Monday, February 23, 2015

40 in 40 2015 week 1

Our first week is done!  Every year I seem to forget how much I enjoy making these hats.  For me there is just something about taking some time and focusing on DOING something for someone else, praying for someone else's needs, allowing God to lead those prayers that I find fulfilling.  During the time I am creating these hats I feel purposeful for the Kingdom.

Do you know who Dorcas is?  She is my favorite woman in the Bible, despite the fact that her entire story is told in 7 verses in Acts chapter 9.  This was a woman who was known and loved for using her gift of sewing for those in her community.  Dorcas is the woman I aspire to be, someone who uses the talent God has given me to help others.

That being said, here are my projects from last week:

Day 1 -This is my rendition of the Scallop Hat.  I used Red Heart With Love 1001 White for the hat and Simply Soft Collection Yarn in Pagoda for the flower.  The flower pattern I chose is called the Flat Daisy Flower.  Rather than chain 3 and forming a circle I chose to use a magic ring so that the center would not be open, but I think this would be cute also if you placed a button at the center or used a contrasting color for the center.

Day 2- The Pigtail Top Knot Baby Hat.  This is the crochet version (the knit version is coming next week!).  I love how quick and easy this hat works up.  The openwork design gives some interest to an otherwise basic beanie.  The choice of light weight yarn makes this a perfect hat for spring or early fall.  I chose to use Paton's Beehive Baby Sport Yarn in Baby Grey .

 Day 3 - The Sweetheart Hat.  Although the pattern was designed for children to adult sizes, I was able to do several gauge swatches and try a few different yarn choices and come up with some modifications to make this adorable pattern infant sized.  I wish I had had either pink or red yarn available as I think it would have made this much cuter.  I LOVE the repeating hearts and cables on this hat.  To achieve a 0-3 months size I used size 5 knitting needles and Paton's Beehive Baby Sport Yarn in Baby Grey.  I only did two of the heart repeats and eliminated the final repeat of rounds 1-12 that the pattern calls for before beginning the decreases.  This pattern is SUPER stretchy, so while it looked really small on my needles, as you can see it fits perfectly and has plenty of room for baby to grow without being to tight on the head.

Day 4 is my own design, The Ellie, available for free until Easter of this year.  This one is worked using a worsted weight yarn, I used Hobby Lobby's I Love this Yarn in Rosy Cheeks.

Well, I hope that you are off to a good start on your personal Lent challenge.  Next week I will be working on the knit version of the Pigtail hat, as well as a pattern called The Otis.  Other than that, we will have to see what inspires me.  I would love to see your creations on either the Facebook page here, and/or on the Ravelry group page here.

 Until next time,

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Ellie

I had some yarn left over after making a photo set for a friend in preparation of the birth of her second child.  Knowing that I was going to be working on the 40 in 40 challenge soon, I decided to play around with it and create a new pattern.  The flower motif above the ribbing is not my own design, it is actually called Flowers in a Row.  I was scrolling through Pinterest and it caught my eye....and the Ellie was born.

 This pattern has not been tested (I just finished writing it Tuesday!) so if you discover an error, please leave me a comment.  And yes, the picture quality definitely leaves something to be desired, but it was late and I wanted to give you some sort of visual to go with the pattern.  :)

The pattern will be available for download from my Ravelry store for FREE until the end of the 40 in 40 challenge this year.  After that time it will be available for a small fee in multiple sizes. Download it now by clicking here.

Until next time,

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Make a difference!

For many, Lent is a season of self-denial and self-reflection.  A person chooses to give up something and spend the next 40 days (excluding Sundays) focusing on their relationship with Jesus.  Lent is a tradition, not a Biblical command, that began around the 4th century-so there are no hard and fast rules as to how to celebrate. 

I choose to do Lent a little differently.  Rather than give up something during this time, I choose to do something.  Yes, Jesus did spend 40 days in the wilderness fasting and being tempted before he began his ministry.  For many that is what this period is modeled after and that is GREAT.  However, I choose to focus instead on Jesus ministry during this time.  

Jesus came to change the world.  He came to show the world what real love and forgiveness is, and He did it through actions.  He didn't just walk around telling everyone what they should do, He showed them too.  He reached out to the lepers, the untouchables, the outcasts and He helped them.  THAT is what I choose to focus on during this season before Jesus ultimate act of giving, and that is why I began the 40 hats in 40 days challenge several years ago.

I prayed and asked God to show me how I can help others, what I could do.  As a stay at home mom who now homeschools I don't have a lot a free time and many avenues of service are unavailable to me because I can't bring my children due to age restrictions.  But I can knit and crochet, and I had already been working off and on with a local organization that donates preemie and newborn items to hospitals around the country.  God impressed it upon me to focus on what was around me, to use the talents He had provided to serve, and thus the challenge was started.

It goes so far beyond just making a hat a day for 40 days though.  During the time I am knitting or crocheting I am praying for the person and the family that will be receiving the hat.  I will probably never know who they are, but God does, and He knows their needs long before I pick out the pattern for the hat.  So I pray for the child to come to know God, to be shown His love.  I pray for the family to let Jesus guide them in their roles as parents, siblings, grandparents etc, that they open their hearts, listen and obey.  I pray that if they don't already know Jesus that someone close to them tells them about Him.  I pray for protection for the family.  Sometimes there is more, sometimes there is less...I let God lead the prayer.  

Yarn crafts may not be your thing, but I promise you - you do have a thing, a special talent that God wants you to use to make a difference in the lives of others.  Perhaps you have felt Him nudging you in that direction and you have been afraid to step out, consider this confirmation.  Perhaps you aren't sure what you should be doing, take some time to pray and open your heart to listen.  You won't regret it.  Whatever IT is, won't you join me for the next 40 days and work towards making a difference for Jesus?

 Until next time,

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

40 in 40 starts tomorrow!!

The 2015 challenge starts tomorrow, with the first day of Lent.  I have been scouring the web for new patterns, and I have a couple of new patterns of my own for you too.  As a special gift for those of you that are participating in the challenge, my original designs for this year will be FREE until Easter, so be on the look out for them.

I wanted to give you a heads up as to which patterns I will be working on this week.  Next Monday I'll post pics of the completed hats and my notes concerning them.  So grab your yarn, hooks and needles and lets get ready to start!

This week's patterns will include:
The Scallop Hat from Beginner Crochet Patterns.  This pattern has TONS of images to help you along and it appears to be a great project for a beginner.

The Pigtail Topknot Baby Hat designed by Kathy North.  I've made this hat in the past and it works up quickly and yet looks nice as well.

This will be the first year that I have included an adult hat in the challenge.  The Sweetheart Hat designed by JoEllyn Wheeler was suggested by one of my Facebook followers.  (Thanks Diane!)  While this pattern is free, it does require a membership at, also free.  It's worth the time to join as they offer a lot of great patterns for a variety of crafts!

And the final hat for this week will be unveiled Saturday, the first on my planned release of original designs.  It will be called the Ellie hat, but here is a sneak peak for you.

Until next time,
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