Tag Archives: Crochet

It Is Not A Hat

8 Aug

One, two, three.

Double.

One, two, three.

Double.

I count stitches until the rhythm takes over and intuition reigns,

knowing when to lift two loops over my hook in place of one.

Tiny twists capture wandering thoughts,

pulling them gently back to my hands.

In meditation,

string becomes stitches,

stitches become rows.

A form takes shape,

like clay on a potter’s wheel.

I am a machine

and I am not a machine.

It is a hat

and it is not a hat.

 

 

lambiehat

 

hat

How Is It May?

18 May

I’m sorry. How is it May already?  It’s like one day my yard was barren and grey, and the next day the whole thing had been colorized a la Wizard of Oz.  I keep finding myself surprised when my windows are full of green.

I’ve been neglecting the blog as of late.  And blogging in general.  I keep wondering who is reading all these blog posts that people write.  I barely have time to brush my teeth, and yet somebody is, because we all keep writing them.  I’d like to set aside an hour a week to just read and comment.  But which hour?

Elephant HatWhat have I been up to? Crocheting.  I want to have a new line of hats for babies and toddlers for the fall, and that means prototyping.  Nothing’s quite as horrible as spending four hours on a project only to finish it and decide you don’t quite like the look of it.  But I’m excited about the successes that have come out of all that failure and can’t wait to debut them in the shop.

Now that it’s nice out, I’ve been hiking, biking, walking, and jogging.  I’m supposed to climb a mountain in 34 days, so I’ve been working out in hopes that I won’t return from Mt. Washington in pieces.  I’ve actually GAINED weight (UGH) but I feel stronger and I have noticed my endurance improving.  It’s a good feeling, knowing that I’m taking care of my body and teaching my kids to be active and healthy.

And if I happen to pick up my computer?  I am writing, but it’s been sponsorship emails to hospitals and pieces for local media.  Between the Climb Out of the Darkness and the Warrior Mom Conference, I’m getting a crash course in marketing and PR – and thank goodness I’m a quick study.  Oh, did I not mention that I’m co-chairing the first ever Postpartum Progress Warrior Mom Conference?  Honored.  Overwhelmed.  Determined.

There really do need to be more hours in the day, because I just can’t find enough for all the things I want to do AND to watch Grey’s Anatomy while eating a sleeve of Oreos.  But I am still here.  And I’ll be back blogging before you know it.

Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

1 Dec

Snowflake Pin ImageI’m blown away that the Learned Happiness Facebook page has 102 fans!  When I starting blogging, I never expected anyone to read except maybe a few close friends.  But now, the blog has become a platform for mental health advocacy and a way to stay connected to a variety of people from all over the globe.  I’m so glad I took the plunge and began writing online.

And as promised, I’m giving away a snowflake-inspired crochet craft in celebration.  Snowflakes are my favorite way to decorate for the holidays.  They are inclusive of all the winter holidays, simple, pretty, and easy to make (at least the paper ones are).  If Buddy the Elf came and decked my halls in a flurry of white paper snowflakes, it would seriously be the best Christmas ever.

Snowflakes in progress

I’ve been crocheting, pinning, and starching these lace snowflakes for a week now and I’m in love with the results.  I might need to make a set for my tree! They can hang as ornaments with a hook or ribbon, be strung on a string, or placed as table decorations.

To win the set of three snowflakes, you have three ways to enter.  Do one, do two, do all three.  It’s up to you!

1. Leave me a blog comment telling me what holiday or holidays you celebrate and your favorite tradition.

2. Tweet about the giveaway.  Leave me a comment telling me you tweeted along with your twitter handle.

3. Follow Postpartum Progress on Facebook.  Come back and let me know you did so in a comment.  Santa’s watching, so be good.

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.  CONGRATULATIONS TO @MEGLACASSE!***

Purple Crying and Click for Babies

1 Sep

NOTE: The Click For Babies site has been hacked and is down.  The other links work.  The NCSBS hopes to get the main hat donation site back up soon.  Because the site is down, I have added information below from their site with instructions for making the hats and the address you’ll need to send them in, as well as a link to a PDF file with FAQ.

Any mother knows THAT cry.  The one that stops you in your tracks.  It makes you see your baby through tunnel vision and takes over your brain, rendering you incapable of rational thought.  All you want is some quiet.  For her to stop screaming.  For you to be able to make it better.

It’s frustrating, upsetting, and for some of us, very triggering.

Both of my girls were PURPLE criers.  PURPLE in the sense that they fit the acronym coined by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS):

Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 1.29.15 PM

While I believe my girls’ PURPLE crying was in part due to their severe milk protein intolerance, many babies  cry during their early months without explanation.  As mothers, our instinct is to respond to the crying and to want to make it better.  And if you’re anything like me, being unable to stop the crying left me feeling helpless, frustrated, and like a failure as a mom.  My inner-monologue whispered, “If you were a better mom, you’d know how to soothe her.”  My frustration combined with my postpartum anxiety led to rage with my first baby.  I would find myself bouncing her with tension in my arms and anger in my breath.  I am so thankful I never shook her or hurt her but I regret each and every moment I spent feeling fury toward my newborn girl.

I distinctly remember the signs in my hospital room on the postpartum floor where I spent two days after my youngest was born.  I stared at them while holding my newest girl and took great comfort in their information.  They described PURPLE crying and explained that having intense reactions to it is normal for parents and caregivers.  Biologically normal.  They went on to assure me that asking for help or stepping away when the crying got to be too much were signs of strength and not weakness.

And I knew I was not alone.  I was normal.

Because of my psychiatric and psychological care postpartum, in addition to my education about PURPLE crying, my response to my second child’s crying was much calmer.  I was able to hand her to my mother or my husband and step outside for a break.  I was able to put in earplugs and continue to rock her in the nursery.  It wasn’t that I was able to prevent the emotional stress or frustration, but that I was able to process and respond to my feelings with caution and responsibility.  No small feat for someone with a history of mental illness.

And now that I’m on the other side, with two children instead of two babies, I’m glad to be able to contribute to the education campaign.  The NCSBS is collecting PURPLE knit and crochet hats for their yearly Click for Babies campaign.  Their website has information about contribute a hat, has patterns for hats, and has buttons and more for sharing on social media.

From the NCSBS:

The NCSBS will be collecting purple infant hats for CLICK for Babies 2013 through October in an effort to generate awareness of and decrease infant abuse. Knitted or crocheted caps will be given to newborn boys and girls in hospitals throughout November and December to help educate parents about the evidenced based Period of PURPLE Crying, a normal, but frustrating period of increased crying all infants experience in the first few weeks and months after birth.

WAYS YOUR FOLLOWERS CAN HELP

KNIT or CROCHET infant caps using any newborn baby cap pattern. Caps should be made using any shade of soft, baby-friendly purple yarn, be at least 50% purple in color, and free of straps, strings or other potential choking and strangling hazards. For baby boys, please remember to include blues, browns, grays and other “boy friendly” colors in your cap designs.

Organize and host a “KNIT IN” or “CROCHET PARTY” …which really is just our fancy way of saying get a group together and make some hats. These make for fantastic service projects in an array of settings: school, club, community, church, family, Scouts, etc.

POST FLYERS around your school, neighborhood, work, community, church, gym, etc.  To receive flyers please contact the NCSBS.

SHARE this information! Know someone who knits or crochets? Know someone in a position to organize a service project? Give them a CALL or send them an EMAIL.

Help us spread the word through SOCIAL MEDIA. The campaign not only involves making hats, but also educating others through word of mouth and active discussions on social media: PIN, SHARE, TWEET, and YOUTUBE (see http://clickforbabies.org/spread-the-word.php).

Please drop off or send hat donations to the NCSBS at 1433 N 1075 W Suite 110, Farmington, UT, 84025 or see our website (www.clickforbabies.org) for donation sites closest to you.

CLICK FOR BABIES Frequently Asked Questions

I’ll be crocheting hats to send in and would be more than happy to teach you to do the same.  I promise you can do it!  All you need is a crochet hook and a skein of PURPLE yarn!  It’ll cost you less than $5 at your local craft store!  I’ll post a video below and will  be more than glad to answer questions on twitter or meet you on a G+ Hangout for a quick private lesson!  Just ask!  And if you can’t contribute a hat, it would be a huge help if you just share a tweet, facebook status, or post about PURPLE crying and the efforts of the NCSBS.  Thanks so much!

“CLICK FOR BABIES” PURPLE BEANIE PATTERN

Purple Beanie for Click for Babies

Using worsted weight yarn and a 5.5 mm hook (I hook)

ROW 1: 6 single crochet (sc) into a magic circle, join with a slip stitch (sl st). Chain 1

ROW 2:  2 sc in each stitch from before (12 stitches total.  When you get to 12, stop.  It will look like you need to keep going.  Don’t.) Join to the top of the first single crochet.  Chain 1.

ROW 3:  2 sc in the first stitch, 1 sc in the second stitch.  Continue this pattern around the circle, counting your stitches. (18 stitches total) Join to the top of the first single crochet.  Chain 1.

ROW 4: 2 sc in the first stitch.  Then 1 sc in the second stitch and 1 sc in the third stitch.  Continue the pattern around the circle, counting your stitches.  (24 stitches total) Join to the top of the first single crochet.  Chain 1.

ROW 5: 2 sc in the first stitch.  Then 1 sc in the 2nd, 1 sc in the 3rd, and 1 sc in the 4th stitches.  Continue the pattern around the circle, counting your stitches.  (30 stitches total)  Join to the top of the first single crochet.  Chain 1.

ROW 6: 2 sc in the first stitch.  The next 4 stitches get 1 sc each.  Continue this pattern around the circle, counting your stitches.  (36 stitches total) Join to the top of the first single crochet.  Chain 1.

This completes the crown (or the top) of the hat.

ROW 7: 1 sc in the first stitch and every stitch.  (36 stitches)  Join to the top of the first single crochet.  Chain 1.

ROWS 8-18: Repeat row 7, Join to the top of the first single crochet.  Chain 1.

ROW 19: 1 sc in the first stitch and every stitch.  (36 stitches).  Join to the top of the first single crochet and tie off.  Weave in ends using hook or yarn needle.

For a ribbed edge, stop at row 17 and use this for ROW 18: fpdc (front post double crochet) in first stitch, bpdc (back post double crochet) in second stitch.  Repeat pattern around.  Join to the top of the first fpdc and tie off.  Weave in ends.

Video Tutorial: How to make a magic circle to begin your hat.

Great YouTube Channel with easy-to-follow crochet lessons. This channel has everything you need to learn to crochet!  From how to hold your hook to how to single crochet (sc).

How to Slip Stitch to Join in the Round

Additional Links for More Information:

http://purplecrying.info

http://dontshake.org/

http://clickforbabies.org

https://www.facebook.com/NCSBS

Crocheted Happiness

27 Aug

I did something scary yesterday.  As I hit “publish,” my heart was actually pounding in my chest and I took three deep breaths to slow its thumping.

I opened an Etsy store.

Crochet Hat

I know, not really so scary, right?  Except it means I’m saying “I’m so good at something that you should buy it.”  It’s hard for me to self-promote like that.  Hard for me to believe that my work is worthy of a storefront.  And it means that I accept that there’s a possibility it will fail.

Now, I have two choices:  I can take every stat personally, every sale.  I can calculate the ratio of dollars per stitch.  I can be crushed if (when?) nobody buys anything.  OR.  Or I can focus on the value in the attempt.  I can say, “Watch me try,” like I used to as a child.  If you haven’t already, you must go read this piece by Planting Dandelions.  She hits the nail on the head.

It cost me $1 to open my store and list the hats I’ve been making just for fun.  Crochet is my self-care.  It soothes my anxiety.  I’m compulsively doing it anyway. So really, if the shop fails, I will have lost only $1 and a little bit of time.  And so I hit “publish.”

Hold me.

Etsy Shop Banner

 

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