I’ve always loved making crochet blankets!
There’s something about the commitment, the discipline, the time that’s spent concentrating on the person who’ll receive your labor of love. The bigger the project, the more intricate the stitch, and I’m in love! Once I understood the concept of crochet, I set out to make a blanket! It was a pretty big task for a newbie and someone with hyperactivity…oh, and four children!
I went to the yarn store, bought three skeins of cotton yarn in three different colors and a size P hook. I had no pattern, no directions….just a dream and determination! I used all three strands of yarn, crocheted a long enough chain to go from one side of my body to the other, and started stitching up single crochet rows! I mean, what gets cooler than a huge single crochet blanket!? This blanket taught me so many lessons. First off, I learned that a huge single crochet blanket is ridiculous to complete if you’re a newbie! I also learned the importance of counting your stitches every few rows! That’s why this blanket is so dang wonky! Most importantly, I learned how to be patient with the process and with myself! As you can see in the picture, I still have this blanket after all these years! I sleep with it every night. It’s been washed hundreds of times, traveled with me to different states, comforted sick kids and grandbabies, and is the most valuable thing I own!
and I’m still captivated with making crochet blankets!
I want to take you on the journey to publishing my first crochet blanket pattern! If you’ve followed my journey the last 18 months on Instagram, you would have seen the development of me as a person and as a crochet business. Finding my niche was difficult. There were times when I felt like I wanted to give up. Too often, I had a bad case of ‘comparison’ and it caused me to lose heart. After taking a much-needed break from social media and from my business, I came back with a strong sense of what I wanted to focus on and the direction I wanted my business to go. I’ve rebranded and launched Sweet Bird Crochet with her very first crochet blanket pattern!
There’s so much that goes into designing any crochet item! Sometimes, inspiration hits you and other times you have to search for it. Yet, other times…it develops as you put hook to yarn. That’s kind of what happened with my Waves of Grace pattern. I knew what I wanted my blanket to look like, but I had no idea the journey I would have to travel to make this pattern my own!
It started with three skeins of yarn, but this time I didn’t crochet them all together. I wanted to showcase my brand colors, which is a story in and of itself! The blue hue in my brand colors resemble my Indian Ringneck Parrot, Kalani. She’s the sweet bird that inspired the name of my business and its logo!
Well, off to Hobby Lobby I went and found the perfect colors for the vision I had in my head! Not to mention, ‘I Love This Yarn’ has such a soft feel and the quality is outstanding for the cost. (especially when it’s on sale!)
My hook came just in time!
I was planning on using a size H/8 (5 mm) crochet hook for this project and didn’t expect my new hook to arrive in time! I found this fella on Instagram who makes ergonomic crochet hooks that are STUNNING! I mean, his hooks look like art! I had shared some of his posts in my Insta stories and a dear friend of mine sent me a gift card to purchase one of his hooks! I felt so humbled that she would bless me with such a wonderful gift!
I knew the exact hook I wanted! It took me no time at all to place my order for a Purple Echinops with spalted tamarind ends! I know, it’s a mouthful! The purple Echinops, also known as a
globe thistle, looks like a golf ball shaped hedgehog at the end of a stick! They’re part of the daisy family…kind of like a weird but fun cousin! The picture really does do the details of the hook justice! It’s much more beautiful in person!
This is in no way a paid promotion for Bryan’s hooks. I just really value the art he creates, and I wanted to show off my beautiful hook! Go check out Bryan’s hooks and read how he got into hand turning crochet hooks at nelsonwood.net and continue reading to find out what happened to my hook before I finished the blanket!!
But seriously, this hook is gorgeous! Here’s a close-up!
From the moment the yarn wrapped around my hook…
I felt like God began to speak to me about grace. His voice was first heard in a conversation I had with my daughter, who is currently in prison. She was supposed to be transferred to a different facility, but she wasn’t medically cleared. They had to run a few more tests to figure out why she’s been experiencing a great amount of fatigue and weight changes. I thought the weight gain could’ve been because she was no longer using drugs. Our next phone call, the following week, proved me wrong. They found a mass on her thyroid.
They did a biopsy on her neck, and we were shaken when the results were confirmed that she indeed had thyroid cancer. The word cancer is hard enough to hear…but when it’s said about your child…it’s devastating! The doctor’s told her thyroid cancer is the “easiest” cancer to deal with, albeit we were still shook! Cancer is cancer, no matter how “easy” it is to deal with! I wanted to run into that prison, wrap my arms around my daughter, and hold her as she cried. But…I couldn’t. The moment we got off the phone, the floodgates of my soul opened before God.
“I don’t understand what you’re doing!!” I cried to God. There were a lot of things I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand why God didn’t move the judge to sentence my daughter to enter treatment rather than prison. I didn’t understand why she was transferred to the facility she’s in instead of the facility she was supposed to go to. I didn’t understand why, on top of everything she was struggling with in prison (like bullying, fights, stealing property, and yes rape), was she also having to deal with cancer! For two weeks I grieved and waited to find out the next steps.
I had spoken with her a few times over those two weeks, and I could tell she was scared. A mom knows those kinds of things without her child having to say anything. Especially in the environment she’s in, she can’t show her weakness. In a phone call one night, my daughter shared that her doctor determined they would surgically remove the cancer mass as well as her left thyroid. I could hear her voice shake as she told me that the prison wouldn’t allow her to know the date of her surgery. They don’t inform prisoners of when they’ll go for medical procedures because prisoners could plan an escape with someone on the “outs”. My mother heart sank to my stomach.
I don’t see my daughter as a prisoner, nor do I look at her as an addict. I see her as my baby girl! My heart ached for my kid! As I sit here writing this, my eyes swell with tears because she was having to deal with this whole situation alone!
I didn’t hear from her for several days and then one evening my phone rang and the name of the prison was on my caller ID. I answered that call so fast and sped through the prompts to approve the call! “Hello? Hello?” “Hey mom…” a raspy voice whispered to me on the other line. Tears ran down my cheek. She told me she had had her surgery that morning and they didn’t put her in medical to recover. She was back in her unit completely unmedicated. My heart broke. We didn’t talk long because she was in pain and could hardly talk. She was alone and I couldn’t comfort her. I couldn’t bring her soup, I couldn’t lay next to her and run my fingers through her hair, I couldn’t do anything.
As I sat in my living room that evening, I worked on my blanket and prayed God’s presence would be with my daughter. As I was praying, I felt God’s grace wash over my momma’s heart. He knew how hurt my heart felt, he knew the pain my daughter was in, he knew the whole situation before we began to walk it out. All the “I don’t understand what you’re doing God” prayers began to be answered in this holy moment of comfort. As I rhythmically double crocheted down the row, I felt the Holy Spirit speak to my heart. “If she was anywhere else, she would be dead.” His still small voice sank deep into my heart and I felt His grace crash against my pain. I felt his grace wash over the cliffs of my doubt. I felt like I was sinking in the sands of the situation and his grace steadied my soul.
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (ESV)
God’s grace continued to flow…
as I sat in the ER with my husband who was having chest pain. Earlier that day he was sharing with me that he was having some discomfort in his chest. He didn’t know if it was a muscle discomfort or an issue with his heart. Later than afternoon, he headed to the hospital, which is also where he works. He said he was going to stop by the ER to let them check things out. About an hour later I get a call from my husband and his first words were, “You don’t need to be scared…” Buddy, you can’t start a sentence off with those words and NOT expect me to be concerned! The ER doc wanted to keep him overnight for observation because they found some concerns with his heart!
I didn’t start sobbing until I got off the phone with him. What in the heck was going on!? Just a few weeks before this, a dear friend of mine lost her husband. I watched her grieve, I held her as she sobbed uncontrollably. I thought that one day this could be me. I thought to myself, “how does someone recover from such a loss?” Losing a husband, a wife, a partner….just devastating! They’re the person who knows you the closest. I mean, like intimate closeness. Like two flesh become one kind of closeness. I could imagine it would be like losing a part of yourself.
I grabbed a few essentials for him and my crochet bag and headed to hospital. I stayed by his bed working on my blanket way past visiting hours. I didn’t want to leave, but he insisted I go home and take care of Kalani and Keiki (our dog). I drove home praying for God’s grace in this situation. I told God that I couldn’t handle all this! First my daughter and now my husband! “God, I’m not strong enough! I can’t do this!”
2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (ESV)
I know my husband is going to kill me for posting a picture of him sleeping but this picture comforts me. He had come home from the hospital the following day. All tests came back clear, he was to follow up with our doctor (who instructed him that he needed to eat healthy and exercise)! Talk about a wake up call!
As we sat in the living room watching T.V. that night, I worked on my blanket. I pondered on everything that happened the last several weeks and how God reminded me of his love, of his presence, and of his grace. I often forget that God’s grace is immeasurable (Ephesians 2:7). His grace isn’t shown to us only when we need it or ask for it. It’s there…always. Waves of Grace….the perfect name for this blanket. The waves of God’s grace wash over us everyday. Too often we don’t see his grace ebb and flow in our lives until there’s a crisis or we feel the need for it. Lord, help us to see your grace every day!
John 1:16 “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (ESV)
Yeah…so about my hook!
The tip broke off! It was my own fault. I was hurrying out the door and piled the blanket into a crate next to my chair. I squished the blanket down into the crate so it wouldn’t be hanging onto the floor. I heard a “click” sound and didn’t think anything of it until later that evening. I pulled the blanket out, grabbed the hook, went to insert my hook into the stitch but NO TIP! I was devastated! Luckily, Brian does repairs! I had to finish my Waves of Grace Blanket with my furls hook while my Echinops made its way back to Texas!
This pattern includes instructions for both a 40″ x 60″ throw and a 30″ x 35″ baby blanket.
Format: Downloadable PDF. Written Instructions. Pattern Support.
Materials: Acrylic Yarn, 5mm Crochet Hook, Tapestry Needle, Stitch Markers, Scissors, Measuring Tape