As we continue our journey through the 365 Days of Granny Squares, we have accumulated 210 squares as of today! If you are like me, your storage containers are busting full and are in need of projects to be made! I began this Island in the Sea Blanket as my second project in my series of blankets that I plan to make using these granny squares.
I named this piece because of the unique square from day 75. I went on to finishing the square as per the written pattern by Aurora. It turned out larger than any of the squares in our collection. I had to find a use and decided this was the perfect way to showcase this beautiful granny! I surrounded it with double crochet rows of various shades of cool tones to create an island oasis in a sea of blue.
This blanket utilizes 5 other large squares that we have made this year as well as 14 of our smaller squares. I have listed each square I used in this project below with links to their video tutorials.
This is just my idea to use these squares in a bigger project, but you can get as creative as you want to make a blanket or other projects where these can come in handy!
As we embarked on this project, I have witnessed an incredible amount of creativity that has come from others participating in these daily squares. I’m so happy to see everyone Hashtagging #365DaysofGrannySquares and #YARNutopia. I am watching everyone’s posts and progress! *Double Tap*
The purpose of this project was to teach a variety of stitches and expand our crochet knowledge in granny squares that exist. I have seen an array of beautiful blankets, pillow covers, jackets, and many other pieces of art springing forth from this creativity from everyone participating. Each square is a small piece of art that was meant for a bigger purpose.
This is the original layout of my blanket:
Here is a closeup to show that I made a double crochet border around each square and then sewed them together:
Here I am working on the blanket, finishing up the sewing!
Here is my finished blanket draped over the sofa:
Step By Step:
-I crocheted a double crochet border around each granny square (I would recommend 1 round of a border for each square, but if it doesn’t line up, you can add 2 rounds on the smaller squares to make them the right size)
-Then, I sewed the large squares together in a row
-I started crocheting my rows of blue using double crochet. I worked in the Back Loops Only to make a ribbed look (that’s optional) Then I made 5 rows of each color. (You can change color as often as you want)
-Once I had 5 sections done, I sewed my giant square to the center of my work.
-I started crocheting on the right side of the large square, making rows and stopping once I hit that square, then turned my work and continued on my way to make the rows until that side lined up with the large square. Then I fastened that side off.
-I attached my yarn to the left side and did the same thing, working rows of double crochet until that was the same height as the center square. Once both sides were surrounding the square, I sewed up the left and right side of the square to the double crochet rows.
-Once that was all done, I continued to crochet along just like I was on the opposite end of the blanket above the large island square. (5 rows of each color, changing colors 5 times)
-Then, I sewed the small squares together and then sewed them to the last row of the blanket.
-Once my blanket was all put together, I crocheted a simple double crochet border around the entire piece.
-I had a lot of ends to weave in, but it was all worth it!
I used an H-5.00mm crochet hook to make this blanket
I used all Red Heart Super Saver Yarn
This blog is the first part of my birthday gift to you, Nate.
As I start this blog I have to admit that, surprisingly, it is one of the hardest pieces I am writing for a couple of reasons. I have backspaced and deleted enough to the point where, if I were writing in the 1970s, my trashcan would be over flowing with crumpled paper that I keep pulling out of my ancient typewriter. Good thing it is 2016, and several trees are being saved from my inability to focus on how I want to put these thoughts into words.
Part of the reason I am having trouble with this blog is because it was the object behind a bit of a disagreement between Nate and me. It was nothing major, just a misunderstanding. I can be feisty and stubborn, but being ill has taught me enough about what is important and what matters, so arguments and fights with anyone are few and far between. So, no worries please.
Secondly, I am hesitant on writing this because, usually, when things go up, they must come down, and that has been my typical health pattern for nearly nine years. I have learned that a lot of things are temporary. As I continue to write about some of the positive things that have been happening with my health, in the back of my mind there is a whisper reminding me of Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity. That pesky law keeps me from getting too comfortable with the status quo. But tonight I am going to ignore that stinking voice so I can write in peace.
I had surgery on December 9th, 2015 following a very scary episode of sepsis which landed me in the critical care unit for nearly a week. You can read my last health update here. The surgery was scheduled in hopes to offer me a better chance at not repeating history of sepsis in that area as the risk was so high. All of my physicians concurred that I may not be so lucky ‘next time,’ so I had a removal of my rectal/anal cuff and the surgeons closed my bottom. Essentially I was given what they call a ‘Barbie Butt.’ You can laugh. It’s OK. It’s the truth, and God help us all, we NEED humor. I am 25-years-old and have managed to survive some of the most painfully undignified, frightening, and major health hurdles to end up with this Barbie Butt. Believe me, laughter has helped me so much it’s not even funny…or it is…but it’s not. (You know what I mean!) Without humor I wouldn’t have survived; I promise you that. Having this surgery is better than the alternative. So, I laugh in the face of this *bleep* disease that keeps coming at me. “Go ahead Crohn’s disease, Take my a-hole. I didn’t need it anyway!”
Following surgery, I ended up back in the hospital with another abscess and sepsis scare, but it was minor and with a strong dose of antibiotics, I recovered and was home in time for the holidays. That was crucial because I was about to launch the 365 Days of Granny Squares blog in the New Year. Here I was, sitting in the hospital, trying to figure out if I could orchestrate this project from my hospital bed so it would be ready to go by January 1st. I got lucky. I got to come home. 365 Days of Granny Squares went off without a hitch. Today, it has officially been an entire three months that I have not been hospitalized, and to be honest, that is a near record. The granny squares are helping me keep count! Haha!
The struggle is real
Although it hasn’t been easy, and finding an effective treatment plan for my Crohn’s disease has been like playing roulette, things are beginning to look up.
I struggled for the entire month of January trying to recover my strength. By February, I felt stronger but didn’t feel fully better. I started a new drug treatment six weeks ago that offers a lot of promise. Other than being bothered by a few side effects and minor setbacks, I am hopeful as I have seen some mild improvements *knock on wood*. I have tried so many new drugs and treatments, diets and health regimens, that I started to lose hope after failing so many times, but this time I have to hold on to hope. This time is different. It’s different because there is someone else in my picture besides myself, my friends, and my family. It’s Nate.
He’s my person
Remember that argument I mentioned we had earlier? Yeah, well, it was because I put him on the spot barraging him with questions about all this health stuff the other night with that not-so-pleasant side of my personality that demands answers about handling life with a sick person. I was probably having a tiny pity-party. There were tears, but I’m over it. Sometimes, in those fleeting, not-so-pretty moments, I feel unlovable, ugly, and scarred from a dozen surgeries and having an ostomy, all THIS worry comes out and gets overwhelming. It is overwhelming living with a terrible disease, so walking into this life by choice and choosing to love someone with these circumstances on their plate is HUGE. It’s a risk, and he did it. He did it for me. He told me I am worth the risk. Me! *insert a million feels here*
Presently, I am surrounded by several skeins of yarn and 600 tiny square crocheted pixels for a project I am making for Nate’s birthday gift.
I’m not thinking about the ugly side of this disease but about how lucky I am to have that love. For the first time in three months since surgery, I don’t just feel good, but I feel amazing! It has nothing to do with medication, doctors, good lab results, or clinic visits. It has to do with someone who Googled Crohn’s disease so many months ago and spent time reading all about it trying to learn what he could, so he could better understand this disease and what he would be facing with me. I feel amazing because Nate says I “fight like a champ” and I am the strongest person he knows, and guess what? I believe him. I feel amazing because, when he looks at me, he doesn’t see all those scars or my ostomy, and that I feel “broken.” He just sees me. Nadia. The girl I always wanted to be before my body was attacked by this disease.
Fighting like a champ (Surgery 2015)
The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades
There are a lot of things in life that aren’t fair. Nothing is remotely pretty when fighting against sickness. Chronic illness has taught me how unpredictable life can be. I wish I had that magic crystal ball to see the future, so I could know what is coming, but I don’t. I can recite to you my dream of what I would want to see, if the universe lined up just right to grant me that future. It’s a beautiful private dream. But it is exactly that – just a dream.
One thing I have learned is that I can’t control any of this disease, and the universe has a plan of its own. However, despite all these trials, I have been given this perfectly imperfect life that looks nothing like a perfect dream, and that is OK. Illness was the reason I started to crochet. That led me to create YARNutopia and introduced me to this wonderful crochet community. It has brought me lifelong friendships. It taught me the value of what is truly important, and finally, it navigated my life to cross paths with an extraordinary man who is willing to face that frightening, unknown future by my side. He gave me a pinky promise. That is a promise of HOPE. There are no words that exist to thank someone for a gift that extraordinary. Maybe these undeleted, uncrumpled words can help.
So when you ask how I am feeling, the truth would be, I feel amazing.
Happy Birthday, Nathan Lyden.
“…It’s a blessed thing to love and feel loved in return.” ~E.A. Bucchianeri