I'm sure some of you read the announcement that I will be moving the Charity Idea OUTpost to Tuesdays. I wanted to have more time with my family. Today I consulted with T.k. Wilson about using internet libraries to tap into free sources of books and magazines about knitting and crocheting. I am not as familiar with digital libraries as I probably should be. LOL Together we were perusing the Internet Archive when we happened upon The Magazine Rack collection. When we happened upon this huge collection of digitized knitting and crocheting magazines.
My daughter has always been a big proponent of free libraries both on and off line. Internet Archive is sort of a digital library's library. Many collections of books, magazines, videos, movies, even radio programs. While I have used Internet Archive on many occasions (even writing about it twice before) I really am not as familiar with how to use online libraries as I should be in this digital age. I wanted to offer my readers a little something that might offer a new source of free patterns for their charity work while at the same time breaking up those Winter blues we might be experiencing. My daughter was helping to explain how the various libraries work when we came across one BIG collection of digitized magazines! It's amazing!
This collection is labeled "Knitting Magazines" however it contains both knitting and crocheting magazines.... 859 texts to be exact. It is a gathering of both old and newer magazines along with plain text patterns. (With corrections included for some of the patterns.) There are even many available for download (I didn't check all of the magazines) You'll note that the collection contains magazines from the UK, USA, and Australia. There are plenty of conversion charts online to help with the difference in terms used in each country. It is a lot of fun to do an electric page through of each of the magazines AND they don't take up any room on the shelf :)
Charity crocheters and knitters will find this collection helpful because there are patterns for children, men and women. The magazines such as Jo Sharp Knit magazine, Knit 'n Style magazine, Family Circle's Easy Knitting, along with other popular names of magazines from the past and present are among the titles listed. Within the collected magazines there are some beautiful choices for children's clothing and accessories. (many are booklets from Patons using UK terms)
Women by far benefit the most from this archive, however I find we are the least likely to do something for ourselves. It is wonderful that knitters and crocheters can reach out to women in such a personal way with a handmade gift.
With 859 texts to choose from there are thousands of projects to explore. Many of the knitting and crocheting magazines contain toys for children, projects for men, accessories, home decor. You may have to play with the page controls until you figure them out or download the magazines in PDF form. It really is nearly unlimited fun!
Together with Laterose Doll Clothes and Doll Repair Abbey (My Daughter) I've made the decision to move the Charity Idea OUTpost to Tuesdays (and if the need arises the postponed date would be Thursday) More and more often Sundays have become a day taken up with family fun and chats. Considering I want to give my best both to my readers and my family, moving the blog post day to Tuesday only made sense. The blog posts stay up indefinitely on Weebly so you can read it any time you like! I appreciate the time you take to read the blog. 💖 💖 I am sure I could never say in words what your loyalty has come to mean to me!
Very often produce extremely cool little pattern booklets to sell with their particular popular yarns. Usually the patterns are a variety of ideas from hat to toys. I own several of these little pattern books myself. Including some extremely useful vintage pattern booklets from various yarn companies. For today's Classics in the Parc I thought I'd share Coats and Clark's "Jiffy Accessories to Knit and Crochet" Produced in 1961.
Some of you will find these little projects familiar either because you were around in the 1960's or because some of these projects are still popular today! They may have been updated or the pattern changed slightly but essentially people are still wearing the exact same design even in 2018. It goes back to that idea that there isn't really anything truly new.
I chose this particular booklet because the designs are familiar in many ways, because there are both knit and crochet projects, and because I could link some updated versions of these projects in this post. I thought that would be fun! Let's get started!
Inside the cover of this magazine are 22 projects (22 projects for $.29 not bad LOL) The first project that I really thought was sharp looking was the Jiffy Jacket. Described as a casual jacket/crocheted bolero it is made with the "cross stitch". The difficulty with some of the older pattern books is that there are no diagrams or description of how the project is made (i.e. made in one piece from the top down ect) It is a very cute style for a jacket and would match perfectly with some of the redesigned 1950's style dresses that are so popular now. Coming just to the waist, with a round collar and three quarter length sleeves, it really would be a great little addition to your wardrobe. For an updated version see this sweet little jacket from Lion Brand
The next two projects are really timeless, basic patterns. The first is a warm drop stitch scarf for Winter. (pictured on the left) It's unisex in style and would look great with some of the new gradient yarns or self-striping yarns. As the yarn is dropped during the knitting process the gradient colors or stripes would be broken up giving it an interesting look. The example scarf on the cover of the magazine pictured above is knit in a worsted weight (#4) variegated yarn. It's both unisex and reversible! If you'd like to make a dropped stitch scarf, Leah Oliver of This Lush Corner has designed the Ladder Run scarf. It's a free pattern on Ravelry!
The second scarf, simply titled "Garter Stitch Scarf" is a keyhole style scarf that has been popular for years. These little scarves are stylish without being bulky. In fact the vintage example is created in fingering (3 ply) yarn. A nice weight to wear with a Fall or Winter coat or a dress jacket at work. Using a formula of increases and decreases in garter stitch (knit every row) the designers created a leaf shape on either end of the scarf making it a timeless piece. At one point I believe "Anthropologie" had a scarf this style for sale. (at a hefty price) If you're looking for a pattern to make your own scarf check out the "MissMarple Scarf". It would make a great gift!
Though this pattern is listed as hat for men, it would no doubt be appreciated by anyone who has to be out in the cold. The knitted "Pea Cap" (to go with a Peacoat no doubt) is an easy striped hat, knit flat on two needles then sewn up the back of the hat. The ribbed style of this knit cap makes it a good snug fit around the head. The doubled cuff of the hat is extra warm over the ears. This type of hat would be gratefully accepted by many charities including Christmas at Sea and Northern Adirondack Hats For Hope Initiative. Christmas at Sea has their own 2 needle pattern. And if you are looking for a similar pattern to the ribbed Pea Hat Bernat offers the "Men's Hat" (also a simple matching scarf).
The last project I wanted to share from this vintage gem is little novel! Two needle socks! They do not look any different from the traditional 4 needle double point socks. Which is pretty wild. The Easy Heel 2-Needle Socks are knit on fingering weight yarn (3 ply). Now, I have, am able to knit socks on 4 needles but ever since the advent of reading glasses in my life, I find it a bit trying. Then I learned to knit socks on two !6" circular needles. I've never tried knitting socks on two straight needles. This must have been quite a interesting project back in 1961. No one had to be left out of knitting socks if they wanted to learn! Grace Mcewen created this modern version of the 2 needle basic sock on Ravelry. The Basic Men's 2 needle socks is Free!
Obviously I only scratched the surface of what Coats and Clark printed in this booklet of patterns however, these were the patterns that had close modern equivalents. So I hope you enjoy the vintage and modern mix in today's blog. It certainly was fun to write.
ONE NOTE: I did have a comment that the print size for my blog was too small (any more comments of that nature can be directed in the "Contact" form please!). I have tried to make the print larger however, one can also adjust the print by using the settings on one's phone, pad, laptop, or computer. Thank you for understanding.
I really do enjoy writing about indie designers like Jessica Underwood of Stitching Together. Her work is fantastic.! Though her website has been up not quite a year now, she has been creating and crocheting her own patterns for years. Normally I do this blog on Saturday but life interrupted so here I am, on Tuesday.
Jessica Underwood has a flare for designs that are modern but harken to the traditional. With her husband, three small kids, three cats, and a job she still finds time to design patterns, create photo tutorials and develop helpful organizational tools for crocheters. I don't think I could ever be that organized. (even now at my age LOL)
Before discussing the amazing designs of Jessica Underwood I'd just like to point out that she has developed a gift planner to help those of us who are avid fiber artists plan gifts for our friends and loved ones. You can get the planner by signing up here.
I've been knitting and crocheting for years however, the knit/crochet world never stands still. There is always someone developing a new design, technique, tool, bit of software, and, while "there's nothing new under the sun" as a wise man once said, there's always a new way to do it! There is one skill that I have yet to manage and Jessica Underwood has the answer. A photo tutorial on How to Crochet the Single Crochet Rib Stitch! I'm a visual learner and while video tutorials are great, for me there's nothing like a frame by frame photo tutorial as an aid. The Single Crochet Rib Stitch is used in so many patterns that I would like to make but was... you guessed it, afraid to try :) No longer! Also there is a bit of a tutorial and some tips on Tapestry Crochet. I think I understand a little bit more about Tapestry Crochet after reading Jessica Underwood's 5 Tapestry Crochet Tips. For myself, Tapestry Crochet is way down on my to do list. Only because I have a boat load of commissions to finish. You can see the photos of the Tapestry Crochet process in the Buffalo Check Crochet Pillow Cover pattern.
There are several great Stitching Together clothing and accessory patterns for kids and adults. I want to start with the adult projects first because I love the story behind the Rival Crochet Infinity Scarf. I know how big the whole sports teams rivalries can be. I grew up in Central New York and have been a Syracuse Orange fan for many years. My parents now live in Ohio and have become Ohio State Fans (really?) much like Jessica Underwood's husband. I still live in New York and still cheer for my Orangemen. I give my dad a bit of a ribbing for "switching allegiance" but still.. when living in Ohio maybe do as the Ohio natives do! Can you relate? (I'm for sure making this scarf in orange and blue, without doubt)
I think my readers will appreciate the other great projects for adults from Stitching Together. A few of these would be excellent for the charities with which I am involved so I'm excited!
With three children of her own, Jessica Underwood has some seriously adorable patterns for kids. (the adorable models for these adorable patterns are priceless) Crocheting for little ones is just a blast. It's my own bread and butter therefore, these patterns have gone into my Ravelry library for future use!
I want to point out that there are other patterns that I have not posted to today's blog. You'll need to go check the blog for yourself! Also visit one of Stitching Together's social media pages. While you are there thank Jessica Underwood for her great work and for keeping her patterns free of charge. If you make something for charity using Stitching Together patterns, you might also let Jessica Underwood know that you've helped someone else because of her generosity.
I think it was in early 2013 (there or thereabouts) I started seeing comments about this thing called "Moogly". Rave comments on Ravelry and discussions on facebook about how this blog was the new "it" thing among my friends who were into fiber arts. I thought it was a company that made and sold products marketed towards fiber arts. But no! It is a blog written by the very gifted Tamara Kelly! It has become a hugely popular blog for crocheters. It's 6 + years in existence with all the tutorials and patterns has made this blog the perfect, self-contained, one-stop charity resource for crocheters of all levels. How cool is that?
As my regular readers know I've got a long time interest in charity and now help to administer 2 charities on Facebook. The first project I completed start to finish was a wheelchair blanket for my grandmother who was living in a nursing home. Once I knew I could actually create something that large, I began to explore charity groups online (we had the latest in dial up internet service ;) While my hobby has now become a business and I've turned my deep interest in charity to helping administer the charity work, I have never wavered in my belief that fiber artists are some of the most giving people in the world.
Moogly's designer Tamara Kelly has graciously made 332 patterns, some knit but most crocheted, available for free through Ravelry. Her blog has project after project offered, free of charge. It takes a lot of work to create these wonderful gems and offering them for free to the public is generosity in action! Tamara Kelly also works with other designers to multiply the number of free projects available to charity knitters and crocheters. Through Crochet-a-longs (CAL) and a signature link party many designers get exposure for their latest patterns. Hooking on Hump Day is a Wednesday link party. (let's face it, Wednesday can be a bit of a drag and we need something to which we can look forward.) This link party is hosted by Moogly blog and also Petals to Picots. Not all of the link party projects are free but they do send you on a hunt through some of the coolest projects and who knows what you'll find along the way?
Along with the free patterns, charity crafters will find many free video and photo tutorials that will aid in learning new stitches, techniques, and diy finishing touches. Fiber artists might also be interested in the classes available at Craftsy. Video and pictorial tutorials just help us kick our skills in to a higher gear. I'm always trying to learn something new!
The charities I have been involved with do have specific requirements for their donations, please make sure to check the requirements before simply donating a project. That important note being shared, let's check out some of the great projects that are available to us as charity crocheters shall we?
For babies and children:
If the charity you work with focuses on shawls Tamara Kelly has some amazing shawl patterns for you to use. Stunning patterns to suit many different styles. I know the prayer shawl ministry is a blessing to many. If your church or group participates these shawls are perfect.
Sometimes we are needed to help with special projects like Operation Christmas Child or donating to the local nursing home or homeless shelter at the Holiday time. Small gifts are needed and handmade gifts are especially welcomed. Tamara Kelly shares some great small projects we can make up and give away. It's never too early to start planning for charity at the Holidays.
There is so much more to the Moogly Blog! I could go on about the scarves, shawls, mittens, home decor but really I know my readers will want to go explore the rest for themselves. In all seriousness. This winter has been very hard on people in the United States. Just today the National Weather Service put out another Winter Storm Warning. Those folks who were devastated by the last storm haven't fully recovered yet. I know many of my readers are actively helping those in need right now, even as I write this. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Please visit Moogly on Facebook or one of her social networking pages. Leave a nice comment to thank Tamara for her kindness in giving away so many free patterns and introducing us to other designers.
Let's face it. None of us are immune from disaster, natural or otherwise. Recently we had a very wild weather situation here in my neck of the woods (literally... Almanzo Wilder farm not far from where I live now). There was a deep cold snap, then a sudden two day warm up, a rain and freezing rain event, a snow storm dumping feet of snow on us, now a deep freeze again. all within 4 days. Meanwhile ice jams, flooding, and people digging out from under FEET of snow have kept our first responders busy. This means that the Red Cross and the Salvation Army will be called on to help my neighbors.
A couple of things, you can do immediately to help both here and in YOUR neck of the woods :). First we have 2, possibly more, Salvation Army worship centers and thrift stores in my area. We shop there in order to support the good work they do. And as a BONUS they love handmade items. Good quality handmade items are always appreciated. Check with your local Salvation army locations.
There is a second way to give is through the Red Cross. The Red Cross and Red Heart Yarns have teamed up in the past to get knitters and crocheters involved in meeting needs in disasters large and small. The Red Cross has a GREAT partnership with Red Heart yarn and if you want to join in the fun check out their Facebook Group:
www.facebook.com/groups/1189947071030415/ Donating handmade love is serious business but being a part of a group can also be serious fun.
Please also consider donating money to the Red Cross. The funds are so necessary and in an emergency the Red Cross is always the first to respond. Even a small gift will go a very long way. Do not know where your local Red Cross Chapter is? My local chapter is: www.redcross.org/local/new-york/eastern-new-york/about-us/locations/north-country Anyone looking for their local chapter can go to redcross.org for that information.
To our local folks: If you belong to or administer to a church, school, nursery school, civic group or are a member of EMS and you know of needs to which www.facebook.com/NorthernAdirondackHats/ to Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope Initiative can lend their assistance please drop us a PM on our facebook page. We will endeavor to help meet those needs. If you want to join our merry band of fiber artists send us a request via Facebook!
That's all I'm going to write today. Please look out for yourselves and your neighbors!
I both knit and crochet so I like to have a variety of great pattern choices available to me. Now some designers work on and release just a few of their projects to the public, some release many. I prefer quality over quantity. Beauty AND functionality are what I look for in any pattern. When I was looking for a subject for today's blog, I decided to focus on just blankets, Why you may ask? In the immortal words of the weather forecasters "Snowmageddon". As you can see from the photo, Out of the Parc Designs HQ is experiencing yet another snow storm. It seemed a good day to focus on blankets! I chose Lacy Crochet and candylou.com
FIRST a disclaimer: Baby blankets especially open work blankets, should not be used in a baby's crib until a baby is 12 months old! Also, open work baby blankets have been used for years without any injury to babies. However, please ask your pediatrician if you have any questions or doubts. (blankets don't need to come with warning labels)
Always amazed by the talents of Olga Poltava, lacycrochet.blogspot.nl/ is a treat for the eyes as well as the crochet hook. I wrote a blog about Olga Poltava in the past and her work continues to inspire. While Olga Poltava creates patterns for more than just blankets, her baby blankets are spectacular. Show pieces to make and share with special people in your life. For instance my absolute favorite Poltava creation the White Lace Christening Blanket and Baby Hat. I love that crochet stitch. It is very vintage! With the right yarn, of course, could very easily have that vintage modern look. Perfect!
Olga Poltava offers both free and premium blanket patterns. The free patterns can be found on her blogspot page. The premium patterns can be found in her Etsy store. All of the patterns are stunning. I know I have to choose just a few to share on this blog because I want you to visit their blogspot and Etsy pages for yourself! I wanted to share some patterns from both the blogspot and the Etsy store. Therefore, I will start with the blogspot free patterns:
Premium patterns (paid) are listed on Olga Poltava's Etsy or Craftsy page. Many of the blanket patterns sold have a matching hat. can also be purchased either together or separately. So many really priceless patterns to choose from but again, I am only able to choose a few to share. (you've no idea how difficult it is to choose!)
I encourage you to take a look at Olga Poltava's blog site, Etsy and Craftsy pages for more stunning patterns. If you don't crochet, you can enquire here on the blog page or on the facebook page for my price of materials ect.
I love just surfing the patterns at Ravelry. This is how I came to find the marvelous CandyLou. I thought to myself, have I been living under a rock? How did I miss this designer??? Mercifully I saw that most of her patterns had been published in 2017. Of course at first I saw only a few patterns for sale and thought that I could not write an entire blog on just a few patterns? However, knitters can rejoice, CandyLou has a website and a blog upon which there are more patterns! (not just blanket patterns) I concur with her that it is much easier to use a knit and purl design to keep from creating a mess on the backside of the baby afghan. As I did with Lacy Crochet allow me to share my favorite free patterns and my favorite paid patterns... if I can manage to choose!
Candylouscreations on Ravelry is the premium page for CandyLou's designs. I really struggled to pick out a couple of favorites because I want everyone to check out these pages for themselves. So I decided on only 2 blanket patterns to get my readers to go over to the Ravelry page for more so I don't give away the game!
Okay so that wraps up my two in one blog for today. I do want to thank Olga Poltava and CandyLou for their gorgeous work! It has been my great pleasure to write about these two amazing designers!
It's a brand new year why not consider having some fun and destashing with friends? Destashing is a great way to use up, give away, swap, or sell good yarn and also help charity at the same time! As my regular readers know I do help to operate two charitable Facebook groups. Knitting and crocheting become a good habit that lasts a lifetime. However, in that lifetime one can accumulate A LOT of yarn... I mean a LARGE amount LOL! Now I'm sure that some of my readers have the same "problem"? (well maybe problem is too strong of a word) Therefore, I came up with some ideas to help make destashing more entertaining!
First, credit where credit is due. Darleen Hopkins proprietress of Crochet by Darleen Hopkins shared some of her destashing ideas in the email newsletter she writes for her followers. crochetbydarleenhopkins.com/author/crochetbydarleenhopkins/ She got me thinking about all the ways to destash for good.
Destashing for charity should be something we can enjoy and even share with friends. How about a destashing party? Like a swapmeet only just yarn or yarn, fabric and tools. Most fiber artists have their favorite charities with whom they share their work. In order to share the love here's how I envisioned a destashing extravaganza!
A couple of words of warning: Make sure to tell your group if you smoke, your yarn/fabric is exposed to pets, or use strong laundry detergent/perfumes.
Ideas for charity work are all over the web. If you need an idea or two check out these great websites:
In all the preparation and exchanging keep in mind that this should be FUN. Enjoy the process of sharing your passion with others! Lets make our communities stronger together!
The opening salvo of 2018 here in the Northern Adirondacks brought a wicked combination of snow and bitter cold wind. However, I've not allowed that to dampen my enthusiasm for the new feature here on the Out of the Parc Blog. Classics in the Parc will take us on our own journey into the past of fiber arts through the eyes of the publishers of some of the magazines of the time. Today, McCall's Needlework Fall-Winter 1957. Below you see a well worn and stained (and a bit musty) copy of the magazine given to me by family members. These are a treasure trove of interesting articles, and patterns. Together we'll see what has made a come back... and what skills have disappeared in the mists of time. Welcome to my first installment!
I guess the first thing that caught my eye about this magazine is that it only cost $.50! Fifty cents? Amazing. There are literally dozens of features, articles, and patterns. This magazine would cost quite a bit more if it were produced today. (yes there are still plenty of ads, publishing hasn't changed that much LOL)
There are a couple of fun items in this magazine. The "Did You Know" article written by Nan Comstock, and the "Show Us How You Did It With Snaps" a compilation of snapshots sent in by readers. The "Did You Know" article gathers little tidbits of news from around the United States. For instance October 12-19 would have been the "National Knit-It-Yourself Week" and that the Museum of Contemporary Crafts which opened in September 1956 (now renamed, I believe, to the Museum of Arts and Design) was enjoying outstanding popularity. Check out the museum here: madmuseum.org/about/museum-history Some crafts clearly stand the test of time.
"Show Us How You Did It With Snaps" is sort of the early "Ravelry". People would send in their best snapshots of work they completed to the editors for a chance to have their photos featured in the magazine (Imagine going through all the snapshots sent into a major magazine!) Some things are still very popular, shawls, embroidered curtains, and geometric shapes afghans. (see slideshow) :)
The patterns on display in the McCall's needlework magazines were very cleverly displayed. Some were free patterns and some were patterns that could be purchased through McCalls. It was a little frustrating for me as I looked through the more recently published magazines because there were knitted patterns I loved but of course were no longer available. After an email exchange with the current owners of McCalls I learned that no one knows who owns the copyright to the old magazines, the patterns, or where one would find the old patterns. They suggested a perusal through ebay or etsy to see if I could find the patterns for resale. Kind of fun but then, suddenly, and without warning I find that hours have flown by and all I've done is surf the web. (and get dry eyes) LOL I curtailed that activity. However, 1957 was chock full of timeless classics which are still in vogue today. (See the slideshow of pictures from the magazine!)
As trends go the Fall-Winter 1957 McCall's Needlework magazine was a study in contrasts. From the more modern look of "The Lived In Room", a feature about DIY decorating a college dorm room with a "young outlook" (yes that's how it reads), to the Dowry Quilt and the Carriage Wear features; this magazine neatly combined the up and coming fashions of the 60's with the conservative look of the 50's. Home economics with a twist. The photo spread for the teen sweaters is decorated with pictures of girls with test tubes and microscopes. The patterns for men's sweaters feature crisp cables and a light meter for a modern camera. Tablecloths that are embroidered to match dishes. (a new thing apparently) Infants, toddlers, children, toys, and home decor all transitioning to a the "new looks" for the 1960's. (Though I'm sure no one could have envisioned fur vests, bohemian shirts, bi-colored tights, or micro-mini skirts on grown women, beaded headbands, or the cubist bus featured on the Partridge family)
The one trend in this magazine that has resurfaced is the knit dress. Called "Slim Knits" in the magazine, knitted or crocheted dresses with a pencil skirt has come back into style. Names like "French Connection" have designed chic sweater dresses that women in the late 1950's created for themselves! Schott NYC created sweaters for men with sharp cables similar to those patterns available in the 1957 Fall-Winter McCall's needlework.. The editors of McCall's Needlework were on the cusp of fashion. (as you'll see in upcoming editions of Classics in the Parc)
If you'd like to create some of your own vintage projects with a modern twist there are some websites where you can find vintage patterns reproduced. For instance check out grandmotherspatternbook.com/?page_id=3586 I think this is a great website to get started on your own vintage journey!
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.