My knitting needles have been clicking at high speed these days with knitted gifts that needed to be turned around quickly. That being said, there is nothing more meaningful to me than knitting with a purpose. I love to have an intention that gives me the opportunity to focus on someone really important and make a gift to show them what they mean to me.
My girlfriend, Kathy Friend, has been such a gift to me. She is the first person I call when I need help with a big event in my life. She has helped me find clothes that fit, she helps me feel more confident by guiding on me on good style choices, and she is my sounding board on the difficulties of working from home. She is my friend through and through. It is rare that you find someone that genuine in your life and I am so thankful for her friendship.
For over six years, Kathy and her husband have been trying to adopt a little girl named Anya from Russia. There has been much paperwork, many hurdles, and so many life lessons that they have garnered from this experience. After waiting this long, they are in Russia now to get their little girl. My heart skips a beat when I think about it.
I wanted to create a gift for Anya that would be meaningful and hopefully remind her of coming home. I made another Bon Bon Baby Blanket but larger, that could be her travel blanket as they make the flight from Russia to America. It was done in all of the colors of the US flag as she comes to America, to live with her family that love her more than life itself.
Please keep the Friend family on your prayer list as they finish the final details of bringing Anya home. It is such a big moment of transition for all of them and I am so full of hope for this little family!
Welcome to America Travel Blanket
Pattern: Sweet Bon Bon Blanket by Suzanne Middlebrooks (available as a free download for Ravelry members)
Needle Size: US 9 Needles
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun Candy Cane Red, Lion Brand Homespun Hepplewhite (used as the garter stitch section throughout the entire blanket), and Lion Brand Homespun Blue Sky Montana
Notes: Homespun yarn is definitely not my first choice when it comes to a baby blanket. For a travel blanket though, this yarn worked really well and created a beautiful design throughout the pattern with the mix of colors. If you were creating a baby blanket though, cotton yarn would definitely be my first choice!
This pattern is a great one for a beginning knitter and the only stitch you need to know is the kfbf combination, which I found how to do on You Tube. Because of the width of this blanket (a cast on of only 96 stitches) it comes together very quickly and it makes a beautiful chevron pattern with a garter edge.
I stuck to the 96 stitch cast on and just made the blanket longer so it could be draped over her legs. My little Emily was a great helper and held my yarn for me as well as letting me use her as a model for travel blanket sizing.
I could not be more proud with how this turned out. It did take a lot longer to make then I had thought (four weeks almost), but I am so proud of the results!
I hope it will be something special for her and something that she will be able to snuggle up with for a long time. Welcome to America, Anya! We can’t wait to meet you!
When my I spoke to one of my girlfriends and found out that her mom was ill, I wanted to do something… anything to help her. For me, learning to knit was as much a gift to myself as it is a gift to others. I asked what color was her mother’s favorite and she shared with me that her mom really loved pink. I put my needles on a speed of eleven, and worked on this shawl for hours at a time until it was done. I wanted it to be there when she needed it most.
I wanted this prayer shawl to offer warmth and comfort while still being fashionable and something that I myself would wear. I went back to my favorite shawl pattern, “Alice’s Lace Shawl” by Alice Beck in the The Prayer Shawl Companion book.
For me, half of the beauty of a prayer shawl is in the details. It isn’t just the knitting that makes it beautiful, it is the personalization that is created for that special person. I found the beautiful cross charm at Michael’s in the jewelry section. It was $7.99, but I used my 40% off coupon. The yarn was marked down to $2.99 a ball and it took two balls to create.
I used ribbon from my ribbon stash to pull it together and printed a prayer out for her that came from the book that is highlighted above. It was printed on pink polka dotted paper that I already had in my craft supplies. Tucked in tissue, it was shipped Priority and sent to the sweet recipient to let her know she is being prayed for by someone who has yet to even meet her.
Pretty In Pink Lace Shawl
Pattern: Alice’s Lace Shawl by Alice Beck (from The Prayer Shawl Companion Book)
Needle Size: US 13 Needles
Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky Solid in Antique Rose (2 Skeins)
Notes: Prayer shawls can be simple or complicated, but the idea behind them is that they are woven together with yarn and with prayer. As you create them, you pray for the person and ask God that the shawl can offer them comfort through difficult times.
I found a fantastic book on prayer shawls called The Prayer Shawl Companion by Janet Bristow & Victoria A. Cole-Galo. The book offered thirty-eight different patterns that could be used to create a unique prayer shawl for someone in need. In the pattern book, I chose, “Alice’s Lace Shawl,” because the pattern had only one row of pattern and then a row of purling and a row of knitting. It was simple enough that I could concentrate on prayer and complex enough that it created a scalloped edge with just enough lace, while still being warm.
This project took me six days of straight knitting every single moment that I had. The lace shawls that I created with Homespun Yarn knitted up much, much faster than this one, but they didn’t have any pink Homespun at Michael’s so I had to go with a less bulky yarn.
Disclosure: The knitting book link is an affiliate link and is provided so you can locate the book quickly and easily. Feel free to order a book, but we encourage utilizing the library system and buying me some yarn instead. Wouldn’t that just be so much more lovely?
What crafts have you been working on? How do you benefit others with your crafting abilities?