Because it's my 3 year Blog-a-versary I'm going to take a bit of a liberty and share with you some of my favorite free pattern sites. I have been blogging on this Weebly site for 2 years and writing about the arts of knitting and crocheting for about a year before joining Weebly. Here 3 YEARS later still going strong! (I was fairly sure I didn't have even a year in me LOL :)) I began my fiber arts journey crocheting for charity. Joining me today is my daughter @T.k. Wilson. She and I wanted to share our favorite FREE knitting/crocheting blogs and websites. Woo Hoo!
I love sharing my favorite free pattern websites because it gives me a chance to encourage people to try their hand a donating to charity. I've read about the mental health aspects of knitting/crocheting for various reasons. Here's an article about that subject from November of 2016 from the Telegraph in the UK. It really is HEALTHY :). With that being said, I know many people in the fiber arts community give to many different charities, each with different goals. I started my charity work with Project Linus and have given to many charities since that time. My daughter was very young when I began to work with P.L.. However she developed her own passion for crochet and now sewing. Many of our favorite free pattern websites have developed and run by experts in their field. This gives a wide breadth of pattern types and skill levels. So let's get this party started!
There are yarn shops with online websites that offer free patterns. One of my long time favorites is KnitTraders of Kingston. Their blog is terrific and if you sign up you can have the free patterns sent to you right in your email. Though I have not been for a visit in a long time, KnitTraders is one of my favorite yarn shops. Another great yarn shop with a selection of free patterns is Knitting-Warehouse.com. I order from this shop frequently. Love Knitting and Love Crochet are both excellent places to find great prices on yarn and tools along with free patterns. I placed an order with Love Knitting and it arrived promptly and was exactly as ordered! Of course you can check out the free patterns on the pages of the major yarn companies such as Red Heart, or Premier Yarns.
Sometimes you run across a knit or crochet designer that goes viral on social networking. Like Mike Sellick of the Crochet Crowd. He is the creative director at The Crochet Crowd. There you will find tons of free patterns tutorials, photos, contests, even events! Sarah of Repeat Crafter Me became an overnight internet smash success when some of her ultra cute patterns went viral on social networking. Of course Debbie Macomber is a must mention in this section. Her books have been a source of inspiration to many. You can find her free patterns here.
No shock that my daughter T.k. Wilson and I are both all about kids. So we'll share our favorite free pattern sites that are kid friendly.
First on my list is Daily Crochet. A curated site with so many kids links it's almost too much to bear! T.k Wilson has chosen:
Lastly T.k. Wilson and I wanted to share some resources for general ideas and patterns for charity. Even if you don't sew at all you can find something to give to others on fleecefun.com. If you are looking for patterns, ideas, directions, size charts or anything to do with giving to a charity check our go-to site bevscountrycottage.com
Of course if you need to connect with a charity we've got a site for that too. Please go to givingartfully.com a fantastic site for giving to charity and for teaching children to give to charity. Whether you are looking to share with mankind or take care of wildlife, you will find the help you need to share immediately!
Thanks to all of you for participating in my Blog-a-versary and for checking out all these wonderful sites. We know that fiber artists are some of the most giving people in the world. We thank you all for doing what you can with the talent you were given!
Lyn and T.k. Wilson
Welcome to the blog on this the weekend of my Blog-a-versary party. I have been on Weebly for 2 years but blogging for about 3 years. So we're celebrating!
Recently I was invited by Lauren Brown to like her delightful Facebook page Daisy Cottage Designs. When I saw her sweet creations I thought I must write about this lovely blog and webpage! Her work is modern, yet timeless, cheerful and comforting. She is a crochet designer, mom, wife, and social networker, with flare for decorating, cooking, and tips for selling on Etsy!
Lauren Brown, proprietress of Daisy Cottage designs is a homeschooling mom. She shares freely of her faith, her talents, and her expertise. I admire her initiative. Her Etsy site has a large selection of custom invitations and printables as well as some of her crochet patterns. She's obviously a very talented lady! This blog is concerned with fiber arts so let's take a closer look at Daisy Cottage Designs crochet creations.
Daisy Cottage Designs is chock full of great ideas! The blog and webpage are set up for easy navigation to her free patterns however, for a very nominal price you can buy a download of her patterns for easy printing from her Etsy page. Lauren Brown creates "Pattern collections", her top picks of patterns from around the web, and "Projects" which are sort of like her "sketchbook" of ideas. The projects and pattern collections are largely from the work of others but when it comes to her own designs, she really shines!
Some of my favorites are, of course, from the patterns designed for children and babies. I always look at those patterns first :).
It was difficult for me to choose which baby/children's patterns I wanted to highlight on the blog. In my opinion that is a very good thing. :) I chose a hat, a blanket, and a finishing touch for kids. (though take a good look around, you'll be as impressed as I was I am sure.)
Blanket patterns are very popular and blankets make great gifts especially as a housewarming or wedding gift. Lauren Brown created a large ripple blanket and a FAQ (frequently asked question) to help with the ripple pattern.
Messy Bun hats are all the hottest accessory in knit and crochet. Of course Daisy Cottage Designs has created 4 different messy bun hats!
I believe in using natural or reusable products as often as possible. I really appreciate the time it took for Lauren Brown to design items for the kitchen/bath that can be washed an reused.
Can you believe that it has been almost TWO years since I started writing this blog? So as I was thinking about the blog today, I was considering what one resource I use the most, besides Ravelry, of course. I went through the list of frequently used pattern sites but what stuck out in my mind is how often I use videos to clarify a pattern or stitch. I realized that as someone with dyslexia YouTube was extremely helpful in clarifying a pattern or a stitch because I could see the instructions as well as read them online. For those of us who give finished projects to charity, YouTube can be a bonanza! Of course this applies to many DIY projects, arts, and crafts but for our purposes we will focus on knitting, crocheting, loom knitting, and sewing. T.k. Wilson will be guest writing about sewing. (sewing machines and I... have a love/hate relationship LOL)
Since this subject is gigantic... meaning there are so many videos to be seen that I couldn't possibly cover all the depths to be mined in the world of knitting, crocheting and loom knitting, I will focus on just a few areas, learning stitches, project guides, T.k. will talk about sewing and I'll finish with a few links to great bloggers with YouTube channels.
Sometimes I come across projects that I LOVE but have not the first clue how to create the stitch necessary to complete it. For the first several years of my "career" in knitting and crocheting would have to muddle along with pictures that could be found in books or cry out for help to my friend Jill for assistance. Jill, bless her, would make a picture tutorial for me and email it to me. I still go to Jill for help, don't get me wrong, but now at least she's not getting a raft of emails detailing my frustration :). Why? Because YouTube channels like New Stitch a Day have taken the frustration out of learning new knitting AND crochet stitches. Making GIVING easier for all of us! For learning new knitting stitches try:
No matter what level you are at in your fiber journey. Looming, knitting, crocheting, and sewing projects are so easy to find. If you like the craft a long projects there are plenty of those to go around! Some of my favorite project sites include:
Hey! It's T.K. and here are some of my favorite sewing and crafting channels.
For beginner sewing lessons and tutorials try:
If you read this blog regularly you will have noticed that many of the bloggers that I write about are also really excellent with YouTube videos. If you are interested in following along with some of the Indy Designers in the fiber arts world and helping charitable causes here are just a few of the artists you can connect with:
Well that's all from Out of the Parc Designs Blog for today. I thank all of you for reading and for taking time to contribute to charity. I'd also like to thank all those YouTubers who give us their time, and talents so that we can provide a little warmth in the world.
Well you can blame the "Call the Midwife Inspired Blanket". I had some perfect yarn for this project and needed a pattern written in modern English which then led me to JonnaMartinez.com! I found a website with plenty of pictures, patterns and videos. With the first post to this blog in November of 2015 this blog has had a professional polish since day one.
Jonna Martinez is a "Raveler", has accounts on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, and an Etsy shop. (Etsy is a dangerous place for yours truly) The links for these pages can be found here: www.etsy.com/shop/sienasmainedesign?section_id=14597458 Designers who remain independent and true to their love for their art are an inspiration to me. Jonna Martinez is no different! Living in Maine, USA, Jonna Martinez is a busy mom of two boys. She also cares for 2 horses and 2 cats according to her profile on Ravelry.
Some designers specialize in certain types of projects or stitches. They become the "go-to" experts. Jonna Martinez is what I would call my "go-to" expert on the "Virus Stitch" (I understand her instructions and with pictures it's even easier!). I LOVE this stitch but I do not follow crochet charts well. I do not know why I have such a hard time with crochet charts but I've never quite gotten the knack of using them. However, Jonna Martinez solves that whole problem with video tutorials, picture tutorials and easy to follow instructions. She's designed tutorials for ponchos, and 2 differently shaped blankets, you can find the patterns listed here. The second pattern I'd consider my "go-to" pattern is the stunning "Beautiful Shells Blanket". Amazing. You can find YouTube videos for the blanket in two colors, and a rectangular shaped blanket. Now credit where credit is due, Jonna Martinez made the YouTube videos based on MyPicot's quilt pattern and this pattern from Miranda Baak. However, Jonna Martinez' "Beautiful Shells in One Color" is so lovely because it focuses the eye on the stitch pattern itself.
Recently jonnamartinez.com has showcased some really beautiful accessories for the cold weather. Even though Spring is coming to a lot of the USA, there's plenty of winter chill to be had so the Seashell Crochet Infinity Scarf, Cowl, Ear-Warmer and Hat will be very welcome gifts or charity donations! For more accessories and photo props be sure to check out Jonna Martinez' Ravelry page where you will also find the patterns for both ponchos made with the "Virus Stitch". My favorite poncho is the "Virus Stitch/Two Corner" found on Ravelry, and on jonnamartinez.com.
Being a Facebook-er myself, I'll be following Jonna Martinez here. However do not forget to check out Jonna's other pages and her blog. Even though it has only been around about the same length of time as my own blog, you'll find plenty to keep you busy! Thank you for reading today and if you stop buy and of Jonna Martinez' pages be sure to thank her for her hard work.
Last week I wrote part one of this blog about the very talented Celina Lane (you can read it here)! Part one covered her website Simply Collectible Crochet. This week I will attempt to cover Crochet Street and Craft Coalition. Though I am not sure part 2 will do either website justice, I will try. (*The second half of the blog post will also serve as the Charity Idea OUTpost for Sunday February 12, 2017. You'll see why as we go along. ) I am not sure I can do the two websites justice in one blog but I will make an attempt.
Celina Lane is a busy wife, mom, crocheter, and social media maven. Like many of us who would MUCH rather be crafting than scouring the internet for great patterns or DIY ideas, Celina Lane found it was a lot of work to find just the right pattern. So she came up with a solution, create "Crochet Street" as a time saver! Here's what she says in her own words: "Crochet Street is a Roundup Directory designed to help you cruise through pattern Roundups, Collections, and Showcases that have been specifically and carefully compiled and featured on the Top Crochet Blogs." So it's like having a crochet cruise director! :) HOW cool is that?? I know I am always looking for places to direct my friends at Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope Initiative to great free patterns. What about those of us who are frequently asked to make projects for friends but they don't know exactly what they are looking for in style of hat or handbag, or what about the perfect Valentine's gift for that person who has everything? Yes, you know the people I'm talking about right? "Crochet Street" is ONE stop hunting, streamlined with an efficient search box.
Simply looking at the fantastic projects on the homepage of the blog makes one want to gather up your yarn and get started. However, that's just the tip of the iceberg. For instance, you'll find a collection of Gorgeous Infinity Scarves put together by Maz Kwok. My favorite in this collection is the Moogly Blog Neon Dreams Infinity Scarf pattern. Bright colors remind me of Spring and we could all use a bit more Spring right about now in Northern New York. If you are looking for something special to dress up that perfect outfit or bright and fun to wear with a Winter coat this collection has it all.
I really (REALLY) like ripple patterns. Why? It's the perfect way to use up scraps AND the patterns can be totally unisex, no fuss, no muss. I really like this ripple/chevron pattern roundup by Celina Lane. Fabulous.
Imagine what it would be like if there were a mega pattern roundup central? THERE IS! Yes and it's a stop on the"Crochet Street" cruise! (to borrow a phrase from Celina Lane) Follow your cruise director to the "Top Picks" page. This is the roundup capital of the universe. Seriously. It's like Candyland for crocheters! (be ready to get inspired!) I really don't even know where to start. Since I find I'm asked to do a lot of baby gifts and occasionally a wedding gift I thought this Top Pick Kitchen Crochet Roundup was very practical and FUN! This is a collection of collections. If you don't have time to stalk every pinterest page for the perfect kitchen or baby gift, try this Roundup. Now who can resist "250 FREE Crochet Patterns Just for Her". Wow! This is a compilation of 15 Roundups in one Roundup for ease of searching.
Speaking of searching, if you are looking for something specific try the search engine. My good friend loves baskets so I did a search for baskets and this is what I found http://crochetstreet.com/?s=basket
They say, "Two Heads are Better Than One" and that axiom has never been more true than in the case of "Craft Coalition". A production of both Celina Lane and her super crafty friend Mistie. Mistie Bush is the proprietress of "American Crochet" Both Celina Lane and Mistie Bush wrote about their vision for Craft Coalition: "CraftCoalition.com will be predominately crochet with a mix of other crafty goodness for your crafty pleasure. We will be sharing some of our previous content in a fresh way, plus adding brand-spankin’ new patterns, CALs, roundups, and anything else that strikes our fancy." (Great idea!) Now that we know what "Craft Coalition" is, let's take a look at the goodies :)
Free crochet patterns? Yes! "Craft Coalition" offers everything from 18 inch doll clothes patterns to washcloth patterns. There's even a cute Amigurumi pig pattern! What else have Celina and Mistie been gracious enough to share? Fantastic videos! How about how to wrap a "lovey" blanket around a teether? Or how about making a shawl toggle to fasten your shawls together? (Nothing like the right accessory to pull an outfit together right?)
For more crafty goodness don't forget to follow Craft Coalition on Facebook
If you are interested in seeing more of Mistie Bush's work you can find her on Facebook also.
I want to thank Celina Lane personally for her kind comments on Part 1 of this blog and also to say how much I appreciate Mistie Bush for her contributions to the crafting world. Please visit Celina Lane's various websites and if you stop by please tell her how much you appreciate her work. Mistie Bush is a hard working designer with a lot to offer her fellow crocheters. You know I envy them both as I cannot write a pattern to save my soul :). Thanks for the inspiration ladies!
Hi Everybody! T.K. here, and I'm here today to tell you about a great project filtering over from our friends across the pond. Ladies and Gentlemen, Toy Like Me!
Toy Like Me is a UK based coalition of parents, educators, and doctors fighting for the positive representation of disabled and "different" people as toys. Began as a one woman crusade by BBC journalist Rebecca Atkinson, Toy Like Me has begun a global revolution of calling for manufactures and independent artisans to make or create toys that represent people with this differences to teach children that it's not strange to be different.
Why, some may ask, is this important? Aren't they just toys? Yes, but toys make up a child's world. The imaginary world of children is the one that will shape how they will grow up, so it is very important that children have a chance to experience people that are different than they are, whether ethnically, ability-related, or simply different.
It's also important that children that are disabled or different than their peers have toys that reflect who they are. " To see yourself reflected by huge toy brands like Playmobil and Lego is about more than just a toy. It’s about these brands sending out a powerful message that everyone should be included and celebrated, not just able-bodied people. If we leave diff:ability out of the toy box what does that teach kids in real life? That it’s OK to exclude?" (toylikeme.org) Toys like this boost the self-esteem of children and help them understand that they are awesome just like they are. I know this from experience. When I got my glasses, though my self-image didn't ride on it, I would have loved to have a doll with glasses who wasn't Eliza Thornberry (sorry Eliza).
Now you know why Toy Like Me does what they do, now how do they do it? First off, they try to find existing toys that have glasses, a wheelchair, etc. and promote those to parents and educators who are looking for these types of toys, seen here. Next, they promote artisans who make the accessories to make existing toys into the "diff:abled" toys of dreams. These "bespoke" artisans are listed here.
Now, if you are excited as I was by this prospect, what can you do? You can order from one of the fine artisans listed above, or you can buy existing toys and donate them to schools and daycares, even give them to your own kids. If you live in the UK, you can donate to Toy Like Me through their Donate tab, so they can keep lobbying toy companies to make more of these kind of toys. You can also give them a "like" at their Facebook and keep up with all the action. Their enthusiasm is infectious, and soon you'll be looking for the next Toy Like Me!
I have taken on such a massive subject that I've decided to divide the blog into 2 parts. Yes Celina Lane has that much to offer crocheters that I cannot cover her efforts in just one blog. I really wasn't sure I would write about Celina Lane because she has such a huge presence in social media. With 3 different websites, a ravelry page and activity in 5 social networking sites, not to mention her participation in Red Heart Yarn's The Joy Creators covering her work is a big job!
In doing last week's Charity Idea OUTpost blog I was introduced to the full magnitude of Celina Lane's work. She is a member of the "Hookin on Hump Day" link parties. Very cool . In her biographical sketch on Ravelry Celina Lane writes:"Creating is my therapy which, subsequently, benefits my son’s education and therapies.
100% of proceeds from sales and my blog help pay for my son’s therapies, education and private assistance. He is 10yrs old and we homeschool as well as maintain an active lifestyle. Designing and blogging are the only things I can do to raise money right now.
Subscribe to my blogs to get the heads up on New, Upcoming or Updated items or patterns.
Thank you ahead of time, for your support!" Many of us find different motivations for crocheting/knitting or designing. I cannot think of a better motivation than to design to help family. Because I too homeschooled my kids, I felt a certain connection to Celina Lane.
Today I wanted to focus on Celina Lane's Simply Collectible and Coraline Design pages. Simply Collectible is a great page filled with very hip, fun, clever, crocheting designs. Some are free and some are paid patterns in the Etsy store. The prices at the Etsy store for the patterns are absolutely rock bottom. The store is one way to get the patterns ad free. Projects like the very popular "Messy Bun Hat" are available. Celina Lane took the Messy Bun Hat pattern and adapted it for short hair or just to wear as a regular cap. Check out the Bibbity Bobbity 3-in-1 Messy Bun Hat. I also like the Whimsical Penelope's Floral Slouch.
If you are looking for beautiful home decor Celina Lane has produced some really lovely blankets for all the rooms in your home. From the baby's nursery to the living room. The Lovely Shells and Chevrons blanket is perfect for any baby's room and totally unisex. I love it. Another blanket that would look perfect anywhere from the den to the living room is the Chevron Flare Blanket.
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.