Before I start today I just want to give a word of caution. Baby blankets, sleep cocoons, baby car seat tents are wonderful donations! They are practical and can beautiful keepsakes. However, it's vital that we read the guidelines for donations to your charity/hospital of choice BEFORE donating.
Now, because I work primarily with 2 charities, one local and one in Africa I am aware of cultural differences in parenting. One thing has become clear. The little baby cocoons or sleepy sacks are a great alternative to blankets for infants. (however, in my opinion buttons on a baby sack just are not a good idea) Parents are able to use the baby cocoons in most countries. Best of all hands can be free so that infants that have learned to roll over can push themselves back without any impediment. Adding a simple hat gives an infant a better chance at body temperature regulation. ... bonus, baby hat/cocoon sets make for adorable baby photography!
The baby cocoons (also called sleepy sacks or by an older term, bunting) I've made and also collected for charity have been well loved by the recipients. These make perfect take-along projects for knitters and crocheters. Sewists can upcycle sweaters or create cute little swaddle blankets with fleece or cotton. (sewing machines and I have never been friends, therefore I can't say with certainty that a pattern is easy or difficult... because sewing is not my thing LOL!) I thought I would share some great free patterns for baby cocoons. Knitting and crochet novices will find these little cocoons are an excellent way to learn to work "in the round". I'll try to divide the patterns in categories for novices, experienced and expert crafters.
Knitters will find that these little cocoons can be knit like a bigger version of a sock. Top down or bottom up! If you are new to sock knitting maybe a baby cocoon would be a good place to start? Grab your needles and let's enjoy these free patterns!!
Easy patterns for novices: (some of these are only available on Ravelry):
Patterns for experienced knitters:
Patterns for expert knitters:
Crocheters will find a veritable plethora of adorable patterns for baby cocoons on the web. (One note... stitches like the double or triple crochet stitches tend to be more open than most knitting stitches. Therefore remember that little fingers and toes can get stuck in the weave.) I'll be concentrate on baby cocoons using the half double or single crochet. (American Terms)
Patterns for novice crocheters:
Crochet patterns for experienced crocheters:
Patterns for expert crocheters:
One last pattern for those who like to sew. An upcycled baby cocoon made from a sweater! alidamakes.com/2013/01/upcycled-sweater-baby-cocoon.html
Okay well that's about it for today! Sorry the blog was late this week. Technical problems are frustrating. I'm hoping that you'll enjoy surfing some of these great indie designers blog and websites. If you stop by their social networking pages please say hello!
Welcome to another in my series of time machine blogs :) We go back to the past with the eye toward bringing patterns of the past into the future. I have many vintage magazines with great ideas but the patterns can be written using abbreviations, terms, or styles of pattern writing we no longer use. I fast forward to the future to find similar patterns using search engines such as Google or Ravelry. It's fun! I'm usually surprised how similar the new designs can be to the vintage styles!
The Knitted and Crocheted Boutique book appears to have been published in 1972 is a mix and match delight. Patterns for both men and women are featured in this small booklet. Only 23 pages but a useful accessory pattern on nearly every page!
Right from the start the book opens with some great knit patterns! Entitled His and Hers the patterns feature aran scarf, hat, and mittens.
This same sort of pattern unisex Aran pattern can be found in many places on the internet. Bernat has a great set available before Yarnspirations bought them out. Check out this pattern at Archive.org (what would we do without the wayback machine?): web.archive.org/web/20160218234720/http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/cable-hat-mittens-scarf-and-socks-1.html
Crocheted socks? To add a little groovy to your day, Mesh Crochet Socks might be a fun project to wear with your Ugg style boots or as slipper socks.
Dorianna Rivelli, designer at the Lavender Chair wrote this great pattern for Valerie's Knee High Socks. Aren't they great?
Planned color pooling is an adventure I have not taken as of yet. However, it's really not new. The designers of the Hit & Miss Hat and Scarf did some color pooling work of their own.
While the hat is a basic crocheted hat, while the scarf in the Hit & Miss Hat & Scarf is really interesting. Check out the Harvest Beanie from While They Dream for a great basic hat! Lion Brand Yarn's YouTube Channel has a video to teach how to make a scarf with planned color pooling. Find the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eukjawTiFnc
Because it's time for Fall to set in and also because I help organize a local charity collecting hats and scarves I did want to share two totally unisex patterns highlighted in my little vintage book. These patterns have an interesting texture and can certainly be duplicated by using modern patterns.
To find similar modern design for the basketweave style scarf and hat I simply had to turn to the Premier Yarns website to find the Basketweave Hat and Scarf. (I'm a huge fan of Premier Yarns by the way) The second scarf is made of the Mistake Rib pattern. A hat and scarf pattern can be found at Fav Crafts here. One could also learn knit stitches by making scarves. My favorite site for learning new stitches is New Stitch A Day
One last cool pattern for you a simple crocheted wide scarf. By adding a pop of color to white or cream a totally fresh look appears. As in the Stole pattern from the "Knitted and Crocheted Boutique" pamphlet.
The Stitchin Mommy has created the Gray Shells Scarf which closely mirrors the shell scarf in the Stole pattern pictured above. The Gray Shells Scarf is created with Lion Brand Scarfie yarn. Any number of the new gradient yarns could substitute. Bearing in mind that the Scarfie yarn is bulky weight.
There are a few more patterns in my very groovy book but I think I'll stop here for today. If you keep your eyes open you might find this little gem at a used book store or a thrift store.
Thanks for joining me today! I hope you enjoyed our little walk through the past and into the present. As always, if you stop by the indie designers pages please, make sure you say hello!
Fall is my favorite season! I enjoy the changing of the season from Summer to Fall and watching the leaves become vibrantly colored. It's stunning here in the Northern Adirondacks. Ponchos, capelets, and Ruanas come in so many different designs many of which are unisex. Many people simply cannot afford the transitional garments needed for Summer into Fall. Maybe we can all lighten that burden a little.
When buying yarn for a commission I often buy more yarn than I need so I can be sure to have enough of the colorway needed to complete the project. I end up with full or partial skeins of yarn left over. I like to use these for charity projects. (especially if they are acrylic, polyester or nylon) Sometimes I use up the yarn in a random fashion, sometimes I match colors. It's fun! Ponchos are a great way to use up leftover skeins of yarn adding a pop of color to what people ordinarily think of as a drab season. Let's begin by looking at some of my favorite poncho patterns!
Capelets are really a mini version of a poncho or cape. They are designed to keep the shoulders to elbows warm. There are a lot of cute patterns out there in both knit and crochet:
Ruanas are fun and they are perfect for those days or locations that don't quite need a require a heavy coat The Ruana type garment is a wrap that is suitable for both men and women.
All these seasonal transition wraps are great for charity as they provide people with a long distance hug. We have a lot going on in the United States during which people will need to know charity fiber artists ARE out there to help. I hope today's blog gave you some good ideas. Thank you for reading today's entry.
Once upon a time I was given a very old book entitled Knitting Primer: 100 Easy-To-Knit Stitches plus instructions for Sampler Afghans. Vol. 34 by Fleisher. Bear Brand. Botany (only $1.25!) I don't know what year the book was published but it's old. :) It's been an invaluable resource. I do own a newer version knitting primer but I prefer the old one myself. Since Winter is upon us, I wanted to take a fresh look at stitches and stitch patterns that we can use to give our work a little "pick me up" (wait for it).
The "catch phrase" in my old book of knitting stitches is "Variety is the spice of knitting". Which might sound a little lame but it's true :)
I'll share with you some of the great websites my daughter and I use to learn new techniques/or stitches that boost our crocheting, sewing, and knitting. First a little word about Craftsy. If you'll remember I took 2 classes from Craftsy a few months ago. One class was a knitting class taught by Eunny Jang and the other was a crochet class taught by Salena Baca . During the same time frame my daughter took a sewing class. These classes do go "on sale" and sometimes they are even offered for free. Keep an eye out. If you get the opportunity to take one of these awesome classes I suggest you do. It's well worth the investment of time and money. However, very often I'm just looking for a way to take a scarf up a notch or two. Sometimes I need to make a blanket look distinctive. Then I turn to my stitch sources for a bit of inspiration. This blog will consist of link lists for your use very little introduction is needed. We will begin with knitting sites:
Adding Embroidery to your sewing:
(I do not sew, I do embroider)
There are many benefits to learning new patterns, trying new ideas, and just changing things up a little in your fiber arts. I've only given a few. There are hundreds of great sites to choose from online. Our charity work is so important to many of us and to the recipients of our work. It's also an excellent way to practice new skills! If you visit any of these sites listed here be sure to take advantage of following them on their social networking sites! Thank you, as always, for reading today!
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.