Free Patterns: By Blue Sky Alpacas

Aug 13

Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern

Finally Blue Sky Alpacas released some free patterns. And look how lovely! Most look like Intermediate Level. All patterns in this post by Blue Sky Alpaca Yarns. And are free!

Aunt Aggie’s Trivet, Suri Hat, Java Cloche
Hot Water Bottle Cozy, Savannah Bow, Sporty Mittens
ZigZag Mittens and Hat. Shadow Capelet, Icehouse Hat

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Fiber Futures: Qiviut Yarn

Aug 01

QiviutQiviut Yarn. Photo by Emily Benson

What is Qiviut Yarn?
It is a yarn made from rare Qiviut fibers. Supposedly the softest fibers in the world, Qiviut is a special wool that comes from musk oxen. It can be used to make yarns which happen to be softer and warmer than Cashmere and light as a feather.

What Makes Qiviut So Special?
It’s stronger than wool yet softer than Cashmere and eight times warmer. And… it doesn’t shrink in the wash, no matter what temperature! It’s also special because the fibers are rare. Qiviut wool comes from animals known as Musk Ox which are only found in so many regions in the world.

Qiviut

Where Does Qiviut Come From?
The Arctic! Qiviut, pronounced “kiv-ee-ute”, is the word for Musk Oxen Down in the “Eskimo” language and comes from the Arctic Musk Ox.

It is actually the “down coat” from the musk ox which is the second, finer layer of fur underneath its outer coat known as its undercoat.

Each spring the musk ox will shed its coat and the Qiviut can be gathered. It is estimated there are only about 125,000 Musk Ox left in the world. From Siberia to Greenland with more than half of the world’s population residing in Canada. Very similar to Cashmere except Cashmere comes from a goat’s down coat!

QiviutQiviut Qiviut Qiviut

Fun Facts About Qiviut Yarn
Usually sold in Laceweight, Fingering or DK Weight yarn weights (think sock knitting yarn for needles like US Size #1-3) Approx. 400 yards per 50g ball. Hanks can range from $77-$185… PER HANK! Qiviut Cloud (or roving) ranges from $32 – $50 per 2oz. cloud for those who’d like to spin their own Qiviut yarn.

Customarily mixed with more “common” fibers like Merino Wool, Cashmere, Silk, Angora, it also comes in 100% Qiviut. Qiviut yarn is usually made by artisan or old world yarneries and sometimes must be made-to-order.

I got a chance to see (and feel) these yarns in person at the Arctic Qiviut booth when I went to the Sheep & Wool Festival up in Rhinebeck several years ago. They were also knitted up in various samples too to display texture and drape etc. They are really nice and light and come in many sophisticated colors and styles.

Were they $90 per hank nice? I dunno. Do we really need to take these poor musk oxen’s down given no one really lives in Arctic conditions and this is 2014? It’s probably best to save these resources to native Innuit or nomadic tribes in Outer Mongolia who rely on these animal resources as a way of life. However, it’s a cool concept and I like the idea of obscure fibers from far off lands.

Want to know more about working with Qiviut? Caryll Designs has a wonderful info page on Qiviut Yarn.

QiviutOomingmak Qiviut Shop, Alaska

Oomingmak is an Alaskan co-operative that has brought exquisite Qiviut items to you as a unique northern gift since 1969. It is owned by approximately 250 Native Alaskan women from remote coastal villages of Alaska who knit each item by hand. Each village has a signature pattern derived from traditional aspects of village life and the Eskimo culture; they may come from an ancient artifact or a beadwork design.” –Qiviut.com

Qiviut Yarns by Manufacturer
Bijou Basin Ranch Yarn http://www.bijoubasinranch.com/
Wind Valley Yarns http://windyvalleymuskox.net/qiviut.html
Arctic Qiviut Yarns http://www.arcticqiviut.com/
MOCO Natural Qiviut Yarn http://www.carylldesigns.com/MOCO_qiviut.htm
Cottage Craft Yarns, Canada http://cottagecraftangora.com/
Robert G. Petite Large Animal Research Station Yarn http://lars.uaf.edu/shopqiviut
Qiviuk http://qiviuk.myshopify.com/

Qiviut Yarn Retailers
Bijou Basin Ranch http://www.bijoubasinranch.com/
Northern Threads http://www.northernthreads.net/
Changing Threads http://www.changingthreads.com/
Rushin Tailor http://www.rushintailor.com/

Qiviut
Musk Ox, Norway. Photo by Per Johan Naesje

Photos in this Post
Musk Oxen by Wind Valley
Baby Musk Ox by FerreBeekeeper
Arctic Treasure Pink Yarn by Bisou Bison Ranch
Natural Yarn by MOCO Natural

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Free Pattern: Heirloom Baby Patterns

Jul 17

Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs

Are these patterns gorgeous or what?! I was looking for scarf patterns and got sidetracked. These were too cute to pass up. Love DROPS Design. They’re Scandinavian so the patterns are sometimes hard (for me) to decipher. But if you’re confident in your Knit or Crochet skills and/or are Intermediate to Advanced it should be fine! DROPS Yarn is also hard to find in the U.S. but NordicMart.com carries them online! Read on for more adorable patterns. Patterns are free and some are for Knit and some are for Crochet.

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Free Pattern: 11 Baby Blankets

Jul 11

Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs

Are these blankie patterns especially gorgeous or what?! Some are classic modern, some nostalgic, some fancy. All lovely designs whatever your preference. Love DROPS. All are free and in either Knit or Crochet depending on the pattern. All patterns in this post by DROPS Design. Read on for more lovely patterns.

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Free Pattern: 9 Heirloom Baby Toys

Jul 02

Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs

Love, Love, LOVE all these patterns by Garn Studio AS! . They are my favorite Knit or Crochet designers around hands down. Free or paid! Sometimes the patterns are a bit hard to follow (Scandinavian) and their yarns aren’t carried anywhere in the U.S. … However, if you’re an Intermediate/Advanced Knitter or Crocheter you’ll be able to make sense of these patterns. You can also find their yarns online through NordicMart.com. There are no brick and mortar stores in the U.S. that carry Drops (except for one in California!). Read on for more patterns.

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Free Patterns: Summertime Knits

Jun 17

Debbie Bliss Pattern LOOK at this Awesome Knit Tie !!!! ======>

This tie can take your guy (or smartly dressed gal) from Summer right into Fall!

The Lace Collar is gorg and the little Reversible Bag looks perfect for slipping your Mac Air and some files and folders in before tucking into your actual bag. The cable pattern on the White Scarf or Snood is gorg too. And White Top, oo lala.

Today’s Summertime Knits are from Debbie Bliss Yarns. They gave their website a facelift, look niiice. I raided their free patterns for some inspiration. There weren’t many, and not all are for Summer, but they are great small, summer projects.

Debbie Bliss Pattern Debbie Bliss Pattern Debbie Bliss Pattern Debbie Bliss Pattern Debbie Bliss Pattern Debbie Bliss Pattern

Patterns on This Page:
Moss Stitch Tie by Debbie Bliss
Egg Cozy by Debbie Bliss
Reversible Bag by Debbie Bliss
Lace Collar by Debbie Bliss
Hat by Debbie Bliss
White Scarf by Debbie Bliss
Cutaway Top by Debbie Bliss

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Free Patterns: Summertime Crochet

Jun 01

Happy June 1st! Kick off your summer with some crochet. Here are some summertime quick crochet projects for home and market featuring Cotton or Hemp yarns. All are free and all are from Ravelry.com. You must be signed up on Ravelry to view and download the patterns.

If you have not discovered Ravelry yet or are still not a member… It’s awesome for knitters and crocheters!! And worth a peak. Manage your stash, needles, hooks and more. Keep track of your WIPs and post your finished projects, get knitting help, find awesome patterns, and even set up a shop! Just sign up and go nuts. You can read more about it on my post all about Ravelry.

Ami Cotton Rug by Pierrot Yarns Placemate and Coasters by Marilyn Coleman Windmill Bag by Laurie Laliberte

Color Block Cushions by Marinke Slump Starling Handbag by Alice Merlino Kitty Stuff Basket by Chase Clark Hexagon Table Runner by Marinke Slump Easter Egg Bust by Dennis van dan Brink

Patterns and Designers in this post:
Ami Striped Cotton Rug by Pierrot Yarns
Color Block Cushions by Marinke Slump
Placemats and Coasters by Marilyn Coleman
Starling Bag by Alice Merlino
Kitty Stuff Basket by Chase Clark
Hexagon Runner by Marinke Slump
Windmill Bag by Laurie Laliberte
Easter Egg Bust by Dennis van den Brink

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Dreamland: Forgotten Fashion Of Far Off Cultures

May 29

Ladakhi of India
The Ladakhi of India photographed by Jimmy Nelson

Check out these stunning portraits of tribal cultures from all over the world that still exist today by Jimmy Nelson. From taiga and tundra to prairie and grassland, mountain and valley to stark desert and jungle falls. They provide a snapshot of secluded and unique cultures, relatively unspoiled even today. These evocative photos portray the exquisite art and culture of forgotten lands. Not to mention indigenous handcrafting traditions. The stuff of dreams.

Photographed and compiled into a book by photographer Jimmy Nelson called Before They Pass Away, here is just a small sampling of photos found in his book.

Drokpa of India

Chukchi of Russia

Maori, New Zealand

Kazakhs of Mongolia

Samburu of Kenya

13 Journeys. 44 countries, and 29 secluded and unique tribes can be found on his site, Before They Pass Away. It includes so many more gorgeous photographs along with details on the language and culture of these peoples.

Tribes and indigenous people on this page. Top to Bottom:
Drokpa of India
Chukchi of Russia
Maori of New Zealand
Kazakh of Mongolia
Kazakh of Mongolia
Maori of New Zealand
Goroka of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea
Drokpa of India

Left: The Samburu of Kenya

Kazakhs of Mongolia

Maori of New Zealand

Goroka of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea

Drokpa of India

You can get this book on Amazon. At $102 it’s pricey but it’s something I’d like to get for myself eventually. Perhaps for a special occasion. Also, makes a nice special occasion gift for someone who especially loves this stuff.

Before They Pass Away by Jimmy Nelson

This historic volume showcases tribal cultures around the world. With globalization, these societies are to be prized for their distinctive lifestyles, art and traditions. They live in close harmony with nature, now a rarity in our modern era. Jimmy Nelson not only presents us with stunning images of customs and artifacts, but also offers insightful portraits of people who are the guardians of a culture that they–and we–hope will be passed on to future generations in all its glory. Nelson’s large-plate field camera captures every intricate detail and fine nuance for posterity. What’s more, this splendid pageantry is set against a vivid backdrop of some of the world’s most pristine landscapes. –Amazon.com

Before They Pass Away by Jimmy Nelson, $102

Lopa of Nepal
The Lopa of Mustang, Nepal

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Houston, We Have A Problem… I Got Hacked!

May 19

Facebook Epic Fail
And my Twitter Page got taken down!
Facebook Epic Fail
And I lost all my Friends & Followers.

This website and my email are still fine and dandy. However… My Facebook and Twitter got HACKED!

EPIC FAIL!!! !@$#$&%! Yes, in all caps, bold, with typos, and gratuitous exclamation points a la Kanye on Twitter (or IRL) and/or any tween or teen on Twitter….

Somehow my Facebook Page was posting hundreds of spam posts from a fake OMG! Heart Twitter account! And for some reason my real Twitter Page got taken down and deleted by Twitter at the same time. After a hair-tearing meltdown a la Bruce Banner, plus a second one after finding little to no support, I succeeded in getting everything back up and running!

So my Twitter and Facebook are officially back up and have been clear of any spamminess for over a week now! Whew.

Apologies in advance if any of my accounts have spammed unwitting followers just trying to get their fiber fix!

But I fixed it! My Twitter is under the same name as before, @OmgHeartCrafts, on purpose. My Facebook is also under the same name as before, OMG! Heart, since it was never removed just compromised. So they will both look familiar!

Success KidI was able to re-create my Twitter account under the same name but I lost all my friends and followers… :( Thousands of fellow fiber fiends and crafty ephemera I bookmarked through the years… Gone. The trendy to the obscure, the eccentric to the exceptional, the pop culture to forgotten cultures, where to shop luxe to econo-style. Yarns to Fabric Lists, Patterns to Designers… And all I find inspiring about Knitting, Sewing, and Crochet. Gone. They took years for me to collect and curate… All that work. Gone. Le sigh.

Follow me on Twitter: OmgHeartCrafts (https://twitter.com/OmgHeartCrafts)
Like me on Facebook: OMG! Heart (https://www.facebook.com/pages/OMG-Heart/121976811196265)

Both the above are the only valid Facebook and Twitter pages I have. And all my valid social media links are posted here on my website in the top left of the site.

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Pattern: Ski Hat with Giant Pompom 2.0

Nov 25

Ski Hat with Pompom Ski Hat with Pompom

I upgraded my Ski Hat with Giant Pompom pattern by adding a basic ribbed brim. Oh, what a difference! The simple 1×1 Rib gives it some extra length and style for a more finished look. I now love the way it has just the right amount of sag to the top!

Ski Hat with Giant PompomOriginal Ski Hat with Giant Pompom

Pattern:
The full pattern is in my previous post here. Follow the entire pattern from beginning to end. After you’ve completed the pattern, continue by following these additional instructions:

Pick up the stitches on the back loops (the ones facing the inside of hat) of your last completed row. Pick up 1 additional stitch. You should have 82 stitches on your needle (half the number of stitches in the original pattern plus 1).

Rounds 1-36: K1, P1 until end of round.

Bind off loosely to allow for stretch in the ribbing. Fold up and wear! :)

Done!

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