About Kaitlin Cone
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Try Knitting This Berry Cute Hat For Baby
I have several friends who are either pregnant or have very small children. It’s that time in our lives when we’re settling down, having kids, and becoming families. It’s an exciting time, for them and as well as for those of us who will be helping out when the little one comes along. I love gifting new parents with homemade presents for their darling babies, especially gifts that will grow with the child. I was looking for hat patterns the other day for a friend’s baby and I came across the cutest knitted berry hat.
Now, I’m not as well-versed in knitting as I am crochet, but I do have several friends that knit and if I needed help, they’d be more than willing to walk me through it. This pattern isn’t beginner friendly, but if you’ve spent some time working with fiber, you should be able to make this work for you.
You’ll need to know how to use circular needles (the bane of my existence), knit on double pointed needles, knit two strands together as well as use two colors, how to read a chart, and how to weave in ends. If you’re not exhausted by this point, my hat is off to you.
Of course, with this hat, you’ll want to use soft materials, in worsted weight yarn. Whatever sort of berry you’re making, real or imagined, be sure the colors for the leaves and fruit complement each other. You can try red and green for a strawberry or raspberry hat, a dark plum and green for a blackberry hat, or a bright orange and softer green for a more imaginative berry. There is also a note in the pattern that 100% cotton does not always wear well, and something mixed with wool will stretch and shape much better.
If you want to make a bigger hat, the pattern includes instructions for re-sizing in multiples of 8. You’ll only be using the knit stitch with this hat, and five stitches together should equal one inch, if you want to try the gauge before starting on the hat. Materials for the project are 16″ circulars (US7 and US8), 5 double pointed needles (size US8), a stitch marker, a yarn needle, scissors, a measuring tape, and of course, worsted weight yarn in whatever colors you prefer.
If this sounds like something you’d love to make for the little one in your life, whether you’re a family member or a friend (or the parent!), the written pattern, complete with chart, directions, and photos, is available as a free download from Michele Sabatier on Ravelry.
If you have not yet signed up for a free Ravelry account, I highly recommend joining. There are loads of free patterns as well as for-purchase patterns, and the search engine can be specialized to find exactly what you want for your next project. You can even store PDF patterns in your own personal library and keep track of what you want to make, what you have made, and how easy the patterns were. I love browsing the smaller patterns and working them up to bust my yarn stash.
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If you’ve been perusing the articles on The Craft Chair for a while, you’re aware of how much I love the tutorials and patterns available on the Make & Do Crew website. They’re interesting projects, free patterns, and I think they use crochet in a modern, unique way while still making projects accessible to everyone, from beginners to advanced.
I especially love this “Be A Deer” afghan because it’s a smaller size, so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed with a bedspread afghan, and it’s a pattern that can be used for everyone — babies, kids, even adults. Hunters will love this in earth tones, babies will appreciate it in pastels, and if you’ve got a room that needs a little pizzazz, go all out with the color choices, whether it’s rainbow or ombre.
Of course, if you don’t want adds and do want the instructions for the larger blanket, you can purchase the ad-free PDF of the pattern for $2.50. It comes with two graphs and written instructions, as well as some photos. And if you just want to make a small afghan, the pattern is available for free on their website.
The baby blanket measures 38.5″ by 42.5″, and requires the following materials: 12 balls of yarn (the instructions break it down by color in case you are using multiples, and it recommends using Vanna’s Choice), a size H crochet hook, a tapestry needle, and a pair of scissors. If you want to check your gauge prior to beginning, crochet four and a half “tiles” and it should measure four inches.
Besides the corner to corner crochet stitch (there’s a tutorial link included on the pattern page), all you need to know stitch-wise are: single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), skip (sk), chain (ch), slip stitch (sl st), and right side (RS). If you’re comfortable with all those but haven’t tried corner to corner crochet, I do recommend finding a YouTube video if written instructions aren’t as clear.
A note on the crochet “tiles”: this crochet tile contains 3 chains (ch) and 3 double crochet stitches (dc). When you consult the graph for the afghan, each square counts as one “tile”. It is noted in the pattern that it’s easier to keep track if you cross off each square as you go, starting in the lower left corner. That way you don’t miss stitches and your deer won’t be abnormally shaped. The border stitches, of course, will be looser so the blanket doesn’t stretch or pull.
The end result is a hip, modern afghan that will please a wide range of individuals (if you’re so inclined to give it away), and will allow you to stretch your crochet stitch knowledge. If you like corner to corner crochet, there are more free patterns for afghans available online — check Ravelry or Pinterest.
Does this sound like your new weekend project? You can find the free graph for the small afghan, along with the ad-free row by row instructions and the larger graph in an inexpensive PDF on the Make & Do Crew website. There are also links to tutorials on corner to corner crochet, as well as switching between colors. Scroll through the rest of their projects for more modern crochet inspiration.
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I remember my first road trip. I was four years old, and we were driving from South Carolina to Wyoming to spend the summer on a ranch. We were in a red Isuzu Trooper, and my little sister sat beside me in her carseat. Every time we stopped at a gas station, I got a new book to read, and by the time we arrived in Wyoming, I had the start of a small library.
I grew up on the road, traveling throughout the Southern states, heading West occasionally, and even had a few trips to Canada and throughout Europe. I’ve always loved traveling by car. I don’t drive (perhaps that’s the reason?) so I get comfy and read, or listen to music and daydream.
I wish, however, that I’d had a pair of these soft slippers for my feet while on the road. Car Booties are cute for travel as well as for those young vehicle enthusiasts who want to wear everything that proclaims them such. With soft yarn, some knitting needles, and a few hours, you can make these booties for the car lover in your life. I was the resident car lover in our family, taking cues from my mother’s side of the family, several of whom are mechanics. My brother, however, preferred tractors, and my sister preferred airplanes (if you have a kid or know a kid who likes other machines besides cars, there are patterns available for their preferences).
YouTuber Sevil Orgu has posted a video tutorial on how to make these car booties, but in the video they also show a chart for those of you who need to look at some instructions beforehand. If you’re new to charts, you may want to learn a bit more about how to read them before jumping into this project. I’d honestly recommend this pattern for more advanced knitters who have a background in reading charts and have spent a little time making up their own patterns.
However, if you’re up for a challenge, I think advanced beginners could get a kick out of this project. Just be sure that you know the measurements of the feet you’re making the booties for, check the gauge as you go along, and have someone on hand if you have a question or slip a stitch. The best place to go in those cases is the local fiber shop, as there’s always someone around that is willing to lend their expertise for the sheer joy of sharing a hobby.
All that aside, these booties are too cute to resist, and even though I haven’t used my knitting needles lately, I might just have to brush up on my stitches and make a pair for the car-crazy babies in my life. I can imagine these in cute pastels, bold colors, or to match their favorite car.
If this sounds like something right up your alley, you can find the video tutorial on YouTube, on the Sevil Orgu channel. You can follow them on Instagram, and browse through their other video tutorials, which include another car bootie pattern, converse sneaker booties, and a set including a sweater, hat, and shoes.
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The New Snuggie: Hooded Blankets
Remember when Slankets and Snuggies were a thing? My youngest brother still has one, and wears it quite often. I don’t know that I know anyone else who has one, though, which is sad because they were a brilliant idea (a backwards robe, but hey, they marketed it so well people bought them in droves) and they were more practical than a blanket, especially if you were sick at home watching Netflix on the computer, or if you were settling in for the night with a glass of wine on the couch.
That being said, there’s nothing stopping you from making your own version of the Slanket or Snuggie, and recently people have been creating an alternate to those two options with the hooded blanket. This is even cozier (though less practical), and often they’re made for children, but…I want one for myself. Just think how nice and comfy it would be to get in bed, slip the hood on, and snuggle in for the night. Wrap yourself up in this big blanket and fall asleep imagining you’re being embraced by a soft, fuzzy giant creature. Or, take it on a road trip or to a game and keep yourself warm while everyone wishes they had a hoodie blanket like yours.
Of course, the hooded blanket is best for smaller children who may need to be wrapped up and carried, but I won’t stop you if you make a bigger one for yourself. The free crochet pattern for the hooded blanket that I found was through the Make & Do Crew, who have a pattern available for newborns and 6 months old. It would make a great gift for a new parent or grandparent, especially if you chose colors that matched the nursery, or their favorite sports team, or a soft neutral.
The Make & Do Crew’s pattern calls for two balls of yarn (approximately 980 yards), a size “J” crochet hook, stitch markers, a tapestry needle, scissors, and, if you want to make tassels or pom-poms, you’ll need some cardboard. The yarn suggested is Lion Brand’s Pound of Love and Vanna’s Choice, but of course you can mix and match as long as the yarn weight is the same.
If you’re the sort of person who likes to ensure they have the correct gauge before beginning, you can crochet 3 granny clusters and 3 spaces, which should equal 4 inches horizontally, and 4 granny rows and 3 spaces, which should equal 4 inches vertically. I recommend checking the gauge prior to jumping into the project because the hood will have to be sized just right to ensure that it isn’t too big or too small.
There are no fancy stitches in this pattern — all crocheters should know the following: single crochet (sc), slip stitch (sl st), skip (sk), double crochet (dc), and chain (ch). Even when I was a baby beginner crocheter, I know how to do all of these. If you aren’t familiar with some of these, search YouTube for the specific stitch and there will be plenty of videos to walk you through it.
Once you’ve finished this pattern from The Make & Do Crew, you can post photos of it on Instagram and tag them @TheMakeAndDoCrew or use the hashtags #MakeAndDoCrew and #yarnheroes.
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Your Little Monster Needs This Adorable Bib
I don’t know that there are ever any kids who enjoy bibs. They’re a necessary evil, and in most cases, kids can’t wait to take them off. But for some reason, we adults view bibs as an adorable accessory while also understanding its purpose as a mess-catcher. There seems to be a miscommunication between the three year olds who just want to make a mess, and the parents who just want to contain the mess, but I believe I’ve found a middle ground that will please everyone: the crocheted Monster Bib.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “How practical is a crocheted bib?” Well, if you’re using cotton yarn, it’s easily washable. It will retain more of the mess than a plastic bib, and it won’t feel weird around your kid’s neck (some of us have sensory issues and plastic can make our skin crawl). So, I’d say it’s super practical. Of course, I’d say this is a bib for younger kids (it’s better for liquids like drool, milk, formula, etc.), but you know, if you want to make one for yourself for the next time you’re eating a stack of ribs, go ahead. Everybody needs to let their inner wild thing loose from time to time.
This would also make a great gift for a new parent, along with a copy of a monster-themed book, such as Where The Wild Things Are or The Monster At The End of This Book. You could also include burping cloths, or some clothes with monsters on them. Kids love monsters, and sometimes we adults privately they can be little monsters from time to time (we still love them anyway).
For one monster bib, you’ll need to gather the following materials: yarn (the pattern recommends using the Lion Brand Modern Baby Yarn and some worsted yarn for the details), in two colors for the bib, white and black for the facial embellishments; scissors; a tapestry needle; and a size “H” crochet hook. You’ll also need something to attach the bib together at the back, but you can choose between using velcro or a button closure (velcro is easier but the button closure might be more durable in the long run).
This pattern is pretty accessible to all levels of crocheters, whether you’re just beginning or you’ve been crocheting since you yourself were a little one. The stitches you’ll need to know for making the monster bib include single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), triple crochet (tc), half double crochet (hdc), chain (ch), and single crochet decrease (sc decrease). As ever, if you are unfamiliar with a stitch or need some practice beforehand, visit some YouTube channels or your local fiber shop and get comfortable with the stitch before starting this project.
You’ll make the body of the monster first, adding on teeth and eyes after completing the bib. The end result is an adorable, kid-friendly little monster who will help them keep the mess at a reasonable level while eating or playing with their food.
Does this sound like something you or your child would enjoy? You can find the free pattern at Repeat Crafter Me.
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Get Comfy With A New Coffee Cozy
Late last year, I received a package from a friend back home. I adore getting packages and letters in the mail, but I was even more ecstatic when I saw what was inside. She had knitted a coffee cozy with a fox on it and sent it to me. I know how much time projects can take, and it meant a lot to me that she went through the time and effort to make something I could use as well as love.
While I don’t drink coffee, I do drink a lot of herbal tea, hot cocoa, and cider, so I popped the cozy over my favorite cup and have been using it ever since. It’s practical, beautiful, and a reminder that there are people out there who think of me and love me. It’s a lot to pack into a little gift, but very meaningful. If you have friends or family members far away who love hot beverages, this little memento will bring a smile to their face every time they use it.
Of course, there are hundreds of options for coffee cozies these days, so where does one start? Depending on how well you know your recipient’s likes and dislikes, it could be a pretty simple process. I’ve found a few crowd pleasers that I think will be easy enough for most knitters to make in an afternoon.
First, the Forest Friend Cozy from Stitch And Unwind. This is tagged as an “Intermediate” pattern because of the graph design and color switching. You’ll need double pointed needles, worsted wool yarn, and some patience for this project. There are options for a fox, a raccoon, and an owl. This is a great stash-buster pattern because of the little bits of yarn used for the animals, as well as the 50 grams of yarn used for the cozy itself.
Next, the aptly named “Junkies Java Jerkin” from Marjorie Walter. If you know someone who loves argyle, they will go gaga for this cozy. It comes in two sizes (S/M and M/L), and is also a great stash-buster because of the bits of yarn it uses to create the argyle pattern. You’ll need to know how to read a graph, as well as how to shape and use a mattress stitch to sew up the seam.
If you’re looking for something a little more wild and unique, look no further than the Unicorn Cozy from Studio Knit. This can be personalized with a person’s favorite colors and is easier than the first two patterns. You can use worsted or aran weight yarn, and you’ll be using regular knitting needles, along with a yarn needle and scissors.
Of course, if you or your recipient are Harry Potter fans, then you can’t do better than the Hogwarts-scarf inspired cozy pattern from Patty Mac Knits. Three of the cozies have the same pattern. Only the Ravenclaw pattern is different and I believe it’s because Patty is using the movies as references. This is the easiest pattern and works up very quickly with little yarn.
Lastly, if you’re a bit more traditional or practical, the coffee cup cozy with an extra pocket for a packet of your favorite hot drink might be your cup of tea. Simply Notable’s pattern is an instant classic, and should please the book-loving, tea-drinking acquaintance who is receiving this gift.
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Burrow Into These Warm Hedgehog Mittens
There seems to be an explosion of animal wear. Not necessarily leopard print or zebra stripes, but I have seen a lot more outfits and accessories with imitation animals either attached or used in creative ways. I went looking for a glove pattern several weeks ago and somehow stumbled onto an animal pattern that I instantly loved. There’s something so cute about hedgehogs.
Back when I was in college, I had a professor who was allergic to most animals, so his children couldn’t have pets. They eventually decided to try getting a hedgehog, which they promptly named Twinkie. Turns out, he was allergic to hedgehogs too (can you imagine?!) and Twinkie went home with a student. Twinkie lived a long and happy life, just not at the professor’s home.
I wish I had seen this pattern at that time – I could have made him some hedgehog mittens as a joke. He is a master prankster and would have gotten a good laugh out of it. Of course, you don’t need a hedgehog or much knowledge of them to be drawn to them. They have a somewhat mysterious air about them, trundling along with sparkling eyes, sniffing out their next meal or curiously exploring the world around them. If you’ve ever read a Beatrix Potter book, you’ll know she was also fond of these creatures and even wrote a story around one, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.
If you or a friend or family member loves hedgehogs, this is the perfect gift. The free knitting pattern from Mom.me is child-sized, but if you’ve got small hands, or an online program that lets you convert patterns into larger sizes, you should be good to go. The pattern is mostly simple, with the trickiest part being the shaping of the thumbs. If you want to check your gauge before you start, grab a pair of size 8 knitting needles, some worsted or aran yarn, and knit using the stockinette stitch. 18 stitches and 24 rows later, your gauge piece should measure four inches.
To make your own pair of adorable hedgehog mittens, you’ll need to gather the following supplies: 2 balls of yarn (don’t feel like you have to stick to the earth tone light and dark browns. Your hedgehog can be any color, either all one color, ombre, or two bright colors. Experiment and don’t be afraid to reach for unique color combinations!), a small amount of black yarn for the eyes and noses, size 8 knitting needles, a tapestry needle or yarn needle, an embroidery needle, and a pair of scissors.
As knitting is only two stitches, knit and purl, there aren’t a lot of variations in this pattern. Even if you aren’t an old hat at knitting, you can try this out and, should you need it, look up tutorials on YouTube for help with the thumbs. Remember that you’re doing a right and left, so they should be opposites. You will be knitting flat and then sewing up the mittens once they’re complete. This will make it easier to embroidery the eyes and noses as well.
Intrigued? You can find the free pattern at Mom.me. The author also has a book of 35 creature-inspired accessory patterns, which is available on Amazon.
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Leaf Store Bought Decorations Behind With This Fall Foliage
Fall is by far my favorite season. I love the crisp air, the chilly wind rushing through the treetops, and the brightly colored leaves littering the ground. Crunching through the leaves on a cool afternoon bundled up in a cozy sweater and looking forward to a hot cup of cocoa is probably one of the best feelings in the world. Especially since fall also begins the holiday season with Halloween (my favorite holiday) and Thanksgiving. There are dozens of decorations to choose from to celebrate the passage of time, including pumpkins and gourds, scarecrows, and leaves.
If you want fall decorations that are both timely and tasteful, you might want to take a look at this free pattern for knitted leaves. You can make them any size and use them for placemats, coasters, napkin rings, centerpieces, or string them together for a garland. Make them in every fall color, brown, orange, yellow, and red, or you can make sets for different parts of the year, with pastels for spring and bright, bold colors for summer. Winter colors can be red, green, white, gold, and silver.
Studio Knits has a free, easy pattern that is accessible to any level of knitter. The leaf shape is easy to make larger or smaller (just increase or decrease as needed), and you can use any yarn or color to match your other fall decor. If you subscribe to Studio Knits, then you already have a leg up because they have walked through the stitches needed for this pattern. If you’re feeling a mite unsure, you can also watch their video tutorial on YouTube for helpful pointers.
To make your own leaves, you’ll need to collect the following from your craft space: yarn, knitting needles (make sure they are the right size for the yarn you’re using. There are helpful charts online in case you need to double check), a tapestry needle, and a pair of scissors. It is noted in the video tutorial that size 8 knitting needles and worsted yarn are used, but that’s just a suggestion. If you want to use chunky yarn to make a large leaf rug, just make sure you have the coordinating size knitting needles handy.
As for the techniques needed to make one of these, you’ll need to know how to cast on with the long tail method, knit, purl, make a slip knot, SSK (slip, slip, knit), knit two together (k2tog), and bind off. Even though I’m a beginner knitter, I know most of these already, so don’t be afraid to stretch your skills a little if you’re just starting out.
Depending on how you want the finished product to look, you can either let the leaves do as they will, which results in a curling up of the ends and looks particularly fall-like, or you can steam the leaves so that they lie flat, which will be better if you’re using them as trivets, coasters, placemats, and the like. There are instructions included on how to steam the finished leaves.
Want to add these to your fall decor collection? You can find the free pattern, video tutorial, and photos on Studio Knits.
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Stick This Fish On Your Head
When I found this pattern, I laughed out loud. It’s exactly the kind of thing I love to wear. It makes a statement, it’s silly, and it’s one of those things people will ask you where you got it. Then you can direct them to the free pattern and schedule some knitting buddy time. The whimsical pattern from Thelma Egberts on Knitty is available for free, and it’s a one size fits all type of hat. Sound too good to be true? Maybe a little fishy? Don’t worry, there’s no catch!
One of the reasons I like this pattern is that it is so customizable. Have leftover bits of yarn? You can add them as stripes into the fish. You can use any kind of yarn, any color, and if you want a live fish instead of a dead fish, all you have to do is put dots on the eyes instead of X’s. You can create a hat for yourself or a friend with your favorite colors, team colors, or even Harry Potter scarf colors.
The pattern does recommend using a worsted weight yarn, or at least wool or acrylic yarn that will fit the gauge. It’s important to check your gauge with this pattern, because if you decide to go bigger, it will look like the fish is devouring your noggin. Too small, and it will look like it’s hanging onto your scalp for dear life. In order to check the gauge before you begin, use the stockinette stitch to knit 18 stitches in 28 rows. The resulting square should be about 4 inches.
Once you’ve checked your gauge, gather the rest of your materials, which include: about 400 yards of yarn, one set of US #7 double pointed knitting needles (you can also use straight needles in the same size, though this is marked as optional in the pattern), stitch markers, a small stitch holder, sewing needles (big and small eye), embroidery floss (for the eyes), white felt (the embroidery floss will be used on here), white thread, and a pair of scissors.
This pattern is for a more advanced knitter, as there are short rows involved, as well as decreasing on the double pointed needles. If you’re new to knitting, there are simpler hat patterns that are more accessible, but if you’re willing to give it a go regardless of your level of expertise, just make sure that you have a good knitter nearby to help you with any problem areas. Speaking from experience, knitting with double pointed needles and trying to do short rows can result in hair-pulling.
However, the reward of this particular project is well worth the effort. You will have a unique statement piece to wear to the next fall or winter activity on your social calendar, and you might get a few orders for more, from children and adults alike. This is also a perfect gift for the fisherman, aquarium enthusiast, marine biologist, or fish hatchery employee in your life. You can even include a punny gift tag, such as, “You don’t have to fish for compliments while wearing this hat!”
Ready to add fish heads to your next fashion statement? You can find the free pattern on Knitty.
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I’m Not Kitten You, These Cat Socks Are Tres Chic
Continuing with the animal accessory theme, today I’m delighted to present your new favorite pair of socks — they’re practically purrrrfect. These knitted socks are available as a free pattern from Ravelry member Geena Garcia, and she’s put a little twist on the pattern: instead of making the same sock twice, she has reversed the colors to make a yin-yang effect. The cats perfectly balance each other and you have a fun pair of socks to show off. Of course if you’d rather lose the yin-yang look, you can most definitely make the colors the same throughout each sock, but where’s the fun in that?
The pattern comes highly rated from other Ravelry members, and is on the easier side of knitting patterns, though you will need to be familiar with intarsia, short rows, and ribbing. If you’re an intermediate or advanced knitter, you should already be comfortable with these techniques, and if you’re an advanced beginner ready to take on a small challenge, you can refer to video tutorials on YouTube or ask a knitting friend for help through the tricky parts.
These kittens will fit small to medium feet, though if you’ve adjusted patterns in the past, it would be simple enough to make these for larger feet. The socks make a great gift for all the cat lovers in your life, including veterinarians, animal shelter volunteers, kids, or friends and family members fond of pop culture kitties like Garfield, Felix, or Heathcliff. You can change the colors to accommodate these fans, maybe adding in some black and orange variegated yarn for Garfield and Heathcliff. You could also model these socks and the recipient’s favorite furbaby, which would make this the ultimate meaningful gift.
To make your own pair of these cute-as-kittens socks, you’ll need to gather the following: 250 yards of fingering weight (14 wpi) yarn (Geena Garcia used Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat for her socks), US size #1 knitting needles, and a pair of scissors. You’ll need to check your gauge before beginning, as these socks need to fit without falling off of your recipient. You can check the gauge by knitting 32 stitches over 40 rows. The square should equal 4 inches.
The free pattern comes as a PDF download from Ravelry, which you can save to your computer, print out, or store in your Ravelry library if you’ve already got an account. You can also follow Geena and see what other patterns she has available. The PDF comes with a list of materials needed, a note about the gauge, written instructions, and a graph for the kitten part of the socks.
The end result? The cat’s meow in stockings. You can show them off by themselves or with a cute pair of Mary Janes. You can also wrap them in animal print to present to a friend, or you can simply curl up on the couch and enjoy them all by yourself (or with your favorite kitty on your lap).
If this makes it on your to-do list, you can save the free PDF pattern from Geena Garcia by visiting Ravelry and downloading or printing the pattern. And if you don’t have an account on Ravelry, join for free and browse thousands of free patterns immediately.
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