Mother Bear Project

The Mother Bear Project is a non-profit created to provide homemade knitted and crocheted bears to children in need.  Patterns are available at the site for a nominal fee, and are easy to make.  It’s a fun project that brings smiles to kids and everyone else involved!

My first Mother Bears…

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Starting to look more and more like a bear…

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Butterfly Prayer Shawl

My mom had read a knitting-themed novel in which a prayer shawl was included in the story. Ever since then, she has wanted one. When I ran across the Butterfly Stitch Prayer Shawl by NJSharon and DebiAdams on Ravelry, I instantly knew it was the perfect one to make for her. And she loves it!

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Oh My Goodness, It’s a Sock!

I vowed that one of my summer projects would be to knit my first pair of socks.  After hearing so many knitters raving about the wonders of socks, I was enticed to give it a try.  And what I found at three o’clock in the morning when I finally had to put them down, is that they’re amazing!  I am using two circular Addi Turbo needles, Judy Becker’s Magic Cast-On, and some Berroco Comfort Sock Yarn in the dusk color that I happened to have in my stash.  I’m considering these a test run, but as I move through each stage, I’m in awe at how the yarn miraculously becomes a sock!  Although there are many videos demonstrating the Magic Cast-On, Cat Bordhi’s video tutorial was the most helpful to me in getting started.

The pattern I’m using is Charisa Martin Cairn’s Lifestyle Toe-Up Socks No Swatch Needed, available for free on Ravelry.  I purchased, for only $1.00, Sox Therapist’s Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern, which is being raved about in the knitting community, and which I’ll be using when I’m ready to add the heel.  Both patterns include all kinds of useful information.

This is the beginning of my vanilla sock, and the process is easier than I imagined, but I also haven’t attempted the heel yet 🙂  And now, I’m gonna go knit a sock, because I might just be transforming into a sock knitter!

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It’s Baby Bird Season Again

Looking for a stash buster? During June and July, Wildcare needs knitted or crocheted nests for their baby bird nursery. For the little ones who run into some challenges in the outdoors, Wildcare gives them a second chance. Information and patterns are available at Wildcare, and there’s also a Baby Bird Nest Craft Along through Ravelry. Check out the video of the baby birds in the nests on the Ravelry page…adorable!

One nest almost done, lots more to go!

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Ripple Effect

Having seen the chevron crochet stitch here and there, I was curious just how it was done. Turns out that it’s ultra-simple! What started out as my practice piece was easily turned into a button-flap towel. Although I created my own as I went, patterns and tutorials abound on Ravelry and YouTube for this cute addition to a kitchen. I found Yarn Obsession’s tutorial particularly helpful for learning the stitch.

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Mandala

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     Spending a lot of time at work, I decided the space needed to be more comfortable and relaxing.  Among my additions to the decor were plants, a small sand garden, and a water fountain.  However, the table where the fountain sat was an old, dark work table that needed some sprucing up, so I crocheted this bright mandala, based on Zelna Olivier’s Granny Mini Mandala, available through Ravelry.  I made it a bit larger, with the final  diameter being fifteen inches.  It adds some much needed color, and a touch of home…ahh, now that’s better!

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Summer Garden

My yarn beckons as autumn approaches, and I’m excited to get back to my needles, since my knitting and crochet definitely took a backseat to my garden this summer!

To begin the garden, I built three 4 x 8 garden boxes, along with three seven-foot Square Foot Gardening kind of trellises.  As I was using the wheelbarrow to bring in soil, I had some help from Jasper and Delilah:

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The eggplant, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and squash got off to a good start…

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tomatoes

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And the eggplant and squash flowering was so beautiful…

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I am amazed at the changes that continue to appear every single day as the garden offers up its rewards.  What a delightful summer it has been!

Baby Bird Nests

It’s baby bird season!  Some of the little ones lose their way, however, and need a little extra help to get started. WildCare in San Rafael, California, has started a campaign to help care for orphaned baby birds with knitted and crocheted nests. The organization is collecting nests for use in their hospital, as well as sharing them with other rehabilitation centers. They are still in need of several hundred to meet their goal.  The nests are easy to knit or crochet, and information and patterns can be found here, just click:  www.wildcarebayarea.org

I’m rather challenged when it comes to following patterns, so created my own, based on the required measurements of the finished nests, and being sure to keep my stitches tight so little feet won’t get caught. My finished product:

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I began with a circular base, using a crocheted 4-chain magic circle, and increasing as needed to get the round base I wanted:

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Once the base measurement was complete, I stopped increasing and continued to crochet around and around.   I made the height quite tall, so the side could be folded down and adjusted as needed:

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Folding down twice, like the brim of a hat, made for sturdy sides around the center:

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So if you have a little time to spare, create a beautiful nest for a baby bird in need! I’m sure they’ll send out many chirps of thanks to you!