My Free Patterns

Friday, March 7, 2014


Here I am, finally back on a FO Friday. I've been knitting, a lot, but I don't have much in the way of FO's to show you. Life's been stressful--we are moving, again. To another continent, again. I have my fingers and toes crossed this is the last move for a while, and I'm pretty excited because we are moving back to the USA. Hurray for being closer to family!

But I digress. I decided to use some yarn left over from my Hermione socks to make some sports socks (that's what I call these little short socks, I don't actually do sports in them. Or any time, really).  In truth I'm just using up stash so when I get a job in the USA I can buy more yarn. Just don't tell Dave that. What's that you say, he already knows?

I almost had enough yarn to finish these. But I didn't. So I used up a bit of spare 4ply I had, and I am pleased with how they turned out. I'm not one to be critical of the miss-matched colors. I'm a big fan of "different."

I've got a bit more spare sock yarn that I will use to make another set of these. My girls call them "summer socks" and luckily I get to go from the southern hemisphere summer to the northern. Hurray! If you are interested in the super simple yet satisfying pattern, you can find it here.

Hopefully in between all the packing I will be here on Wednesday for a WIP show and tell. I'm making some good progress on things! Until then, happy crafting!

These Tasmanian Devils remind me of my twins.......

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mum Green's Gift

In December 2012 my husband lost his Mum to cancer. She was a wonderful lady with a funny sense of humor and a love of knitting--mostly Aran jumpers. Lots and lots of jumpers for my girls when they were little, which I've saved safely away for when they have little ones of their own. She knit me at least 4 sweaters, my Grandma got a couple, my aunt at least three, even my Dad received an Aran jumper. We miss her every day, and I think of her often when I knit. She was the only one (aside from you blogland friends) that ever cared about what I was knitting, and why.

When Mum got sick for the last time, she was working on a cardigan for my Grandma. They met at our wedding and hit it off immediately. Here is an excerpt from an email of Mum's, 9 May, 2012:

How is the knitting going? I am not sure how you find the time. I have at long last finished that cardigan I was doing. Four times I had to pick up 340 stitches - three times it was all wrong. Talk about patience. So I have been sitting here wondering what on earth I can knit next. As you know I hate knitting for myself anyway, no incentive. I was wondering if your Gran would like another jacket/cardigan. Remember i did one for her a year or two ago. You will definitely remember because I nearly drove you mad when I was convinced it was not going to get there! Thing is, I have found a pattern which will not be too detailed (like your Dad’s was) in one of my Aran books. What do you think? I don’t want to do the Aran colour AGAIN but perhaps if you ever get a minute to spare, you could look online at the Knitwell Catalogue where they sell this Bonus Aran (400g. balls) and see if there is any colour she might like. Most of them are very bright, but one or two paler shades One I thought of was called “something storm” I cannot remember now but then I thought it looked a bit gray and she maybe would not like that. Difficult really. On the other hand you might think she maybe does not want one at all!!!! Anyway, when you have time – I can always knit squares!

In November, when Mum knew she really was ill for the last time, Dave was down for a visit. When he left she gave him the bag with her knitting, the wool, and the pattern book. He was crushed when he brought it home to me. I was so sad, it went straight into the cupboard, and there is sat, for months and months, across the ocean to Australia, and back into the cupboard. I couldn't decide if I wanted to finish the cardigan, or just leave it there in the closet, forever. One day I was discussing it with my Mom, and she said I really had to finish, because that is what Mum wanted when she gave it to Dave to brig home to me. I knew she was right, but oh what a road I had ahead of me. Mum had finished 3/4 of the back, and that left a whole lot of cardigan for me to complete.

And that is how Mum's last Aran jumper became my first. I picked it up around June, and I knit it in fits and spurts until my Mom arrived for holiday in December. She said if I could finish it before she left at the end of January, she'd deliver it to my Grandma in Michigan in February. THAT is what I needed, a deadline and a freezing cold winter in the USA. I finished it with a week to spare, and my Grandma loves it.

For several years now I've been focused on knitting in the round, with no seaming if I can at all avoid it. This jumper is seamed, and I loved making it. I loved that I could do it a piece at a time, and make other things without losing my place in the pattern. I really enjoyed making it, and I love how it turned out. I love that my Grandma, who I love dearly and was a good friend to my Mother-in-law can wear a hug that comes from both of us.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What I'm knitting

And......I'm back! Ok, I've never really been away, I've just been lurking instead of posting. However, the girls are back in school this week, my parents have safely returned home from their visit, and it is time to get life "back to normal."

I'm having a little bit of knitting ADD. Here are some of the projects I'm working on right now:

Roxborough dolman My parents brought me some Cascade 220 Fingerling so I cast this on straight away. I love stripes, but hate weaving in ends and the jog. So I'm trying a new thing to get a jogless stripe and carrying the yarn up. It seems to be working OK for the silver yarn but the green not so much. Still a work in progress!!

Alice in wonderland (the teal one below) I started this before the summer. It requires more attention than either of the other projects, and is currently getting neglected. Must focus and get back on track with it, before the warm weather is gone.

The light green is the Braided Lace Pullover I've designed based on a different pattern. It is the cotton yarn that kills my wrists. I'm doing it slowly and still liking it. I'm almost ready to divide for the sleeves I think. Hurray!!

Before I go, here are some holiday pictures from our summer travels:

I got to feed this little cutie, the highlight of my summer!

Happy crafting everyone! I don't have any FO's to share just yet, so I'll see you next week.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The last of it

Well, my Christmas knitting is done. The final tally is 4 hats, two shawlettes, one pair of mittens, one pair of fingerless gloves, and one pair of yoga socks. They have all been sent and received (though not all opened yet, oh the will power!!)

I knit two Watch Caps, for two young men in my family. The pattern is brilliant, you can use whatever yarn/gauge you want, and it tells you how to make the hat. The pattern is in the book Knits Men Want, which I got for Christmas a few years ago. Both hats were made from stash yarn, one is 8ply and the other 10ply. I love how simple and great these hats look. I want one for myself.

It has been so hot today, but I'm going to sit down and knit a wee bit. I've been busy preparing for my folks to arrive, and haven't knit in days. *gasp* I'm going into withdrawals. But before I go, one last FO, the striped pair of socks I was working on. I finished them about a month ago, but never got around to taking the picture.

Now, while I go and ooh and aah over the yarn that arrived with my parents, you have yourself a very happy holiday season. I'll see you in January!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hungry Monsters

Hi guys. We've had a mixed bag of weather this week, but some days of beautiful warmth and sunshine. Oh how I love the sunshine. Luckily the sunshine hasn't made it too hot for knitting, but I've been getting some sewing done too. Right now I'm working on my quilt for my daughter, since I finished her sisters. I just finished the top today, so hopefully it won't be too much longer.

Now on to my FO. A wee while ago I downloaded a cloth napkin pattern on Craftsy, to get some ideas on making new ones. Afterwards owner of the pattern emailed me with a link to her newsletter if I was interested.  I didn't think I would be, but I was wrong. She sometimes includes free patterns in the newsletter, one of which I thought was too cute to pass up.

It is called Gobbler, and it's a pencil case. I made these three for my nieces and nephew in Louisiana. I've put some goodies in as well, because I couldn't resist. 

I used fabric that my Grandma gifted me a while ago, she tie-dyed them all, and I love love love them! I had enough to make two bigger ones for my own girls for Christmas, but I won't put a picture up just yet. They are nosy wee girls and might see it on my blog and then the gig would be up!

If you are interested the newsletter is called Shiny Happy News, and the blog is here.

Take care, I'm off to the post office to get all my crafts on a plane to the USA. I've got one more post for next week and then I'm done sharing Christmas projects (I think!).

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gingko Shawl

Hi everyone. I hope that you've had a lovely week. We had some good weather, followed and preceded by some gray rainy weather. I'm ready for some summer already!

I was very excited about this shawlette. It turned out rather well, but I cannot for the life of me block out the little hump at the top where the cast on was. The designer does mention this, but left me feeling a little deflated. Looking at others projects let me know that I am not alone.

Pattern: Gingko Crescent
Yarn: Bendingo Woollen Mill Luxury 4 ply. I like this yarn very much.

Wearing it as a scarf makes the little hump not matter at all. This is how I would wear it, were I not sending it to my Grandma for Christmas. I hope she likes it!

Have a great weekend

Friday, November 22, 2013

A tale of two mitts

Well, I'd like to think I am almost done with my Christmas knitting. I went from knitting for no one to knitting for 7. Sigh. And I feel the pressure to get the gifts done and in the mail, you  know, soon.

So brief history on this project, and this yarn--Sirdar Crofter Chunky, purchased to make my niece first this (in 2010):

than this matching scarf (2011):

and since I had just a wee bit left over I thought I'd make her some fingerless mitts to use it up. After much searching I found the Camp Out Fingerless mitts pattern, so I gave them a try. And while it looks ok, it was too tight and boring on my arm. Back to the drawing board.

After much searching and no joy, I remember the mitts I had first made when I purchased my Nicky Epstein Block by Block book. They are the Curvy Cable pattern, and originally they were knit flat and seamed, with just a hole left for the thumb. This time, I used what I've learned in the last several years to make them better.

I knit them in the round, and I added a gusset for the thumb, taken from the Camp Out pattern (so my time wasn't wasted after all). They ended up being just a wee bit shorter than I would have liked, but I ran out of yarn. I am quite happy with the result, and I much prefer them seamless with the gusset. They are of course chunkier than the originals, due to the yarn I used.

And there you have it. No more yarn, and a complete set for a lovely, lovely person. 

Have a great weekend!!

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