It All Started with a Ripple

I’ve been thinking about giving a sales clerk at Sal’s one of my ripple afghans for her baby who’s expected to arrive in a few more weeks. This is the first one I’ve made using fingering weight baby yarns.

Baby Ripple

I wasn’t sure how to present it to her since we’d be at the store while she’s working. I decided not to use any gift-wrap; instead I just tied it with a simple satin ribbon and put it in a plastic bag.

It was rather awkward approaching her, because the place was busy, it being Friday, and several people were at the check-out counter, but I didn’t want to start shopping while carrying this bag. (Last thing I wanted was for someone to suspect me of shoplifting!) I stood at the back of the check-out area and waited for a pause in the action, then I quickly handed it to her saying, “You know I make blankets for foster kids with all the yarn I buy here. Well, I couldn’t very well give blankets to all those kids and not give a blanket to your baby too!”

I asked if she knew about a local program that has baby and children’s clothing available for a donation. She had heard of it, but didn’t know that the program was still going on. She seemed uncomfortable with the idea, so I offered to go for her. She got a big smile on her face and said “You’d do that for me?” I told her I had the time and could go right then, and asked what she needed. She said, “Everything! I have nothing, really!” I had overheard a similar comment the last time I was there, so I was able to act relatively unsurprised.  (This baby’s coming in three weeks!)

Before I left, I looked through a box of children’s books that had just been brought out. I got these five hard-covered books, which I’ll be donating to the DCF office, for 50¢ each. They like to have toys and books available to offer the children who spend time waiting there.

On my way out I noticed a box labeled 99¢ each, filled with three and four-ounce skeins of yarn, sitting by the door. That’s more than I normally spend, but I rarely come across pure (not rusty) oranges, so I grabbed one skein. Seeing everyone at the counter was busy again, I just tossed it into a jumble of hangers behind the counter and hoped it would still be there when I got back!

The baby clothes were all neatly sorted in laundry baskets labeled by size and gender, making it easy for me to find what I needed. The manager and I chatted while I made my picks and she hung up more clothes. I have no idea how long I was there, but I gathered a nice assortment of clothing in sizes from 0 to 6 months. Depending on the birth weight of her baby, she’ll have things to use over at least a few months. I was also offered Playtex baby bottles, but I didn’t know if that was something she would be interested in.

Back to Sal’s, “Thank you, Thank you, and Yes!”, and she did want the bottles. I paid for my orange yarn and turned to go. Right behind where I had stood was a box, sitting on a chair, filled to the brim with packages of sewing trims! This box made the one I bought on Tuesday look tiny! I flipped through a few of the packages and ended up dumping about a third of them into a shopping cart so I could get a better idea of what was there: ooooh! rick-rack, quite a bit of lace seam tape, and more bias tape! I couldn’t find a price written anywhere on the box’s cardboard flaps and they said 5/$1. That seemed ridiculously high compared to $5 for the box of some 70 packages I gotten here only a few days before! I immediately thought, oh well, the decision’s been made for me. As I started refilling the box I heard the clerk ask the store’s manager how much it would be for the entire box. They were all curious what I would do with so much trim and I told them about making pillowcases for the foster kids. As soon as he heard that the trim would be used on a charity project, he said, “For such a good cause, $5.”!!

I thanked him and turned to pick up the box I had just put back. That’s when I noticed another box, down on the floor. I told the clerk, “Just a minute, there’s more yarn.”

Only one of the skeins had a price sticker. It was a bulky weight yarn, originally priced $7.99, now $1.99, but I wasn’t interested in that. Then they told me 99¢ for large and 49¢ for small on the rest, which were mostly Fun Fur and partial skeins, and I came home with these:

There’s a 49¢ ball of Rowan Felted Tweed, color 154 Bittersweet, and a 49¢ ball of Regia Stretch Color sock yarn. The four acrylic yarns are for charity crocheting. A four-ounce skein of dark orange and an eight-ounce skein of rose were 99¢ each. Three-ounce skeins of light orange and goldenrod were 49¢ each.

Grand Total: $11.50

What a thrifty day! I made one more round trip for the baby bottles, and it wasn’t until I got home that I realized that in all the excitement I forgot to leave a donation for the baby clothing or the baby bottles! That gives me a reason to go back soon and have another treasure hunt.

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4 Responses to It All Started with a Ripple

  1. Linda says:

    RBUTKA62 commented on your Baby Ripple in RavelrySent at 6:15 AM June 18, 2011

    “I must say it is very pretty& I was going ask how you scaled the rustic ripple down for a baby blanket? LOVE THIS ONE!”

    My reply:

    My notes on this ripple are very vague. I know I didn’t make it intentionally to be a baby blanket. I was just playing around with baby yarn. On my project page I wrote the same dimensions as always, 36” x 54”, but I wonder if it may have been a tad narrower than that? I do remember the fabric was very thin and lightweight. I thought it was nice and soft for a baby, and would be comfortable for use into the summer months. The baby was born in April.

    I wonder if I simply crocheted it with baby weight yarn, using an H hook as usual?

    But if I wanted to make a “real” baby ripple? Hmm. I’d use whatever size hook is recommended for baby yarn. Would that be an F?? And, estimating off the top of my head, I’d add about 25 more chain stitches to my beginning chain, just to be sure I’d have enough.

    I’d make the peak and valley runs only 5 stitches, instead of my usual 10. This would change them into sweet petite baby zigzags. I’d be aiming for 14 points. (Normally, there are only 6) Ignore any chain stitches that are left unused after you’ve crocheted the first double crochet stitch row. When the blanket’s finished you can unravel them, cutting off all but about 5 inches of the tail. That’s plenty for weaving in.

    Baby afghans are usually square and anywhere from 30 to 40 inches across. On a rectangular ripple, I measure the length from point to point. On a square I might measure from valley to valley, for a generous feeling square, if you know what I mean.

    Is that enough information for you to give a baby ripple a try? I know it’s not very precise.

  2. Linda says:

    re: RBUTKA62 commented on your Baby Ripple in Ravelry, Sent at 6:56 AM June 18, 2011

    Yes Linda thank-you so very much for the info it will help
    greatly.I think I might try one for a baby blanket when I’m done with the one I’m working on now.You have been such a great help to me.I can not believe how fast this afghan is going already on row 21.(Happy,Happy).

  3. jackie says:

    Hi Linda-i enjoyed all of your rustic ripple blankets . why don’t you list the brand and color of the yarn you use? it would be a big help as there are a few of your color combination i fell in love for a couple of home projects for friends new home.

    • Hi Jackie ~ Thank you so much for visiting alottastitches and taking the time to write a comment. I’m glad to read that my crochet work has inspired you to make a gift for your friends new home!

      I’m sorry that you were disappointed by my lack of yarn information. I crocheted the ripple in this post back in October of 2010, which was before I had even thought about starting a blog. I was happily crocheting charity ripple after ripple without making any notes! I keep better records now (June 2012), but because I use so many scrap yarns (no labels) and discontinued vintage yarns it would be hard to duplicate the yarn combo in even one of my most recent ripples.

      You can at least get the general look and feel that you fell in love with by using whatever similar-looking yarns you can find where you are. If you click on the photo of the folded ripple you can get a clearer look at the individual yarns: white, baby yellow, several scraps of baby/mint green, bright blue and an unknown blue/green/yellow variegated. I’m sure that, although made with somewhat different colors, yours will be a pretty project that your friends will enjoy for years! 🙂

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