Archives for posts with tag: charity

wrapped

I had hoped to complete this wrap created for the “Wrapped in Hugs” project a week ago.  Actually, I did finish it off, but then discovered that the piece which had been the right size somehow shrunk. Since it was a corner-to-corner pattern, I’m not sure what happened, but I got back to work adding more border. I suppose it is better to have a piece end up too small rather than too large.

Now, finally, it is truly complete; ends sewn in, and ready to ship off. The final size is 30″ x 60″.

I keep thinking that the weather is going to become too warm for large crochet pieces, but we had some snow here on Saturday. We had a very mild winter, aside from one big blizzard, so a few hours of April snow which was gone by the evening just meant spending the day cozy and crocheting.

C2C

Sometimes it is hard to choose between all of the worthwhile charities and organizations that exist. Other times, you have a connection with one, and that makes the choice easier. I have a friend who donated a kidney to her father a few years ago. As a result, she is very involved with the Gift of Life Donor Program which is a local chapter or the national transplant organization. When I saw that they had a program called ‘Wrapped in Hugs‘ where they give out hand knitted or crocheted wraps to donor families, I knew I wanted to participate.

The wraps need to be 30″x 60″, and I have a record of making pieces either way too large, or way too small, so I decided to start a corner-to-corner wrap. This will make it easy for me to judge exactly how wide it will be.  I’m almost to the 30 inch mark, and will be able to start working on the length soon.

The yarn is a variegated worsted-weight acrylic by Caron in the color Peacock. I like the way the blue, purple, and green work together.

 

Bar stitch

One of the things I like about crochet is that once you learn a handful of basic stitches, you have the foundation to make just about any stitch out there just by changing where they are placed or how they are combined.

In my crochet class this week we learned the bar stitch. This is a stitch that creates a right side with the ridges and a wrong side that is smooth. It is a dense stitch, but the vertical ridge gives it nice texture. It is a combination of single and front-post double crochets with the double going around the bar of the stitch two rows down.  The first set required some concentration as it needed to be worked into a row of single crochet, but after that, it was easy to see the bar created by the double crochet and know just where to place that stitch.

One thing we are doing in class now is to make our swatches in 8 inch squares. When the class is done, the instructor will join them all together to create a lapghan to donate. It provides motivation to finish the sample swatch, and also puts them to good use.

Some good online instructions can be found here.

 

AHS afghan

Thank you all for the kind words and thoughts over the past days. I had to step out of routine life for a while but am starting to resurface.

I have to admit, there were several days last week when I did not work on any creative projects at all. It is probably a time when it would have helped the most, but I’m giving myself a pass. This week I got back into it and pushed through to finish the hospice afghan I’d been working through.

The weather has turned decidedly spring-like, and I knew that once it got too warm, the idea of an afghan-in-progress on my lap would not be appealing. The body of the afghan turned out smaller than I anticipated, so I had to make up the difference with the border.

Many, many thanks to Simply Hooked for introducing me to this stitch. Because it is a dense stitch, I went up to a K/6.5 hook, and it is still nice and thick and cozy without being too heavy.  I even have enough yarn left over for a second afghan, but may watch the weather before I decide to start.

Lap size

When I work on a large project, there is always a point where it feels as though no progress is being made. I tend to forget this every time I start a new afghan. The first few inches seem to work up quickly, then it hits a point where no matter how much you hook, it feels like it is not getting any larger.

I’ve been trying to get at least 3 rows done on this each day. Sometimes I have the time for more, but other days that is all I can manage. I had been measuring it a lot, but since this pattern is single crochet, even 3 rows did not add a lot of length to it. (This is the point where, even though I love the pattern, I vow to only make afghans with double crochet in the future. I have made this vow before, eventually it will stick.)

Finally it has reached a point where it covers my lap when I am working on it. It is only about half way complete, but sometimes you need to have these milestones along the way to keep the momentum going.  This is giving me hope it will continue to progress, and is a good reminder to tuck the measuring tape away for a few days at a time. It feels so much better to see hit has grown by 10 inches rather then one at a time.

Hospice afghan

The end of last week was oddly low key. It felt as though all the energy had been sucked out of the house. There was more time spent on the sofa watching movies than I think there had been the entire last year combined.  It made me happy I had started the afghan since I realized that even when I don’t have my usual get-up-and-go, I still can’t just sit in front of the television.  This is the perfect project since it doesn’t require much concentration.

I did have one outing to meet up with some of the members of my craft group on Sunday afternoon. I am hoping that seeing friends will jump start my energy and make this a more productive week.

3 color moss

I’ve talked about changing what I work on depending on the weather, but I find I also need to work on different projects depending on the time of day.

At the beginning of the year, I was determined to focus on the large embroidery project WiP I have. And I am making progress. It is, however,  a project that requires concentration and good light. I am still making it a point to work on something creative every day, but the time I find to work is not always the same. When I can’t sit down  until evening, the embroidery is just not the right project.

I’ve started the hospice afghan to have a night-time project. Since I need to use the yarn provided by the hospice program, I have multiple colors to incorporate into the design. I’m using the 3-color moss stitch I first saw on Simple Hooked.  I like its tweedy look, and really like the added benefit of not having ends to weave in since the yarn gets carried up the side.  Since this is a fairly dense stitch, I also went up to  K/10.5 hook which still seems to hold the look without making it so stiff since the yarn I have to use is…let’s say not of the high-end variety.

This solves one of the mysteries of why I need to have multiple projects going at the same time. Now I just need to work on finishing one of them.

 

Project bag

A friend had some outpatient surgery and somehow, I was deemed a “responsible adult” and went with her to wait and drive her home.  Of course I took this as an opportunity to bring along a project bag (or two).

While almost everyone else was playing with their phones or tablets, I used some stash yarn to start a scarf I’m planning to donate. I have larger projects, but wanted something containable for a waiting room chair.  One woman asked if I was crocheting a scarf and then started talking to me about her own crochet and a new stitch she had made up.  After describing it, she came over and started demonstrating it.

It was at that moment the nurse came out and called her name. Do  you think she hopped up and followed the nurse into the back for her surgery prep? No she did not. Instead, she turned and said “You need to wait a minute until I’m done with this.”

OK, she may have been stalling not wanting to face what was ahead of her, or it may be a testament to the power of yarn and the instant community that can be created when two like-minded crafters find each other even in unlikely places. At the very least I hope it took her mind off of worrying for a few moments while she was waiting.

Mariner scarf complete

I am able to send out 2015 with one final project completed. The mariner’s scarf  is bordered, woven in and ready to send off. I like ending the year with a project completed.

This is also day 365 of my 365 challenge to work on something creative every day. I originally started using this blog as a way of documenting what I did with the hope that having to record each day’s work would help motivate me to keep it going. What I found, as the year went on, was a wonderful community full of encouragement, inspiration, and even new project ideas.  I also feel like I’ve made a few friends along the way, and look forward to new posts from them to see what they have been doing.

I need to take a moment to say “thank you” for being part of my journey. You have added depth and dimension to what would have been a solitary task.  When I started this, I did not know if it would be possible to accomplish, but I made it! While 2015 is complete, 2016 stretches ahead, and I can’t wait to see what it will bring.

mariner progress

The black yarn in the Mariner’s scarf is really hard to photograph on its own. It either washes out to grey, or the contrast is too intense and it ends up looking like a black blob.  This photo, with some background color in the form of a cat captures it the best so far.

I did not think I would have a lot of time to work on any project this week, but an unexpected block of it showed up today. Original plans fell through and it ended up being a low-key recharge day. The next few will be busy again, so I appreciated  the time spent feet up, cat on lap, and hook in hand. It also explains why every project I make comes with bonus cat hair.