crochet

How can I justify crocheting while my children are home for the summer?

There only a few weeks until summer. A few weeks until my three children are running around the house all day long. I have been so busy this year helping in school and working on end of the year teacher gifts that I didn’t realize how soon this is coming. I am a mom of three children and I use to be a teacher, so it is very important to me that we fit in some educational activities over the summer. So I have since started to prepare. I bought workbooks at Five Below, writing paper and craft supplies off Amazon, and made a list of day trips that were both fun and educational. I also took a trip to a used bookstore to stock up on more challenging books.

Crochet, reading, summer,  crochet for kids, children who love to read

As I rushed to prepare for the chaos of summer, I realized I prepared for my kiddos education and enjoyment but neglected to consider how to deal with my own sanity. Well of course that does involve crochet, so I made a second column of next to my list for the kids and placed projects I wanted to make on it. However, it seemed crazy that those two things had to be separated all summer. I am one of those people who can’t but do five things at once and also because I have more to do than hours in a day.

It occurred to me that I could work on crochet projects that could be turned into educational activities for my kids.  There are so many great projects out there that you could make almost anything and find an education purpose for it. With this inspiration, I have decided to start a 6 week series with crochet items you can make and how you can repurpose it into an educational activity with your kids.

The first project I am going to feature is by Loops and Love Crochet.  This very talented designer made a very beautiful Crochet Valentine’s Day Countdown Calendar.  When I saw this, the uses for this after Valentine’s day exploded. Why not relax and crochet something fun that you can use with your children.  My very first thought was to use this for reading. One of the most important tasks children need to do over the summer is to read books. The more they read the more their language will explode and of course they need to work on comprehension as well.  Most kids aren’t overly thrilled to dissect a book when they could be outside playing or other activities unrelated to school. This project would be a great tool to motivate kids to read.

Here are some activities you could try.  After they complete the activities for 7-14 days, they would receive an incentive.  It could be things such as extra time or an extra trip to the park, extra tablet time, new craft supplies, going to the store to buy a new book, or whatever works best for your kiddos.

Reading

  • Each day your child reads they place the heart in the next number.  
  • This Valentine’s Countdown Calendar can be used to track how many books the student has read.  The goal would be to read 14 books in a certain period of time.
  • Novel study questions
  • Take 14 pieces of paper and write a new vocabulary words on each card.  Each day pull out the card. Look up the word in a dictionary. Read it in a sentence.  Discuss the meaning. Write a sentence using the word.

Math

  • Place a heart in each number after they have completed a worksheet filled with addition or subtraction problems.
  • Place a heat in each number as they learn to count by 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, etc.
  • Place a heart in each number as they learn each set of multiplication facts.
  • Place a heart in each number as they learn their division facts each day.
  • Create two hearts and place each one in a number.  The child will then have to add, subtract, multiply, or divide those numbers.  After they complete that problem, place the two hearts in two different numbers and do it again.  
  • Place photos of shapes in each pocket.  Discuss what the shape is and what items in the real world are that shape.
  • Learn how to work with decimal numbers. Each time they master a decimal place put the heart in the next number.

Younger Children

  • Place a new letter or number in each pocket.  Each day they go over the letter or number.
  • Print photos of animals or objects.  Each day show them the photo and teach them to identify the animal or object.

There will be more educational posts throughout the summer. If you would like to be one of the first to know when I post them subscribe to my emails. You will also receive a free graph pattern when you sign up.

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crochet

Comparing Worsted Weight Yarn

crochet, colors, double crochet, stitches, gauge, clover hook, yarn, blocks, size, worsted weight, compare, comparing, comparison, labels, ounces, yards, colors, name brands, width, height, question, hook,

I have a tendency to go all out when I am giving a gift. There is nothing I love more than taking a photo of something else they absolutely adore and turning that into a pattern to make them a blanket. Most of the time I am designing a blanket with a dog and other times I am designing something more colorful. I usually encounter one major problem. There is no brand of yarn that has every color you could possibly need. Although some do come close there is always a shade of brown that one brand makes and another shade I need by another brand. I then find myself standing in the craft store trying to compare the thickness of each yarn as well as the gauge.

When I design these blankets, I usually use color work or corner to corner. Now for the colorwork blankets, the rows become uneven and wavy if I don’t use brands who are similar in size. With corner to corner, you can get away with yarns that are slightly different in size but it just looks and flows better if you can match yarn sizes as close as possible. I then find myself make several swatches trying to identify the yarns closest in size. Months or years later, I would start another blanket making the swatches again, sometimes with the same brands. In an effort to save time, I tried to search for any sights that compared yarn sizes but there were minimal resources for that with limited yarns that were compared.

That is why I have decided to create list of worsted weight yarns so you can compare their sizes. I will use an I/5.5mm hook and make each swatch 27 dc sts by 15 rows. There will be the width and height of each block places into a chart, so you have a resource to compare the different sizes of worsted weight yarn. There will be no more standing in the yarn isle comparing yarns to find similar brands in the colors you need. There will be no more swatching every yarn to see how similar they are. There will be no more buying every brand to try out because you don’t know how the different brands of yarn compare. You can now just look at this chart to see how close in size they are.

NameColorWidthHeightFiberOuncesYards
Premier
Everyday
Steel7″6 1/2″Anti pilling Acrylic3.5-4 oz180-203
Big Twist ValueDamson Purple7 1/4″6 5/8″Acrylic5-6 oz297-371
Red Heart SoftMinty6 5/8″6″Acrylic4-5 oz204-256
Red Heart Super
Saver
6 7/8″6 5/8″Acrylic5-7 oz236-364
Caron One
Pound
Rose7 3/4″7 3/8″Acrylic16 oz812
Vanna’s ChoiceSilver Grey6 3/8″6 1/4″Acrylic3.5 oz170
I Love this CottonRed6 3/4″6 7/8″Cotton3.5 oz180
Caron Cakes6 5/8″6 1/4″80% Acrylic
20% Wool
7.1 oz383
Studio Classic
by Nicole
Antique White7 3/8″7″Acrylic7 oz
14.1 oz
372
744
Caron Simply
Soft
Neon Pink6 3/8″6 3/8″Acrylic4-6 oz208-315

So far I have only added a handful of yarns, but I am hard at work making more swatches to add to the collection. If there is a yarn you would like to see or information you would like listed that isn’t already, please feel free to send me a message!