“Finger Knitting” to a Granny Shawl

School started again this year for us here in North Carolina. We welcomed a new group of nervous and excited 1st graders 2 weeks ago. The school where I work is a nature based school and we integrate so much more into our days! One of the new skills that many children enjoy learning is “finger knitting” (which is actually just crocheting without a hook). It’s such wonderful fine motor work and the kids are so excited when they create necklaces and bracelets. My daughter is a 2nd grader at the school and has been enjoying this activity for a while now.
The other night, she asked to learn how to crochet with a hook! It probably wasn’t a great idea to start right before bedtime, but I managed to patiently teach her to do a few chain stitches with guidance. Before I knew it, she was stitching along on her own. Since Friday night she has chained several long strands and has fastened them to doors and chairs and across rooms. It’s like a limbo arena in our house right now, but for the love of crochet, I am allowing it πŸ™‚

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This strand goes from the stairs to the front door πŸ™‚
As for me, I’m still creating as well. This was a custom order for one of our new students. I just love the colors!

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I used I Love This Yarn in “Secrets” for the main body of this shawl and “Razzleberry Sparkle” for the trim.

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Cancer Awareness Afghan

Toward the end of this past school year, my friend posted one of the most heartbreaking status updates that I have read to date. Her son (my son’s very first friend that he met when he was almost 8 months old), had just been diagnosed with cancer.
They began a fb page called “Prayers for Elijah” to share his story and his journey while building a community of people who are willing to send positive energy and prayers his way. Please look it up to follow along with his story.
During this time, I found a free pattern for a “Cancer Ribbon Afghan”. I used the basic block pattern which can be found here http://www.crochetcabana.com/chatity/charity-patterns.htm
However, I chose to join my squares using the zigzag stitch (my preferred method when making granny square blankets as well) and then I added a “granny” border.

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Here you can see a close up of the zigzag connecting stitch as well as the beginning of the border. I used yellow and white. Yellow is for sarcoma which is the type of cancer that Elijah has.
And here is the finished afghan…made with love and prayers for complete healing for Elijah.

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Baby Blanket Orders

Aqua and Yellow Baby Blanket 2Baby Boy blue blanket 1 2013

I went back to teaching full time this year and as I suspected, it is a huge lesson in balance! Balancing how much work I bring home, being there for my children and family, and of course making sure I sqeeze in a little time for crochet.

Unfortunately, crochet has suffered the most 😦 Projects that used to take me a week (such as a baby blanket), now might take me a month. It’s very sad, but as I said, balance is a huge lesson in my life this year.

Here are a few baby blanket orders that I’ve managed to finish over the past month or so though πŸ™‚

A Little More Light

A Little More Light

I found this floating around on FB after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. It’s truth rang so strong in my heart that I had to share here as well.
It also goes along with a post that I have been meaning to write for several weeks now, but as life would have it, I have been extremely busy with my own projects, and have put this idea on the back burner. Time to bring it to the front.
In the last month, I have made yet another couple of hats for someone who recently found themselves having to begin chemotherapy. I hadn’t thought about it too much prior to this point, but I have made nearly a dozen hats this year for friends, family, family of friends, and children who were undergoing chemotherapy.
So here’s my call. Thanks to a friend of ours (whose son has recently gone into remission, thank God), I have found a clinic that accepts hat donations. They have them in a big box in the clinic and the children can go pick out hats from that box. You may put your card on the hat so they know where it came from or you may leave it blank and know that you are bringing some light to a child here in Charlotte, NC. I would like to be able to bring in a BIG box of hats, but I can’t do it all by myself. If you would like to offer up your time and talents to a very worthy cause, please contact me at joyfulmamadesigns@gmail.com and I will give you more information as to where these hats are going and when I plan to deliver them. Thank you all! Now go on and share some light today πŸ™‚

Below is one of the hats that I made for a family member of a friend who has just begun chemotherapy. You can find this free pattern at www.playinhookydesigns.comΒ under “Brain Waves Beanie”. It worked up quickly and, as seen below, can truly be made for both male and female.

Joy's Hat-corrected 2

Here is the second hat that I made (for the same person). This one is my design and if I could get my act together, I would write a pattern for it! Both hats were made from I Love This Cotton. I figured the cotton was a lighter, more natural fiber that would be good for spring and summer. These hats were made for adults and I used just one skein of yarn for each hat.

Joy's Second Hat 1

Baby Shower Gift Order

A friend of mine called me up one Wednesday afternoon, asked if I had any available baby items for her to purchase for a shower that she had forgotten about (she’s pregnant too, so we all understand how that can happen!). Unfortunately I usually just do custom orders on baby gifts, so instead, she dropped off some yarn πŸ™‚ Here’s what I had for her by that Saturday.

Once again, a huge shout out is deserved for the wonderful www.thegreendragonfly.wordpress.com who offered the adorable pattern for the little bunny just in time to use some of the leftover yarn to add a special little friend to the gift πŸ™‚ Since it was a baby gift and I didn’t have any eyes like what she uses in her tutorial, I just sewed on some eyes with some thinner black yarn that I had. I think it turned out ok πŸ™‚Β (see my previous post for a link to the pattern).

Since this time, I have made a couple more of these bunnies. I forgot to take a picture of the one that I made and brought into my preschool class. We’re using that one to practice listening during our sharing circle. The kids named him “Taco”…or “Chacco” (sometimes it’s hard to tell with 2 year olds!). I definitely see myself making a lot more of these in the future.

Annnnnnnd…a St. Patty’s day inspiration, I made a 2-tone hat in my favorite design of the season.

Two tone green hat

*Also, once again, thank you to my dear friend at www.beeskneesphotographync.com for the beautiful pictures.

National Crochet Month?!?

Hat and scarf 1 wmOkay, so sadly, I had no idea that March was National Crochet Month. But not to worry, I have been crocheting my little heart out over the last few days and have made several of my new fringe infinity scarves–not only for myself, my daughter and my neighbor, but for my etsy shop too!
Yesterday, my wonderfully talented photographer friend and neighbor took me out for a photo shoot…while I don’t usually like to have my picture taken, she makes it so fun and so easy! Here’s a peek at some of the shots (and, more importantly, some of the scarves).
Enjoy! And if you’d like to purchase one of the scarves shown, please visit my etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/joyfulmamadesigns

purple scarf 1 wm

Green Scarf 1 wm

scarves 1 wm

maroon scarf 2 wm

blue scarf 2 wm

Fringe Infinity Scarf

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Maybe I’ll get some better pictures to put up, but I surprised my daughter this morning with this new infinity scarf made from some leftover Lion Brand Homespun yarn. Such an easy project that I actually made 3 of these (2 for me!) yesterday while home with my son who is recovering from that nasty stomach bug.
The first one I made, I put the fringe on both sides of the scarf and fear it turned out a little more lion-like than I had hoped πŸ˜‰ The next 2, I just added fringe to one side and actually love the way it turned out! Can’t wait to go get some vibrant colors to add to my collection.
Do you think it’s too late in the season to add these to my etsy shop?
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