Shipping days–those days when I pack up items that I’ve worked on for weeks or months and ship them to the organizations that will distribute them to their eventual recipients is always a special day. It’s a little bit like the days leading up to Christmas when I shop or finish up projects and wrap them and stick them under the tree while my mind pulses with images of the recipients enjoying the gifts.
Making hats for the homeless and for the people of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is something I do year-round, though this year I’ve crocheted more baby blankets and made fewer hats. Last year all of my hats were crocheted the old fashioned way, with a crochet hook and yarn. This year I’ve taken up loom knitting and have really enjoyed making hats on the loom. I find loom knitting very relaxing, easy to learn, and a nice lap-sized project for TV time.
You might notice a new model in a lot of the pictures of projects coming up. For a long time Patch (the one-eyed, flame point kitty in some of the pictures on the blog) was the predominant kitty model around here. He still models with a lot of projects as he loves fabric of any type and it is hard to take a picture of a quilt or other project without him being in it. But recently Callie Kitten and Ozzie have been giving him a run for his money. There’s a lot of competition for kitty modeling gigs these days. In any case, this is Ozzie. He’s “helping” me add the fringe to this blanket.
I actually finished this little top a couple of weeks ago but have been scrambling and hadn’t had a chance to blog about it. It’s made from the same See & Sew (Butterick) pattern (B5442) that I used to make the first little girl’s top that I made with this pattern. The part I found most difficult (and it isn’t that difficult) about this pattern was gathering the ruffle at the bottom. But then I bumped into a video on YouTube (one of my favorite places on the web for learning new things). The video showed a nifty new (to me anyway) product that you can use to quickly create ruffles and gathers.
Last Monday was shipping day! Finally!
Shipping day seems like a day that I work toward for a long time – much the way I usually work all year making things for Christmas. I’d be dishonest if I said that I don’t feel a bit of the same let down that I typically feel after Christmas…after all of the gifts for the season are exchanged…and the excitement of imagining the receiver’s pleasure in their gifts has passed and it’s simply time to start again on the next year’s gifts.
It has been a busy weekend, finishing things up for Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. With the weather getting cold and Christmas fast approaching it seemed like the perfect time to buckle down and finish things up.
Something shifted a few weeks ago when I made my first pieced backing for the bright swirls quilt. Buying fabric for backings and making the backings suddenly became as much fun as making the tops…and since then I’ve been making fairly swift progress through the big bin in the storage room that holds all the projects that are waiting to be quilted. The bright scrappy stars quilt which I blogged about when I was piecing it and layering it several months ago has finally been completed!
These are the first 39 of the 200 items that I pledged to send to Pine Ridge at the start of the 2016. A while back, mid-year, I began to wonder whether I’d be able to send 200 handcrafted things…and the whole 200 may not be handmade, but the majority will be. I’ve got quite a few more hats to send, quite a few crayon rolls finished and more ready to sew. I’ve also got crocheted wash cloths and some purchased dolls, some homemade doll clothes and a couple of quilts and another baby blanket that I think will go there because they are needed there.
One of the things I’ve wanted to make for a while are some of the crayon rolls that I’ve seen around the internet–especially on Pinterest. I’ve thought that they would be great to send to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Since I’ve been browsing the internet looking for patterns for crayon rolls, and trying to figure out what I need to buy to make some of them, I thought I’d share some links to some of the patterns that are out there. I’m sure this is something I’ll refer back to again, as there are quite a few different ways to make these crayon rolls…and well…I like variety. 🙂 I get bored if I do too many things that are too much the same…even if I do like the security of knowing what I’m doing and knowing what I need to have on hand to do it.
Early in 2016 I committed to sending 200 items to Pine Ridge. It was that commitment which initially inspired me to learn to crochet. I started with cotton dishcloths and then went to winter scarves and then to hats. After about 30 hats I got a bit bored with hats and needed a bit of a break so I decided to make a baby blanket. The first blanket I made using Lion Brand’s Lemon Swirl Big Scoop Ice Cream Yarn. This one is made using Lion Brand’s Cotton Candy Big Scoop Ice Cream Yarn.
I got a bit bored making hats so decided to take a break and do something else for a while. I found some gorgeous blue, yellow, white, and aqua baby yarn and decided it would make a beautiful baby blanket. I decided it was time to learn a new crochet stitch…having only known single crochet up to that point. So I watched some YouTube videos and learned how to do the half double stitch. This baby blanket/afghan is done totally in half double crochet. There is no pattern…just half double crochet and variegated yarn.