Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bistro Knits

My friend Lynn Lundgren invited me to join her Tuesday night from 7:00-9:00 at Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, at 3905 N. Lincoln Avenue, for their monthly knit night, Bistro Knits. It's a lovely group of gals, and they didn't shun me for crocheting -- on the contrary, they embraced me as one of their own, and two of the knitters even got up and stood behind me to watch me crochet because they want to learn. While I was there, I finished the turquoise shawl I was making for myself, and Sue, the benevolent hostess of Bistro Knits, announced that I'd finished my project and asked me to hold it up for the assembly to admire, at which time the lovely ladies clicked their knitting needles together repeatedly -- knitters' applause!! Do you love it?? I asked what I was to do if a knitter finished a project, being that I just have the one hook, and one of the girls generously suggested that I click my crochet hook on my scissors. Lovely!

Sue had four tables reserved on the left side of the pub area of the Bistro. Those tables quickly filled up. There were about a dozen ladies who attended the festivities Tuesday. There were pitchers of water and cups on the tables so the assembled could stay hydrated. Of course, if I'm crocheting in a bar, I must have a cocktail. And when in Dublin, do as the Dubliners, right? So I had a pint of Guinness. They have a nice menu, and I ordered the Fish and Chips, which are served with ramekins of malt vinegar, tartar sauce, and a delicious curry ketchup.

Everyone was very welcoming and friendly, and I'm definitely going to mark my calendar for May's Bistro Knits. I have to miss April's because I'm taking a figure drawing class -- I'm one of those creative types, don'tcha know!! But if you're available on the last Tuesday of the month, I suggest that you head on over to Mrs. Murphy's for Bistro Knits. You'll leave with a bunch of new friends!

As always, my angels, peace, love and yarn. I'll be back on Tuesday!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Prayer Shawl Ministry

A couple of years ago, I was at Hobby Lobby in Batavia and I learned of this movement called the Prayer Shawl Ministry. It's pretty awesome, really. It's very cathartic for the crafter and very comforting to the recipient. The shawls themselves represent comfort -- it's like the recipient is being hugged by the giver. The idea is that the stitcher prays for the recipient before beginning the shawl, then prays upon completion of the shawl, thus praying blessings INTO the shawl. Those blessings will be passed on to the recipient of the shawl. I made one for my Aunt Linda when my Uncle Ed passed away. There's really no need to get all organized about it. You don't need to join a club or sign anything. You can just do it yourself for people you know.

Prayer shawls don't only have to be used in cases of bereavement, though that's a really good time to receive one, believe me!! They can also be given to someone who's having health issues or someone who's just stressed out. They're also nice to give on happy occasions -- they can be used for birthdays, baby or wedding gifts, baptisms, confirmations, graduations, a remembrance of home for a kid going to college, seeing a long-lost friend -- any reason you might give someone a hug is a great reason to give that person a prayer shawl. The important thing is the prayers, blessings, and positive energy for the recipient that you stitch into that shawl.

For more information about the Prayer Shawl Ministry, you can click here.

Following is the pattern I used for the prayer shawl I gave to my aunt. It's easy, and the final product is really lovely.

3 Balls Homespun
Size K Crochet Hook
Finishing Needle

Ch 3.
Row 1: Work 2 hdc in 3rd ch from hook.
Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as hdc and ch 1, here and throughout), turn, 2 hdc in 1st hdc, hdc in next hdc, ch 1, hdc in top of t-ch – 5 hdc and 2 ch-1 sps.
Row 3: Ch 3, turn, hdc in 1st ch-1 sp, 2 hdc in next hdc, hdc in each of next 2 hdc, ch 1, hdc in last ch-1 sp – 7 hdc and 2 ch-1 sps.
Row 4: Ch 3, turn, hdc in 1st ch-1 sp, 2 hdc in next hdc, hdc in each hdc across to last ch-1 sp, ch-1, hdc in last ch-1 sp – 9 hdc and 2 ch-1 sps.
Repeat Row 4, increasing 2 hdc every row as established, until piece measures 35 in. (89 cm) from beginning.
Fasten off.

Weave in ends.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Summer Crochet Ideas

Lots of people think that crocheting is just a cold weather activity. This couldn't be further from the truth! If you think I'm making this up, Google "crochet bikini" (special message to my mom: please don't Google "crochet bikini". Some of the pictures might upset you!!).

You can crochet all sorts of stuff with sport weight or cotton yarn in the summer. You can make lightweight lacy tops, handbags, shopping bags, hats, shawls -- I just finished a GORGEOUS one in a beautiful shade of turquoise with an iridescent thread. And don't forget Amigurumi, the adorable Japanese crocheted stuffed toys. You can do a Google Image Search for that, Mom!

Did you know you can crochet jewelry? You can! I have several patterns for bracelets and necklaces, and just saw some cute crocheted earrings!

I also like to crochet dish cloths with Lilies and Cream yarn. They're easy, portable, and quick, and they will scrub egg and cheese off of your dishes without scratching. They're also durable -- my mom's got some from the late '70s, I believe.

So don't give up your crocheting just because the snow isn't flying. There's always something adorable you can make! Peace, love and yarn, everyone!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I'm Ba-ack!!

I can't believe I haven't blogged since the end of January!! But between the opera season, the band, and many, many crochet projects, I simply haven't had the time! Now opera season is winding down, so I make my triumphant return to the blogosphere.

During my radio silence, my non-sexual co life partner Matt Dans threw a very successful cupcake auction benefit for DQMO at our favorite spot, The Glenwood, and I was asked to crochet cupcake hats to auction off. As most of you know, when people ask me if I can crochet something out of the ordinary, my usual response is, "Of course I can!" So I did a little research and came up with my own design. I did a vanilla one with pink frosting

and a chocolate one with sprinkle frosting.

They were very popular, and the adorable guy who won the chocolate one (I never did catch his name) kept enthusiastically presenting me to his friends as the girl who made his hat. Adorable!!

The Thursday night Stitch 'n' Bitch is still going on. I've gotten some new members, which is nice! I put up new fliers that are getting some attention -- probably because I used this picture.

I'm going to keep going all summer because there's awesome stuff you can crochet during the summer, which I'll go into in more detail in Thursday's post. And yes, I am going back to two posts a week on my blog. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be the days that I post.

Glory Chain is playing at the Glenwood next Monday, March 26, at 7:00 as part of Lifeline Theatre's Music and Stories series. Come check us out!

That's all the news for now -- I gotta go vote!! As always, dolls, Peace, Love and Yarn.