Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Crochet a Baby Blanket

My girlfriends and I are in the middle of a really fun project. We are crocheting baby blankets to donate to the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.

"The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery is an extraordinary place. For children, it provides a haven of unconditional love and attention from adults whose only hope is to create lifetime memories of security. For parents who are overwhelmed and lack support, it’s a breath of fresh air and helps eliminate tremendous burdens.

Named in memory of Vanessa Kay Behan, a Spokane girl who died of child abuse related injuries at the age of two, we’re committed to preventing her story from happening again. Since opening our doors in 1987, we’ve cared for over 81,100 children and been a life-line of support and hope to every single parent.
This impact is completely funded by the support and generosity of committed champions who believe that keeping kids safe and strengthening families results in a more vibrant community for everyone."

I have been a knitter for over a decade. This was my first crochet project, and I was a little intimidated by the idea of switching methods. I was especially nervous about starting the "chain" - which is basically the first row of a project. However, crocheting is incredibly easy once you get going. If I am going to be honest, it is much easier than knitting. When you make a mistake you can simply pull out your mistake and easily redo; when you are knitting, you have to actually knit backwards when you make a mistake. Storing the project is much easier too. You do not have to worry about stitches dropping off a needle when you are crocheting; you can simply start from where you left off when you pick up the project the next time. This is incredibly helpful when you have a curious toddler grabbing at everything.

Here's my official invitation to you! Come and help us make baby blankets for children in need! The project is easy, you can work on it while watching TV, and it is for a great cause.

Here is what you will need:

  • 3-4 skeins of yarn.
  • 1 crochet hook (I9/5.5mm).
  • 1 cup of tea/wine.
  • Unlimited amounts of love.

Step 1: The Slip Knot

The slip knot is a good skill to master for any craft that works with textiles.

Step 2: The Chain Stitch

This is the official start to your crochet project. If this is your first project, do not get discouraged if you end up doing this step 1-10 times! Because of this, I recommend trying your first few rows on a smaller scale (7-10 stitches/chains) before tackling the big blanket. When you are ready, about 100 stitches/chains is a good width for your baby blanket.

Make sure your chain is not too tight and not too loose. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the yarn moves back and forth over the hook easily.

Step 3: Single Stitch Crochet

Once you have your chain, it is time to get started on the body of the project. This first row in the single stitch is the hardest! The same rule applies here as it does in the chain stitch: make sure you are not making your work too tight or too loose. When you turn your work to start a new row, you want to think about having the yarn on the back side of the project.

Counting your stitches is helpful for beginners to make sure the project is not getting larger or smaller. This is why I recommend practicing on a smaller scale of 7-10 stitches until you have mastered the technique.

Step 4: Keep It Up!

Turn on the TV or cue up a movie. Pop open a bottle of wine and invite your girlfriends over. One day your project will be snuggled by a little boy or girl who is in need of love. Your blanket is truly a Labor of Love.

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