Happy Birthday, Charles Carroll, Founding Father of Maryland

Born on September 19, 1737, Charles Carroll’s life spanned nearly a century. By the fiftieth anniversary of July 4, 1776, the Founding Father of Maryland was the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence, having outlived Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who both died on that day.


(Portrait of Charles Carroll of Carrollton by Michael Laty)

Benjamin Franklin is said to have advised his fellow patriots of the potential consequences of challenging the British Empire and its king: “We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” While each of the 56 British subjects who affixed their names to the Declaration risked life, fortune, and sacred honor, none may have risked as much as the delegate from Maryland, Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Continue reading

Pattern: Tiny Scallops Easy Newborn Cap and Booties Set

For a unique baby shower gift, try this simple cap and booties layette set. The cap takes me about an hour and a half to make, and the booties take about an hour. Because the patterns are quick and easy, it’s a great last-minute project for a newborn or preemie. Try different colors from traditional pink and blue, such as the Soft Red and Aqua here, for a change! (I used Bernat Softee Baby: Soft Red #1802982 and Aqua #1838242.)

Tiny Scallops photoThis pattern is an exclusive for TheStitchinMommy.com. Go visit Amy and see her beautiful, free crochet creations!

These Hawaiian Waves Carry Memories

“Who goes to Hawaii for the weekend?” my coworker teased me. Well, I was going. Actually, it was a long weekend.

I’ve learned that one of the keys to happiness in traveling is being able to enjoy an experience without being concerned that “I don’t have enough time.” Simply being grateful for the chance to be there brings a lot of joy out of a few days. And my Waikiki weekend was one of those especially joyful times.

Hawaiian_LullabyThe flight to Honolulu, sitting next to two lovely older ladies, was how I began this vacation-appropriate pattern, “Stroller Blankie” by Lion Brand. (Lion Brand’s patterns are free on their website, but you need to register an email address to have access to their pattern galleries.) It’s made with Lion Brand’s “Ice Cream” yarn in “Lemon Swirl.” Continue reading

Patterns I Love: Who’s Sleepy Owl Afghan by Lion Brand

I love Lion Brand patterns, and this is one of my favorites.


This photo is a detail of my completedWho’s Sleepy Owl Afghan.” The pattern uses Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn, which is rich in color and soft to the touch. The chunky yarn makes the afghan suitable for a play or nap mat or even a wall hanging.

It was a relatively fast project for me to complete because the chunky yarn works up quickly. The pieces are crocheted separately and then joined. I used invisible thread to sew them together firmly to withstand little fingers. Continue reading

Crochet for Charity: Bridget’s Cradles

Losing a baby before birth or shortly thereafter is heartbreaking. But mothers who have lost children say that the simplest things can mean so much to them when they are grieving.

BridgetsCradlesAbout a year ago I volunteered to make a few tiny hats for a project started by a mother named Amanda in memory of her extremely premature son, Robby. She wanted to collect hundreds of caps for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) that took care of her and her baby. She said the handmade cap she was given in the hospital was the only thing she had left to hold onto after he died, and it meant so much to her.

The August 2016 issue of Crochet World features a story about another project that helps parents facing infant loss: Bridget’s Cradles. Bridget’s Cradles is a nonprofit started by a woman named Ashley whose mother knitted a tiny “cradle” for Ashley to hold her baby in. Continue reading

Pattern: Little Crown Easy Newborn Cap

Want to make your own gift for a new mother but don’t have a lot of time? This “Little Crown” newborn cap takes me about an hour and a half to make.


The pattern is simple, but the brim edging gives the cap a distinctive look. It’s a perfect project for the last-minute baby shower or for those times when you’d just like to tell a mother-to-be, “I’m thinking of you and wishing you well.” It should fit a newborn or preemie.

This pattern is an exclusive for TheStitchinMommy.com. Go visit Amy and see her beautiful, free crochet creations!