Lullaby Blanket

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Over the past several years, I have made many baby blankets, but my favorite pattern thus far is The Lullaby Blanket.

It comes together fairly quickly, the pattern has three size options, and if you play with colorways – the possibilities are endless!

I love the texture of the crochet stitch pattern, and the grounded edges with your standard half-double crochet stitches.

The baby blanket pattern size ( 30 x 36 inches) is generous, which gives a child plenty of room to grow with it.

For the one in the first photo, I used Caron One Pound yarn in Sunflower for the bulk of the blanket, with Bernat Super Value yarn in Dark Grey for the last two rows of trim on the outside.

I created a little knitted owl toy to match, and I hope to write that pattern soon for the public. But since I made it on the fly, I want to test my pattern at least once more before posting the pattern on here for you, to make sure there are consistent results.

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For the Lullaby Blanket above, I used Caron One Pound yarn in Soft Grey Mix.

I plan to use this pattern several times over – including full sized throw blankets for my own home and as gifts for others. While I prefer to use more natural fiber yarns such as wool, linen, and cotton, crocheting (and crocheting blankets especially) can often use a LOT of yarn – more so than knitting. And since I am always giving these as gifts or for personal use rather than selling them, I don’t have the luxury of purchasing more expensive natural fiber yarns for projects such as these.

Even with acrylic yarn, these blankets are soft, gorgeous, and a lovely addition to any nursery.

What projects have you been working on lately? Do you prefer to create gifts, or to indulge in projects for yourself?

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Life and Death

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Life and Death were taken from me.

When Life was taken – I was alone.

The world seemed to grow silent,

And everything looked fuzzy – as if I were only an observer looking through a filthy camera lens.

“We’re sorry for your loss.”

I wonder how many times they’ve said that to a woman half-reclined with a thin sheet draped over her bare legs and cold gel sticking to her inner thighs.

I could not help but look down in disbelief at the abdomen that would not be expanding any time soon.

Life was taken from me.

When Death was taken, I was at the hospital. The very same hospital in which I gave life two years prior, only now it was stained with the sterilized stench of Death.

I tried to smile when the nurse joked that the hospital-issue treaded socks covered an entire half of my petite legs.

I tried to reassure the well-meaning women who accompanied me that I was ok – when I really wanted to cry and scream and tell them they were poor substitutes for the husband who simply couldn’t be there to hold me during the taking of Death.

I was relieved when I fell asleep – only to wake up to a devastation that escaped audibly and uncontrollably from my throat.

Why did they have to see me cry?

Death was taken from me.

For long afterward, I would often reach down and touch the place that created and housed both Life and Death.

A new normality nestled itself against my existence.

Yet I still grieve the Death that took precious Life from me. 

Storytime

With so much in our daily lives that is ever-changing, one thing I do try to keep consistent is beginning each school day with storytime. The three of us sit together on the sofa or on the porch, reading various types of stories together.

Some of our favorite things to read are:

These are just a few selections that we return to time and again, but we love to read a plethora of different fiction stories, or books on history and science as well.

We evolved as Storytellers. A good story, whether true or make-believe, speaks to the inner reaches of our spirits.

“Story telling is the most ancient form of education. It is about the remembering, making, and sharing of images that bind together time, nature, and people. Stories, like the sacred plants, are medicine and food come from the Earth. They remind us that we do not stand alone. Through them we live in the body of coyote and crow, tree and stone… In this way, we confirm our relationship with all of creation.”

Joan Halifax

There is hardly any other experience when I feel so close and in tune with my kids than when we are cuddled and sharing stories. I hope it is one of those things in their education they look back upon and cherish.

Heirloom Linen Dishcloths

imageI am a knitter at heart, but I have been loving this crochet Heirloom Linen Dishcloth pattern I downloaded (for free!) from KnitPicks.

Its aesthetic is classic and lovely – especially when made with gorgeous neutral tones.

I have had the same store-bought, standard dishcloths for almost 10 years, and unsurprisingly they are looking pretty haggard. So I downloaded pattern after pattern for a variety of styles of dishcloths, but I loved none so much as this Heirloom Linen pattern.

I used KnitPicks Cotlin in Wallaby for three of them, and Peaches and Creme in Black (thought they almost look Navy) for the other three. I want to see which yarn holds up longer, and as the Cotlin is DK weight and Peaches and Creme is Worsted weight – I also want to experiment to see if I prefer one’s thickness over the other.

I have a sort of inexplicable obsession with all things Linen, so the fact that Cotlin is a cotton and linen blend, I am admittedly rooting for Cotlin over Peaches and Creme.

I altered the pattern to make square dishcloths rather than long, almost towel-sized cloths as the pattern dictates.

I would like to make hand-towels with this stitch pattern in the future, and perhaps matching place mats as well.

Have you ever made your own dishcloths? How have they held up over time, and what is your go-to dishcloth pattern and yarn?

Beneath the Stones

Originally Published October 15, 2014

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She left no stone unturned.
Looking up at the swaying branches,
She knew this must have been the place.

One by one she searched,
Over-turning pebbles and boulders,
For the thing
She felt hopeful and doubtful
She would find.

The moist forest soil
Established itself underneath her long fingernails,
Cracked and chipped from
Geologic obstacles.

Finally, with rubble and destruction
Surrounding her,
She found what she had been
Looking for…

A faint smile etched,
A small tear dripped,
And she knew Life would never be the same.