Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Download Free Quick and Easy Knitting Patterns from the Internet

There are so many free knitting patterns on the Internet that you need never buy a knitting pattern again! Here is a selection of websites with some quick and easy knitting patterns that are free to download.

Frugal Haus has a wide range of free knitting and crochet patterns, from hats to baby toys to dishcloths. Many of the items can be knitted with scraps of leftover yarn. I like the pin cushion and the corner book mark.

Find a whole list of easy knitting and crochet patterns on crochetandknitting.com . You can knit a bandana for your dog, a bib for your baby, or some cute slippers for yourself.

All Free Crafts has some excellent ideas for knitting projects. I like the idea of knitting a beaded bracelet or a shopping bag knitted from old plastic grocery bags – that’s a great recycling idea!

A scarf is always easy to knit. You will be spoiled for choice on Knitting Pattern Central’s scarves page.

Do you have any favourite websites for downloading free knitting patterns?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sydney Opera House Cross Stitch

I bought this cross stitch kit from a shop in a small town in the Hunter Valley, the wine region north of Sydney, over 12 years ago, when we visited Sydney, Australia, on holiday for the first time.

At that time, in the 1990s, I was very much into cross stitch. I enjoyed completing this project as the Sydney Opera House is a building that I love. It was quite straightforward to complete because only eight colours are used.

It's strange that we ended up living in Sydney many years later! A couple of days ago, we walked along Circular Quay as the sun was setting in a pink sky. The Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour all looked extremely beautful in the setting sun. A few couples were having their wedding photographs taken there - how wonderful would it be to have this fantastic view as the background to your wedding photographs!

Budget details: The kit only cost a few dollars as it was in the 'clearance' basket. I bought the frame from a discount store, so the total cost was probably less than A$10 (about 5 British Pounds or US$7).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Recycle Paper and Card to Make Cute Little Notebooks

This weekend, after my dramas at the dentist, I was looking for a quick and easy craft project to lift my spirits. I decided to follow this Paint Sample Notebook Tutorial to make a couple of cute little notebooks.

As I didn't have any paint sample cards, I used a piece of blue card that had been part of a mailing I received during the week and piece of pink card left over from another craft project.

The tutorial was very easy to follow. I used pieces of scrap paper that were blank on both sides. The most time-consuming part of the creation process was cutting the pieces of paper down to the correct size. Once I had one piece of paper of the correct size, I used it as a template for cutting out the other pieces of paper.

The tutorial suggests using 20 sheets of paper in each notebook, but I used only 10, as I don't have a heavy duty stapler. My normal stapler coped with stapling 10 sheets to the card but I don't think it would have coped with 20.

I decorated the notebook with a few bits and pieces hanging around in my craft box. I cut out a frangipani flower from a piece of paper and stuck on a string of pink flowers at the bottom. As a finishing touch, I added the word 'notes' in stickers.

My daughter decorated the pink notebook, adding fairy stickers and her name and age! She then practiced her writing inside and challenged me to a few games of noughts and crosses!

I love the notebooks we made. They would be very useful to tuck inside your handbag (purse). I'm going to make some more and give them as extra gifts for birthdays and Christmas.

This is such a quick and easy craft project - anyone can do it! And, you don't need to buy any materials - just use up paper, card and decorations that you have lying around. You are recycling whilst creating something beautiful and useful!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Autumn is the Time to Start Knitting in Australia!

You know that autumn (fall) has arrived in Australia when you see balls of soft, brightly coloured yarn and knitting needles beginning to appear in the discount stores.

It was about this time last year that my daughter saw some nice pink and white yarn on sale and asked if I would knit her a sweater. So, I bought the yarn and looked on the Internet for a free pattern.

I wanted something that was quick and easy to knit, as I didn't want to concentrate too much while knitting and relaxing in front of the TV. I decided on this free pattern for a random stripes pullover knitted only in stocking stitch (knit one row, purl one row).

We changed the pattern a little - instead of stripes of three rows for each colour, we decided to alternate wider pink stripes of six rows per stripe with narrower white stripes of three row per stripe.

What I like about this pattern is that it is very adaptable. You could use up all of your left-over yarn and make a rainbow striped sweater for a little girl or boy, or you could knit the whole sweater in just one colour.

A year on, I'm close to finishing this sweater! I just have to finish the second sleeve and sew the whole thing up. I'll post a photo of it when it's finished. Hopefully, it will be ready for my daughter to wear when the weather gets colder...and, yes, it does get cold enough to wear a sweater in the autumn and winter in Sydney, Australia!

Budget details: I bought four balls of yarn from a discount store for a total of A$8 (and I will probably have at least one and a half balls left over). Two sets of knitting needles cost A$4, so the total cost of knitting this jumper was just A$12! That's about US$8.50 or 5.75 UK pounds.

Going back to this year, I was tempted to buy some new yarn for a new knitting project but, at the moment, I'm not sure what I'll make. I'll have a look on the Internet for a free pattern and then buy the correct amount of yarn.

If you live in Australia, take a look in your local discount store for yarn at great prices at this time of year. If you knit throughout the year, now is definitely the best time to stock up!
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