This was originally a baby blanket (I purchased the pattern here), but I really loved it and didn't have any babies anymore - so I changed the colors to something more grown-up (Chocolate, Beige, and Cranberry) and use it as a lap afghan. I really like how it turned out. You can do this yourself in an array of colors (Abby Cove gives you lots of ideas on her Etsy shop, or you can come up with your own color combo as I did). You can even purchase a finished blanket from her Etsy shop if you don't crochet yourself.
Here is one of the owls before it is sewn onto the afghan. The owls are applique. I have crocheted a couple of extra owls for a friend - she wants to embellish a purse with them. I used chocolate yarn for her owls (she wanted her owls brown).
For the afghan, I crocheted the owls and branches in Taupe (a brownish/grayish color). I wanted them to coordinate with the colors of the blanket, but I didn't want them to blend in with the brown used in the blanket. For the leaves I used Dusty Green in Vanna's Choice yarns. I used all Vanna's Choice yarns. The yarns worked up really well, the blanket is soft and holds it's shape. I keep it on the back of my couch.
Vanna's Choice yarns are machine washable and dryable (this is really important for a baby blanket). This was the first time that I have used Vanna's Choice on a project. I love all the color options and I really like how the blanket turned out. I also liked how it felt in my hands while using it. (I have used other yarns that were scratchy and dried my hands out while I was using them - my hands felt horrible by the time I was finished with the project). Haven't washed the blanket yet to see how it holds up in the washer and dryer. Curious to know.
What is your favorite yarn to use for a project? I know - it depends on the project. (Example: my fave yarn for dishcloths is I Love This Cotton! My fave yarn for blankets (so far - I haven't crocheted too many afghans) is Vanna's Choice. Sometimes, I chose the brand of yarn based on the colors available (I have certain colors in mind for a project and have trouble finding those colors in certain brands). How do you choose your yarns? How do you choose your colors for a project? Let me in on your creative secrets.
Whenever I crochet something for someone, I cut the care instructions off the paper yarn label and attach them to a blank business card size piece of card stock and attach to item that I am giving them. On the opposite side of the card I can write my sentiments. That way they know how to care for their item. This works really well with a blanket that uses several skeins of yarn, but what about an item that uses less than a skein (dish cloths, etc.)? I simply type/write the care instructions on a card and attach to the gift.
Do you crochet for yourself or others? How do you give your items as gifts? Do you attach care instructions, do you package/wrap them in a special way?