Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kelly and Shelly's Heart Garlands

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; is love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1

Around my house are reminders of truths we find in God's Word, and this year in February, I'm going to have heart garlands that will remind me of God's love for us!

Back in the Fall of 2014 my friend Michelle {Shelly} and I began learning some different patterns of shapes like stars, leaves, snowflakes, and it all started when someone asked her to make a rainbow heart garland like this one. So she started working on finding a free pattern and tweaking it to make her own. And now I just made up a mini-heart pattern! Shelly likes the "sassy" point of the heart I make! I like how each of the patterns are super simple and can be made quickly. This is my first time ever writing or sharing patterns like this, so hopefully you all can get it!

Here are the two patterns seen in the collage above.

Kelly's Mini-Heart Pattern

Hook Size: Any!
Yarn: Any!
This pattern is written in US terms

ch= chain stitch
sc= single crochet
hdc= half double crochet
dc= double crochet
sl st= slip stitch

To begin you have two options. You can start with a Magic Ring (which I learned how to do here, or do a quick search on YouTube), or you can start with Chain 4, and sl st in to the first chain to create a loop.

*Note: With the Chain 4 start, you will want to crochet your stitches OVER your tail from where you attached your yarn to your hook. This will allow you to pull the center of your heart tight, closing the hole.

Each stitch is made in to the center of the ring (be it a Magic Circle or Chain 4 Loop)- not in to the stitches.

Ch 1
1 dc
2 tr
1 dc
1 hdc
Mini Picot- Ch 2, sl st in to first chain
(now you will work the pattern backwards)
1 sc
1 hdc
1 dc
2 tr
Ch 1
Sl st into the center of the ring, fasten off

Pull anchor string tight to close the center of your heart and weave in ends.

Shelly's Heart Pattern

Hook Size: Any!
Yarn: Any!
This pattern is written in US terms

ch= chain stitch
sc= single crochet
hdc= half double crochet
dc= double crochet
sl st= slip stitch

Shelly always starts this with a Magic Ring, but I have had success with the Chain 4 start as well, but since this is HER pattern, I'm recommending starting with the Magic Ring. It's not as scary as it seems- I promise. This pattern in particular is a good one to use as a practice pattern to master the Magic Ring!

Round One: Crochet 11 dc in to a Magic Ring, sl st to join and pull ring tight

Round Two:
Chain 2, and in the same stitch, do 1 dc and 2 tr
2nd Stitch- 3 tr
3rd Stitch- dc, hdc
4th Stitch- hdc 
5th Stitch- hdc 
6th Stitch- (the point) hdc, ch1, dc, ch1, hdc 
7th Stitch- (now repeat backwards) hdc 
8th Stitch- hdc 
9th Stitch- hdc, dc 
10th Stitch- 3 tr 
11th Stitch- 2 tr, dc, ch 2, then slip stitch in to the first stitch, fasten off and weave in ends

These two patterns look super cute together! You can alternate them on a string to make a garland, or use one or the other. You can scatter them on a table for decoration too! 

Friday, January 2, 2015


At the beginning of 2014 I decided that I needed to brush up on my rusty crochet skills. I had learned to crochet from my mother, but I never made anything other than a scarf or dish cloth, and I wanted to change that! I made it a goal to be able to make a doily at the end of the year. It seemed somewhat lofty, but I was determined to do some fun things! Here's how the journey went...


I started the year off with something fun- a braided infinity scarf. I used a large hook, and so it had a really loose, funky feel to it. I gave it to my sister. Within 10 days of the new year, I had already made something! Fun start!

My next trick was to learn how to make a Granny Square. I like the look of them and the blankets made from them are super fun. It seemed like a simple thing that every crocheter needs to learn, and mastering this stitch has led to other projects and ideas (as you will see later).

This is the very first square I made. It was out of a beautiful burgundy yarn I got in a bargain bag. 

My bargain burgundy yarn inspired this! I made this for my grandmother, and she loved it. It was a lap blanket that fit on her lap perfectly. But alas, it is no more! Someone washed it in a regular cycle and it ripped in some places. I"m currently frogging it, and maybe it can be recycled in to something new!

I've always like those headband ear warmers- especially the ones that my friend Michelle makes! So I wanted to give that a try. At first I really wanted to make a cable knit one, but after giving it a few tries, I gave up. Maybe now I can try again, but I ended up finding a pattern that taught me the Camel Stitch. I looks like knit, but it's crochet! Again, this was a handy new stitch to learn. 

I made this pattern a few times. One I made for myself (shown below), and then I tried to make one for Norah. But that one was too small for her, so I got to give it away. Finally I made her another. But this was a quick and easy pattern that I enjoyed making. Again, this one will come up later!


Next I began to explore slouch beanies. I learned the Puff Stitch, and I think this is one of my favorite patterns I tried this year.

Haddon wanted a beanie too, so I made him a more "boyish" one!


As Easter approached, my friend Michelle and I saw a chance to do a fundraiser for earning money for our adoption. You see, we were going to need to renew our home study and order new photo books. I thought that I could make a bunch of bunnies and do an online auction called Bunnies for Books to help with the cost of getting the photo books.

As it turned out, on March 8th our lives changed forever! Karalynn joined our family and we no longer needed to raise any more funds because our adoption journey had reached its end! We didn't need to renew our home study and obviously we didn't need to order more books. So while I sat in the NICU with my new daughter, I still crocheted little squares that could be stuffed and sewn in to little bunnies that could be auctioned off for our friends for THEIR adoption fund. 

Thus began Bunnies for Baby McCain! It was so much fun, but a lot of work! These bunnies raised $300 for our friends, and it was such a joy to support them!


As you can imagine, after Kara came home, I didn't have too much time to crochet, so my projects were on hold for a little while!


I began to put Kara's room together, and she needed a blanket for the rocking chair in her room. So I went back to another Granny Square pattern, and put it together with a Classic Granny Square. I also learned a joining technique and made her a super cute blanket to go on her chair! I love it, and it might be my most favorite thing that I made this year.

It took seeking advice and learning from other crocheters. I didn't follow a pattern exactly, but pieced something together on my own. It was a long process, but I really enjoyed it and really really like the end product!


Not much was made after that major project! Again, having a little baby held up some crafting I could have been doing!

I did manage to mess around with learning a Granny Triangle though! I made Kara these sweet little barefoot sandals!

But Haddon's birthday was coming, and he wanted to have a Harry Potter birthday. He would obviously be sorted in to Hufflepuff House, so he needed a shirt and scarf to fit in with the rest of the Hufflepuffs.


I love the way his t-shirt and scarf turned out! (I kind of want a shirt for myself!)

August, September, October

In August I broke my finger! So that put the halt on crocheting. But I was able to help my little Snow White for Halloween.


In November we had a major cold snap! Norah didn't have anything to wear to keep her head warm. So I took advantage of the weather and made her something- especially since I had made a beanie for Haddon. This is another instance in which the Granny Stitch is so fun! She loves her beanie.

And, the Camel Stitch came in handy again too! I made this sweet headband ear warmer for Karalynn because of the same cold snap, and my friend Katherine liked it so much, she needed to have one for her little girl, Avery. (I also made Kara a second one that is black with silver yarn with a red bow on it- but it was a little too big! So she doesn't wear it!)

I used gold sparkle yarn to make Avery's head band perfect for the holidays! I am so happy with how it turned out- and seriously, could she be any cuter?!

Not only did I get in to these sweet head bands, but I also started making garlands for craft bazaar season! I learned how to make stars and snowflakes. Michelle and I also made different leaves to make fall garlands. What was nice about learning these patterns was that it taught me how to follow a step-by-step pattern to create a shape. 


Once craft bazaar season was over, I finished a sparkly snowflake garland for Michelle's Christmas tree. I never took a picture, but it was a pretty quick thing to make. I used the leftover white sparkly snowflakes from the season, and alternated red sparkly ones with them. I actually just saw it for the first time on her tree today, and I was glad to see that it was long enough and worked so nicely with her white, silver and red tree!

Update: SHE took a few pictures for me! So here's a little glimpse of her garland....

Then I needed to do something that I had planned on doing for most of the year, and that was make a hat for Kim. On Facebook, I participated in a "pay it forward" exercise, and I had intended to make her a beanie. So I go that done in time to give it to her on Christmas Eve! I used the same pattern that I did for Norah's beanie, but Norah's somehow became a slouch beret beanie looking thing- which was cute! So I tried to duplicate it for Kim, and I ended up making the hat the way it was supposed to be! Whoops! She still liked it, and it was fun to make it!

Then it was time to make something for myself! I had been eyeing this pattern that I found on Pinterest for a long time, and I finally had the chance to make it. It was able to do it in a couple days and finished it just in time to wear it the Sunday after Christmas! I love it! 

For this hat, I used the pattern written for the main part, and then instead of following the pattern completely, I did rows of Camel Stitch and then finished with the scalloped edging. I learned to make the flower from another tutorial. So I kind of pieced this one together on my own! I just took elements from other things I had learned.

Finally, it was time to make a doily! So the night before we left for TLC- Teen Leadership Conference- I sat down and found a pattern that looked easy enough to follow that I liked. I knew I needed to start it before we left because we would be spending New Year's Eve at the camp.And here's what I came up with!

While we were in the cold of Antelope, Oregon, I started making this beanie for Haddon to wear with his Hufflepuff scarf- because his other one just is a little too much with it! I didn't get it finished before we rang in the new year, but I did finish it this morning!

There! I actually stuck to my 2014 resolution, and it was so much fun to do! I so enjoyed the journey and love that I have things in my home that I made myself or jgot to make things for people I love. I was even able to make a little bit of money!

I think I will continue to learn and grow and make things in the new year. I already have a queue of patterns I want to try and make!