Update on Snowball Express 2021

Many of you have been asking for an update on the Snowball Express and I finally have one to give you.

The Gary Sinise Foundation announced yesterday that the Snowball Express will once again be virtual this year. As many of you are aware the Delta variant of the Corona Virus has been surging through the country and is at the moment particularly bad in Florida which is where the in person Snowball Express takes place. I’m sure it was a tough call for them but I am glad they made the call they did.

What does this mean for us and our blankets? Well, we are still in limbo to be honest. The volunteer staff who handles the blanket drive part of the event have left the choice up to us. Donate the blankets to worthy causes or hold onto them for the possibility of a live and in person Snowball Express for 2022. At the moment I have plenty of space for the blankets that are vacuum sealed and can hold them so I think it would be best for me to just hold into them. Each of us made those blankets with a purpose in mind and I’d like for them to go to that purpose. So for now, I will keep the ones I have.

Will we do a drive next year since we didn’t this year? This is a tough call and to be honest it’s something that I cannot answer right now. I will probably wait until January or February to decide this. No one knows what it going to happen with this virus so I don’t feel comfortable giving an answer at the present time. I can tell you that I do absolutely want to do a drive though!

What should I do with my blankets I’ve been holding for donation? I’ll offer you the same options that were given to me. Donate them or hold onto them.

Should I keep making blankets to donate? Yes, absolutely if you want to. I am! Eventually the in person event will come back.

I hope this answers some questions for you. I am disappointed for the Gold Star families but I am so glad measures are being taken for their safety. The good news is they did the event virtually last year so they know exactly what needs to be done to make an awesome virtual event again this year for them.

As always, please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers and do not forget to add the 13 families whose stars turned from blue to gold last week.

Be kind,


Ame’s Embrace Released!

Ame’s Embrace Released!

The wait is over and Ame’s Embrace is up for sale! I am so excited to see all of your shawls come to life. Please don’t forget that there is a constant flow of support in the It’s Crochet O’Clock Facebook group for you! Come hang out with us and show off your shawls or get help if you need.

You can purchase your patterns at the following websites:

Good Loops Yarn



A huge thank you to my Admin Team and my Testers. I have an incredible team working with me and truly have no idea what I would do without them!

A few of you have asked for me to put up a PayPal link so you can donate extra to the Charity Christmas Fund the sales of this pattern will go to. Below you can do so!

Charity Christmas Fund for my Co-Worker

These donations will go directly to a co-worker of mine who was out of work for 6 weeks with Covid. We only get 80 hours of Covid pay so she is trying to crawl out of the hole of missing a month of pay. She is the only earner in her household and has custody of her grandsons. We’re going to help buy those babies Christmas!

5.00 $

Happy Crocheting Yall!



Introduction: Ame’s Embrace

Introduction: Ame’s Embrace

You know when you visit food blogs and you have to weed through eleventy billion paragraphs about how the blogger decided on a specific spice market to purchase their spices from before you actually get to the recipe? Nobody cares about your journey through seventeen spice markets Sheila! Just get on with the recipe already! Right? Well, today’s post is going to be just like that. Only crochet and a very special pattern instead of spice markets and a new, blow your socks off curry recipe. 

Today is all about this lady in the picture above. That’s my sister-cousin Ame. I always say sister-cousin instead of just cousin because she is more like a sister to me than a cousin and always has been. There are only a handful of people in the world who have known me as long as she has and even less who understand me like she does.

About three years ago she asked me to design her something that she could wear out in the evenings that was “fancy.” The length of time it took me to actually grant her wish is a bit embarrassing and I’m not sure what it says about my sister-cousin status but it is here, finally. 

(Tester Veronica used Mulberry)

Ame’s Embrace is designed as a triangular shawl but I also took care to ensure that if you wanted to convert it into a wrap it could be done with ease. The border is very simple and if you want to take the time to look at it and make adjustments it can be done relatively easily as well. There is full fringe, fringe lite and for those who don’t like fringe at all.. Well you can just opt out completely. It looks awesome no matter which you choose.

Each element of the shawl has been created with purpose. Each small component is a bit that represents my sister-cousin and as such, in essence it is a way for each of you to hopefully feel the same love I am blessed to have from Ame for yourselves. 

(Tester Leighann used Pickled Ginger)

The center of the motif is a daisy. It is her favorite flower. 

The box around the daisy represents the box she never lets me stay in for too long. Like so many other people I have battled with depression of various levels throughout my life. Ame has always been there, in some way to help me through. Even if she had to drive three hours just to crawl in bed with me and hold me while I cried. I think, of all the elements that make up this piece, this box is the most meaningful for me. There have been some really dark times in my life, times when I honestly felt like I was drowning in the darkness that she has been there for and helped me out of. 

(Tester Karen used Olive)

The corners of the motif are tulips. Yes, there is a lot of artistic impression here but work with me. A number of years ago my sister-cousin met and married one of the most awesome guys God put on the planet. Downside was that a few years after that he got stationed at Whidbey Island Washington and took her all the way across the country, literally. Upside, aside from the insane happiness they found with each other was that my cousin got to visit the tulip fields in Washington each year that they were there. I’d always look forward to her Facebook posts containing tons of photos of the gorgeous tulip fields. I’ve never been there to see them with my own eyes but I got to live it through her! They also look pretty awesome and take on a life of their own once you start attaching them together. 

The lace work is my nod to her love of Irish Lace Crochet. No, it doesn’t look just like Irish Lace but, it’s kind of close. I tried my best not to make each section look perfect, as the webbing in Irish Lace never is.

(Tester Sheri used Orchid)

Finally, the grape bunches on the border. Wine right? I put grapes there to celebrate wine! Wrong. Those grapes represent all the grape lives that have been saved because the wine racks in my sister-cousin’s house are not occupied by wine bottles. Do you know what occupies them? YARN! True story! Her husband facetimed me when her stash finally broke the boundaries of her office and said “Will you look at what your cousin has done.” I see no problem with this at all, truly. This is normal, this is ALL normal.

(Tester Melissa used Charcoal)

So this is Ame’s Embrace. It is my very humble tribute to a woman who has been a constant inspiration and guiding light in my life. She always supports me even if she doesn’t understand. She always loves me, even when I make poor choices. She tells it to me straight, even if I don’t want to hear it. She is one of the kindest people to ever walk this planet and I am lucky to have her in my life as a cousin, a sister and a friend. 

(Crocheted by Marthie using Watershed – Photographed by Jennifer – Modeled by Josephine of The Yarn Room)

To work the pattern you’ll need a minimum 8 balls of Nurturing Fibres Eco-Lush yarn, 9 if you prefer full fringe. (Go with full fringe! You know you wanna!) You can purchase Eco-Lush by visiting Good Loops Yarn. I used a 2.5 mm hook for the project so if you don’t have one of those you’ll need to get yourself one. This shawl is also worked using the join as you go method! Don’t be scared if you’ve never done the join as you go method before because there will be full video tutorials for the project. I’ll be with you every step of the way!

The pattern will go on sale on Saturday, November 7th and will be available for digital purchase at Good Loops Yarn, LoveCrafts and my Etsy Store

(Ame after receiving her name sake worked in Aventurine)

A special note about the first month of proceeds from the sale of this pattern: It will all be donated to a co-worker of mine who was out of work for six weeks with Covid. We are only given 80 hours of Covid pay so she went an entire month without pay. She is the only earner in her household where she has custody of her two grandsons. We’re going to help buy those babies Christmas this year because as one would expect, crawling out of a hole generated by losing a month of pay is incredibly hard.

Did you make it to the end? I certainly hope you did! Thank you for taking this journey with me and for always supporting me! It means the world to me. I cannot express how excited I am for you all to finally have this pattern in your hands. Not long to wait now!



**Disclaimer – some of the links in this post contain affiliate links. By using them I will be given a small percentage of your sale at no extra cost to you. I appreciate you supporting me in this manner!

Pattern Release: She Sells Sea Shawls by Russell Sansom

Pattern Release: She Sells Sea Shawls by Russell Sansom

The day has finally arrived! We are so excited and know that you are too. Remember, if you want to purchase Nurturing Fibres Eco Fusion for this project you’ll need five balls of one color and then one ball of another for the accent!


She Sells Sea Shawls by Russell Sansom

Video Tutorial by It’s Crochet O’Clock

Happy Crocheting!

Russell & Stephanie


Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may contain affiliate links. Russell or myself may be paid a commission if you choose to use them at no extra cost to you.