You all know I really enjoy inventive, fun, colorful designers who make an effort to do something a little outside the norm for kids. Today's designer, Shannon Corcoran (Mom and teacher), main designer at Family Traditions Crafts. As is obvious from the name Shannon, like myself has the benefit of a family tradition of crafting. Her mom Nancy works with Shannon to complete custom orders. Our blog today will center around the design aspects. I know you'll really love her work. I've used the Ravelry links in this Blog but you can see the patterns for sale by Family Traditions Crafts at https://www.etsy.com/shop/srcorcoran?section_id=12442272
I was introduced to Family Traditions Crafts through Ravelry when I was looking for a little hat with antlers :) I found the exact pattern needed on Shannon Corcoran's page on Ravelry. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/deer-diaper-cover-and-hat-set Then I took a look around her store. Wow such adorable patterns. Since I have my own family tradition of crafting especially knitting and crocheting. My own daughter works with me in creating special pieces. So when we saw all that Family Traditions Crafts had to offer we were pretty excited.
Shannon Corcoran has a whopping 49 designs for sale on Ravelry. That might not seem like much but when you consider that each pattern is tested and each pattern contains detailed instructions with photo tutorials (more on their social networking pages) it's a lot of work! Family Traditions Crafts states that their patterns are about 15 pages in length. That's roughly 735 pages of work. Along with being a mom and teacher. That's fantastic. Shannon Corcoran designs everything from pony style hats to 18" Doll clothes. Its pretty spectacular.
Because my daughter repairs and makes clothes for dolls I was especially interested the doll clothes for 18" dolls Shannon Corcoran had available. Check out this sweet doll overalls and shorts set http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/doll-overalls--shorts and this Ribbons and Lace Skirt http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ribbons-and-lace-skirt.
So sweet! You'll notice that Family Traditions Crafts keeps their designs evenly spread out. This may look like they are not doing much but it takes time to get experienced testers and to write a well done pattern. Its not as simple as it might seem on the surface!
No question that one of my top selling items are the cute photo prop style clothes. Shannon Corcoran certainly makes plenty of adorable sets for babies and for big kids too! I have a special affinity for The Ava Hat Collection (super cute!) http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ava-hat-collection. Though I have to say that baby boy sets are nearly impossible to find so Family Traditions Crafts offers the Dinosaur Dragon Spike Set http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dinosaur-dragon-spike. Adorable! (Did I mention adorable?) The Primrose Short and Overall along with the Primrose Trousers are also very sweet photo props but functional! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/primrose-short--overall
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/primrose-trouser Just precious and no matter what color you make them (as you'll see from the links) they are so cute! Just so huggable :) These are photo props people will "ooo and ahh" over for years to come.
Now we come to the most fun part of Shannon Corcoran's collection. The animal hats for kids. Now you all know that kids love kooky, crazy, colorful, fun hats to wear... all year :) However, here in the Northern Adirondacks, because our Winters are pretty long kids need something to brighten up their day. What could be cuter than a baby in a hat shaped like a pony or a fish? This hat is SO cute I know my kids would have loved this when they were little (alas they are no longer little :) ) http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/horse-hat--all-sizes and of course for those of you looking for a holiday look Shannon Corcoran has designed the absolutely priceless Holly Deer Traditions- Reindeer. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/holly-deer-traditions---reindeer This is by far the cutest reindeer hat I've seen! Also in the totally "rad", super cool, absolutely not to be missed EVER, hat pattern comes the Lavender Dream Horse hat. Yes it comes in adult sizes too for those who might like to go to a themed party with your kids http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lavender-dream Oh my bug SO fantastic.
Speaking of fantastic check out Family Traditions Crafts themed kid clothes. Love these!!! First what would have been a HUGE hit with my kids the "Super Heroes" costumes! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/super-heros What is there to say except WOW!? Since hoodies have become so popular why not dress them up with a little embellishment turning them into bears, unicorns or owls "Oh My"! This I love: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/girl-critter-hoodie-collection-owl-unicorn-bear For boys... Shannon Corcoran has designed the extra manly (and would have been so perfect for my son Ian) http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/boys-critter-hoodie---frog-fox-panda-bear-dinosaur--owl
Anyone who knows my kids knows they had a super sized imagination! If you have kids (big or small) in your life with a super sized imagination Family Traditions Crafts designs are a must see! Please check out both their Ravelry store and their Etsy Store. https://www.etsy.com/shop/srcorcoran?section_id=12442272 Or their Craftsy site http://www.craftsy.com/user/600581/pattern-store. I enjoyed perusing Shannon Corcoran's designs. I think you will too! :)
A few months back now I wrote a blog about a wildlife rescue looking for hand knit or crocheted nests for small animals who had been abandoned for some reason. Recently my cousin Karen pointed me to another organization looking to provide rescue nests for wildlife rescues around the world. I was so excited about this project I couldn't wait to share!
Some of you know how much I love the little animals that live around my home. I live in the Northern Adirondack region of New York State and of course we get some pretty spectacular animals. We get many orphaned animals due to various reasons. The founder of Wildlife Rescue Nests is Katie here's what she says about their work "This is a NON-PROFIT project, all nests are made by volunteers and are donated to Rescue Centres around the world. I started a Facebook page in the winter of 2013 in the hopes of building a network of people to help supply nests to wildlife rescue centres all over Ontario, Canada and it has really taken off and we are now providing nests to over 280 wildlife rescues in Canada, the U.S., Ireland, the U.K., Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, India, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Costa Rica. (Mailing list of rescues registered with us can be found at the top of this page) It is very rewarding to help in some small way with all of the great work these wildlife rescue centres do. All of the nests and postage needed to send are considered donations and all that is asked in return is that they snap some photos of the nests being used, so I can share the photos to promote more crocheters/knitters to get involved and donate nests to their local wildlife rescue centres.
http://wildliferescuenests.weebly.com/ Wow to start with an idea and have it grow like that must be incredibly gratifying! I am hoping my readers will help spread the love!
The wildlife nests help rescue/rehabilitation organizations take care of orphaned animals by keeping them in a safe, warm, clean environment which can be washed to prevent disease. All babies need to be kept warm and free from infection :). Those of us who knit or crochet can provide these little nests or cave nests (for animals who burrow). Wildlife Rescue Nests has an extensive list of organizations requiring the help of "nest makers". However, there are a few steps that must be taken first. These are listed on the home page http://wildliferescuenests.weebly.com/. Please kindly follow the steps because this helps keep a tally of who is actually participating in the group. The requirements are part of running a long term, active, voluntary organization that is world wide.
Why the nests? I think most of us who knit or crochet have scraps of acrylic yarn that need a home. Helping rescue organizations just provides us with a super cute way to use those scraps :) Patterns are provided along with videos on how to create the perfect cave. If you click the pattern page link: http://wildliferescuenests.weebly.com/patterns.html you can see the nests or caves in action. SO CUTE! I think you'll agree that a a little time and a few scraps of yarn really work up to being an adorable home for a baby animal. The Humane Society from which we adopted our dog provided a home for everything from ferrets to a pot bellied pig. The small nests would make a great take along project!
If you don't knit or crochet you can STILL help. Wildlife Rescue Nests has a store where purchases can be made to help defray the costs of yarn and shipping. The organization does help with yarn and shipping costs when necessary. However, if you undertake to help WRN you should understand that shipping costs would be part of the donation.
The folks at WRN disseminates most of its information to volunteers through their Facebook page. Its updated nearly constantly through the day with pictures of rescues and rehabilitators working with their little charges. Its really a fun page and of course volunteering is always rewarding. I am sure there are plenty of ways my readers can find to help out! 4-H? Girl Scouts, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts? Knitting clubs? I'm sure that WRN would be so pleased to have help but remember, follow the requirements!
I've talked a bit about our local wildlife. Here are a few slides to bring home why we need Wildlife Rescue Nests.
It is an absolutely gorgeous day here in the Northern Adirondacks! I am having a hard time concentrating. So far we have had 3 full days of SUN! We have Merlins (a small falcon) nesting nearby. They are so beautiful but very boisterous. LOL! As I was cruising my Facebook page yesterday two of my friends pointed me to a wonderful new designer who is really worthy of attention. The proprietress of Skein and Hook is Jessica. I love her work.
Jessica is a mom, cook, crafter, crocheter and knitter. She says this about herself
"Glad you came to visit!
My name is Jessica. I love to craft and cook.
My favorite hobby is crocheting. I began to knit and crochet when I was in college and I instantly fell in love with the them both. I crochet way more than I knit now and I have started to develop my own crochet patterns. I love to make things up on my own and see how they turn out. I also love following other people's patterns and I really love crochet-a-longs too! They build such a great community and support system for any crocheting questions and ideas. I currently knit less than I crochet but I have more knitting planned for the future.
One of my other favorite things to do is to cook. I have cooked for fun for as long as I can remember. I love trying new recipes and also creating my own.
This blog is my place to share these things.
I also have an Etsy store- Skein and Hook- where I sell crochet items and patterns. You can follow me on Facebook too to get the most up to date information and sales for my Etsy store." http://skeinandhook.blogspot.com/p/about.html Obviously Jessica, like myself, turned her hobby into a way to make money! Great job for stay at home moms
Not only does Jessica provide many free patterns but she also shares tutorials. Speaking for myself, a visual learner, these tutorials are invaluable. My friend Jill taught me to knit by using photos and videos sent over the internet. She lived in Ohio at the time and I live in New York. This was YEARS ago when the sock knitting craze first hit the world. The very cool self-striping sock yarns we that we take for granted now were brand spankin' new. When I see an indy artist like Skien and Hook using tutorials I am JAZZED. I am absolutely enamored with the "Bretton Baby Blanket" with which Jessica included photographic tutorials! I think you'll like it too: http://skeinandhook.blogspot.com/2015/07/free-crochet-pattern-bretton-baby.html Take a look! Its such a unique look. Speaking of very cool and unique looks the Seaside Baby Blanket is beautiful and so much fun http://skeinandhook.blogspot.com/2015/08/free-crochet-pattern-seaside-baby.html. There are pictorial tutorials for different aspects of this blanket. I have never done a blanket like this but with these tutorials I think I could really make a special blanket for a friend or customer. Wondering what blanket had my facebook feed on fire this week? http://skeinandhook.blogspot.com/2015/08/free-crochet-pattern-emerson-car-seat.html Yes, a car seat tent! Great for those cold early Fall and late Spring days. Just pop this over the top and you have a great way to protect the baby from the element (and perhaps from prying strangers coughing their heads off in the store?)
Normally I don't cover recipes on this blog but Skein and Hook did provide a couple of recipes for those of us with food allergies or sensitivities. I have celiac disease so I don't eat wheat, barley, or rye... in anything, in any quantity so really appreciate that Jessica included this recipe: http://skeinandhook.blogspot.com/2015/01/recipe-homemade-pizza-dairysoy-free.html I know many people who are allergic to Soy... check out this recipe if that includes you! Also if you like to keep a little something special in the freezer for friends to eat when they come for a visit check out Jessica's Pumpkin Bread recipe (which can be made with gluten free all purpose flour) . It freezes well! No worries about having something lovely to serve to guests. In my case I take the breads, cut them into pieces and freeze the pieces so I have a single serving! http://skeinandhook.blogspot.com/2014/10/recipe-pumpkin-bread-i-love-fall-was.html
Please check out Jessica's Etsy Shop (the link is above in her introduction) and Ravelry page http://www.ravelry.com/designers/jessica-dayon, also above in her own introduction Jessica placed her facebook page link. (I've liked her page, included it in my feed for @Out of the Parc Designs) Skein and Hook is a fantastic page to learn new techniques and ideas. Thank you Jessica Dayon for the excellent patterns.
My apologies for missing last weekend's blog posts. My husband tested positive for influenza. I was a CRAZY person trying to keep everything clean. Eradicating the foul bug that made my husband sick. My husband is almost never sick so it was a big deal. However today I have a REALLY great crochet artist for you! I've been following Crochet Zone for a while now and really appreciate and enjoy the work MA Santos shares.
Like many of my other blog subjects Crochet Zone has a mixture of patterns however, this crochet designer has a little bit of everything for everyone at every skill levels PLUS to tutorials! Lets start with three of my all time favorite children's designs. :) Perfect pair for baby girls! First, the Butterfly Kisses dress. One of the sweetest little dresses that I have found available on Ravelry to date! MA Santos, the designer, has created a great look for Spring in this dress with a its butterfly applique and the flowing skirt. I love it because its really the only dress I've been able to find with a flowing design to the skirt for babies 3-12 months. Its classic design is really timeless and of course the pattern is great for those wanting to try their hand a first dress: The pattern can be found here: http://crochetzone.com/2015/03/29/free-crochet-pattern-for-butterfly-kisses-baby-dress/ To give this dress its name "Butterfly Kisses", Crochet Zone's butterfly applique is a must. http://crochetzone.com/2015/03/23/free-crochet-pattern-for-butterflies/ Next, of course every little princess needs slippers and Crochet Zone has created the most adorable sandals for 3-12 month old babies. Now while I have "paired" this with a dress these sandals can easily be made for a baby boy as you'll see on the Crochet Zone blog! So cute! These little "Peek- A- Boo" Sandals are the perfect addition to the "Butterfly Kisses". Naturally with the sun out little ones should have a hat and of course with a butterfly applique this little "Sweetheart Cloche" would be the perfect topper! http://crochetzone.com/2015/01/15/free-crochet-pattern-sweetheart-cloche/ Really I love this outfit SO much! Makes me wish I knew more women having girl babies LOL :) (Not that I am not busy enough!) Do check out the "Peek-A-Boo" Sandals because with the right colors and button accents they could be the most adorable sandals for baby boys.
I like kitchen-y things, they make great gifts for bridal showers, housewarming, and Christmas gifts. Crochet Zone offers a few really attractive items that would make great gifts for that person who loves to entertain or the young bride just starting out. Personally I like placemats with pockets for silverware especially at a picnic setting. Crochet Zone's "Citrus Splash Kitchen Set" includes a dishtowel, dish pad, and dish scrubber. http://crochetzone.com/2015/04/19/free-crochet-pattern-for-citrus-splash-kitchen-set/ Some dish clothes that you can buy in the store won't last a month but a good crocheted set can last MUCH longer and is totally up to machine washing and drying. I actually hang my hand made dish cloth up to dry to assure that all the dampness is gone. Why? Because they last a whole lot longer that way! I find that the fibers don't break down as quickly. Of course wash and dry as normal then hang up if you like. With all the great colors of kitchen cotton available these days, you could make dozens of these sets :) Next a GREAT idea for all kinds of occasions and situations. The Pocket Placemat is a really nice idea for people like myself who have food allergies or issues with gluten. Why? Because one can keep their own silverware in the pocket and not run the risk of having it touch or get mixed up with others at an event. I have Celiac disease but I live in a house with people who still eat gluten. I can make pocket placemats for special occasions allowing everyone to keep their utensils and plates separate from my own. How about outdoor dining? With the beautiful porch and patio furniture out today making a pretty little placemat set is a great touch! Check out the pattern here: http://crochetzone.com/2015/05/30/free-crochet-pattern-for-pocket-placemat/
Last but certainly not least a very well thought out cowl/scarf pattern. It's a tailored look and will set well on or under a suit jacket or winter coat. The pattern calls for a very nice super bulky fashion yarn. Crochet Zone added a knit version here to keep those of us who both knit and crochet happy! I like this look because it's not something that needs to be pulled on over your head to wear. Now it's April in the Northern Adirondacks and currently the temperature is 30 degrees with a real feel of 22. However the sun is shining. I'm one of those people who will put a good bit of time into my hair then realize I'm going to need a scarf around my neck for warmth AFTER I do my hair. This little cowl answers the whole problem. http://crochetzone.com/2015/10/22/free-crochet-pattern-for-twilight-cowl/
If you don't want to miss out on what the Crochet Zone has going on my suggestion is that you "Like" their facebook page. MA Santos not only has her splendid blog but a great Facebook page with all kinds of great free patterns and information on giveaways you can enter! https://www.facebook.com/Crochet-Zone-330382157152597/timeline Crochet Zone is also on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/crochetzoneblog/ AND you can find Crochet Zone on Ravelry of course http://www.ravelry.com/people/crochetzoneblog
Thank you to MA Santos of the Crochet Zone for the beautiful well thought out patterns. We really do appreciate all the work our designers put into what they do. Remember of course that the pictures and patterns belong to the Crochet Zone so credit where credit is due and please use your own pictures to display the items you've created from the Crochet Zone's patterns. Thanks for reading today!
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.