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 🙂

“Earth to Granny” Blanket

Here are some pictures of my completed granny blanket in some beautiful earth tones. I made the blanket for a couple of my photographer friends so I hope to see it in use one of these days soon 🙂 Until then, here are some quick snaps of the finished blanket. Isn’t she beautiful? 🙂

Earth Tone Blanket 2 Earth Tone Blanket 1Earth Tone Blanket 4

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 🙂

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.com 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

“Pinspirations”

If any of you are like me, then you have been sucked into the world of Pinterest over the past year or so, pinning more than you will ever have the time to actually attempt. I’m not on there much anymore, but occasionally I will get on to be inspired.
One day earlier this winter, I saw a pin by a person who had seen a hat in Anthropology (a store that I love the style of, but can’t bring myself to justify the price tags). I too loved the hat and liked her take on it, but thought, “I think I’ll try my own version of this.” And I did…and LOVED it. I have made this hat for myself and a couple of friends and have even sold a couple.
Anyway, thought I would share 🙂

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Awesome Free Tutorial Site!!

I found this wonderful link on Pinterest! Yea!!! So many adorable free patterns/tutorials. I had been trying to figure out what to do with some vintage fabric (yes, really vintage leftover fabric from one of my mom’s old dresses) that was in my stash. This little Snappy Toddler Dress used up the perfect amount and turned out so cute!!! The pattern on the site was for a baby (12-18 months), so I just used the back neckline from the pattern as the front neckline for my 5 1/2 year old and created a new back neckline to fit her. The rest was easy! What do you think???

Next on my list is that adorable Snap Wrap Dress that’s on there…and probably a few more of these tops 🙂 I’m sure I’ll have to adjust a little to accommodate for my daughter’s age/size, but that is a simple fix.

Loooove these simple tops! Thank you Prudent Baby!!!

Just Crafting Along…

I have been quite absent from the crafters blogging scene over the past few weeks. I would like to say that it’s because I was on vacation enjoying days on the beach, sipping margaritas (and other tasty summer drinks), but that’s not the case. In fact, I have been quite busy with custom orders and other little projects. This is surprising to me since in the past, my crafty times have mainly been the winter months…but I do rather enjoy this change! Along with the orders, I have spent some time doing some “fun” little crochet projects. Here are a couple of my latest.

THE HEDGEHOG: long story, but the gist of it is that hedgehogs remind me of my wonderful friend/neighbor (and photographer). The other night (after putting the kids to bed) I went trolling on the internet for a crochet hedgehog pattern and stumbled across this simple but wonderful pattern http://onemancrochet.blogspot.com/2012/04/free-crochet-hedgehog-pattern.html This guy is absolutely wonderful and I follow his blog via email, but hadn’t seen this one as it was posted prior to my discovering him. I followed his pattern as best I could. I added slip stitches to the end of each row and a ch.2 at the beginning of the rows. I then added the final touch by cutting about 2″ long strands of a thicker brown yarn that I had in my “this old yarn” stash. I adored the way that it turned out! Thank you Mr. One Man Crochet for the continued inspiration and for the pattern 🙂 This was my first attempt at an amigurumi pattern and I can see many more in my future. So cute!

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“Hedgie” up in his tree 🙂

THE CAST: another fun little project was making a cast for my neighbor’s little boy (don’t worry, it was actually for his bear). It was a surprise for him. His bear had entered my “clinic” with 2 serious injuries. Both required stitching: one on his back; one on his right leg. After stitching up his leg, I thought, wouldn’t it be cute if I crocheted a little “cast” for his leg?!? Here is the end result. Technically, I should be wearing the doctor’s coat, but little E makes a much cuter doctor 😉

THE HAT: this project wasn’t much of a stretch for me because the majority of my business is crocheting hats, but this was a special projects. I have made hats for all of B’s siblings and for some reason he was the only one without one. We went out of town last weekend and B (my neighbor’s oldest son) came and checked on our cat. As his “payment”, I let him pick out the colors that he wanted and the style of hat…about an hour later, here’s what we had. He loved it! And that makes me so happy!!! (on a quick side note, I LOVE this picture, but I have a teeny tiny problem with it…the hat is on backwards 😦  I recognize that they probably didn’t even realize this, but I can see it…and I’m trying very hard not to let it bother me. EEK!!!)

What I realized is that I missed doing these fun little projects. I love having the time to be creative and, well, to crochet! My custom orders during this time of year are mainly dresses. While I enjoy sewing, quite honestly, my passion and my joy is with the crochet projects. I have loved to crochet since I was in elementary school and having time to devote to being creative with this skill is so fulfilling! Hope you all enjoy seeing these little projects as much as I enjoyed making them.

***Once again, thank you to beeskneesphotographync.com for the photos***