Monday, July 18, 2011

Make A Difference Monday

Today Is Make a Difference Monday...

Today I'd like to introduce you to another great charity dedicated to helping the littlest victims of the tornadoes that ravaged parts of our nation this spring, especially Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We encourage you to read today's Featured Article for more information about this charity, called Anam Cara.

Anam Cara is collecting hats and booties to distribute to babies and children. In addition to distributing comforting and warming knitted and crocheted gifts, they also accept donations of yarn and pre-paid shipping boxes. Take a look at our Featured Article and consider how you might be able to help this great charity!


Today's Featured Article:

Anam Cara Knits for the Smallest Tornado Victims

Make life a little better for infant tornado victims with Anam Cara knitting


Most Popular Articles:

Calvin's Hats Transform Suffering

If you've ever lost a child, you'll understand the power of Calvin's Hats

Nettie & Friends Make Knitting for Kids a Reality

Help Nettie & Friends make learning a reality


Today's Featured Website:


Bernat Yarns is one of the nation's top sources for inexpensive, snuggly soft yarns. Their website, in turn, is a wonderful resource for knitters and crocheters of all skill levels. This website not only displays the full catalog of Bernat Yarns -- including their discontinued yarns, for which they invite you to click on a logo to find a suitable substitute -- but also a large collection of pattern books for sale and free patterns.

They have many resources available for all skill levels, from tutorials on learning to knit or crochet to finishing tutorials and a gallery of stitch patterns. Many Bernat Yarns are wonderful for baby knits for charity or gifts. Become a Bernat member and you can save favorites to your own personal profile and subscribe to their free e-newsletter as well!


Today's Featured Product:

Baby Knits: 20 Handknit Designs for Babies 0--24 Months by Lois Daykin

This beautifully photographed book is filled with adorable designs for babies that make great gifts as well as great projects for charity knitting. Projects are available for all skill levels; beginners can start with the simplest patterns and work their way up. All of the patterns are so cute you'll want to knit every last one!




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Monday, July 11, 2011


KNIT FOR JAPAN Knitting For Charity

Pick up your needles and give comfort
Knit for Japan was only a matter of time. After all, knitters are creative people who really understand the difference a hand knit item can make in a person's life, and they're generous people who are always looking to help -- especially those interested in knitting for charity. So with the recent disaster in Japan, it's hardly surprising that knitters have leaped to help.

What is Knit for Japan?

Knit for Japan is the brainchild of a German living in Tokyo who experienced the quake firsthand. Bernd Kestler (yes, that's a male name -- male knitters might be a rarity in the USA, but there are quite a few of them elsewhere!) decided to extend the world's sympathy through knitting.

A longtime knitter himself, Kestler has studied how to knit Japan style, and he also teaches knitting. He decided that by knitting a donation -- be it a pair of socks, a sweater, or a scarf -- people around the world can personally and clearly express their sympathies to the people of Japan.

And the charity has taken off like crazy. After just a few weeks, Kestler has received many donations and even had his charity featured in the news. It's just another way that knitters take the initiative, and you definitely don't want to miss out on this chance to help Japan.

How to Get Involved
Because the charity is so new, you won't find a ton of free knitting patterns or heart wrenching stories on the Knit for Japan website. You will find, though, a few fun ideas for new knitting styles, pictures of donations received, and, most importantly of all, an address where you can send your knitted items, yarn, and needles to help Japan.

You can also follow Knit for Japan on Twitter and Facebook -- this is a twenty first century charity for a twenty first century disaster. And no matter where you are in the world, you can pick up your needles and start knitting Japan a wooly hug.

So visit the Knit for Japan website today and check out what other people are up to. Then find your favorite pattern and get knitting. That's the only way a charity like Knit for Japan grows.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Pillow Talk… Beautiful Round Crochet Pillow

Off White Ruffle Rose Pillow
By: Tracie Barrett for Red Heart Yarn

Compliments of All Free

Spruce up your home decor with an Off White Ruffle Rose Pillow. Red Heart Soft Yarn is used in an off white color but you can choose any color you wish. This is an intermediate skill level so grab your hook and this free crochet pillow pattern and get stitching.

Ruffle Rose Pillow

Off White Ruffle Rose Pillow

This image courtesy of


Crochet Hook: H/8 or 5 mm hook

Yarn Weight: (4) Medium Weight/Worsted Weight and Aran (16-20 stitches to 4 inches)

Pillow measures 16” diameter (not including ruffle) x 3” deep.

  • RED HEART® “Soft Yarn®”: 4 balls 4601 Off White.
  • Crochet Hooks: 5mm [US H-8] and 5.5mm [US I-9].
  • Yarn needle, stitch markers, 16” diameter round pillow form.

GAUGE: Rounds 1–5 = 4½” using smaller hook. CHECK YOUR GAUGE. Use any size hook to obtain the gauge.
NOTE: Front is made first; then spiral ruffle is added. Back and sides are then made in one piece. The two pieces are joined, and pillow form inserted to finish pillow.


With smaller hook, ch 4; join with slip st in first ch to form a ring.
Round 1 (Right Side): Ch 2 (does not count as a st), 12 hdc in ring; do not join, work in continuous spiral with right side facing at all times—12 hdc.
Round 2: Working in back loops only, 2 hdc in each hdc around—24 hdc.
Round 3: Working in back loops only, [hdc in next hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—36 hdc.
Round 4: Working in back loops only, [hdc in next 2 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—48 hdc.
Note: Continue to work in back loops only in all following rounds.
Round 5: [Hdc in next 3 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—60 hdc.
Round 6: [Hdc in next 4 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—72 hdc.
Round 7: [Hdc in next 5 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—84 hdc.
Round 8: [Hdc in next 6 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—96 hdc.
Round 9: [Hdc in next 7 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—108 hdc.
Round 10: [Hdc in next 8 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—120 hdc.
Round 11: [Hdc in next 9 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—132 hdc.
Round 12: [Hdc in next 10 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—144 hdc.
Round 13: [Hdc in next 11 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—156 hdc.
Round 14: [Hdc in next 12 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—168 hdc.
Round 15: [Hdc in next 13 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—180 hdc.
Round 16: [Hdc in next 14 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—192 hdc.
Round 17: [Hdc in next 15 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—204 hdc.
Round 18: [Hdc in next 16 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—216 hdc.
Round 19: [Hdc in next 17 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc] 12 times—228 hdc.
Round 20: Hdc in each hdc around. Place a marker in first st of this round.
Sc in back loop of marked stitch. Fasten off.
Row 1: With outside edge facing and smaller hook, join yarn with sc in unworked front loop of marked st, sc in each unworked front loop to center of pillow front, turn.
Row 2: Change to larger hook, ch 1, (sc, hdc) in first sc, *dc in next sc, 2 dc in next sc; repeat from * around spiral to last st, (hdc, sc) in last sc. Fasten off.
With smaller hook, ch 4; join with slip st in first ch to form a ring.
Rounds 1–19: Work Rounds 1–19 of front—228 hdc.
Rounds 20–24: Working in back loops only, hdc in each hdc around. Do not fasten off.
Weave in ends. Place front and back with wrong sides together, and match stitches. Working through both thicknesses and working in back loops only of both layers, join yarn with slip st in any st, slip st in each st around, inserting pillow form before seam is completely closed.
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Holiday Gift Ideas Free Knitting Patterns Today's Blog "The Handbag"

  If you are like many people still trying to make ends meet and as we all know time just seems to fly, today we are celebrating the Fourth of July, working on our tans and before you know it the holidays start rolling in and Christmas creeps up on us.  I always find some really great patterns and think what a great gift that would make. 
How to personalize each gift for your loved ones during the Holidays.
1. Start creating your Christmas list
2. Go online search free patterns for great gift ideas, scarves, hats, gloves, handbags, sweaters, shawls, jewelry, etc.
3. Stock up on yarn, see yarn guide on selected patterns and stock up early. Stock up on extra yarn,
4. Use up your yarn scraps and find miscellaneous patterns for those unexpected people that show up during the holiday and you start racking your brains on what you can give them.  Make some bracelets, makeup bags, handtowels, washcloths wrap them in a ribbon, bookmarkers are great for everyone kids included. Be creative and hand fun and if you are a newbie, practice makes perfect.
5. Give yourself a deadline, complete a gift a week or X amount of gifts per month and have your gifts wrapped up and ready and don't let the holidays creep up on you.  They get me everytime.  Let's see if I can walk the talk this year.

I have a pretty impressive collection of free patterns from those wonderful people who love the craft and are more about sharing than making money on it.  Which is why I don't sell the patterns listed, it wouldn't be right.  So I will hand select a variety of styles, chic and easy skill level patterns.  Continue to check in. 

I've started with Handbags, Berroco  has the most awesome bags, so here are a few to motivate you and get the wheels turning.  Just keep in mind that you are not knitting for yourself right now.  If you are looking for something in particular and need help, contact me and I will try to find you the pattern you are looking for. 


Berroco's Exclusive Bagette
 Berroco's Felicity Bag
imageBerroco's Pretty Ditty Bag
  Berroco's Exclusive Lali
 Berroco's Exclusive Crystal Bag
 Berroco's Pignoli
imageBerroco's Moette
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