Thursday, September 12, 2013

Love, Compassion, Mission and Dedication - Join The Love

Do you have something that is very close to your heart that you put your crafting abilities into? I do.

I believe that God has given us all gifts and talents and ways to use them for a greater good.

One of my talents is my ability to crochet. I love it & most of all I love to be able to give back to others with this gift.

About a year & a half ago I became very heavily involved with a wonderful ministry called Join The Love. This ministry was started by some friends & myself after a very special friend lost her daughter.

A bunch of ladies who crochet, got together and all donated granny squares to help create a Personalized Memory Blanket in honor of this little girl. The squares incorporated her favorite things, colors, activities or things that reminded the mother of her daughter.
The response was so overwhelming & so many squares came in, & so many people asked how they could help.

After the blanket was completed there were many families asking where they could get a Memory Blanket for a child that they had lost. Very quickly it was obvious a need to be able to bless more families who had lost a child was there & in a short amount of time we were inundated with requests & knew we needed more help! There were so many grieving hurting families & we wanted to be able to bless each one in the same way we had blessed this first family.

So a small group of wonderful volunteers were assembled & as the requests came in we worked hard to create a group of global volunteers who's hearts were willing to help make the Memory blankets for these wonderful families. The group of volunteers has continued to grow & we continue to receive more and more requests from families who are nominated to receive one of these special Gifts in honor of a child that was lost.

With just a handful of less than 100 volunteers, we were able to make over 20 blankets in less than 1 year & in this year alone we have handled even more requests & have produced almost twice that number of blankets already, with more requests still patiently waiting! It truly is amazing to see what love pours out of these wonderful ladies who help to create these beautiful blankets!

We do not charge for our memory blankets & each one is produced solely by volunteers. Volunteers & other friends help us to fund our shipping costs, our assemblers yarn for joining & the memory booklets we create with the blankets. We create each blanket as a special gift for the families that are nominated. Not one person gets paid to be able create these beautiful blankets. Each one uses their time, talents, materials, supplies & shipping funds to bless one family without any thought of what they are actually giving of themselves! I have truly never met a more selfless group of people in my entire life & it truly blesses me each time I see a square being made.

Each blanket that is created is crafted with so much love, artistry, care, compassion, prayers & dedication in order to be able to create this beautiful treasure for one special family! Each project takes about 2 months to complete, but once it all comes together it truly is beautiful!

Each square is different & unique & the ladies who create them really do put all their hearts into each one to make them special. Things such as favorite colors, activities, cartoons, movies, family pets, special sayings, symbols, or other items that remind the family of their child are all incorporated into making the squares for each blanket.

Once all of the squares are collected, a volunteer assembles them all into one piece creating the blanket with their own special artistic touches into the blanket. You can really see the child's personality shine through in all of the squares combined to make the blanket!  It always amazes me how each blanket always seems to come together so beautifully & is a perfect symbol of love for each family to honor their child!

This ministry is very personal to me because I myself have been in the same situation as the families nominated for the Memory Blankets. I appreciate so much what these wonderful volunteers do & how selfless they are to give so much to these families.

I can tell you, that receiving a blanket brings so much joy & comfort to these grieving families! When you see all the notes & cards that are included with the squares sent for the blankets, & the memory book that the assemblers create, & how far & wide the squares have come from, its all just very overwhelming, beautiful and very emotional!

Below is more information about the Join the Love Ministry. If you are interested in any of the areas mentioned, please click through the appropriate link.

If you would like general information on the Join the Love ministry, you can visit the main page here:
Join The Love Main Page

If you would like to become a volunteer square maker to help create squares for this ministry, you can find out more information here:
How to Become a Square Maker

If you would know of a family who has suffered a loss of a child within the last 24 months & would like to nominate them for one of our Memory Blankets, you can find out more information here:
How to Nominate for a Join The Love Memory Blanket

All of our Memory Blankets are produced by volunteers, we are a totally non-profit organization & we do have our share of hard costs with each blanket. (It is estimated that it costs upwards of $600 to produce one blanket when we add up yarn costs to make each square, yarn costs to join the squares, shipping funds for each square, shipping funds for delivering the blankets, the cards, memory booklets, the assembler's time & so much more.)

If you are blessed enough to be able to help us in this ministry financially & would like to help support Join the Love in this way, you can find out more information here:
Supporting Join the Love

If you would like to see some of the finished memory blankets we have made, you can find more photos of the blankets here:
Finished Memory Blankets

Memory Blanket
This really is a very special ministry that Join the Love does & it has been a huge blessing to be such a big part of it. I am blessed every day by the love that this group produces!

I pray that it continues to grow & bless these wonderful families that are nominated & comfort them in their time of grief.

To some it may be just a small thing to make a granny square, but when they are all connected & joined together with love & prayers, to these families they mean the world!

Thank you for reading & for supporting the Join the Love ministry whether it is in prayers, squares, financially, nominations or in any other way possible.

Have a great day & God Bless!

Michelle K
The Perfect Knot

Monday, September 9, 2013

Uh Oh! She's at it again!

Rochelle's Geometric Knit Hat

Look out world! She's at it again!
Getting into something crafty and creative & loving every minute of it!

Okay I admit it. I am now "Bi-stitch-ual"! I can both Crochet & Knit! (Uh Oh! I can get into even more trouble now! LOL)

My grandma taught me how to do both when I was little but I loved crocheting so much more that I stuck with that over the knitting & I pretty well forgot everything I learned about knitting up until this point. It was the whole out of sight, out of mind, don't use it you lose it thing.

 Last year though I said I wanted to try it again & a few months ago my grandma gifted me all of hers & my mom's old knitting needles. When I say old, we're talking truly antique/vintage here, 60 years or better at least! It was pretty cool to see all of those antique needles & to find the gauge checker with my mom's maiden name on it for her grade 6 home economics class though. It truly felt like I had been gifted pieces of both my mom & my grandma. Pretty neat that she held onto them for all these years & now I have them again.

I had tried to knit last year & it didn't go over too well, so I set it down again. When my grandma gave me hers & mom's needles again though, I decided I would go ahead & pick it up again to give it another try.

Well like most things when I "play" I get an idea and I start working on something and before you know it I end up making up my own creation. The same was true in this case with this idea. So after a little bit of work, a little more trial and error, sorting it out after a few mistakes and after sending it to a round with my testers I now can present my FIRST Knit pattern!

When I got this idea, I knew exactly who I was going to be making it for & who was going to be the inspiration for this pattern. I just had to make it work because I knew it would be special to her. :)

I had so much fun coming up with this design! It incorporates all of my favorite things about fiber work! It has texture, color, interesting shapes, a beautiful design & a few other things you have to look for in order to see the surprises in your finished work! 

Best of all, I came up with this design especially for a wonderful friend & was able to gift the finished item to her & she loved it! That part always makes me Happy & I love it when my designs get to be loved by my friends & family!

So without any further ado, let me introduce you to the Rochelle's Geometric Knitted Hat!

 You can purchase the pattern in my Ravelry Shop and I have it introductory priced with a special coupon code for all my friends until 9-12-13.
Use code Knit1 & you will receive $2.50 off the total price.

This has been so much fun for me & such a wonderful adventure to branch out into this area of crafting again. I've had fun & I know that this will not be my only knit pattern, so stay tuned for more to come in the future!

Special thanks to all my testers who helped me get this pattern ready!
You can see more of their hard work here:

Thank you for stopping by The Perfect Knot Crochet and More!
Have a great day!

Michelle K
The Perfect Knot