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Lila: A Combination Knit & Crochet Baby Blanket – FREE Pattern!

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Showcase, Tutorials , on January 8, 2014 ,

Lila baby blanket pattern by Lesley Karpiuk of thepinktoque.comWith our second baby, Lila, on the way (I can’t believe she’s due next month!) I of course had to whip up a baby blanket. I didn’t want to use the same pattern that I used for Liam just to mix things up a bit, and spent days going through patterns on Ravelry to find just the right blanket but couldn’t decide. I was torn on whether I wanted to knit or crochet; I prefer the look of knit, but crochet is so much quicker for me. What’s an indecisive pregnant mama to do?! I stumbled upon a Lion Brand pattern that both my husband and I liked the concept of, but I wasn’t super fond of the look of the particular lace it used, nor the fact that it was knit from the corner and increased from there. It got me thinking of doing something similar with alternating lace and garter panels, but with “prettier” lace. And knit flat across, back and forth, instead of increased from the corner.

I somewhat recently learned broomstick lace crochet, and I remember thinking it could easily transition to knitting needles to do a combo project, and the idea was born to make a baby blanket from alternating broomstick lace crochet and garter knit stitch panels. I couldn’t find anything like it, so I just decided to take notes and possibly write up the pattern to share later. I finished the blanket about a week before Christmas, but just got around to formatting the pattern to share publicly this weekend.

Lila baby blanket by Lesley Karpiuk of thepinktoque.com

I don’t go into detail on how to do broomstick lace in the pattern, so it assumes you are familiar with the technique ahead of time. However, I did add two links in the pattern to the resources I used to teach myself:

Video Tutorial (4 mins)

Written Tutorial

And as I’ve mentioned that it’s a combination of crochet (broomstick lace) and knit (garter stitch), you need to be able to do these two different techniques to be successful with following the blanket pattern, but I promise it’s super easy otherwise. I also included a quick video clip I took of myself transferring the stitches from the knitting needles after doing a garter panel back to do another broomstick crochet panel, so I think that will help. Of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know either in the comments or via email.

Materials Needed for the Lila Baby Blanket
Size J crochet hook
Worsted weight yarn (I used Hobby Lobby Yarn Secret in Lilac, 2 skeins)
Size 8 knitting needles on 32″ cable (You’ll knit back and forth like on straights)
Size 35 or 50 knitting needle, or broomstick (I literally took the plastic broomstick off of my toddler’s play broom and used that!), referred to as broomstick throughout the pattern


I really love how the blanket turned out! Mine ended up being 20″ x 30″ unblocked. I really need to block it, because in my test swatch, blocking really made the broomstick lace panels pop beautifully. I’m sure I’ll get that done before Lila arrives next month, right?

Happy knit/crochet! Hope you enjoy the pattern.

Geekling Knits & Crochets: A Summary So Far

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on April 27, 2011 ,

The first week of March I began the first of many geekling knit and crochet projects that I had slated to make for our little boy due in June. Here it is the end of April and with just 9 weeks left before it’s go time, I thought I’d share all of the things I’ve made so far and what I have left to work on. Something exciting to note is that Ravelry, the hugely popular knit & crochet community, has made it possible for users to share their project pages by allowing us to make our projects public. The links below for each project I’ve made will take you to my Ravelry project page for it, where you can get all of the details… including the pattern name I used, who wrote the pattern, what yarn and needles/hook I used, and more pictures and a more detailed description of the project. So cool! If you have any questions about any of the projects or patterns, do let me know. Here we go!

For my first project, I started with the diaper covers that I mentioned in my previous post. Considering how warm Indiana summers are, I thought these cute covers would be better than pants over a diaper. They were super, super easy to make, too! You could easily get 2, maybe even 3 out of one skein of Lily Sugar ‘n’ Creme. Then you can get cute or fancy with your button choices to really dress it up.

Next up was the dinosaur toque. Our “theme” for the nursery is dinosaurs, so I whipped up a cute crocheted dinosaur hat for our newborn. Yes, it is being modeled by a pink plush Murloc in this photo. Try not to squee too loudly. I used a slightly lighter yarn for this toque than the pattern called for and have since picked up some worsted weight yarn instead.  I am a little worried the hat will be too small because of the lighter yarn, so I may go back and re-make this toque using worsted weight just to be on the safe side. We have been generously given a photography session with Rachel Vanoven as a baby shower gift from our dear friend Laura, and I’d love to have the dino hat in at least one of the photos. Better make sure it fits, eh!

I then had fun making a couple dinosaur bibs – one each of a stegosaurus and a bronto/apatosaurus/brachiosaurus looking dino. While I’m not crazy about the whole tying part (in hindsight, I should’ve modified the pattern to snap in the back or velcro instead), I have come to the realization that these won’t be used all the time and are more about cute than being super easy to use. I’ll use them for sure, (being 100% cotton means they’ll be easy to clean at least!) but I have a feeling that more practical bibs will get used more often.

After the bibs, I spent a week or two cranking out a half dozen dinosaur burp cloths. These will be so handy! They, too, are made from 100% cotton to make them durable and easy to wash. All six of the cloths are of the Brachiosaurus variety. I can see having these stuffed in a diaper bag and using them for everyday baby messes around the house or on the go. These were really easy to make, and after the first few, I really got in a groove with them and could crank one out in an evening. If I find time, I may go back to making a few more of these before the geekling arrives; you can never have too many cloths with a baby around.

The most recent project isn’t dinosaur themed, but is a staple for any new baby: a baby blanket. I went with a familiar pattern that I used for my nephew’s baby blanket two years ago, but this time I alternated colors reminiscent of the ocean and called it the Ocean Fade Baby Blanket. The feather and fan openwork pattern naturally made these beautiful ripples in the design that looked great in these colors, just like the ocean. Fitting, since I started the project on our roadtrip to Savannah, GA where we spent some time on the river and then on the ocean at Tybee Island. We try to take one trip a year over our anniversary (June 20) where we end up in a bed and breakfast on the ocean, and this year because the geekling is due 9 days after our anniversary, we decided to make that trip a bit early and stayed in an oceanside bed and breakfast on Tybee over spring break instead. The other pictures of the blanket and me working on the blanket over on my Ravelry project page comes from our trip. At the time of this writing, I am about 95% finished with the blanket; I blocked it last night (this was the second blocking, actually… it was so long and I didn’t have a long enough place to block that I had to do it in two parts!) and I hope to find time to weave in all of the ends securely this week.

So what’s next on my agenda? Well, I’ve decided that I need a “newborn hospital cap” because even babies born in the summer will wear one for a little bit. I’d like the cap he wears to be made by mama instead of provided by the hospital. I’ll be using the pattern located here by Annika Barranti at Through the Looking Glass. I’m also considering (time permitting) another blanket; this one a Sweet Swaddling Blanket by Dawn’s Dream Designs. We’ll see if I have time! I’m also considering this dinosaur amigurumi plush by Lan-Anh Bui & Josephine Wan. Isn’t it cute? Oh if I only had more hours in the day…

The Beginning of the Baby Knits & Crochets

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on March 2, 2011 ,

I feel like Superwoman. Thanks to all of you, I’ve been making soap constantly to keep up with demand. Thanks for helping me celebrate my soapy anniversary and making it such a success!

But it’s not ALL been soap in my crafting universe this week.

Last week we found out our geekling is going to be a boy, and we are just tickled at the news. The thought of a mini-Lucas makes me so happy I could burst! We’d already had the name Liam picked out for years, so a Liam he will be. It probably won’t come as a surprise to any of you that the very next stop after we left the ultrasound appointment was the yarn store; I had a list all ready of various blue and green yarn I needed to get a head start on knitting and crocheting things for my little boy.

Somehow this week I’ve managed to find time to squeeze in a workout (Hooray for #geekfit!), keep up with soap orders, play a little Rift, (More on that over on my gaming blog) AND work on baby projects each night after getting home from work. Whew! I’m excited to show off my first finished object(s) for Liam.

Crocheted Diaper Covers
Our boy is due at the end of June, and summertime in the midwest can get pretty hot. I have a feeling Liam won’t be wearing much more than onesies or even just a diaper during the hotter parts of the summer, and so I thought these cute little diaper covers would be perfect instead of pants. It helps that they are a super fast crochet project, too. I considered dressing these up a bit with different buttons, like shape buttons or something, but I really liked how the solid wooden ones turned out against the yarns.  The pattern I used is the textured Beanie & Diaper Cover set by Danyel Pink. [Ravelry]

If someone were to ask me what our baby “theme” is, I’d have to say dinosaurs. Mostly because I just mean I plan to decorate the baby room in cute, handmade dinosaur stuff and do some digital scrapbooking with cute dinosaur embellishments and kits. (More on those kits in another post!) Other things on my to-knit or to-crochet list for the geekling include an adorable dinosaur long tail toque for the fall, some dinosaur/monster baby booties, a swaddling blanket, and dinosaur themed knitted burp cloths and bibs that I can’t wait to cast on. Sure a couple of “fancy” knitted cotton bibs and cloths will be something I spend hours making only to have them be thrown up on, but that’s not the point. (And cotton is washable!) I think it’s part of that “nesting” they keep talking about that’s making me yearn for the creation of as much handmade goodness to greet and surround my newborn with as possible. Stay tuned for lots of handmade dinosaur goodness that I plan to share here as we get closer and closer to the third trimester and eventually… baby time :)

A Little of This, A Little of That

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on October 27, 2009 ,
photo copyright to Lesley Karpiuk

photo copyright to Lesley Karpiuk

I’m here for just a quick drive-by (or surf-by?) post to show off what I’m currently working on! On the needles today is a lovely lace-edged toque with my even more lovely Nova Scotia yarn that I purchased over the summer when I was in Halifax with Lucas celebrating our anniversary. I know this picture doesn’t do the yarn or the pattern justice (and I’m quickly learning that lace doesn’t look quite right until after it’s blocked) because I took it at work instead of at home with my good digital camera, but I think you get the idea. I’m finding the yarn to be just delicious — if you don’t remember, it’s the Tanis Fiber Arts yellow label DK weight yarn in Spearmint, and I purchased it at the Loop Craft Cafe in downtown Halifax. The color is gorgeous and the yarn is so nice to work with.  It was my first hand-dyed hank of yarn and I don’t own a swift so Lucas and I did our best — it turned into a huge pile of mangled mess, but in the end we managed to get it wound into a cake. Whew! It was totally worth it.

Tanis Fiber Arts yellow label DK weight in Spearmint, photo © Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque, taken on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia on the Cabot Trail.

The pattern is the Lace-Edged Hat from Julie M. Hentz at Head Huggers, and I really think it’s turning out pretty. I featured it over on the Knitting Under the Desk blog last week, and my favorite part of the hat is that there’s enough excitement with the simple lacework for a brim instead of the typical ribbed brim to make the hat interesting, but enough stockinette to keep me in my comfort zone, too. The best part is that once you do all of the lacework, you’re home free, since it starts from the brim and works to the crown.  I highly recommend it! I can’t wait to finish it and post a better photo of me wearing it.

Also recently I’ve been working on a pattern en masse as Christmas presents for family and friends.  Remember all of the jam? I’m also knitting Christmas ornaments to go along with the jam packages, so photos of that will be coming shortly. I’m nearly halfway finished on the lot!

In RL news, my baby nephew is due any day now and Lucas and I are moving into a new place this weekend, so it’s a busy week! I can’t wait to meet my nephew and snap some photos of the baby things I’ve knitted for him over the last several months. You can be sure photos will follow :) Take care!

Back Home Again, in Indiananaaaaaa…

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on August 5, 2009 ,
photo copyright to Lesley Karpiuk

photo copyright to Lesley Karpiuk

So we’re finally settled (mostly) back home in Indiana. The move from Calgary, AB Canada to Indiana was a long one, but well worth the drive. It was quite an adventure with Lucas and the two boys — three long days of long hours in the car.  You’d think anyone would go crazy being cooped up in a vehicle for such a duration, but I tackled my very first sweater on the trip and completed a set of baby mittens, too!

My future nephew is due in October, so I’ve been on a bit of a baby knitting kick lately. I’ve made bibs, spit up rags, toques, and now mittens and a baby sweater. The mittens were super simple and super quick and I love the result. A friend of ours suggested that they were mittens for Vulcans based on the way I posed with them, haha. Live long and prosper… warmly!  The mitten pattern I chose was [Ravelry link] this one, “Baby Mittens” by Sassystitches.

photo copyright to Lesley Karpiuk

Live long and prosper... warmly!

The baby sweater was the big project that took most of my time on the trip. I chose the very simple 5 Hour Baby Boy Sweater by Jesse’s Branch Charity Crafts. [Ravelry link]. I love the great little garter ridges on the yoke area and the matching garter trim on the jacket body and sleeves. I’ve never knitted a sweater before, so it was probably a good thing that I chose a baby-sized sweater to familiarize myself with the process. I knit starting with the yoke and went back and forth, increasing in a regular pattern, doing the cute little garter ridges until it was time for the sleeves. It got a bit complicated for me at this point because I had a lot of separating to do. Thank goodness for having a full interchangeable Knit Picks set, because I used extra short lengths of cables to hold stitches while I worked the sleeves. I think I would’ve rather knitted the sleeves in the round via magic loop now that I’ve gone through this pattern once, but I was worried about trying to modify an unfamiliar pattern on my first try.  I should also admit that the “5 hour” of the 5 Hour Baby Boy Sweater actually took me more like 12 hours, but I chalk that up to my inexperience in knitting sweaters and the fact I was trying to spread the project out over a long car ride and taking my time.  And, well, I’m also a pretty slow knitter!  I blocked the sweater after we arrived and I think after adding the little car button as a finishing touch, that it turned out really well.

Speaking of little car buttons, I picked up a small pack of them and used them on my Modern Cabled Baby Bibs, too. Don’t the buttons add an adorable little boyish charm?

photo copyright to Lesley Karpiuk

photo copyright to Lesley Karpiuk

I recently had a few more people purchase my Crochet Cthulhu Toques so I barely had time to get settled in Indiana before I was busy crocheting away to complete the orders.  While I’m job searching, it sure felt good to have orders to fill! Cross your fingers that something comes along soon… I’m starting to get antsy!  :)

Recycled Wallpaper QP Freebie

Posted in Freebies, Knit & Crochet, Scrapbooking , on July 10, 2009 ,

I’m baaaaaaack! Hopefully you liked the Recycled Wallpaper mini pack freebie given away yesterday :) Today as promised I’ve got the coordinating quick page to give away, too! It’s 3600 x 3600 pixels (12″ x 12″) and 300 dpi. It uses a little from the Recycled Wallpaper pack and then I added some other random stuff as I went. It’s a little pink, but pink is a very good color :)

Download the Recycled Wallpaper QP here!

Don’t forget that unless otherwise specified, my digital scrapbooking elements are for personal use only. Be sure to check out the TOU included and let me know if you have any questions. I hope to make some more new stuff in the near future, as time allows. Right now I’m back home in Indiana for a brief period this weekend in order to interview with the school district I taught at before I moved up to Canada. Cross your fingers! If I get a job offer, Lucas and I will pack up the boys and we’ll be on our way.

And of course, finding out last minute (Wednesday) that I was going to need to take a plane to Indy the next day (Thursday), one of the most important aspects of the packing wasn’t which outfit I was going to wear for the interview, or my teaching portfolio… but what knit projects I wanted to take with me for the flight! Haha. Ok so I’m probably exaggerating a lot (It took a long time for me to decide on an outfit, and I spent several hours touching up my portfolio), but it was a very important part of the packing. I had to figure out the patterns I wanted to take and wind some yarn for those projects into cakes to pack in my carry on.  I’m going to be working on Danido Crafty’s Bebeh Earflaps Hat and the Modern Cabled Baby Bib by Andrea Pomerantz. I’ll let you know how it goes! :)

Have a great weekend, and wish me luck!

It's (Gonna Be) A Boy!

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on June 16, 2009 ,
Think we bought enough?

Think we bought enough?

My brother and sister-in-law found out today that they’re having a BOY! I am so ecstatic that I will have a nephew in October that Lucas and I went yarn shopping right after work. Do you think we got enough? The next few months will be filled with baby toques, booties, bibs, puke cloths, blankets and everything in between. I’m planning to pack the blanket pattern I’ve chosen to knit (the Organic Baby Wrapper by Fawn Pea [reg link] [Ravelry link]) in something soft baby blue, and Lucas is planning to take the Lion Brand Hooded Baby Wrap ([LB link] [Ravelry link]) to knit on the plane for our trip to Nova Scotia this weekend. We leave Thursday; I am SO excited!

Yay! His first pair of socks and first official project!

Yay! His first pair of socks and first official project!

Speaking of Lucas knitting — we both have finished our pair of socks now (his first official project!!!) for our dads for Father’s Day, and our socks will be shipped off first thing in the morning. They’re gonna be a little late I think, but that’s ok. Lucas did a fantastic job; I am so proud! Here he is finishing up his second sock.

I am too excited right now to write anymore; check back tomorrow because I have some FOs (that are successes) in response to yesterday’s failure post. lol.