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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Prayer shawl


Just the beginning of the shawl I am crocheting. The picture is upside down (sent it from my phone). I got the idea of a Prayer Shawl from my sister, Margaret Ann, several months ago. She happened to mention it either on the phone or in a chat on Facebook. I loved the idea and since I don't belong to a church here in The Netherlands, I don't know of any Prayer Shawl Ministry here. I immediately went to the internet to look up prayer shawl patterns. Basically, a prayer shawl is just a shawl that has been prayed over and/or blessed and given to a person in need, whether that be due to illness or just emotional need. I found lots and lots of shawl patterns both knitted and crocheted. My knitting leaves a lot to be desired, so I mainly looked at crocheted patterns. I found a very lovely lacey shawl done in white bamboo yarn. I loved the shawl and the idea of the bamboo yarn so I copied the pattern and began searching for the yarn. Perhaps I can find something here but I wasn't sure where to begin my search, so I just waited until I went to Texas for my vacation and checked out both Hobby Lobby and WalMart. WalMart does carry the brand but not the bamboo yarn. Darn. Then, I went to Hobby Lobby. They carry a different brand of bamboo and along side the yarn was a free pattern for a lacey shawl very similar to the one I had found. I took the pattern and bought the required amount of yarn and a new crochet hook since I didn't have my hooks with me and got started immediately on the shawl. The center is done not with a simple chain as I had anticipated but with a special stitch that you add to as you go. It didn't go very well for me and left a rather thick ridge down the center that I didn't like. And as well, I hadn't made enough stitches and came out too short. Ripped it out and started over. The ridge remained and I still wasn't pleased with the way it looked so I took a look at the original internet pattern. The internet pattern will be a bit shorter than the one I was using, so I made a chain to go with the free pattern instead of the internet pattern (which required 4 balls of yarn and I had only bought 3 for the free pattern). As I came to the end of the chain, I was actually one chain stitch short but I went on anyway and as it ends up, you can't tell. I contined with the free pattern and that has been working out beautifully.

I hesitate to add this part because the person I would like to receive this shawl could read this, but I am going ahead with it anyway. If she should read it, she will only know about it in advance. The young woman, Andrea, who was previously the manager at the McDonalds where my daughter is now manager recently lost her teenage son, Lance. This was very sudden and of course, completely unexpected. Lance had been complaining of headaches for several days and Andrea took him to the doctor. They ran tests etc and couldn't find out what was causing the headaches. Finally, one morning, Andrea was unable to get Lance to wake up. She called the emergency number and the ambulance came and took him to the hospital. He had immediate brain surgery and was ( I think. I'm not totally sure of the details) shortly thereafter pronounced brain dead. Andrea has naturally taken his death very hard. So, as I crochet this shawl, I am saying prayers for Andrea and Lance and putting as much love and comfort into it as I can. I plan to coincide the giving of the shawl with the first anniversary of Lance's death, which will be in January. I hope Andrea will be able to get some comfort from this shawl.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lyla's quilt


Assuming that I can find the pictures on the computer, I am showing off both my great niece Lyla and the quilt I made for her. I have already gotten rave reviews from her mother, my niece, Liesl. As I have said in other blog posts, this was a very simple quilt. I just sandwiched the fabric, backing and filling and quilted it on the sewing machine. Added a binding and lable and voila, a quilt. My niece loves the quilt and it has found a permant place in her living room for Lyla to play on. She loves that she can throw it in the washing machine and dryer as needed. My only concern is for the label, just not sure how permanent the permanent ink is. LOL. So, here goes, I'm off to see if I can upload the pictures.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Update

I have been horrible about keeping up with this blog and doing my quilting. I did manage to get Lyla's quilt finished enough to take it with me to America and finish the hand stitching once I got there. Pictures are still on Marco's camera or maybe somewhere on the computer but I haven't looked yet. Liesl (my niece and Lyla's mother) loved the quilt. It's the same quilt as the one for Hayden Zuiderhoek with a slight different binding. Little Lyla was already enjoying her quilt before we left. She was just learning to turn over and every time you lay her on her back on the quilt, she'd raise her legs up and flip over. Of course, her little arms were stuck under her for a while until she managed to get them out. I now have to make the quilt for granddaughter, Hayden Grace. Hers will be identical to Lyla's except in blue as you can see on an earlier blog post. I searched tonight for fabric to make a quilt for my great nephew, Wyatt Garin. He was born just before we left for vacation. Didn't get to see him since he's in Colorado and we were in Texas. I found a site with an adorable patchwork block fabric called Buck-A-Roo Baby Patchwork Panel. I think it's just perfect since Holly's horse gave birth last year to a colt that they named Buckaroo. They are a "cowboy" family and this will be perfect for Wyatt's quilt. I'll order the panel and backing fabric later in the week. I'm still plugging away on Zoe's Winnie-the-Pooh quilt. I don't have all that much left, but it's being done by hand, so it's taking me a lot longer than I originally thought. I hope it will fit her toddler bed that she'll probably be sleeping in by the time I get it finished. I'm bad, I know. We won't even talk about the other quilts on my list of quilts to finish. I've got my time cut out for the next couple of years for sure. Hope there aren't any more babies coming any time soon. LOL