Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hearts for Paris

Nous Somme Tous Paris

  On November 13th, 2015, I didn't sit watching the news on a television. I didn't hold hands with anyone and pray. The events in Paris didn't affect me physically, but on November 13th and the days that followed, I sat there dumbfounded, wanting to help and not knowing how; wanting to write and not knowing what. Wishing I could feel helpful instead of helpless. Hoping this would be the last time the world would see such cruelty, but knowing it won't be. The news this morning: More violence. Terrified that any of us could be next. And that's one way that terrorists win.

hearts, free crochet pattern, Paris, November 13th

  My heart goes out to Paris, but at the time, my words and money could not. My good friend Jenn's words and pattern reached me first. As she asked "Do you remember?", I didn't. I was just teenager then. Distracted by the birth of my only niece on the same day, I was unaware of the support from Paris after the events of 9/11. Although I knew what was going on and was just as scared as everyone else, I was being a kid, not reading papers. But, as I read the words Jenn wrote and let them sink in, the memories started flooding in. Was it the inattention of being young, or had I blocked everything out from fear? The attacks on November 13th again left me feeling like that clueless, scared kid that didn't know what to do or say.

  I found my voice through crochet. I had to start working on the Paris stitch. Then I began a pair of the fingerless mitts Jenn designed. And as I "prayed" for Paris over my stitches, I knew one small thing I could do. I can crochet.

  After putting the mitts down, I crocheted a black heart. I'm not sure if it just seemed fitting at the time, or if it was a reflection of my mood. Staring at the finished piece, again not knowing what to do next, I made another. I thought about the lives lost; destroyed; altered for all time. Then, I read in the news: There will be war. I made a purple heart: For all those injured or killed in past wars due to terrorism, and for those who will be in the future.

free crochet pattern, heart, Paris, November 13th

  Then, something for Paris. A heart in blue, a heart in white, and another in red for the French flag. But, it still wan't right. Each color was separate. The stitches were lacy and far apart. I needed to make something that represented "togetherness". I wanted the stitches to be closer, and the colors to be joined, just like the United States and France are joined and together in our mourning after acts of terrorism.

free crochet pattern, heart, Paris, November 13th

  I redesigned my pattern into something that fit. A heart in the colors of the French flag. But, now what? How can I use it to do something? The thought became a pulse in my head: "Do something, do something, do something". I want to personally hold each person and say "I'm sorry". I want to go there to help somehow. I wish I could donate money...

  Wait, I can! I don't make a ton of money by making guides on Guidecentral, but at least I make something. I created a step by step tutorial for my "Heart for Paris", with the promise that my earnings for the guide will be donated to the French Red Cross. And that's how you can help, too. Each "like" the guide gets on Guidecentral will make me a tiny, little, itty bitty bit of extra money, which will increase my donation. Signing up for a Guidecentral account is free and easy, so please, please, please go give the guide a like if you want to help but can't donate. This isn't some useless Facebook spam: For every hundred "likes" the guide gets, I can donate another dollar on top of my original earnings.

  Now, on to the pattern: There are two versions of this heart. The exact written instructions are for the tri-colored Heart for Paris. You will find an explanation to alter the pattern for the lacier single-color version. Gauge has not been measured because the pattern was made to fit any size yarn. Adjust your hook size according to your yarn manufacturer's recommended hook, and see additional notes for how I made the extra-lacy version of the black heart.

free crochet pattern, heart, Paris, November 13th

Skill level:

Any size yarn
I used Aunt Lydia's #10 thread for the black hearts, Loops and Threads Woolike for the purple, and Caron United in Blue, White, and Red for the rest. 

crochet, yarn, thread, materials

Recommended hook size
I used two different sizes of steel hooks for the black hearts (see notes after pattern), a size H/8 - 5.00 MM for the purple, and a size I/9 - 5.50 MM for the tri-color and separate blue, white, and red hearts.

crochet, hooks, gauge

Yarn needle
*Optional* accessories for pattern: You may wish to use this piece as an applique, brooch, decoration, etc., in which case you will need things such as needle and thread, jewelry findings, or additional yarn/thread for hanging.

Not important. Finished pattern made with worsted weight yarn and size I/9 - 5.50MM hook (in half-double crochet stitch) measures 2" (5 cm) wide by 2" (5 cm) high.

Chain-2 at beginning of rows 1 - 3 counts as a half-double crochet stitch.

Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Single crochet (sc)
Half-double crochet (hdc)
*Optional* Double crochet (dc)


Begin with Red and a slip knot on the hook.

Row 1:
Chain 2, make 1 hdc in the farthest ch from the hook, changing to White on the last yarn over of the stitch. Cut red.

Row 2:
Ch 2, turn. Make 1 hdc in the first (same) stitch. Make 2 hdc in the next (last) stitch. (4 hdc)

Row 3:
Ch 2, turn. Make 1 hdc in the first stitch. Make 1 hdc in each of the next 2 stitches. Make 2 hdc in the last stitch, changing to Blue on the last yarn over of the last stitch.

Row 4:
Ch 1, turn. Make 1 hdc in each of the next 2 stitches. Ch 1, sl st in the same st. Sl st in the next st. Ch 1, hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in the next st. Ch 1, sl st in the last st.

Bind off, weave in ends.

free crochet pattern, heart, Paris, November 13th

*Directions for lacy heart:
Follow pattern above, replacing (ch 2) with (ch 3), (hdc) with (dc), and (ch 1) with (ch 2). Extra-lacy black heart was made with #10 thread and a size 0 steel hook. The less-lacy version was made with the same material and the manufacturer's recommended hook size of 7.

free crochet pattern, heart, Paris, November 13th

GrĂ¢ce crochet nous sommes un

Nous Somme Tous Paris!

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