May 21, 2018
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E-newsletters offer a wealth of free info, patterns

By Ardeana Hamlin, BDN Staff

I subscribe to a number of needle arts newsletters that arrive by email daily or weekly. Most sell products such as yarn, patterns, books and other supplies, but they also offer a wealth of free information and patterns. Here a few I subscribe to:

• Knitting Daily,, provides so much information about how to improve one’s knitting techniques, it’s like getting a free knitting lesson every day. The website also has a wealth of free knitting and crochet patterns that can take time to browse, but is well worth the effort. A really cool thing about becoming a subscriber is that Knitting Daily offers free downloadable pattern booklets for knitting toys, hats, vests, bags and other items.

• Crochet Me,, is an online crochet community that provides original feature articles and free patterns, some in booklet form that can be downloaded. I especially liked the crocheted flower patterns and the baby items.

• Coats Crafts UK,, offers free sewing, crochet and knitting patterns. One of my recent favorites is a crocheted table runner, done with crochet cotton, composed of 27 individual motifs that are handsewn together.

• DMC,; In this newsletter, needlecrafters will find free cross-stitch, embroidery and crocheting patterns. Two of my favorite patterns are the Ocean Alphabet cross-stitch sampler and multicolor crocheted market bag.

• Lion Brand,, has an archive of so many knitting and crocheting patterns you could spend several hours trolling through them. A recent newsletter contained a variety of washcloths to knit and crochet. In the past months, I also found on the website several sweater, hat and handbag patterns I have crocheted or knit.

Other newsletters I receive that offer free patterns in their newsletters are: Coats and Clark,; Martha Stewart,; Classic Elite,; Cascade,; Bernat,, Patons,; Tahki Stacy Charles,; Burdastyle,; Berroco,; and Tipnut,

Sign up for a few or all of these newsletters. You’ll be amazed at that wonderful tips, patterns and information you’ll receive.

Readers, if you have favorite newsletters you receive by email you’d like to share, let me know what they are and what you like about them and I’ll include them in a future column.


Wendy Pace of Penquis passed on information about a special fiber project. Click for Babies is a program of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome in collaboration with other agencies and organizations. The project aims to educate caregivers about the “Period of Purple Crying,” a normal stage of infancy during which babies are prone to lengthy, intense bouts of crying that can be frustrating for new parents unfamiliar and unable to cope with this normal behavior. Unfortunately, such caregivers may sometimes resort to shaking or otherwise abusing the crying infants.

In November, Maine’s birthing centers and hospitals will join other sites throughout the nation in marking the “period of purple crying” by distributing helpful information to new parents along with knitted and crocheted purple caps for every baby born during the month. If you knit or crochet, you can help:

• Use any shade of purple yarn. Other colors may be used, but the cap should be at least 50 percent purple.

• Use only baby-friendly yarns.

• Aim for a circumference between 7.5 and 13.5 inches, with a cap height of 3.5 to 6 inches.

• Resist the temptation to add pompoms, ties or other potential choking or strangling hazards

• Drop off the caps to Wendy at the Bangor Penquis Office, 262 Harlow St., or mail to: P.O. Box 1162, Bangor 04402. Email for more information.

• Deadline for delivery of completed caps is Wednesday, Oct. 26.

• Find more information about the project along with links to adorable patterns at


Moosehead Quilters will present the Quilts in the Woods show, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Union Church. More exhibits and a Luncheon on the Veranda will take place at DKB Catering on Pleasant Street in Greenville.

The quilt show will include displays of fiber art, including hooked rugs and knitting.

Keepsake Quilting Challenge winners quilts also will be on display. The traveling show contains 20 quilts from past winners.

The show will feature vendors and James Smyth, the scissors guy, available to sharpen both regular and pinking shears.

Call Ardeana Hamlin at 990-8153, or email

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