Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Blessings

I was messaged by another blogger, Heather Von St. James, and asked to share her incredible story of surviving mesothelioma. Heather's story can be found on The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. In 2005, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma only 3 months after giving birth to her child and told that she would have 15 months to live. Heather and her family did not accept this answer, so embarked on a mission to find a solution. Heather is now a 7 year survivor of mesothelioma with her mission now being to share her amazing story to give hope to those going through similar situations. Heather is living her life to the fullest, and is thankful of this second chance that she has been given.

It's December 23rd, the day that most people are rushing around buying last minute presents and food. Wondering if this person is buying me something-so do I need to buy them something? For a lot of people this time of year has just become stressful and all about materialistic things. (Though, I'm not saying I'm perfect and that I'm not making a trip to the store later to pick up some of those last minute items). But, I want to take a few minutes to take a step back from the rushing and the stress to recognize that the reason for this holiday is because Jesus Christ, my Savior, was born. He is the reason that miracles happen like with Heather, and the reason why we are so blessed to have things to be thankful for. His love for us is what makes all things possible.

In my life, I have numerous things to be thankful for. I have a loving family, boyfriend and friends. I love my job, supervisor, and coworkers. I've been blessed with skills like quilting and crocheting that I can share with all the people I love. I'm truly grateful for the life I've been given. I know that through anything I have people around me that care for me and will help me through any situation. And, I know that in the situations where there is too much stacked against me, I have a God that is a Waymaker and carries me through. My mother went through two surgeries to remove thyroid cancer from her body; she then went through two more to have both of her knees replaced. She's still going through a medical situation that is being monitored, but I know that there isn't going to be anything to be concerned about. My family has placed this in God's hands, and He is more than capable. I have a blessed life that I am thankful for every single day, and Christmas, the day that Jesus came into this world to be our Savior, is the reason that it is possible.

"And the angel said unto them Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2: 10-14

May God bless you and your family during this holiday season. Merry Christmas :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Crochet Hat and Infinity Scarf with Free Pattern

I completed a wonderful crochet set with hat and infinity scarf :). This is my first crochet hat and I think it turned out absolutely beautiful :). For both the hat and scarf I used Lion Brand Heartland Yarn from Joann Fabrics and used the suggested needle size for the yarn (which is a J). The colors I used were Yellowstone and Grand Canyon. This yarn is so soft and comes in such beautiful colors, I love it. I followed a YouTube video by LOVE4NAILS to complete the beanie hat. This was the same person that made the video I followed to do my infinity scarf I made previously. The how-to video for this hat, "How To Crochet a Beanie Hat Step by Step" can be found on YouTube; she does a great job of explaining each step and showing you exactly what she's doing. A couple alterations I made for my hat is that I have one less row than what she says in her video. I tried on my hat several times while making it to get the correct fit for me, and it ended up being one row less than the video says. Another alteration I made was, instead of only adding one row of color at the end of the hat, I made mine two rows for the trim. I like the slightly thicker trim you get with two rows of color rather than the one.


Once I finished the hat, I decided it was a little on the plain side, so I went on a Pinterest search to find a simple crochet bow to add for a little pizazz ;). This was the bow I found on Unravelled Thredz. She provides a free pattern and step by step pictures to follow, and it's simple as can be!

I think I may have used thicker yarn than what was used in the bow pattern. So, instead of a chain of 37, I did a chain of about 28. I then only did about 7-8 rows of sc’s. I wanted my bow to be a good size, but didn’t want it to overpower the entire hat. My bow ended up being 4 1/2” x 2”.

For the infinity scarf, I modified and added to a pattern in one of my crochet books to get this. A rough summary of my pattern is to start with a chain of ~120; you can pull the chain taught and wrap around your neck to get an approximate feel if your chain is long enough. The two ends are then connected, which is shown in this LOVE4NAILS how-to video here. The first 3 rows are sc’s. For crocheting around your loop, crochet around and when you get back to the beginning connect the end of your row to the beginning like what was done for connecting your chain ends. Then for the sc you chain 1 as usual, turn your work and move on to the next row of sc’s. When the 3 rows of sc’s are complete, dc is used for the pattern in the center of the scarf. 

When your sc rows are complete and you have attached the end of your 3rd row to the beginning of your 3rd row, you then need to chain 3 to make a start for the dc’s. Then do 4 dc’s and on the 4th dc, put a chain of 2. You then skip 2 spaces in your base and put your next dc in the 3rd space (the chain of 2 you added to the 4th dc accommodates for the 2 spaces you skip on your base). Then do 4 dc’s, again adding a chain of 2 to the 4th. Skip 2 spaces in the base and start the next 4 dc’s in the 3rd space. You’ll continue this process until you get all the way back to your beginning where again you attach the end of the row to the beginning. If you just ended your row with 4 dc’s, then you will need to chain 5, this gives your chain of 3 to accommodate the dc and then the chain of 2 to accommodate the 2 spaces in your base you will need to skip to continue the pattern. If you ended with a space, you only need to do the usual chain of 3. 

Starting next row with 4 dc’s:
The chain of 3 counts as 1, turn your work then add 2 dc’s into the hole left by the pattern in the base row. The 4th dc goes into the space above the first dc of the set in the base. Add a chain of 2 to the 4th dc and continue the process.

Starting next row with a space:
Make your chain of 5, skip 2 spaces in the base and start your 4 dc’s. Your first dc will go into the space above the last dc in the base, the next 2 dc’s go into the hole left by the pattern in the base row, then the 4th dc goes into the space above the first dc in the next set of the base. Add a chain of 2 to the 4th dc and continue the process.

In my scarf I did 5 rows of the dc pattern. Depending on how wide you want your scarf will determine how many rows you should do. After my dc rows, I then completed another 3 rows of sc to complete the border of the dc pattern.

If you’d like more description of how this was done, or have any questions, just let me know and I’d be happy to elaborate and help you with your own scarf :).


Monday, December 9, 2013

Conclusion to the Senior Christmas Scarf Project

The scarves are on the next step of the journey to their forever homes! This past week my boyfriend dropped off the scarves at the Center for Seniors!! The final number of scarves was 35! That is a lot more than I was expecting. I had help and donations from a lot of wonderful people, and because of this, 35 seniors are going to get a handmade scarf for Christmas :).

When my boyfriend dropped of the scarves, his previous supervisor at the Center for Seniors was so excited to see the variety and work that went into this project. My boyfriend, the awesome person that he is, told her that I put my heart and soul into this project. Which I did, and I feel that the people that helped me did as well. I can't thank you all enough for taking your time to make someones Christmas a little warmer :).

For Christmas, the Center for Seniors do what they call a Basket of Love. They place a variety of items in these ~400 baskets and they're delivered to the seniors around the Muskingum County area that the Center for Seniors serves on a daily basis.These scarves are going to be included in these baskets. Therefore, only 35 baskets will have scarves, but that's 35 more than if we hadn't done any :).

Here are all of the wonderful scarves that were donated: