Archive for the tag 'free pattern'

Melissa

Sunday’s Child: Knit-O-Graf

Knit-O-Graf ad from 1959 McCalls Needlework & Crafts

Knit-O-Graf ad from 1959 McCalls Needlework & Crafts

Knit-to-Fit Snow White Graph

Knit-to-Fit Snow White Graph

Some day, a part of my needlework museum library will include a copy of every Knit-O-Graf and Knit-to-Fit chart published. I’m only up to 2 of each so far.

In the 1950s, knits featuring colorful pictures were all the rage, especially for children. Typical themes included cowboys, poodles, rocket ships, ice-skaters, adorable animals, clowns, and fairy tales. If you could find it on a dish towel, it was probably also on a sweater at some point. This trend really didn’t peter off until, well, ever. These days, you might find some more sophisticated designs for children; grown-up sweaters made small, but you’ll still find sweaters featuring kittens, ladybugs and choo choo trains. On the flip side, we’ve also incorporated more childlike designs into adult wear, giving grownups an in on the whimsical and cheerful that would have seemed too, too gauche not very long ago. This is lucky for everyone involved.

Big names in graphed knitting included the Knit-O-Graf and Knit-to-Fit charted patterns. When I found my first of these, I was ecstatic. Although they were designed for children, and the patterns sized appropriately, the clear charts are quirky and fun, and could be used to easily give a retro vibe to any sweater, whether for child or for adult. I own Knit-O-Graf patterns No. 170 and No. 206, featuring cowboys and poodles, and Knit-to-Fit patterns No. 410 and No. 416, featuring an ice skater and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The Snow White design includes a copyright notice for Walt Disney Productions, but it’s hard to tell whether this was an officially licensed design. That whole idea of character copyright and licensing was notoriously weird during the early half of the 20th century.

Knit-to-Fit Ice Skater

Knit-to-Fit Ice Skater

From a technical standpoint, the charts are very interesting. Written instructions are included, but with a basic understanding of increasing and decreasing, sweater construction, and how intarsia works, the graph itself is all you really need. Each of the charts includes instructions for both pullover and cardigan styles, as well as different sleeve lengths and neck options.

Included below is the chart for the figure skater from Knit-to-Fit pattern No. 410. Use it to spiff up an existing garment by working the chart in duplicate stitch, or practice your intarsia chops by adding her into a new garment. She’d be adorable on a sweater, scarf, hat, or possibly even mittens or socks, or on knitted dishclothes and towels. Recharted in a clean digital file, in color for ease of reading, at roughly 5:7 ratio. Choose your own colors, of course.

iceskater

Notes on copyrights: The Knit-O-Graf charts were designed and copyrighted by Della Delia Fitch and renewed in the 1980s by Nancy Karen Fitch Mott. They are still protected by copyright! They were distributed in Canada by Bouquet Yarns, and in the US by mail direct from the Knit-O-Graf Pattern Company. Knit-to-Fit charts were published during the same time period by Bernhard Ulmann Co, makers of Bear Brand, Fleisher’s, and Bucilla yarns. I cannot find any renewal information on the Knit-to-Fit charts. To the best of my knowledge the patterns are not still protected by copyright, however, designs featuring copyrighted characters may be otherwise protected. I always urge caution when approaching reproduction of such items. If I should be informed, or find information, that the chart I have provided is infringing in any way, it will be removed from the website as soon as possible.

Melissa

Friday’s Child: Nurse Hat

nurse One of the costumes I’ve put together for the haunted house this year is a nurse. Nurses are a standard in horror genre movies and games, and “sexy” nurse costumes aren’t hard to find year round. But we wanted something a little more authentic, with a bit more vintage feel. A lucky-find vintage nurse uniform blouse from the goodwill, a white skirt, stockings, red shoes and some hand-made accessories round out the costume.

The cap is based on research of vintage nurse caps and a bit of fiddling with some newsprint until I had a shape I liked. My model is made from some 100% cotton twill I picked up on clearance at Joann’s. It was 60″ wide fabric, and was half off the red sticker price, so I got one yard for $5, out of which I got the hat and the pleated pocket apron with only scraps left over. A pattern for the cap can be found here, and a pattern (or at least a recipe) for the apron will be posted in the next few weeks. The cap could easily be made out of white craft foam or felt for a much simpler but not as sturdy costume prop. My actor is actually pinning her hat in place, but has requested it be fixed to a headband for the future.

Melissa

Friday’s Child: Fancywork 1892

Fancywork 1892At a little antique store in Galesburg, IL I found a pair of crumbling newsprint magazines from the 1890′s. I bought them, of course. And here, for your viewing (and printing) pleasure, is the complete page of Fancywork from the October 15, 1892 Ladies Home Companion. Patterns include crocheted infant booties, square lace shawl, greek key lace trim, a knitted underwear edging and most interesting to me, a crocheted passementerie featuring nailhead and pendant beads, and designed to use as embellishment on skirts and dresses. Please note: Clicking on the small image to the left will take you to the high resolution version, which is sized to print at 300 dpi on a legal-sized sheet.

Melissa

Sunday’s Child: Babykins

A Jacket and Bonnet for Babykins is the next little vintage pattern PDF available from Lothruin.com. I love this little jacket, it’s so pretty. I think I’d like to make one that fit me! I wonder if I could get a me-sized gauge by just changing to a yarn instead of a thread. Hmmm. How heavy would I have to go to make it me-sized, and would it be ucky then? Anyway, if you’d prefer not to do the math, you can still make it for a baby. :D

babykins
http://www.lothruin.com/pdfs/babykins.pdf

Melissa

Friday’s Child: Frenchie

Some time ago I had the good fortune to find (and buy!) 8 issues of Needlecraft Magazine from the 20s and 30s. (OK, in fairness, one of the 8 was a McCalls Needlework and Crafts from 1948.) I’ll be putting together some patterns from these issues in PDF form. We’ll start with a charming little crocheted net beret from the August 1931 issue. The PDF also includes a crocheted net collar / cuff set and a dress yoke. If you have any questions, please let me know. As always, a thorough search of online copyright resources, including the renewal database at Standford and other resources, is performed before publishing any vintage pattern not obviously in the public domain.

frenchie
http://lothruin.com/pdfs/frenchie2.pdf

Melissa

Friday’s Child: Bathing Suit

Time for another free pattern! This one comes from a knitting/crochet booklet I bought without part of the cover. There isn’t a copyright date on the front cover, the back cover is missing, and I’ve never seen another copy of it with which to compare. Based on the model designer and the style shapes, I’m dating it to the early to mid 40′s, although it’s possible it’s a late 30′s booklet. I can find no copyright renewals for the copyright holder or for the designer. That all out of the way, the pattern is an adorable knitted bathing suit. No gauge is given, but I can tell you that the Shetland Floss would be a fingering weight wool or wool blend. Download the PDF here.

Melissa

Sunday’s Child: Ahoy matey!

Sunday’s Child focuses on happy children. The easy way out for a Sunday article is therefore a toy pattern. I’ve gone a step further and taken the exceptionally lazy way out by providing you with a scan of the pattern, but not even trying to enlarge it to useful proportions. The graphic is set at about 1 square = 1/2″ and should just fit on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet. It will then need to be enlarged by 400% for the sit-able size. However, the toy itself is sweet and whimsical, and is both stuffed animal and nursery furniture, and one can adjust the size to anything desired, from tiny to towering. My own child is outside the appropriate age group for this toy, or I’d make it myself. Added note: I love that it has a tattooed fin. So, without further ado, I present the Sit-on Whale from the Woman’s Day gift issue, November 1963.

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Melissa

Friday’s Child: Bedlam

It’s Friday, which means free pattern time! We’ll start with one that’s been around for a little while. It is a knitted hat pattern I call Bedlam. It was born of a strange combination of lackadaisy and ambition. You see, it was cold out and I wanted to take my dog for a walk. I’d been knitting for about five years, and was actually quite startled to realize that I didn’t have a hat. I live in Nebraska, and it gets very cold here. I have a basement full of yarn and a wide variety of skills to use it. It seemed like the universe was mocking me. That’s when ambition struck. I could just make myself a hat. It couldn’t take very long, especially if I used a bulky yarn, and I had plenty of stash I could use. I dug out a skein of Brown Sheep worsted and opted to use it doubled, and then I started knitting. I knew I wanted something more complex than stockinette, and cables are an easy way to add interest to hat. But that’s where the lackadaisy struck. I hate counting rows. I know it’s something I have to do, but I still hate it. I don’t know why. But then I thought, who cares if I count rows? I don’t have to count rows if I don’t want to, so there. The results are interesting and attractive, I think. But my dog never did get a walk that day. By the time my hat was finished, it was also windy and turning dark. Poor dog.

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If you are a crafty person, you may already be familiar with a paper craft technique called Iris Folding. The craft is most associated with greeting cards, but is also used by scrap-bookers and mixed media artists, and even quilters who duplicate the effect in fabric. Strips of folded paper are laid in a pattern resembling the iris of a camera, to fill the negative space cut from a piece of cardstock or other base. Any light-weight papers can be used for the folding, on a base of heavier cardstock, and there are numerous templates available for free online. All right, now that, spurned by my enthusiasm, you have rushed to the WWW to thoroughly familiarize yourself with this craft…

I’m afraid I’m a sort of rebel. The precision of iris folding appealed to me from the very beginning, and also the fact that it reminded me of a type of drawing I was taught in grade school to illustrate infinity. But I’ve tried my had at various methods of greeting-card making, and the truth is, I just don’t use them, and don’t enjoy making them. Also, I found a lot of the standard free templates a little too cute. It just wasn’t my style.

Some time after my introduction to iris folding, I was leafing through a book I’d been given; an old sample book of hand-made Japanese papers. The papers are all so beautiful, but of each there was only a 3″ x 6″ sample page, with writing printed in several places and holes punched in. I considered various ways I could use this paper in a sort of patchwork effect, to get the most bang for the buck, and eventually I hit on iris folding. It uses only small amounts of paper for the folded bits and with only a few exceptions, the Japanese papers were a good weight. But if I was going to use these very special papers, so precious because of their rarity, at least in my world, then I wanted a special project, and nothing I’d seen online would do. I understood the basics of the craft, so I set out to design my own template, and what could be more appropriate for Japanese papers than a Japanese koi?

It worked. It turns out I knew exactly what I was doing. I used a wide variety of papers, even for the white bits, to lend the fish the variety of texture and color of a real koi. Rather than leave it in a flat cardstock frame, I hand-painted a coffee filter to be reminiscent of water. The entire effect is subtle and pleasing, and it does a good job of showcasing the papers themselves.

If you’d like to try the koi, I’ve written basic instructions and drawn out the template. You can download it here. But I encourage you to spend some time squirreling away a little stash of special papers (if you don’t have one of these already) and then strike out on your own in a way to best showcase what you have.

Melissa

Monday’s Child: Ruth and Ruthie

Ruth and Ruthie

Ruth was my mother’s mother. She was a beautiful Bavarian woman, dignified and aristocratic, with refined tastes. She spent her childhood in the elegant environs of Nuremburg, Germany, the only child of wealthy parents. WWII changed many things about her life and her lifestyle. The years following saw her in love, the wife of a rancher in Wyoming, and just a handful of years more saw her a widow struggling to raise her three children in a somewhat inhospitable clime. But she did not lose her appreciation of fine and beautiful things, and that appreciation and recognition were gifts she passed to her children. Like most women of her generation, my Oma crocheted and knit. Many photos from her youth feature gorgeous and skillfully-wrought knits, and in her later years, when she was no longer able to handle her needles or hook, she was still inspired by luxurious yarns and fibers, beautiful colorways and the craftsmanship of knitting.

For our first Monday’s child, in honor of that love of beauty and elegance, I’m resurrecting my very first knitting pattern; a bolero jacket. Inspired by a photo from a Norwegian knitting magazine, I designed and knitted the jacket for myself out of Joann’s Sensations Licorice in a beautiful red colorway, and I wore it twice. The second time, my Aunt Marge told me my Oma would love it, so I slipped it off and gave it to her to take to Oma with my love. At that time, Oma was wheelchair-bound due to advanced MS and was often chilly. Sweaters either were too bulky and got bunched in the chair behind her or were too light to keep her warm. She loved the jacket and was delighted that I had learned to knit. She asked for another in shades of blue and green to compliment the other half of her wardrobe, and I knitted it for my Knitting Olympics project in 2006. My Oma passed away two days after Christmas in 2007 and the original red wool jacket was not found among her things, but my Knitting Olympics version in blues and greens was returned to me. Wearing it is like getting a hug from Oma. In her honor, I’ve named the bolero jacket Ruth. The modification for a shrug is Ruthie

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