free knitting patterns from craftsy

Sorry for the lack of posts here lately. I've been in the process of moving and all my cooking and knitting supplies have been packed away for the last few weeks. I've been living on green smoothies and quesadillas with mango and avocado. And while those are two things I really love, I'm really excited to start cooking in my new kitchen now that everything is unpacked. But in the meantime, I have something really exciting to share with you! I know that many of you love finding new sources for free patterns. (Who doesn't?) So I wanted to let you know about a cool site I discovered a few months ago.

Craftsy is an online community with free and paid patterns. They also offer online classes and sell supplies. You can find all sorts of patterns and classes for knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, photography, cooking and more. I made my patterns (free and paid) available through Craftsy a few months ago and have seen quite a few downloads so it's a great place for those of you who also design patterns.

You know what else is cool about Craftsy? They're based in Denver. (Obviously I'm not biased at all as a Denver native.)

If you haven't checked Craftsy out, create a free account and see what's available. Here are a few of the free knitting patterns that I'm excited to try...

Free Knitting Patterns

1. Zig Zag Mittens

ZigZag Mittens

2. Woodland Cowl

Woodland Cowl Free Knitting Pattern

3. Woven Cowl

 

Woven Cowl Free Knitting Pattern

4. Madalyn Rae Baby Afghan

Baby Afghan Free Knitting Pattern

8 Yarns for Your Next Knitting or Crochet Project

Do you ever wonder how days are declared official holidays or celebrations? Who decided to create Social Media Day or Flag Day or Bring Your Teddy Bear to School or Work Day? There's a whole website devoted to these special days...some are fairly well known, like Earth Day. But then you have Morse Code Day, Hug a Plumber Day, No Housework Day, Vitamin C Day. Today happens to be I Love Yarn Day. Even though I think all of these special days are fairly ridiculous, I do love yarn so I thought I'd post a list of some of my favorites here to commemorate the very special day (sarcasm implied).

Before we get to the list, let me share with you my yarn bias. I love knitting with real fibers. Once I started knitting with cotton and wool and alpaca, the synthetic yarns just couldn't compare. The problem is that real fiber yarn is more expensive than synthetics. In an attempt to be practical, the yarns below are listed in two categories: (1) Yarns That Won't Send You Into Debt and (2) Yarns to Buy When You Want to Splurge

Yarns That Won't Send You Into Debt

1. KnitPicks Shine

yarn

KnitPicks is a great place to find affordable yarn made from real fibers. They have a great color selection, too. One of my favorite yarns from KnitPicks is Shine. If you've ever felt the softness of Modal, you know why. This yarn is so soft and perfect for making baby items, snuggly blankets and other projects that you want to touch. It's also easy to work and displays patterns well.

Content: 60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal natural beech wood fiber

Weight: Worsted

Amount: 75 yards / 50 grams per ball

Care: Machine Washable

Sample Projects: Sand Cable Baby Blanket, Modal-ly Baby Blanket, Lace Beanie

2. Cotton-Ease

cottonease yarn

Cotton-Ease is my favorite synthetic blend. The colors are amazing. It's also a perfect yarn to show patterns. This yarn is durable and will work well for projects that need to be washed often. You won't feel like you're using a synthetic blend. This yarn has all the feel of real cotton.

Content: 50% Cotton, 50% Acrylic

Weight: Worsted

Amount: 207 yards per ball

Care: Machine Washable

Sample Projects: Baby Blanket for Quirk, Basketweave Blanket

3. Wool of the Andes Sport

wool of the andes

This yarn is a great go-to for wool. It works well for a variety of projects because it's a really strong fiber. Make accessories like gloves and hats or use it for a durable wool blanket. The yarn drapes really well after blocking.

Content: 100% Peruvian Highland Wool

Weight: Sport

Amount: 137 yards / 50 grams per ball

Care: Hand Wash

Sample Projects: Twin Leaf Baby Blanket, Bias Blanket

sugarncream

If you need a durable yarn made from cotton, this is your solution. It comes in all sorts of colors and is great for household items like dishcloths, potholders, rugs, etc.

Content: 100% Cotton

Weight: Worsted

Amount: 120 yards / 70 grams per ball

Care: Machine Wash

Sample Projects: Ballband Dishcloth, Baby Beanie

Yarns To Buy When You Want To Splurge

1. Shelter

Shelter Yarn

Oh my. I love this yarn. It works perfectly for projects that require color work. It drapes perfectly. It's delightful. Did I mention the colors are beautiful, too? Buy a pattern from Brooklyn Tweed and make it with this yarn. You won't regret it.

Content: 100% Targhee-Columbia Wool

Weight: Worsted

Amount: 140 yards / 50 grams per ball

Care: Hand Wash

Sample Projects: Seasons Hat, Tawny Owl

2. MadelineTosh

yarn

My favorite thing about MadelineTosh yarns is the lovely selection of colors. The yarn comes in all sorts of weights and fibers, but one I really like is Tosh Merino.

Content: 100% Superwash merino wool

Weight: DK

Amount: 225 yards

Care: Machine Wash, Air Dry

3. Malabrigo Yarn

yarn

I made a cowl in this pattern that I never want to take off in the winter. It's soft, cozy and warm. And somehow it's squishy, too. The color selection is extensive and will leave you wanting to by skeins and skeins.

Content: 100% Merino Wool

Weight: Worsted

Amount: 210 yards

Care: Hand Wash

Sample Projects: Linear Cowl

4. Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton

yarn

This is a totally different type of cotton yarn. It's soft and easy to use and has a smooth finish to it. Because it's so smooth and even, the yarn looks perfect for any stitch pattern.

Content: 100% Organic Cotton

Weight: Worsted

Amount: 210 yards

Care: Hand Wash

Sample Projects: Baby Sweater

 

How about you? What's your favorite yarn?

a never ending project

work in progress

Do you ever start a project that you feel like you will never finish? That's how I feel about my current crochet project. I've been plodding away on this baby blanket since January. Why the delay? A few reasons:

  1. I don't like the yarn much. I forgot how much I dislike working with synthetic yarn.
  2. The colors didn't turn out like I had hoped (looks better in this picture than it does in real life)
  3. Tunisian crochet takes forever...
  4. I haven't had much time to sit down and work on it.

But I'm determined to finish it! Right now it's measuring about 20.5 inches by 32 inches, so I have at least 12 inches to make it square, perhaps a little more than that to use up the  yarn.

Maybe it will turn out better than I think...or maybe someone else will like it more than I do and I can give it away. Or maybe I'll just keep going because I hate quitting and want to use up all this yarn.

How do you force yourself to finish a project you've started when you don't have the ambition to keep going? Do you come back to it later? Or do you just quit the project entirely?

pinterest finds

Is anyone else loving Pinterest as much as I am? Maybe you're loving it a little too much? (If you still need an invite, email me and I'll send you one.)

Here are my favorite finds this week (Make sure you scroll to the end of this post for the funniest one.)

Print this

state printouts

Show off your state love by downloading your favorite state print out from The Vintage Lemon. You can find most states and place the heart where you want it. These 11x14 prints would make great gifts, too! I want to print out a picture of each state I've lived in over the past 10 years (Colorado, Massachusetts, Washington, New York and Pennsylvania) and frame them for a wall in my house. After all, you leave a piece of your heart in each of the cities you've lived.

Color this

pinterest finds

When was the last time you colored something? I can't remember the last time I colored, but when I saw this free print out it made me want to dig up some crayons or colored pencils and have some fun coloring. It sounds really therapeutic, right? Maybe I'll color while re-watching Downton Abbey and drinking wine. That sounds like a great way to spend a snowy and cold winter night. You can find more coloring print outs from Dover Publications.

Eat this

Pancake

I love the color in this photograph. Doesn't this fruity pancake look delicious, too? Find the recipe on Things We Make.

Don't do this

Crochet Pants

I saved the best for last...please, please, please do not do this. Don't make these. Don't wear these. Just...don't. But do laugh. Because it's hilarious. And do click on this link to The Ugly Sweater to see another funny thing you shouldn't crochet. Undergarments made from granny squares? Definitely a bad idea...

yarn craft roundup

Happy Friday! I haven't cooked anything interested in a while, so I don't have a new recipe to share (I'll fix this soon! I plan to spend some time baking this weekend...) My recent obsession with watching Downton Abbey has given me plenty of time to make progress on my Afghan crochet blanket, but I haven't taken any pictures of it yet to share here. (PS. Please watch Downton Abbey. I LOVE it.)

Instead of sharing my own projects with you this week, I'm going to showcase some awesome projects from other creative bloggers out there.

Make a Yarn Pot

 This project from A Creative Cookie will show you how to create a yarn pot with only yarn, elmer's glue and a piece of cardboard.  I think this would be a great little project to use up scrap yarn. I could use a few of these to hold odds and ends on my desk and maybe in the bathroom, too.

Wouldn't one of these look cute piled up with cotton balls? Or Q-tips? Or paper clips?

Puff Stitch Scarf

puffyscarf

I rarely crochet items to wear, but really like this pattern for a crocheted scarf from All About Ami. The pattern is simple and easy for beginners and it only uses 3 skeins of yarn! This looks like a fun and quick project. And as I sit here typing this on a cold February afternoon, I think I would like to be wearing this scarf right now.

Bottles Covered in Yarn

Here's another great scrap yarn project. Craft and Creativity shows us how to add color to old bottles with some yarn and modge podge / glue. I love the bright colors!

Camera Lens Cozy

Kitty from A Law Student's Journey shows us how to create a camera lens cover without any knitting involved. This will take you 2 minutes with some leftover thrift store sweaters. Great idea for protecting those extra lenses.

What crafty creations are you working on? Want to have one featured here? Email me your blog link or photos!

what's in your knitting queue?

It's hard to stay motivated to knit during the hot summer months (unless you're like me and have baby gifts to finish). I managed to finish a blanket in June, another one in August and I have a third on my needles right now! Did you finish any major knitting or crochet projects this summer? Comment below and leave a link to your blog or Ravelry project!

One of the many (and I do mean many) things I love about fall is that my motivation to knit returns. As I finish these 90+ degree days in August, I'm bookmarking some projects for when my motivation returns.

Here are a few projects in my queue...what's in yours? Comment below and let me know!

Susie's Reading Mitts

Reading Mitts

Flocked Mittens

Mittens

A Noble Cowl

cowl