There are two ways to make crafts. The expensive way is to find a pattern and buy the recommended materials. The cheaper way is to find materials on sale, and then find a pattern to use with them.
The cheapest way to buy yarn is to look for odd skeins at thrift stores, such as Waterfront Mission on Fairfield Road, or at garage sales. A baby blanket can be made from two or three skeins. Buying odd skeins can cut the cost of making a blanket to about a third to a fourth of what it would cost to buy the materials at a craft store.
Saving money sometimes calls for artistic inspiration.
I wanted to make a baby blanket, but all I had in my stock of yarn was brown. Brown isn’t a typical baby color, but a baby blanket can be used past the infant stage and into toddlerhood. The question was how to take brown and make it into a blanket that was appropriate for a baby, and something a toddler could continue to nap with. A friend suggested putting bears on the corners. Adding bears to the blanket tied the color to a common childhood toy; a teddy bear.
The pattern is one that my son favored because he could stick his fingers through the holes that are left in the design. It is a nice medium weight blanket; not too hot for the summer, but snuggly enough for cooler weather.
Materials: Five skeins brown 2-ply yarn, small amount of 2-ply or 4-ply white or tan yarn, yarn needle, size G crochet hook.
Loosely chain 100.
Row 1: DC in third ch from hook. Skip 2. DC in same stitch. *Skip 2 ch. DC in next stitch, chain 1, DC in same stitch. Repeat from * across width. CH 3, turn.
Row 2 : DC in first stitch, skip 2, DC in next stitch, ch 1, DC in same stitch. Repeat across. CH 3, turn.
Tip: This pattern creates a V. The chain three made at the beginning of each row counts as the first side of the V and the chain 1. When you end a row, be sure to make the last part of the V and not just a /. If the square becomes narrower as you work it is because you are not making that last part of a V at the end of the row.
Each row has to have the same number of loops on the top as the bottom. The top of the V consists of 3 loops; stitch, chain, stitch. If the work becomes wider as you work it is because you are not skipping two loops on the bottom of the row; skip, stitch, skip.
Trim: Join white and work SC around all four edges. End.
Bear: Make 4.
Head: Chain 3, slip stitch into a loop. Chain 2. Work 12 DC in loop. Slip stitch to first stitch. Ch. 1.
Ears: ( two shells) Work 5 DC in next stitch. Slip stitch in next stitch to make a shell. Slip stitch again to create a space between the ears. Ch 1. Work 5 DC in next stitch, Slip stitch in next stitch to create a shell for the second ear. End.
Sew bear head to each corner of the blanket with brown yarn, tucking yarn ends under the bear head. Use a whip stitch going through the back loop only so that the thread doesn’t show too much. Make three satin stitches around one post for each eye and nose. Sew straight stitches in an arrow shape for the mouth and muzzle. Push through to the back side of the blanket and knot.