Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Project OCC 2016

I am sure some of you are familiar with my yearly 40 Hats in 40 days project during Lent in which I make a hat a day to donate to God's Tiny Angels for newborn and preemies.   And while my hook and needle are in use frequently for the rest of the year, I also have a special Fall project that I work on as well for Samaritan's Purse - Operation Christmas Child.

For those of you unfamiliar with Operation Christmas Child, it is a yearly outreach from Samaritan's Purse in which you and I can pack a shoebox full of supplies and gifts for children around the world.  Samaritan's Purse collects the packed shoeboxes and then arranges the distribution.  Long before we even think about packing a shoebox, though, they have gone to the distribution areas and worked with the local pastors to prepare.  You see, the children who receive these shoeboxes not only get what may be the ONLY gift they ever receive, but they are told about the most awesome gift the world EVER received, Jesus.  Many are given the opportunity to participate in 12 week Bible study, free of charge, so that they can learn more.  These shoeboxes open the door to let children feel loved and valued so that they can understand just how much the King loves and values them as well.  It is a ministry that is close to my heart.

Every year I try to ensure that each shoebox my family packs contains at least 1 hand-made item.  As I make each item I pray for the child that will be receiving to to have an open heart to the message they will hear, to feel the love of our Creator, and to know that they are cared for.  In years past I have made hats, dolls, and scarfs.  This year my 8 year old made plastic canvas crosses and hearts to put in each shoebox.
Plastic Canvas crosses and heart
This year I chose to make a wash cloth for each shoebox and wanted to share a few of the patterns that I used.  Wash cloths are a great project for beginner knitter and crocheters since they are small and you get to that satisfying completion much quicker.  And I am currently eyeing an entrelac pattern since I have never done entrelac before and feel a little less intimidated by the smaller project size.  With wash cloths it is important to remember to use a cotton or other absorbent yarn.  Acrylic is definitely not your friend on projects like this!

The first was a neat corner to corner pattern, which I had never done when knitting before.  It is called the Diagonal Knit Dishcloth, which is only available as a Ravelry free PDF download.  (Don't worry, membership is free too!)  It was a neat little project which admittedly would have looked better in a solid color yarn, but this is what Mr. Sunflowers bought for me when he found a cone of it on sale.  The pattern was easy to follow and once I got the hang of it it worked up really quickly.  I like the contrast between the middle section and the rest of the cloth.

Tomorrow I will share with you my own design born from the need for a washcloth made from a limited supply of yarn....

Until next time,


Monday, March 30, 2015

40 in 40 2015 week 6

I have to say I have been really inspired by the completed hats that have been posted on the Facebook event page!  You are some seriously talented fans!  It was so neat to see that this challenge has benefited people all over the world, including Nova Scotia!

I can't believe there is only one week left.  While I look forward to being able to create in a more relaxed atmosphere, and to tackle some bigger projects, I have to say that I really love the intentional aspect of this challenge each year.  Praying over each item and knowing that I have been able to use the gifts God has given me to help someone else makes this period of Lent really meaningful to me - even when it gets hard to get it all done.

That being said, let me share with you my projects from this past week:

First up is the Aimee Baby Hat.  This is the second time I have made this hat.  The first I used Simply Soft yarn.  This time I used Bernat Baby Sport, a thinner yarn.  Both times the hat turned out to big for a newborn, despite the pattern saying it is sized for newborn to 3 months.  I love the heart pattern that goes completely around the babies head, but I definitely need to spend some time fiddling with my yarn and needles to make it smaller.  14 inches is to big for a newborn.

Next was the Divine hat.  This is available in preemie, newborn and adult sizes - all in the same pattern.  The ridges gently twirl around the babies scalp to come together at the crown.  A quick hat to crochet with beautiful results!

This is the Dania Beanie, available in newborn to toddler sizes.  I admit I am a sucker for the hats with bows!  I would recommend making the starting chain for the bow smaller, as you can see it dwarfs the hat.  Another super simple and quick crochet project.

  My 4th hat for the week is the Sideways Shell Baby hat.  Another quick crochet project.  The designer based the pattern on a Project Linus blanket pattern.  Wouldn't it be cute to make a matched set?

 And then I got on a knit leaves kick!  First up is the Baby Leaves II, which worked up a bit short for me.  So I continued the leaf pattern until after the first decrease on the leaf before beginning the ribbing.  I think I should have used a thicker yarn so that the leaves stood out a bit more.  Since I wasn't completely happy with this one, I tried a different pattern.

This one is the Embossed leaves pattern.  Instructions are given for baby to extra-large adult sizes.  I have to say I was much more satisfied with the way this one turned out.

So that is it for this week.  Only 6 hats to go before this year's challenge is over

Until next time,

Monday, March 23, 2015

40 in 40 2015 week 5

I spent the week really under the weather with a FUO, or Fever of Unkown Origin.  Yes, I went to the doc and as of Friday the lab results point towards some sort of viral infection.  Fortunately by Saturday, after 12 days of fever, I woke up feeling like myself again.  I played catch up towards the end of the week as I didn't really feel up to working on hats at the beginning.  I did manage to get all 6 hats completed though!

Do the Twist was first on my list.  This is the first time I have ever done a top down knit hat.  The designer incorporated a yarn over before every ssk to create the twist, but after I completed about 1/2 the hat I found I didn't like the large hole that left so I frogged it and on the second go around I used a M1 increase instead.  same effect with a smaller hole.  When working the bind off I would recommend using a larger needle and working it VERY losely, otherwise it will be very tight on the baby's head.  (Don't ask how I know!)

This is the Baby Swirls Hat, which is VERY similar to a tawashi.  It finishes up thick and warm, but it is a yarn eater and very monotonous to work.  If you can single crochet, though, you can totally make this hat!

Next was the So Soft Baby Hat.  You will need to join the Lion Brand website to have access to this free pattern, but it is worth the trouble to sign up and membership is free.  I worked 2 i-cords at the top and tied them in a bow rather than the single cord.  Pattern is available in small preemie to large preemie/newborn

This is the Baby Bear hat, a really quick knit using WW yarn.  And I am such a sucker for bear hats!

This is the Serendipity hat.  The pattern is actually for an adult size hat, but with a few modifications I was able to scale it down to newborn size.  To make it I CO 78 using a size 6 set of dpn and Beehive Baby Sports yarn, follow pattern as written until it measures 5 inches from beginning.  Then begin decreases at round 9.  You can use one color as the original designer did, or two as I did here.

And the final hat for the week is titled Seventh.  It is a pretty simple hat to work up using knit and purl stitches to create the pattern.  I used a mystery yarn that I picked up in a bag of mill ends.  I like the striping effect it has, but this pattern also looks beautiful with a solid color.

And that is is for this week.  See you next week!

Until next time,

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spirals pattern

Another free pattern for you.  This one is easily adapted to any yarn or size.  I'll give the pattern for a newborn size as I have made and at the end I will include directions to adjust.

You will need:
Light yarn #3   I used Bernat Baby Sport Yarn, Funny Prints
4.25 mm  G/6  hook
stitch marker

sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
ch = chain
BLO = back loop only
FPDC = front post double crochet
BPDC = back post double crochet

You will be working in the round, not joining rounds.  Place marker at the beginning of each round

r1 - 6 sc in magic circle

r2 - in BLO (back loop only)  2 sc in each sc.  (12)

r3 - in BLO *2sc in first sc, sc in next.  Repeat from * around  (18)

r4 - in BLO  *2 sc in first sc, 1sc in each of the next 2 sc.  Repeat from * around.  (24)

r5 - in BLO  *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sc.  Repeat from * around.  (30)

r6 - in BLO  * 2sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 4 sc.  Repeat from * around.  (36)

r7 - in BLO  *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 5 sc.   Repeat from * around.  (42)

r8 - in BLO  *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 6 sc.  Repeat from * around.  (48)

r9 - in BLO  *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 7 sc.  Repeat from * around.  (54)

r10-18 - in BLO  sc in each sc around.  (54)

r19 - in BLO, dc in each stitch around.  Join to first dc  (54)

r20 -  ch 2, *FPDC , BPDC   Repeat from * around.

fasten off and weave in ends.

Adjustments for this are super simple.  Choose your yarn and a hook of the appropriate size for your yarn.  Measure the circumference (around) of the head the hat will be worn on.  Divide by 3.14.   Write this number down.

Begin pattern above.  After each round measure across your work.  When it reaches approximately the number you have written stop the increase rounds.  If necessary, continue the pattern set in r1-9 to continue increases.  (2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 8 sc,  adding to the underlined number each round)  Once you have reached the end of your increase rounds simply begin working the sides by working one sc in each sc around (r10) until about 1 inch before the desired length.  Then work r19 and r20.

Until next time,
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