Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What to craft when you're expecting...

When I first found out I was pregnant, I sought and took in as much information as possible. This went against Mrs. Snacky's advice to avoid Dr. Google and parenting forums, but I wanted to know everything (and still do).

In my quest for pregnancy knowledge, I learned that there is lots of information about what to eat, what to wear, how to exercise, where to go, what to buy, and so on. However, I was really dissatisfied with what I found about what to craft when you are expecting. I needed ideas about practical, useful stuff that we could fit into our lives, not put up on a shelf and never touch.

The Haul. What I've made for baby so far.

First, why make baby things? I was actually anti-baby-crafting in the past. Babies grow so fast, they get everything covered in puke and poop, and things will probably just get thrown out when they are done being used. While none of that is false, I've changed my mind. Here's why:
  • Heirlooms: Blankets and quilts can be used, then saved and given to my baby when she is older. If my girl follows in her sentimental mom's shoes, she will be excited to have the same blanket from the picture of her only days old.
  • Convenience: It is so easy and quick to whip up a crocheted wash cloth, burp rag, and other small things. Plus, you need a ton of them, so why not. You can make them out of scrap yarn or scrap fabric, and they don't have to match anything.
  • Sentiment. Even if you only make one thing, every time you look at it, it will remind you of the time you were waiting for your baby's arrival. And make you cry, maybe, in my case.
Knit on one side, fabric on the other. It will fit perfectly in the rocking chair.

When to know your limit. Usually I challenge myself to do something grand. Can I make EVERYTHING for the baby? I must sew 20 burp clothes. (And so on.) This time I'm removing all the challenges and deadlines and taking a more laid back approach. I'm going to make what I want, no pressure and enjoy everything I make. If we buy clothes and wash cloths, I'm not going to beat myself up because I could have made them. Not to mention, I do work full-time, in addition to duties as a full-time wife and a full-time stupid human to one fluffy muppet. Time isn't always plentiful.

Here's my very practical take on crafting while waiting for a bundle of joy.

  • Burp Cloths - Here is a fun project. Cut a rectangle of fabric that sits on your shoulder. Cut a matching one out of soft fabric. Sew them together. You are done! Burp! I mean, Voila!

Varying sizes. The newest one is on the bottom.
  • Knit/crochet blankets - This is my favorite topic and one where you will find a plethora of designs and ideas. Go wild. Baby blankets tend to be on the smallish size, so they whip up pretty fast.
Knit with cotton in squares
  • Mobile - One of the easier crafts to do for baby. Grab a hoop, some string, some stuff to tie to the end of that string and you have a mobile. Just make sure it's tied tight! 
  • Toys - I've knit teddy bears, owls, and rabbits for friends but I'm always looking for new stuff to make. One of my new favorites finds, and something I will certainly make, is DIY Nessie. It is the most adorable toy and it looks like so much fun. Thanks to Hannah, the creator, for giving this to the masses!
    • Rebecca Danger Designs - If this suits your style, she has created the most wonderful stuffed animal designs.
  • Wash cloths - Nothing is simpler than a wash cloth. If you sew, it is just a square piece of fabric terry cloth and voila! Wash cloth! If you crochet or knit, this is an easy commuting-home-on-the-bus (or sitting in front of the television) project. Usually takes me an hour or two to make one.

This is scrap yarn from a different project. Both are crocheted.
  • Clothes - This request comes from Mrs. Snacky because "OMG THESE." Check out Bootee Check for some awesome-looking kicks! I think these are better bought than recreated. :)
    • Hats - These are a great way to use scrap yarn, as I've done below. I actually got this pattern out of a book but there are lot of patterns online. 
This is self striping yarn that I was recommended. I'm not a huge fan but the hat is cute.

Anything else? What else is a practical craft that I can add to list? Send over your ideas!

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