DIY Christmas Stockings For My Kids This Year

DIY Christmas Stockings For My Kids This Year

Photo Credit: RedHeart.com

I have crocheted for over 20 years. I love it. And I always enjoy sinking my crochet hooks into a new pattern. One of the crochet and knit newsletters I subscribe to is from RedHeart.com. These Fur Top Holiday Stockings were featured in their recent 12 Weeks of Christmas series that was a part of that newsletter. If you’re into crochet or knit projects, their newsletter is a great place for inspiration and I highly recommend signing up to receive it. They don’t send a million emails. And some of those emails I trash if they don’t contain something I’m interested in. The ones I do keep get filed in an email folder so I can go peruse them easier, at my own leisure.

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Mindful Motivation to Get Fit AND Change your Life!

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Mindful Motivation to Get Fit AND Change your Life!

Credit: http://www.moticise.com/

Ever lacked motivation when trying to exercise? Is just telling yourself that it’s good for you and will make you a happier person just not enough? Well, you’re right. It’s not enough. Those are just empty words tumbling around in your head giving you a banging headache as your body flails around trying to keep up with the latest fitness video craze or trendy exercise class instructor. What you really need is a new mindset.
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Self-Taught Knitting, Baby!

Learn To Knit Now!, published by Leisure Arts, Inc.

Learn To Knit Now!, published by Leisure Arts, Inc. Copyright 2013.

Self-Taught Knitting, Baby!

My family recently took a road trip through several southern states. I decided that I FINALLY was going to make the time to learn to knit. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for about 10 years and I knew being on the road for hours at a time while traveling from one destination to the next for several days would give me the perfect opportunity (with no housework or errands or anything else interrupting me) to give this new endeavor the time and attention that I knew it would require.

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It Ain’t Your Gramma’s Crochet

Crochet isn’t just for your Gramma anymore; knitting either. These relaxing, fun past times have been consistently gaining in popularity. I didn’t realize how many young people had an interest in crochet or knitting until the last few years as I started following blogs and Facebook pages devoted to the craft.

So. Many. People!!! I had lunch this weekend at Panera with my daughters and I saw a very young girl (in her late teens/early 20s) knitting at the next table. Made me wish I’d brought one of my current projects along to work on.

yarn1

          yarn2

crochet hooks & scissors

The two afghans shown below were made for me by my own grandmother. Of course, I have others, but I happened to have pictures of these who on hand when planning this post. My kids, the hubby & our pets all love them. They are great blankets or just to snuggle up to while watching TV, reading, picnicking, etc. One of my fave afghans made by my grandmother is white and about 3 shades of purple. She made it for me when I was 13. She also crocheted a beautiful white baby afghan for my oldest daughter before she was born over 20 years ago.

Afghan from Gramma

           Pinks Afghan

These are handmade keepsakes that take time (so much time!) to complete. But they are long-lasting treasures that can be passed down through generations in your family. They make great gifts for weddings, birthdays, Christmases, new babies…

Shown here are a lavendar & white baby afghan/pillow set I made for a friend’s new baby, a variegated (i.e. multi-colored) afghan in peach/white/yellow/green that I made for my sister’s new baby girl last year, and a striped square afghan I am currently making for my own daughter.

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          Stacy's Baby Afghan - in progress 2014

Lexi's afghan WIP

And one is not limited to blankets with crochet or knit projects, either. Check out these other projects I’ve made or are currently working on.

baby hat

Infant Hat

Bobbilicious Baby Hat

Infant Hat

Bunny Blanket Buddy-WIP

Bunny Buddy (in progress)

Bunny Blanket Buddy-finished

Bunny Buddy

These odd-looking shapes aren’t odd, at all, when you realize that they are small parts of a greater whole. I was attempting to make a crochet doll for my daughter in 2012 for her 9th birthday. The round ball was the head, the other was the torso. I had completed (and stuffed) both arms and was working on the legs when… well, let’s just say “Life got interesting.”

Crochet Doll-head & torso-2012

Leap Day, 2012 began as a normal, sunshiny day. And was brutally interrupted when a tornado suddenly formed in my area. It ripped the entire second story of my home completely away and sent a huge tree slamming into my kitchen, missing me be mere seconds as I dashed for the basement. The tornado experience is a whole other post.

Needless to say, this doll will forever remain a WIP (Work In Progress) because it was destroyed in the tornado. I didn’t have time to start over as the tornado destroyed our home just a few days before her birthday. The next year after that was a whirlwind — finding a temporary home, dealing with insurance and rebuilding a new home. I never got the doll done.

Here’s a ruffled tote bag I made my daughter for her 11th birthday last year to hold her supplies, for crochet, of course. She wanted to learn how & I was thrilled. I stuffed the bag with colorful yarns, crochet hooks and beginner instructions. She loved it!

photo

I always have more than one unfinished project in progress, it seems — what in yarn land we call WIPs (Work in Progress). I crochet like I read, in multiples. I’m always reading more than one book at a time and crocheting more than one item, too. Multi-tasker? Maybe. More like, I get bored easily and need variety! :0)

Peaked Hat--WIP      Potholder WIP

   headbands

Also pictured above are three other current projects. Another hat (adult size) & what will be a spiral potholder when I’m finished; also some headbands I have made for my nieces. Now I’m working on flower appliques to add to the headbands to finish them up.

You can find all sorts of free patterns and basic tutorials online to learn how to crochet or knit. I taught myself how to crochet 22 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child. I wanted to learn to make the beautiful items that my grandmother did. It made me feel closer to her, though she lived far away. She passed away several years ago, making the afghans, potholders, and other items she’s made me over the years all the more precious.

Personally, I love this website –> The Crochet Crowd. It has an expansive library of patterns and tutorial videos. Mikey has 24 free beginner crochet video tutorials that will get you started. You can find them here.

You can buy yarn and crochet or knit supplies many places from Walmart, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or any number of other craft stores. I’ve been dying to shop at a Hobby Lobby for more years than I can even count. We FINALLY had a Hobby Lobby store open in my area last month. I’m in heaven (and anticipating Mother’s Day next week with bated breath because I’ve dropped several hints about how much I would love a gift card from there)!

You can also find yarn items online many places (including eBay, who knew?) One online yarn supplier I would love to try out is Expression Fiber Arts. Chandi, the owner, spins/dyes/sells her own yarn and it is on the more expensive side, but is so TO DIE FOR!!!

Definitely check out these Work In Progress printable cards that can help you keep track of patterns, hook sizes, yarn types etc. for your projects.

I would love to see what’s on your hook these days, if you crochet. If you are interested in learning, what’s stopping you???

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