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Birds Chirping, Bees Searching, Crochet Animals Abound

Yes birds are chirping these days and it seems like our “winter” weather has taken a vacation from us here in So Cal. Bees are coming out of hibernation too. While bees are nice to see pollinating flowers, I do not care for them when they search out our fireplace and enter our apartment.

Gizmo kitty got an up-close introduction to several of them, getting stung on the face and cheek. A quick trip to the vet, a shot of Benadryl and he was back to his antics within 48 hours. Here’s hoping the exterminator’s spray is able to keep the bees at bay and not use our fireplace as a new home.

      

March went out like a lion, so to say, with lots of animal custom orders. Lee started taking a couple of my crochet animals to work with him, and within 2 weeks, 10 animals were sold. With more orders, came more work. While some of my favorites sold; i.e. piggy, party penguin, octupods, new animals were popular like the Happy Car, Big Ear Bunny and Teddy Bear made with Caron Sprinkle Cakes yarn. All in all, March had 22 sales.

April is for my consignor. Last weekend we drove down to her shop in Laguna Beach, about 90 minutes away, to deliver some animals. At that time, I inventoried her current stock and she placed her order for more ocean related animals: octopus, squid, mermaid, seal, walrus, hippo, you get it, water related critters.

Baggy and Gizmo are so thrilled to know my crochet animals are heading to their new homes. They will miss all the yarn tails, ball and strands that were play toys for their entertainment.

Until next time, when the 6th LA Yarn Crawl comes around April 19th thru April 22nd. 26 stores, lots of free knit and crochet patterns, trunk shows, giveaways and miles and miles of driving the freeways.

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As Good As Gold Knit Hat with Tassle, A FREE Pattern

As the Winter Olympics have come to a close and the cauldron is now extinguished, I can say I enjoyed these Olympics. I watched many hours of programming, recording some events, watching others live, or was it really live. Chloe Kim winning Snowboard Half Pipe had everyone talking. You may not be talking about her, but it was her knit hat that had everyone talking.

Where did she get that hat? Where can I get one? Wait a minute, I can knit that hat. I may not have that exact yarn that was used for the hat, or the USA emblem on it, but a hat can be knitted up. Time to check out my stash of yarn and let’s figure out a pattern for it.

I found some yarn to knit with: Lion Brand Hometown yarn, in the colorway Los Angeles Tan; Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick, in the colorway Natural Cream. The knitting needles used: US15 – 10mm, 16 inch circular needles. Make sure to have double pointed needles, or another US15 circular needles for decrease section. These can be purchased at your local yarn shops, but if you like more options, Love Knitting has a great selection of super bulky, super chunky yarns like Blue Sky Fibers Bulky, Cascade Lana Grande, Plymouth Yarn Encore Mega, just to name a few.

Now for the pattern. From all the photos of Chloe Kim, it looks like the pattern is be quite easy. Knit 1, Purl 1, repeat until desired size. Its figuring out how many stitches to cast on. With several attempts of, I decided to use 40. So here is the pattern:

Cast On 41 stitches. Normally you would just attach first stitch to last stitch and knit. But for this pattern, and all of my patterns when knitting in the round, cast on 1 additional stitch, Knit 1, Pass the last stitch that was cast on over the Knit Stitch. That is your first stitch, your next stitch will be Purl 1. Then continue with the pattern.

*K1, P1, repeat all the way around. Place a stitch marker after the last stitch of the round.

Continue until the hat measures between 10 inches from edge to needles. Fold up the edge, try on the hat. You can knit it longer if you want the ribbing taller. Time to decrease, then bind off. You will be decreasing in knit stitches only, as it is easier than trying to figure out which stitch

Decrease for top of Hat

Next Rnd: * Slip next 2 sts as if to knit, one at a time, to right hand needle; insert left hand needle into fronts of these 2 sts and knit them together, purl the next 2 sts together; repeat from * around – you’ll have 20 sts at the end of this rnd.

Next Rnd: *Knit 1, purl 1; repeat from * around.

Next Rnd: * Slip next 2 sts as if to knit, one at a time, to right hand needle; insert left hand needle into fronts of these 2 sts and knit them together; repeat from * around – you’ll have 10 sts.

Cut yarn, leaving a long yarn tail. Thread yarn tail into blunt needle and then weave through the sts of the last rnd. Pull to close top of Hat and knot yarn. Your hat is finished, wear until you get the tassles cut.

To cut tassles, cut a piece of yarn, about 8 inches long and set aside. With the remainder of the skein of yarn, wrap yarn around a small container like the tools box shown , or you can wrap around your hand. Count about 4o wraps. Take the piece of yarn, thread it with large eye needle, insert into one edge of box, and tie it tight. Take your scissors and cut through the yarn on the opposite side to create strips. Now sew to top of hat on the inside, making sure you weave the yarn tails around the top of the hat. Knot and cut.

The hat is done, and you will be the envy of all those that want the hat. Be sure to post to your social media site with the hash tag #YarnKat. I would love to see what your hat looks like, send me photos and I will add them to my social media pages.

Copyright 2018 Kathy Bartholomew Designs. Please to do copy this pattern and claim it as yours. You may link back to me here @YarnKat as the originator of the pattern. Feel free to sell items made from the pattern.

P.S. Baggy cat has recovered from his surgical procedure, as you can see in his photo. He now has a “cauliflower” ear.  It will never be straight, but he is happier since the drain is removed. He’s back to his old self, playing with Gizmo and, each chasing each other throughout the apartment.

 

 

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The Year of WIPs continues, Valentine’s Day Crafting Suggestions

As the year of WIPs continues, I have completed 3 projects that were started last year. Take a look at the lovely Tunisian Crochet scarf that I made with 2 hanks of hand dyed yarn. It is from Expression Fiber Arts, and it’s their Dewy DK yarn. As their website states: a mix of superwash merino wool (70%), nylon (20%) and silk (10%). It is super soft, lots of bounce and with the majority of it wool, it will definitely keep you warm. Thanks goes out to fellow knitting guild member, Merilyn Burnside, for teaching this class.

The other WIPs is the South Bay Shawlette, a Lion Brand pattern. As you can see, it is a nice size for cooler days and nights. When I picked up the cake, the first thing that came to my mind was sunsets.

   

And finally the Knit Shawl, Take Cover! By Katarzyna Baranska, a paid pattern on Ravelry. I used 1 hank of Malabrigo Mechita. I just need to block it as the top edge does curl and I want all the beautiful lace work to show through.

Now on to some fun projects for Valentine’s Day

Cute Little Hearts are the perfect start on projects. This heart can be crocheted quickly and added to all sorts of items. It takes just some scraps of yarn and a H – 5mm crochet hook. In just a few minutes you can crochet a little heart. Here is the instructions for the little heart:

Scraps of Yarn: red, pink, lilac, purple, white

H (5mm) Crochet Hook

Darning Needle and Scissors

Stitches Used: CH-chain; DC-double crochet; Treble Crochet; SS-slip stitch

Leave a long Tail, with the Magic Loop, do the following in the loop:

Chain 3

                                                                                                         Treble Crochet 3 times, Chain 1

                                                                                                       Double Crochet 3 times, Chain 1

                                                                 Treble Crochet 1 time, Chain 1; Double Crochet 3 times, Chain 1

                                                                                  Treble Crochet 3 times, Chain 3; Slipt Stitch into loop

                                                                                                        Pull loop tight and your heart is done

With this little heart, you can make all kinds of fun items. Just take a look at these gems:

 

                                                                                      Sew them to hair clips; Attach them to hoop earrings

 

                                                                                                                         Make a necklace

For the necklace, the sample shown just make a chain of at least 140 stitches, slip stitch each chain, add a 2nd color, slip stitch those stitches, cut yarn, take another color or use first color, and slip stitch across. Sew both ends to back of hearts, and you have a cute necklace.

How about coffee cup cozies, 2 versions, one to wrap around your coffee mug and 1 to take with you for your favorite brew from the local coffee house.

For the coffee cup cozy with handle, chain between 30 and 40 stitches. The length of the chain should wrap around the cup, but meet up to both sides of the handle, without touching.

Half double crochet in 2nd chain from hook, hdc in each remaining chain.

Turn, hdc in each stitch for 8 rows. Chain 1, single crochet along side of cozy, until you get half way up, about 3-5 stitches, chain 16, slip stitch into same space as the chain stitch, single crochet to the end and bind off. Add a cute button, I got this heart shaped button at JoAnn’s.

For paper cup cozy, chain 30, slip stitch to first chain to form a circle, being careful not to twist chains. *Chain 1, hdc in each chain around, ending with a slip stitch in top of beginning chain 1. Repeat from *, for a total of 10 rounds. Bind off, weave in ends on inside. Attach heart and you are ready to go.

A couple more ideas (sorry no, photos) you can do with the little heart:

  1. Stitch 2 hearts together from the top, leaving the bottom point open and, add a little fiberfill stuffing, and place on top of a Valentine pencil and either glue it shut or tie it closed so the eraser can be used.
  2. Seam 2 hearts together, add some catnip, and it becomes a kitty toy
  3. Attach 2 hearts together, add crushed lavender and herbs and it becomes a sachet.
  4. Add hearts to handmade or store bought headband
  5. Sew hearts together to create a cute bracelet.

One Little Valentine Heart, many ways to accessorize just for Valentines Day. What will you come up with? See you soon, when I will have a review on a new product I found at my local JoAnn’s store.

 

 

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Merry Holidays and Cyber Monday

Merry Holidays and Cyber Monday to you all.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Leftovers were eaten, and the belly was full. YarnKitties enjoyed their little turkey dinners too.

Now its crunch time for my 3 upcoming holiday events. I am busy crocheting animals the next 2 weeks. Then I can relax for the remainder of the year.

Just a heads up, YarnKat moves to another web host site soon. It will be down starting Dec 3 thru Dec 12th as we migrate from one hosting service to another.
However, you will still be able to reach YarnKat through the YarnKat social media accounts.

As my gift to you for your patience, please feel free to take 50% off each pattern listed. This is a limited time offer, so grab those patterns while you can.
Thank you for your continued support of YarnKat.

See you soon!

Christmas-Tree

Upcoming Holiday Arts & Crafts Shows for December

After much anticipation, I will be participating in 3 holiday arts & crafts boutiques in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Flyers are posted on the SHOWS page so you can read all the details about each event. You will be able to find me at the following locations:

Saturday December 2, 2017 Miracle on Main Street & Centennial Holiday Tree Lighting event.

Time: 1:00pm to 6:00pm.

Location: Library Park, 111 W. Mariposa Ave El Segundo

The tree lighting ceremony will be at 5:30pm. Train Rides, Craft Boutique, Carolers, Food, Live Entertainment

 

Merry Christmas

 

Sunday, December 10, 2017 35th Annual Christmas Boutique, Wilson Park

Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm

Location: 2200 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA between Carson St and Sepulveda Blvd

Handcrafted Goods, One of a Kind Gifts, Food Vendors, Photos with Santa, Children’s Crafts

 

Sunday, December 10, 2017 Mar Vista Holiday Boutique (pop up shop)

Time: 10:00am to 3:00pm

Location: 3412 Keeshen Drive Los Angeles, CA

Yes, you see 2 events on the same day. I will be at the Mar Vista event and my husband Lee will be at Wilson Park event.

Get your holiday shopping done, have some fun.

Holiday Boutique 2017 Supporting the MVSEG

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Giving Thanks to You, Part 2, With a Free Pattern

 

The past 2 weeks have been quite busy for me here at casa YarnKat. My consignee at Buy Hand – Laguna Beach placed an order for extra animals for 2 events the shop will be having, so my work stopped and the animals have been crocheted and delivered. Then our newest YarnKitten, Gizmo, got, um, neutered. Uncle Baggy is taking good care of him while he recuperates.

Thanksgiving just a week away now and the next FREE PATTERN is my QUICK KNIT FINGERLESS MITTS. They are knit with super bulky #5 or #6 yarn like Lion Brand Hometown USA, Bernat Softee Chunky, Premiere Yarns Deborah Norville Everyday Chunky, Plymouth Yarn Encore Mega or Malabrigo Rasta. One skein/hank of at least 75 yards will make the mitts.

 

For 1 week only, the pattern will be free, after that it will be $4.00 in my pattern shop.

If you prefer to have just the written pattern, without all of the dialog, please go to the patterns section and grab it HERE.

The sample shown is made with Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn, in Cincinnati Red color, #6 Super Bulky, 5oz (142 gm), 81yds (74m), US 10½, (6.5mm) straight knitting needles.

Lion Brand Hometown USA Bernat Softee Chunky

 

Materials

1 skein/hank Chunky yarn

US 10½ (6.5mm) straight knitting needles

Large darning needle

Scissors

Removable Stitch Marker

 

Terminology

K-knit               P-purl              BO-bind off                RS-right side

 

Notes:

Since I do not have 9inch circular needles, these mitts are knit flat, leaving a long tail to stitch the side seams together.

 

Instructions

Row 1: With a long tail, using Long Tail Cast On, cast on 20 stitches

Row 2: *Knit 2 (K2), Purl 2 (P2), *repeat across to end of row, turn

Row 3-6: Repeat row 2, turn (5 rows of ribbing) measures about 2 inches

Row 7: Knit across (place removable stitch marker at beginning of row), this will be RS

Row 8: Knit 2, Purl to last 2 stitches, K2.

Rows 9-23 Repeat Rows 7 & 8 until piece measures 5 inches long from cast on edge to needle, (approximately 15 rows)

Rows 21-25: Repeat Row 2 (k2, p2) for 5 rows.

Bind off in k2, p2, leave a long tail.

Assembly

Starting at bind off edge, fold right side together (place removable stitch marker told in place) and whipstitch down the 5 rows of ribbing, making sure you stitch tight to close the seam. Leave tail for now and go to opposite edge of mitt, whipstitch from bottom up the ribbing, place mitt on hand and continue to stitch closed until you feel comfortable with the thumb opening.

My Little Helper

 

If you did not leave a long tail on one end, you can weave in thru the stitches to get to opposite side and finish stitching seam closed. Repeat for other mitt, turn inside out, and you are ready to wear. When finished I had 2 ounces of the original 5 ounces remaining. If the ribbing had been shortened, there would have been enough to make a second pair. Something to consider if you do not want to have any leftover yarn.

These mitts make great gifts, you can wear them while knitting or crocheting, walking the dog in the morning, or driving.

Feel free to leave comment on this free pattern. I would love to see your mitts, so be sure to post your pictures on Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and hash tag #yarnkat #quickmitts

 

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Giving Thanks To YOU with a Free Pattern

The holidays are fast approaching, Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away, and YarnKat is 1 year old. I am thankful for your support of my blog and website. In order to show my thanks I am giving you a FREE CROCHET PATTERN that can be made in 1 day or 2 days. This pattern is a crochet scarf. For 1 week only, the pattern will be free, after that it will be $4.00 in my pattern shop.

You using this yarn? It’s fits my head perfectly.

 

I call this my Rolling Along Infinity Scarf.  The  scarf is an easy pattern for the novice crocheter, the more experienced will find it can be crocheted it in a short time. The sample shown is in Premier Yarns Sweet Roll Cake, in colorway Pink Swirl. It is an acrylic yarn, worsted weight #4, with 245 yards. It is machine washable, and the recommended hook size is US I-9 (5.5mm).

Other yarn choices: Vanna’s Choice (2 skeins), Red Heart Unforgettable (1 skein), Bernat Pop Cake Yarn (1 skein), Plymouth Yarn Company’s Encore (1 to 2 skeins), even Red Heart Super Saver Soft or With Love and Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn. These are all economical choices, each being less than $8 per skein

The crochet hook we will be using is US J-10 (6mm). In choosing this hook, there will be more loft, more flow to the scarf. It will not look so stiff because the larger hook eases the tension of the yarn.

If you prefer to have just the written pattern, without all of the dialog, please go to the patterns section and grab it here: https://yarnkat.com//?product=rolling-along-infinity-scarf

Materials

1 Sweet Roll Cake, or 245 yds of worsted weight, like Vanna’s Choice, Crochet Hook J-10, darning needle, tape measure, scissors and piece of cardboard (to make fringe/tassles)

Sweet Roll Cake yarn

 

Terminology

Ch-chain, SC-single crochet, DC-double crochet, V-stitch

Chain 3 counts as double crochet

Sample scarf measures 72 inches

Pull yarn from center pull.

 

Pull yarn out from center of cake, Chain 24; sc in 2nd ch from hook; sc in each remaining chain; Turn

Chain 3, skip next stitch, V stitch in next stitch; skip 2 sts, V stitch in next stitich, repeat across to last 2 sts, skip next stitch, double crochet in last stitch. Turn

Chain 3, V stitch in each chain 1 stitch from previous row’s V stitch. Double crochet in top of chain 3 st.

Close up of the V Stitch. Do you see “V’s”?

 

Repeat last row until you are almost out of yarn. Or if you do not want to make infinity scarf, you can crochet scarf at least 60 inches and bind off and take remaining yarn and add fringe/tassles to ends.

Spread the word, I would love to see your scarf. Post it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Ravelry.

Stayed tuned for my next post. I will be offering a  Knitting item. I would love to hear what you have to say about YarnKat. Feel free to share your scarf with me. Post it to Facebook, Instagram, Ravelry, Pinterest with the hastag #YarnKat  #RollingAlong.

Baggy here: a FREE pattern? My human is so generous.
BaggyInClouds

The Granny Square Is Not Just Afghans Anymore

Granny square purse

 

The Granny Square has come a long way, baby. From the early days of crochet squares stitched together to make a throw for the back of the sofa to models strutting down the runway in designer granny square clothes.
A staple for crocheters with balls of leftover yarns, the granny square lives on not only in afghans, but you would be surprised at how much it has expanded. Clothing, bedding, pillows, hats, scarves, bags and purses, even jewelry. With a crochet hook and a knowledge of double crochets, you can make art out of little balls of leftover yarn.

granny loveys

Whether you choose a color scheme for just go random, the granny square is making a comeback for the next generation. Now you probably won’t see the granny vest worn, but you may see a scarf or a hat, or a knit top accented with granny squares.

Triangle grannies found on Pinterest

And the granny is not just a square, it’s a triangle, a rectangle, a pentagon, even a circle. BobWilson123 http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bias-granny-shawl has a great bias granny shawl pattern that is easy to follow. The shawl I crocheted is that pattern.

Granny colors scarf from Lanas de Ana

Stripes, solids, variegated yarns can all work with the granny. It’s up to you to decide what colors, yarns, hooks, designs you use to create your granny.

granny bracelets found on Pinterest

The internet is a great place to find your inspiration for the granny square. Pinterest shows many styles of the granny in all shapes, sizes and colors. What will be your inspiration to crochet something granny?
I would love to hear about and see your granny square creations.

Kathy, get me off this thing! I’m not Nyan Cat!
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The Weight Of The Yarn, The Size Of The Animal

Here we are, heading into the last days of August, the end of summer, back to school, changing into fall weather and the holidays will be fast approaching.

I have been preparing for my fall and winter arts and crafts shows. Applications are being mailed, hoping to get into events from the past, and I am waiting for the application process to open up for those highly sought-after December boutiques.

Baggy– not sure about those lady bugs

 

This week, I crocheted a couple animals of varying yarn weights. Weights, for those that don’t know, are the varying thicknesses of the yarn. Weights range from 0 (Lace) as ROWAN KidSilk Haze to 7 (Jumbo) like BERNAT Mega Bulky yarn. I have knitted with the Bernat Mega Bulky yarn, using size 19 needles for a blanket. Sadly, lace weight yarn is too thin for me to see the stitches.

Ladybugs

The ladybugs you see were crocheted with 2 different weight yarns. The large ladybug used Bernat Softee Chunky yarn, a 6 (Super Bulky) gauge and H (5.00mm) crochet hook and the smaller one, Red Heart Super Saver, a 4 (Medium) weight and a G (4.25mm) hook. The pattern was purchased on Etsy, from designer daveydreamer.

As you can see, there is quite a difference in size. The large ladybug measures 10 inches long by 6 inches tall by 7 inches wide. The smaller ladybug measures 6 ½ inches long by 4 inches tall by 5 inches wide. It’s fun to take a pattern, use another weight yarn, and see the differences it can make. Same pattern, big results.

Micropods, from left: Red Heart With Love, Serenity Chunky, Bernat Baby Blanket

 

The same can be said for the micropods shown. Whether its Red Heart With Love yarn, Premier Yarns Serenity Chunky or Bernat Baby Blanket, the same pattern can have varying results. I love to mix up the yarns and make various sizes of animals. Who says you have to follow the guidelines of a particular pattern. Mix it up, use a thicker yarn for a larger animal or a thinner yarn for a smaller animal.

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Patterns, Websites, Instructions, Oh My

Knit Afternoon Tea

I love the internet. It is packed with a plethora of information. It is easy to spend hours and hours looking at pictures, patterns, web sites, emails of all things knit and crochet. For a new knitter or crocheter, it can be quite overwhelming trying to find the right pattern to knit or crochet. Over the years of frolicking the web, I find that there are a few websites and blogs that I tend to return to more than others. Here are just a few locations that I think are quite helpful for those of us afflicted with yarn:

RAVELRY Here you can find all kinds of information about yarns, patterns, designers, people, groups. If you are looking for information on a particular yarn, you can search for it on Ravelry. I have recently been purchasing beautiful designer yarns and some of those yarns only have the name of the company and the yarn color. I am not too familiar with yardage on cones, so I search for the yarn, and Ravelry pulls up all the information I need: ounces, yards, grams, needle size recommended, hook size recommended, if its discontinued or not, even other colors.

It’s also one of the places for patterns, patterns, and more patterns. Whether they are Free or A Fee, you can definitely spend hours just on Ravelry searching for patterns. Last week, my library of patterns was 10 pages, about 500 patterns. I edited the library and now it has 400 patterns in it. I have not knit or crocheted each of them, but right now I have 8 WIPs (works in progress) of patterns on page 1.

I have decided to revisit a shawl that took 1 year to complete. It’s called Afternoon Tea, a knit shawl by Helen Stewart. In 2012, my knitting guild chose this shawl as its quarterly knit item. The first time I had tried to knit it, I got about half way done, and put it away to be finished at another time. I was insecure about my knitting techniques at that time. One year later I picked it up and finished it in a weekend, and it sold at an event I was participating in. Now with new yarn on the needles, I am already half way done with it. My skills have improved quite a bit this past year, and I feel comfortable knitting the pattern.

ALL FREE CROCHET/ALL FREE KNITTING. I receive their newsletters which are filled with many ideas. In each email, you can easily get 10 patterns to try to knit or crochet. Whether it’s a scarf, hat, shawl, afghan, baby blanket, you will find many patterns to choose from, ALL FREE. That’s right, no charge to you.

LION BRAND YARN. This is the first website I ever visited, way back in 2001. In fact, I learned how to crochet animals from Lion Brand. My first animal was a turtle I crocheted in 2003; 14 years later, I still crochet it. The step by step instructions are easy to follow. The patterns use Lion Brand yarns. If the yarn is discontinued, it will give you suggestions for other Lion Brand yarns.

Turtle

Some of the patterns I knit and crochet with are from Bloggers that I have followed for years. These include:

MOOGLY. Tamara has been crocheting and blogging for years. One of my all-time favorite patterns is for a shawl called Fortune’s Shawlette. The shawl can be made with any yarn, no matter the gauge, from lace weight to chunky yarn. She has great tutorials on her blog, along with many patterns.

REPEAT CRAFTER ME. Sarah is another crocheter and blogger who is known for her C2C—corner to corner —afghans. I found her while researching kid’s character hats, and her daughter is her model for her hats and all things kids. One of my all-time favorite patterns is Penguin Earflap Hat. Her hats include all sizes from infant to adult, all easy to follow with plenty of pictures and details.

Penguin hat

These are just a few sites that I find both informative and educational. What are your favorites websites? Comment below and let’s see what we can come up with.

YarnKat trainee

Gizmo here: My roommate and mentor Baggy is taking a little R&R because of a bad tummy. So he asked me to fill in and let you know about Kathy’s FREE patterns! From now until August 12 all patterns are free. So, check them out and grab one or two. Hey, are you going to use that yarn?