I enjoy making baby and toddler clothes for the Lakota/Sioux Children of Pine Ridge in South Dakota. A group called the Sacred Shawl Society collects items through Ravelry.com for young mothers and their children who come to a shelter to escape abuse at home. They can use all kinds of warm knitted items for both mothers and babies.
Marianne Mel on Ravelry.com has so many free patterns for baby sets that are relatively easy for an advanced beginner and turn out beautifully even with limited experience. This little set is in a newborn size using size #6 needles and DK (baby yarn/sports weight) in variegated pastels. I had a chance to use three vintage buttons (always happy when I can find 3 to match in my huge tin of old buttons).
The cap is a basic design sized for a newborn.
Here is the link to the free pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fleur-baby-cardigan-jacket
My favorite designer is an English lady who offers pages of free patterns, mostly for babies and small children. She also has some items for teenagers and adults along with a few patterns that are for sale. She can be found on ravelry.com under the name Marianna Mel. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#query=marianna%20mel
This little vest is called Baby’s Ribbed Vest Top. For a 9-months size the pattern calls for DK yarn (baby yarn/sport weight) and #6 needles. I wanted to make a larger size and used #7 needles with #4 worsted yarn to make a size to fit a 3 to 4-year-old child.
It’s very sturdy and warm, good for the cold North Dakota climate where the Pine Ridge Lakota/Sioux children live. Information on this charity is also on ravelry.com under the tab “groups”.
While I was knitting the sweater, I thought it should have some yellow elephant buttons, maybe because of the grey yarn. Now, what are the chances that I could go to JoAnn’s and find reasonably-priced yellow elephant buttons? But I did and I think they are perfect for this little vest which would be nice for either a boy or girl.
I enjoyed making this set. All of Marianna’s patterns I’ve used so far have been suitable for an advanced beginner with very happy results.
I follow a Facebook page called Addicted to Knitting which features knitted items that people have made, a lot of question/answer sessions and a very nice group for reading about what others are doing all over the world. I saw one picture of a turban hat that a lady had made of deep purple yarn with a large purple gemstone in the center and was inspired to look up the free pattern by Bernat on Yarnspirations.com. http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/turban-twist-hat.html
I didn’t have any purple yarn on hand but did have some Lion Brand Heartland yarn in the Yellowstone color which was nice and soft and worked well in this project, using #8 needles
It’s basically a long narrow scarf in an easy Seeded Rib pattern …
…which is folded and sewn in place to form the turban. The scarf was easy to make.
Although the pattern comes with a diagram on how to fold and sew the turban, it was confusing to me and I’m showing how I got it together. First mark the center of the scarf and then fold into this shape.
Fold the two ends back to meet in the center and pin in place.
Starting in the center and using a yarn needle with some scrap yarn of a different color, loosely baste each end in place, leaving 4 inch tails to make it easier to remove the waste yarn.
Using another piece of waste yarn, stitch the center section where the two ends meet. Baste as far as where the two pieces cross.
At this point, put the hat on yourself or some volunteer and pin to close any gaps on top of the hat, basting them in place with waste yarn.
Baste and try on the hat as many times as necessary to be sure it is the way you want it. Then, using matching yarn, stitch the turban together, pulling out the waste yarn as you go.
I sewed a big vintage button on the front of my turban.
There are so many free patterns available online and one of my favorite sources is Marianna’s Lazy Daisy Days. A lovely lady in England provides a large file of free patterns, most of them for babies and pre-schoolers, but also has an occasional pattern like this Warm Tweedy Neckwarmer in sizes for child, teenager and woman. This is a very easy pattern that turns out especially pretty. It’s basically a long rectangle that is folded back on itself and held together by buttons only or, in my case, some stitching along two edges. There are no buttonholes in the design – the neckwarmer just slips over the head.
Instructions are clear and accurate and I would rate it a “beginner” pattern. It’s also a nice way to use some pretty buttons.
This past week, I made this one for an adult using double strand worsted yarn and a size 8 needle…
…and this one for a child, using single strand worsted and a size 8 needle to do a garter stitch.
I’ve previously made these neckwarmers for the Pine Ridge Lakota children’s group:
I like to think that these are providing some warmth for the children in the bitter cold of South Dakota.
On December 6th, our family celebrates St.Nicholas with the exchange of small gifts, candy and homemade cookies. This year, my two daughters will receive dorm boots/slippers instead of stockings. I found a wonderful pattern on Needle Beetle called Aunt Alm’s Dorm Boots.
Instructions are given for various sizes and I started out making children’s slippers for the Pine Ridge Lakota children in South Dakota. Their Sacred Shawl project which helps young mothers and children in abusive situations, particularly asked for warm slippers for their very cold winters.
I consider them suitable knitting for an advanced beginner and made two more sets for my daughters. I made these with Lion Brand Wool-Ease (80% acrylic, 20% wool) which makes them easy to wash and dry. I tried one on to be sure they were close to the size I wanted.
The ssk stitch (slip, slip, knit) forms the “V” shape on the front of the sock, which I like a lot. See the YouTube link below for a tutorial on this stitch. The pattern is written for double-pointed needles but I work better with circular needles and I found the pattern easy to adapt and the slippers easy to knit.
The difference between learning to knit in this era versus the many times I tried and failed in the past is all of the help that is available on the internet. The free tutorials and patterns are wonderful, especially for a new knitter. I found this pattern for Simple House Slippers on a site called Temple of Knit.
I wanted to share the pattern because these are good for an advance beginner to knit in a short amount of time and make nice gifts. I made three different sizes by changing the size of needle and yarn while using the same pattern – Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear slippers.
The Papa Bear slippers were made with double-stranded thick worsted yarn and #9 needles …
…the Mama Bear slippers were made with double-stranded thin worsted and #9 needles …
…and the Baby Bear slippers (sized for a 4-5 year-old child) were made with single-strand thin worsted and #7 needles.
The pattern mentions a CDD (centered double decrease) stitch which I never encountered while following the pattern. It also mentions an SSK (slip slip knit) stitch which is shown in the video below from YouTube.
Note that the pattern is written for circular needles but can be easily adapted to double-pointed. I’m not good with double-pointed needles, so everything I make is on circulars and the Magic Loop (circulars with a long cable).
I understand that Swedish grandmothers have been making slippers of this type for years. I really enjoyed making them.
Last Christmas, I asked my younger daughter (an experienced and avid knitter) to gift me with a box of knitting supplies so I could try once again to knit and make some useful items for one of the many charities she supports. She gave me a wonderful package of instructions, needles, markers and a good supply of red, white and blue yarn. The yarn was specifically for Knit-Your-Bit, a program at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. http://www.nww2m.com/2016/09/knit-your-bit-celebrates-10-years-50000-scarves-for-veterans/
They collect hand-knit scarves for veterans and one event I especially admire is the gift of a scarf to each veteran who comes to the museum on November 11. My first projects were scarves for this cause …
…and I later made some in different colors ….
My daughter usually makes one scarf a month for this cause and a week or so ago packaged up all of the scarves we had made this year and shipped them to the museum. Imagine my delight when a picture appeared on their Facebook page showing a gentleman holding one of my scarves!
A close-up of the tag that’s on the scarf reveals that it was part of our large group of scarves – how amazing is that?
I love thinking that a veteran will be wearing one of our scarves or one of the hundreds that have been donated from across the country.