Today I have a real treat for you. My “crochet guru” Jen has kindly created a very special crochet pattern that I’m sure you’ll love as much as I do.
I’ll let Jen explain the pattern herself, but please don’t just “skip” this post if you’re not a crocheter. The pattern is actually remarkably simple once you understand the basics and I shall be having a go at it myself once I get some yellow yarn. And even if you are absolutely certain you’ll never pick up a crochet hook, you could still get a hold of the end product, courtesy of Jen’s generosity and a little giveaway we have planned. So read on and all will be revealed…
I’ve known Amanda since she was a teenager. It seems pretty incredible now that the only time we actually met in person was a luncheon in Glastonbury in 2006.
The world of online community brings people together in a way they never could before. Where else could the inquiring mind of a middle aged American woman with a family meet the inquiring mind of an English university student under circumstances in which they become friends? Seriously, I ask you?! It’s an amazing thing, and even more amazing now that she is married (hi Tim!) and expecting a son soon. (I, on the other hand, am still a middle aged American woman!)
But I digress! It’s not only inquiring minds that Amanda and I share, we share a love for crafting. Between us, we’ve shared ideas, recipes, patterns and tips. I’ve used her as an excuse to try my hand at projects like the beaded Dream Tree…
…the crocheted cabled Tree of Life afghan…
…and to create the best mix cd of love songs EVER.
I’ve felt helpless though in sharing her journey through endometriosis. While I could offer moral support, it upset me to see the physical, emotional and mental pain it’s brought to her over the years. We’ve all felt it, wanting to fix something for someone who is suffering… it’s very difficult to feel helpless isn’t it?
Normally when I am feeling helpless, I practice ‘random acts of kindness’ and they help me feel more connected not only to the ‘family of man’, but to my own priorities. I help the old woman at the grocery to reach her favorite jam on the top shelf (I’m tall, it happens). I pick up someone’s tab at a restaurant (very rewarding, you should try it!). I spend a day picking up trash at the lake (you’d be surprised how other people join in). These little extensions of myself fill me up in a way nothing else can.
Then, Amanda had an idea! Her idea is to combine my love of crafting, and crocheting in particular, with the cause of endo awareness. Brilliant! So, here we are… I created this hot water bottle cozy with a yellow awareness ribbon, in hopes it will not only bring awareness but comfort to a woman in pain.
The exact same pattern can also be used to make a tote bag, and I’ve included a pattern for a small pocket purse for carrying personal items as well (because you know we all do!).
When Amanda asked me about it, I spent a couple of days simmering with ideas. I decided on this “illusion crochet” ribbon not only because it’s cool, but because it is symbolic of hidden issues, and the work so many are doing to bring them to light. If you look at it one way, it’s simply striped…
but change your perspective a little and the ribbon appears.
You can find the free pattern here. I wrote it with beginner crocheters in mind so don’t let the look intimidate you if it is a new technique. If you get stuck you can reach me through my blog with questions.
We’ve also come up with a way for you to win this one from me! (Amanda will fill in the details)
The process of creating these items reminds me that we don’t have to move mountains to make a difference, we just have to make an effort to share our gifts as they are… when we all come together and contribute in our own way, those mountains will begin to move themselves!
So, do you fancy being in with the chance of winning an awareness tote bag/hot water bottle cozy and purse? Can you picture yourself receiving all of this in the post?
For more information, help or support, please consider visiting the following websites:
MumAugust 8, 2011 at 7:55 pm
I so love Jen’s design, she is so clever. I also love the photo taken 5 years ago. Iam only putting this comment on as I loved the blog so my name can stay out of the draw to give everyone else a change to win the beautiful gifts. Good Luck to everyone who enters.
GretaAugust 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm
As an old friend of Jennifer’s who also has Endometriosis, I feel for you – literally! I love these bags: both the hot water bottle cozy and the tote. Well done Jen and Amanda!