Many of our larger yarn and wool companies do us the favor of producing FREE ebooks for use in charity work. We've covered this idea before on the blog but with my patch of the Adirondacks expecting 11-18 inches of snow, (as seen above) I thought today would be a great day to update!
The easiest way for me to keep this blog organized was to try to do this by yarn company. As you know companies that produce yarns, patterns, books, and tools for fiber artists change hands a lot so sometimes we have to go to the good old Way Back machine at Archive.org to find and mine the goodies. I think it's marvelous that we have these amazing resources at our disposal don't you?
Red Heart, owned by Coats and Clark, produce many affordable yarns, tools, and patterns for our use. I once was one of those people who refused to use Red Heart yarns because their basic yarns were not very high quality. However, and happily so, Red Heart has vastly improved their yarns and their tools over the last few years to be competitive. Lets check out their offerings of free ebooks for charity.
Yarnspirations has done us the favor of putting some of their patterns on ISSUU. Yarnspirations encompasses some of our favorite yarn companies all rolled into one great site. Bernat, Patons, Caron and Lily Sugar & Cream. ISSUU is a great site for finding lots of cool things like pattern books or "lookbooks". I love it. (and Its free)
So today's Charity Idea OUTpost is finished. I hope you find something useful to get you on your way to donation!
Here's a crafter with a lot to offer everyone. Laura Diaz of Over the Apple Tree is an "upcycler", wood crafter, crocheter, seamstress, and all around fun person. Her blog is easy to read, like you are reading a letter from a friend. To cover all this "awesomeness" I asked Ian Thomas Wilson to contribute some thoughts.
Hello, everyone, it’s T.K. again to talk about an exciting event!
You see, some two years ago I started doing “virtual doll shows” over my Facebook page Laterose Doll Clothes and Doll Repair to drum up some business and have some fun, but this time I have decided to combine my Doll show with the doll auctions I’ve done for charity. Starting November 14 (this Monday!) I will be opening the Dreams and Fairy Tales Doll show and online auction!
These doll shows are a lot of fun, we have clips, trivia questions, photos, and all kinds of other fun stuff. Because of the theme this year, I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite fairy tales with attendees.
The dolls I have used in my charity efforts are usually from the Ever After High collection from Mattel. These beautiful, high quality dolls have delighted my customers (and their daughters) at every auction I’ve done. I’ve auctioned them off for causes like Go RED for Women and the Autonomic Lab at the Cleveland Clinic, but this time I’m looking a little closer to home.
When I was 10, we had a house fire that totaled our home, but because of the efforts of our local callfiremen, we were able to salvage many of our belongings. We have a tremendous amount of respect for our volunteer firefighters, and so, the auction is to benefit the efforts of the Malone Callfiremen.
And what, you ask is the prize? Attendees will be bidding on a brand new, in box, 17 inch Madeline Hatter doll with two dresses! This doll is no longer being made, that’s right, she’s an exclusive item. The dresses one of a kind, sewn by me to go with this individual doll, never to be made again. This prize will delight both collectors and little girls, and makes a great Christmas gift!
This is a super exciting event that I hope you’ll all take a look at. It’s going to be a blast, and please, consider donating generously to the auction, as a portion of the proceeds will be going to help our local firefighters.
While looking for great hat patterns to share with the Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope group I ran across Left In Knots. I liked her colorful patterns and found out that she too shares my enthusiasm for the Caron Cakes Yarn! (only sold at Michael's craft stores) I thought Megan Meyer would make a great subject for today's blog. @T.k. Wilson is going to join in here too :)
Sometimes when we're under stress it is very good to have a distraction. (I just had my bi-annual visit with the Cleveland Clinic, and as often as I am there, I still don't like hospitals) I take my knitting and crocheting with me anytime I have to go to the hospital or a doctor's office for any reason. It's a conversation starter and I notice people smile at me a lot more when they see I'm creating something. Odd thing is that I don't see too many knitters/crocheters knitting in public at the Cleveland Clinic.. I do see a lot of really stressed out people. When I saw the "Left In Knots" website I immediately thought, now there are some projects I could work on even while waiting. Such great patterns!! What's not to love right?
Megan Meyer proprietress of Left in Knots is a stay at home mom of a sweet little girl who was the inspiration for her to pick up her crochet hook and launch her online presence. The bright, beautiful world of fiber arts that has welcomed so many of us with open arms. Megan Meyer was taught to crochet by a friend. What a lovely gift to give someone :) Not only is she a design diva but she's a link partier :) Yep link parties are a way for people to network and share their work with other fiber artists and DIY-ers (Yes I just made that up LOL).
Now without further ado let's get to the patterns! Once again I found myself having to narrow my choices down to two or three which I will narrow down by age group. Then T.k. will take over.
Megan Meyer's patterns for adults are great but I thought I'd start with her patterns that come in many sizes. First there's the Basic Ear Warmer 3 Ways and with three different styles! The pattern is written for single crochet, half-double and double crochet and can be embellished three different ways. The imagination runs wild! Second there is the Double Crochet Hat in 10 Sizes!! Yes, that's 10 sizes! Such a great idea for charity giving and of course holiday/birthday giving. You can decorate it to suit and gift away!
For adults there are a plethora of patterns to choose from however the pattern that immediately caught my eye is the Amelia Poncho Adult Sweater. It looks warm and cozy without being too bulky. When I work bulky things get in the way so I've got to have light and warm layers. this is the perfect thing! The second pattern I really like is the Open-Air Market Wrap. I REALLY like the look. Very classy and would look great anywhere you go. It's a great accessory. Now Megan lives in Fargo, North Dakota where it's cold in the Winter time... that might be an understatement. As a result she has designed a really warm looking slouch hat. I like that there are not a lot of holes in the hat like there are in some slouch hats. The Autumn Chill Slouchy Hat is a good hat for those of us who live in really chilly climates!
For children/babies there are some adorable patterns for Children and Babies. I'll leave the toys to T.k. however, I did want to make mention of two patterns that I'd like to attempt myself. One is the C2C (corner to corner) Owl Graph. Owls are very popular right now and this owl has a cute little heart in the center. I know there are tutorials online on how to create a corner to corner graphgan. I have not yet attempted it myself. The other pattern that I'd like to try my hand at is the Amelia Poncho Sweater. Matching mom and little one poncho sweaters? Adorable.
Now its T.k. Wilson's turn.
Megan Meyer has some wonderful toys for toddlers as well. Now, I watch a toddler at church, and he is a great fan of the "put it in, take it out" game. Megan's Stuff and Spill Fishbowl reminds me so much of my little man's favorite nursery toy, a bucket of colorful fish. The Stuff and Spill Picnic Basket is another great toy, food you CAN play with! The best part is the fact that all these toys can be washed without harsh chemicals. Her other toys include mess free water balloons and these wonderful alphabet blocks. Fun, safe and educational, what could be sweeter? I love her idea for the letter U... U is for Unicorn!
We want to thank Megan Meyer for sharing her amazing patterns with the world. You can find Left in Knots on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, StumbleUpon.com, YouTube and Twitter! You won't miss out on her updates that's for sure. I hope you've enjoyed Left in Knots as much as we have!
As spokesperson for Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope Initiative I am really proud to announce our first event. The Mad Hatter Hat-Dash.
Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope Initiative is a spin off of Emily's Hats for Hope Initiative. Myself and 4 other women wanted to do something to reach out to this area with our talents for knitting, crocheting, sewing and loom knitting. To my knowledge there were no year round charities helping families with those little items that are not only a comfort but absolutely vital to survival here in this area of New York.
When the group first formed my daugher, T.k. Wilson, and I were talking about ideas to get attention and interest in the needs of our local community. We talked about famous movies, books, music. Then it came to my daughter to use the very famous Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the "Mad Hatter" theme. Rather timidly we "bounced" the idea off the other coordinators of the spin-off groups from around the world. They were super supportive and really receptive to the idea! We shared ideas for hats, scoodies (which are hood/scarf combination), scarves and ear warmers. Just fun things we could do to get people knitting, crocheting, loom knitting and sewing for charity. In fact we may have a couple of other Spin-off groups joining us. How cool is that?
The Mad Hatter Hat-Dash will take place on November 26, 2016 to coincide with the first publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland November 26, 1865. Anyone can join because it's an internet event. Wherever you are you can work along with us. If you live in a country other than the United States please give your creations to a local charity if you like. The point of this event is just to have a great time joining with others on Facebook (and NAHFHI has an Instagram page) to create for our neighbors!
Why the Northern Adirondacks and not just a county? There's the axiom "charity begins at home". The Northern Adirondacks, the area along the border with Canada, is our home and we see that our neighbors need a little extra help now and again. A hat, scarf, a pair of mittens might not mean much to the average person with the means to go buy their own but to someone who is struggling to make ends meet, just lost their home to a fire, or can't afford something warm enough for their child it's a big deal. I know, I was burned out of my house. It happens more than you'd think. Plus we may not have homeless, those who actually live out on the street. We have people who live without a permanent home. They move with friends, family, hotels ect just to have a roof over their heads. It's much too cold in the winter to live out of doors. As an example the poverty rate in Franklin County, NY is 18.5%, (2014) the average for New York State is 15.5%.
These facts are just bare bones facts but they do illustrate just part of the reason why the Hat-Dash is necessary, the other element is just the human element. Giving someone hope, help and a little joy. Just to put a smile on someone's face is an amazing feeling. Already NAHFHI has donated hats and scarves to local schools, churches, and homeless shelter. We hope to add hospitals, clinics, low income housing, the possibilities are endless! That's why we need all the help we can get.
The Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope Initiative doesn't expect any minimums or maximums and like Emily's hats for Hope Initiative we are collecting handmade hats, scarves, mittens, blankets, gloves, ear warmers, even socks if you have the time. You don't have to be a member of our facebook group nor do you have to live here :) You can party with us and send your creations to us, if you like! Address is Thomas Wilson, PO Box 465, Malone NY 12953. Its going to be great fun! We'll have patterns to share from great designers on the web, conversation, maybe some Lewis Carroll trivia, and you are welcome to share your creations. We might even have some folks share videos of their work. Please join us won't you?
Here's the event page: www.facebook.com/events/556670204543399/ :)
So thank you for reading the blog today and PLEASE join us for the "Hat-Dash". We would SO love to have you!!
Today's designer is Jenni Catavu of By Jenni Designs, a crochet designer. Her designs are FUN! She designs things for all ages, all of which are on a weebly blog. Both men and women can find something they will like on Jenni Catavu free pattern blog right here on Weebly She began writing her blog in 2014 so there is a lot of ground to cover! Let's get started.
Jenni Catavu has a presence on Ravelry, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, and she has an Etsy shop where she sells classy buttons to put on her classy designs. I sometimes look at the designers I share here on the blog and totally envy their talents. Jenni is one of those designers. Everything from hats to toys and appliques.
I decided this time I would divide up the blog by gender and age. It was just easier than dividing by category of pattern. First let's look at ideas for kids both boys and girls. Jenni Catavu has designed play food and toys for children. I like this idea because at least you can surface or hand wash these items. Even if children throw the toys there will be no damage to surfaces with crocheted toys. Total genius. This pizza slice toy can be crocheted to match your child's favorite pizza toppings, make a few to share with friends at gift giving time. (always hard to know what to bring to those birthday parties) How about this fun Bologna Sandwich Toy? (of course you could make it turkey or ham slice) I love that... looks so realistic. My kids would have loved a toy like this when they were little. There are other food toys on her free pattern page. For those little boys who love to play with the "Nerf" toys, Jenni Catavu has created this toy dart shoulder strap. Cool!! If you are looking for a "stuffy" type toy Jenni Catavu has created the cutest Skinny Frog.
Clothes for children include a fun and funny "Burger hat" which if you were looking for a great costume, this hat would make a great part of that costume. I've never made anything like this hat! Filed under WAY too cute is this "Newborn Bow Beanie". Have a "Sponge Bob" fan in the family? This scarf is sure to bring a smile to their face.
Moving on to items for women. Well of course we need accessories right? :) So check out this great "Scallop Edge Chunky Infinity Scarf" There is a matching hat too! Ear warmers are great for those athletic endeavors or if you don't want your hair totally crushed by a hat. Jenni Catavu has designed a couple really great ear warmer patterns. I like this crochet "Women's cable ear warmer" and matching "Cable Fingerless Mitts." Now occasionally I don't plan well... so I need a gift fast. Has that ever happened to you? Jenni Catavu has that covered also with this "Quick and Easy Chunky Scarf"! This pattern fits everyone from toddler's straight to men. Brilliant. Don't forget to check her Facebook page for more great ideas!
Men are not left out of the awesomeness (yes I just wrote awesomeness LOL) Seriously there are some great manly designs on By Jenni Designs. Men will really appreciate this "Men's Chunky Stripe Beanie" with matching "Men's Chunky Stripe Scarf" What a great combination. I also like the practicality of this "Men's Basic Beanie with Options". The picture on the blog page features one in blaze orange which can really make a difference if the man in your life has to be outside where there is traffic!
One last pattern feature and a bit of a plug for our new group Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope Initiative: NY. I have totally fallen in love with this "Toddler Mouse Hat" because it goes right along with our theme for an event we will be holding. More about that tomorrow... here's a hint; let's just say it's a bit "mad". ;) Stay tuned!
Well thank you SO much for reading today's blog and thanks to Jenni Catavu for such fabulous patterns! I totally enjoyed the experience of surfing your site! If you use any of By Jenni Designs, be sure to thank her for keeping some great patterns free for us to use.
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.