So much to do . . . & learn!

Thanks for reading our first post.  We have received lots of emails from people eager to pitch in and support our mission.  Our Stay Strong tote bags hopefully offer the moms we are reaching a few minutes of distraction and a reminder that they are being thought of.  General information about us is on our website:, but the details will be here on our blog.

So for the knitters and crocheters out there who have asked specifics about what we need:    any and all shawls are always appreciated!  rectangular or triangular, knit or crochet, any pattern you enjoy.  We just ask that you keep in mind these will most likely be used to wrap up in indoors so they don’t need to be super warm.  Just something cozy to snuggle up in – like a comforting hug.

Our program is under a year old, and in that time we’ve been inspired by new ideas.  New ideas lead to change – which is how shrugs became a major part of our program.  It started when Lion Brand yarn company generously donated a box of yarn to our mission.  As a result I signed up for their newsletter and stumbled upon Mama in a Stitch (Jessica Potasz) and her fabulous blanket sweater pattern. This super easy garment knitted up so quickly I was able to step away from shawl knitting for a few days and whip up a few for my daughters and myself.  In the process, I realized that if you shorten this pattern, it becomes a fabulous shrug that gives the comfort of a shawl but effortlessly stays on!   The pattern calls for size US19 knitting needles – prior to this project, the only time I pulled out those needles was to teach classes back when I owned a yarn shop.  I reluctantly dusted them off and after a few awkward minutes getting used them, I can honestly say, they’re my new go to for cranking out these shrugs.

I then had the opportunity to lead a winter workshop at Knitting Needles yarn shop in Newport, Rhode Island.  Using Jessica’s blanket sweater pattern (with her permission, of course) as the subject, we were able to demonstrate the importance of gauge and showed how the blanket sweater could be made in any yarn weight, any stitch pattern, in knit or crochet.

Creative seaming makes an elongated rectangle a garment!

Two strands of Lion Brand Shawl in a ball held together with one strand Lion Brand Scarfie on US19 needles knitted up beautifully.  These two yarns are lightweight and lofty preventing this garment from becoming heavy.  This was made specifically for a mom who we know loves green so we added a green border.














So that wraps up our first post.  In future posts we will share detailed pattern instructions and yarn choices we’ve made and been happy with.   As we grow and learn new things – like starting a blog! – we appreciate your support and patience.  As I mentioned, I want these posts to help you feel like you’re part of our planning meetings,  so

Thanks for sitting in!

2 thoughts on “So much to do . . . & learn!”

  1. Love your first blog—and so happy to be a part of the Stay Strong Tote Foundation in Colorado. Hopefully more states will join this too.
    I’ve done 4 shawls and now going to try a shrug…Our first delivery of 12 shawls goes to the Denver Ronald McDonald House by the end of April.

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