Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scraps and hooks and needles

I'm finally back with a little more information about our crocheting and knitting for charity project.

It's quite simple really. If you are a crafter of yarns, you have a stash of scraps. Some yarns might be better than others for this project, but I don't think it is really going to matter what yarn you use. The charm of the final afghan is the "patchwork" design. Each block, different from the next, is a wonderful representation of the people who work together to construct and give the gift of warmth and comfort.

Rather than print out patterns and instructions, I'll simply ask you to visit the web site of the Warm Up America foundation. (Just click on this link.) Basically, do whatever you would like to do, just as long as you can make it turn out to be seven inches by nine inches.

There is a tip offered on this page: Cut a 7"x9" cardboard template to use for sizing your blocks. It is a little easier to use than a tape measure or ruler.

Here is my first block made from some scrap yarn I've had in my closet for many years. It is going to be so good to get rid of it and know that it is going to a good cause.
This is just your basic double crochet. I did find it a bit tricky to get the size (7"x9") correct. When I used the hook size the pattern recommended, (G) my block was too large. This particular yarn, though a medium weight, seems a little stiff and on the bulkier side. It is an inexpensive yarn and has a tendency to "untwist" as I work with it. Switching to a smaller hook had me grabbing only one or two plies of the yarn, which was VERY annoying to me. It slowed my progress and I didn't like that either. So...I went back to the  G hook and made my foundation chain shorter. (I made fewer chain stitches.) I stitched until my block was as close to 9" as possible. It is not exact, but thankfully knit and crochet blocks, when pieced together, can be scrunched or stretched just a little.

I'll stitch several of these and then send them to my new friend Carrie who is eager to piece them all together with her blocks and any others that volunteers send her way. She will also be responsible for the donation of the afghan when it is complete.

Please head over to Carrie's blog for any other details pertaining to the crochet / knit group. (Knitted blocks can be attached to crocheted blocks and included in the same afghan.) Leave her a comment telling her that you want to participate and she will see to it that you know where you can mail your completed blocks. Thanks so much to Carrie for heading up this project! What a blessing you are.

As winter begins to creep into our lives, let's put the garden trowels, beach balls, and butterfly nets away--(Okay, so who actually spends their summers catching butterflies? But you know what I mean.) and let's drag out our fabrics and yarns and do something for somebody who might not have life quite as good as we do.

Two last notes--if you have a favorite charity that could use one of our quilts or afghans, please let me know with a comment here. Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House, favorite retirement center, Crisis Pregnancy Center, homeless shelter, .... You tell us where you would like to see our donations go!
And PLEASE join us any way you would like. Donate supplies or finished blocks and ask your friends to join in on the fun! Our groups are very small at the moment but we would love to see them grow!

Now, off to the sewing machine. Or should I pick up the hook? Decisions decisions decisions!



Carrie said...

I have some fabric to send to you for your quilting! I'm not sure exactly what types of fabric you need, but I figured any kind would be ok. Will be shipping it out this week! Can't wait to see what you make out of them! :)

Talkin' Texan said...

Thanks Carrie,
100% cotton works best but I bet I can make a blend work, just as long as it's not too stretchy. :)

Tricia said...

I'll send you my Hawaiian Fabric squares too! Also check out the organization Not sure if they can use blankets or not, but i really like the organization.

Penelope said...

I decided to take up your challenge, and I crocheted my first block!! Woohoo! Thought you would like to know. However, since I am pretty new to this particular craft (I have only ever crocheted pot-holders), I have a question: I used a double stitch, and the block is about a 1/4'' too short. What should I do? Do I leave it a little short or do I make it a little long? I would LOVE some help from those experienced crocheters out there! I also have a quilt block that I will blog about soon. (The last month has been insane...)

Talkin' Texan said...

Patricia, Thanks
I checked out the Soldiers Angels and see that they do take blankets but that I've already missed the 2010 deadline. I sent an email for more information. Thanks for the recommendation.

Yea Penelope!
If you did it in double and it is a little short, just do a row of single or half double, what ever it takes to make it work out right. The patchwork look of this finished blanket won't be hurt by "unlike" rows. I've done a block with every other row double and every other row single. Just about anything goes as long as you end up with the right sized in the end.
So glad you stretched yourself! lol

Deanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deanna said...

Wow! I'm impressed with the way people are pitching in on different parts.

Penelope said...

Thanks for the advice! I'll work on that and get it completed. I can't wait to show pictures of it. :-) I'll get the quilt blocks up soon, too. With Christmas coming up, things are a little busy, so hopefully I'll get it done quickly.