Simon Says Stashbuster [Free Knitting Pattern]

Please note this post contains affiliate links.

As I was getting ready to release my newest pattern, I realized that I don’t currently have any free knitting patterns on my blog. So in an effort to provide some free pattern options for my knitting friends, I decided that the Simon Says Stashbuster will be the first free knitting pattern! As with all my free patterns, you can find an ad-free downloadable pdf version on Ravelry and Etsy for a low cost if you prefer your patterns that way as well.

Download Simon Says Stashbuster on Ravelry here or Etsy here.

Simon says grab your scrap yarn. Simon says grab your knitting needles. Simon Says Stashbuster!

The Simon Says Stashbuster is the second pattern in the Fun & Games Collection for Summer 2019. This fun throw pattern is a great way to use up lots of worsted weight yarn, since knitted blocks are made using two strands of different colored yarn held double, and then all the squares are seamed together. The pattern includes four different patterned, textured squares that use just knit and purl stitches. Beginning knitters just starting out will find this pattern an easy way to try new stitches; advanced knitters will find this a quick way to use up lots of stash. Whatever your skill level, will you play Simon Says Stashbuster?

For other patterns in the Fun and Games Collection, click here. For a beginner book on learning to knit, click here. Or check out this learn to knit kit here.

Simon Says Stashbuster

Size: 43”/109 cm wide by 60”/152 cm long

Gauge: 9 sts and 16 rows in garter st = 4″/10 cm (gauge not essential for this project)

Needles:

  • US size 11 (8.00 mm) straight or circular (long circular is needed for the Edging)
  • My favorite Boye circular interchangeable set on Amazon here.

Yarn:

  • Scrap Worsted weight yarn in colors of choice: approximately 2100 yards/1920 meters; 40 oz/1134 grams
  • Examples of yarn brands used in pictured blanket: Red Heart With Love, Red Heart Soft, Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice, Hobby Libby Crafter’s Secret, Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn, Loops & Threads Impeccable

Notions:

Notes: You will need to make 12 Blocks to match the pattern measurements. Each Block should measure about 13″/ 33 cm by 14″/ 36 cm. If you end up making more Blocks for a bigger blanket, please note that you may need more yarn than suggested. Yarn is held double for each Block, and two different colors are used to create the variegated effect. This is a fun way to play with different color mixing, or you can keep it simple and use just a few colors. When using scrap yarn, try to use the same weight yarn throughout the blanket for consistency. The arrangement of the Blocks for seaming isn’t important as long as you have 3 Blocks across and 4 Blocks tall. For the pictured blanket, I made sure not to have the same pattern Blocks touching each other, but you can arrange your Blocks however you desire.

Abbreviations (US Terms):

  • BO – bind off
  • CO – cast on
  • K – knit
  • P – purl
  • PU – pick up
  • Rep – repeat
  • RS – right side
  • st, sts – stitches
  • WS – wrong side

Seaming methods tutorial here.

Picking up stitches tutorial here.

Pattern

Block 1: Garter St (Make 3)

With 2 strands of yarn held together, CO 30 sts

Row 1 (RS): K all sts

Row 2 (WS): K all sts

Rows 3-56: Rep Rows 1-2 (28 garter ridges on the RS)

BO all sts in K st

Block 2: Seed St (Make 3)

With 2 strands of yarn held together, CO 29 sts

Row 1 (RS): *K 1, P 1. Rep from * across to last st, K in last st

Rows 2-52: Rep Row 1 (K the P sts, P the K sts)

BO all sts in K st

Block 3: Waffle St (Make 3)

With 2 strands of yarn held together, CO 31 sts

Row 1 (RS): *K 1, P 2. Rep from * across to last st, K in last st

Row 2 (WS): *P 1, K 2. Rep from * across to last st, P in last st

Row 3: K all sts

Row 4: P all sts

Rows 5-50: Rep Rows 1-4, ending on a Row 2 (WS)

BO all sts in K st

Block 4: Hurdle St (Make 3)

With 2 strands of yarn held together, CO 30 sts

Row 1: K all sts

Row 2: K all sts

Row 3: *K 1, P 1. Rep from * across

Row 4: *K 1, P 1. Rep from * across

Rows 5-50: Rep Rows 1-4, ending on a Row 2 (WS)

BO all sts in K st

Finishing

Arrange Blocks as desired in rows of 3 Blocks wide by 4 Blocks tall. Seam Blocks together in rows using a single strand of yarn and a yarn needle, then sew the rows together. You can find a link to a tutorial on the different seaming methods here. For the pictured blanket, I used the whipstitch seaming method. Weave in all ends and continue to EDGING.

Edging

Use long circular needles to work the EDGING. Work one side of the throw at a time, picking up sts evenly along each edge so that it doesn’t bunch (too few) or ruffle (too many). Tutorial link for picking up sts here.

Row 1 (RS): With 2 strands of yarn held together, PU and K evenly along top edge of the  blanket. Turn.

Rows 2-8: K all sts. Turn.

After Row 8, BO all sts with RS facing, but keep last BO st on needle.  Turn throw 90 degrees in preparation to PU sts along the next edge.

Rep Rows 1-8 for each side of the throw.

After last edge has been worked, BO final st. Weave in any remaining ends.

Use hashtag #simonsaysstashbuster to share your projects on Instagram! Add your project on Ravelry here, or download an easy to follow PDF version of the pattern for a low cost. I hope you enjoy this pattern, and happy knitting!

Pattern for personal use only. Please do NOT distribute copies of this pattern and do NOT sell copies of this pattern. You may sell finished items that you make using this pattern, but you are required to credit the original pattern/designer as follows: “Made using a pattern from Kountingsheep by Jenny Galusha-Luna: http://kountingsheep.com ” Do not use the photos from this pattern to sell your items. Do not copy and paste the pattern from this blog post to create your own pattern document. Downloadable pattern is available for purchase here.

Copyright 2019. All photos and written content contained in this pattern are the property of Jenny Galusha-Luna

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you shop through the link at no additional cost to you. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

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Shine Bright Blanket [Free Crochet Pattern]

Post contains affiliate links

It’s no secret that blankets are one of my favorite types of projects to make. I especially love to give away handmade blankets as gifts. There is nothing quite like wrapping up in a warm blanket that feels like wrapping up in a hug, over and over again. The Shine Bright Blanket is a fast project that is great for a last minute blanket gift. It uses a large hook and yarn held double to help you whip up a blanket over just a few days! The Shine Bright Blanket is also a great option for donation, charity, or even for yourself! Spread love through handmade blankets and shine your light brightly in this world!

Download an ad-free PDF version of the pattern on Ravelry here.

For other knit and crochet patterns, see my designer profile on Ravelry here or visit my Etsy shop here. Learn to crochet with this book here.

Shine Bright Blanket

Size: 45″/114 cm wide by 66″/168 cm long

Gauge:

  • 7 dc and 3.5 rows = 4″/10 cm (plain dc was used for a gauge swatch)
  • Gauge not essential for this project

Hooks:

Yarn:

  • Caron One Pound (100% acrylic; 16 oz/453 grams, 812 yards/742 meters): Soft Pink, 2 skeins; Peach, 2 skeins; Cream, 1 skein
  • Or similar Size 4 medium (Aran) yarn of choice in at least 2 colors for Body (approximately 2400 yards) and one color for Edging (approximately 400 yards)

Notions:

Abbreviations (US Terms):

  • ch, chs – chain, chains
  • dc – double crochet
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • Rep – repeat
  • Rnd – round
  • RS – right side
  • sc – single crochet
  • sk – skip
  • sl st – slip stitch
  • sp, sps – space, spaces
  • st, sts – stitch, stitches
  • WS – wrong side

Notes: You will need to hold two strands of yarn together to work the Body of this blanket with the larger hook. For the pictured sample, I used two solid colors to create a new shade, but you can mix colors in any way you choose! This is a great pattern for using up large amounts of worsted or Aran weight yarn; you will need about 2400 yards for the Body of the blanket. The Edging is worked with a singe strand of yarn in a contrasting neutral color, or color of choice with the smaller hook; you will need about 400 yards for the Edging. Gauge is not essential for this project, but please note that if your gauge is different, you may require more yarn than the suggested amounts. The pattern uses 1 full skein and 1 half skein of each main color for the Body of the blanket, and about 1 half skein of the contrasting color for the Edging of the blanket in the suggested yarn.

Pattern: Body

With larger hook and two strands of yarn held together (1 Peach and 1 Soft Pink or 2 colors of choice), Ch 75

Row 1 (RS): Dc in 4th ch from hook and each ch across. Turn. (73 dc)

Rows 2-4: Ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), dc in each dc across. Turn. (73 dc)

Row 5 (RS): Ch 3, 2 dc in same first st, sk next 2 dc, sc in next dc, sk next 2 dc, *5 dc in next dc (Shell created), sk next 2 dc, sc in next dc, sk next 2 dc. Rep from * across to last dc, 3 dc in last dc. Turn. (73 sts)

Row 6 (WS): Ch 1, sc in first dc, sk next 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc (Shell created), sk next 2 dc, sc in next dc, sk next 2 dc, work Shell in next sc, sk next 2 dc. Rep from * across to last dc, sc in last dc. (73 sts)

Row 7 (RS): Ch 3, 2 dc in same first st, sk next 2 dc, sc in next dc, sk next 2 dc, *5 dc in next sc (Shell created), sk next 2 dc, sc in next dc, sk next 2 dc. Rep from * across to last st, 3 dc in last st. Turn. (73 sts)

Row 8 (WS): Rep Row 6. (73 sts)

Row 9 (RS): Ch 3, 1 dc in each st across. Turn. (73 dc)

Rep Rows 2-9 six more times for a total of 7 repeats. Then Rep Rows 2-4 ONCE more.

Fasten off. Continue to EDGING.

Pattern: Edging

Rnd 1: With RS facing, smaller hook and one strand of Edging color yarn, join with sl st in any corner of blanket. Ch 1, (sc, ch 2, sc) in first corner, sc evenly across first edge of blanket to next corner, *(sc, ch 2, sc) in next corner, sc evenly across next edge of blanket to next corner. Rep from * around. Join with sl st to first sc.

Rnd 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as hdc), hdc in same first st as joining, *(hdc, ch 2, hdc) in ch-2 corner sp, hdc in each sc to next ch-2 corner sp. Rep from * around. Join with sl st to first hdc.

Rnd 3: Sl st over to first ch-2 corner sp, *7 dc in ch-2 corner sp, sk 2 sts, sc in next st, sk 2 sts.

(7 dc in next st, sk 2 sts, sc in next st, sk next 2 sts) across edge of blanket to next ch-2 corner sp. Rep from * around. Join with sl st to first dc.

Rnd 4: Ch 2, *(sl st in next dc, ch 2) 6 times, sk sc, sl st in next dc, ch 2. Rep from * around. Join with sl st to first sl st.

Fasten off. Weave in all ends with a yarn needle.

Use hashtag #shinebrightblanket to share your projects on Instagram! Add your project on Ravelry here, or download an easy to follow PDF version of the pattern for a low cost. I hope you enjoy this pattern, and remember to shine bright!

Pattern for personal use only. Please do NOT distribute copies of this pattern and do NOT sell copies of this pattern. You may sell finished items that you make using this pattern, but you are required to credit the original pattern/designer as follows: “Made using a pattern from Kountingsheep by Jenny Galusha-Luna: http://kountingsheep.com ” Do not use the photos from this pattern to sell your items. Do not copy and paste the pattern from this blog post to create your own pattern document. Downloadable pattern is available for purchase here.

Copyright 2019. All photos and written content contained in this pattern are the property of Jenny Galusha-Luna

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you shop through the link at no additional cost to you. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

Kids Reading: Inspire Bible For Girls

In August of this year, Tyndale released a new Inspire Bible for Girls ages 8 and up. This new Bible is a wonderful edition to the award-winning Inspire line, and I’ll be sharing my review on the blog today as well as a few pages I’ve illustrated in mine. Yes, this Bible is for girls of all ages, including us “big” girls. You can also watch my review on YouTube here.

To order your own Inspire Bible for Girls on Amazon, shop my affiliate link here. Choose from either Hardcover or Softcover.

Here is a brief description of this new Bible from the publisher: “Over 500 beautiful full and partial-page Scripture line-art illustrations to color are attractively displayed throughout the Bible. There are lots of pages with open space for creativity in the lightly-ruled, two-inch-wide margins. Girls can leave traces of their faith throughout their Bible for a unique treasure that will truly inspire! The 8.65-point font is larger and more readable than other coloring Bibles, and the high-quality white Bible paper makes it a great choice for creatively responding to God’s Word right on the pages of the Bible. Instill the joy and value of reading the Bible in young girls’ hearts so they can learn to connect with God and discover valuable truths from Scripture―and ultimately live it out in their lives!

Tyndale was kind enough to send me a copy of the softcover Inspire Bible for Girls to review. I did also purchase the hardcover version for myself because I loved the cover. Both covers have shimmery silver to it, but I felt like the hardcover had just an extra special touch with the etched designs and colorful endpapers. Both Bibles contain the exact same content, so it’s just a matter of personal preference when choosing a cover. The softcover also retails for slightly less, if budget is an issue.

In addition to the illustrations we’ve come to love in the Inspire Bibles, the Inspire Bible for Girls also includes lots of extra features. These extra features include: 300+ devotionals written by author Carolyn Larsen; 160+ journaling prompts; 64 key scripture verse pages new with illustrations; 64 fun facts list for each book of the Bible (1-3 John are listed together); topical index of devotionals as well as a special “Shine Brightly for Jesus” devotional plan.

As with the other Inspire Bibles, this one includes the full text of Scripture in the New Living Translation (NLT). This translation is dynamic and highly readable, making it a great option for young girls. Something new to this Bible is the addition of some color to the actual pages. There is some teal included throughout the Bible on the key verse illustration pages, the Old and New Testament Pages, the fun facts, devotionals, and journaling prompts. I like that they used color to help highlight these columns throughout to make them stand out and easier to find as you’re flipping through.

The introduction includes lots of information for studying and illustrating in your Bible, as well as some practice illustrations that are a great place for testing out supplies. In the back is an index of all the designed scripture verses and designed word art.

There are new illustrations on the inside covers and the dedication page. Again it was left blank like in the Inspire Praise bible to make it easier to personalize as you choose. This was the first page I illustrated in my new Bible the day after I received it. I used sparkle gel pens and Faber Castell big brush pens to color and write on the spread.

The next page I illustrated was this full page illustration in 2 Chronicles 20:20. I used watercolor pencils and light water to color this page. The thickness of the pages I would consider the same as the original Inspire Bible. The pages are listed as white, but they seem sort of cream to me still. I do think they are a lighter shade than the original Inspire Bible though.

Overall I am highly pleased with the newest Inspire Bible for Girls, and I love that it’s packed full of features. This would make a great Christmas gift for any young girl in your life. To order a copy of the Inspire Bible for Girls on Amazon, click here. To read other Inspire Bible reviews, visit my Bible Review page here.

You can purchase a special digital kit with tons of printables that coordinate with the Shine Brightly for Jesus devotional plan in the new Inspire Bible for Girls here. Created by Amber Bolton of @biblejournaling and the Inspire Bible Tour. There’s also a new Blessings Coloring Pages digital kit available here that pairs well with the Inspire Bibles, and includes 25 pages of prompts and original artwork to guide you through finding the blessings in your life.

Also, I’ll be having a giveaway this week on my Instagram! Check out @kountingsheepbiblejournaling for a chance to win a softcover Inspire Bible for Girls!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you make purchases through the link at no additional cost to you. I was sent a complimentary copy of the softcover Inspire Bible for Girls by Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to give a positive review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

Kids Reading: 100 Bible Stories for Children

The summer may have slipped away from me before I could share more kids books, but I’m excited to get back into blogging with the next book I recommend for kids: 100 Bible Stories for Children. Both my 4 year old and 1 year old love to read a story from this book at bedtime, and they were thrilled to help me get some pictures of them with the book. It reminds me of a book my parents would have read to me as a child; the illustrations are timeless and the stories are taken directly from scripture with similar phrasing and they don’t shy away from difficult subjects.

This book is compiled by Tyndale publishers and includes 100 of the most well-known stories from both the Old and New Testament. Some of the stories include creation, Noah’s ark, Joseph and his brothers, the Ten Commandments, Naomi and Ruth, Daniel in the lions den, the birth of Jesus, the Beatitudes, the crucifixion and resurrection, Paul’s ministry, and heaven. They are arranged in the order you would find them in the Bible.

One of the things I like the most about this book is that it’s written for children in a way that doesn’t water down the Bible for them. Some other Bible story books we have seem to almost make scripture “too easy” for kids, and it loses some of the seriousness of the message. Obviously I believe you should teach scripture to your children in an age appropriate way, but I appreciate that this book introduces kids at a young age to a broad scope of the Bible and its often difficult topics, like sin, Cain and Abel, and the death of Jesus.

Each story is arranged as its own chapter, with at least one illustration and the direct scripture reference listed at the beginning of the story. The book has a ribbon bookmark to make it easy to find your place each time as you read it together with your child. The stories are short enough to read one or two at a time before bed.

I am so grateful for Tyndale sending me this book to review with my family. I can definitely see it becoming a regular part of our family reading. I would consider 100 Bible Stories for Children a great resource for parents to help teach the Bible to their children in a way that is both fun and educational.

To order your own 100 Bible Stories for Children on Amazon, click here.

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you. Tyndale Publishers sent me a copy of this book to review. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions and pictures contained in this post are my own.

Straight Granny Blanket [Free Crochet Pattern]

Over 10 years ago, I published the Straight Granny Blanket Pattern on my blog. It’s seen several different pattern revisions over the years, but I had never had it tested. Which means it had a mistake in it that never got fixed until now, oops! To remedy that, as well as to bring the pattern up to my current standard, I’ve redesigned it slightly with new yarn, and it has been thoroughly tested to ensure accuracy.

The new Straight Granny Blanket Pattern comes with two size options, Infant and Child, as well as information on how to make the pattern whatever size you want. I love how the Mandala Baby yarn adds so much color to these blankets without a bunch of color changes. The pattern also includes a new edging.

As always, the Straight Granny Blanket Pattern is a free pattern on my blog, which you can find below. You can also find a downloadable pdf version in my shops for a low cost on Etsy here and Ravelry here. See below for a list of supplies (affiliate links) and the pattern!

Straight Granny Blanket

  • 3-4 skeins of Lion Brand Mandala Baby Yarn (Rainbow Falls here, Unicorn Cloud here)
  • Boye Ergonomic size I hook (Boye Hook Set)
  • Yarn needle, tape measure, scissors
  • Finished size: Infant, 34 inches wide by 43 inches long; Child, 38 inches wide by 50 inches long (info on how to check gauge here)
  • Level: advanced beginner to intermediate. Must have some knowledge on how to do a border for the Edging portion. (If you are new to crochet, here’s a great book to get started: Learn to Crochet)

Gauge: 13 dc and 8 rows = 4″/10 cm

Abbreviations (US Terms)

  • ch, chs – chain, chains
  • dc – double crochet
  • Rnd/Rnds – round, rounds
  • RS – right side
  • sc – single crochet
  • sl st – slip stitch
  • sp, sps – space, spaces
  • st, sts – stitch, stitches
  • WS – wrong side

Notes

If you would like your blanket to be bigger, chain a multiple of 4+3 for desired width and repeat the pattern until desired length, ending on a RS row. Make sure to leave yarn ends at least 6 inches long if changing colors for easier weaving in later. Longer ends are easier to secure than shorter ones. Instructions are given for Infant size, with Child size in parentheses. Stitch counts are given as Infant/Child. For the Child size blanket shown in pictures. the white color sequence was cut from the Unicorn Cloud yarn while working.

Body

Ch 123 (143)

Row 1 (RS): Dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, *ch 1, skip next ch, 1 dc in next 3 chs. Repeat from * across to last ch, 1 dc in last ch. Turn. (92/104 dc)

Row 2 (WS): Ch 4 (counts as dc and ch-1 sp here and throughout), sk first 3 dc, *3 dc in next ch- 1 sp, ch 1, sk next 3 dc. Repeat from * across to last dc, dc in last dc. Turn. (89/101 dc)

Row 3 (RS): Ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), 3 dc in first ch-1 sp, ch 1, *3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1. Repeat from * across to last ch-1 sp, 3 dc in last ch-1 sp, dc in last dc. Turn. (92/104 dc)

Repeat Rows 2-3 until piece measures 41 (48) inches, ending on a RS row. Do NOT fasten off. Continue on to Edging.

Edging

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc evenly around all four edges of blanket, with 3 sc in each corner. Join with sl st to first sc.

Rnd 2: Sl st over to center sc in 3 sc corner group, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same st, sk next 2 sc, (3 dc in next sc, sk next 2 sc) repeat across to next corner, *(3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in center sc of 3 sc corner group, (3 dc in next sc, sk next 2 sc) repeat across to next corner. Repeat from * around. Join with sl st to first dc.

Rnd 3: Sl st over to corner ch-2 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, (working in the space between next two sets of 3 dc in previous rnd, 3 dc in each space) across to next corner, *(3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in corner ch-2 sp, (working in the space between next two sets of 3 dc in previous rnd, 3 dc in each space) across to next corner. Repeat from * around. Join with sl st to first dc.

Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in each dc around, with 3 sc in each corner ch-2 sp. Join with sl st to first sc. Fasten off. Weave in all ends.

Link your project to the Ravelry project page here. Use hashtag #straightgrannyblanket on Instagram, and feel free to tag me @kountingsheep! Happy Crocheting!

Pattern for personal use only. Please do NOT distribute copies of this pattern and do NOT sell copies of this pattern. You may sell finished items that you make using this pattern, but you are required to credit the original pattern/designer as follows: “Made using a pattern from Kountingsheep by Jenny Galusha-Luna: http://kountingsheep.com ” Do not use the photos from this pattern to sell your items. Do not copy and paste the pattern from this blog post to create your own pattern document. Downloadable pattern is available for purchase here.

Copyright 2018. All photos and written content contained in this pattern are the property of Jenny Galusha-Luna

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission when you shop through the link at no additional cost to you. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

Kids Reading: Board Books

For the month of July, I thought it would be fun to share some resources for kids to encourage them to read this summer! First up I have 2 board books to share that are great for reading aloud with toddlers. I have 2 little girls who love books, and these board books have been a huge hit with them.

Counting Blessings by Eileen Spinelli and Illustrated by Lee Holland

The first book I want to share with you is called Counting Blessings. This sweet book features a cute bunny family. The mommy and daddy bunny are helping the baby bunny to count different blessings throughout the day. The first half of the book show 10 different blessings to count and then the second half of the book counts things outside in nature, without using numbers like the first half.

As a mom of two young children who love to read counting books, I really like the structure of this one to include actual numbers for part of it and then things that the child can count for the second part of it. The cover of the book is a padded cover and the pages are traditional board book material. This book is very sturdy for little hands, and so far our copy has been able to withstand two very rough toddlers. Another thing I like about this book is that it showcases simple blessings that would be more familiar to a young child, like crackers, good night kisses, books, songs, birds and trees. This loveable book is great for reading before bed with a simple rhyming scheme that makes it flow smoothly when reading.

Little One, God Made You Special by Amy Warren Hilliker and Illustrated by Polona Lovsin

The second board book I want to share is called Little One, God Made You Special. I was drawn to the title of this book for my girls because my husband and I try to emphasize a lot how God made us special. We want our girls to grow up knowing that they are made in God’s image and that they are a precious gift. This book helps to reinforce those truths with soft illustrations of animals and a sweet rhyme that points out the different parts of us that are perfectly made by God. The book opens and closes with the message that “God made you special, little one. There’s no one like you–no, no not one!”

My girls love to read this one and flip the pages. This board book has a traditional board book cover and pages, but they are on the thinner side. It will stand up to toddlers better than a regular book, but may not be as sturdy as other board books. The size is perfect for showing off the beautiful illustrations, which I think are a major highlight of this book. The book is written by Rick Warren’s daughter, Amy, and is inspired by themes from The Purpose Driven Life. I love that the theme of this book is very intentional, even for the youngest of readers.

Overall, I think both of these books are a great addition to a little one’s library. They are sure to become bedtime favorites. To purchase a copy of Counting Blessings on Amazon, click here. To purchase a copy of Little One, God Made You Special, click here. Stay tuned for more kid friendly recommendations!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you. I was sent a copy of both these books from the publisher through the Book Look Bloggers program. I was not required to give a positive review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

Do You Tunisian Crochet?

Have you tried Tunisian crochet before? If you haven’t ever heard of this technique, it’s a special combination of knit and crochet that uses what was traditionally called an “afghan” hook, or a long crochet hook. Your grandma would have known it as “Afghan stitch” or “Afghan crochet” because it was a very popular technique to use to make large panels for blankets. In fact, I know my grandma knew how to do Afghan stitch, because she made my dad an entire blanket using this technique.

I learned how to do Tunisian crochet about 15 years ago before I had learned to knit. I had been crocheting for several years and wanted to branch out to something new, but wasn’t ready to pick up some knitting needles. I had several books, a few long afghan hooks, and a few double-ended crochet cables (like circular knitting needles but with crochet hook tips). I mostly made scarves, because you don’t have to turn your work with Tunisian crochet. The above pictured scarf is the only thing I still have from when I first learned Tunisian. Unfortunately I gave away all my Tunisian supplies when I learned to knit, thinking I would never be interested in doing it again. I have major regrets now for not keeping my supplies, especially the double-ended cable hooks.

Now with the recent resurgence of this technique, I decided to get a new set of Tunisian hooks and pick it up again. And I’m addicted! I really think the best part about Tunisian crochet is the fact you don’t have to turn your work. Tunisian is a combo of “croknitting” loops onto your hook going right to left, then crocheting the loops off your hook from left to right. It produces a fabric that is neither fully knit nor fully crochet but resembles a little bit of both. I’m currently working on my very first Tunisian crochet blanket, and it’s been fun learning new stitches.

If you would like to give Tunisian crochet a try, check out these supplies on Amazon here:

You can also read more detailed information about Tunisian crochet and the basic stitches in this article here. I’m hoping to create some Tunisian crochet designs in the future, and I can’t wait to learn new techniques and stitches! Feel free to leave a comment if you have questions about Tunisian crochet or if you’ve tried it before!

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the links at no additional cost to you. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

College Bound: Collegiate Throw [Crochet Pattern]

For Day 3 in this “College Bound” series, I have a new crochet pattern to share with you! The Collegiate Throw is the perfect project to help get your college student into school spirit. Choose your school colors to crochet this giant granny square blanket, perfect for dorm rooms, chilly fall football games, cuddling up with a textbook, or even to help stay warm in a cold classroom.

Download the pattern on Ravelry here and on Etsy here.

The Collegiate Throw pattern includes written instructions for how to make the blanket, special instructions for making a crisp straight square, 4 color sequence ideas, and 2 picture tutorials for special stitches. This crochet pattern has been carefully edited and tested to ensure quality and accuracy.

The pattern also uses one of my favorite blanket yarns, Caron One Pound. You can order this yarn in a variety of colors on Amazon here. Combined with a large crochet hook, this throw works up quickly. You can order a Boye Ergonomic size L hook (as seen in these pictures) on Amazon here. The Collegiate Throw pattern is addicting, and soon you’ll be making one in all your favorite college team colors for every member of your family!

Download your copy of the Collegiate Throw crochet pattern in my Etsy shop here and on Ravelry here. Use the hashtag #collegiatethrow on Instagram to share your projects made using my pattern. I can’t wait to see what color combos you come up with!

Please note that this post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission when you purchase through the links at no additional cost to you. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

College Bound: CSB Worldview Study Bible [Review]

This week I’m going to be sharing a few things to consider giving to a recent grad who is now college bound! I know summer is often a time for vacations and relaxing, but it can also be a time of preparation for the next phase of life for many young adults. For Christian young adults, there’s nothing more important than a reliable study Bible, and I highly recommend the CSB Worldview Study Bible.

To order a copy of the CSB Worldview Study Bible leather touch cover on Amazon, click here.

Here is the description from the publisher: “The CSB Worldview Study Bible features extensive worldview study notes and articles by notable Christian scholars to help Christians better understand the grand narrative and flow of Scripture within the biblical framework from which we are called to view reality and make sense of life and the world. Guided by general editors David S. Dockery and Trevin K. Wax, this Bible is an invaluable resource and study tool that will help you to discuss, defend, and clearly share with others the truth, hope, and practical compatibility of Christianity in everyday life.”

This is my new favorite Bible, and it currently sits on my nightstand for easy access. Not only is the leather touch cover comfortable to hold in my lap while reading, but the size is great for every day use without being too bulky. The design on the interior is very subtle, with mainly gray shading to help offset the extra content. A few images that evoke a universe theme are included on the Old Testament and New Testament pages and the concordance cover page. I like that the design is neutral and not too distracting. The content and the text are the main focus.

The 130 worldview articles spread throughout the text are helpful for discerning relevant topics in our culture. Written by over 120 scholars, the topics span from the practical to the intellectual. Some article topics include creation, science, gender and sexuality, language, other religions, music and recreation, technology, church and state, a biblical work ethic, just to name a few.

The over 5,900 study notes also provide extra guidance when reading certain passages. The notes are offset in a light gray box at the bottom of each page. The scripture text is double column, with a cross-reference center column.

Each book of the Bible begins with a two page spread that includes book introduction and information, Worldview elements, and a timeline. The Worldview elements for each book are “Teachings about God,” “Teachings about Humanity,” and “Teachings about Salvation.” Having this common them throughout helps to tie a Christian Worldview together throughout all of Scripture.

The CSB Worldview Bible is thought-provoking for helping Christians form a biblical worldview. I highly recommend this Bible! It would make a great gift for a recent grad or great gift to self.

To order a copy in the Navy leather touch cover on Amazon, click here. For another great study Bible for young adults, see my review for the CSB Apologetics Study Bible here.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the links at no additional cost to you. B&H/Lifeway sent me a copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

CSB Study Bible for Women [Review]

Lifeway was kind enough to send me a copy of the new CSB Study Bible For Women to review on my blog, so today I will be focusing on this beautiful new Bible. Make sure you read until the end of the post to find out how you can win a copy for yourself!

To order a copy of the CSB Study Bible for Women on Amazon, click here.

This new study Bible is an update of a previous version, The Study Bible for Women (HCSB), originally published in 2014. The same editor team of Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley are part of this updated 2018 version, which includes a new design, expanded concordance, and a new layout for the study content within the text. The text itself is the updated, highly readable and highly reliable Christian Standard Bible translation. This study Bible is written by women for women.

At the beginning of this Bible is an introduction and an article on how to study the Bible. I love that this article encourages women to study the text deeply for themselves, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, God’s word, the resources included in this Bible as well as outside resources. This Bible isn’t about devotions and emotions, it’s about study God’s word to know him better. It gives lots of great suggestions about how to have personal Bible study and engage with the word of God.

The design and color palette in this Study Bible is feminine without being too “frilly.” The color scheme reminds me of the She Reads Truth Bible, which is done by the same publisher (read more about the She Reads Truth Bible here). The flowers adorn the top of the introductions to each book of the Bible, and the teal and coral colors are carried throughout to highlight word studies, Biblical Womanhood articles, and the Written on My Heart sections at the end of each book. The colors are subtle and visually appealing throughout the text.

Major female figures throughout the Bible are highlighted in Character Profiles. Other study features include Doctrine, charts and graphs, Word Studies, Biblical Womanhood articles that highlight different topics concerning women, Hard Questions, a features index, a large concordance, and maps in the back. The study notes included at the bottom of the scripture text help explain further the context and meaning, as well as helps to aid the reader to study further on their own.

One thing that I want to note about the content of the study material in this Bible is that the topics of womanhood, marriage, and motherhood are written from a strong complimentarian viewpoint. I took some time to read a few key passages and the corresponding notes and articles pertaining to these topics, and I found them to be more conservative. I felt it was worth mentioning for those who may hold different viewpoints, and as with any Bible or Bible study material, I always encourage you to read for yourself to decide if this is right for you.

Overall, I think the CSB Study Bible for Women is a great resource for women wanting to learn how to study the Bible deeper. It may not be the right Bible for every woman, so feel free to explore my other Bible reviews listed here. To order your own copy of the CSB Study Bible for Women on Amazon in the sand/turquoise hardcover as shown in the pictures, click here. To order the teal flowers LeatherTouch cover, click here.

I will be hosting a giveaway for this Bible on my Instagram @kountingsheepbiblejournaling starting after this post is published and running until Friday, May 25th at 11:59pm AZ time. Click here for more details on how to enter!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through the links at no additional cost to you. Lifeway sent me a copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.