I’m Still in the Mood for Afghans – Getting an Early Jump on Christmas Presents!
I don’t know about you but I’m already thinking about next Christmas. I don’t usually give handmade gifts for Christmas but I decided this year I just might. My crochet and knitting skills have improved to a level where I feel I can create something worthy of holiday gifting.
This year I decided I want to make more Afghans. That’s a GREAT goal, right? Wrong…
See, I have project ADD. I looooooove to start projects. The thrill of the hunt for the most superb project… Feeling all the lovely skeins until I find the ideal texture… Grouping different color combinations until I find the perfect shades…. Trying and frogging until I get the pattern down with no mistakes… Get to row 5 or 10 then – BAM!! – boredom set in.
I plead with my mind, “just do a few more rows.” I get to row 15 and the bargaining sets in.
“I know! How about if I do a few rows a day. Sure it will take me a month longer but that’s manageable, right? I will do 15 rows tomorrow.” Gets on Pinterest…2 seconds later, my brain screams, “ohhhhhhhhhh look at that pretty pattern!!! I HAVE to try it!”
Searches stash to try it out. Now I have two Wip’s (works in progress)… and on and on and on until I get where I am today with 8 projects sitting here just begging me to work on them yet, I’m still on Pinterest!!
This has to stop!! If you have any ideas on how to keep motivated while working on a large daunting project, PLEASE let me know!! I really want to achieve my goal this year! Thanks! I know you’ll have some great ideas for me!!
Ok, well let’s get to it then. I have been scouring through some darling patterns lately that I am trying to narrow down for Christmas gifts. Let me know which ones you like.
A classic Granny Square Pattern is always nice. Here’s a great FREE GRANNY SQUARE TUTORIAL from Kathryn Vercillo on Craftsy. I have made many squares in my day… really. I love trying them. Unfortunately, I haven’t made enough of any one type to color scheme or anything to sew them together. Someday….
Aren’t they wonderful? Check out some of the other work from Clothogancho. There a lot of nice inspiration there. (You may need access to a translation program, like Google Translate)
This amazing creation also strikes my fancy. It is a free pattern from a wonderful website called Purl Soho! Since I have been learning to knit, I have been there a TON! I wonder if I’ll ever be able to finish all these in my lifetime! I need more hours in a day!!!!!
Sampler Blankets seem like a nice idea to keep from getting bored. They are also great Stash Busters!! I may try one of these beauties as well!
So those are my ideas for crossing off a few family members off my Christmas List! How about you? What’s your favorite Afghan / Blanket Pattern? Let me know in the comments below or Tag me in a photo on the Karla’s Making It Facebook Page!!
Granny Squares are a Crochet staple and can be used for so many projects, although blankets are my favorite. I have seen many fabulous purses, amigurumi , pillows, scarves, and even lamp shade covers! They are so versatile and can add such detail to a project. Have you even made anything from Grannies that wasn’t a blanket?
All of these Free Crochet Granny Square Patterns are free at the time of this posting. But, designers have the right to change their mind, and often do. So if you see one you particularly like, print or work it up now before it’s gone forever!
I hope you have found some Granny Square inspiration here today!! If you have any questions or comments, the best way to reach me is through the Karla’s Making It Facebook Page. While you are there, click the like button so you can keep updated with any new patterns or other content. If you prefer Twitter or Instagram, that’s fine too but I check there less often. I can’t wait to hear from you. Thanks!!
First I would like to share RedHeart’s new eBook GET SPOOKY! It is a great one this year filled with festive party decorations, treats for the little ones and fun things to wear. They have showcased themes including Skulls & Bones, Ghost & Pumpkin Party, Bats & Spiders and Candy Corn & Treats. Look through the pages for the spooky projects that speak to you and get your yarn, hook and needles together to make this the spookiest Halloween ever!
Save Save Save!!
Red Heart – Save 15% Off Your Order at Redheart.com with Promo Code: SPOOKY15 Promo Code Valid from August 22, 2015 – October 31, 2015. Promo codes are case sensitive.
Yarnspirations – Get Ready for the Spookiest Night of the Year with Yarnspirations and their collection of free Halloween Patterns!! Fall into Autumn with 25% off All Yarn! This offers last only 4 days (September 6) so hurry!!
Michaels usually has a great selection of yarn on sale too! And, if your favorite yarn isn’t on sale this week, you can usually find at least a 40% off coupon! I LOVE using these to stock up on Simply Soft (no dye lot) yarn or even my favorite colors of large cotton skeins!
DIY Glow in the Dark Yarn
Tanya Naser from HodgePodge Crochet shows us how to “dye” yarn with Folk Art Glow in the Dark Paint Acrylic Paint. Imagine all the fun you can have with this stuff on Halloween!!
Free Halloween Crochet Patterns
Finally, without further ado, here is a new selections of Free Halloween Crochet Patterns, never before featured before here on Karla’s Making It! Get those hooks, make some glow in the dark yarn, and get hooking!!
I hope you have found some Halloween inspiration here today!! If you have any questions or comments, the best way to reach me is through the Karla’s Making It Facebook Page. While you are there, click the like button so you can keep updated with any new patterns or other content. If you prefer Twitter or Instagram, that’s fine too but I check there less often. I can’t wait to hear from you. Thanks!!
If you remember, we have been drooling over these fabulous rugs…
UPDATE – The Dahlia Flower Crochet Rug Pattern is now available in the KMI Shop!
Man, every time I look at these I want one so badly!
I have been working with flower patterns, crocheting my little fingers to the bone and of course having a lot of do-overs. You know how it goes.
But I think I may have created something I can use here. I have been playing around with stitches and sizes. I don’t have a final final pattern created but I’m so darn close.
Maybe a vote is in order?? What do you think?
Above is the first pattern I came up with for the Crochet Flower Rug. As you can see, it is super large at about 14 inches. (wouldn’t that make a great pillow?!?).
It may be good for a huge living room rug, but I was thinking maybe a little smaller – even for a large room rug. Maybe 12 inch or even 10 inch flowers?
From what I can see in my favorite of the three Crochet Flower Rug Patterns below, it shows 8 flowers across.
So based on my calculations, if I used the 14 inch flower, I would have a final product of 9 feet across (assuming I would use all the same size flowers in the rug).
The 12 inch flower would produce an 8 foot side and the 10 inch would make a 6.5 foot side. I think that may be what I’m looking for in a living room rug.
But, lets back up for a minute. I really want to finish at least one crochet flower rug so I’m thinking of starting with a smaller kitchen rug for my first go at it.
Which brings us to the smaller flowers I came up with. I played around with different size stitches and hooks and these are my three favorites below.
The ones on the left are about 7 x 7 in and the center smaller one is 6 x 6 in.
I like the pattern of the small center one the best. In my opinion, it has the perfect sized petals and a nice soft texture (yes, I have been walking on them) that bounces back and isn’t too uneven to walk on.
What do you think? Can you picture a cute cozy little kitchen rug made out of these lovely flowers?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Enter To Win at Yarnspirations – contest over
…and now the sweepstakes from Yarnspirations! Yarnspirations is the largest craft yarn producer in North America. The offer tons of great yarns for all projects including well-known brands like Patons, Bernat, Caron, and Lily Sugar ‘n Cream. They have recently introduced new yarn styles, including:
Thank you my crocheting friend for visiting me today! I truly appreciate you reading my random thoughts and creative ideas. I hope you’ll come again soon.
In the meantime, you can check out the hundreds of free patterns here on Karla’s Making It. From Afghans to Zebra Wreaths, you will find it here! I would love to showcase your free pattern!! Send me a couple images and a link to your website and I will add it for my readers.
How to Provide Comfort to a Loved One by Crocheting a Prayer Shawl
(Bonus – Mother’s Day Gift Idea, Story Lockets – a steal!!)
Creating a prayer shawl is a warm gesture of compassion and comfort for anyone that needs healing or even just reassuring a hug. When bad things happen to someone we know, we sympathize with their pain and discomfort and can offer solace through our creativity. Prayer shawls are a great project for not only helping to heal the recipient, but a great catalyst for healing ourselves.
You can call it whatever you want: Prayer Shawl, Comfort Shawl, Friendship Shawl, Peace Shawl, etc. The point is to offer blessings and/or healing to someone going through a rough time. In addition, Prayer shawls are not only for a tragedy, but also wonderful gifts for celebrations like pregnancies and weddings.
Reasons for a Prayer Shawl
Person undergoing a medical procedure
For a loss or times of stress
Marriages or birth of a baby
During an illness and recovery
Or just because
With every stitch, you can pray for (or send intention to) a loved one or someone else in distress. It is an opportunity to inspire, embrace, and celebrate, as well as to send strength, hope, and encouragement to anyone who needs it.
Many people think that Prayer Shawls are an indication of a specific religious tradition. That could not be further from the truth. Prayer Shawls are a comforting project whether you consider yourself spiritual or not. Below you will find information about the process of creating a prayer shawl even when you don’t pray.
Receiving a Prayer Shawl
A Prayer Shawl is a wonderful keepsake that offers comfort and warmth that can be handed down through generations or across to friends, offering recipients a reminder that there is someone who cares for them. The shawls are like a warm hug helping recipients to deal with difficult times; an illness, disaster, or grieving the loss of a loved one. The person can physically feel the hope, warmth, love and care that went into each and every stitch.
Making a Prayer Shawl
The process of making a Prayer Shawl has as many benefits as receiving one. Your own troubles melt away as you concentrate on intentionally sending good thoughts and blessings to the person who will receive your gift. It relieves our sense of helplessness when there is nothing else we can do to ease their pain. It connects you to another person spiritually, opening up your heart and bringing prayer or meditation into your life. It offers an excuse to pursuing creative projects and offers companionship by joining a crafting prayer/meditation group. Finally it can help you heal old wounds by offering comfort to those who are dealing with issues you went through.
If You Do Pray
This is a personal process and these are suggestions only. You could start with a prayer and a blessing as you begin your project. Your blessings, kind words, and intentions are continued throughout the project. You can finish with a final blessing before it is sent on it’s way.
Touching someone elses heart is so comforting to me. I made an extra large shawl for a friend of mine who’s baby was born with heart issues. She was so thankful and even cried when I gave it to her. To this day, she occasionally will send me a text of a heart when she and little Kasidy are wrapped up together in their shawl.
Practices for People who don’t Pray
There are no official practices to crafting a Prayer Shawl. This is a personal endeavor and whatever you are comfortable doing during the project is up to you. You can simply think good thoughts about the recipient, or you can intentionally send strength and healing. You can repeat a phrase, such as, “I wish you good health,” or focus on love and compassion as you make your stitches. You could choose a quiet space with dim lighting, burn a candle or incense, or whatever else you choose for meditative crafting.
You don’t even have to make a shawl! Chemo caps, baby blankets, lapghans, scarves, and many other items are wonderful for prayer crafting. See the Free Crochet Pattern Index for other choices in meditative crochet.
I have gotten some books over the past years with prayer shawl patterns in them that I really enjoyed making. I will add links at the bottom of this post with my recommendations for books you can pick up that have wonderful patterns and some also have touching stories. Another amazing book is Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Crochet by author Kathryn Vercillo. Kathryn is an expert on using crafting to heal.
If you don’t personally know anyone who you could make a prayer shawl for, then visit my Crochet (or Knit) for Charity Page for places that would love to receive your donation. Alternatively, you could contact a local hospital, hospice, or church to see if you can join a charity gifting group or if they take donations. If you cannot find anything locally, then think about a cause that you care about (Cancer, Organ Transplantation, Premature Babies) and contact that group to ask where they accept donations.
How has it helped you to make or receive a knit or crochet prayer shawl? Which prayers, affirmations or thoughts do you use when crafting for others? Share in the comments below!
Karla’s Recommended Books for crocheting Prayer Shawls
Thank you so much for visiting my site. I truly appreciate your taking the time to come over. Now get out there and…
Crocheting with Beads – How to Resources and Inspiration
Ready to take your crochet to the next level? Once you know how to crochet – even just a single crochet, you can embellish with beads creating beautiful, one of a kind projects. Bead Crochet turns basic crochet scarves, clothing, purses, hats, flowers, and more into sparkling masterpieces!
Bead Crochet is not just for embellishing clothing. You can create one of a kind jewelry pieces as well. In her online video Crocheting with Beads Online Class at Annie’s, Ellen Gormley teaches beginners bead crochet techniques including how to choose beads, which yarns to use, other beading tools and gadgets, 5 techniques using beads, along with patterns including a tube bracelet, wristlet clutch, shawlette, keyhole scarf, herringbone pendant and cat portrait.
Need to get down to the bare bones basics? Check out this Free Craftsy Tutorial, Just Bead It: How to Crochet with Beads. Here Ashly Little provides the basics with links to some fabulous patterns for inspiration.
Leisure Arts has a few interesting books on Bead Crochet. Embellished Crochet which features easy embroidery and beads designs that dress up a stylish collection of eight fashions featuring (one of my favs!!) Caron International’s Simply Soft worsted weight yarn. Another interesting book by Leisure Arts is this Elegant Beaded Bags in Crochet 12 Designs for every occasion! At the very least, take a peek at these bags. They are gorgeous!
Just Wow! Some amazing work from these talented designers. What are you inspired to crochet with beads? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below. Also, I would like to see your creations; tag me in a photo on Facebook! If you prefer Twitter or Instagram, I’m there too! I can’t wait to hear from you.