“Knit Your Bit” (or Crochet) for Today’s Veterans

I was in grade school during the first Gulf War. We prayed the Rosary for peace and for the deployed family members of students.

I also remember that when war was imminent, a priest at my Catholic parish announced he was becoming a Navy chaplain. I don’t remember if he already had a past in the Navy; it seems likely he did. But in 1990 he was not a young man.

He enlisted as a chaplain because our country was going to war, and he wanted to serve the spiritual needs of the men and women who were going to fight it. I remember feeling a kind of awe that Father Ryan knew instinctively what he ought to do at that moment in time–and that he so straightforwardly did it. His farewell was a lesson in selflessness and in doing what was right without fanfare, fuss, or delay. Continue reading

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Beautiful America

One of the most beautiful blankets I’ve ever made is a pattern called Little Boy Blue by Lion Brand.

This jewel-tone afghan was designed for Lion Brand’s Heartland, which happens to be Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s October Yarn of the Month. Heartland is 100% acrylic and weight 4 (medium). Heartland has a soft, silky feel and is comfortable for me to work with.

I enjoyed the variations in stitch patterns from row to row, which produced such a distinctive border. I counted stitches carefully at the end of each row, because mistakes would show and disrupt future rows. It is well worth the time and effort to ensure each section is correct before moving on. Continue reading

Crochet for Charity: Mother and Child Education Center

It’s easy to make quick, simple newborn caps and booties when I don’t have the energy to follow complicated patterns or try new stitch combinations. Sometimes a one-hour (-ish) baby cap is just the thing with which to unwind (pun intended) or watch a movie. I also believe making a sweet baby cap is the perfect way to make the most of time spent with the evening news!

If you enjoy making caps and booties and find yourself with more rainbow-colored inventory than you have friends with baby showers, the Mother and Child Education Center may be the place for your baby-soft items to find the perfect homes. Continue reading

Bavarian for My Family

Having a great-grandfather with Bavarian heritage, I was delighted to discover there is such a thing as “Bavarian crochet.” Of course, I wanted to learn it; and I’ve been working with the book, Learn to Do Bavarian Crochet, by Jenny King (Annie’s Crochet).

It helps that I previously learned both front post and back post trebles while making a small baby blanket. They are the secret to creating the raised pattern characteristic of Bavarian and take some getting used to. It’s easier to become comfortable with front and back post trebles–and gauge consistency with trebles in general–before putting it all together. Continue reading

Ice Cream for Valentine’s Day

I’ve been flipping through issues of Crochet World for a couple years, and admired many patterns, but I never went right out to begin one until the February 2017 issue.

I just started the “Bubbles Blanket & Pillow” by Joyce Bragg. Of course, since she uses Lion Brand’s Ice Cream Yarn in Tutti Frutti, her pattern caught my eye.

There is an error in the printed pattern regarding materials. It says you need one ball, but this is impossible for a baby blanket and pillow set. Ice Cream Yarn is sold in 3 1/2 oz. balls and “Big Scoop” 10 oz. balls. I suspect you need one Big Scoop, at least, to complete this project. One small ball won’t do. Continue reading

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.

sweetsherbetblanket

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

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