Monday, November 30, 2015

What Some Will Do For God - A Late Thanksgiving Post

(I wrote this before Thanksgiving but was unable to post it due to time constraints --as well as the fact that I had made a pact with myself not to do anything that would give me neck pain which would result in a ruined holiday. Needless to say, that was a hard pact to keep. ...And in writing this post, I kind of broke it.)


We all know the story leading up to the first Thanksgiving, and because of that familiarity we often overlook the gravity of the account. Let's think about it briefly.

Some of the believers in England agreed that the laws put on them from the King regarding their religious rights were keeping them from worshiping God as they knew was right. It soon became apparent that they would have to make a choice: bow to man or bow to God. They chose to bow to God because they respected Him and knew that in His hands they would be secure.

They left their homes where generations of families lived to endure hardship, because pleasing God was more important to them than their comfort. If they hadn't had faith in God's perfect purpose for their lives, we wouldn't have America today.

Their decision was based upon the belief that God's will was higher than any man's, that He was the Creator of life, and that not only did He hold their very being in His hand but He cared for them beyond human understanding.

The question that I put to you today is, what would you have done? Do you love and respect God enough to make scary, life altering choices for Him? Think about it, what if the pilgrims hadn't decided to trust God and come to America? The thing is, we all will have to make that decision personally at some point or another, to do what is right and obey God, no matter the cost, or remain in our comfort zone and therefore miss His best.

Although we may never have to make a decision so tremendous as the pilgrims did, we will have our own decisions to make. Will we have the courage to do the right thing? The pilgrims had the courage only because of they trusted in God.

I pray that I will have as much courage when my turn to make such hard choices come.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Making the Snowflake Ribbon Necklace (Picture Tutorial)


Well, I did it, and without too much delay. In September I wrote a post on making a pair of nautical earrings, among other things, (read the post here), and in that post I mentioned an idea I wanted to create but at the time didn't have the supplies for. Today I present to you the fruition of that idea: the Snowflake Ribbon Necklace!


I've already said how I wanted similar chain to what I had only in silver. I bought this chain at Michael's, very doubtful of whether it had large enough loops for the ribbon. I decided to try it anyway.

Here's what you will need to make your own:
  • pendant
  • 24 1/2" of chain
  • 2 - 4mm jump rings
  • 1 - 6mm jump ring
  • necklace clasp
  • 28 - 30 inches of 3/8" ribbon
  • cross-stitch needle
  • scissors
  • jewelry pliers
  • fabric glue/hot glue


Measure your chain and attach necklace clasp with jump rings to chain. A simple necklace made. I chose a necklace length that was what I considered average, not long but not short. Make yours whatever length you like, only remember that you will need more --or less-- ribbon.


Attach the 6mm jump ring to the pendant (that is, if the pendant needs it). Go ahead and slide it onto the necklace just to get an idea of what it looks like. Already pretty, huh?


Open the necklace and slide the pendant back off. Fold the ribbon over to thread the needle and then find the center, or thereabouts, of the necklace.

I didn't bother cutting the ribbon just yet as I wasn't sure how much I was going to need. Begin weaving the ribbon through the chain. I chose to weave in the ribbon at every fifth chain. Depending on your chain, as well as your preference, you may want to weave in smaller or larger intervals.


It worked after all! The ribbon wasn't too big and the chain wasn't too small.

When I reached one end I guessed how much ribbon I would need for the other end, snipped the ribbon, and continued to weave in the ribbon on the other end.  This is the necklace with the ribbon completely woven in. Give the necklace a little tug to tighten any gaps. Secure the ends by first knotting them.


Then, for a piece that will stay intact, use some fabric glue and dab at the knot. Let it dry for as long as it takes and when set, snip off the ribbon ends close to the knot.

I realized afterward that the glued knot might become an irritant on the neck over time but hopefully I am wrong. However if it does, then I will either pull it all out and try hot glue, or find some other way of securing it.

Now you can slip on the pendant and admire you work.

 

What do you think? 

I am so pleased this worked out! Because, as you may or may not know, I had no idea whether it would. I merely sat down with my camera and gave it my best shot. 

Let me know how yours turns out! I would love to see the design you have chosen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Finished... but then - The FourSquare Baby Blanket

One of the last patterns I made for Crochet Spot was the one pictured below, the FourSquare Baby Blanket. You can find the free pattern by clicking the link or searching the site.


I started making baby blankets years ago when my the first second-cousin was expected. (Did you get that?) I found that I really liked making blankets for expectant families and have made quite a few since. I have also found that it can be a job in itself keeping up with all the blankets I need to make. This blanket is for my nearly 5-month-old nephew --a little belated. I have made two for my niece, the first one is the Sorbet Baby Blanket and the next is the Jungle Rhythm Baby Blanket (click the links to see the patterns).

Since I really adore the simplicity of granny squares I decided to jazz it up a little in this four-square pattern. I used Bernat Baby Coordinates in white, Buddy Blue, and wanted Lemon Lime but ended up with Funny Prints. I still think Lemon Lime would have been better but Funny Prints worked out.


When I began seaming the four squares together I ran out of time trying to find the one I wanted and ended up choosing a method I eventually hated. I sent the pattern in to Rachel at Crochet Spot with the simple instructions "Seam squares together". But no way was I leaving this. So I ripped it out and used the JAYGO (join as you go) method at Petals to Picots. Now I was satisfied.


I added a border of the same granny stitch pattern (you can find a pattern for it at Petals to Picots too) and was finally pleased. Now I can send my nephew the blanket I had intended to have finished months ago. But now that I am no longer working for Crochet Spot, I shouldn't have that problem anymore, right? We'll see.


I can't say the blanket is exactly reversible, which now that I think about it, was a bad idea. Blankets are supposed to be reversible!! I let my hate for weaving in ends cloud my judgment.

Now on to the next project. A throw for my cousin's wedding gift. It will be quite a while before I exhibit it here. After that I have another baby blanket I need to make, as well as the growing list of ordered items that have to be made and sent before Christmas. But hey, crocheting is what it's all about, right?

Let me know what you think! And be sure to check out the other patterns I mentioned at Crochet Spot. Hope to see you again soon!

Friday, November 6, 2015

The End of Something and The Beginning of Others

Autumn Harvest Scarf

It has been 2 years and 8 months since I began working for Crochet Spot. I have learned a great deal, from crochet pattern designing to HTML, and succeeded in creating about 130 patterns and 8 or so tutorials. Rachel Choi, the creator and owner of Crochet Spot, has been great and continually patient with me the entire time, kindly making me aware of my mistakes in formatting and other areas, at my request. But for a few of my own reasons, I have made the choice to quit.

One of those reasons has to do with physical problems. I struggle continuously with various pains due to prolonged crocheting periods (among other things) which present a problem when you have people depending on you. Because I am a confirmed crochet enthusiast and unwilling to give up the craft (in fact, the idea itself is preposterous!) this can be extremely frustrating to me. It became apparent something would have to give.

But the main reason is multifaceted. My biggest dream is centered in writing, a topic I am sure I have discussed multiple times in the past. But briefly, I want to write novels, and in the meantime, greatly enjoy writing blog posts and articles on all subjects from fashion, book, and movie reviews to science, history, and crafting. I plan to commit a majority of my time to this from now on.

Démodé Summer Cowl

Then again, I am far from out of the crochet business scene. Once a crochet pattern designer, always one, right? I still have oodles of ideas and finished projects that sit and collect dust. The family can only use so much. I will talk more on this in a later post.

The fact is, I have sincerely felt God leading me in this direction for a long time. I had so many questions and fears. What about my financial situation? What about this, what about that? All of which still tries to wheedle in and discourage me. But I believe that when God calls a person He also equips them. If He wanted me to quit, then He must have something better for me. I just have to have faith and be patient.

Custom Monogrammed Infinity Scarf

And you know what, I have already had a few orders for some of my work. A friend has requested me to make 5 monogrammed scarves (see this post for more on monogrammed scarves), and I have another order for a toddler's bag. To you this may mean little, but to me, it is God's encouragement. I know He has something great in store for me, it's the waiting patiently that I am asked to do. Pray that I succeed!