When my kids were younger they wanted to learn to make things with yarn just like their mom. I was not as heavily involved in the business side like I am now so we had time to learn to use the Knifty Knitter Looms. They were readily available at JoAnn Fabrics. We have 2 sets of round looms and 1 straight loom. When I began the challenge of writing about knitting for charity I realized that many people who work with charities like to use the looms because they are fun, they take less time to create a project, and just about anyone can learn to make a project with a loom.
My son, when he was young, made sweaters for small dogs with a loom. My daughter made hats, and I believe cat snuggles. I learned to make hats scarves and even a poncho for my mom that's still in use today. :) Looms can be a great teaching tool. Now with Loomahat.com available not only with free patterns, video tutorials, and a store on the site its easier than ever to learn to loom! Lets check it out!
Loomahat.com is the brain child of Denise Canela-White. She is a wife and mom with a full time job and a full blown love of loom knitting :) She's got a busy schedule so loom knitting provides her with the joy of giving to charity while not absorbing all of her time. She explains how she got started here. I like the way Denise Canela-White explains the mission of Loomahat.com. The three part mission is simple and to the point: Teach, Teach, Give. I can really get behind that mission statement which you can also find on the "About Us" page. Mother Theresa said "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." I think that's a perfect way to sum up what charity loom knitters try to accomplish. We never know when a small thing will turn into a great thing because we did it with love!
One thing I should make clear is that there are a lot of different style looms. Loomahat.com has a store so you can order a loom of your own and the video tutorials/patterns are clear about the style loom being used. I happen to like the Knifty Knitter because the pegs are a good size for me. Loomahat.com also sells patterns and stitch markers for looms. (yes you need a way to mark various pegs)
Loomahat.com has so many patterns and videos to share but there is a special section just for charity! This section of the website not only confirms what I often say about fiber artists in that they are some of the most generous people in the world! Bound by heart "strings" we span the world. This section of Loomahat.com gives not just patterns but also ideas for where your creations can be donated. When people first start out with the idea of knitting for charity it can be difficult to find a place to donate your handmades so it's really excellent to see that Loomahat.com addresses that issue. Charities such as Hats for Mongolia and Operation Christmas Child are among those projects. Many are ongoing projects that unless otherwise stated still need volunteers.
If you are looking for looming patterns look no further than Loomahat.com! With super basic step by step video tutorials on their YouTube channel you cannot go wrong as a beginner loom knitter! It's important however, to look at the project carefully to make sure that you are using the correct loom with the correct number of pegs. Denise Canela-White gives us a very important piece of advice on her patterns page buy the loom that fits your budget and your style. I think that's an excellent piece of advice. The point is to do something that you enjoy.
There are 100 free patterns available from Loomahat.com. Hats and scarves are on my mind because the Fall temperatures are upon us! If you are looking for some great looking and FREE hats check out the hat page. Lots of great patterns for all ages. Scarves/cowls are a really good beginner project. Here's a link to an infinity scarf. I like the look of it and it's made with bulky weight yarn. If you are looking for a smaller project, try knitting up these squares then sewing together to make a brightly colored scarves. Neckwarmers are a fun small project to work up on a loom. Here's a pattern for a neckwarmer from the Polk a Dot Cottage webpage.
For babies there are a number of projects you can try. Some are super easy and some are a bit more advanced. One of my favorite projects to make are the baby sleep sacks. There is a loomed version of the baby sleep sack that is super cute. There is even a tutorial! Baby blanket? Yes! I found this pattern on Loomahat.com but its been provided by Loom Lore . Baby hat? Absolutely Check out the Minnie Mouse look-a like baby hat!
The most important part of Loomahat.com is the tips and hints that you can find on the site. I've owned looms for a very long time. When I bought them the directions were confusing and there were not many sites that taught how to use the looms. So it's really fantastic that you can find tips like what size loom works best for a hat, how to loom knit a basic hat, and loom knit stitch directory! (how cool is that?)
Basically anything and everything you might need or want to know about loom knitting is on Loomahat.com! It's a fantastic resource for charity knitters as well as people looking to learn the art of working with yarn to create beautiful projects. Yes, it's an art. I really appreciate the work of Denise Canela-White. I think you will too. If you stop by her site be sure to leave her a note thanking her for all her hard work.
Thank you all for reading today's blog. Last Saturday I had the wonderful pleasure of seeing my nephew married and being with my extended family. It was so lovely. Today I'm back with a blog post I think you will really enjoy.
As you know I'm now one of the women who started Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope Initiative. A Spin-off of Emily's Hats for Hope Initiative. In that vein I am always on the lookout for great websites and designers who provide patterns for not only knit and crocheters but also for those who sew. We need all "hands on deck" as it were because Fall is upon us! My daughter and I were discussing the wonderful "Make It & Love It" website and blog with a view to making it a "go to" site for our Spin-off group. Naturally it formed the basis for this blog. I mean its got something for everyone! Brilliant.
Ashley Johnson, the genial hostess of "Make It & Love It, is also the author of a book I plan to buy. "No Sew Love" very much MY kind of book! I am able to knit cables, crochet lace, use a small loom, and weave a bit but sewing has never been my forte. This book will probably form the basis of some gifts for friends and family. It may also be a good book to have for charity gifting!
Ashley Johnson, like many people wanted to learn how to knit and crochet so she did what I do, she looked for online tutorials. She then shared the tutorials with us! I like that because I find tutorials the best way to learn a new skill. I both read and watch instructions. I know many others find these tutorials so useful. You can find the collection of tutorials chosen by Make It & Love It here. My favorites? The Easy 4 Row Snowflake Scarf for knitters and the Color Block Crochet Basket. Two great projects that I had not seen on the web before. Also if you are a beginner and looking for something quick to work up check out the Chunky Crochet Blanket which was linked back from "The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood"
As I've mentioned before. I have a budding sewist. My daughter is a super talented seamstress. Soon as we took the bright blue sewing machine out of its box my daughter began to sew the cutest doll clothes. So now that we have others in our circle of acquaintance who share enthusiasm for sewing we look for links with abandon. Currently our favorites on "Make It & Love It" are the 40 Sewing Projects You Can Make With 1/4 Yard or Less. This collection answers the entire problem of what to do with those scraps of fabric. When it comes to sewing, finding great projects for little boys is a challenge. Ashley Johnson came up with 15+ BOY Clothing Sewing Projects. I think there are a couple in here that even I could manage. The Pixie Hat tutorial is adorable! If you are a seamstress this should be a snap for you... I would have to learn a bit more before I took this project on :). We also love, love, love, the Wizard of Oz Costumes 2014. They are all a bit challenging for our skills but we couldn't resist sharing.
We hope you've enjoyed today's blog with a little addition for our sewing friends. Remember if you drop by "Make It & Love It" be sure to thank Ashley Johnson for all her hard work. Bloggers appreciate knowing that people have stopped by for a look around!
Today is Patriot's Day so I could think of no better way for fiber artists to honor that day than to write about the Knit Your Bit scarf program started by the National World War II museum in New Orleans.
A little history lesson: "On the Home Front during World War II, knitting served as one more way Americans could support the war effort. The November 24, 1941, cover story of the popular weekly magazine Life> explained “How To Knit.” Along with basic instructions and a pattern for a simple knitted vest, the article advised, “To the great American question ‘What can I do to help the war effort?’ the commonest answer yet found is ‘Knit.’” Thousands of Americans picked up their needles to knit socks, mufflers and sweaters to keep American soldiers warm and provide them with a handcrafted reminder of home." Thus the concept of "Knit Your Bit" was born all those years ago. Bringing this into the present the National World War II Museum has encouraged knitters and crocheters to participate in this updated venture since 2006. To date: "...more than 10,000 knitters and crocheters in all 50 states have participated. Through their efforts, the Museum has distributed 50,000 scarves to approximately 1,000 veterans' centers, hospitals, and service organizations across the country." That's fantastic isn't it? Maybe this blog can help bring smiles to a few more vets?
So what are the guidelines and how do you get involved with Knit Your Bit? Participating in Knit Your Bit is easy! Just follow our five steps:
Knit Your Bit Campaign
945 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Click here to ask any Questions you might have.
Because the program is ongoing you might want to read the F.A.Q. page here. The Museum will take good care of your contribution and distribute it where its needed most.
What about Patterns? Well that's easy the Museum provides you with GREAT patterns. I have my favorites of course. I love the "Proud To Be" scarf, its a knit pattern in which the letters "USA" are stitched right into the design! Both knitters and crocheters can work up the the "V is for Victory" scarves. Find the great patterns here. This year, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Knit Your Bit Campaign the museum held a pattern contest. Want more news? Check out their Facebook page. I know you'll appreciate the enthusiasm.
There are ways to help the local homeless vets. My daughter and I joined Emily's Hats for Hope Initiative create a "Spin-off" here in the Northern Adirondacks. The working poor, homeless, and the underserved of our communities. Emily's Hats for Hope has many such "Spin-off" groups (each responsible for their own operation, costs ect.) You can check the listing to see if your state has a Spin-off group. These groups will also serve veterans so don't hesitate to contact these groups and help veterans in your own state. There's not competition between the Knit Your Bit campaign and the Emily's Hats for Hope Initiative Spin off's we all want to serve.
Today, on Patriot's Day, the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 please consider what you can do to serve those who have so bravely served us. From First Responders to Veterans. They all deserve a thank you.
I started crocheting many years ago now, when my kids were still just toddlers. From my very first time searching the very new internet for patterns, there was Maggie Weldon. She began designing for the public in 1981 and has hundreds of patterns to her credit. I remember when she was one of the only designers working on fresh new looks for those who wanted to crochet.
Because Maggie Weldon has so many patterns to her credit I will try to limit my remarks to three areas, baby afghans and layettes, adult accessories and ponchos, and children's toys. Maggie Weldon has designed something for every room in the house in multiple styles so there is no way I could adequately cover her work.
Maggie Weldon shares her background with us on her Ravelry page here. Its quite a success story and very encouraging. Anyone looking for a little inspiration need look no further than Maggie's Crochet. It is her story that inspired me along the way when I first began my journey in fiber arts. She is a prolific designer and successful business woman. I am not a designer as such though I do come up with my own novel designs I do not sell them. Maggie Weldon has been her own "boss" for many years and continues to maintain her independence!
Maggie Weldon tells the story of a baby bunting that she created for her son which inspired her design career. Therefore, I thought it was only fitting to begin with Maggie's Crochet baby patterns. The sheer volume of baby patterns on maggiescrochet.com is just outstanding. Something for every level of crocheter, to suit every style. The prices are more than reasonable for the quality of pattern you will find from Maggie Weldon's years of experience. One of my absolute favorite patterns is the "Lemon Drop Layette". Two patterns for the price of one. One for a baby boy and one for a baby girl. Consisting of a Jumper and hat with bow for a girl or a pair of overalls and hat for a boy plus a blanket pattern it is 100% adorable!! All of you who read this blog regularly know I love color so of course I found patterns on Maggie's Crochet that I find too cute for words. When color comes together with an owl pattern? BONUS! Check out the way too cute for words "Owl Afghan and Pillow Set". I LOVE this set!! Okay one more before I completely go into a cuteness overload the "Frolicking Frogs, Afghan, Pillow and Toy Crochet Patterns" are so much FUN! I think this could be made for either a boy or a girl because these frogs are just so darn happy :) Of course take a look around for yourself I am sure you'll find Maggie's Crochet a great place to find a great gift for a baby shower, coming home present, or Christmas gift.
Naturally maggiescrochet.com has some excellent patterns for adults too. Infinity scarves are still a hot accessory. Certainly for those who live in cooler climates they can really have both function along with fashion! Maggie Weldon has some really sharp Infinity Scarf patterns listed on her page. For instance this collection of "Thick & Quick Infinity Scarves & Cowl Crochet Patterns are a great example". Texture, with warmth always a great idea and it doesn't hurt that they work up super quick! Hats in my part of the world, Northern New York are a fashion and survival staple. When you combine hat and mitten patterns with the words "Super Easy" that's a winner! Here is the link to the "Super Easy Hat and Mitten Set Crochet Pattern". Unisex, and warm. That's fantastic! Last but certainly not least the poncho. A staple of wardrobes since Martha Stewart popped out of prison wearing the "coming home" poncho. (kidding) Seriously though I always liked the poncho and was super happy when they came back in vogue. My favorite of the ponchos on maggieweldon.com is the "Sea Breeze Poncho". The open mesh pattern makes it light enough to wear even when its fairly warm outside while still giving your outfit a bit of a splash of color.
Now I turn the blog over to toy maker extraordinaire T.k. Wilson.
Where has this woman been all my life?! For starters, she has some of the best 18 inch doll clothes I have ever seen. Her Hippie Wardrobe would look simply darling on American Girl's 70's character Julie. She also has a 1950's outfit that would be perfect for AG's Mary Ellen, the newest historical character. For other 18 inch fun we have this cunning little Picnic set perfect for a fun time with your favorite dolls. I mean look at it, it's got PB and J sandwiches! How cute is that? Maggie's great innovation is this T-shirt dress for 18 inch dolls and their girls. It's made from an actual T-shirt, that's pretty cool! Finally, we have this adorable tea set perfect for sharing, and it's washable, no less.
We want to thank Maggie for sharing her talent with the world and you, our readers for taking time out of your day to check in with us!
This is kind of a special blog post for me because I am able finally to announce that we have started a Spin-off group of Emily's Hats for Hope Initiative entitled the "Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope Initiative". We are DEEPLY grateful to the volunteers and other spin off groups for their warm welcome and support. As a way to give some very fresh ideas and to support the artists involved, I wanted to share a post about this year's Crochet Charity Drive.
I first learned of this latest endeavor on Stacey Williams wonderful page "Busting Stitches" I follow Busting Stitches on Facebook so when I saw Stacey Williams update included a pattern for the Crochet Charity Drive I was pretty excited, as you can imagine. However, a little history about this project might be enlightening. Sonya Blackstone, of Blackstone Designs, fills in a little of the backstory here. I quote "So, what is it?
18 designers bringing 18 brand new patterns, so you can make them and donate them to give someone a little handmade love and comfort! There is no designated donation place, you donate to the place(s) of your choosing.
In the Fall of 2015, I started a Crochet Mitten Drive where 15 designers came together to make 15 brand new patterns, so that we could donate mittens to those in need. It went very well and this made me want to do more!
I'm so excited to present the first scarf pattern in this Crochet Charity Drive event! At the end of this pattern you will find a list of the other bloggers and when you can get their pattern." (Sonya Blackstone)
Exciting how the Crochet Charity Drive coincides with the advent of of our new charity group!
Sonya Blackstone had the very first charity pattern entitled the "Lorelai Scarf" published on August 26, 2016. You can find this very fun pattern here. The second pattern by Stacey Williams is the "Purple Lace Crochet Cowl" which you can find here was published September 2, 2016. The next pattern will be published on September 9, 2016. Now there is a Facebook group specifically for this Charity Drive which should be a lot of fun. Naturally the list is available on Sonya Blackstone's blog page. Some of the other Indy Designers I've covered on this blog will be joining this effort including Whistle and Ivy and The Lavender Chair.
Obviously these designers are lending their talents to us so a note of thanks would be in order. I do want to thank all 18 designers for their willingness to contribute to this Crochet Charity Drive. This effort took time and planning, it will also take time to create a fresh look, write out a pattern, and then publish it for our use. It's extremely gratifying to see these designers pool their talents to help us provide winter warm items for those who might not otherwise have the funds to buy something handmade. Of course you can't put a price on hope or a premium on the love that goes into the work.
If you are interested in other items made during the Crochet Charity Drive you can check out last year's patterns from the Crochet Mitten Drive here on ravelry. Interested in hats? Check out Knitting for Charity on AllFreeKnitting.com or the crochet hat collection on AllFreeCrochet.com here. If your charity accepts donations for all ages and or is working with a specific gender (ie battered women's shelter or men's homeless shelter) don't forget to embellish appropriate to the setting. The people who receive these items will appreciate the time and effort it took to put a little extra into the hat/scarf/mitten :)
I will be keeping up with the Crochet Charity Drive. I'm sure it will be of interest to many of my fellow fiber artists who donate their time. Thank you to all of you who make charitable work possible with your donations!
Good afternoon. I'm running a bit late with the blog today because I made a video with my husband to help our Facebook fans demystify the new "Pages" design. But I have a fun new-to-me designer to share with you today. Jennifer Uribe of "Tw-In Stitches". I started making her "Wobbly Squares" blanket and LOVED it so I'm going to "sing" her praises today.
As the name of her blog implies Jennifer Uribe is the mom is busy with twins (correction) She calls herself a "compulsive crocheter" (a compulsion I share) and she is also a math teacher. Impressive resume for a crochet designer. One of her designs "The Wobbly Squares Blanket" flashed across my facebook feed a couple of days ago and really got my attention because it is not the ordinary. I'm all for that!
I wanted to take a closer look at Twin Stitches because the designs are fresh, different, and totally adaptable. You can't beat that for versatile! Jennifer Uribe's crochet blog dates back to 2011. So there are plenty of designs to choose from for sure. From April 23, 2011 comes the "Leafy Headband" something to wear on "make believe" days or to have those Spring pictures made. Its simple design will go with most anything little girls or even big girls wear! I thought it would be so cute with a red flower for Christmas :) Also from some of the earlier designs comes the "Spring Stripe Bag" it's so cute and simple. I like the basic design because I can embellish at will! :) Its fantastic.
I don't know how Jennifer Uribe finds time to do all the crocheting she does with her schedule but I know her designs are the sort I am always looking for. Very straightforward with a twist to provide some interest like the "Toasty Warm Ponytail Hat" (and the pattern is only $1.99!) Ever send your daughter out looking cute as a button with a ponytail or hair braid then realize you have to put a hat on their head and think ugh... all that work. Worry NO more. Twin Stitches has you "covered" with her version of the ponytail hat. I really like this design because it's made with bulky yarn in one piece! It looks like a totally normal crochet hat in the front but allows for that cute hair bun, ponytail, or braid in the back! Bravo. Also I found the "Flower Pillow Pattern" which is so pretty, bright, happy, fantastic for a brightly colored bedroom and of course would look cute with a bee or butterfly applique! The pattern is FREE if you can believe it! This would have made a great pillow for my daughter's bedroom when she was younger.
Bringing things up a little closer to the present Jennifer Uribe began designing larger projects and I think they are fabulous. I'm to that point now where I don't always need a heavy sweater or coat when I go out. I like ponchos, wraps, shawls, shrugs, stoles, basically anything I can layer! When I saw the asymmetrical "Lacy Trellis Poncho" the design really caught my eye. I think it would be terrific for Spring and early fall. As a major plus it's crocheted in one long strip then sewn together. BONUS! Its very flattering and adds a bit of pizazz to any outfit from jeans to your favorite skirt and blouse. For the little one in your life you can make a matching blanket! Yep the "Lacy Trellis Blanket" designed by Twin Stitches is just the sweetest pattern. Mom and baby would look adorable at a party or Christening with matching designs. This pattern can be made in a variety of sizes because Jennifer Uribe gave the "multiple" of stitches needed to create the blanket. (THANK YOU! I love that designers give us options!) And yes, it's free!
Speaking of options! Jennifer Uribe certainly gives us plenty of options when it comes to her "Wobbly Squares" patterns. Beginning in January 2015 Twin Stitches starts with the original "Wobbly Squares Blanket". After that she produced the "Wobbly Rectangle", the "Wobbly Circles Blanket", the "Sedona Wobbly Stripes Blanket", "Sophie's Half Wobbly hat and Scarf Pattern", the "Wobbly Squares (without changing colors) blanket", the "Wobbly Baby Blanket and Hat" pattern, and last but NOT least the "Wobbly Squares Blanket in Variegated Yarn". (I am combining variegated and solids for my Wobbly Squares) If you want a list of the entire collection see Jennifer Uribe's Ravelry page here.
I am so thankful to Jennifer Uribe for her great page and design ideas. You can find Twin Stitches on Ravelry, Facebook and on her awesome Blog! She's got my creative juices flowing.
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.