Crochet patterns for baby may be plentiful, but few baby crochet designs are as adorable as those in Nature's Gifts for Baby. Today's Guest Blogger is Sara Leighton. Sara designed the whimsical patterns you'll find inside of Nature's Gifts for Baby and she's here today to talk about her inspiration for them. Welcome Sara!
Hello, there! I’m Sara Leighton, designer of the patterns in Leisure Arts' recent publication Nature's Gifts for Baby. I’ve been a part of the wonderful crochet design community for several years now. This is my first book and it gives me such joy to see it in print. Many thanks go out to Leisure Arts for working with me and bringing this project to life.
Nature's Gifts for Baby Front Cover
I’d love to tell you a little bit about the inspiration for each baby set. There are seven sets in the book, each inspired by the incredible beauty of the natural world. I love the thought of sweet little babies being all wrapped up in my designs! What a compliment to have my designs invited into others’ lives as they celebrate their own little gifts of nature. I’d also like to share some tips for customization for those crocheters who are particularly adventurous.
Forests are full of life and magic, just like babies! I wanted to celebrate those precious moments with a hat and blanket influenced by the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest. I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of my life and thus have been fortunate enough to have its gorgeous forests surround me and inspire me.
Custom Tip: Make the blanket in any size by starting with any multiple of 6 stitches plus 3. A larger blanket might mean a big forest of tree appliqués lining the bottom! Remember that you’ll need more yarn if you’re making a larger blanket.
The night sky has captured our imaginations and inspired many stories across different cultures. The simple stitches and crisp details of this space-inspired set make it shine. Truth be told, I was inspired to design this set because I am a space fanatic in my daily life. It’s a good thing that I work as Campus Manager of a small private school, because working with young people helps me to get away with wearing my space dress, space leggings, space skirt, space scarf, and space earrings (though not all at once)!
Custom Tip: Change one of the constellations to the baby’s star sign to make the set more personal. You could even write the little one’s name or initials in the stars!
With a flash of bright orange, this sweet little fox set steals your heart. I wanted to conjure thoughts of playful forest friends in soft snowfall with this whimsical project. Foxes are fairly trendy these days — and for good reason! They are totally adorable and irresistibly mischievous.
Custom Tip: If springtime strikes your fancy, replace the off-white in the blanket with green. You could also add a bow to the fox for a more feminine look.
It’s so fulfilling watching the next generation be born, grow up, and reach their potential. This is a crisp, sweet baby set that seeks to recognize the joy babies bring to our lives as they blossom and change. This set was inspired by a class activity that I enjoyed when I was in first grade. We got to explore sunflowers at various stages of their development. I never forgot the excitement I felt learning all about how living things grow and change.
Custom Tip: Frame the panels instead of joining them to create unique nursery decor. You could also make pillows out of them to add some fun to a favorite chair.
Mr. Golden Sun shines down on baby in the form of these bright, sunny hexagon motifs. I like that you can work them up in your spare moments and soon you’ll have a beautiful set for your wee one. When I was a very young one, under 5, I lived in sunny California. This set is a tribute to that early and warm part of my life, my own sunrise.
Custom Tip: The size of this blanket is easy to customize; simply craft more or fewer motifs. You may even want to experiment with different hexagon arrangements. If you’d like a larger blanket, be sure to factor in more yarn.
Water Lilies Set
This set was inspired by Monet’s paintings which reflect the simple beauty of a quiet pond. I have a huge amount of respect for art, especially impressionism, and Monet’s paintings have always been among my favorites. I finally saw a few in person a few years ago; I cried with happiness.
Custom Tip: Monet created over 200 paintings in the Water Lilies series, with no two being completely alike. Place your lily pads and flowers however you desire to create your own unique version. Since variegated yarn is used for this set, no two sets will look quite the same.
Rain refreshes the earth, bringing water to thirsty plants and animals. This cool set is a great way to play in puddles - without getting wet! It rains a lot of the time where I live. I love it! The rain brings everything to life.
Custom Tip: The cloud appliqués are very versatile. You can add as many or as few as you like to your set. Stitch letters onto them, stuff them to turn them into a matching mobile. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity.
Thanks Sara for your keen insights into the incredibly cute baby crochet designs in Nature's Gifts for Baby. You can find Sara everyday at her blog: Illuminate Crochet.
Have a great day!