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, December 22, 2011


Well, Murphy's law continued to rule. After the flu I discovered a lump on the back of my neck. Doctor ordered tests including a CT scan. All showed nothing. No one knows what it is, but apparently it is not cancer. All was made up for by an early Christmas at our daughter and son-in-law's house. Among all the family we had a chance to see was our first great-great grandchild. What a darling. It has been sixteen years since we had a new baby in the family so to say he was the hit of the day is putting it mildly.

We had a lovely dinner and gift exchange after which my husband and I beat it for home. All those healthy young people can tire the old folks very quickly.

May you have a wonderful Christmas filled with the blessings of the season.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Murphy's Law

For those of you unfamiliar with Murphy's Law it says that everything that can go wrong will go wrong.

I had a plan. I was behind in my Christmas knitting so decided I would put everything else aside and concentrate on getting it done, no blogging, no new pattern designs, no forum crawling or posting, just knit, knit, knit. Well, I did just that and finished a gift for everyone on my list. I sat back feeling rather smug and self righteous. Now I could explore my ideas for a new pattern and maybe get some knitting done for charity. Now there was time to blog, check the forums and all that good stuff for which we use our computers. Wrong!! I ran into Murphy's Law. No more had I finished the last project when both my husband and I got the flu. Now, for those that are thinking,"Why didn't they get the shot?", we did. However, it takes two weeks for the shot to become fully effective, and sometime during that period we were infected. We have been sick for over a week and while slowly getting better, apparently will continue to be sick for who knows how long.

So that is the the story behind why you haven't seen anything new here for weeks. I have some ideas for things I think might interest the reader, but that will have to wait until I feel better. In the meantime, stay healthy and enjoy a great Thanksgiving with your family.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gift Knitting

I have mentioned before in earlier blogs that I spend a good part of my knitting time trying to get ready for Christmas. Over the years my family has come to expect our gift to be something made by me. The last couple of days I have been knitting the Cherry Twist hat designed by Theresa Grant. While this is not the best picture I have ever taken, I think it will give you the idea.
Despite what appears to be an involved stitch pattern, this project was quick and easy. The pattern gives you the different lengths needed for a beanie, toque or slouch hat. Theresa's user name on Ravelry is needlenhook. You might want to take a look. I know the granddaughter getting this is going to love it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Diapering 101

Boy, have I had an education the past couple of weeks. Ravelry has been running a thread about soakers which then developed into a discussion of diapers and diapering in general. My youngest is in her forties. What did I know? Of course I knew that disposables diapers filled landfills and took hundreds of years to decompose . I did not know that in response to that many responsible young mothers had gone back to cloth diapers and were crocheting or knitting soakers to keep clothes and bedding dry. I am afraid I had to be told what prefold diapers are.

In the "old days" we bought Curity or Birdseye diapers because that was all that was available They were not prefolded. You folded them before pinning them on baby. When used you put them in the diaper pail with water and a disinfectent. Each day you washed them in the washing machine. (Trust me. You didn't want them to sit around too long.) Then you hung them on the line where sunlight and fresh air did the rest of the work for you. As far as soakers, while I had patterns for them I never made any. We considered plastic pants a blessing.

Not everyone is prepared or able to go to the extra work cloth diapers require, but for those that do, on behalf of future generations, thank you.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Three Little Bears

This is my latest pattern. The bears are knit in the round and are only five inches tall. You can find the pattern and a complete description here

Other than working on bears I have been knitting Christmas gifts. Alot of cap and fingerless mitten sets, slippers and scarves. Nothing big but time consuming. Just about made it through my list then on to a new doll I have in mind.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Knitting Mice

I have had several inquiries about the mice pictured on the front page of this blog. The pattern is available at Knit Picks as a download from their site. I designed them to represent three generations of knitters, Grandma, mother and daughter. Since they are a Knit Picks exclusive I put K P in the heart tattoo on the daughters thigh. Of course, the knitter could put in the initials of whomever they wish. To download a pattern you may have to register. Registration is free.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Decorator Pillow

I have been making these pillows for years as gifts for family and friends. Pictured is one I just finished which a granddaughter asked for as a Christmas gift. They are perhaps the easiest pillow in the world to make and require no sewing. You can use any yarn and any pillow form. Here are the basic intructions.

First you will need a pillow form of the size you want. Then choose a yarn in the color to suit the decor of the recipient's home. Yarns with texture and/or color variations have the most interest. You will also need 2 decorative buttons about 1&1/2 inch across..

1: Now knit a swatch using whatever size needle you think will work. If you find your fabric too loose or so tight it is like a board, change needle size until you come up with something you like. Count the number of stitches to an inch.
2: The size of the pillow form should be on the package. Multiply that by 2 as you are going to be making the front and back at the same time. My form was 16 inches so my final figure was 32 inches.
3: Multiply your final figure by the number of stitches per inch. I was knitting 4 stitches per inch. 4 times 32 equals 128 stitches.
4: Now whatever number you come up with cast that number of stitches on a circular needle. Join and begin to knit. Knit until your piece is as long as the size given on the form. That is, my pillow form was 16 inches so I knit until the knit piece was 16 inches long.
5: Cut yarn leaving a long tail. Thread yarn needle with tail and run through stitches on needle removing them from needle and onto the yarn tail. Pull as tight as possible to close hole. (Note: You will still have to take a few stitches to completely close hole.) Put the knit piece on the pillow form with gathers in the center of pillow. Weave long strand of yarn through cast on stitches and pull to close hole. Finish as other side. Have gathers on this side in the center of pillow also.
6: Using a double strand of sewing thread go back and forth from the center on one side to the center on the other attaching a button to each. Make sure the buttons are placed to cover the edges of the gathers. Pull tight so the buttons are seated in a depression on each side. Arrange gathers and you are done.

You can, of course, make a square pillow by just slipping the pillow form in the knit piece and sewing the top and bottom closed. Decorate with appliques.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hooray for Small Town Values

When we moved here over twenty years ago this was a small town, and though it has grown over the years still maintains the feel of a small town where neighbors are always ready to help one another.

This week we were hit by a heavy thunderstorm with driving rain and strong winds, and a very large Chinaberry tree in our front yard lost a number of branches as a result. Most just fell in the yard, but one fell on our cooler and against the window that holds it. The moment the rain stopped a neighbor was over and pulled all the branches away from the house. We found the window unbroken and the cooler undamaged. So far, so good, but we were resigned to having to pay several hundred dollars to have someone clean up the mess, when another neighbor showed up and said he would be over the following day to cut up the wood and haul it away. True to his word he spent the greater part of the following day cutting the wood and stacking it.

Everyone in our neighborhood has a green barrel for garden waste . This was far more than our barrel could hold so a trip to the dump seemed inevitable. Then neighbors started showing up with their empty green barrels for us to use. Before long all the fallen branches were stuffed in seven barrels to be put out at the curb next week, saving us the fee the dump charges. So in the end our yard was cleared of the debris by neighbors, some of which we barely know.

These are the kind of people that keep an eye on your house and feed your dog when you are on vacation, that share the fruit on their trees and the vegetables in their gardens, that pick up your mail when you are out of town and are the first to volunteer when a problem arises. In a world that is full of violence, greed and crime I find it gives me hope to know such people still exist.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Another Trip Down Memory Lane

I have a Nook Color on which I can download and read books. I signed up the other day for our local library program which allows me to download books from the library. I suddenly realized how much our lives had changed.

When I was a child in the 30's the library was like a church, elevated in our minds to something hallowed. When as a child one got their own library card it was a badge of honor. It meant you were old enough to be trusted with a book I remember so well the absolute quiet. The hushed whispers of the librarian at the desk as she helped a customer. The dark wood and deep carpet that conveyed the feeling of permanence and upright, middle class values.

We were allowed to check out five books at a time. As children, however, we were only allowed to check out books from the children's section. The feeling seemed to be that adult literature would taint our innocent minds. Every summer there were special programs to encourage children to read. One year it was pirate treasure. You registered and were given a map. For every book you read the librarian took your map and marked anothe spot on the trail to the buried treasure. When your map was complete you got to open a large trunk at one end of the library and choose the treasure you wanted, and they were treasures indeed to us children who ran home with our choice to show everyone. Amid the ohs and ahs we were, for a moment, a star.

Now I sit at my computer, look through a list of books, and download my choice to my ebook reader. Perhaps it is more convenient, but it lacks something, something I can't quite define, something that I am afraid someday will be gone forever.

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Pattern

Hi everyone. I am back. Been knitting my fingers off. The pattern for Emily is finally up at Knit Picks and ready for download should you want it. Now working on two more patterns which should be ready before too long if I don't keep getting sidetracked. Neighbor is pregnant so, of course, that meant putting everything aside while I made a cuddle sack and bonnet for the new baby. Then I spotted a request on Ravelry for warm items for a charity called Camp Happy. Every year they have a camp for children with cancer. It seems many of the kids come from needy families and show up at camp without many of the things they need . Corporate sponsors can provide a lot, but there are some things only knitters can do. One of the things requested was mittens. I decided to make some fingerless mittens to send and then found there are very few fingerless mitten pattern for children. I did find one or two but in yarns the wrong weight. I didn't want to go to all the trouble of changing the gauge so came up with a pattern of my own which I am sharing with you.

These mittens will fit an 8 to 10 year old. I made the pattern based on the average measurements for a child's hand at that age. You will find the pattern listed under free patterns. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Broken Links

I found my free pattern links were not working. I am so sorry. I have spent time on fixing them this evening and should be done sometime tomorrow. I was unaware that Google had changed it's format. I hope no one has been inconvenienced. To make up for it I will add another free pattern to the list.

I have also had to repair the links to the Tutorials, and I have added instructions for downloading at the top of the page. All is now done. If in the future you have any problems please let me know.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Baby

Well, I am now a great-great-grandmother. The baby, a boy, was born this morning. Although a month early he is healthy and weighs a little over five pounds. Our great-granddaughter is fine and had an easy time of it.

I have posted some pictures of my latest design. She will be available soon as a download at Knit Picks.

This is Emily.

Emily in sleeper ready for nap. She has had a busy day.

Emily sitting apparently contemplating her navel. Time for a snack.

Emily playing peek a boo and hiding from Mom under an old blanket.

Emily wearing her gown and bonnet and looking very cute.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another Story From My Past

This story, while true, does not tell the reader much about the lifestyle or history of the period, circa 1938. It does, however, point out that there was a time before television, before electronic games, before electronic devices loaded with apps when a very different world existed, a world in which children made up their own games and the only boundaries were the limits of their imagination.


When I was a little girl it wasn’t uncommon for families to have a cabin in the mountains for vacations and family gatherings. My grandparents had such a cabin in the mountains outside San Diego in a place called Suncrest. The cabin was in a beautiful wooded area. There were several kinds of trees, and ferns and wildflowers grew everywhere. A narrow road ran through the area, and here and there beside the road was another vacation cabin. One of these was different from all the rest. It was much bigger than all the other cabins, and it was made entirely of rocks. Everyone called it the “Rock House”, and a scary thing happened there, but I’m getting ahead of my story.

The year I was nine my mother and my aunt decided to take all us kids to our cabin for spring vacation. I was the oldest, then my cousin Bobby, then my sister, Arlene, then my cousin Teddy and finally my cousin Barbara. Barbara was little so, of course, we never let her play with us.

After packing what seemed like everything we owned and driving to the cabin, we arrived just in time to unpack, have dinner and go to bed. The next morning we could hardly wait to go outside and explore. As soon as my mother and aunt said we were excused from breakfast Bobby, Arlene, Teddy and I ran for the woods and didn’t stop until we were out of sight of the cabin. Each of us found a log or rock to sit on. We sat and looked at each other. Now what were we going to do? Then I had an idea. “Why don’t we play Indians? We could build a camp and hunt and do all kinds of stuff”, and so the Suncrest Indians were born.

The first thing we had to do was build a camp. Everyone dragged all the tree limbs and branches they could find to a clearing. After a lot of trying, shoving and arguing, we finally had all the longest tree limbs with the bottom end on the ground and the top end braced against a tree in the shape of a teepee. When covered with branches it looked like a real Indian house, well almost. We gathered all the rocks we could find and placed them in a circle to make a fire pit. Bobby wanted to know how we would start a fire without matches. I had been studying Indians in school, and rather smugly explained Indians didn’t use matches; they rubbed two sticks together. Not sure just what kind of sticks Indians used, we tried rubbing all the sticks we had, first one and then another. We rubbed and rubbed and rubbed, and nothing happened Undaunted, the Suncrest Indians decided to forget about fire and go on to other things.

Soon we had rags tied around our heads as headbands. Every time we found a feather one of us would stick it in our headband. I had the most feathers because I was the chief. Bobby had thought he should be chief because he was a boy, but I reminded him I was the oldest, Indians were my idea and I was bigger than he was. He decided to be the medicine man.

Each day the Suncrest Indians had a new adventure. Bobby and I used some string and sticks we found to make bows and arrows. We didn’t make bows for Arlene and Teddy. We gave them sticks and told them they were spears. Bobby and I shot at every squirrel, bird and rabbit we saw while Arlene and Teddy threw their spears. The animals of the woods were in no real danger, however, as our arrows fell to the ground as soon as we shot them, and the spears never came close to their targets. We did war dances and sneaked through the trees to attack our enemies. We tracked each other through the woods. This didn’t work out too well when Teddy was the one being tracked. Only six, he got scared whenever he got out of sight of the rest of us and stopped to wait for us to catch up. We climbed trees to act as lookout. We built snares to trap wild animals. We peeled the silver bark from beech trees and wrote secret messages on it in Indian picture writing. We sat around the fire circle and had pow wows. We blazed new trails. We marked these trails by leaving arrows on the ground made of rocks and putting marks on the trees with crayons, and every night the Suncrest Indian warriors came back to the cabin where our mothers fed us, bathed us and tucked us into bed.

The days passed quickly and soon we had only one day left of our vacation. Since none of us could come up with a new idea for the day, we decided to go on a scouting trip. “Mom, can we go for a walk down the road?” “Okay, but don’t go near the Rock House. There are snakes there.” I’m afraid telling me about snakes was the wrong thing to do. As soon as we were out of sight of the cabin we headed straight for the Rock House

Now not only was the Rock House made of rocks, it sat on a rocky outcropping and had large boulders all around. When we got there we could see there was no one home, so I started climbing on the rocks. The others followed, and, a little scared at first, we began looking all around for snakes. Minutes went by, and we didn’t find any snakes, so we got braver and braver. Soon we were poking sticks in the holes and crevices in the rocks to see if that was where the snakes were hiding. Just when we were about to give up it happened! We scrambled over the top of one of the boulders, and there, on a ledge right in front of us, were several snakes sunning themselves. For a moment we were so surprised we couldn’t move. Then we brave Suncrest warriors turned and ran as fast as our legs would carry us.

At the road we stopped to catch our breath, and everyone started talking at once. “Did you see that big one?” “That brown one almost bit me!” “It did not.” In the middle of this excited chatter Bobby and I had the same thought. If our mothers found out what we’d done we would be in a lot of trouble. Bobby looked at me. “I won’t tell if you won’t.” I was quick to assure him. “Well, I ‘m not going to tell.” That settled, we turned to Arlene and Teddy. “You guys better not tell either if you know what’s good for you.” Two little voices said, “We won’t.” “Okay, that’s it. Nobody is going to tell. Right?” Three small heads nodded in agreement. . When we got back to the cabin and our mothers asked, “Where have you been?” Bobby and I answered “Out”. “What were you doing?” “Nothing”, and we glared at Arlene and Teddy who didn’t say a word.

Soon it was time to drive back to the city. Our vacation was over. And what about the Suncrest Indians? We had entered the wilderness and tamed it, we had faced wild animals and survived, we had fought our enemies and won every battle and we had barely escaped the fangs of poisonous reptiles. We declared it the best vacation ever and went home.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Patterns and E Readers or I Love my NookColor

If you are a knitter you know how much a bother a printed pattern can be. Especially if you are working on more than one project at a time. You end with reams of paper next to your knitting spot. If you have organized those patterns you printed from the net, you have them in plastic sleeves in a notebook. Still awkward and heavy. My solution was an e reader.

I bought a Sony reader thinking I could put whatever pattern I was currently knitting on it. It worked just as I hoped, one simple little "book" that was easy to read. I used it for over a year before deciding what I really needed was color. About that time the iPad came out. I researched and researched and exchanged messages with dedicated iPad users. However, it seemed like a lot of money to pay for applications I would never use. I also found to use the iPad as a dedicated reader you had to download some third party software, Goodreader or some other of the same ilk. Hmmm. Decisions, Decisions. Then I saw an ad for the new NookColor. Same android technology as iPad, great color, wifi, but a reader that allowed you to highlight and take notes. Sounded perfect and was less than half the price of the iPad. I got it, and it works as a tool while I am knitting and as a book when I want to kick back and read. Allows me to check my email and cruise the net if I wish. In other words does exactly the tasks for which I bought it. I love this thing.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Family Ties

I suppose some of you thought I had abandoned this blog as it had been so long since I posted anything. I know you will understand when I tell you there was a death in the family which made it difficult to think about live's more mundane things. However, I am back and with some good news. I am going to be a great-great-grandmother. That's right, two greats in front of the grandmother thing. When the baby is born in May he will make five generations of our family on this planet at the same time. I don't know how the planet feels about this, but we think it is pretty cool. There were five generations when I was born, so I have come full circle.