Handmade Receiving Blanket

I once knew a friend in college who would buy an entire outfit when he went shopping. He would never walk out of a store with, say, one shirt. Instead, he would buy a patching pair of pants, and maybe a tie, to go with the shirt. He told me that this way, he would never have an unmatched shirt that would remain untouched in the closet with a tag still attached. The shirt will always have a place to go, as part of a complete ensemble.

I thought his shopping method was crazy at first. Seriously, why would anyone want to spend money buying an entire ensemble every time they shopped? Where’s the creativity in mixing and matching? Then I started thinking about his strategy some more and realized that it was actually very efficient!

While examining my growing fabric inventory the other day, I was saddened by the amount of fabrics I had stashed away completely untouched, simply because these orphan fabrics had nowhere to go, with no other designs to match.

Now when I shop, I try to incorporate the friend’s shopping strategy and have a solid game plan before I click “proceed to checkout.” I’m now committed to only buying fabrics that I have the intention of using, along with other matching fabrics that I would need to make a project. I won’t pick up a fabric, however pretty it may be, if I don’t have a specific plan on how to use it.

I’m happy to report that this plan worked on my last fabric purchases. I was able to use up all the materials that I purchased (made burp cloths and now, this receiving /swaddling blanket), without having any leftovers!

Burp Cloths: $2.50 / each

  • Michael Miller Flannel Dumb Dot Sea ($7.00  / yard)
  • Michael Miller Flannel Dumb Dot Blush ($7.00 / yard)
  • Terry cloth baby blue ($8.00 / yard)
  • Terry cloth pink ($8.00 / yard)

Receiving Blanket: $9.00

  • Wildflower and Sweet Treat Flowers Green ($4.50 / yard)
  • Comfy Double Nappy Flannel Lime ($4.50 / yard)

Total spent on the baby stuff: $39.00 (no tax included).  All fabrics purchased at Fabric.com.

Now, time to shop some more!

“Super Easy Baby Blanket” For a Baby Girl

Despite the rising temperature outside, I really enjoyed knitting this baby blanket inspired by Purl Bee’s Super Easy Baby Blanket. The original blanket is knit entirely in garter stitch but since I’m not a big fan of the stitch (I really don’t like the way it looks), I changed it up a bit. I’m not sure what the proper name of the stitch is called but I Knit 1 and Purl 1 all the way across the first row, knit all the way across the second row, and repeated these two stiches until I finished seven skeins. I knit this on and off at night, about half skein a night, and took me about three weeks to complete it. The pattern is very simple with on real counting involved, so it’s perfect while watching a DVD or listening to the radio.

I went outside my color box and selected a hue combination that I usually don’t pick. Knowing that this was going to be a gift for a baby girl, I wanted something bright and fun, without being overly girly. I alternated the green / gray / pink combination twice. I used Green Plum, Fieldstone, Ruby, Sour Grass, Silver, Hush, and Tea Leaf (not pictured), in that order. You can always rely on the expert eyes of Purl Soho and Alchemy staffs, and use their color ideas.

The Alchemy Temple 100% superfine marino yarns that I purchased at Purl Soho were great to knit with. I wasn’t sure about the texture at first, but after I hand washed it and let it air dry, the softness came to life. The blanket is so soft and feels amazing on a skin – perfect for a baby. I think the garter stich will give a softer and cozier feel, but I really like how mine came out too. Just make sure to wash the blanket before gifting since the color runs like crazy. I ended up washing it in a sink like 10 times with all-natural detergent, and added few tablespoons of vinegar several times while rinsing to set the color.

I hope the bundle of joy will enjoy her blanket! I’m hoping to wrap it up and give this to the proud parents next week. 🙂