Posted in Crafting Corner

Crochet Blankets and Scarves for Christmas

It’s Christmas eve and I’ve finally finished all of those crocheted Christmas presents that I foolishly promised people I would make. A superman themed baby blanket, 2 blankets (lap blankets), and a hat and scarf set.

The first blanket I made using:

Isaac Mizrahi Yarn (Sutton, 7 balls)

Q/16 mm Hook

Darning needle

I really love the color of this yarn. It’s a super bulky yarn so the project worked up pretty quickly.

I’m not big on fashion, but apparently, Isaac Mizrahi is an important designer. I was lucky and found this yarn on sale at A.C. Moore. Seven balls of yarn for $5.

The pattern for this yarn consisted of double crochets and single crochets. Unfortunately, I forgot to bookmark the pattern. If I find the link I will make sure to add it to the site.

The second blanket I made using:

Isaac Mizrahi Yarn (Sutton, 7 balls)

P/11.5 mm Hook

Darning Needle

I used the same yarn for this blanket I just used a different pattern. Instead of trying to do something fancy I just made a blanket using granny squares. Since the yarn acrylic and wool, both blankets turned out to be pretty warm.

My last Christmas gift was a hat and yarn set. Honestly, I really like the scarf, but I’m not thrilled about the hat. She wanted a slouchy had, but somehow it didn’t turn on like I imagined.

For this project I used:

Grey Crochet Hat & Yarn Set

Studio Classic Yarn (Grey, 1 Jumbo roll)

K/6.50 mm Hook

L/8.00 mm Hook

Darning needle

I followed the pattern here to make the slouchy hat. However, I didn’t have bulky yarn so I just used two strands of the grey yarn.

Grey crochet hat

The scarf was made using a half double crochet stitch with the stitches crocheted in the back loops only.

Chain 142 stitches

Round 1: Insert hook into the second chain, half double crochet into that stitch and all the remaining stitches.

Round 2: Chain 1. Half double crochet into the back loops only. Repeat until you achieve the desired width.

Then I added the tassels at the end.

The hat is not my best work. I am still trying to figure out what kind of embellishments to put on it to make it look better. However, the scarf turned out great.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

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Posted in Crafting Corner, diy

Crocheted Toddler Hooded Cardigan

Fall is almost over and I’m finally getting back to that crocheted toddler hooded cardigan I discovered on Pinterest.

You know that one I started a few months ago, but abandoned it because I finished the body of the cardigan only to realize it was too small for my daughter.

I’m not really sure why it took me so long to get back to it. I think I was just really disappointed that it turned out wrong.

On the positive side, I did learn a lesson from my mishap and why it’s important to use the correct gauge when crocheting garments. I’m actually looking forward to crocheting an oversized sweater for myself that I saw on youtube.

After, getting over my disappointment I decided to give it another try. And this time it turned out just right! (Following instructions can be a good thing).

For this project I used the following:

  • Purple Yarn ( Caron Kindness Yarn) – 1 Ball
  • Robins Egg Blue Yarn( Caron Kindness Yarn )- I Ball
  • M13/9.00 mm Hook
  • Darning Needle
  • Scissors
  • Instructions for 2T/3T pattern

The instructions for this pattern suggests that you use a size J/6mm hook. However, I tend to crochet very tightly so I had to use a bigger hook( M13/9.00 mm) to get the correct gauge. I also used the 2t/3t pattern, which the author suggested because my daughter is a little on the chunky side.

In my opinion, I think this hoodie is the perfect starter garment for a beginner. Most of the garment is made using half double crochets. The hardest part, for me, was creating the stitches for the edging.

However, instead of doing the edging described in the pattern I decided to just crochet in the back loops only instead of trying to do the alternating front post and back post stitches.

Besides changing the edging the only other change I made was adding the design to the back of the hoodie. In my post on the corner to corner Superman Blanket, I mentioned graphagens.

A graphagen is a pictorial representation of a design you want to crochet. I’m not sure if you’re only supposed to use them for the corner to corner patterns, but I figured I would give it a try.

I used some graph paper and tried to draw out the diagram for the butterfly (Yes, that’s supposed to be a butterfly lol) and to keep track of how many rows I’d done.

As you can see from the picture it didn’t really turn out exactly as planned. I’m not sure if it was because of the half double crochet stitches or if it was just me.

I did pretty well on the first part of the graphic, but then as I went on I kept getting everything mixed up. According to my diagram, the other blue spot is supposed to be on the opposite side of the top wing. Not on the same side.

Sometimes I think my ideas are a little bit bigger than my skill set. If I could add anything else to this hoodie it would probably be a few buttons to help keep it closed. But my daughter doesn’t seem to mind that it doesn’t have any.

Even though it took me two tries, I eventually got it done. Personally, I think it turned out great!

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

 

Posted in Faith, Family, Morning Musings

Morning Musing: When Your Child Says Their Ugly

rear view of a boy sitting on grassland
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You’re beautiful, my sister is beautiful, my brother is handsome, and I’m ugly…No, parent wants to hear their child utter such words. But this beautiful morning my 7-year-old son did. I was taken aback by his statement. Why would he say such a thing? Who had told him he was ugly?

As a mom, my brain went on high alert. How do I fix this how do I convince him that he is not ugly?! Better yet what child do I need to yell at for saying such a thing to my darling boy?!

So I asked him,” Why do you think you’re ugly?”. “Well mom my teeth are crooked and my face looks weird”, he said. “Your face isn’t weird. You’ve got two eyes, a nose, a mouth, and two ears. And everybody’s teeth are crooked at this age. ” I replied.

As an adult, it’s easy to tell a child not to worry about what other people think. When we as adults are constantly worried about what others think about us. We live in a world that constantly puts pressure on adults and children to be like someone else.

Yes, we are becoming more accepting of different body types, and skin tones, but at the same time promoting an ideal of physical perfection. When is the last time you’ve seen a model with acne or movie star with crooked teeth? (That wasn’t part of their character.

For kids, the pressure is no different. Perfect skin. Perfect hair. Everyone needs to have a boyfriend/girlfriend or some unrequited love. Where are the shows about the kids who are just happy being kids? Not worried about boyfriends and girlfriends or what they look like.

Before my son had talked about being ugly. He told me he didn’t want to be alone. That he needed friends and a girlfriend. And I’m thinking to myself,” Where is he getting these ideas?”I for one am not a fan of kids having boyfriends/girlfriends in elementary school.

Crushes yea sure. But being in a committed relationship at 7 or 8. No, thank you. Let’s just be kids and have innocent fun. But at this age, he is already wrestling with the idea of loneliness and what the ideal boy looks like. And as far as he’s concerned it doesn’t look like him.

I don’t even remember being concerned with those things at that age. I don’t even think I started to really like boys until I was 10/11.

But back to our conversation.  My son decided to give his life to Christ when he was about 5. And as Christians, our self-worth and our self-esteem should be based on Christ.  I should have started with what I told him in the end.  It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And as Christian’s our beholder is God.

…I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

I reminded him of Psalms 139:14,”… I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”. That God has made each and every one of us unique. We are like a piece of abstract art made by the creator. Some people will think it’s beautiful and some just won’t get it. But to God we are beautiful we are his masterpiece. The work of his hands.

Low self-esteem was something I struggled with as a child. I could have shared my own personal story with him. My father always told me that I was beautiful, but there was a part of me that wanted that validation from the outside world.

It’s actually something that as an adult Christian I still struggle with. My husband constantly tells me I’m beautiful, but there are times that I still struggle with how I feel about myself.

As an adult, I have to remind myself that God created me as a unique individual and I don’t have to strive to be like anybody else. As a parent, it’s hard to see your child struggling with these issues, but the best thing we can do is be there for our children.

If I could rewind this scenario I know I would have addressed it differently I would have:

  1. Stayed Calm- The first thing I did was go into high alert mode and started to figure out how I could convince him in the 10-minute drive that we had to school that he was not ugly.
  2. Listened & Asked Questions- I did listen and I did ask questions. But I asked them to try to refute his reasoning as to why he felt that way. When instead I should have asked questions just to listen and absorb what he was saying.
  3. Asked God for wisdom- If you’re not a Christian, then maybe this step isn’t for you, but I should have prayed and asked God for wisdom on what to say to my son. Aside from you’re not ugly!
  4. Shared my own personal story.- Sometimes our kids think we have it all together. That we don’t struggle with anything. We’re adults we can do whatever we want. At least that’s how kids think.
  5. Prayed with him- I should have prayed with him before he got out of the car. School can be a harsh place for children.  As a Christian parent, I feel that it’s important to always cover your children in prayer. Especially, when they are going through something.

I would love to hear what other parents have to say about this issue. I have 3 more kids that I’m sure I’ll have to go through this with. So any advice is welcome.

If you can think of more tips or things that I could have done differently. Please share them in the comments below.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

 

Posted in Crafting Corner

Superman Themed Corner to Corner Blanket

A few weeks ago I decided to send out a text to family and friends stating that I would only be making handmade gifts for Christmas this year. Then in my infinite wisdom, I proceeded to give a list of the things I could make…scarves, blankets, dish towel sets, etc. (Thinking they would pick something easy like the dish towel set.)

I’m not sure why I told grown people that I could make blankets. The largest blanket I have ever made was for a baby! And I was over making that blanket within a few days. Now I have two requests for adult blankets and one baby blanket!

I figured I would start with the easiest blanket first. My cousin is pregnant and her baby is due December 1st. Of course, she didn’t want a simple blanket, but a Superman blanket. So I scoured the internet for different superman baby blanket patterns.

And this is where I stumbled upon the corner to corner stitch and all the amazing blankets that could be made using this stitch. The stitch itself is not very complicated once you get the hang of it. It’s mainly single chain and double crochet stitches. If you know how to make a shell stitch then corner to corner is quite easy.

I decided to create my own version of the blanket instead of trying to follow the graphgan, which I wouldn’t have been able to do anyway, because I had no idea how to crochet a C2C stitch. I found a simple corner to corner written tutorial on Craftsy. Once I got the hang of that I was ready to try to create my own rendering of a Superman-themed blanket.

For this project I used:

  • Red Yarn – Studio Classic (1 ball)
  • Blue Yarn- Loops & Threads (1 ball)
  • Soft Yellow Yarn- Studio Classic (1 ball)
  • Black Yarn- Red Heart (1 ball)
  • Scissors
  • K/6.5 MM Hook
  • Darning Needle

The completed blanket was supposed to be a 36in square. However, my husband and I are superhero nerds (he’s a Batman fan) and as I was working on decreasing the number of chains he said that it looked like the Superman logo.

I was a little hesitant about following his suggestion and just leaving it as is, but once I finished the project I was very pleased with the results. ( He also suggested outlining everything in black.)

The measurements for the blanket are as follows: both sides – 24in, top 26.5in.

How to Make the Blanket

Increasing (Rows 1-31)

Starting with the red yarn you will create 15 rows (the last row should contain 17 blocks)

Change to blue yarn and create 15 rows (the last row should contain 32 blocks)

Change to yellow yarn and create 1 row (the last row should contain 33 blocks)

Decreasing (Rows 32 – 43)

In the next row you will continue to use the yellow yarn, but at this point, you will begin decreasing the number of blocks you have.

Decrease using the yellow yarn for 11 rows. The final row should have 21 blocks.

Tie off your yarn and weave in all the loose tails if you haven’t already.

Border

Starting in the bottom corner of row 1 single crochet around the entire blanket using the black yarn. When you get back to the corner tie off your yarn and weave in the tail.

At this point your blanket should look like this:

The Superman Logo

For this part of the project, you will only need the red and black yarn.

To create the S used for the Superman logo I followed the youtube video here.

This was the hardest part of the project. It took me a while to understand the directions in the video. To create this logo you will need to know/learn how to do a single chain foundation stitch and how to crochet stitches together.

In the video when she refers to the single chain side of the foundation chain she is talking about the side of the work that has single chain stitches. (It took me a few tries to figure this part out). I ended up making this logo twice before I got it right. Third times the charm.

Border

Once you have completed your logo, then you use the black yarn and single crochet around the outside of the logo and the inside. Make sure to leave a tail long enough to sew each part of the work to the blanket.

Your superman logo should end up looking like this:

Final Steps

The last part of this project is sewing the Superman Logo onto your blanket. I started sewing at the bottom of the logo and worked my way around, then I sewed parts of the S on the inside that I wanted to lay flat.

You can hide any loose tails you had from attaching the black yarn underneath the logo or you can weave them into the border before sewing it on.

Once you have attached the logo your finished blanket should look amazing! And you should give yourself a pat on the back for getting that logo done!

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed working on this blanket and I hope my cousin likes it. If I could change anything about it I think I would have added more rows of the red yarn.

I also would have preferred for the black yarn not to be seen on the back of the work when I sewed the logo on, but I guess that’s what using a graphgan is for. I’m sure I could have hidden the yarn better during the sewing process.

If you have any tips or suggesting let me know. This is the first time I have ever provided instructions on how I created something. Please forgive me if there is a lack of detail.

If you decide to make this project please let me know or share a picture of it with me in the comments section. If you have questions about anything that I did please ask.

That’s one gift done. Now onto the next one.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

 

Posted in Family, Lifestyle, Morning Musings

Morning Musings: Step-Mom

In my previous post, I talked about a shirt that my oldest daughter wore and my issues with said shirt. I also mentioned that I didn’t buy her that shirt. Why?  Because her mother brought it for her.

See my eldest daughter, Kayla, is not my biological daughter.  She is my husbands’ daughter.  I have known this little girl since she was one and I consider our bond to be a special one.  And I have only on rare occasion ever referred to her as my step-daughter to other people.

So the other day when she snuggled up to me and called me her, “step-mom” I was a bit offended. I guess by now you all are saying what’s the big deal? You guys are a blended family that’s normal.

However, I did not willingly walk into step-motherhood. My husband and I just recently celebrated our 11th anniversary. Our eldest child is 7, followed by Kayla who is 4, my youngest son who is also 4, and my youngest daughter who just turned 1. I could spell it out for you, but I’ll let you put two and two together.

When I decided that I wanted Kayla to be a part of my life. I made a decision that she and her siblings would never refer to each other as step/half siblings. They are brothers and sisters. Period. This was something that I also made her mother aware of at the time.

I knew that she would never be allowed to call me Mom. So I came up with a nickname for myself hence I became MoMo to her. Even though sometimes she does slip up an call me mom, I just gently redirect her.

And that’s what I did the day she referred to me as her step-mom. I just gently reminded her that I was her MoMo and nothing else. I know for her mom it makes it easier to describe who I am without having to explain anything to people.

I am sure it’s all well-intentioned, but I don’t want to be Kayla’s stepmom. I just want to be her MoMo. Stepmom just seems like a bad word to me on top of being something that I never wanted to be. It kind of makes me feel slighted, even though I know that’s not the intent.

I feel the same way when people infer that we’re a blended family. But that is a story for another day.

It’s just a way to designate me as the woman that is not her mom, but the woman that takes care of her when she is with us. I don’t know? Maybe some of you are step-parents and get where I’m coming from or maybe you’re just like girl get over it. (lol)

It is just a name after all. But if you can or can’t relate please leave a comment or share your own story. I’d love to hear from other step parents.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro