Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Charity Feature- Scarves for Special Olympics

I started crocheting the summer before my sophomore year in college and quickly became, well, hooked. I was lucky enough that my college had a knitting group and I went dutifully every week for the conversation, the relaxation, and a dedicated time to work on my projects. While there, I heard some of the members talk about various charity groups for which they occasionally made projects. Of course, the most popular was Warm Up America! and I certainly donated quite a few rectangles (of which I'll discuss in a later post).
However, this summer I got bored with my usual charity projects, as horrible as that sounds. They felt stagnant and the initial motivation I had for them waned significantly. So, I went to http://www.dailycrocheter.com/ and looked around for some new charity ideas.
As many people know, I work with adults with MR/DD (mental retardation and developmental delays) to teach them job skills to find employment within the community at large. It's a job I absolutely love and my hope is to become an Occupational Therapist with a specialty in the MR/DD population. So, when I found Scarves for Special Olympics at Daily Crocheter, I knew instantly what my new charity project would be.
The Special Olympics is collecting donations of handmade, knitted or crocheted scarves to give out to all participants, coaches, and volunteers during each participating state's Winter Games. Scarves need to be 6" wide and between 54"-60" long, including fringe. They also must be made from Red Heart Supersaver yarn in Cherry Red or Soft Navy, or in Red Heart Soft Navy or Really Red. They may be in any pattern, but must fit the above mentioned guidelines. When completed, pick a state from those that are participating to get the mailing information. The majority of states are participating, so pretty much everyone should be able to send them to their home state (or adopted state). If you need any more information, the guidelines website is:http://www.scarvesforspecialolympics.org/states
I have made and sent about 9 scarves to Special Olympics WV, as pictured below. My goal is to donate at least ten, dependent upon how many other items people ask me to make for them.

This is a project that is near and dear to my heart, and I would love to see more people participating!
Please check out Scarves for Special Olympics on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scarves-For-Special-Olympics/311814935551?ref=ts

If you are interested in making donatable projects, I highly suggest visiting http://www.dailycrocheter.com/charity.php and http://cache.lionbrand.com/cgi-bin/pg.fcgi?page=charityConnectionTemplate.html for some fantastic suggestions.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mary Jane Slippers

Hello darling readers!
Sine June, I've been crocheting Mary Jane-inspired slippers for myself and family members. I got the inspiration from another crafter who mentioned that she learned to crochet simply to make these adorable shoes.

The first pattern I found is the most complicated and fits only the smaller-sized feet (US sizes 5.5-8) However, I found this pattern to "finish" more cleanly and, honestly, I find the final product to be cuter. These shoes take about 1.5-2 hours per shoe to make.
Here's how my first pair turned out:

Here is the link to the pattern: http://thelittlehousebythesea.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/free-pattern-for-mary-jane-slippers/
* I found it necessary to do the counting (as tedious as it may be) in order to get everything to turn out so nicely. I also highly recommend the use of stitch-markers to mark the decrease spots.

The second pattern I found is much easier- I had it memorized after one shoe! Another benefit to this pattern is that it is super easy to adapt for larger-sized feet (I made them for size 10 and 11 feet). Another bonus is that they only take about an hour per shoe to make- super quick! However, I did not find the finishing of the project to go as neatly as the prior pattern and they feel a little floppy on my feet, although that might be because I made the shoes several sizes to large for me.
Here's how the pairs I made turned out:

Here is the link to the pattern:
*Make sure to read the comments below the pattern. They give suggestions for how to modify the pattern to your foot size.

And so it begins...

Welcome to my cozy corner of Mountaineer Heaven (or, absolute hell, as I will be calling it in a few short months when it really starts to snow). I'm a fairly recent transplant to "Almost Heaven"- I moved here about a year ago from the beach and lived all over the United States prior. I'm a full time student doing prepwork for WVU's Occupational Therapy program and I work part-time with adults with MRDD. I'm addicted to HGTV and The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
My little slice of the world-wide-web will focus on my love of crochet, my spoiled rotten fur-babies, and any rants my poor husband is tired of hearing. Be prepared: I will throw in some French. I'll translate, don't worry!
So, darling readers, the Crafty Mountaineer welcomes you her life in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia!