I used this pattern that my mom passed along to me. You're supposed to use several colors throughout the finished blanket, but I really just like a solid color. (That being said, if you follow the link in the last sentence, the colors in the sample blanket are really, really gorgeous.) Since Steph doesn't know if she's having a boy or a girl, I used my favorite neutral as my one color.
If you look closely, you can see that this pattern requires you to work in the round rather than back-and-forth-back-and-forth. That center cross is the beginning of a granny square. Of course, squares have four sides and corners, so the blanket develops four major triangular sections as you move around and around the center of the blanket. In the end, you have a really giant granny square. Typically, the finished square is 33"-36". Honestly, I just buy a Pound of Love baby yarn (can you believe they call it that? there seriously was no better name?) and keep going until it's gone. I know a bunch of people just lost all respect for me because my go-to yarn is acrylic, but nothing washes and dries better than this stuff.
For the edging, I used the same reverse single crochet stitch that I used on three of last year's blankets. I finished the bulk of the blanket and then went around the edge two times using just a single crochet. For the third and final round, I worked left to right (backward or reverse) to create the rope pattern on the outermost edge.
Remember how I went to that First Friday flea market thing two Fridays ago? That same night, I stopped in a new store on Gay Street called Bella and Betty. Their featured artisan for June's First Friday was The Ellie Rose, a local company that makes gorgeous children's apparel and baby gear. (Their girls' dresses are freakin adorable AND reversible!) The owner of The Ellie Rose was in the store to talk about her work. I really liked her baby bib and burp cloth sets, but couldn't pick a favorite fabric pattern. On a whim, she pulled a bib out of her own bag and said, "Well, I have this squirrel pattern too."
Squirrels? Sign me up. (I like to think they sorta look like the Fluffs.) The problem was that she only had bibs on hand--no burp cloths, and I really wanted a set. She actually offered to make a burp cloth for me and drop it off at the store the next day so I had it in time for Sunday. How nice is that? I purposely picked a bib that had blue and green trees in the center (rather than pink), so she actually cut the fabric for the burp cloth to include as much green and blue as possible in the center. The burp cloths are even contoured to rest better on shoulders: They're "skinnier" in the middle and wider where they cover the back and chest. They're so well-made--you can feel it when you hold them in your hands.
I didn't get too many shots at the shower, but Steph was clearly really surprised and later tore through an astounding amount of presents in forty minutes. Her husband, Jeff, was Man of the Hour (for about five minutes before all of the estrogen in the room became way too much and he left) for successfully tricking his wife on party day.
Steph thought she was just coming to meet to some family members for lunch.
The other day, I passed by the place where Steph's bridal shower took place four years ago this month--thinking about that made my head spin. Four years ago? And now there's a baby? And I wasn't even married when I was at Steph's last shower? How much faster can it all go?
I can't wait to see the baby's finished room with all the new stuff inside--I hope Steph and Jeff have fun putting it all together.