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Finally!  A summer’s worth of knitting has been washed, dried, tagged and is ready to mail to the children of Pine Ridge.  Every fall, there is a special drive to gather enough items to give each of the K-12 school children a warm hat, scarf and mittens.  This year, I made 5 large teenage scarves, 9 children’s scarves …
…4 hoods with neckwarmers …
…3 large teenage hats, 1 child’s hat, 2 ear warmers, and 2 pair of mittens
Now, they’re on the way to the Pine Ridge children for the long cold winter in South Dakota.
https://www.ravelry.com/groups/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge

My daughter passed on to me a link to a free pattern to make a “simple asymmetrical scarf … intended to display gradients in handspun yarn”.  I didn’t have any handspun yarn, but I did have a “Sweet Roll” cake of yarn from JoAnn’s and decided to give this a try since it was all in easy garter stitch.  It starts out with 5 stitches cast on and ends when you run out of yarn.  This is how my scarf turned out.

 

My daughter used a Caron cake with about twice as much yarn and made a gloriously long and swervy scarf.

It’s a nice pattern to really show off the colors in these cakes.  The sections of each color are large so you need a big project to display them to best advantage.

Here’s the free pattern:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/boom


This is a great, easy pattern for 5 basic shawl shapes: Square, Circular, Triangular, Semi-Circular, and Heart-Shaped.  http://www.laylock.org/?s=5+basic+shawl+shapes

Each style begins with casting on three stitches and is worked to a full-sized shawl or stopped at any point for a smaller scarf, which I did. The pattern calls for garter stitch but can be made in any stitch or pattern you choose (be sure to knit 5 stitches on each end of each row to keep edges from curling). The size will depend on what yarn/needles are chosen.

I made a child’s size triangular scarf out of scraps of baby yarn (above) and an adult sized scarf with a vintage button added.

Note that the scarves are worked top-down and the beginning three stitches will form a part of the top of the scarf.

This is a fun project and a good way to use up small amounts of yarn.

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I like to work in color when knitting and early on found a good, free slip-stitch pattern that forms a brick design.  The pattern was originally written for a dish cloth but was easy to convert into a soft, sweet baby blanket .

More recently, I used the same pattern for a scarf for the Arkansas group of Special Olympics.  They specify the use of Red Heart yarn in colors of red, grey, black and white and I designed a scarf using these colors and incorporating the brick pattern.

This group asks for scarves and headbands and I included two headbands with Fair Isle patterns.

The free slip-stitch pattern is available at Ravelry.com

Knit Freedom offers a good class on slip-stitch/mosaic knitting for a fee:  http://knitfreedom.com/classes/double-knitting

 

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When I decided to learn to knit in January of 2016, I was interested in making easy, practical items for several charities.  One of them was Knit Your Bit for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.  All of the information is here:

http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/knit-your-bit/how-to-participate.html

In addition to information, there are patterns on this site to use to both knit and crochet scarves.  I knew from my daughter’s experiences from past years that red, white and blue scarves were very popular and that is what I’ve been making.

Recently, though, on the Knit Your Bit Facebook page, I found a pattern for a scarf that has the colors and designs of a National Defense Service Medal.  This medal is a decoration presented to recognize all military members who have served in active duty during a declared “national emergency”.  It is an easy garter stitch striped scarf and interesting with the addition of bright yellow.

To find this pattern, go to the Knit Your Bits Facebook page and search for National Defense Service Stripe Scarf to get the free pattern for a scarf 6 inches wide x 71 inches long, knitted in worsted yarn with size 9 or 10 needles.  Nice item to donate to the museum’s program or to give to your favorite veteran.

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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 Orleanshttp://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 …

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…and I later made some in different colors ….

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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!

14355067_10154177352057535_8485403121546007885_nPhoto used with permission of the National WWII Museum

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.

http://www.nww2m.com/2016/09/knit-your-bit-celebrates-10-years-50000-scarves-for-veterans/

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After receiving a gift pack of knitting supplies for Christmas, I tried knitting again after unsuccessful attempts three or four times in my life (the last time about 30 years ago).  Thanks to my younger daughter’s help, You-Tube tutorials and circular needles, I have learned to knit and actually complete some simple items.

I made preemie/newborn hats for http://www.touchinglittlelives.org/.  I’ll be sending mine to a hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

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The Baby Bear Hat, shown above, is shown on Ravelry.com, an excellent source for free patterns.
I also made a pair of booties for the newborn/preemies.  The pattern for these can be found at http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/bevs-baby-set1.html.  I did these two-at-a-time on circular needles.

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I started making headbands/ear warmers for the Special Olympics in Arkansas.  These are not collected until the fall, so I’ll have time to make a lot more.  The colors for Arkansas are red and white.  http://www.specialolympicsarkansas.org/.

I used a basic pattern found at http://devinlikestoknit.wordpress.com  and made the center part different on each one, in one case using an easy Fair Isle design.

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I also began making nests for rescued wildlife baby and injured animals/birds.  https://www.facebook.com/wildliferescuenests/

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For personal use, I made a neck scarf .  This is from a free pattern on Ravelry.com, called La Neckerchief.

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…..and a shawlette for a friend who won’t complain about any mistakes she sees.  It turned out shorter than I expected and my older daughter added a crocheted edging which I thought improved it a lot.

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I also made two Valentine mug warmers for my two daughters.  Instead of putting them on mugs, I wrapped them around half-pint Mason jars, filled with candy.

Valentine mugs

I may not always have this much to show – there were a lot of small items and I was extra-enthusiastic about my new hobby, but I hope to have a few things made for charity, at least, each month.