Can One Granny Square Be a Blanket?

Yes, it can, and a lovely one. Granny squares don’t have to be tiny–or boring. A pretty, self-striping yarn can make all the difference.

I’ve made several granny square projects. The drawbacks include sewing dozens of squares together and weaving in countless ends if I’m changing colors within each square. That’s why I appreciate Lion Brand’s Sherbert Granny Stroller Blanket pattern.

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This is my completed Sweet Sherbet Baby Blanket in my Etsy shop. The pattern is free on the Lion Brand website, but you need to set up a log-in with an email address to have access to the pattern galleries. Once you’ve logged in, you can download and print patterns, and you can bookmark your favorites in your account for later. Continue reading

A Song for Saint Cecilia’s Day

If you have visited Colonial Williamsburg or Jamestown, Virginia, but have never been to St. Mary’s County, Maryland, it is worth the beautiful drive to Colton’s Point on the Potomac River to retrace a lesser-known chapter in America’s founding. A Maryland Historical Society sign on the shore near the St. Clement’s Island Museum marks the landing of The Ark and The Dove on March 25, 1634, adding, “Here, on the same day, Father Andrew White, S.J. celebrated the first Catholic Mass in the British-American colonies.”

That simple event, a Catholic Mass, inaugurated religious freedom in British North America.

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(St. Mary’s City Historic District: Reconstructed 1667 Catholic Church, built on site of the original Jesuit mission church in the St. Mary’s City colonial settlement, Maryland’s first colony. HSMC, July 2009, via Wikipedia) Continue reading

Why Lion Brand’s Bright Stripes Baby Afghan Is My Favorite Shower Gift

Why is Lion Brand’s Bright Stripes Baby Afghan my favorite baby shower gift? Because it’s so quick and easy to make, and everyone loves the rainbow colors. I’ve made it four times and plan to make it again soon.

This photo is a detail of my completed “Rainbow Stripes Baby Blanket.” The pattern uses Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Baby yarn, which is soft to the touch but a heavier weight than most baby yarn. You can substitute similar 4-weight yarns.

This blanket requires a size I-9 hook, so it doesn’t take anywhere near as long as most baby blankets I’ve made. The shell pattern is easy to memorize, which makes it a convenient project for travel, movie watching, or whenever you want to vary your rows but not have to concentrate too hard. I’ve made this blanket on car trips, an 8-day Catholic women’s retreat, and sitting outside in the sun during summer days off. Continue reading

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.

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(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.

Owl

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