Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Showing My Support: Two Rainbow Projects

Like most of the US (and I imagine those abroad as well), I am disgusted and crushed by the events that occurred in Orlando this past weekend. Having recently lost someone close to me, with grief still living inside my chest and leaking out when I least expect it... I am finding it hard to fully conceptualize the grief felt by all of the families of those who were killed. Each of those lights shown on so many people around them; their families, their friends, their communities. An act of inhuman hatred that has sent a shock wave across the nation. I'm not going to get too political here because I want my blog to be a place that welcomes people of all backgrounds and viewpoints. However, I will say this: If you are a person who believes is it okay to hurt someone that you don't agree with, to hurt someone who is different from you... you are wrong. That is a bad way to be. I don't want followers or customers who think that hurting innocent people is okay. No one deserves to be hurt.

It's hard to know what to do in a time like this. There are many political conversations that you can participate in, and I encourage you to jump into those that you feel touch your heart and to take positive action in the way that feels right to you. However, there are still those quiet moments, the moments when we are sitting at home and wondering how our world can be filled with so much sadness and pain. What do we do then?

Pride is coming up in cities around the world. Pride is a time when the LGBTQ community and their allies get together to remember, to talk, and to celebrate. We remember the Stonewall riots and the intense, overt discrimination that led to them. We talk about our communities, the discrimination and violence that still exists within them, and what we can do to encourage love and understanding. We celebrate people just as they are.

If you find yourself in a quiet moment and you've got some scraps of yarn, here are two projects for you to consider. You can use them to show your awareness and support for the Orlando LGBTQ community, to show your happiness as you celebrate at a Pride event in your city, or to start a conversation. I hope these rainbows can help remind us of the good that exists in people.

To make this simple Pride Patch, you will need worsted scraps of yarn in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. I used Cascade Cherub Aran, which is similar to Bernat Satin. You will also need knowledge of simple color changing. With a US size H8 5mm crochet hook and the purple yarn, chain 25. Starting in the second chain from the hook, work 1 single crochet into each chain across. Chain 1 and turn. Work another row of purple. Continue in this manner, chaining one and turning after each row, and work 2 rows in each color in reverse rainbow order (from the bottom to the top). I crocheted over my ends as I went along. Fasten off and weave in the ends. You can use your Pride Patch as a sewn-on patch for a jacket or bag, as a bookmark, or as a decoration. Mine measures 4 and 3/4 inches by 2 and 1/2 inches.

To make this Pride Bracelet, you will need worsted scraps of yarn in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Hold all 6 strands together, making sure to leave the strands attached to their skeins/balls. Tie a slip knot with about 8 inches of yarn to spare before the knot. Using a US size M13 10mm crochet hook, work chain stitches with all of the strands held together until you achieve the desired length. My chain measures 5 inches for a women's size small wrist. Fasten off. Leave 8 inches of yarn on the remaining bracelet end and cut the yarn. Finally, separate the yarn strands into three groups of two on each side and braid them, tying an overhand knot to secure them. Trim the ends. My ties measure 3 inches each.

I hope these small, meditative projects brighten your day just a bit in a world that can be pretty scary. My deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims of the Orlando shooting.

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