Thursday, September 1, 2011

All Great Links Start With Ravelry

Not enough wonderful words can be said about this amazing site.  What started as an individual need to organize knitting and crochet patterns has become the mecca of pattern database management for us crazy die-hard stitchers.  If there is a knit or crochet pattern out there in the world, there is a 97.3% chance that you will find it on this site (the older the pattern, the sketchier it becomes.)  Not only is this a site to find a pattern (either for free or for purchase), this site is a personal database for documenting individual projects, library, yarn stash and hook and needle organizer.  There are also communities within the site in which groups can be found tailored to activities, interests or even businesses.  One of the many useful resources that this site has created is its ability to utilize individual projects as its database.  Tips, suggestions, alterations, comments, and real-life models are viewable to the free registered members which are boons to help guide through the myriad of patterns and make the final decision if that pattern is worth the time, energy and effort.
Don’t get us wrong, although many knitters and crocheters prefer Ravelry as their 1st method in pattern searching (and if you haven’t found it yet, please do and you’ll be hooked – pardon the pun), there are additional great resource sites out there.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Pattern Resources
  • Lion Brand – thousands of free patterns for knitters and crocheters plus great tutorials about their products and basic knitting and crochet techniques
  • Red Heart / Coats & Clark – lots of patterns from the Red Heart family
  • Bev’s Country Cottage – charity crafting website that has patterns plus a great size chart for hats, baby measurements, foot and blanket sizes
  • Head Huggers – A great charity site reference for chemo hats.  For those who knit, crochet and/or sew.
  • Chemo Cap Pattern Library – Because Ravelry can be overwhelming with the endless possibilities out there, this group was created to help find patterns appropriate for chemo hats.  The threads are divided between yarn weight, age and gender.  Great resource!
  • Crochet Pattern Central – Lots of crochet patterns and tutorials will be found here!
  • - Has several individual easy to understand tutorials, patterns and tools for both Knit and Crochet
  • Interweave – a vast resource on all types of arts and crafts; includes signup options for daily free patterns via e-mail. Crochet Me and Knitting Daily are their sites focused on the yarn craft.
  • Knitting
    • Knitting Help - Hands down, the best video tutorial site for learning from how to cast on to understanding intarsia.  If you want to learn to knit and watch someone do it, this is the place to visit during those wee hours in the morning with your yarn and needles in hand.
    • Lion Brand Knitting Tutorials – Provides video and instructional tutorials for Knitting and
  • Crochet
  • Fiber Circle – Located in downtown Farmersville, you will not find a sweeter lady who gives of her time, talents and resources!  Diane has generously supported Yarns of Hope and we want to give back to her by continuing to shop at her store!  She has a fantastic selection of yarns and has get-togethers during the weekend.  Bring a potluck item and nestle in on one of the couches!  200 McKinney Street, Farmersville, TX 75442-2120 (972) 782-6630.  Note: Be sure to call first before going as her hours are varied, but she lives upstairs and if she’s not open and is home, she will open the store just for you.  Now that’s personalized shopping!
  • Woolie Ewe – Another local store based in Plano, this is a great shop to find higher end and luxurious fibers.  They also have great classes and teachers throughout the year.  Be sure to sign up as their friend on Ravelry and you’ll get a discount on yarn!
  • WEBS – An online yarn and notions store – they have great sales worth checking out
  • Knit Picks – Don’t let the name fool you; they have notions for crocheters too!  This is by far a great online store for all types of yarn, notions and materials any yarn crafter would need.  From stitch markers to swifters, there are great deals to be had and new exciting materials that you didn’t know you would need but will want to add to your collection.

Info, Info and More Info

All too many times there is such great information out in the WWW that we can’t get it to our stitcher’s fast enough.  By having more of a live-outlet such as this, pertinent information can be shared with each other and the odd picture and story or two can appear to praise all of the hard-working efforts.

If you have a story to share, a picture to snap, a deal to snag or even a tip to help us grow in our knowledge base, we want to know!  Just send a note to one of the contributors and they can facilitate in the posting.

Welcome to Yarns of Hope: The Blog

In 2008, Gina Hammack had the opportunity to take up knitting as her new craft due to the request of her doctor to stay immobile for several weeks. It was around this time that a few of her friends were diagnosed with cancer and other personal issues. After a prayerful knock about the head, Gina realized her desire to share her love of knitting and ministry with cancer patients and friends by making hats, scarves and blankets.

Thus, Yarns of Hope was born!

What started out with a few "encouraged" friends to meet at a local coffee shop and have the donations to go to a local oncology center has now grown into two weekly meeting locations with 80+ members and well over 2000 donations to several local oncology units, hospitals, children's hospitals and overseas orphanages on mission trips. In addition to the numerous donations, Yarns of Hope is also teaching 5th graders at Finch Elementary school how to knit and crochet. By teaching the kids how to craft, they are in turn making swatches to create a group blanket for donation. This is certainly a missions-within-missions opportunity that will affect many lives to come. Yarns of Hope actively participates as a team with Relay For Life which is partnered with the American Cancer Society.

Yarns of Hope has been blessed with so many yarn crafters of all skill levels who are wanting to share their talents in that same love of charity and paying it forward. There are knitters, crocheters, loom knitters, finger knitters, sewers... The wonderful aspect about the group is that it is a very open and nurturing environment that is open to all skill levels; if you want to learn, there is someone eager to teach.

Come join Yarns of Hope in person at First Baptist Church in McKinney. You do not need to be a member of the church to attend; only to have a love of stitching for others.

  • Tuesdays: 10-12 in the Hospitality Room
  • Wednesdays: 6:15-7:30 in the Fireside Room
Donations of either personal time, monetary or via supplies are greatly appreciated and 100% of all proceeds benefit cancer patients, individuals suffering loss or in need of encouragement.

If you have questions about the group or would like to request a handmade item, please feel free to contact:

Gina Hammack
(972) 658-0576

Thank you for visiting and we hope to see you in person very soon!