Crochet Pattern: CTR Shield

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been learning to crochet and thoroughly enjoy it. And as with most of the things I love to do, I always end up finding a gospel application for it. When I discovered, however, that LDS/Mormon crochet patterns don't exist in great abundance, I decided to do something about it.

One of the first crochet patterns I knew I needed to develop was the CTR shield. As a newly called CTR 4-5 teacher in Primary, I knew it would be useful to me in reinforcing one of the central messages I'm meant to teach to my class. It also gave me pause as I remembered that Choose the Right was the first hymn I ever sang, as the opening hymn to the first youth activity I ever attended. As one of the simplest messages of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it's also appropriate that this pattern is very easy to follow.

Crochet Pattern: CTR Shield

Special Stitches Required: Single Crochet, Half Double Crochet, Double Crochet, Treble Crochet, and Double Treble Crochet. All stitch names and conventions are given in US terminology. 

Yarn: Green shown is Big Twist Value yarn in Lime, available at Jo-Ann Fabrics. White is a skein I picked up at a thrift store with no product information on it. It's about a size smaller than the green yarn, which is classified at a 4. It's thin and shiny, which gives a nice contrast to the stiffer texture of the green yarn. It's a combination I recommend.

Hook: Size H is recommended for the green yarn, but I think I used a G. Using a smaller yarn and hook will create a smaller final product.

CTR Shield Crochet pattern
Round 1: Chain 2. Single Crochet 2 in the second chain from the hook. Chain 1 and turn.

Round 2: Single Crochet in each stitch, (Total of 2 stitches) Chain 1 and turn.

Round 3: Increase (two Single Crochet in a single stitch) in the first stitch. Single Crochet in the next stitch. (Total of 3 stitches) Chain 1 and turn.

Round 4: Increase 1. Single Crochet 2 (Total of 4 stitches) Chain 1 and turn

Round 5: Increase 1. Single Crochet 2. Increase 1. (Total of 6 stitches) Chain 1 and turn.

Round 6: Single Crochet 6. Chain 1 and Turn.

Round 7: Increase 1. Single Crochet 4. Increase 1. (Total of 8 stitches) Chain 1 and turn.

Round 8: Increase 1. Single Crochet 6. Increase 1. (Total of 10 stitches) Chain 1 and turn.

Round 9: Single Crochet 10. Chain 1 and turn.

Round 10: Increase 1. Single Crochet in the remaining 9 stitches of the row. Chain 1 and turn.

Round 11: Single Crochet in the first and second stitches. Half Double Crochet in the third stitch. Double Crochet in the fourth stitch. Treble Crochet in the fifth stitch. Double Treble Crochet in the sixth stitch. Repeat in descending order: Treble 1, Double Crochet 1, Half Double Crochet 1, and Single Crochet 2.

Fasten Off

Embroider letters according to desired style in white, silver/gray, or gold/yellow yarn. Using the image of the CTR shield as a guide, I found it helpful to start with the T in order to properly center the rest of the letters. I did the R second and the C last.

Borders can be sewn by hand with a yarn needle using a whip stitch, or with Single Crochet around the edges. I tried both and found the Single Crochet borer produced a thicker, more even result. It also helps the insignia to keep its shape.

Great for attaching to a scripture case, making into a key chain or hanging decor on a tote bag, or attaching to a pin. Give as a handout or present in your Primary classes, or at a baptism. While green is traditional, use whatever color you might have hanging around, or even a Primary child's favorite color.

I know that our Heavenly Father loves us, and the children that we teach. As we help them to understand the importance of the commandments in simple ways, they will learn to follow Jesus Christ and his gospel. I know Jesus loves and knows how to reach each Primary child. He will teach us as we strive to reach them. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Accepting Callings

I recently learned to crochet, and I've been having a blast taking up my newest hobby. Like many new experiences, tangled messes of good intentions finally begin to take shape into what we envisioned at the outset. Fortunately, the time it took to transcend the awkward phase where I had no control over my yarn was a brief one. I'm learning quickly, and building skills I never imagined would bring me this much satisfaction.

The timing for finding something I enjoy this much could not be better, because I also was released from my calling. Now, instead of teaching Sunday School to 14-15 year old youth, I will be serving in the Primary as a CTR 4-5 teacher. And unlike the last time I was called into Primary, I can't just move 2,000 miles across the country to avoid it.

Accepting this calling was not easy for me. Because my husband and I are still anxiously waiting for the day we'll have our first child, being around children can be a painful reminder for me. I lamented over the decision of what to do, but I also decided long ago to always accept a calling. I had a great experience as I counseled honestly with the bishopric and the Primary presidency, and they've been incredibly supportive. I feel comfortable moving forward, even knowing the emotional challenges I will face as a result.

Like learning to crochet, serving in the Primary will look and feel like a jumbled, knotted mess for me. And I don't know how long that will last. But over time, I will find my way. Things will begin to make sense, and I'll understand what to do. The same way I learned to love crocheting, I can learn to appreciate serving in Primary. In all the ways I won't be strong enough, the Lord will provide for my needs.

I decided to begin by using something I love to build a positive emotional connection to this assignment. So I began looking for LDS and Primary-inspired crochet patterns. In the Mormon crafting culture, I thought I would find some great projects to get me started. To my surprise, I didn't find anything. So, I've decided to develop my own LDS/Mormon crochet patterns, and to point out patterns I find that could be useful or applicable for members of the Church. So if you love to crochet as much as I do, stay tuned for what I have in store!

I know that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ. They are so very aware of our challenges and limitations. Our weaknesses are like clay in their hands. They have the power to make blessings out of all that is tragic and unfair in our lives. I know that when we are willing to press forwards in faith and patience, all things will work together for our good. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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