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I was looking for something a little different for today's blog and I found the perfect designer! Tiaga Hilliard 's designs feel like they were created just for someone like me. I really wondered why I had not covered these amazing designs before now?! I have seen her designs probably a million times. They are GORGEOUS. I probably cannot do Taiga Hilliard's designs justice in words but I hope many of you will check her social networking pages and website so you can take in the full beauty.
Okay I first ran across Taiga Hilliard when looking for a little dress to make up quickly. Now this was a few years back maybe 4 or 5 I can't remember. I found the "Lemon Chiffon dress" which I LOVED but I knew I'd never have time for given the time constraints I was facing. I gave the pattern a miss but I kept it bookmarked. This is one of sixteen pages, yes, 16 pages of patterns available either singularly or in pattern books from Taiga Hilliard Designs. Amazing right? If you are going to delve into these stunning patterns, grab some tea, and allot yourself plenty of time. At least 124 of the patterns are FREE! Taiga Hilliard writes; " I love top-down pieces, with very little finishing, and in the round patterns, which carries over into my designs." I say YES please!
Shawls are a great gift . Taiga Hilliard has designed many shawl patterns that are so lovely! Formal designs, fun designs, lace, geometric patterns, all of which would make a stunning keepsake or a nice project to pick up on a chilly day. I have many shawls of my own, they make a great accessory. Here are a few of my favorite Cashmere Junkie shawl patterns:
That's it for today's blog ! Thanks for reading! If you stop by Cashmere Junkie's website please be sure to thank her for her hard work and great designs! Thank you Taiga Hilliard for offering so much of your work for free.
I've been watching The Doctor Blake Mysteries on Netflix while knitting and crocheting. It's an interesting series. My favorite character is the housekeeper, Mrs. Beazley . She's an avid knitter. She even tries to help their lodger to learn to knit at one point. The whole series set in the late 50's is full of great costumes. What does this have to do with charity knitting and crocheting? Glad you asked. Often these vintage patterns have a practical use and are just beautiful. Women's shelters, children's hospitals, long term care facilities, or just an elderly relative who could use something to give them a smile. So many of these patterns are FREE! Ready for a little look?
Babies attend a lot of special occasions but one of the most important is the first time mom and dad bring their little one home from the hospital . Not having the money to afford something special for that first trip home is hard. As knitters and crocheters we can solve that problem. By donating something unique , a handmade gift that is picture perfect, to a local hospital. These patterns might give you a starting point:
For children there are some well written vintage patterns that would make lovely warm clothes for the winter. Every parent likes to think that their child will go out in the cold bundled with warmth. A little handmade love makes the heart happy.
I thank you for reading the blog today. This has been a bit special to me because I am privileged to have handmade things from my grandparents and great grandparents. I like to think I'm standing on their shoulders while I do my work at Out of the Parc Designs. They were very community minded people . I hope you'll be able to use these ideas to contribute to those in the present... and maybe the future.
I am back after a few days visiting my folks in Ohio. We were thankful for a safe trip and having seen some very cool sights around New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. I took a zillion pictures LOL! However, I am back and ready to write about a great designer! Amy McC Anderson has designed some amazingly adorable patterns for children and I am loving it!
Amy McC Anderson is a wife, mom, crochet designer, blogger, and loves to cook. She's been very gracious in offering her patterns with the world. (something I'm not brave enough to do.) She has created some of the most adorable Blanket Buddies (or Lovies) that I have ever seen, among other perfect designs for children. She uses her Spicy Tuesday Crafts "Blogger" platform (Since 2010), and Ravelry to share what she has designed.
I made my first lovies/Blanket Buddies, with the help of my daughter. They turned out super cute. I've not made a stuffed toy since requiring reading glasses. Something about making those little toy pieces just doesn't work for me. However, I think Blanket Buddies are such a cute idea! Stuffed toy AND blanket all in one! (this way I only have to make the basic blanket, toy head, and arms LOL) Amy Anderson has several collections of various themed blanket buddies. FIRST however, she's careful to give Briana Olsen the credit for the basic lovey design. Briana Olsen is the proprietress of Bowtykes and graciously gave Amy Anderson permission to use the basic shape/design. Amy Anderson took the Blanket Buddy in a whole new direction. I LOVE her work. I can really only cover a minute portion of Amy Anderson's work because the totality is huge. :) There are storybook type Blanket Buddies, superhero/comics type Blanket buddies, and animal type Blanket Buddies. Something for everyone! Whether you need a quick gift for a birthday party or you want to do a gift that is a little more involved, (never fear there are notes to assist) Amy Anderson has something for every skill level at Spicy Tuesday Crafts.
Storybook Blanket Buddies (so many, so little time):
I am always looking for cute kids patterns! Because I specialize in making children/baby clothes and accessories it is always fun to cruise Ravelry or my fav. blogs looking for a way to kick my knitting and crocheting up a notch. Besides the Blanket Buddies there are a few really overwhelmingly, squee-worthy, cute blankets.
Thanks for joining me on the blog today! Please join Spicy Tuesday Crafts on her blog, Ravelry page AND on her Facebook page. Get all the updates as soon as they come out! If you stop by her blog or her Facebook page be sure to thank her for all the hard work she puts into her patterns. Thank you Amy Anderson!
Every crocheter is a little different. Some of us love to crochet and watch a movie on our own others of us like to get together with a friend, still others find more motivation if they are crocheting with a group. Crochet alongs are a great way to meet other crocheters, learn new skills, get tips and tricks, and laugh. I have participated in a crochet along or two in my time as a crocheter. It's fun!
What is a Crochet Along? It is basically just a group of people interested in crocheting the same item at the same time. Whether you have a local yarn shop crochet along, in a small group, or online it's people sharing an interest. If the CAL as they are known, is run well everyone enjoys the experience. Because you are so focused on the camaraderie, and project. Some of these CAL's are a big deal. They are super popular and they are incredibly in depth. If you are going to choose a CAL it would be best to choose a project that is close to your skill set. If it's challenging you won't get bored but if it's way outside your skill set you might find it frustrating. If you aren't sure about the project ask the project designer or coordinator.
The best part of Crochet Alongs is that even if the project isn't specifically earmarked for charity you can donate/gift your project to whomever you like. Some of the afghans would make a fantastic prize to raffle off for school functions or for a local group trying to raise funds. Afghan projects would be nice donations to hospice. There are so many ways to use your finished project that the mind boggles. No doubt the people that you meet will also love to hear about where you are going to donate your project! Maybe they'll have a few ideas of their own.
This won't be a long blog because it's basically just a roundup of places you can check for a CAL you can enjoy. That's the key here, if you are donating your project to charity it should make you HAPPY :) Let's get started shall we? Get your mouse ready to click links!
Good Morning from the beautiful Northern Adirondack Region of New York. It's so sunny outside I decided to look for something fun and colorful to wear. Naturally I turned to Ravelry. That is where I found Addicted 2 the Hook designs and a beautiful layout of patterns full of color! Perfect for Spring! I am so ready for that burst of spring green and the early Spring flowers.
Since Spring flowers come rather later to this part of the USA than other parts we're really still waiting for nature to put on it's coat of many colors. Quite frankly I've had cabin fever for about a month. Addicted 2 The Hook had the answer to my feeling of the blues with fun designs and colors. Jodie Booth lives in Melbourne, Australia. To quote her biography on Ravelry."Hi!
I’m a busy and dedicated mum to 1 girl and 3 boys
Crocheting is my favourite way to relax :)
I write patterns which I love to do,
However, I only write patterns when I get an inspiration, so don’t expect a new pattern every month ;)
Working with my hands allows me to use my creative energy in a very positive and rewarding way." I don't sell my designs because I can't write a pattern worth beans, so it's pretty awesome that Jodie Booth finds time to offer her designs to us isn't it? (especially while we are still waiting on Spring as you can see from the photo)
I love making children's clothes, as my regular readers know by now, so you know I was drawn to the designs of Jodie Booth like a bee to honey. Total crochet catnip! The designs are colorful, unique, fanciful, sweet, practical and not overly complicated! For instance the Poncho Sweater. I must make a correction. Another designer, Cathey Elrod, designed this exact poncho sweater back in 2005. I apologize for any confusion or upset this has caused. To find her pattern click here: pattern . A great way to keep little ones warm while allowing freedom of movement. Then the adorable Rainbow Heart Vest pattern written for a 1-2 year old. It is so sweet. I love the tapered look and it would make a great addition for spring because it's not a heavy garment. Little boys will like Ariki's Basic Hoodie. It's roomy and cozy sized for 1 year through adult it's a super cute idea for family photographs! I may have to make one for myself!
I am NOT the toy expert in the family but I do know what I like and I like Jodie Booth's toy designs! (My daughter is the true amigurumi expert.)
I have never liked clowns. From the first time I saw a clown I have disliked clowns however, Jodie booth has created Ollie the Clown. Reminds me of the clown character that Red Skelton created. He's so cute. Also my favorite animal is the giraffe. Jodie Booth says her Giraffe Toy is her best seller. It's great for cheering up a friend or for the baby's nursery.
One thing that I found on Addicted 2 the Hook's Raverly page is a rather novel baby wearing blanket. Now I used to have a sling for my little ones, way back in the stone ages. My daughter hated being confined, my son loved it. I guess I was technically a "baby wearing" mom. But these days with the internet and new science behind the benefits of holding your baby close, baby wearing is a big deal. I like the idea that babies who are close to mom get so many benefits including increased intelligence and organizational skills. The baby wearing blanket is a great idea. I was always protective of my newborns being passed around or held by people that I didn't know well. I like that the Baby Wearing Blanket gives both mom and baby a little extra protection from the elements of cold wind or rain. Thanks for this Jodie!
You'll find 2 new, fantastic, designs on Addicted 2 the Hook's Ravelry page. The beautiful Heart Scarf and the Heart Poncho. The poncho is sized for children size 1 to adult. Make a cute Mother's day fashion duet wouldn't it? Perfect timing! :)
There is a poncho collection that Jodie Booth has created. I like that they are a little dressy so that each can be worn in different settings. From school or work to a church event. There's the Heart Poncho as mentioned also the Butterfly Poncho sized 1 year to adult, the Virus Poncho (its made with the famous virus shell stitch) Sized 9 months to 8 years, the Chunky Poncho is designed for an adult woman. All of these pieces are stylish and fit with the trends of crocheting now. The Butterfly Poncho and the Virus Poncho also have a matching cardigan. I think you'll agree the patterns are fun and fresh.
Thank you for taking the time to read the blog today. Thank you to Jodie Booth for brightening my day with her lovely designs. If you check out Jodie Booth's Facebook page, you'll see the latest updates. Take a moment to thank her for the fabulous designs.
We have some really amazing knit/crochet/loom knitting designers out there who give away patterns for the use in charity work. Robin Celli is one such designer. Working to keep cancer patients warm. She does her work along with her mini schnauzer Schnapps in Felton, Delaware. Delaware Head Huggers and Kozy Kovers for Kids are an act of love by Robin Celli and her fine group of knitters and crocheters from all over the world.
Robin Celli, while an incredibly busy woman finds time to design hats, keep up a blog, keep up the Delaware Head Huggers website, a ravelry page, an etsy page, a fabulous Craftsy page, 2 Facebook pages, a twitter account, and indeed a second charity known as Kozy Kovers For Kids! My daughter T.k. Wilson will be writing about Speaking from experience being spokesperson for a charity is difficult enough but running it solo must be very challenging. Robin Celli has been a champion for Head Huggers for many years. Her very first post on her blog in 2011 was all about Delaware Head Huggers. However, while the task may be challenging, knowing that her group has helped cancer patients is extremely satisfying. For who among us hasn't been touched in some way by cancer?
While many of Robin Celli's patterns are free she does have a special collection of hats she has put together to raise money for Delaware Head Huggers and Kozy Kovers for Kids. You can find this on her Etsy page. Whether you donate to Head Huggers or another charity these patterns would be a great addition to your pattern collection. You may also find may of the patterns here on Ravelry.
As most of us have been touched by the scourge of cancer, therefore we can all see the necessity of chemotherapy caps. However, if you are not aware of the side effects of chemotherapy treatments on the body Healthline produced an excellent article entitled "19 Common Side Effects of Chemotherapy On the Body". This article will explain the vital necessity of hats for chemo patients. This is by no means all the side effects but this will give an idea why the work of Delaware Head Huggers is important to the community. Robin Celli has designed an incredible amount of hats (and other accessories) for men, women, and children. It's just fantastic. It is no small task to design, write, test, and package these patterns for 3 different websites, and for sale.
I just wanted to share a few of the patterns with you. Let's start with a package of patterns for sale. (My personal favorite!) Beanies, Caps & Hats contains 23 knit patterns (twenty-three!) for just $5.00 with all the proceeds going right back to Delaware Head Huggers. These are not just your basic hats. There are hats with various themes, textures, cables, in various yarn weights. Robin Celli puts a lot of work into these hats and has clearly taken into account the needs of chemo patients. Obviously she also loves knitting :)
There are various individual patterns that are free for use found on the "Knitting with Schnapps" blog. I really like Gliding with Hope. Very cool design. The "Flame of Hope" hat touched me as it represented to me the hope that all of us keep in our hearts when someone we love is diagnosed. I just love that symbolism. For an attractive, basic hat that can be used for donation to any number of charities take a look at the Inclusive Hope Hat.
Now T.k. Wilson will fill you in on Kozy Kovers for Kids:
Very few people realize the impact that foster care has on the population of the United States. In 2015-2016, 428,000 Children were in foster care in some capacity.
Kosy Kovers for Kids delivers a handmade hug to the thousands of children in crisis in the general Delaware area, including some areas of Maryland. Why is this so needed? I have heard the stories of children in foster care, some of them suffer things no child should have to go through. But most of all, these children feel abandoned, like nobody anywhere loves them. These blankets offer more than comfort, they also offer the idea that someone, someplace, loves them, to these children who have lost everything, whether through being taken for their own safety or a fire, or another kind of disaster. It is indeed a worthy cause!
Today I start with a mea culpa. I've been meaning to write about Sue Peterson of Olio Knits for some time. However, some designers are really intimidating to write about! Sue Peterson is one of those leading lights with designs that are classy yet not impossible. In fact that's her stated goal with Olio Knits. Without further ado or intimidation: I begin my blog about Sue Peterson.
Sue Peterson, who refers to herself as Sue so I hope she will not mind if I also refer to her as Sue, gives a lovely introduction to her designs on Ravelry. (If you aren't a member... it's time to join!) It's a rather extensive bio so I will just quote the relevant comments; "The goal of Olio Knits is to provide easy to follow patterns that you will wear and be proud of when you are finished. All of the patterns have been tested on actual knitters so that the wording is as clear as possible. While owning a knit shop, I found that customers would often bring patterns into the store for a translation. After I explained the pattern, I don’t know how many times I heard a customer say “why didn’t they just say that!”" Sue Peterson has featured patterns at many knitting shops around the country but she maintains her independence. A really excellent role model for young designers like my daughter. Reminds me of that quote "She believed she could, so she did"!
Sue talks about beginning the art of knit design by designing sweaters on her blog which you can read here. Her sweater patterns are gorgeous and even her "oldies" have a timeless look. I particularly love the Pleated and Pocketed Cardigan. A stand out garment to highlight any outfit. Of course Sue Peterson being a professional offers a video to help learn the process of making the pleats for this sweater on her blog . I also like the "Gertie" pattern featured on her website here. I like the bell shaped sleeves and the gentle fit. At a certain point in my life I no longer required heavy sweaters to keep me warm. I guessing the fact that this sweater is made entirely in garter stitch will appeal to the beginner knitter. This sweater has a zillion possibilities for those of us who have been knitting a while. Flowers, blocks of color, using a gradient yarn or yarns, or a lovely self-striping yarn.
Of course a designer of Sue Peterson's caliber could not just stick to making sweaters. Accessories include the Crooked Walk Hat and Scarf are really eye catching because of the stitch. The Robin Capelet is perfect for Spring. It's beautiful in it's grace and simplicity. A great addition to any wardrobe. Another excellent choice for early Spring or Fall is the Ruana Wrap. Right now in the Northern Adirondacks we're experiencing some tumultuous weather. This wrap would really be the perfect thing to pull on when leaving the house. Need a simple yet timeless piece? Check out Mrs. Carson's Tweed, a diagonally knit, triangle shaped shawl.
Ponchos are still popular. Especially those that are square in shape. Sue Peterson has 4 poncho offerings on Ravelry, all of which have the square shape. Ani Poncho, worked flat and oversized with a drop stitch element. This pattern is worked in cotton yarn to make it light weight. Nice! The Remy poncho comes in 2 different yarn weights. Worsted Remy Poncho, and Remy in bulky weight. Two perfect choices if you are going to use them to make gifts! My favorite by far, and also most detailed, would be the Lexie Poncho. It is cabled, very textured and totally amazing. It's going on my ever growing list of things to make for myself.
I think I'll stop here and let you investigate the rest of Olio Knits fantastic designs! I would also encourage you to check out her Facebook page @Olioknits. There you can keep up with the latest on Sue Peterson's needles, get some tips and tricks, along with updates from her terrific blog!
Be sure to let Sue Peterson know how much you appreciate her hard work and professionalism if you do stop by her pages. I'm glad there are people like Sue Peterson out in the design world inspiring others.
On March 17 Nicole Haschke, of Knitting For Charity fame, sent out her newsletter including a great idea for using up scrap yarn. Of course I thought what an awesome idea for my Charity Idea OUTpost Blog! Thus, Snappy, Scrappy Projects is our idea for today.
Nicole Haschke took over Knitting For Charity has been one of the flagship charity sites for knitters for years. Nicole Haschke took the blog to the next level stepping it up to a clean modern looking blog with easy search tools. Her newsletters contain great information but also have that same clean, bright look as the website. If you knit for charity you should take the time to look around Knitting For Charity. I use the site fairly regularly. Now that I'm spokesperson for Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope Initiative it's even more important that I find good resources for my donors to use! Jane's Leftover Scarf is a perfect example. I know the folks in our Hats For Hope group use up every ounce of good yarn they have so they can keep folks warm. (good segway there LOL)
Anyone who knits, crochets, loom knits or sews will usually have yarn or fabric left over. We have piles of scraps because we always think there will be a way to use up those scraps. Indeed there are even children's stories about not throwing scraps away such as "Something from Nothing" by Phoebe Gilman alternatively "Joseph Had a Little Overcoat" by Simms Taback. Hardly a new concept but with the popularity of fiber arts now charity can benefit from this idea... nothing thrown out. Quick, fun, easy projects to work up using little balls of leftover yarn. If you like to recycle yarn buying from a thrift store or a tag/garage/yard sale is a fantastic way to save good yarn from the trash. Other places to find good yarn in group lots would be craigslist, ebay, local garage sale sites and Ravelry!
Now to the patterns. On Ravelry (not a member yet?? Seriously? LOL) you can find great patterns for using up all your scraps:
I am a big believer in shawls, wraps, stoles and ponchos. They are warm but best of all they are like a hug for hurting. There are several organizations that use shawls as an outreach for so many reasons (Prayer Shawl Ministry and Friendship Shawls). Grieving, the elderly, cancer patients, hospice patients, and just to show someone who is experiencing a hardship you love them. I've made several warm wraps/hugs and they do make a massive difference in how people feel. Just knowing someone cares is extremely uplifting. Patterns are available to take your leftover yarn and make a beautiful symbol of your empathy.
If you have really small amounts of yarn you might want to knit or crochet a tiny bunny for The Tiny Bunny Movement or a small toy for your local hospital's maternity ward or children in the emergency room. There are a lot of groups that accept toys that will fill needs all over the world. Including Operation Christmas Child. These little items will mean so much to the recipients!
Those who work regularly knitting for charity often have their niche, something they do well and do quickly. Need doesn't wait for perfection or for fancy stitches. I thought I'd just share collections of blanket patterns so that you can begin now collecting leftover yarn.
Thanks for reading my blog today and for putting forth the effort to donate to people who need our support. No matter what anyone says your talents ARE appreciated by the people who are the recipients of your gifts.
Hello! Today is a bit different because a lovely lady, Linda Noble, asked a question regarding UK vs. American knitting terminology. So because this blog is read by people worldwide I thought why not write a blog to help everyone learn to read both UK and American terms so we can expand our abilities. I have my daughter, T.K. Wilson, toy and doll clothes expert here to help with some fun and easy patterns. We will share some of our favorite patterns at the end of the blog so you can practice new skills.
I am not sure when I first realized there was a difference in terminology between American crochet/knitting and UK crochet/knitting. Perhaps when I started sock knitting. At first it was very confusing because I was barely able to knit and purl however, with the help of Knit Traders of Kingston and my friend Jill Schaefer I was able to learn the differences. There is a difference in the terminology of crocheting. For T.K. Wilson and I, learning the UK terms was a must because some of our favorite designers live and write in the UK, and the Commonwealth. Our stitch lexicons may be different but our love of fiber knits us together!
If you are wondering about the American (especially if you are new to knitting) terminology Knittinghelp.com is a brilliant start. The site offers videos which explain how to do each step very carefully. Definitions and videos are prepared in both English and Continental style (depending on the way you wrap your yarn around the needles, explained here:) For those looking for a bit of help understanding American terms for crocheting check Interweave Crochet's glossary. Complete with pictures, videos and complete step by step instruction. For extensive and I do mean extensive help via video New Stitch A Day's video library on YouTube is an ABSOLUTE must. (yes the caps are purposeful!) If you are from outside the USA and you need a visual representation of a technique New Stitch A Day is amazing. Check it out here! Also if you are a die hard crocheter who is accustomed to working in UK terms but would like to learn to work patterns written in American terms the Crochet Crowd is for you! Everything from A to Zed is there! What about knitting with the all new "Knit Crowd"? YES you can! woo hoo! Mikey... undisputed king of everything fiber arts related now has the Knit Crowd to help take the confusion out of knitting in true Canadian style. Much love and friendliness :)
For Americans looking to step up their knitting and crocheting game to include patterns from the UK and the Commonwealth not written in American terms there are excellent websites! The English were knitting and crocheting many years before Americans. The UK Hand knitting Society teaches both knitting and crocheting including beautifully done videos. Learning each skill using UK terms. There excellent glossaries of knitting and crochet terminology at The Craft Expert. The Art of Knitting Magazine has extensive video tutorials in UK terms which will demystify some of the differences between the American and UK way of knitting :) For crocheters you can find bunches of videos to help you at Girlybunches fabulous YouTube Channel. She always uses UK terms. American crocheters should be able to get up to speed in style with Girlybunches fantastic tutorials and patterns! I like her style :)
For ALL of us, no matter where we live, there is Garnstudio Drops Design YouTube channel. If you are just plain mystified... Garnstudio Drops Design created a youtube channel with no talking over the work. Simple, step by step demonstration to make it easier for everyone, around the world to learn crochet or knitting!
Now T.K. Wilson and I will share a few projects in order to test your skills :) One of Lyn's favorite designers is Marion Leys of Made by Marianna. Marion designs fabulous items and gives her patterns away so that they may be used for charity purposes. She uses both American and UK terms! T.K. likes Bunny Mummy's patterns written in UK terms and recommends the "How To Crochet a Granny Square" tutorial. Once you've mastered that go on to the Owl. Lyn totally recommends Garnstudio Drops Designs! You can choose from MANY languages (I mean that literally) and many different designs. Let me recommend the Easter Workshop. Can you say adorable!??
If you are from the UK or one of the Commonwealth countries and you want to learn to knit or crochet in American terms T.K. and I have a couple of designers for you. T.K. recommends Maz Kwok. A fun young designer with so many great patterns to share. However, the Crochet Mini Mad Hatter Hat A fun decoration or perfect size for the 18" dolls that are so popular right now. For Lyn's contribution Lion Brand yarn is very popular and creates both knit and crochet patterns. But for knitters just becoming accustomed to American knitting terminology and measurement the Buttoned Cowl is a great start. You'll need to become a member but of course membership has benefits!
Well that is all for today's blog! Thanks to all these great websites, YouTube channellers, and designers for their terrific contributions to today's blog. Also thanks to T.K. Wilson for her help. :) You can find T.K. Wilson at Laterose Doll Clothes and Doll Repair.
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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.