Today it was very difficult to choose my favorite independent designer. I had three in mind but I decided on the one designer I've been following the longest. Barbara Breiter is the designer of the very first afghan I knitted. I thought it was right to give her credit in this blog post.
Now It was about 15 years and several computers ago that I knitted my first afghan. Naturally, it was frustrating at first but Barbara not only designed the afghan but also offered assistance in helping me figure out exactly where I might have gone wrong with my knitting. Because Barbara had been knitting since 1983 and has since designed multitudes of patterns on her own and for Crystal Palace Yarns, her assistance was invaluable. Naturally I had the amazing Jill Schaefer cheering me on also. Jill helped me to choose this pattern as my first attempt at an afghan: http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/babyafbear.htm
Where should I begin telling you about Barbara Breiter? Barbara is the kind hostess of 2 websites at which you can find any number of superb patterns. I guess the first thing that drew me to Barbara is that she takes what would ordinarily seem overwhelmingly complex and breaks it down into easier pieces. Which, if you are a beginner, is a big relief. She doesn't just leave you hanging with instructions that are impossible to understand. She's keen to help beginners gain the confidence necessary to move on to more complex patterns! I find myself going back to http://www.knittingonthenet.com/ over and over again for gifts and charity patterns.
The second website that Barbara Breiter set up is for her more commercial endeavors. http://www.knitabit.net/
She has literally hundreds of designs to choose from so everyone is sure to find something they would like to make. In the off chance you are struggling with your knitting/crocheting I recommend the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting and Crocheting by Barbara Breiter and Gail Diven from Amazon.com.
Crystal Palace yarns was so impressed by Barbara's Patterns they used her designs on their website. Personally I love their Mochi yarns. http://www.straw.com/cpy/index.html. Barbara designed this really cute cowl with Mochi yarns http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/misccowl3.htm The cowl pattern shows the beauty of the yarn.
Interested in a more advanced project? Here's a simply lovely baby sweater for babies sized 9 months or so. http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/babyswestripebam.htm Its not typical, which I love, and it tests the skills just a little.
There's so much more to tell about Barbara Breiter but I want you to find out for yourselves why I find her work to be some of the best and most practical on the web. Thank you Barbara for so many years of knitting pleasure.
My regular readers will know already how much knitting for infants means to me. Its a special opportunity and a lovely way to encourage families who have just welcomed a child into the world. Sometimes little ones come into the world needing some extra help and that is where the Neonatal Intensive Care Units come to the rescue. My great admiration for NICU doctors and nurses fuels part of the challenge I'm about to present to you.
Sunset Crochet presented their readers with a challenge and with it a beautiful story of friendship and love in action. I want to thank them for this inspiration Please take the time to read the full story: http://www.sunsetfamilyliving.com/spring-2015-nicu-challenge-join/ In a nutshell the challenge is to knit 10 newborn baby hats (or preemie hats) and donate them to the local NICU hospital. In my case it would be https://www.amc.edu/patient/services/childrens_hospital/pediatric_neonatology/index.cfm .
Patterns? Plenty! Sunset Crochet has offered the following http://www.sunsetfamilyliving.com/tiberiuss-newsboy-crochet-pattern-spring-2015-nicu-challenge-pattern/ (with a lovely chat about their inspiration) and I know you've seen these at The WHOot http://thewhoot.com.au/whoot-news/crafty-corner/free-baby-crochet Bev Qualheim has her own preemie story and adorable patterns here: http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/baby.html#p-hats Carewear another group of wonderful people who specialize in encouraging folks to give to their own local hospitals have set up this page of pattern links: http://www.carewear.org/index.php? page=pattern. Do you Pin? I pin... Pinterest that is! This board on Pinterest set up specifically for NICU babies with all kinds of patterns knit, crochet and fleece: https://www.pinterest.com/carol_rinehart/nicu-preemies/ to which I add my thanks to Carol Rinehart.
This should set you in good standing to make babies, families, and the NICU staff of your local hospital very, very happy. Thank you to Sunset Family Living for this challenge that puts everything in perspective. Don't forget to check out https://www.facebook.com/SunsetCrochet?fref=ts
and my facebook page for more updates... https://www.facebook.com/OutoftheParcDesigns?ref=hl. If you decide to join us... drop us a note!
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**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.