Thursday, September 17, 2015

Taraduff's 2015 CAL Sampler Afghan Square #17

Life has so much beauty, but sometimes things just don't go as expected.  Hard things happen.  I remember delivering my stillborn babies, trying to make sense of what had just happened.  I remember finally accepting the fact that my beautiful daughter had autism spectrum disorder and trying to sort out what that would mean for her and our future.   I remember when my mother died unexpectedly....   After each of those experiences, I just wasn't the same person as before.  I became someone new.  I remember a well-meaning relative asking when I was going to get back to my happy energetic self a month or two after burying our sweet Daisy.  I eventually found a new rhythm, a new 'normal' if you will.  I found ways to work through my emotions.  I can't go back to being who I was before, the person she wanted me to be just didn't exist anymore.

Without going into detail, I will say that this month has brought new trials for my little family.  We are still in the trenches of this one sorting it all out - doing our best to trust that all will be well when we come out the other end.  Sometimes things I find myself facing just don't make sense and I long to go back to who I was long ago.  I often listen to my favorite Miranda Lambert Song, 'The House That Built Me'.  This so eloquently captures how I, and I think all of us feel at times.

I know I started this post on a serious note.  I really do believe it's important to keep things real.  We often just see the idyllic photos and posts friends share on their facebook walls.  If you're like me, I have to remind myself not to compare - and to recognize that there are other things happening in those people's lives that are not being shared.  We all go through trials in one form or another.  It's just a part of the journey.  

Wherever you find yourself,  I wish for you to have support and love through whatever trial you might be facing.  Take time to do whatever makes you happy, whatever you do to take care of you!

Alright then, back to the regularly scheduled (albeit a few days late) post!

If you're just joining in, WELCOME!  Click on the following links to get caught up: Introduction, Square #1, Square #2, Square #3, Square #4, Square #5, Square #6, Square #7, Square #8, Square #9, and Square #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, & #15, #16  You can find links to all of them on pinterest here. And be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter to get updates when a new square pattern is posted.

Our first square for September is our solid square.  The stitch pattern incorporates an offset cluster stitch into a background of simple double crochet stitches.  The offset cluster is a new concept from other things we've done on this project.  The stitch is a pretty basic cluster stitch - but it is done by working around the post of the last double crochet stitch giving it a sideways look making it stand out from the more common cluster stitches.  The Deer Valley Cowl features this stitch pattern in a chunky yarn made with an extra large hook.
Deer Valley Cowl by taraduff 2015
Block #17

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #17 Offset Clusters

Block #17 Offset Clusters

offset cluster stitch: offset cluster: (Yo, insert hook around post of last dc worked, yo and pull up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook ) 5 times, Yo and draw through all 6 loops on hook.

Foundation ch and row 1:  Ch 27.  Dc in fourth ch from hook and in each ch across (25 dc)  Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 3 (counts as dc in this and all other rows).  Skip first stitch.  Dc in next stitch, ch 1, skip next stitch, dc in next stitch.  Work offset cluster.  *Ch 1, skip next stitch, dc in next 3 dc, ch 1, skip next stitch, dc in next stitch.  Work offset cluster.  Repeat from * across to last 3 stitches.  ch 1, skip next dc.  Dc in last dc, dc in top of beginning ch-3.  Turn
Row 3:  Ch 3.  Skip first stitch.  Dc in next stitch.  Dc in first ch-1 space.  Dc in top of offset cluster.  Dc in ch-1 space. *Dc in next 3 dc, dc in next ch-1 space.  Dc in top of offset luster, dc in next ch-1 space.    Repeat from * across to last 2 stitches.  Dc in last 2 stitches.  (25 dc) Turn.
Row 4-14: Repeat rows 2 and 3, ending with row 2.

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #17 Offset Clusters
So, tell me what you do to take care of you?  I sometimes forget how important taking care of myself really is.  I am working on doing better in that department :-)