Monday, October 5, 2015

State Fair Baby Set 2014

This year I didn't get anything finished in time for the State Fair competitions (or anything finished that I hadn't already sent to its intended recipient), but last year I combined baby gifts with State Fair entries.

Brian's friends Doug and Danielle were expecting a baby, and I found a bunch of gender neutral Pipsqueak yarn.  Pipsqueak is nice to touch (more on that later) and a complete pain in the ass to actually work with.  Since it's so fluffy, it's difficult to actually see the top of each stitch.

As I actually had time and crafty ambitions back in the halcyon days of 2014, I decided to find some yarn to match the Pipsqueak and make a sweater, toy, and blanket.  For the sweater, I used my go-to baby sweater pattern.  In the last year I tried another baby sweater pattern, but then I got bored and the baby got too large.
 Here are the two front pieces, the back, and a sleeve before assembly.  Despite having made at least three of these sweaters, I still have no idea why the right side is smaller than the left side.  Maybe human babies are asymmetrical.

One disadvantage to being so far behind in blogging my projects is trying to remember what I used.  I think the main part of the sweater is Caron Simply Baby in Tiny Sprite.  Caron, Bernat, Lily Sugar n' Cream, and Patons forming the craft-Voltron that is Yarnspirations has explained a lot of my "excellent luck" and "discerning eye" in finding yarns that just happen to match perfectly across different brands.

Once the sweater was assembled, I added the blanket yarn as a trim.

For the toy, I used an amigurumi tiger pattern.  A coral cotton yarn was a "close enough" match for the Pipsqueak, and cotton is generally durable.  Plus, extra hats with the leftovers.

Because I'm fucking brilliant, I made the little cat toy wear a matching sweater.
Brian's favorite picture from this project

Basically, most of the body is made with the green yarn.  The front paws are about 2-3 rows of coral before changing colors to make the "sleeves."  I either left the front loops available for the collar or just sewed it on.
It looks like the cat just has a hairy chest that cannot be contained by a tight sweater, but this is the front of the trim.  That's right--I'm so brilliant but insane that there is this level of detail on this potential chocking hazard.

For the blanket, I used this pattern and alternated Pipsqueak and the sweater yarn.  A pattern may not be necessary for experienced crafters as it's a large rectangle with stripes.  Like a granny square, all the stitches are worked in chain spaces which is the only way to make crocheting with Pipsqueak tolerable.  Making the foundation row and slip stitching at the beginning of each row was like trying to make love to a drunk Muppet in the dark.  With a K hook for a dick.

Basically, I discovered the yarn equivalent of metallic embroidery floss.  Oh, how cute and fluffy it looks!  Oh, how I hate it!

Competition was stiffer in the baby set category in 2014, so this set did not win anything other than repeated gropings from passers-by and a thank you note from the happy parents.  Such is the siren song of Pipsqueak novelty baby yarn that State Fair visitors actually rubbed their grubby little hands all over it before going to get more fried Oreos (yes, I washed it before giving it.  Zoot probably slept on it too).

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