Teach Kids Crochet

December 31, 2008 in Just News

A few months back I was introduced to one of the coolest ways to donate to charity by the gracious Miss K of Aromaleigh fame, called DonorsChoose.org .  Like many crocheters, I’m hesitant to give cash to an organization and would prefer to give made items instead but this is my one exception.  The basic premise is that teachers come up with a budget for a project and post it on Donors Choose.  Then anyone can donate as much as they like from $1 to the cost of the entire project.  The funding goes directly to the teachers and the projects you feel are important.

I have created a Giving Page sponsoring crochet projects.  Most of the projects not only teach kids how to crochet but also how to donate what they make to others.  You can find more information in the give back section of the right side of this page.  Please take a moment to look and see if you’d be willing to give a $1 or more to help kids learn how to crochet and how to use it to give back.  I will continue to add crochet projects as the appear or you can also search for other projects you’d like to sponsor.  You can find projects for a particular topic, for schools that are the most impoverished, or for schools closest to you. So if your list of charity projects this year seems impossibly long, thing of donating to one of these projects and help teach a whole new generation of giving crocheters.

Lost in Ravelry

December 26, 2008 in Just News

ravelryroundfeed128I got my invite to Ravelry today and so far all I can say is “wow!”  It’s as though they took a corner of the internet and condensed it down to only yarn-craft related things.  I heard about Ravelry awhile back but since I was just getting started I felt like it was way over powered for anything I’d need.  Even though I now have my own baby stash of yarn and tools I still feel overwhelmed by all the site has to offer.

For the hyper-organizational, the site is a dream.  It  has areas to record and track progress on your existing projects, keep notes on future projects, catalog and share your yarn stash and tools, and will even link an RSS feed of your blog to your profile… and that’s just the tools for showing off your own stuff.  They also have forums, user groups, and searchable directories of yarns and patterns.  If all you care about in life is crocheting or knitting you could just make Ravelry your home page and never leave it.  Unfortunately, this all makes for some serious information overload.  I think, at least for now, the best way to make use of it is to find the parts that will be most useful and to ignore the rest.

If you want to check out Ravelry, I suggest you sign up for an invitation because it takes about four days to process.  The reason for this is that the site is still in beta and they’re adding people slowly so they can control how much load the site is dealing with.  The Ravelry beta is free and the site will be free too so other than waiting a few days for the invite you’re not giving up anything.  I’m not sure how much I’m going to be using it right now but I definitely plan to keep an eye on it and see what other goodies the developers come up with.

Mistletoe Ornament Pattern

December 23, 2008 in Free Patterns, Front Page

mistletoe_retouched

I wanted to have this pattern ready sooner but today was the first day in over a week that I’ve been able to make it to the craft store.  This ornament was inspired by by this cartoon by Megan Murphy.  Please feel free to use this pattern to make items for yourself, as gifts, or for charity but do not sell items made from this pattern or the pattern itself .  Happy Holidays!

If you found your way here via Jelly Bean Pirates, welcome!  Be sure to check out the crochet-along and submit your finished projects to be entered to win a gift certificate for one of my patterns.

Tools, Materials, Etc.

  • All pieces made with size F hook
  • Small amounts of white, red, and green worsted weight yarn.
  • 6mm black plastic safety eyes
  • Black cotton embroidery thread

Ball (White)

  1. Row 1:  crochet 6 sc in a magic ring
  2. Row 2:  * 2 sc in next st * Repeat 6 (12 sts)
  3. Row 3:  * sc 1, 2 sc in next st* Repeat 6 (18 sts)
  4. Row 4:  * sc 2, 2 sc in next st* Repeat 6 (24 sts)
  5. Row 5:  * sc 3, 2 sc in next st* Repeat 6 (30 sts)
  6. Row 6-8: sc 30
  7. Row 9:  *sc 3, dec in next 1st* Repeat 6 (24 sts)
  8. Add eyes and mouth.  Stuff with fiberfill.
  9. Row 10:  *sc 2, dec in next 1st* Repeat 6 (18 sts)
  10. Row 11:  *sc 1, dec in next 1st* Repeat 6 (12 sts)
  11. Row 12:  *dec in next st* Repeat 6 (6 sts)
  12. Finish stuffing with fiberfill.  More is better.
  13. Fasten off and cut yarn leaving a long tail.
  14. Weave tail through the last six stitches and pull tight to close.
  15. Weave in tail.

Top (Green)

  1. crochet 8 sc in a magic ring
  2. *5 sc in first st, sl st in next st* rep 4 (24 sts)
  3. Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Leaf (Green) x 2

The leaves are worked in ovals.

  1. Chain 7
  2. sc in 2nd chain from hook
  3. sc in next 4 sts
  4. 2 sc in 6th st
  5. Turn, working up the back of the foundation chain sc 6
  6. Fasten off, weave in the starting bit of the chain but leave a long tail from the end

Stem (Green)

  1. Chain 20 with a long starting tail.
  2. sl st in 10th chain to make a loop.
  3. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Assembly

  1. slip the tail of the stem through the center hole of the top and then fasten the stem to the top of the ball.
  2. Slide the top down and then sew to the top of the ball to secure.
  3. Sew the leaves to each other through the 6th st of the stem.
  4. Take two lengths of red yarn and make a bow at the base of the stem.

UPDATED: Forgot to add you should stuff the ball. Thanks Suzetta!  Instructions added above.