A year ago today, I was a nervous wreck. I remember going for what was to be my last gynae’s appointment and confessing to him my fears. The thought of child birth had taken my mind through a rollercoaster. Of course I thought I was going to have a vaginal birth until I heard him say ‘Judith, it looks like we are having a 4 kg baby’.
My fears were now safely buckled and packed waiting to take off. A myriad of questions tormented my sanity. How on earth was I going to push a 4 kg baby? Then Dr Kiragu as if in consolation told me that an elephant cannot be overpowered by its tasks. He had noticed just how concerned I was.
I wanted December to move a bit further especially after members of our WhatsApp group started having their babies earlier than their expected delivery dates. I felt like I needed more time, to finish shopping for the baby, to wash his clothes, to rearrange my house, to pack my hospital bag, to be pampered and excused by everyone. I sure would miss being pregnant especially because of how people treated me. Most people were friendly, mothers would always offer advice, I would not queue anywhere for any service, I would fart in public and people would just understand that it was part of the pregnancy package.
More often than not, I wondered of the type of parent I would be. Was I ready to receive my prince charming? What if he was not as charming as expected, would I accept him for who he was? Would I figure out how to be a mother given that there was no manual. A friend had told me that I would learn on the job, was I ready for the task ahead?
I remember going for walks trying to be a little fit, they said it would make dilation a little easier. I went up and down those stairs at the roysambu fly over hoping that the baby would engage. I even bought a yoga ball and sat on it bouncing most of my days. I even had too much sex, following my doctor’s advice that it would help soften the cervix. If I remember everything I did just because I wanted to ensure that I had a vaginal birth just because everyone considered it to be the normal way, I pity myself on how misinformed I was.
Most people had advised me against opting for a caesarian section. Ask me why and I fail to understand the need for everyone to live as per the norm and not break out. See, I always thought having a cs would save me from all the pain and that it would be a bit safer but most people wanted to influence my thinking. They said that I had to go through the pain of child birth for me to be a certified woman. I wondered who had made them the decision maker as to who qualified to be a certified woman and who didn’t.
Watching those videos of childbirth on YouTube did a number on me. I remember crying for a whole day at the thought of it. It scared me to my core. I couldn’t imagine the pain, the sweat and the thought of a child’s head popping out of my vagina made me really frightened. I prayed for the grace to overcome my fear. The fear of going into the delivery room and not coming out. I remember my most common prayer was for God to let me and my baby come back home safe and sound.
A year later and I now know how misguided I was. I now know better. I know that childbirth isn’t a death sentence, it is not the toughest part of life if you compare it to motherhood. I’ve realized that motherhood is like going into an exam of a course that you didn’t choose, that you have no idea of the content and you have to figure it out: it rearranges your life in such a way that you may feel trapped in your own life but once you figure it out, you will love it. I’ve also realized that whether you go for a vaginal birth or a caesarian section no one should make you feel less of a woman
In my feelings, that’s where I’ve been for a couple of months
In my good feelings though, some of them have been strangers to me.
To tell you the truth I didn’t know they existed.
I’ve been living in a happy universe
A world full of joy, happiness and satisfaction
A world I thought was non existent before
A world full of peace and contentment
To tell you the truth, it cometh from the Lord
I’ve been on a journey
The greatest journey I ever took
A journey so fulfilling, I wouldn’t mind walking it again
It has been a journey of a thousand miles
A journey of 42 weeks
A journey of 9 months
A journey of womanhood
It didn’t start off as an easy task
No, not at all
To tell you the truth
It caught me by surprise
My intuition hinted it to me though
I was scared at first
Being a first for me
I didn’t know what to expect
I guess that’s what we call fear of the unknown
I have been in my best feelings
Most of the time at least
At first I thought I wouldn’t make it
It was tough, the changes that put me down for a while
I became a stranger to myself
The hormonal changes
That came with nausea
And a lack of appetite
Yes I lost a number of pounds
I was a shadow of my former self
Then came the fear
Of the change in my physique
I didn’t know if I was ready to embrace the changes
I wasn’t sure if I was ready to embrace motherhood
I was uncertain of what would result from this journey
The stretch marks, the baby fat, the pimples, the protruding belly
I doubted if my body would return to its former self
I wondered if I would still be beautiful with a bump
Dressing was also one of my concerns
Was I ready to embrace a mode of dressing that was not my style?
I actually had no idea of what to wear as the weeks went by
I didn’t want to loose my identity
But comfort was of the essence
I realized that change was necessary
That I had to embrace my pregnancy
To embrace my new body
To embrace the changes that resulted from it
Every week came with something new
The lack of appetite
The weight loss
The congested nose
The swollen feet
The kicks, oh the feeling was heavenly
The protruding belly
It was a beautiful disaster
Then the journey came to an end
I called it the end of the beginning
Because it introduced me to my true self
It introduced me to a new adventure
My greatest adventure yet
I fell in love with my little human
In him I saw myself
And the man I love more than life
We became two in one
I wanted to love you so hard, like I’ve never loved anyone before
How could I not, when you are the best thing life could offer
I wanted to embrace you, so tightly and never let go
I wanted to protect you with my own life
And as long as I live, I promise you
That I will love you, embrace you, protect you, adore you
I will be everything you will ever wish and more
I will guide you as you grow
I will teach you everything you need to know
So that you can make it in this tough world
I will be there for you
To hold your hand through the tough times
To laugh with you during the good times
To wipe your tears when the times get tough
To encourage you when you feel defeated
To caution you when you are going too fast
To lift you when you are down
To scold you when you need a good beating
I pray to the heavens that, it grants me a forever with you
Because I want to love you till eternity
I want to have you in my life for as long as I live
I want to continue experiencing the joy that you brought into my life
I want to explore your world and discover who you are destined to be
Because you my boy, saved me from myself
Hello everyone hope you enjoyed your December holidays and are looking forward to a great year ahead. Today’s project is about working the crocodile stitch, so let’s gets into it.
Yarn of preferred colour and size.
A crochet hook, I used a size 5 mm crochet hook.
Some cotton lining.
Zippers or buttons.
Handles for your bags.
A darning needle.
Double crochet stitches.
Single crochet stitches
Pattern to be acquired.
The crocodile stitch pattern
The crocodile stitch bag is worked by first chaining 70 stitches. This is because the crocodile stitch is worked in multiples of 7 so whichever number you decide to work with ensure that it is a multiple of 7. In my case, I worked 70 stitches then slip stitched to the first stitch I made to make a loop.
The first round is then made by working double crochet stitches in each stitch around. The crocodile stitch is then worked up and down the double crochet stitches we just made. So after you make your last double crochet stitch and slip stitch, chain one then work 5 double crochet stitches down that first double crochet stitch and another 5 double crochet up the next double crochet stitch then at the end, chain one and skip 5 stitches and on the 6th stitch work 5 dc down that stitch and 5 more dc stitches up the 7th stitch. Repeat this around.
At the end, slip stitch to the middle of the group of five and work 2 dc stitches in the same stitch then work 5 dc sts in each of the next 5 sts then 2 dc in the same stitch. Repeat this all around.
The pattern is basically a repeat of row two and three. After working about ten rows then work sc stitches for about four to five rows then put your zipper or button.
You can then work in your lining and then your handles. Join the bottom of your bag using your darning needle then weave in your loose ends and your project is complete.
Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.
To make this bag, one needs to be atleast an intermediate crocheter with knowledge of increasing your stitches.
This bag is made in about five steps. The first and second step are the same because it is the part where we make the main part of the bag. The front and the back part of the bag are made differently using double crochet stitches then after making the two parts you join them to make the body of the bag. Use single crochet stitches to bind off.
I worked my bag in the back loops only giving it the beautiful look. The increases happen in each row making the project get bigger as you work each row.
After making the two parts of the body you then make the flap. Its a replica of the pattern of the main part of the bag, so you basically repeat the pattern that you were doing when working the two parts of the main part of the bag but you do two or one row(s) less.
After making of the flap you sew it on the back piece of bag using either your tapestry needle or crochet hook.
The next step is to sew in your lining. In both my bags I used Ankara lining. You can hand sew it or use a sewing machine. In the brown bag I put my lining in the main part of the bag and also the flap but I noticed that the flap did not stay intact but the edges looked raised so in the blue one I only put the lining inside the main part of the bag which worked way better for me.
Sling bag with a flap
The last step is the making of the handle for your bag. The length of the bag totally depends on your preference or the height of the person you are making it for. You will then sew the handle in using your tapestry needle. And your project is complete.
The acquiring of dynamic faith is accomplished by prayers, lots of prayer, by reading and mentally absorbing the Bible and by practicing its faith techniques. The late Harlowe B. Andrews of Syracuse said that the trouble with most prayers is that they aren’t big enough. To get anywhere with faith, learn to pray big prayers. God will rate you according to the size of your prayers. According to your faith be it unto you.(Mathew 9:29).
Roland Hayes quoted his grand father: ‘The trouble with lots of prayers is that they ain’t got suction.’
Drive your prayers deep into your doubts, fears, insecurities. Pray deep, big prayers that have plenty of suction and you will come up with powerful and vital faith.
A tapestry needle (to join and weave in your loose ends).
A tape measure.
Single crochet stitches (sc sts).
This hat is so simple to make since the whole pattern is a repeat of single crochet stitches.
Round 1: Make a chain of 41 stitches. (Foundation chain). Work 1 sc in each stitch across.
Round 2: Turn, chain 1 then work 1 sc in each stitch working on the back loops only.
For the rest of the project, repeat round 2 until your project measures 16 inches long then join the sides of your project using a tapestry needle.
After joining the sides, do not cut the yarn that is in the tapestry needle but instead use your yarn and tapestry needle to close the bottom end of your project. You can pass the yarn around the bottom, more than once and be sure to pull tightly to ensure that your bottom end will not get loose.
After ensuring that your bottom end is tightly closed,make your pom pom and attach it to the bottom end of your project and your hat is complete. (Will have a full article on pom poms in the weeks to come).
We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.
An industrialist asserts that the best workmen in his plant are those who get into harmony with the rhythm of the machine on which they are working. He declares that if a worker will work in harmony with the rhythm of his machine he will not be tired at he end of the day. He points out that the machine is an assembly of parts according to the law of God. When you love a machine and get to know it, you will be aware that it has a rhythm.It is one with the rhythm of the body, of the nerves, of the soul. It is in God’s rhythm and you can work with that machine and not get tired if you are in harmony with it.
To avoid tiredness and to have energy, feel your way into the essential rhythm of Almighty God and all His works.
Chain multiples of 5 until you get a length that fits your head then slip titch on the first ch st you made. Incase you need to alter the pattern to suit a baby’s head, remember that the magic number is 5.
Round 1: Chain 2 and half double crochet in all the stitches around working in the back loops only. Ch 2*1 hdc *
Round 2: Chain 2, half double crochet in all stitches normally. Ch 2*1 hdc*
Round 3: Chain 2 and half double crochet in all stitches around. Ch 2*1 hdc*
Round 4: Chain 3, work 2 dc in the next 2 sts then chain 2 and skip 2 stitches then 3 dc in the next 3 sts. ch3 *2dc, ch2 skip 2, 3dc*
Round 5: Slip st once to the center of the next group of 3, chain 3, in chain 2 space, put 5 dc then in the middle of the next 3 sts work 1 dc then 5 dc in the next chain 2 space. *1 dc btwn group of 3, 5 dc in Ch 2 space*
Round 6: Slip stitch twice to get to the middle of the first group of 5 then chain 3, 2dc, ch 2 and skip 3 stitches, 3 dc, Ch 2 skip 3. *3 dc , Ch 2 skip 3*
The pattern is basically a repeat of rows 5 and 6.
I worked 6 more rows then started working my decrease.
Round 12: Slip stitch 3 times to get to the middle of the first group of 5, chain 3 and 2 dc in same stitch , chain 2 skip 5, 3 dc in same stitch, chain 2 skip 5, 3 dc in same stitch. *3 dc in same st, ch2 and skip 5*
Round 13: Slip stitch to the first chain 2 space, chain 3, 4 dc and then go into the next Ch 2 space and 5 dc. *5 dc in each Ch 2 space*
Round 14: Slip st to the middle of the next group of 5, chain 3,1 dc in same stitch, chain 2 and skip 5 then 2 dc in same stitch, chain 2 then skip 5. *2 dc in same st, Ch 2 skip 5*
Round 15: Slp stitch to the first gap then chain 3, 2 dc then go into the next chain 2 space and 3 dc. *3 dc in each Ch 2 space*
Round 16: Slip stitch to the middle of the group of 3 and chain 3; chain 2, skip 2 and in the middle of the next group of 3 work 1 dc then Ch 2 and skip 2. *1 dc, Ch 2 skp 2*
Round 17: Chain 3, 1 dc. *2 dc in every gap*
Round 18: Slp stitch to the first gap and chain 3 and then 1 dc in next space. *1 dc btwn groups of 2 all around*
Round 19: Chain 3 then 2 dc with one top.The dc stitches are worked in the spaces.
Use your tapestry needle to finish off your projects
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 11:31
God is the source of all energy- energy in the universe, atomic energy, electrical energy and spiritual energy; indeed every form of energy comes from the creator. ” He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. ” Isaiah 11:29.
The Bible describes the energising and re- energising process; ” ……In Him we Live ( that is, have vitality), and move (have dynamic energy) and have our being (attain completeness).” Acts 17:28.
Therefore contact with God establishes within us a flow of the same type of energy that recreates the world and that renews every year. When in spiritual contact with God through our thought processes, the divine energy flows through the personality, automatically renewing the original creative act. When contact with the divine energy is broken , the personality gradually becomes depleted in body, in mind and spirit.
Yarnofpreferredcolourandsize. FormyfirsthatIused KNIT ME yarnwhichhasdifferentcoloursthatkeepchangingatcertainintervalsasyouworkyourproject. FormyotherhatIusedthreedifferentcoloursof ROBIN CHUNKY yarn.Ifyoudecidetousedifferentcoloursofyarnindependently,makesurethatyoudon’tcutoffyouryarnwhenchangingyouryarn.
Rememberto have anotherplaincolourofyarntousefor the brimofyourhatifusing KNIT ME oranyothertypeofyarnthatkeepschangingcolourswhileyouwork.
Round 3: Slip stitch to the next Ch 1 space and Ch 3, 2 dc in the same space, ch 1, 3dc in the same space, Ch 1.*ch 1, 3dc*.
Round 4: Slip stitch to the next Ch 1 space then chain 3, 2 dc, Ch 1, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in same space. *Ch 1, 3 dc, Ch 1 (2 dc, Ch 1, 2 dc) in same space*.
Round 5: Slip stitch to the next chain 1 space and then Ch 3, 2 dc, Ch 1, 3 dc, Ch 1, 3 dc. *ch 1, 3 dc*.
Round6: Slip stitch to the next chain 1 space then Ch 3, dc , ch 1, 2 dc; (3 dc, Ch 1) 5 times, (2 dc, Ch 1, 2 dc) in the same space, Ch 1, (3 dc, Ch 1) 5 times, Ch 1, 2 dc, Ch 1, 2 dc. You can choose to either skip or keep round 6.
Round 7-22: Slip stitch to the next chain 1 space then chain 3, 2 dc, ch 1, 3 dc, Ch 1, 3 dc. *ch 1, 3dc*.
Repeat this until you reach the required height.I worked about 8 inches from the crown of my hat to just before the brim of my hat then fastened off and using a size 5mm crochet hook and a different colour of yarn I worked the brim of my hat in the following way.
Round 23: 3sc and 1sc in the Ch 1 space. Repeat this all round.
Round 24: 1 sc in all stitches around.
To create the ribbing effect, work;
Round 25-27: Ch 3, FPdc,BPdc,FPdc,BPdc all round. Repeat this until when you are satisfied then fasten off. I worked 3 rounds.
What I like most about this hat is the fact that it blends with different skin tones and different hair styles. The hat can be worn in any kind of weather since its stylish and warm. The different colours gives one a lot of options on the kind of outfit to wear with it. Why have a dull day when you can brighten up with this lovely hat?
Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow. Heart is the symbol of creative activity. Fire the heart with where you want to go and what you want to be. Get it so deeply fixed in your unconscious that you will not take no for an answer, then your entire personality will follow where your heart leads.
‘ Throw your heart over the bar’ means to throw your faith over your difficulty, throw your affirmation over every barrier, throw your visualization over your obstacles. In other words, throw the spiritual essence of you over the bar and your material self will follow in the victory groove pioneered by your faith-inspired mind.
Yarn of preferred colour and size. I used robin chunky acrylic yarn. I used five different colours. My main colour was black and my other colours were blue for the base, rasta colours- red, yellow and green.
A tapestry needle.
A pair of scissors.
A measuring tape.
Single crochet stitches (sc sts).
Chain stitches (Ch sts).
Variations of the double crochet stitches (dc sts)
The bag is worked in about three to four steps.
Working the base.
This happens to be where my project begins since my duffle bag is worked from the base upwards. The base is worked in circles using single crochet stitches.
Round 1: Using the magic circle technique, work 6 sc inside the magic circle. If you do not know how to use the magic circle, you can make a chain of two stitches then in the first stitch work five more sc stitches to make a total of 6 sc stitches for your first round.
Round 2: Work 2 sc in each st around ; you will have a total of 12 sts for your second row.
Round 3: Work 1 sc then 2 sc stitches in the next st.
*1 sc, 2 sc* repeat this all round.
Round 4: Work 2 sc in the first 2 sts then 2 sc in the next st.
*2 sc, 2 sc in same st* repeat all round.
Round 5: Work 3 sc in the first 3 sts then 2 sc in the next st.
*3 sc, 2 sc in next stitch* repeat all round.
Round6: Work 4 sc in the first four stitches then 2 sc in the next st.
*4 sc, 2 sc in next stitch*.
Round 7: Work 5 sc in the first 5 stitches then 2 sc in next st.
So you keep on working your increase until you get a total number of stitches that is divisible by fourteen.
I worked about 21 rounds and had a total of 126 sc stitches in my last round (12 inches for the base) then I worked one row of sc stitches all round normally.
Working the body.
After working the base, you can pretty much continue working the body with any stitch depending on the pattern and the final look that you want to achieve.
I used the chevron pattern which is also called a crochet ripple. It basically looks like an inverted ‘V’ shaped pattern which is achieved by repeating different variations of the same stitch e.g dc, sc or hdc stitches across a row or around.
These variations comprise of increases and decreases at certain intervals across the row. You will notice that the increases will be creating high points that will look like the peak of a mountain and the decreases will be creating low points that look like valleys.
I used the following variations of dc sts:
Work 3 dc sts with one top then in each of the next 3 stitches work 1 dc, in the next two stitches work 3 dc stitches in each stitch, then in each of the next 3 stitches work 1dc stitch and in the last 3 stitches work 3 dc with one top.
*3 dc with one top, 3 dc in next 3 sts, 3 dc in next, 3 dc in next, 3 dc in next 3 stitches, 3dc with one top* repeat this all round working in the back loops only.
Working in the back loops creates a ribbed pattern. You can change your yarn according to your preference. I worked my bag to a height of about 17 inches then worked one more row to bring all my stitches to the same height.
The row is worked by repeating *1 hdc, 2 dc in the next, 3 hdc, 4 sc, 2 hdc, 6 dc, 2 hdc, 4 sc*.
Work one row of sc stitches all round. You will then go ahead to work another row where our strainer will go through by working *7 sc, chain 2 then skip a stitch and sc in the next st* repeat this across the row.
Work one final row of sc stitches around in the back loops only. The body of your project is now complete.
The third part is where you put your strainer and the handles for your bag. I decided to use my handles as my strainer too.
To make the strainer/ handles, work a foundation chain of about 260 sts then work one row of dc stitches.
Pass the strainer/ handles through the chain 2 spaces you made and after making sure that the strainer has gone through all the required openings use your tapestry needle to join the two bases of your strainer to where the base of your project joins the body of your project. You now have both the strainer and the handles in place.
Sew in your lining.
This part is optional since you can use your bag without the lining.
Remember to weave in your loose ends.
You can reach your goal, your best dreams can come true , you can get where you want to go only if you know what your goal is. You cannot expect the best if you think aimlessly.
If you want to get somewhere, you must decide definitely where you want to be or what you want to accomplish. Be sure it is the right objective then photograph this objective on your mind and hold it there. Work hard, believe in it and the thought will become so powerful that it will tend to assure success.
Take the best into your mind, nurture it, concentrate on it, emphasize it, visualize it, prayerise it, surround it with faith. Make it your obsession. Expect the best and spiritually creative mind-power aided by God power will produce the best.