The back-to-school countdown continues!
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For those reading that do not know me, I am actually a teacher. This is the second school year in a row that I will be staying home on child rearing leave (woo hoo!). Yet I still have that feeling of excitement combined with the constant knot in my stomach when thinking about how close the start of the new school year is. It is always such a rush, from catching up with colleagues, setting up classrooms, revamping that first day lesson plan… and then there are suddenly students filing into your classroom, 4-5 times a day, leaving you with 100+ names to remember, paperwork to organize, and assignments to grade. It is a shock to the system to say the least, but adrenaline gets you through. Every year it feels like I blink and it is suddenly a month later. Everyone has hit their groove and it’s as if there was never a gap between June and September.
I think this feeling is what inspired these:
I am stuck on finding a fun name for them, so Alphanumeral Wall Hangings it is, since that’s literally what they are!
I spent much longer than I like to admit getting sucked into Pinterest one night, browsing for ideas for wall decor (I’m going to create that gallery wall in the living room… someday). I like the idea of creating a unique wall hanging, and there was no shortage of inspiration, from using dowels, sticks, branches, and even giant knitting needles! I finally pulled myself away and went to bed, but the next day I had one of those light bulb moments. Pencils! Create a wall hanging using pencils! I wish I remembered what chain of thoughts led to this, but mom brain moves on and forgets too quickly.
I spent the past week designing and creating samples. I started with graph paper (shout out to my sister for that idea as a gift one year):
I sketched several letters and numbers before discovering this great app called Chart Minder (http://www.chart-minder.com). It is free, they just kindly ask for donations to keep things running. It is very simple to use and definitely cut down on the amount of time it took to create digital versions of 36 color work charts (A-Z and 0-9) – phew! You can even scan in charts that you are working with so you can keep track of where you are in a project (I haven’t tried that part out yet).
These were created using the Fair Isle method for color change. The panels are worked in single crochet rows and the yarn is carried on the back (wrong side). Here is a great video tutorial by Deja Jetmir of Crochet Ever After if you are not familiar with this method: https://youtu.be/g8jHzQN-WU0
As I worked on the samples in the pictures, I brainstormed several project ideas. There are many ways in which the patterns can be customized!
- Teacher gift
- Classroom decor
- Playroom decor
- Gallery walls
- Spell out words, names
- Hang up letters and numbers as students learn them in pre-school/kindergarten
- Create longer vertical hangings by connecting them together
- And so much more!
If you are interested in the full set of color work charts plus the tutorial for creating the wall hangings with pencils, see my Etsy listing here! It is all available as a paid, PDF instant download.
Have fun, and feel free to share your finished projects – I would love to see what you come up with!