Crystal Madrilejos

Design & Creative

If you have lots of little humans in your life, legwarmers are great gifts that work up quick, and are fun and unique. When I first started knitting and crocheting, like most beginners, I didn’t work much outside the realm of scarves. They are simple and easy, but there are only so many winter scarves a person needs. However, legwarmers are a little out of the ordinary unless you are a dancer. And there are so many different ways styles and patterns you can make, but they still look cool and work well when they are really simple.


Finally! A million years later and I’m done with Baby Girl’s blanket. And yes, 3 weeks (or less) to go and we still don’t have a name picked out.

This is actually the only blanket that I’ve ever knitted. In the past, I’ve only made wearable things. I always thought making a blanket would just take too long. It did take a lot of time to make, but in the end, I’m happy that I did it.

Some details about the project you can read about in my previous blanket update. But just to reiterate, I got the pattern from the Purl Bee blog. I didn’t use any fancy yarns, just whatever they had at the local craft store. Next time, I think I will invest in some better quality yarn but I wanted to be sure I could commit to an entire blanket before shelling out cash for the good stuff. My color inspiration came from these blocks by Ambrosia Girl, but obviously I changed them up a bit. It was really the jumping off point. And since we are having a girl, I figured it would be good to balance out all the pink that, I’m sure, will be in her future.


Looking at my post from the other day, I was slightly depressed by not having any new photos to post (the one I posted was old and already posted to my Instagram account…boooring.) Since getting an iPhone I’ve been extra lazy about breaking out the real camera to take photos. Bad technology! Bad, bad! Ha!

Anyhoo, this post is an update on the baby blanket that I’ve been working on for the past 3 months or so. I found The Forever Baby Blanket pattern on one of my favorite crafting/fiber/blog sites, The Purl Bee.  I just wanted something super simple that I could zone out while doing or just sit and not have to be 100% focused on some elaborate pattern. I’m also relatively new to knitting so I didn’t want to be overwhelmed when I knew that the time I had to dedicate to crafting was going to be limited.

This blanket turned out to be just what I needed. The pattern itself is really simple, but not boring. It’s a rib knit so it’s thick and squishy with a lot of texture. My color inspiration came from these blocks (minus the gold + a lighter grey):

I’m still on the fence as to whether I’m going to use black. I bought some with the intention of using it, but when I put all the colors together it seemed too bold to me. Incorporating the lighter grey helps, but we’ll see. I’m winging it for the time being.

I didn’t use any fancy yarns (which I’m slightly regretting) but my reasoning was that 1.) I wanted to see if I was committed enough to finish an entire blanket and 2.) I was unsure if my skills justified using something a bit pricier. However, part of me is glad that I didn’t splurge on this particular project. I did mess up a bunch in the beginning when I was trying to catch my knitting stride so there are definitely some imperfections. I would have been super pissed if I bought nice yarn and wasn’t completely happy with how it turned out. But now that I feel a lot more confident in my skills, I think for my future projects I won’t’ feel intimidated spending a little more on better quality materials.

I’m hoping one day to have some of Andrew’s parents Alpaca wool processed and have someone spin it into yarn for me. Now THAT, my friends, would be super fancy.


This pregnancy has flown by. Only 6.5 weeks to go and I’m feeling the restlessness that comes with the last home stretch.

It’s a bit late in the pregnancy to be in the nesting phase, but having a 2-year-old, a new job, and a lingering illness to contend with has pushed us into month 8 with much still left to do. There is a reason they say you should get as much done as possible in the 2nd trimester because, dang, is it hard to do much with this huge belly.

When I was pregnant with Q, we had all the time in the world to just… do stuff. I was crafting up a storm. Andrew was building and baking awesome things. It’s taken me the entire pregnancy to knit one stinkin’ baby blanket (pictured above – back when I first started the darn thing months ago!) and the jury’s still out on whether it will be done by the time baby girl comes. I started a baby sweater, but I’ve given up any hope that particular project will get done.

Luckily, Andrew is super awesome and has been able to take the reins on many of the things on our to-do list. I just make lists at this point. Make lists and grow a baby. That’s my to-do list.

But still, however long our to-do list is, it feels good to have our little family getting it all done together. Hoping to have more photos of our progress in the near future!


Remember this guy?

In the months before Q was born, both Andrew and I had a surge of productivity. I think it was our collective subconscious preparing us for a drought. We’ve been fortunate that Q is a good sleeper now. After his bedtime and before he wakes is our free time and both Andrew and I have been able to work on some new projects.

I figured an update is in order for the projects that we worked on before Q arrived.

I should preface this update with the fact that the majority of the time Q wears Fuzzi Bunz cloth pocket diapers. We were lucky enough to have generous family and friends who bought us these fancy pants (since they can be on the pricey side).

In making the wool diaper covers I was preparing for the possibility that we might not be gifted any fancy diapers. In that case we would have to use the more cost friendly pre-fold cloth diapers that require a water resistant covering. There have been times when we ran out of the pocket diapers and had to use the pre-folds as a back up. Despite my initial skepticism, the wool covers work unbelievably well. The amazing thing about wool is that it repels water and absorbs moisture at the same time! If you want to read more about the wonders of wool, you can read more here.

Here is Q sporting a pair of diaper covers made from a repurposed wool sweater that I felted in the washing machine:

The crocheted cover and the knitted cover were also a success! The crocheted ones are still a bit large, but he’s already outgrown the Vanilla cover, so I’m in the process of knitting a larger size.


Less than a week until the baby’s due date! Whether baby will be here on said date is the question on everyone’s minds. I think this waiting has to be the worst part of the pregnancy thus far. It’s maddening!

In the meantime, we’ve been trying to keep busy. I’ve had a few projects going because I get more and more restless as the days go by and I can’t seem to focus my energy on just one thing.

I just finished this knitting project a couple days ago, the Vanilla diaper cover, designed by knitter Kelly Brooker. I found the pattern on Ravelry (and if you are a knitter or crocheter and don’t have an account, I highly recommend signing up on this site). You can find a link to the Vanilla pattern, as well as others she has made, on the designer’s website,

I love this pattern. Since I’m relatively new at knitting, I found that Kelly does an amazing job of breaking down the process step-by-step. Not once did I feel overwhelmed or discouraged by my lack of knitting knowledge and I actually ended up learning a ton. She also has instructions for multiple sizes and the pattern costs only about $6.00 for a pdf download. I used Lion’s Brand Yarn: Fisherman’s Wool in the color Oatmeal. I’m thinking of starting another one, you know, while we’re waiting!




A few weeks ago I was home sick from work and decided that it was about time that I learned to knit. I’ve said that too many times to count, and have even had people offer to teach me but finally I just hunkered down and did it.

I’ve tried to learn on my own in the past but let my frustrations get the better of me. Being a crocheter, I couldn’t figure out how to get the stitches to stay on the needles and using two needles just seemed so cumbersome. But I finally got the hang of it this time. I started with instructions that I had photocopied years ago out of an old Martha Stewart Living Magazine, which you can see an abbreviated version of here online. But that only got me so far before I realized that video tutorials help immensely!!! is where I got most of my basic info and I joined Ravelry a knit and crochet community to find patterns and such.

My first project was a baby vest that I found on Ravelry (my finished vest is pictured above). Here is a link to the designers blog, Bibliosophy, and the original blog post where you can download the pattern. Being that this was my first attempt at knitting, it’s a little bit wonky and I won’t even show you the mess I made of the back!

Here is a detail shot of the buttons going down the side.

I’m in the process of making another one in black and I have to say it’s going a lot smoother this time around.