What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Beanies for Bravery

We were in Florida at our vacation home when the word of the horrid events at Sandy Hook Elementary School unfolded.  Like many I was glued to the television hoping it was just a bad dream.  I've been in a knitting and crocheting funk ever since we moved here in September of 2011.  Aside of making a few dishcloths for here and our vacation home, starting a couple of projects, my knitting needles and crochet hooks have fallen silent.  Inspiration comes in strange forms sometimes.

beanies in progress
My daughter who only crochets emailed me asking if I would want to make a couple of beanies to be sent to the survivors of Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I told her I would.  Between Christmas and New Years, she brought me a skein a Red Heart Team Spirit yarn and the pattern designed by Michele Miller to be used for the beanies.  It is not to be used for commercial purposes but is free to use for non-commercial purposes.

Really, this is a simple round with increases evenly spaced to keep the project round then when you reach the desired diameter, discontinue the increases and continue until the desired length.  Basically, what you want to do is start the ring then increase evenly each succeeding row.  The first row after the ring is an increase stitch in every stitch, followed by work one stitch, increase,  in the next and work one stitch continuing around the round, then join, work two stitches and increase, work two stitches, continue around the round.  Each round you make increases the number of the first worked stitches by 1 and increases the number of stitches between increases by 1.  Once you understand how to increase to keep the project round, you could easily create your own pattern, custom tailored to what you are designing.

The beanie starts by making a magic ring.  The magic ring is a slick way to start a round project without leaving that little hole in the centre if using the traditional method of starting a round.  I am very experienced in crocheting but I did have problems starting the magic ring.  There are YouTube videos and it make take a couple of attempts but once you get it, you get it.

the finished beanies
I made two of the beanies as pictured.  Now I am a huge fan of variegated yarns but this is the first time I have used a self-striping yarn.  It does stripe nicely but I was not impressed with the texture.  The yarn was harsher and prone to splitting which I found a bit surprising as Red Heart is one of my favourite yarns to work with.

Together we sent 4 beanies in support of the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I hope a little 'anything' helps give a bit of comfort if only in support.  I am truly saddened at those events so really What was nice is this project actually inspired me to do a bit more so the knitting needles and crochet hooks are in high gear.  What these children gave back to me even though they don't know it is a renewed spirit to get creating with knitting and crocheting.  From the bottom of my heart I wish them the best, the strength they need to get through this ordeal, the courage to face the future knowing the world is not that bad of a place...