Monkey Business – part 2

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I haven’t had a lot of time to crochet lately so I was afraid I had grown a little rusty. One of our friends recently had their first baby and they were coming to visit us at our new house. Since crochet items are such great baby gifts, I decided I needed to dust off the old crochet hooks and whip out an amazing gift for the new little baby! I checked my yarn stash and looked at the time. OK, It’s 9pm, they were coming at around 10am and the baby wakes up at 6am. I would have to work fast!

I quickly decided I wanted to make a sock monkey hat, partly because I thought it suited our friends so much. If you have been following my blog, this may look familiar as it is the hat I made my first daughter! I had one eye on the clock as I was furiously crocheting and trying not to make any mistakes so I was able to keep pretty good track of my time. I used a 9 month size pattern since the baby won’t be able to use it until this winter. I was able to make the whole hat with the features attached in about three and a half hours. That left just the pom pom for the next day. Looking good so far.

The next morning was a bustle of activities getting everything ready for the guests! I was finally able to sit and make the pom pom, attach it, and wrap the gift right before they arrived. Whew! Just made it! The hat turned out great and the baby was so adorable and tiny! I can’t wait to see her when she gets old enough for the hat! Welcome, little cutie!

What is a Mameshiba?

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I am about to be an aunt for the third time! This time it’s my little brother (the baby of our family), who is about to become a father! Can you believe how time flies? I still remember when he was a baby wearing diapers and now he’s about to have a baby himself!

IMG_4942Now, this next project has a little history to it. I had see this Mameshiba plush at a trade show one year and I thought it was so ridiculously cute that I wanted one immediately. Unfortunately, they were not yet for sale in the US, being just recently released in Japan. I told my little brother about it and the next year, unbeknownst to me, he was able to get me a small “keychain”version of this plush. I don’t know what it is, but the Japanese have a knack for making concepts like a half soybean, half dog that is ridiculously round, the most adorable thing ever.

Anyways, before he had a chance to give it to me, his now wife saw it and thought it was really cute and for her. When he told her it was for me, her disappointment was palpable. He surprised her the next year with her very own. They now have three keychain plushies and one larger plush.

IMG_4940Well, I thought this would just be the cutest and funniest idea for a hat. I decided on the chili-bean version, which they have, and made some matching mittens for their little guy.

I can’t wait to see his round little noggin in this thing! We can’t wait to meet you, little guy!

The Long and Short of it

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My daughter is growing so quickly these days it’s hard to keep track! One day she’ll have pants that are rolled up at the cuffs and the next, they’ll look like capris! Well, you would think that maybe accessories would have more of a lifespan.

I had made my daughter some mittes in this previous post. I thought that they may last all winter. Well, let me tell you, I was wrong. A couple of things I have learned from my first mitten foray:

1. Mittens are like socks on babies. They never stay on.
2. Mittens are like socks on babies. They get small very quickly.
3. Mittens are like socks on babies. They get ripped off the moment you put them on.

My husband and I broke down the mitten problem for our daughter in particular. It seemed that no mitten that we got her was long enough as they seemed to slip off quickly and easily. We finally concluded that perhaps a long mitten, almost like a second sleeve, that you put on before the jacket, may actually stay on. It was worth a shot.

IMG_4964I made these comfy looking mittens using some yarn that I got as a Christmas present from my brother-in-law and his wife. His wife is extremely talented as well and makes these adorable amigurumi dolls. She actually made one for my daughter of Hello Kitty in a duck outfit! Anyways, they got me a very thoughtful gift of some circular knitting needles, a little yarn caddy, and some yarn. I decided to use one of the balls of Lion Brand Homespun yarn for thie mitten. This yarn is very soft and comfortable. It’s acrylic so it’s machine washable and dryer friendly, always a plus when we’re dealing with kids!

This was a very quick project and I think that these turned out quite well! They look really comfy and the yarn is thick so I think these will be quite warm. I’ll have to see how they test out, but at least they’ll stay on for a little longer, yes? Wish me (and my daughter) luck!

A Whisker in Time

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I was thrilled to learn that one of my former co-workers was pregnant with her first child! This co-worker witnessed my entire pregnancy and was so supportive, thoughtful, and curious about the entire process. Being pregnant for the first time, it was wonderful to have someone close to me to share my every day discoveries, questions, musings, etc. about pregnancy and it was great to have someone just as curious and in awe of the process as I was.

Well, she has since moved to the U.K. so this is the first time my work has traveled internationally! I wasn’t sure at the time of making this if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl so I opted for a gender-neutral color.  I decided to go with a mouse because I loved the idea of the little whiskers with a felted bead nose.  It was actually inspired by a hat I had gotten for my daughter when she was just 6 months old from the Egg by Susan Lazar line.  Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to fit very well so it was a little bit of a disappointing purchase.

Anyways, I wish very much that I could meet this sweet new baby, who I discovered is a girl, just weeks old at this point!  I’m sure that her mommy and daddy are enjoying every moment with her and I hope that she’ll get some good use out of this little hat!  Welcome to the world, dear!

Come Fly With Me

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Don’t you hate how you always think you have more time than you do and put things off until you have no time at all?  Last year felt like that.  Well, starting the new year with a bang, it’s time to get crafting!

I haven’t made hats in a while so getting back into it, I was surprised how quickly they went. I’ve been focusing a lot on trying different things lately that I’d almost forgotten the project that began my blogging journey! You may recognize this adorable little aviator from my previous post. This time, I made this for a toddler. Our very good friend who had a baby boy grew out of the booties I made him so he didn’t get to enjoy them for the cold weather! What a big boy, they just grow so fast, don’t then?

This is the first time that I’ve give one baby two gifts so it took a little time for me to figure out what to get him as a second gift.  I settled on the aviator because it’s super cute and I love the simplicity for him.  He’s such a good-natured baby, always smiling and happy.  I just love watching him get super-excited and pump his chubby little legs up and down in the air!  There’s nothing quite so pure and beautiful as the sheer joy and excitement of baby when he’s happy.  I guess that’s one of the reasons I got into all of this crafting.  The idea of the looks of wonder on these adorable little kiddie’s faces as they see something new and exciting for the first time, even if I’m not there to witness it, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (I can’t believe how sappy I’m sounding…. and I used to pride myself on my New York cynicism!  Hahaha… joke’s on me I guess!)

Well little boy, I hope that you don’t grow too quickly out of this gift.  Remember, you’re only young once and I’m sure your mommy and daddy would love for you to stay young just a little longer!

Whooooo’s There?

Well, I’ve gone and done it again. I keep telling myself that I’m going to try new things and I keep making owls! I swear, they are growing on me. I’m hooked (no pun intended)!

I had the very great surprise of learning that our daycare provide is pregnant! A big congratulations! We couldn’t be more excited for her and her expectant belly. She is hands down one of the most nurturing, patient, and loving people and I feel so blessed to be able to have my daughter watched by someone like this each and every day. She also has a beautiful little girl who seems to follow in her mother’s footsteps. I know that she is going to be such a wonderful older sister, given the interaction I’ve seen between her and my own daughter.

I thought about what I wanted and I just keep thinking “owl.” This time I tried something slightly different. I made this hat for a 9 month old so that the baby (who I discovered is a girl!) will be able to use it next winter. I recently saw this uber-adorable owl hat from baby gap that was made out of fleece. Now, instead of just a traditional owl head, it also had these patches on the earflaps that served as the owl’s wings. Well, I thought, this is just a fabulous idea and I should try it!

I had a lot of fun with this interpretation of an owl hat.  I love how the little nubby horns makes it seem more like a baby owl, and the little pom-poms instead of the traditional ties, balance out everything.  I hope that the new owner loves it as much as I do and that it keeps her nice and toasty warm!

Shake, Rattle and Roll

It seems to be that time of year where we are learning about all the new babies we will meet in the coming year. It always makes me so happy to hear the happy news of expectant parents, whether it is for the first time or not.

If you recall way at the beginning of my blogging journey, I had mentioned my daughter’s daycare bff in this post.  We recently discovered that she is going to be a big sister! A big congratulations to the expecting parents and her friend, what wonderful news! I just know they’re all going to have so much fun together and her friend is going to be such a great older sister!

Well, I wanted to make something special for the new baby. I recall when we first had my daughter that we didn’t have a lot of toys that made noises, like a rattle, or musical toys. I thought that making a baby rattle would be such a great idea! My daughter is really into all sorts of animals right now, so I thought about what I wanted to do (and what I couldn’t really make into a hat) and decided to try and elephant.

I found a really great pattern for an amigurumi elephant here. I thought that it was so cute and would be perfect for the rattle.  I wanted to make it into a ring so I opted just to make the head and make a separate ring and attach them together.  I ended up using the “bee” ring pattern here because I thought the sizes may work well together.

I slightly modified the head by placing one of those rattle balls I talked about in my previous post here.  I love the way this turned out.  My daughter was so excited when she saw the finished product that she didn’t want to let it go and ran around shaking it for a good hour.  I guess I’ll have to make her one as well!  Congrats to the expectant family!