Free Patterns

Welcome. if you are here looking for free patterns you will find them listed in a menu on the right of this page. You may have to scroll down. Click on what interests you. A page will come up with the pattern. Click on "File" in the upper left hand corner. Then click on "download original". If you like what you see click on "save a copy " in the floating toolbar at the bottom of the page. I hope the pattern makes up for these extra steps. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Miss Marks

I was introduced to crafts by my third grade teacher, Miss Marks. A sign of the times, I went all the way through school and never had a woman teacher that was married. They were all spinster ladies who seemingly dedicated every waking moment to their students, Miss Marks was typical. A bit past middle age, dark hair cut into a bob, with the faint shadow of hair on her upper lip as so often happens to post menapausal women. Her well corseted body was always covered by a black dress, of which she seemed to have an endless supply, and, of course, sensible shoes.

Miss Marks had a project for every phase of our learning. When we studied the American Indian, she brought in frame looms as well as raffia and reed for baskets. One had their choice of weaving or basket making. Which ever we chose Miss Marks was prepared to teach us how. I ended doing both and have retained that knowledge to this day.

For Father's Day Miss Marks brought in pieces of wood about 1/4 inch thick, dowels, nails and glue. She also brought in the necessary tools, coping saws, hammers and sandpaper. Miss Marks told us we were going to make a hat stand for our father. Another sign of the times. In those days no man left his home without wearing a hat. We all went outside and sat on the paved walk that ran in front of the classroom. We cut and hammered and spent a part of several days working on our hat stand. The one thing Miss Marks did not provide was paint. She had been a teacher for many years and was too wise to turn a bunch of third graders loose with a can of paint.

My parents were divorced so I gave my hat stand to my grandfather. Years later I had occassion to go in his closet, and there was my hat stand on the shelf holding one of his business hats. Still being used after thirty years.

Miss Marks was evidently a feminist as there was no distinction made between what was a girl's project or a boy's. Everyone participated in project after project, each related to whatever we were studying at the time.

Sometimes one has a teacher they will never forget. Miss Marks was mine. She taught us all the subjects as set out by the school district and made it fun. She also taught us skills we would not have otherwise had, but more than that, she taught us to do our best.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cabbage Patch Craze

In 1982 Xavier Roberts came out with the Cabbage Patch Doll. He and family members had been selling the dolls at shows and other venues for some time calling them "Little People" In the first year Cabbage Patch was on the market it sold 20 million dolls. They were so popular there was a lot of copyright infringement. I was back in the South during that period and found women were buying one doll, carefully taking it apart, and using the pieces for a pattern, were making dozens of dolls for sale at local flea markets. Roberts brought legal action against all those about which he knew and won each case. However, he finally just gave up and sold out to Mattel.

When I first saw the dolls I was taken with the technique used to shape the features. I bought some fabric called Doll Face, manufactured just for soft sculture, and began to work out a doll of my own. I came up with five models, one of which is pictured in this post. I had been doing doll shows for some time , but was stunned at the reaction when I first introduced these new dolls. Women could not get enough of them. They are large dolls. Although the clothes the models wear were made by me, the doll owner could purchase ready made clothes in sizes 6 months to 1 year, and they would fit. Which is just what many did, taking their doll to the department store and trying on clothes for the wardrobe.

I have since tried soft sculpture with my knit dolls. While the effect is not quite the same, it does enhance the average doll. One can do as little or as much as they like, of course. With that in mind I have started a section with links to my tutorials. The one on soft sculpture is the first posted.

The Cabbage Patch craze eventually ran it's course. I have no doubt they will end in doll museums if they haven't already.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Finished my first Amigurumi

Awhile back I ran across a blog, By Hook By Hand which I enjoy. The owner, Beth, is an accomplished doll maker and has put her patterns on the blog as free downloads. While not a fan of Amigurumi, I fell in love with the little puppies and decided to try one. I downloaded the pattern and scrounched through my stash to find an appropriate color. I finished the little darling today. I found the pattern easy to follow, and the only problen I had was getting my arthritic fingers to hold the tiny legs while crocheting. I plan to make seversl more, add a big bow, and give them as Christmas gifts, each holding a gift card in it's mouth.

Here is s picture of my puppy. Since I ended using such light yarn I thought I would add a bit of color by knitting a bandana for him. He is watching over my computer.