Just like I did last year. the first thing I made in 2017 was a gift for my little niece's birthday. She turned 2 in the second week of January and I had planned what I was going to make her for her birthday since I had seen it in back in September. Although I hadn't started making it back then!
Crochet Now magazine - the newest monthly crochet magazine on the UK market, and my current favourite one too - had a little series running, where the pattern for this little doll was released one month and then for the next few months there was a different outfit for the doll published.
I thought it was such a cute idea that I knew I had to make it for my niece. Actually, even if I hadn't had my niece to make it for, I may well have made it just for myself!
Just before Christmas when I was in Hobbycraft, I found a little red, spotty suitcase which I knew would be perfect for putting the doll and her little outfits in.
I started working on the doll on Hogmanay, and she was reasonably quick to make up. The most time consuming part were these cute ringlets.
The dress below was in the October issue of the magazine and so had a pumpkin motif on it. Since I didn't think pumpkins were seasonal any more in January, I added a little heart motif instead.
I was ridiculously pleased with the fact that the pattern even included some little bloomers!
I'm pleased to say that my little niece loved the dolly as much as I did!
Once I had finished the doll I spent a week or two working on my Storytime Cross Stitch sampler - a much slower project than a crochet one, but such a cute one.
Alice in Wonderland and The Secret Garden are complete, and I'm now onto Sherlock. Those beautiful, fancy frames alone, without the picture in them, take between 3-4 hours of stitching time, and there are another 9 of them to do!
Now I've put that aside for a bit, though, to start on a new crochet blanket.
In November Lucy from Attic 24 shared a new colour combination that she had made up for a Crochet Along blanket she was planning to start in January. The colours are inspired by the moors, starting with the browns and greens at the bottom, onto the purples of the heather and then finishing with the blues of the sky. You can see Lucy's pictures of her inspiration here.
My husband's sister now traditionally buys me a yarn pack for Christmas each year, so I tagged her in a comment on Lucy's Facebook post and suggested these colours as this year's pack. She replied that not only was she happy to have my Christmas present sorted out so early on, but that she would love to have a blanket made in those colours if I ever had the time to do so.
So I thought, why not make this blanket and try and finish it in time to give her for her birthday, which is on Easter weekend. The last couple of blankets I've made have taken around 4 months, so the timing seems about right.
I started this at the weekend, and then had to restart it again after a couple of rows as I wasn't happy with how the 'wave' pattern was working, The starting chain was too tight and it didn't let the wave work properly. When I restarted it I used a foundation double crochet stitch rather than a starting chain. I almost always use a foundation stitch rather than a chain, especially for blankets that need a very long starting chain, for the very reason that I find the starting chains to be too tight, and also that a foundation double or treble stitch means that you get a good start on the project more quickly.
Second time around the wave is showing up quite nicely, and now that I have done a few rows of it and I can see where the stitches go to make the waves, it's all flowing very nicely.
And as a little bonus, it was lovely to receive a like on my Instagram photo of the start of my blanket from the queen of crochet!