Hot Air Balloon Nursery Mobile Part III: Finishing and Installing Your Mobile

Whew, Crocheters!

It’s been a big adventure making these Hot Air Balloon Nursery Mobiles, hasn’t it? Well, it’s time to put it all together!

Welcome to Part III of the Hot Air Balloon Nursery Mobile Tutorial.

Want to see Part I or Part II?

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Special Tools for Mobile installation

Sewing needle and white or light-colored sewing thread for attaching Balloon Tops to Baskets and hanging Hot Air Balloons and Clouds to mobile frame

12” x 20” Quilter’s Wooden Embroidery Hoop to serve as mobile frame

Small amount of Color H yarn (light blue for sky). See Part I for more information on tools and supplies.

Mug Hook for ceiling installation

Lighting Inserts (Optional, but so fun!) You can use battery-powered flameless tea light candles to add a charming lighting element to 1 or 2 of your hot air balloons by placing the candle into the balloon basket for easy access to turn on and off. For an even more authentic hot air balloon experience, use a flameless candle that has a flickering effect! This functions as a sweet nightlight for your little one or pretty piece of home décor OR since the tea lights won’t fit into the smallest balloon basket, another idea would be to use a small string of battery-included LED fairy lights which can be tucked up inside the Hot Air Balloon Top.



Are you ready to get this bad boy strung up and hung up?

Let’s do it!

ATTACH BASKET ROPES TO BASKETS

Use a yarn needle to thread each Basket Rope through every other space at the top of the Basket. Secure rope by tying the beginning and ending yarn tails in a knot to close the rope, and weave in the yarn tails inside the basket to hide them. Adjust the drape of the ropes to your liking. You can steam them gently to relax the yarn. Repeat for other 2 Baskets.



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ATTACH BASKET TO BALLOON TOP

Use sewing thread to attach balloon basket to lower edge of Balloon. Weave or tuck any thread ends into the Balloon or Basket to secure. Insert optional lighting feature.

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WRAP MOBILE FRAME

Use Color H (or any color desired) to wrap the entire embroidery hoop with yarn. Weave in beginning and ending yarn tails to secure.

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ATTACH CHARMS TO MOBILE FRAME

To install your balloon mobile or installation, use sewing thread to thread a long hanging loop evenly through the top of your hot air balloon. Tuck the knotted end inside the balloon to keep it out of sight. I like to use a screw-in mug hook as a ceiling hanger. Hang hot air balloon from the thread loop. Repeat for other Hot Air Balloons and Clouds, hanging them at varying levels to please your eye.

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CROCHET HANGING CORDS

Join Color H centered at the narrow end of the mobile frame and create mobile hanging chains by chaining desired length across long space of mobile frame. Repeat across width of mobile frame. Weave in yarn ends. Create another loop to go around these 2 chain cords that will allow you to adjust the position of the mobile once hung. Weave in all yarn ends.

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STAND BACK AND ENJOY WHAT YOU’VE CREATED!

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It was quite a maker’s adventure!

Thank you for joining me on this beautiful adventure into the clear, blue skies of Crochetland, I hope you’ll come back to find out what I’m making next.

Because there’s always a new adventure waiting on the horizon.

on a personal note…

I’ll leave you with a slideshow of photos that tell the story of a sunrise hot air balloon adventure I was able to take with my husband to celebrate our 10th anniversary, the inspiration behind this project.

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Wishing you love and happiness in all your creations, and those for whom you create!

Yours in Stitches,

Sara

Use #sarakayhartmann to share your Hot Air Balloon Adventure on Instagram.

Visit me at sarakayhartmann.com for more inspiring crochet patterns!

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Check out my first nursery mobile, the Crochet Butterfly Mobile!

Tranquility Blanket: A Free Crochet Pattern

 

Hi Crochet Lovers,

I have a pretty piece of home decor crochet to share with you today!

And also a personal announcement! My husband, daughter, and I will be welcoming a new baby girl into our family this October and we are full of joy at the prospect of growing our family with another girl. To celebrate, I decided to design a baby blanket, but have also sized up the pattern for an adult-sized throw.

The Tranquility Blanket is lacy blanket featuring a fun and interesting stitch pattern.

 

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The Tranquility Blanket will add beauty and comfort to any home and would be beautiful in many yarns and yarn weights.

 



 

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Tranquility is perfect for enjoying any tranquil moment whether snuggling a new baby or curling up on the couch with a hot drink and some serious Netflix time, hopefully with a hook in your hand.

 


It is my joy to be sharing more crochet patterns for free here on the blog. I am touched by all the comments I receive from you–all over the world–enjoying my designs. To help me offer more patterns for free, please consider supporting my work by clicking a few ads or stopping by my shop to purchase the PDF download of this and my other patterns.

 



 

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Here is the free pattern; you may also download this pattern for $1.99 in my shop.

 



 

SIZE

Baby Blanket: 31” [79 cm] wide x 41” [104 cm] long after steam-blocking

Throw Blanket: 52” [132 cm] wide x 66” [168 cm] long after steam-blocking

 

 

YARN

Yarn Bee Sweet Divinity (100% Acrylic; 243 yd [222 m]/3.5 oz [100 g]; #1 Blush: 5 (13) balls

For Yarn Substitutions: #4 Medium Yarn

Baby Size: 1080 yd [988 m]/16 oz [445 g]

Throw Size: 2921 yd [2671 m]/43 oz [1202 g]

 

 

CROCHET HOOK

Size H/8 (5.0 mm)

 

 

TOOLS

Yarn needle

 

 

GAUGE

3.5 wide shells and 9.5 rows = 4”

 

 



 

NOTES

  • This pattern uses US crochet terminology.
  • This baby blanket is worked flat from the bottom up with a seamless border worked in the round after the blanket body is made.
  • Blanket Body is worked in turned rows. Blanket Border is worked in the round with Right Side facing.
  • This blanket is reversible.

 

 

 

SPECIAL ABBREVIATIONS

Edge Shell (esh): 3 dc worked in st or sp indicated.

Long Single Crochet (lsc): single crochet in st or sp indicated worked beneath/around 2 previous rows. See Chart for assistance.

Wide Shell (wsh): (2 dc-ch 1-2 dc) worked in st or sp indicated

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

BLANKET BODY (See Chart for assistance.)

Foundation Chain: Ch 121 (211).

Row 1 (RS): Ch 3 (counts as dc), 2 dc in 4th ch from hk, *sk next 4 ch, wsh in next ch; rep from * to last 5 ch, sk next 4 ch, 3 dc in last ch, turn…23 (41) wsh; 2 esh made.

Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as dc), 2 dc in same dc, wsh in each ch-sp across, 3 dc in last dc, turn.

Row 3: Ch 3 (counts as dc), 2 dc in same dc, ch 2, lsc betw same esh and next wsh inserting hook beneath previous 2 rows to make a gather then working sc as usual around these 2 rows, ch 2, wsh in next ch-sp, ch 2, lsc betw same wsh and next wsh, ch 2, wsh in next ch-sp ; rep from * to last esh, ch 2, lsc betw same wsh and next esh, ch 2, 3 dc in last dc, turn.

Row 4: Ch 3 (counts as dc), 2 dc in same dc, wsh in each ch-sp across, 3 dc in last dc, turn.

Row 5: Work as for Row 4.

Row 6: Ch 3 (counts as dc), 2 dc in same dc, ch 2, lsc betw same esh and next wsh, ch 2, wsh in next ch-sp, *ch 2, lsc betw same wsh and next wsh, ch 2, wsh in next ch-sp; rep from * to last esh, ch 2, lsc betw same wsh and next esh, ch 2, 3 dc in last dc, turn.

Rows 7-75 (129): Rep Rows 4-6 for blanket body pattern…25 (43) row repeats (ovals) worked.

Final Row: Ch 1, sc in same dc, *ch 4, sc in next ch-sp; rep from * to last 3 dc, ch 4, sc in last dc, do not turn.

 

 



 

BLANKET BORDER (See Chart for assistance)

Continue working in the round down left side of BLANKET BODY and around next three sides:

 

Row 1 (RS): Ch 4 (counts as dc + ch 1), (dc-ch 1-dc-ch 1-dc) in same corner st, *ch 1, dc in next edge dc; rep from * to lower left corner, (dc-ch 1-dc-ch 1-dc-ch 1-dc) in corner, (ch 1-dc, ch 1-dc) in each 4-ch sp of bottom edge, ch 1, (dc-ch 1-dc-ch 1-dc-ch 1-dc) in lower right corner st; rep from * to top right corner st, ch 1, (dc-ch 1-dc-ch 1-dc-ch 1-dc) in top right corner st, (ch 1-dc-ch 1-dc) in each 4-ch sp across top edge of blanket, ch 1, sl st to first dc to join rnd. Do not turn.

 

Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as dc), dc in next ch-sp, dc in next dc, 3 dc in next ch-sp (corner ch-sp of blanket), dc in each dc and ch-sp around the entire blanket, working 3 dc in corner ch-sps, sl st to first dc to join rnd.

 

Fasten off. Break yarn leaving 6” tail.

 

FINISHING

Weave in yarn ends. Lay flat and use gentle steam to smooth fabric and polish the stitches. This treatment will enlarge the blanket slightly.



 

 

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STANDARD ABBREVIATIONS

 

”         inches

betw  between

ch      chain

ch-sp chain space

cm     centimeters

dc      double crochet

g        grams

hk      hook

m       meters

mm    millimeters

oz       ounces

rep     repeat

RS      Right Side

sc       single crochet

sk       skip

sp       space

st        stitch

WS     Wrong Side

yd      yards

 

 

 

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Yours in Stitches,

Sara



Sweet Shells Cardigan from Red Heart Yarns!

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Hi Crochet Lovelies!

I have a little bit of sweetness to share with you today. And it’s free sweetness, to boot. This dear little sweater pattern is available now as a free PDF download from Red Heart!



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The Sweet Shell Cardigan is a baby pattern in 4 sizes: 6 mos (12 mos, 18 mos, 24 mos) made in fewer than 500 yds [458 m] worsted weight yarn, so it will work up in a flash just in time for an upcoming baby shower!



This design uses one of my favorite sweater-making techniques: working flat in joined pieces, from the top down.

Say what?

Here’s a little more explanation from the Pattern Notes.

This sweater is worked flat in a single piece from the top down. The Back is crocheted first, then the Left Front is joined at the shoulder and seamlessly worked down, followed by the Right Front. Both Sleeves are seamlessly joined and worked down. This construction method creates neat seams with just side and sleeve seams remaining to be sewn.

What I love about working in this method is that your shoulder seams are joined evenly and cleanly as you stitch the sweater which eliminates any problems from bulky or sloppy seams at the most visible part of the sweater. It also greatly reduces time spent Finishing the sweater and helps you ensure that the pieces are aligned straight and evenly.

That’s a win!



The side body and underside of the sleeves are seamed in the usual manner. I always prefer to slip-stitch crochet my “traditional”  seams whenever possible rather than using a yarn needle and thread. It’s easier for me to crochet evenly than to sew evenly. And I find my seams feel a little stronger and more durable when I slip-stitch them. I just have to be careful not to work too tightly.

What method or tricks do you like to make seaming easier?



This design was inspired by my little girl, Catherine. In my mind, I called this cardigan the Cream Puff Cardi because of the soft ivory, pillowy texture, and sweet style. Here is my original sample made for her in about the 24 mos. size. She’s been wearing it since around 13 mos, and it still fits! #momwin

 

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3/4 length sleeves help you get longer wear out of garments for little ones, and it’s nice because she often pushes her sleeves up off her wrists anyway (and her pant cuffs up into capris–she’s always hot, but that’s another design problem for another day ;)!



We styled it up with a plaid tutu skirt, tights, boots (be still, my beating heart–boots on a two-year-old), and a handmade yo-yo hair bow I sewed from a scrap of poinsettia fabric. She wore it to our family Christmas Eve a few months ago, and to me, she was the Belle of our very small Ball.



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Do you have beloved babies or new babies on the way that you’ll be crocheting for? Leave me a comment or find me on Instagram! I want to hear about them, and what sweet things you’ll be making for them.

Kisses and Stitches,

Sara Kay



Fox & Fleur: A Knitting Pattern for All Ages

Hi Knitters!

Today I’m sharing a sweet design for foxy folk of all ages. Fox & Fleur is a stranded colorwork hat available to knit in 6 sizes: newborn, baby, toddler/child, adult small (teen), adult medium, adult large.

I designed the original cap as a baby shower gift for a friend’s baby girl on the way. Foxes and woodland creatures were the mommy’s nursery theme, so I ran with that and added a feminine touch with the tiny flower border (fleurs!) that runs above and below the fox faces.

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Mommy & Baby Twinsies!

I had this design test-knit by some awesome folks on Ravelry, and they helped to refine and enhance the pattern, so I know you’ll have a great experience. The pattern contains complete written instructions, a full colorwork chart, and tips for knitting the stranded colorwork.

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Use any aran-weight, smooth worsted yarn that comes in a good range of colors.

 

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It works for all ages, foxes are such a fun motif and so hot right now!

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Check out the Ravelry projects page to see how the hat knit up for others!

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I hope it makes you smile as you knit it and as you wear it. Whenever my daughter and I wear ours, we always get extra smiles from the people we meet. 🙂

Buy now on Ravelry

Buy now on Etsy

Buy now on Craftsy

Thanks for visiting me today!

In Stitches,

Sara

 

Butterfly Nursery Mobile

Our baby girl is due in 11 days and the word of the hour [day, week, month] is “nesting.”

Butterfly mobile

I took inspiration from Pinterest, of course. I feel that Pinterest is a kind of Oracle of Delphi for today’s DIY-er and consult her frequently.

The mobile is made from the inner ring of a cheap bamboo embroidery hoop.

Side note: to salvage the outer ring of the hoop for another project, I bent the metal fasteners back and forth until they popped neatly off and scotch-taped the hoop closed to form a complete circle. I’ll make something else out of it later like a trendy dreamcatcher or a piece of awesome wall art. Score.

hoop with tape



Back to the mobile.

Instead of wrapping the yarn around the hoop as recommended by the Oracle, I thought: “But–I’m a CROCHETER and I want to CROCHET, not wrap yarn!”

I raised my trusty size G [4.0 mm] hook into the air with hubris (not pictured).

And proceeded to single-crochet around the hoop. Which is kind of a tension nightmare until you’ve done it for awhile and get a rhythm going. I had to stop frequently to squish the stitches together so they’d actually cover the hoop. It seemed to take forever.

sc around the hoop

I ended up despising the wiggly, messy seam it created along the edge and no matter how I pinched and fussed with it, would show when I held the hoop aloft and looked at it. I considered tearing it out in a frenzy of pique.



Instead I took a walk to let the healing balm of nature soothe and inspire me. I guess it worked.

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I stitched double crochet shells (7 sts) with a 3-st center picot evenly around the hoop and you know what? I liked it.

Hurrah! Crochet again rules the world!



The shape reminds me of a merry-go-round or a big top circus tent with its bunting trim.

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On a previous visit to the Oracle, she delivered this darling free pattern for butterflies (it uses British crochet terminology, so watch yourself!). I made a few as written, squealed with delight, and began to play fast and loose with the pattern.

 

To make the smaller butterflies, I left off the final round of crochet on some. On others I used half-double crochet instead of double crochet to make them shorter and more compact. More Butterflies

I added long picots to the bottom wings to create some swallowtails on a few butterflies. For some, I made taller stitches–trebles and double-trebles–in the middle of the wing to round out the upper or lower wings more, give them some extra flair. Did the same at the bottom of some of them along with the picots to make more pointed fantails.



Butterflies

I hit them with a little spray starch and put a press-cloth over them before pressing with a steamy iron to get them good and flat.

I was ready to attach them and I knew it might be tricky. The Oracle had been silent on the matter of how exactly one ought to string one’s mobile charms, and it made me nervous.

 

Truth? During my pregnancy I have never missed alcohol more than when I was attempting to hang these butterflies.

In spiral formation.

At the right height.

Evenly.

Using skinny, weightless sewing thread.

Sigh.



More frenzies of pique as I worked on stringing butterflies while watching the dark, depressing second season of True Detective with my husband.

But I enjoyed the irony.

And I looked exactly like this.

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In the end, it came together, and I feel charmed each time I walk into the nursery and see this.

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Totally worth the aggravation.

Thanks for visiting!

♥ knit, crochet, love; rep from ♥ forever,

Sara Kay