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Warning: This content may be triggering if you are currently suffering a pregnancy or infant loss. It took me longer than usual to write.
In the first part of our “Giving Back” series, I will be sharing with you our newest cause: SHARE. This will be a three part series spanning over several months where we touch upon the causes we like to give back to and have designated a section of our website to as well. Without further ado I’d like to tell you what SHARE is, my story and how you can help. Thank you for being here.
About The Cause
“Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support is a community for anyone who experiences the tragic death of a baby. We serve parents, grandparents, siblings, and others in the family unit, as well as the professionals who care for grieving families. Share is a national organization with over 75 chapters in 29 states. Our services include bed-side companions, phone support, face-to-face support group meetings, resource packets, private online communities, memorial events, training for caregivers, and so much more. Should you need them, we hope you can also benefit from at least one of these many resources”
I attend the Metro Detroit chapter of “SHARE”, and even though there is a pandemic happening at the moment, it’s been a great comfort knowing there is a community of families that have experienced the same type of loss. Our chapter meets once a month to discuss anything we would like related to our losses and its therapeutic qualities are endless. The purpose of this blog post and A-Cute Design’s involvement is to let you know you are not alone if you have suffered a similar loss and to offer a platform to help comfort those that many need it.
This is a topic not often talked about in our society. Pregnancy loss and infertility are both issues that are kept behind closed doors and this blog post and adding the cause to our website can hopefully help to change that. I’m so grateful causes like it exist because these experiences can be so alienating. Now I’d like to tell you about my story
On February 6th 2020, at 15 weeks pregnant, I gave birth to our baby boy Charlie after my membranes ruptured early the day before. There were no risk factors that I knew of previously making this a complete surprise when it happened. The devastation has slowly sunk into mine and my husbands lives and kind of melded with the loss of our chemical pregnancy from the previous summer. Our first baby will never be forgotten and it has reminded us more than ever how much we would like to raise a family together.
Almost immediately after my loss I was determined to not let this grief run my life. I saw the opportunity in how I could improve my outlook on life and started researching miscarriage straight away. Part of taking control of my life where Thursday rituals to honor Charlie. I journal and write to him and then after going to a meeting I had the opportunity to make blankets, which I will now open up to you at the end of this and our next blog post.
One of the blankets I've Made to donate to SHARE
One thing I learned through this experience is the lack of research and preventative measures taken for miscarriages. So many people accept that this is part of life when medical intervention can be performed by simply asking your Doctor. My most valuable recourse so far has been the book “After Miscarriage, Medical Facts and Emotional Support for Pregnancy Loss“ that I happened to pick up from my local bookstore. Like the description says it is a layout of medical knowledge and also support to help you through your loss. I learned from this book I can ask for testing after two pregnancy losses (rather than 3 like most Doctor’s say) and you look for a Doctor until you find one that agrees. Luckily my Dr. did agree and I have all the testing planned for when they are available after the pandemic. With this knowledge I not only felt confident asking my Dr. for proper care (which was agreed upon but not offered until I asked) but I now have the information in my possession so I can study and review it. The book also offers real life stories from other parents as well which I found comforting. I've included an Amazon link below if you would like to take a look.
If you have a story you would like to share please feel free to message me or comment below, as they should not be forgotten. I was overwhelmed by stories and support when I shared my loss publicly and my hope is for everyone to feel as supported.
How To Give Back
Circling back to my share group. The first (and only) meeting I went to, the group members were discussing the keepsake boxes that are given to parents who leave the hospital. This is a huge gesture when you come into the building with a baby and leave with nothing, but this box was something. In these keepsake boxes are tons of resources and mementos of your baby. Among these was a hand knit blanket and knowing how much time these take and all of the thought and care went into this box truly helped my initial grieving process of leaving my baby behind.
If you choose to make a blanket from our next blog post this is where your blankets will go. You can contact me directly to donate to the Metro Detroit Chapter or look on the Share website to find a local chapter near you. Don’t knit or crochet? You can make monetary donations, run a fundraiser or even donate yarn to help others make these blankets.
A portion of every paid pattern sale for the Share blanket (released in May) will go to yarn for making blankets for families in need and shared with our local chapter. You can also send blankets to me if you wish, just drop me a note in the section on the website linked below and there is also the option.
We will be adding several other causes to this section of our website that have affected my life and can hopefully make a difference in the world. I thank you for reading my story and bringing to light pregnancy and infant loss as there is just not enough light shed on this topic in popular culture at this time. Hope you and your family are safe and healthy during this time of the pandemic.
Hi Cuties, Jenna Here! I am so excited to be releasing A-Cute Design’s second crochet pattern, the Collide-A-Cowl. This is a four size option crochet pattern that is the ultimate collision of color and texture and is amazing for stash busting.
I have been doing craft shows for almost six years now and in 2018 I noticed a trend, all of my color work pieces (hats and cowls) where the first things I sold. They are also what I enjoy making the most (who doesn’t love the anticipation of a good color change?). So, I figured it only made sense to incorporate this combinations into my work more, and the Collide-A-Cowl was born.
Most of the promotional photos (taken by Corrine Turner Photography) you see are the medium size and that’s what I started with when designing. We will review the sizes momentarily but this one is near and dear to my heart and fits so well for a nice accent piece that offers warmth but isn’t too cumbersome or claustrophobic.
Today I’m going to share with you all the key features of this design, share my beautiful tester photos with you and provide you with a pinterest board for color inspiration!
As mentioned the pattern has four sizes to choose from. I have included photos of 3 of the sizes below, as well as photos of the sizes in my tester section of the blog. In addition to the medium size previously discussed, the small size offers more protection from the elements, whereas the large and extra large sizes make a big statement for the wearer. I enjoy offering all sizes at my shows and seeing what different customers gravitate towards.
No matter the size you choose to make your Collide-A-Cowl in, this project is a great stash buster. Ranging in 35-152 yards of each color per size, you are bound to have a few colors laying around you could wip up a cowl with. I personally love to see your combinations on instagram. I’ve devoted a highlight to them on my feed and would love to feature yours when you use #collideacowl with your creations. If you are stuck on colors I will have a related blog series coming out soon!
A few closing facts about this cowl, it is worked in the round using worsted weight yarn (I used acrylic) and is an easy level pattern. For my sample I used “I Love This Yarn” and “Yarn Bee, Soft and Sleek” found at hobby stores. Any worsted yarn would do, Now that I’m mentioning worsted weight I’m imagining a bulky or even jumbo weight yarn cowl and how much fun that would be! I encourage you to get as creative as you like with this project and really make it your own!
I chose to keep my pattern testing process simple and asked a few yarny friends to test each of the sizes of the cowl. Below you can see each of their creations and how unique they all are. It’s gotten me very excited to see what you make as well. I love that three of the four testers pulled from their own stash making this perfect project if you are at home stuck with limited yarn during this strange time we are all facing right now.
Above you can see each size made by each of my testers. Starting in the upper left hand corner and going clockwise are...
I am so grateful for each of my testers and my tech editor Janine of @Capitol.Crochet. Without these wonderful people this pattern would not be possible. They were such a pleasure to work with and have me really looking forward to opening my testing for so many more pattern Ideas I have planned for the future.
So how are you feeling at this point? Ready to take on the project? Click the links below to get started!.
Now this last one I know I previously mentioned, but I’ve been having a lot of discussion about color over the last year or so. I decided to pull together a pinterest board to get you started on some color inspiration titled “Color Inspo” that you can re-pin below. As I mentioned I will have a color related blog series coming out soon so if you don't already, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter. I keep you in the know for all of the major things going on here at A-Cute Design and usually send you promos and releases early.
This year has started off as one of the most difficult for me personally with many losses and set backs. I am just happy to be here and feel creative while sharing my creations with you all. I thank you all for your support and am looking forward to sharing more with you as the time passes and I become more regular with my blogging schedule. Thank you for being here. Take care,
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