What Crocheting Has Taught Me About God

Coming up on three years ago when I was pregnant with my now two-and-a-half year old daughter, I found myself longing to learn something new. “I think I will learn to crochet,” I told myself. I gathered up some suggested materials, sat down with a printed pattern described as “beginner” and “easy” and quickly got frustrated. “How could Vanna look so happy on this label of this skein of yarn?!,”  I thought to myself, “My face certainly doesn’t look like that right now.”

Grrr.

I could not get the yarn to cooperate and after several failed attempts, I threw the yarn and crochet hook down and walked away. But, I was determined… after watching some youtube videos (and backing them up and watching them again… and again…) I successfully completed my first basic granny square. My stitches were clumsy and too tight in some places and too loose in others. I had trouble finding where to put the hook for the next stitch. But, you know what? I didn’t give up. Not even after being discouraged about my work not looking perfect… and definitely not like the work in the picture of the pattern.

So in the evenings after my daughter is snuggled into her bed, I pick up some yarn and my crochet hook and sit on the couch with a mug of herbal tea, with the glow of a candle flickering on the table. After a row or two of counting and getting into the rhythm, I converse with God.

Sometimes I tend to be my worst critic and beat myself up. Sometimes things just don’t seem to be working out very well. Sometimes I get frustrated, doubt myself and sometimes I feel throwing in the towel on things more often than I should. I think that I’m not a good enough Mom, that I could put forth more effort at work, that I don’t read my Bible enough or pray enough. I think that I’m a really crappy friend and I’m not a very good example as an older sister to my sister and brother. That there’s something about me that caused my husband to not want to be married to me anymore. That my house is not sparkling clean and things are falling apart. I have thought about it all in some form or another as I sit alone with my crochet.

Sitting in the (almost) silence, with the clock ticking, the hum of the refrigerator, or the puppy crunching happily on her food, the soft glow of my candle… I enjoy the pull and feel of the yarn between my fingers. The pattern nestled in my lap as I read it line by line and end up with a finished hat or a scarf or a baby blanket that will be enjoyed and used – the culmination of my talents. Sometimes I mess up and realize much later and have to rip out several rows and redo my work. Sometimes the size just doesn’t turn right or I accidentally use the wrong type of yarn or the wrong size hook and I have to start all over from scratch with fresh “string” and a fresh outlook. But, no matter how the stitches look or how the finished product turns out, I would be proud of my finished accomplishment and I would love it.

When I started out crocheting, I had no idea that I would learn more than just how to make a starting chain, triple crochets, or slip stitches, but I ended up learning so much more. Yes, I mess up. Yes, things are not going to turn out exactly the way I think they should. Yes, I’m going to have to start from scratch on occasion. A lot of my crochet mistakes could be prevented if I had just read and followed the pattern instead of just telling myself, “You’ve got this… keep going and it will be just fine.” It got me thinking that the ultimate pattern I should follow for this life is the Word of God, the Bible. It’s the ultimate instruction book. Does that mean I’m still not going to screw up and repent? Nope. But, it does offer love and and hope and forgiveness and so much more for my screw ups.

And times when I meditate and ask God, “Why is this happening to ME?” God loves me no matter what, screw ups included. Each day is like a stitch in my crochet work. Sometimes they turn out well, and sometimes they don’t, but either way there’s another one coming, Lord willing. And God still loves the whole me… the whole work in progress. There’s even a verse about it:

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” — Psalm 139:13

Wow! Mind-blowing stuff! God made me and knit ME (ME!) together! Every stitch, every part lovingly. Every time my mind thinks I’m not perfect, that things are just not going to get better, I just pick up my crochet. “Let’s talk, God.” -K

Crochet Owls

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Crochet Chicken Earflap Hat DIY Pattern

Crochet Chicken Earflap Hat Pattern

ChickenHat

Recently I had a request for a chicken earflap hat and I didn’t have a pattern exactly how I imagined the hat to look. I used a free basic earflap hat pattern from Micah Makes, which you can find here. I omitted the color changes for the stripes and added another row of sc around the edge of the hat in tan yarn.

Materials I used:

  • Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn in White
  • Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn in Light Taupe
  • Red Heart Super Saver in Pumpkin
  • Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn in Red
  • 2, 3/4″ Black Buttons
  • I-hook

Patterns for the Features

Eyes, Make 2 in Light Taupe yarn:

Row 1: sc 6 into a Magic Circle, pull tight and join with sl st in first sc.

Row 2: Ch 1, 2 sc into each sc around, join with sl st in first sc.

Row 3: Ch 1, *2 sc in next st, sc in next st. Repeat from * around. Join with sl st in first sc.

Row 4: Ch 1, sc in the first 2 st, 2 sc in next st. Repeat from * around. Join with sl st in first sc. Fasten off yarn and leave a long tail for sewing to the hat.

Pin the eyes to the hat, stitch into place using yarn tail. Then, sew the black button securely to the center of each eye for the pupil.

Beak, Make 1 in Pumpkin yarn:

Row 1: Ch 5, sc in second ch from the hook and across to end.

Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc2tog twice.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn, sc2tog.

Row 4: Ch 1, sc evenly around the beak. Fasten off yarn and leave a long tail for sewing onto the hat.

Sew the beak between the eyes using the tail of yarn.

Comb, Make 1 in Red yarn:

Ch 51, sc in 2nd ch from the hook and across to the end of the ch. Fasten off and leave a long tail.

Fold the strip into three portions (see picture for folding suggestion) and sew together at the bottom to hold it in place. Then, sew the comb onto the top of the hat.

For braided ties, cut 18 lengths of pumpkin orange yarn 36″ long. Use 9 lengths of yarn for each tie. See this tutorial on how to make the braided ties for your hat by Dearest Debi.

Long-Tail Elf Crochet Hat Free Pattern in Teen/Adult Size

There are lots of smaller sizes of crochet long-tail elf hats floating around the web, but not very many adult size. Here is one that I worked up that will fit an adult head 22-24″.  This pattern is written in US terms. This hat works up nicer if you know how to do the Magic Circle technique and how to change colors in the last stitch of the previous color row. Enjoy!

NCSULongtail

LONG-TAIL ELF CROCHET HAT PATTERN

You’ll need:

  • I-hook
  • Worsted Weight (4) Yarn – I used 2 main colors plus 1 accent color

PATTERN:

1:Using a Magic Circle, ch 2 and dc 6 into the circle. Join at the top of the first dc. Pull tight to close.

2 – 32: Ch 2, dc 6 around, join at the top of the first dc.

*NOTE: For a striped hat, change colors every odd numbered row.

33: Ch 2, dc 9 evenly around, join at the top of the first dc.

34: Ch 2, 2 dc in each dc around, join at the top of the first dc.

35: Ch 2, inc 4 evenly around, join at the top of the first dc.

36: Ch 2, inc 3 evenly around, join at the top of the first dc.

37-38: Ch 2, inc 2 evenly around, join at the top of the first dc.

39-41: Ch 2, inc 4 evenly around, join at the top of the first dc.

42-44: Ch 2, inc 6 evenly around, join at the top of the first dc.

45: Ch 2, inc 4 evenly around, join at the top of the first dc.

46: Ch 2, inc 2 evenly around, join at the top of the first dc.

47-50: Ch 2, dc in each st around, join at the top of the first dc.

52: Ch 2, dec 2 stitches evenly around, join at the top of the first dc.

52-53: Ch 2, *fpdc, dc. Repeat from * around, join at the top of the first dc.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Make a pom pom and attach to the end of the long tail.

This pattern is free for use to make hats for you to to sell. Please reference this pattern link if you list hats online.

ECULongtail

Turtle Amigurumi & Turtle Shell Hexagon Baby Blankie

For this project, I used the Turtle Crochet Along Pattern – “Sheldon” from Little Muggles. You can find the free amigurumi pattern for Sheldon here. You can also find Little Muggles on Facebook.

TurtleSet

I made my first attempt in classic turtle colors in greens and browns as a baby shower gift for a little guy, but a non-traditional version is in the works!

If you like the colors I used to make my Sheldon the Turtle, here is what I used:

Caron Simply Soft in Bone for his head, legs/feet, tail

Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Dusty Green for top of his shell

Red Heart Super Saver in Cafe for the bottom of his shell

Michael’s Loop and Threads Snuggly Wuggly in Silly Sprite

I stitched the amigurumi turtle as specified in the pattern using a G-hook (4.00 mm) except I crocheted in the back loops only (BLO) for row 18. This is the row for the color change from the olive green to the brown for the bottom of the shell. Stitching in the BLO helps the bottom of the shell lay more flat once it is stuffed with the polyester stuffing. The black safety eyes are pretty easy to find, but I purchased mine from Joann’s Fabrics. They also come in colors and different sizes if you prefer to change up the look.

For the hexagon motif turtle shell blankie, I used this free Interchangable Hexagon pattern from Galler Yarns by Marie Segares. I used the circle hexagon option with a few modifications. I used a J-hook (6.00 mm) since the pattern didn’t call for any particular size and I wanted the blanket to be lighter weight for summer and more stretchy. To begin, I used the magic ring method and double crocheted 13 into the ring and joined to the top of the first double crochet. I did not count the chains at the beginning of each round as a stitch and added an additional double crochet in each round as a result. I do this because I don’t like the look of using chain stitches a stitch in the structure of a motif. If this is not your cup of tea or if it makes you nervous to change up a pattern, you are welcome to make the motif as written. It turns out just fine as written.

I used the Snuggly Wuggly yarn in Silly Sprite for rounds 1 through 3 then changed color to the Caron Simply Soft in Bone for round 4. I made a total of 31 of the motifs and arranged them in 4 rows of 4 and 3 rows of 5. You can make as many as you wish to make the blankie smaller or larger. The 31 motif blankie was big enough to be used as a car seat blanket.

Now, to attach the hexagon motifs together I used the Red Heart in Cafe using a H-hook (5.00 mm). I held two motifs wrong sides together and single crocheted them together in the back loop of each motif. In the corners I worked 2 sc. This takes some time to think through how to arrange your motifs, so you may have to lay them all out on a table or on the floor and make a “game plan” on how you want to attach them. For mine, I started out with a couple of central hexagons, then added hexagons along each edge of the central hexagons and went from there.

AttachingHexagonsSC

Attach motifs together with SC

CentralHexsWhen you get to the point when you are attaching hexagons together and come across a portion you have already connected, here is what I did to make the connections look more finished. I inserted my hook into the sc near the connection point and slip stitched into it. Just that easy! If you just fasten off your yarn at the last sc of the motif connection, you’ll have a gap that doesn’t look quite as neat.

HexagonAttachmentTogetherSC

For the edging, I used the Red Heart in Cafe and the H-hook and single crocheted around the edge. In the corners that “stick out”, you’ll want to do 2 sc in those and for the corners that “come in” you’ll want to sc2tog over two stitches. This will make the blanket edge lay more flat.

CornersDetail

After all the motifs are connected and the edging is completed weave in all those ends and you’re done!

If you don’t want to make this yourself, I’ll be happy to make a turtle, the blanket, or the set for you! I welcome custom orders.