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.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Making Toys from Household Items

I was a child of the Great Depression. We had purchased toys but we made or had made for us toys that were simply put together from things around the home. It didn't have as much to do with saving money as it did with the culture of the time. We were not so far removed from our pioneer ancestry and doing for oneself was ingrained in us.

The pound loaf of Kraft cheese used to come in a wood box. A couple of empty cheese boxes could be turned into a two story doll house. A little glue held the two boxes together , one atop the other. You then cut and folded heavy paper accordian fashion to make stairs from one floor to another. Cardboard cut into the right size made walls separating each box into two or three rooms. Empty wood spools could be turned into furniture. I cord was made on a spool knitter, coiled and sewn to make a rug. You were only limited by your imagination.

Food was canned in tin cans, not aluminum which crushes so easily. With two empty cans you had a toy. You punched two holes in the top of each can. The holes were opposite each other. You cut two pieces of clothes line each about 4 feet long, ran one piece through the holes in each can and tied the ends in a knot. Each can now had a loop of rope attached to it. Then you could stand with one foot on each can and holding on to the rope walk on your newly made stilts.

Cigar boxes were a big prize. When enpty they could hold all your secret treasures.

A large button made a great toy. You cut a piece of heavy string about two yards long. Size would depend on the size of the child. Put the ends through the two button holes and tie them in a knot. Now you have two loops each eighteen inches long and a large button hanging in the middle. You start twirling the button winding up the string until the string is tightly wound. Then you pull both loops at once. The string unwinds and rewinds spinning the button and making a very satisfactory whirring noise.

Girls were encouraged to do those things that supposedly taught the skills one would need when keeping house. We made doll clothes, baked using toy baking sets and had tea parties. Boys were encouraged to use hammer and nails, and one of the toys every boy made, and I hated, was a rubber band gun. All you needed was a piece of wood onto which you affixed a spring clothes pin, and a rubber band. You put one end of the rubber band on the end of the wood "barrel" of your gun , stretched it tight and put the other end into the clothes pin. Then you pressed on the clothes pin, it opened, and the rubber band went flying. Girls were always being chased by any boy in the neighborhood with a rubber band gun.

I don't suppose you could make any one of these toys now. Of course the wood boxes are no more, but I suspect even clothes line, clothes pins and button boxes are rare in todays homes. However, if you can make a button whizzer for a young child in your family, I bet they will think you're a genius.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Pattern

I finally finished Beth, a doll about 12 inches tall. She comes with a wardrobe of panties, skirt, top, pants, playsuit and hairtie.

This is kind of an experiment. For years I have heard the discussions about knitting toys in the round as opposed to knitting them flat and seaming. One of the reasons knitters give for not making toys is having to do all that sewing. However, it has been my experience that patterns knit flat sell much better than patterns knit in the round. For Beth I wrote the pattern in two versions, Beth 1 in the round and Beth 2 knit flat. I am curious to see which gets the most interest.

For those who want to take a better look Beth is listed as a download on Ravelry or at my Etsy shop. (You will find the links in the menu to your right.)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Time For a Change

After starting this blog I always wanted to have a design that didn't crowd the text so much. Found some new templates and decided to go for it. I think this color scheme is easier to read as well, a big point with those of us that are getting older. All the old stuff is here just in a little different format.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Tutorial

Just thought I would point out I have listed a new tutorial. It explains how to do fur stitch. This is a great way to make doll wigs, animal fur, fur collars on doll clothes, and more. Loops can be made any size and will not pull out even in the hands of the most determined child. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More Socks

I have written several times about socks. I have been making them for years in the traditional manner with heel flap, gusset and closing the toe with the kitchner stitch. No new fangled techniques for me. Recently, however, I have been asked to make socks for charity. I was sure there must be a way to do this that took less time and used less yarn than my old tried and true method. I began to look into the toe up version with the short row heel. I made a sock using this method and immediately fell in love. No wraps, no holes, hooray! How easy and how quick. For those that have been making socks using the toe up technique this is nothing new, and you are probably wondering what the big deal is. For me, however, it was a revelation.

At the top of this post is that first sock. (No one sock syndrome. I almost have the second sock finished.) Here is a picture of the heel.

As you can see, no holes or bulkiness. You will find a video on how to do this here Here is a picture of the toe. You can find the directions for the cast on and toe here There are several methods explained, but I used easy toe.
For the sock that is pictured I used Lion Brand Woolease and size 6 needles. I knit very tight so that made a nice thick, warm sock. When knitting for charity I always use a yarn that is machine washable as one never knows how devoted the wearer is to hand washing.

I hope this encourages those of you who have not tried this to give it a try. And oh, the short row heel is the same in both directions so can be used with a cuff down pattern as well.