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.

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.