real relevant conversation with. I love that in a crochet group on FaceRuffle Skirtsbook I could help walk a beginner through a stitch that they haven’t been able to get or even get feedback on color choices for my own projects. But most of all I’m excited about the new business connections I have made.

Early on I had a friend who does photography and she has the cutest little girls I sent her a few things and she took some pictures. She did a newborn shoot for a high school friend that had twins and asked me to make them something. Her work is amazing and you can findElf Stocking Cap more of her work on her Facebook page Park Avenue Photography. I was asked by a photographer based out of Mississauga Ontario Canada to use my props in her photo shoots. Check out Sweet Spot Photography and if you live in Mississauga or close to it contact her for your photo needs. I also work with a local Buffalo photographer Back Creek Stork Sack Photography based out of Boston NY, (just South of Buffalo NY). You can check out more of their work on their Facebook page. I love all the photos that they send me of my items in action. It can be difficult to imagine something on a baby, and their photos bring my vision into reality. It makes me proud to see my work on a precious little newborn and know that the photographer and new parents are happy with the items. All the pictures in this blog are from these lovely photographers mentioned above.

My other connection is huge to say the least. I was contacted by a friend who was embarking on big life changing decision. She and her husband decided to open a boutique in the heart of Buffalo. She contacted me to be a participaBaby Bear Hatnt in her store. She purchased a lot of baby items to stock in her store. Everything from hats, to boots, to blankets and baskets. It was the biggest order I had ever received. That order was a defining moment in my little hobby turned business. Yeah I had sold to family and friends, I had about 30 sales on Etsy but according to my taxes I have a net profit for 2 years of $3,100. This boutique order wasn’t anywhere close to that in dollar amount but it was so fulfilling to know that someone on their lunch break could go in and buy a pair of booties and give it as a baby shower gift or keep it for their own child. My shop has become legit! So if you live in the Buffalo NY area head down to Lafayette Square and visit Anne at Boutique in the Square. If you live elsewhere she ships so you can still check out her store and order.

These simple connectioLittle Feet Ballet Slippersns have made my shop become so much more that just a shop on Etsy. I couldn’t be more proud of myself and those ladies that I have partnered with. It is a difficult thing sometimes to follow your dreams. But no matter the amount of adversity one faces, in the end its about the goal. I went months without selling a single thing, but it only takes one person to believe in you and your dream. So I challenge you to check out these amazing ladies and their dreams that with your help can be achieved. If you have a business that needs a little love leave a link to your Facebook page, twitter, Instagram etc and I’ll check it out and show it some love. Everyone deserves a shot at their dream. Thank you to those that believed in me and my dream I hope to help others achieve theirs. Baby Girl Doily Photo Prop

Blessings

~Mel

A Vintage Inspired Bonnet

I don’t know what it is about bonnets that i’m instinctively drawn to. While aimlessly scrolling through crochet Facebook groups, Pintrest boards, and Instagram feeds the thing that always catches my eye are those adorable looking bonnets.

The other day in my before bed looking session I saw that a friend posted the most adorable looking newborn bonnet. While I say that about most bonnets, blankets, shoes, ok pretty much everything crochet, this one actually was! I followed the link which took me to Raverly where I favorited the bonnet and then purchased he next day. If you have never heard of Raverly, Google it or follow the link because it is by far the best place to find patterns for crochet and knitting. I love it because it stores a copy for you so if you lose your pattern, write on it too much or fold it to many times trying to stuff it in your project bag so its no longer legible (yeah I’ve done it) you can always find another copy in your library.

So off to the stash I went, I chose the prettiest, softest cotton blend white yarn I could find. Now I rarely am drawn to white especially for babies but, I had a vision when I saw this bonnet. The pattern comes in newborn to toddler sizes, I was picturing a newborn photo prop hat with dark colored flowers. I headed back to the stash and chose a dark purple, a dark pink and an olive green for the flowers in a mercerized cotton yarn. So I had my yarn, printed my pattern, grabbed my hook and sat in my favorite spot and twenty minutes later I had the prettiest bonnet I’ve made and three flowers. Have you ever gotten in that one more row, one more color change mode and stayed up way
past bedtime? That is where I was too tired to sew the flowers on even though I wanted to finish right away, I needed sleep.

I had to work the next day so after I got home, made dinner and did my grown up duties I was finally ready to finish the bonnet. I sat down sewed on my three flowers and I had the prettiest bonnet I’ve ever made. I’m absolutely in love with the finished product. I can’t wait to see this bonnet on a newborn Baby girl. The bonnet is called the Penelope Bonnet. If you love the bonnet and want one for the little girl in your life or you are a photographer and want one for photo sessions you can purchase through my Etsy shop. If you are a crocheter and want to make your own bonnet check out Unravel Me on Raverly for the paid pattern.

I’m happy to share my little hobby with you. If you do what you love you they say you never work a day in your life right. Thank you to those who let me do what I love.

Blessings

~Mel