Ruffle Crochet

I like ruffles. Just ask my coworkers—I don’t think more than a day or two goes by that I don’t show up at the office in them. It was one of the things that drew me to this blanket, which I’ve made much progress on over the last few months! I’ve experimented with different techniques and I think I’ve finally figured out what works the best: Once you have your first row of stitches (in a circle), do two or three more rows at a two-to-one ratio—or even triple it if you want a lot of fullness—stitches, then finish it off with a one-to-one ratio of stitches in each row. Once you like the size, gather up the edges with a row of single crochets and you’re set!

Round and Round We Go

Inspired by this blanket—found where else but Pinterest—I’ve started crocheting again. The actual pattern is available online (just click on the image, it’s part of the Picasa gallery), but I’m not a fan of following patterns so I’m making it up as I go along! Here’s what I have done so far… I’ll keep posting progress reports, this one’s going to take a while!

Give Back

Today I am proud to feature artists who are creating beautiful work and using it to give back to their communities. In the last 18 months, the demand for charity and non-profit services has increased while those giving to these services has declined dramatically. Kudos to those who still manage to set a little aside for those less fortunate.

Erin of Undefined Village will donate all proceeds (about 80% of purchase price) from her “Homeless” print to a non-profit animal shelter in an effort to help curb the overcrowding of these facilities.

Erin of Reul Iuil gives the proceeds from everything in her shop to various charities. Purchasing the baby blanket above benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the entire cost of the scarf below goes to Book Aid International. Erin says she has always enjoyed crafting for family and friends and she wanted to find a way to spread the goodwill.

Last but not least, in my non-letterpress etsy shop, a number of prints benefit Project Liberia. Bulleh Bablitch-Norkeh, a Liberian who moved to Wisconsin in her teens, began Project Liberia as a personal project to help her relatives and others living in a country torn apart by 14 years of civil war. Project Liberia is now a growing non-profit dedicated to enabling Liberians to improve their own lives and the lives of their families through a variety of projects including building a community center, beginning a micro-loan program and cleaning the litter of war from the streets.

Bablitch-Norkeh is currently on her third trip to Liberia, distributing clothing to orphanages, soccer equipment (a way to keep kids busy in a productive way and keep them out of trouble) and overseeing the final stages of the community center.