About one year ago today I was introduced to two of the most amazing groups I had ever encountered in my life as a knitter/crocheter. Both of these groups were so wonderfully welcoming. I still enjoy being a part of Needles & Hooks, Angels & Preemies, and Marianna's Lazy Daisy Days. I've discovered that charity knitting, crocheting, sewing, looming, and weaving is thriving in the UK. Because I have so many friends living in the UK I wanted to dedicate today's blog to UK charitable groups.
I have to say that I do wish there were as many long term, well organized, charity groups dedicated to sharing handmades with the world in the United States as there are in the United Kingdom. Its truly phenomenal. One of my absolute favorite designers Marion Leys. I have been a member her group on Facebook for 1 year (give or take a couple of weeks) It was a VERY happy day when I discovered Marianna's Lazy Daisy Days. There's a very good reason that her blog has received over 5 million views. Marion's patterns are beautiful, creative, intuitive and most of all functional. I've written about Marion Leys 2 times previous however, so many of her pattern are used by charities all around the world that one simply cannot discuss charity knitting in the UK without at least touching on the prolific and beautiful work of Marion Leys. Marianna's Lazy Daisy Days blog has been active since at least 2013 and every year she adds more and more pattern designs. She does sell some of her patterns on Ravelry for a very reasonable price. However, most of the patterns she designs are completely free and available on both her blog and on her Ravelry page. Marion Leys truly enjoys seeing others have the pleasure of showing their completed projects to her group on facebook. She is one of the most gracious people I have met in the knitting/crocheting world.
Though many of you who have followed this blog know of my deep appreciation for the work of Needles & Hooks Angels & Preemies, I did want to mention this Facebook group again. Their amazing, tireless, relentless love of people of all ages, walks of life, and countries has made this group very dear to my heart. The facebook group is made up of nearly 6,000 members including people like myself who are not contributors directly to their campaigns in the UK. In June of this year NHAP sent out over 7,000 handmade items to charities around the UK and then on to the world. Its impressive and I am proud just to be able to watch them in action.
There are a couple of groups that I have not written about before but I know are really prolific and do important work. One of which I learned about in the Sunday Mirror believe it or not. The Mirror is a newspaper sold in the UK but they have an online presence also. I read this article about how the Sunday Mirror and group entitled Knit for peace were teaming up to help refugees. This article was written back in September of 2015 but how cool that Knit for Peace was there to answer the call for help. Knit for Peace started organically and now has 11,000 members. You can read all about their start as an organization here. It is really a worthy organization to consider when giving your handknit/crocheted items to charity. Their current needs are listed here, and the address to mail your donation is found here. There is also a Facebook and Twitter page where one can keep up with the latest news! Check out their Ravelry group too! (What you aren't a member of Ravelry yet?)
The last organization I wanted to share is the UK Handknitting Association's Charity Knitting page. "The UK Hand Knitting Association (UKHKA) is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting hand knitting and associated yarn crafts." Part of promoting hand knitting and yarn crafts is promoting donating to charity so I wanted to include the link to their charity page in this blog entry. The UKHKA has a lovely facebook page and a group on Ravelry so please look at their pages and follow along. They are so enthusiastic about the art I love. Its fantastic.
I admire the dedication of those with whom I have become acquainted in the UK charity fiber arts community. Though I have not been able to contribute to their campaigns due to the expense they have graciously welcomed me. Worldwide there are groups that are making great effort to meet the needs of those underserved around them. Though I know we sometimes struggle here in the US to fill all the need we see around us we can take heart that it is possible to band together for our communities. Whether online or in person I want to encourage my readers to try to find a group with whom you can associate for the purpose of sharing your talent! Thanks for reading the blog today.
One of the first projects many knitters and crocheters try is a dishcloth or facecloth. Today's designer has taken the facecloth to an entirely new level! Amazing designs I think you'll love as much as I do. DigKnitty designs (which is a great name for a designer) is owned by Lisa Millan. The designer extraordinaire!
With over 1, 100 face/dishcloth patterns to choose from its rather hard to know where to start with Lisa Millan's designs. Amazing right? I feel the same. Let's start however, with some of her designs for kids. Little ones can be a little stubborn when it comes to bathtime. However, if you have some little thing to encourage kids to enjoy bathtime it sure makes things easier. A special facecloth all their own perfect!
I know, because I have a son, that finding cool things to knit for little boys is challenging. However check out these cool comic themed cloths
I count many animal lovers among my friends . Some of you will appreciate this sampling of facecloths by DigKnitty Designs. From Owls to Dolphins Lisa Millan has a beautiful selection . Perfect stocking stuffer, house warming gift , shower gift! (no pun intended)
Thanks for reading the blog today. If you don't knit, I do and enjoy it immensely so stop by my page. I've already cast on a dishcloth today. Drop by Lisa Millan's Facebook page and say hi... let her know you appreciate her work and pass along my greetings too !
I think its safe to say that when I first started working for charity with Project Linus I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I knew I wanted to help people, especially children, but I did not know how, well not really. Project Linus gave me a place to start. Patterns, blanket sizes, colors and materials . So I decided that maybe others were as confused as I was at the beginning.
Everyone crochets, knits, weaves, or looms at a different pace and tension . Tension simply means how tight you knit, crochet, loom or weave. So measurements for size are extremely helpful. I found that I tend to knit and crochet more loosely than my daughter so when we work together on projects we like to have an approximation of size so that what we send to charity actually works. Its important to note however PLEASE follow the charity guidelines as closely as humanly possible because charities do not always have a backup plan for items they cannot use. They like to put their best foot forward as much as you do.
So where do I find my tips, hints, how to's and size charts. There are a few key sites you can go to for good solid information on how to help charities. (for ideas on charities accepting donations see the archives of this blog )
knitting.about.com/od/knittingcharities/qt/charity_howto.htm tips on knitting for charity
www.lionbrand.com/blog/7-tips-on-how-to-knit-and-crochet-for-charity/#sthash.FuyciJPU.dpbs 7 Tips on knitting and crocheting for charity
www.thepreemieproject.com/volunteer/measurement_guide This is the volunteer guide for the Preemie Project. Measurements for The Preemie Project are important and of course if you wish to donate to this organization follow the guidelines.
www.reliefshare.org/wordpress/2011/04/14/we-are-busy-making-baby-cocoons-for-the-hospital-want-to-help/ Love making baby cocoons ? So do I therefore the measurement chart at Relief Share was excellent. You know they have a facebook page and a blog. If you are interested in sewing, knitting, or crocheting for charity Check out Relief Share's work!
www.bevscountrycottage.com/size-chart.html If you have googled charity knitting, crocheting or sewing there's no doubt you had Bev's Country Cottage pop up in your results. Bev is amazing and has been for many years. If you are looking for hints, tips , tricks, places to donate, patterns or even a place to purchase yarn see Bev's Country Cottage as your complete source on Charity work.
www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards.html The Craft Yarn Council has been a part of the knitting/crocheting world's lexicon for many years. Their work to improve the quality of fiber and to standardize yarn weights, along with offering classes to knitters and crocheters has been amazing. Since they are basically the first word in yarn standards they also have measurement charts. Head on over to their page and check out the list of charities and sizing charts .
www.redheart.com/articles/crochet-and-knit-charity-ideas This is a list of charity ideas compiled by Red Heart Yarns. Of course all the ideas come with great patterns and yarns! I like that :)
I hope this blog has been helpful for you! If you have any questions about the charities or the charts please write the websites directly they'd LOVE to hear from you. Thank you all for reading the blog today.
Hello there readers! My mom has asked me to write the blog today because she found the cutest indy designer: Agnes Chow!
Agnes Chow (who goes by the handle cutiestuffs on Ravelry) is a multi talented artist who states that she learned the craft of crochet from her mother, who could figure out how something was knitted from just studying the garment. She says that she prefers crochet to knitting because she as no patience for the long haul of knitting. She also has designed most of her toys for her youngest daughters, and it shows!
On Ravelry, she specialises in the art of Amigurumi, the style from Japan that focuses on making soft toys by crocheting very tightly and then stuffing the toys. Agnes’s amigurumi are primarily humans, with some animals like puppies and rabbits represented. She also has a pattern for a certain very popular white cat and a creature clearly inspired by the fantasy art of Hayao Miyazaki.
Along with designing these loveable creatures, she is also a stay at home mom and the proprietor of two Etsy stores, Cutiestuffs, where she sells wholesale craft supplies like earring posts and buttons, and AgnesGurumi where she sells the patterns for her amigurumi and custom dolls.
Now, what you’ve all be waiting for, the patterns! First we have the pattern for a famous white kitty cat: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hello-kitty-amigurumi-3. Love it!
Next is a cute little Korean girl in a traditional hanbok dress: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/korean-girl-in-hanbok Can I get two?
Finally (though everything she makes is cute!) is this little cuddly bunny creature http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mashimaro he wants a hug, I think.
Please check out Agnes Chow and her adorable little creatures!
Whether you are looking to up your skill set , find a free pattern, or are a brand new knitter/crocheter looking for a little help YouTube is the go to place for help. There are literally hundreds of videos available to help those of us who knit , crochet , or sew for charity. Its such a huge help for those of us who are visual learners. I don't know about you but I find picture or video tutorials incredibly helpful.
First , not all videos are created equal so for the purposes of this blog I chose names of websites or artists that I recognized as professionals. Lets start with Knittinghelp.com . There is premium content on this website but for the most part this website is free and their YouTube Channel is also free. There are videos specifically to teach beginners the basics of knitting ! If you are looking to learn to knit this is a good place to start. Scarves make great beginner projects and there are lots of places to donate your first projects. If you are a more experienced knitter check out Knittinghelp's videos on increasing . Good stuff.
Next I really like New Stitch a Day's channel . Those of you who have checked out my page at the link on the upper right hand side of the page have probably noticed I love texture. The way something looks AND feels is pretty important. Especially when creating a one of a kind look . New Stitch A Day is like an online super dictionary of great stitches to feed my need for texture. Their channel on YouTube features a plethora of videos on those tricky stitches with which even experienced knitters struggle. So say you are interested in creating a blanket for your favorite charity but you want something a little different? Check out the video Stitchionary! Its AmAzInG! Ready to try a little lace knitting? New Stitch a Day has that covered too! Any way you look at it newstitchaday.com has a great many resources.
Looking for free knitting patterns with demonstrations on YouTube? Yes we can do that! Allfreeknitting.com has a HUGE selection of free patterns from all over the net and stitch patterns to learn. Reviews and videos from trade shows are also included in the YouTube Channel. They even share knit-a-longs with their viewers so you can knit a long with the pros!
Now about crocheting? Knittinghelp.com has you covered there too! I know its a knitting channel but they do plenty of great videos on crocheting basics and even kick it up a notch with crocheted variations! This should help you jazz things up a bit!
If you are really looking to dive in head head first into crochet check out Maggie Weldon, crocheter extraordinaire 's, YouTube Channel. Talk about a treasure trove! Anything and everything you might want to know about crocheting but were afraid to ask is right there at your fingertips. Maggie Weldon is another crocheting master who has been designing crocheted projects since 1981! I know that you can surely find something to donate to the local homeless shelter or how about those moms at Domestic Violence Shelters who do not get to celebrate Mother's Day with a gift? Prayer shawls are always a lovely way to comfort those who have been bereaved .
What about more FREE patterns? Well how about Allfreecrochet.com? Again another YouTube channel with great projects and how-to videos. Fantastic! Everything from reviews on tools to blanket patterns you can learn to crochet right from the comfort of your own living room. I think its a great way to learn to crochet something you can share in your community. Soup kitchens, Salvation Army, your local cancer clinic or even the local Veteran's hospital.
YouTube is a wonderful resource for those of us who love to give handmades to charities or to friends who have recently suffered a loss. I hope that this blog has been helpful to you. If you choose to use any of the ideas presented will you leave me a note? Thanks!
I have been knitting since my kids were in diapers so that's been a while. :) I remember seeing the name Kim Guzman back when I first started using the internet to find crochet patterns. Most of the time Kim Guzman had come up with something challenging to try. CrochetKim has been a designer for so long there's no way I can possibly cover a career that spans 30 years. Naturally we'll try to cover those favorite patterns from the past and Kim Guzman's great pages.
Ever have one of those moments where you find a fantastic web page only to discover that its been around for years? It happened to me! Just the other day I was looking for a baby dress and sweater set and voila! I found Lolly's Crafty Crochet.
Lolly is Laura Tegg. She got her nickname from her husband and is mum to the beautiful Eleanor. You can find her story on Ravelry. Her designs have beauty and practicality. I could hardly contain my happiness at finding her designs.
I took a look around Laura Tegg's blog. It has not been updated in about 4 years but the patterns she shares are great and so classic that they'll likely never go out of style. Her blog contains several really lovely designs you can find here. I enjoyed looking over the designs. I think you will too. :) Great ideas for gifts!!
Lolly has a landing page here. The links send you to her older blog and to her Ravelry page. Lolly's Crafty Crochet has 33 designs available exclusively through Ravelry. From what I could find the patterns are free! I found a couple of patterns to put on my "favorites" list.
My favorite patterns are those that suit babies and children so when I found the amazing Little Moll's Dress + Cardi Set I was thrilled. Its exactly what I need a whole set in one collection. Wonderful! Yes, Lolly's patterns are tested by other ravelers so no worries there.
Do you and a loved one have the exact same phone? Tired of getting them mixed up? Well Lolly's Crafty Crochet has the perfect answer... Lolly's His and Hers cell phone covers! Super cute, a great way to use up little scraps of yarn AND practical. No more getting the phones confused. (and a whole lot cheaper than those covers at the cell phone store)
And finally the penultimate collection for baby girls! A FREE, yes FREE, 6 pattern booklet that can be downloaded through ravelry. The book contains these patterns written in US terminology: Crocodile Stitch Baby Booties, Crocodile Stitch Baby Mittens, Gossamer Baby Blanket, Baby Cocoon and Little Pixie Hat, Little Moll’s Dress and Cardigan Set & Chunky Monkey Baby Cardigan. Its fantastic! Thanks so much to Lolly's Crafty Crochet for these free patterns.
I want to encourage my readers to check out Lolly's Crafty Crochet and thank her for her free patterns. There's a facebook page too. The page has been quiet but some very cute items are on the page also. They really are lovely.
Hello gentle readers! Tamra here to tell you about a cause near and dear to me: Outreach 2 Appalachia's "Book and Blanket" campaign.
Book and Blanket is a seemingly simple concept: knitters and crocheters make a blanket and include a book for either children or seniors. But in the part of West Virginia where O2A ministers, books can be a rare sight. This area of the country can be compared to third world counties in terms of poverty. There is little enough money for food and clothes, forget about books.
O2A plans to change that with their Book and Blanket drive. Generous crafters match up a book and a handmade blanket and send them to O2A's headquarters, where they are distributed to needy people in Appalachia.
What can you do to help? If you are able to knit or crochet, please contribute blankets to O2A, they need all they can get with the flooding going on there. If you can't knit or crochet but would still like to help, you can donate books to O2A and they will match up the books to blankets that have been donated.
The other cause I would like to discuss is Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Before she was the beautiful county music star and millionaire, Dolly was the daughter of a poor, illiterate coal miner. Dolly was only one of eight children of Lee Parton, who worked hard in the mines to provide for them. When Dolly hit the big time, she didn't forget her roots, and began giving back to her community, in the form of the Imagination Library.
The Imagination Library is a program that gives books to needy children from birth until the time they enter school. Once a child is signed up, they receive a new book a month until they are 5. Many hospitals participate by telling new parents about the program with the gift of a copy of "The Little Engine That Could" Dolly's favorite children's book.
The Imagination Library is a great tool for parents who want to feed a love for reading in their children and for those who want their children to have access to books, but cannot afford them. There is no charge to the parents, that's right, the books are 100% free! Brand new books, delivered to the doorsteps of children all over the US and the world! There is an Imagination Library chapter in every county of West Virginia, including the regions hardest hit by the recent flooding, so between the efforts of the Imagination Library and O2A, many children will be able to have to comfort of a book.
Its Saturday, whew! I am happy about that! Its a great day because I get to present a designer that caught my eye this week. However, I wanted to note that some of you very sharp eyed regular readers have noticed that I changed the appearance of my blog and have given me positive feedback. Thank you :)
Cre8tion Crochet is a great website maintained by designer Lorene Haythorn Eppolite. She not only highlights her own terrific designs she also highlights the designs of others which I think is super! She groups all the patterns by theme or season. I love that! So easy to find. I'm so impressed by Cre8tion Crochet's upbeat, positive outlook about crocheting and its benefits. I wanted to share her work with my readers. Now again please bear in mind that all the photographs belong to the designer. PLEASE link back to the designer's site if you are going to make up the patterns and share your pictures.
Because Lorene Haythorn Eppolite has 158 patterns listed on Ravelry! That's a lot of ground to cover in one blog so I thought I would focus on 2 pattern types, fashionable hats, and children's themed designs. She offers women's fashion designs also which are spectacular. As you know my business focuses mainly on children from preemies to tweens. So lets check out a few of the great offerings plus a couple of her free design groupings!
Cre8tion Crochet is on Ravelry here and she has a website of her own here. I like her designs because they do update some designs that are very classic. Classic styling that never goes out of style are perfect for gift giving, or making that special outfit for a child to wear on a Holiday. Nothing gets attention more than a style that has been taken up a notch with color or through the use of a fashion yarn. Of course the use of color is great for children. I love this sweater pattern for children particularly because of its flexibility! Choose the right yarn to suit the child, whether it is a favorite sports team or school colors this sweater can't be beat!
I found this pattern while looking for a girls t-shirt and wow is it CUTE! I love the shape, the stitch pattern and best of all it comes in a myriad of sizes! When I saw this the first thing that popped into my mind was Easter or spring birthday parties. Its light and open while providing a nice elbow length sleeve. In the area where we live Easter time weather is still unpredictable and this little T is the perfect topper! Its adorable!
Owl hats are the THING these days and Lorene Haythorn Eppolite has the most adorable owl hat pattern for boys. Best of all she offers the pattern for free! (Credit where credit is due. If you make the hat share the link) I think my favorite part of this hat pattern is the eyes that Cre8tion Crochet has designed. Super cute!!! You can find the pattern here. Naturally this hat will attract a lot of attention because it is different from so many of the Owl hats out there on the market.
Hats are always a favorite and popular every season of the year. Cre8tion Crochet designed the sweet mommy and me Grayscale Ombre Slouch. I love this hat! The pattern is free. Be sure to pay attention to the abbreviations as they might not be what you are accustomed to. This lightweight hat could be worn any time of year and would make great photographs. Not to be missed hat pattern here.
Naturally I have to write about a couple of infant photo props because I enjoy making them so much. Lorene Haythorn Eppolite has a few little photo props that are not to be missed! First my personal favorite the Angel Wings and Halo pattern. Of course Lorene had the perfect model, her 2.5 week old baby! So absolutely adorable and the pattern is free :)
The Baby Pod Photo Prop is another free pattern from Cre8tion Crochet that makes me smile. It's just so cozy looking! I love that you can dress this particular "pod" up any way you like. The only thing that stops you is the limits of your imagination! :) Flowers? Yes! Star Wars bb8? Yes! Sweet pea? Yes! Snowman? Yes! Can I keep going? Absolutely. :)
The last hat pattern that I'll share is a summer cutie. The Rad Rayon Infant Donegal or golf cap is fabulous! It's the most adorable boy hat I've seen in a while, can imagine what oohs and aahs you'd get while you are out and about. :) I can see it with a little plaid shirt and a bow tie. Really so sweet and yet again, free!
Lorene Haythorn Eppolite is one very cre8tive designer! I really enjoy her work. The designs are fit for the little king of your heart without paying the princely sum! She also has a facebook page, she is on Twitter, Google+ and, YouTube. All the links are right there on the top of her page! Thanks for reading the blog today and if you don't crochet, never fear I do!
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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.