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Free Baby Blanket Knitting Pattern & Charity Craft-Along

Cooler weather will be here before we know it, and now is the perfect time to think about warm, snuggly blankets for those in need. This month, we have a new free knitting pattern designed by Sophia Minakais and some fabulous prizes for our latest Charity Craft-Along. Grab your needles and hooks to join us in making baby blankets to donate this fall!

About Our Featured Designer

Sophia is a senior designer for Knitting The Natural Way, where she shares her passion for unique, fun and practical natural designs. All of Sophia’s patterns, from baby knits to specially formulated designs for pain relief, are available at www.knittingthenaturalway.com.

Free Knitting Pattern: Warm Hands Baby Blanket

Break out your yummiest yarn to knit a soft, warm baby blanket to donate to the children of the Warm Hands Network charity, or to cuddle your own baby, with this easy-to-follow pattern.

This pattern was designed to support the children of the Warm Hands Network, a Canadian based charity providing clothing to families in the Canadian North. When knitting baby blankets to be donated to the WHN, please be sure to follow their contribution guidelines, to ensure that your gift will be put to good use. Their guidelines ask that all baby blankets be made using wool or other animal fibers, or acrylic. Baby blankets should be at least 35” x 35” and should always be labeled with washing instructions.

You can mail your Warm Hands Network donations to this address: 
Warm Hands Network
240 First Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 2G6

If you have questions about your donation, please contact warmhandsnetwork@gmail.com.


Please note, you will be subscribed to the Knitter's Pride newsletter; if you already get our emails, simply enter your address to confirm and download the pattern.

How to Participate

  • Knit the Warm Hands Baby Blanket or Crochet any baby blanket meeting the criteria above during the course of this KCAL, which takes place Friday, August 7 through Wednesday, September 30, 2020. 
  • Email your finished photos to helloknitterspride [at] gmail [dot] com to be entered in our prize drawing by Midnight CST on September 30, 2020. Please include your city/state (or city/country) and how you would like to be identified if you win (i.e. first name only, first name middle initial, etc.). 
  • Connect: For this KCAL, we are testing out a free bulletin board system with the hope that all crafters can safely participate and connect with each other. Click here to join the conversation (it's free!) and please let us know what you think! You can also share your projects on Facebook or Instagram using the #knitterspride and #KPCharityKCAL hashtags, or in our Ravelry group
  • Donate your finished project to someone in need! In addition to the Warm Hands Network, you can check with local organizations such as hospitals, shelters or hospices, or you can send your donations to Wool Aid, where they will be given to those who need them most. 

Colorwork Charity Craft-Along: Prizes

We have lots of great prizes up for grabs!
Grand Prize Drawing:
1 lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive their choice of a Deluxe SmartStix Interchangeable Set or a Zing Crochet Set. To be eligible, email your finished photo to helloknitterspride [at] gmail [dot] com by Midnight CST on September 30, 2020. Make sure to include your city/state (or city/country) and how you would like to be identified if you win (i.e. first name only, first name middle initial, etc.). 



Additional Prizes: 
We will choose winners at random to receive Rainbow Knit Blockers, Rainbow Row Counter Rings, Knitting Charms and Zooni Stitch Markers. These prizes will be drawn not only from finished photos submitted via email, but also to those participating on our Charity message boardFacebook or Instagram using the #knitterspride and #KPCharityKCAL hashtags, or in our Ravelry group

We will notify all winners via email or direct message after September 30, 2020. 

We can't wait to see what you make!

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Knit & Crochet Accessories for Face Coverings

Face masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future, and we've seen many crafters answer the call to make their own cloth face coverings - even some folks who have never sewed before! Vickie Howell has a fabulous round-up of free sewing patterns and tutorial, which also includes some no-sew options. Click here to check it out!

Even if you don't sew, you can still put a crafty spin on your face coverings. Many crafters are using up leftover bits of yarn to make face mask adapters to keep masks secure and reduce irritation by keeping elastic away from the skin behind the ears. Click the links below to check out these FREE knit & crochet patterns to try (Ravelry links where noted)!

Knitting Patterns for Face Mask Adapters



Healthcare Headbands by Susan Policastro (Ravelry Link)

Crochet Patterns for Face Mask Adapters




Face Mask Neck Cords

Here's another problem-solving idea from Vickie Howell: a crocheted face mask neck cord! In this free tutorial, Vickie shows how to crochet a Romanian cord which can be used to keep your face mask easily accessible around your neck for whenever you need it. So clever! 


Knitters could make a similar cord by knitting an I-cord and then following the finishing steps shared by Vickie in the previous link above. Check out the tutorial video below for the steps on making an I-Cord if you need a refresher on this technique!


Don't see your favorite pattern here? Share it with us below in the comments. We hope everyone is staying healthy and safe this summer!

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Your Guide to Yarn & Fiber Swaps

Have you ever tried a yarn swap? A yarn swap can be as simple as exchanging skeins of yarn (or other related supplies) from your stash with someone else, whether it’s in person or virtually - your craft group, yarn shop, or virtual community may host such swaps from time to time. They can be a great way to find new homes for items you aren’t using, and exchange them for something you’re excited to knit or crochet with!


But there’s another kind of swap that’s a little more involved (and a lot more like gift giving!): this is where a group of crafters send and receive curated packages of goodies to one another, often including more than just yarn or knitting accessories. Many of these swaps involve an element of surprise where swappers do not know who they have (or who has them) and partners do not communicate with each other until after the swap package is delivered. 

Some swaps are themed (i.e. book lovers, chocolate lovers, or people who enjoy a specific movie, TV show, etc.), while others are focused on a specific type of yarn, technique, or crafts. The rules of participation vary from swap to swap, so make sure that you read and understand them before signing up for any swap! 


Where To Find Them

One of the best-known swaps you’ve probably already heard of is called Fibre Share, which has its own dedicated website and requires a small sign up fee for participants. It’s open to crafters of all skill levels and preferences throughout the globe, and swaps open a few times each year (currently they are closed). 


Facebook groups are another good place to search. If you are just looking to destash or trade skeins of yarn, the Yarn Swap Sell Trade Community group has over 4,000 followers. You can search out other knitting-related Facebook groups to join to find other crafters with similar taste with whom you can plan a swap; try looking up a favorite yarn, designer, knitting podcast or area of interest (i.e. sock yarn, lace knitting, amigurumi, etc.) to see what groups are active! 
  
There are many groups on Ravelry which are dedicated to swapping (please note that as of writing this blog post, any links to Ravelry will display the page in the new design, even if you have switched your profile back to the classic version of Ravelry; it is our hope that they will resolve the accessibility issues which have emerged from the update so that everyone can enjoy content on the site once more). Here some of the most active swap groups:  

Although there are not currently any craft-related swaps listed, swap-bot.com is another potential place to search for a swap to join, or start your own for others to participate in! 


Lastly, if you are a part of a local knitting group or guild, why not suggest a socially distant swap for local members? Not only will you save on shipping, it’s a great way to stay connected with your knitting friends even if you can’t spend time with them in person.


Building the Perfect Swap Package

Building a super-special package of goodies for your swap partner is every bit as fun as receiving the one that someone else made for you! Most swaps will give you some guidance about the kinds of yarns, patterns, and other items your partner enjoys (as well as any allergies they may have), so make sure to keep those preferences in mind as you shop and collect items. They might also have a minimum or maximum dollar amount that you should spend on your swap items. If you haven’t gotten any details on what your swap partner likes or dislikes, try checking out their Ravelry notebook and other social media sites to look for clues! 





Anatomy of the Perfect Swap Package:

Yarn (1) (or fiber, or whatever craft material they prefer) should be the star of the show! Make sure it’s something special that they can’t easily get anywhere else - for example, a locally dyed fiber or perhaps even your own handspun is sure to delight! 


Knitting needles or a crochet hook (2) which matches the yarn and/or pattern (if included).


Project bag and/or zipper pouch for notions - bonus points if you fill it with some helpful tools and notions
We suggest starting with our Vibrance Pouch Set (3) and filling it with): 

Treats (11) - Coffee, tea, sweet or savory treats are always a nice surprise! Try to add some local flavor with something that is unique to where you live - i.e. a local chocolatier, locally made snacks, etc, and of course, make sure you are fully aware of their preferences and allergies ahead of time.


Wool or fiber wash (12)  - include a small bottle or sample packets in their favorite scent so they can use it to block their finished project.


Bonus Items: If your swap package needs a little something extra, you could include something that you’ve made especially for them, or perhaps even some pandemic-related supplies such as a roll of toilet paper, a face mask, or hand sanitizer, which are always useful.


The Finishing Touches

When it’s time to package it up, how will you be presenting your swap items? Using tissue paper, organza bags or gift wrap, can create a giftlike experience only adds to the delight and anticipation your swap partner will feel when they open your package! You don’t have to go overboard, but a little extra effort is sure to be appreciated.

Have you ever participated in a swap? We’d love to hear about it in the comments! 
Make sure you follow us on your favorite social media channel (linked on the right) and get our newsletter for more inspiration and ideas from Knitter’s Pride!


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Hot Knits & Cool Crochet: Must-Make Summer Projects!

Summer is here! Whether you're staying home or cautiously spending some time outside of it, make sure to keep knitting and crocheting on your to-do list. Crafting is a great way to relieve stress - not to mention, keep boredom away. These free knit & crochet patterns are perfect for your summertime crafting plans!

Hair Accessories

Scrunchies are making a comeback, and there are tons of great free patterns to try, such as: Vickie Howell's Scrap Bin Scrunchies (knit & crochet options), Luxury Mohair Scrunchie [Ravelry Link] (knit), Back to School Scrunchie [Ravelry Link] (knit), Scrap Sock Yarn Hair Scrunchie [Ravelry Link] (crochet), or the Easy Crochet Scrunchie [Ravelry Link]. If scrunchies aren't your thing, a Knit Bow [Ravelry Link] can be attached to a bobby pin, barrette or hair tie to dress up your hairdo. Tame bad hair days with a Slip Stitch Headband [Ravelry Link] (knit) or Perfect Picnic Headband (crochet).

For the Home

Re-usable wash cloths and cleaning cloths are not just earth-friendly - they're also fun, instant-gratification projects that are great for gifting! Knit or crochet up a stash during the summer months using your favorite stitch pattern, or one of these fabulous free patterns: Basketweave Scrubbie [Ravelry link] (crochet), Magnolia Springs Dishcloth [Ravelry Link] (crochet), Whispering Pines Wash Cloth [Ravelry Link] (crochet), Reusable Cotton Rounds [Ravelry Link] (crochet), Easy as Pie Dishcloth [Ravelry Link] (knit), Leafy Washcloth [Ravelry Link] or the Silver Sands Wash Cloth (knit) and Spa-Riffic Wash Cloth (knit) from our own blog archive!


Protect furniture with colorful coasters to knit or crochet! Use up leftover bits of yarn with the Brioche Fade Coaster [Ravelry Link] (knit), Linen Stitch Coasters [Ravelry Link] (knit), Aurora Coaster [Ravelry Link] (crochet) or  Fringy Boho Coasters [Ravelry Link] (crochet). If you want to add a whimsical touch to your decor, try the Cactus Coasters [Ravelry Link] (crochet), Sun's Out! Drink Coasters [Ravelry Link] (crochet), Egg or Avocado (knit), or Kitty Coasters [Ravelry Link] (knit).

Or, spruce up your walls with a trendy wall hanging! From funky to fun, these free patterns have you covered: Be Kind Mini C2C Wall Hanging [Ravelry Link] (crochet), Chase the Rainbow [Ravelry Link] (crochet), Brighton Wall Hanging [Ravelry Link] (crochet), Pineroot [Ravelry Link] (knit), Rainbows in the Windows [Ravelry Link] (knit),or Wall Hanging [Ravelry Link] (knit).

Summer Tops

Craving a slightly bigger project? Crop tops and tank tops are hot right now! Jessie Maed designs is offering the Summer Secret Crop Top [Ravelry Link] (knit) as a free download during the COVID-19 crisis; other free options include the Streamline Tank [Ravelry Link] (knit), Notched Hem Tank Top [Ravelry Link] (knit), Sagebrush Tank Top [Ravelry Link] (crochet), Summertime Tank [Ravelry Link] (crochet) and Skylar Ribbed Crop Top [Ravelry Link] (crochet).

We hope you feel inspired to keep knitting and crocheting all summer long - make sure to share what's on your Knitter's Pride needles and hooks by using #knitterspride in your posts!

Colorwork Knitting Resources

There's still time to join our Colorwork Charity Craft-along, featuring a FREE stranded colorwork pattern, A Precious Resource, designed by Michael Harrigan. Click here for all the details!

This pattern is a great entry level into colorwork knitting - in fact, below is one of the finished projects shared in our Ravelry thread by carolmcq. Would you believe that this was her first successful color work projects?!


We'd like to inspire more of our wonderful fans to give color work knitting a try this summer, so we've rounded up some of our favorite resources for learning and perfecting the art of knitting with more than 1 color of yarn on today's blog post. Enjoy!


If you're totally new to colorwork knitting, get your feet wet with Stranded Colorwork 101 from Brooklyn Tweed. This comprehensive introduction to Colorwork knitting covers chart reading, techniques for maintaining even tension, and guidelines for maintaining color dominance in your work.

Confused about the difference between stranded, fair isle, mosaic and intarsia? This post from our own blog archive introduces you to each technique. If you're new to both Colorwork knitting and working from charts, don't miss this fabulous blog tutorial from kelbourne Woolens.

Visual learners will want to watch this video from Staci Perry of Very Pink Knits, which shows how to work with multiple colors of yarn in your knitting project. Staci draws on her many years of color work knitting to share tons of tips and tricks that even experienced knitters will find helpful.



Knitwear designers - especially those who specialize in colorwork knitting patterns - are another great resource for tips and techniques. At the start of this year, Vickie Howell shared her favorite colorwork knitting tips in this episode of Ask Me Monday. LaVisch designs helps you pick out colors, manage tension and fix mistakes in this helpful blog post. Miriam Felton also shares her top color work knitting tips in this blog post.


Once you're perfected stranded colorwork knitting, why not give Fair Isle a try? Check out this great blog post from Tin Can Knits to get you started.

You can also work on refining your skills with Andrea Rangel's 7 Tips to Improve Your Colorwork and this blog post which shares 3 tips for quicker color work knitting.

Got a colorwork knitting tip or favorite tutorial not listed here? Share it with us in the comments!

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Tips for Changing Seasons & Spring Pattern Round-Up

As the seasons change in the northern hemisphere, it's time to pack away warm winter woolens in favor of lightweight, breathable garments and accessories. But before you store your handmade projects for the season, make sure to wash everything first!

There are many specially-made wool washes on the market that condition fibers while removing dirt and grime which can attract unwanted pests. Your nearest Knitter's Pride retailer should be able to recommend a wool wash, along with any other supplies you may need - we always recommend keeping a set of Blocking Mats and Knit Blockers handy, and if you knit a lot of lace, you may want to add a set of Blocking Wires to your toolbox as well. We have a free tutorial on washing and blocking handmade projects here our blog archive for anyone who needs a refresher on the washing and blocking process.


Moths, in particular, are something that every wool lover dreads; for tips on mothproofing your woolen wear, check out this post on the Martha Stewart website. Should you discover an infestation at any point, don't panic! Click here to tips on managing the situation on the Red Handled Scissors blog.

Warmer weather may also mean changes in the kinds of projects you like to knit and crochet! While many of our fans craft year-round (and some will even keep making sweaters no matter how hot it gets!), some folks set their needles and hooks aside for the season. But with all of the extra time at home this spring, why not keep your hands busy with a project that fits the season?

Smaller projects like socks, fingerless mitts and hats are quick to make and won't make you hot by resting in your lap the way a larger project would. That doesn't mean that shawls and sweaters are out of the question, though! Look for patterns which use lighter weights of yarn (think lace and fingering) and incorporate more breathable fibers such as cotton, bamboo, and flax, into your wool routine (even blending these fibers with wool will help!).

Let us inspire your next project with one of these fabulous free patterns!

Free Knitting Patterns

Brighten up your living space or home office with a Mini Rainbow by Amanda Davies! If you have any loved ones who must wear a face mask for prolonged periods of time,  use up leftover bits of yarn to knit a few of Lady C's Ear Savers to reduce irritation caused by the elastic loops which hold the mask in place. The Fadewalker Fingerless Mitts by Elizabeth Abiate is perfect for gradient or self-striping yarns in your stash, or rounding up several coordinating colors if you prefer. Practice your intarsia skills with The Ombis by Amy Singer, which appears in the Spring + Summer issue of Knitty. The Twilight Cowl by Sara Anthony-Boon has an interesting construction and is inspired by the Aurora Borealis. Sock knitters will enjoy the bold geometric design found on the Mitsuuroko Socks by Raeli Masina. Or, join our current charity craft-along, which has a color work theme and a fabulous free cowl pattern, A Precious Resource by Michael Harrigan!


Free Crochet Patterns

The Easiest Ear Savers by Jessica Underwood is a beginner-friendly pattern that's also great for using up scrap yarn. Scrunchies are making a comeback, and you can quickly whip up an entire rainbow of with the Ruffled Scrunchie by Crochet n' Create. The Crochet Rainbow by Crafting Happiness can be made with scrap yarn in your stash and proudly displayed in your window or used as a wall hanging.  Whip up a pair of lightweight, lacy fingerless mitts with the Evies Eternities Gloves by Heidi Eisner. Vickie Howell's Singles Summer Scarf is a beautiful project designed especially for the fingering weight singles lurking in your stash. Keep cool with the Off The Shoulder Crop Top by Designs by Key, which comes in sizes ranging from XS-5X. For our fans who love both Star Wars and crochet, check out Amilyn by Rebecca Velasquez, which is inspired by a special-occasion dress worn by Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo that is translated into a lacy open-work top.



Wishing you a safe & happy spring - make sure to share what's on your Knitter's Pride needles and hooks by using #knitterspride in your posts!

Free Knitting Pattern & KCAL: A Precious Resource Colorwork Cowl

Our next Charity Craft-along for 2020 is here! Many of us are spending more time at home, and we invite all of our fans to give color work knitting a try using this new free pattern from designer Michael Harrigan!

About Our Featured Designer

Michael Harrigan is a knitwear accessory designer based in Bangkok, Thailand. He enjoys traveling the world for inspiration for his designs and specializes in lace knitting and stranded colorwork.

Over the past several years he has designed patterns for accessories, such as scarves and cowls, shawls, other types of wraps, and hats. Many have been self-published, several have been produced for major yarn companies, and others have featured in online and print magazines.

Michael has been certified by The Knitting Guild Association as a Master Knitter, Knitting Technical Editor, and Knitting Judge.  If you'd like to learn more about Michael and his designs, visit his website or view his Ravelry page here.

Explore more of Michael's designs during this KCAL with coupon code Rainforest150, giving you $1.50 off any single pattern until June 30, 2020 - click here to shop Michael's Ravelry store.


Free Knitting Pattern: A Precious Resource by Michael Harrigan

A Precious Resource is knit in the round and is suitable for anyone with basic colorwork knitting skills – as only two colors are involved on any round. This cowl / neck warmer features stranded colorwork patterns inspired by the world’s endangered rainforests - in fact, one of Michael's favorite charities is The Coalition for Rainforest Nations, which is dedicated to helping tropical governments and communities responsibly manage their rainforests to combat climate change and incentivize conservation


Please note, you will be subscribed to the Knitter's Pride newsletter; if you already get our emails, simply enter your address to confirm and download the pattern.


How to Participate

  • Knit ANY of Michael's colorwork patterns or Crochet a colorwork design of your choosing during the course of this KCAL, which takes place Friday, May 8 through Friday, June 26, 2020. 
  • Share your finished photos here in our Ravelry group, or post them on Facebook or Instagram using the #knitterspride and #KPCharityKCAL hashtags to be entered in our prize drawing (more on that in a moment!).
  • Donate your finished project to someone in need! If you need a few suggestions, try checking with local organizations such as hospitals, shelters or hospices, or you can send your donations to Wool Aid, where they will be given to those who need them most. 

Colorwork Charity Craft-Along: Prizes

We have 3 great prizes up for grabs: a Deluxe SmartStix Interchangeable Set, a Size 12 Rainbow Row Counter Ring, and a set of Nirvana Pom Pom Makers

All projects meeting the requirements above which are finished between May 8, 2020 - June 26, 2020 will be eligible in our prize drawing. We will randomly select our 3 lucky winners from those who have shared their finished sock projects here in our Ravelry group, or on Facebook or Instagram using the #KPCharityKCAL hashtag. We will notify the winners via direct message after June 26. 

We can't wait to see what you make!

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