Cross Stitch- Crochet For a Difference

I will admit, that featuring on how crochet can make a difference locally has really helped me remained focus on what is important. Prior to working as a freelance designer and instructor I worked in public service, I there are times that I really miss the satisfaction at the end of the day knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life. So finding a way to remind myself that crocheting is a way to make an impact, is very powerful to me.

I was thinking about a simple stitch for an afghan, and my mind kept coming back to a simple cross stitch. It is made up of double crochet stitches that are, as the name states, crossed. To this stitch I work a chain in any even number, and add 1.

Row 1: Single crochet in the second chain from the hook and in each chain across, turn.

Row 2: Chain 3 (this will count as a double crochet, and not be crossed, this is the edge), [skip the next stitch, double crochet in the next stitch, now double crochet in the stitch that was skipped] repeat across, double crochet in the last stitch, turn.

Repeat Row 2 until desired length.

Final Row: Chain 1, single crochet in each stitch across.

Cross Stitch

Cross Stitch

This creates a lacy type of fabric, and works well in a wide variety of yarn types. It is a simple texture as well, creating many options of feel. One of the reasons I enjoy this stitch is that once it is set up, it almost becomes a mindless stitch pattern, since it is really pretty simple to see if I made an error, thus I do not have to count my stitches.

After working this stitch up in an afghan you may want to consider donating it to a local residential care home. In any community you may be familiar with long term care homes, or what some people call nursing homes, yet there are many smaller ones that may actually be down the street from you in a simple home. To find these locally in your community contact your local Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, this program facilitates and trains volunteers to routinely visit all sorts of care facilities to ensure that the rights of the residents are not being violated. Find your Long Term Care Ombudsman within your local Area Agency on Aging, find it here.

Inspiration is a Time Not a Thing

ScannedImageInspiration, it does come from where you think and often comes to you when you least expect it. I had an acquaintance tell me that I was an inspiration the other day. I accepted it as a compliment, but I have to admit it really got me thinking.  What makes an inspiration? Where does inspiration come from? Do I take it for granted at times?

The context of the compliment I received was in discussing what I do for a living, I am a freelance crochet designer. But I haven’t always been. Much of my life has been in public service; assisting caregivers and older adults in locating resources to help stay at home and meet their wishes for aging gracefully. (If you are needing assistance please contact your local Area Agency on Aging office, they cover the entire US, and are amazing almost hidden gems) But things changed at my local government office and circumstances changed in my life, there was no longer a match that was positive for both of us, so the little design hobby that I began a year earlier was now my full time passion.

When explaining this story, probably with a little more gusto and some extra details that don’t really add to the basic premise, I had inspired this acquaintance. When I asked how, they told me because I had the courage to step out of what I had already known and believed in myself. That is a powerful statement.

I never really thought of my life in that manner before, believing in myself and taking a risk, it was just the option available to me at the time. But I guess in a sense they are right. In the last 2 years that I have been doing this work, it has changed how I look at things, but that is a discussion for another day.

Usually when I think of inspiration it is something “out there” somewhere in the universe, but really we are all inspirations to each other. The simple decisions, which each of us makes, reflect to others and encourage them to find more in themselves.  Our growth is unseen to us, but noticed by others, making a difference that we cannot even recognize.  It is kind of like kids growing over summer, they haven’t realized that they grew an extra two inches in three months, the parents may not have directly noticed it either, but when they put the school close back on of the first day, or grandma comes to visit, you find the pants that are well above the ankles and that grandma is not bending down to give hugs; growth has happened.MP900070786

So I guess inspiration is that point in time when you see or hear something that you really need to, in order to help point you in a new direction, and open up possibilities in your mind of where you want life to take you. Inspiration isn’t a thing, it’s a time. Even artistically this can apply, one day a sunset can inspire a new stitch pattern or color way for a design, other days it is just a sunset.