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Friday, February 28, 2014

A Hug For Grama Carol

My Grandmother's birthday is this Sunday. No, not Grama Mary, although I've certainly mentioned her before! Sunday March 2 is the birthday of my mom's mom, Grama Carol. 

When I was a year old my parents divorced and my mom and I  moved in with my grandparents.  Grama Carol and Pap Bill took care of me when my mom would go to her job at Hill's. I never wanted my mom to go to work and would always cry when she would leave but hugs from my Grama Carol always made me feel better. 

It was this memory that gave me the inspiration to make a special gift for Grama Carol's birthday.

A prayer shawl is a piece that is crocheted or knit to give another person warmth and comfort. It is called a prayer shawl because you can pray for the individual as you stitch or the recipient can wear it while they say their prayers or meditate. A prayer shawl is a comforting hug from one person to another. It shows the recipient that they are loved and cared for. 

When I heard about prayer shawls recently I knew that one would be perfect for Grama Carol. She is a devoted Catholic and says her rosaries often. As she recites the familiar prayers she can be surrounded by the warm hug of the shawl that I made for her.

Here are some photos of my progress so far. I found some simple instructions for constructing a prayer shawl here. 

What I've done so far.

Close up of hook and stitches

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sew Inspirational

I have told you before about my Grama Mary. She taught me to crochet and so many other things. She is one of my biggest inspirations. I spent much of my childhood and adolescence with her and my Pap Popsey (his name was Charles but we called him Popsey).
It was my Grama Mary that made me want to sew.

I can't remember exactly how many years ago that Grama Mary learned to quilt. At least ten years ago she made me a quilt of my very own. So I know it was at least that long ago! I love this quilt so very  much. It is one of my most prized possessions. Shades of lilac, violet, and cream flannel are stitched together and adorned with flower appliques. A rough edged rag quilt detail adds to the coziness of the blanket. I have found much comfort over the years wrapped up in the warmth of this quilt. It always felt like I was getting a hug from Grama Mary herself. It is because of her quilts that I wanted to take up sewing myself. I wanted to provide the same comfort to others that my beloved Grama always provided to me.

A few years ago my husband gave me a sewing machine for Christmas. I still haven't learned to quilt. But I have started to learn other things. I have taken a few classes and am learning some more from online tutorials and Youtube videos.

One day soon I will make a quilt and I know Grama Mary will be proud.

Who or what inspired you to sew?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Beanies! Beanies! Beanies!

I am all about the beanies lately. I have been making them pretty much nonstop. Ever since I studied a YouTube video on how to do it, crocheting beanies is my new favorite project. 
Beanies are a great project to take with you when you have to do things like wait at the doctor's office because they are small enough to stash in your bag. 

This is the tutorial that taught me how to make the basic beanie. It can be adjusted to any size, from a newborn baby up to an adult! I have used another tutorial from this Youtube channel, bobwilson123, as well. Clare is a great teacher and I just love her accent! She also has a website that is all about crochet and it can be found here.

These are a couple of pictures of the last beanie that I finished up yesterday. This beanie was made with Red Heart Super Saver and a 6mm hook.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Crochet Bug

I got the crochet bug when I was a little girl. My grandmother Mary taught me how to do the basic stitches and I was hooked (pun intended) for life. I would pick up the hook and yarn on and off over the years until three years ago when I really got serious about it again.
To freshen up my skills and add some new stitches to my arsenal I turned to YouTube for video tutorials. I never could read a pattern and being a visual learner this was the perfect solution. Learning from the videos was even a little tricky for me. It turns out that I do things a little bit differently than everyone else because the grandmother who taught me crochet is left handed! So I hold my yarn differently and I tend to work from the back instead of the front. I tried to change how I work but I am so used to the other way that I gave up. I might have to adjust some projects to my way of doing things but as long as the end result is the same I figure it doesn't matter how I get there!

I love to crochet. It is the perfect cold weather hobby. Curled up under a blanket with a fresh skein of yarn watching a show with my husband is a perfect evening. The satisfaction, pride and accomplishment I feel when completing a project or mastering a new stitch can't be beat. 

Do you crochet or knit? What are your favorite things about it?