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

a graduation card

Did you know that 5th graders have graduations from Elementary School into Middle School? I don't remember having a big graduation ceremony for kindergarten or elementary school or even middle school.  Though I do like to brag that my high school graduation was at Red Rocks...

Why do I know about 5th grade graduation? For the last two years, I've spent an hour per week volunteering at a public school in Denver. The teacher of the class is a good friend of mine. I started tutoring the kids in math when they were in 4th grade, helped run a reading club last summer and went back to math tutoring this school year.

Most of the kids are Mexican and some are recent immigrants who don't speak English well. Some of them are bilingual and translate for their parents who don't speak English well (or at all). After two years, they still don't remember that I can understand them when they speak their secret language (Spanish). I always loved responding to them in Spanish when they didn't think I understood what they said.

Going in to see them was often the highlight of my week. Whenever I enter the classroom, they eagerly greet me. When their teacher says he's going to send a group back to work with me, they all raise their hands wanting to be included in my group.

The kids are awesome and it's been so exciting to see their progress over the last two years. They've gone from apathetic to interested, behind to caught up (even ahead!), discouraged about learning to excited about what they can accomplish. They're taller, more mature and don't seem much like kids anymore. I'll definitely miss seeing them every week when they move on to different middle schools.

I thought about getting them gifts to celebrate, but what do you buy for 27 5th graders that's affordable and useful? Instead of buying something, I decided to design a card with my newly acquired Adobe Illustrator skills (I'm still a beginner...) The card I made is below...next step is to write 27 notes to the kids! 

Graduation CArd

recent happenings + fun friday links

I've been making very slow progress on my knitting and other projects lately. Going out of town every other weekend for 2 months will do that to you, though!

I spent a weekend in Estes Park in mid-April. It snowed, but that was pretty much the norm in Denver every week from April through mid-May.

I celebrated my 30th birthday with some friends in NYC. It was really fun to go back to the city where I used to live. We had amazing spring weather, shopped and ate and drank a lot. I stopped by Purl Soho, the shop that inspired me to learn to knit 8 years ago where I bought some fun fabric and thread for a summer sewing project. The photo below is our hotel room at the W Downtown

Last weekend I went on an epic road trip with some friends to Zion National Park and Bryce National Park. It was a 10ish hour drive from Denver so we spent a lot of time driving for a 3 day weekend. The parks were absolutely amazing, though.

Zion National Park
Bryce National Park

I'm headed to San Diego next weekend to visit my brother and sister-in-law. And then I'm staying put for a little while!

Since it's Friday, here are some fun links for you:

Spring rolls in a bowl look like a perfect summery meal

I made these grilled carrots with dill last night. They're super easy and delicious!

I've been taking some fun classes on Skillshare lately. They're cheap, super useful and you can go through them at your own pace. Currently, I'm learning more techniques for digital illustration using Adobe Illustrator. I'm working on a redesigned logo and design for the site here!

My latest obsession is green smoothies. I make one every day for breakfast. My coworkers make fun of me, but these are seriously tasty and healthy!

Have a great weekend!