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What You Need to Know About Frankie Brown, Knitting Designer and Fundraiser Extraordinaire

You know many of Frankie Brown’s patterns; now get to know her and the drive behind her knitting pattern designs and fundraising

You may not know Frankie Brown, but chances are good that you’re familiar with her knitting patterns. Many of them are among the most popular available online.

Some of her most popular include the Ten Stitch Blanket, Ten Stitch Twist, and Ten Stitch Zigzag.

A few more of her popular patterns include Pinwheel Purse, Advent Garland, and Sheep in Sheep’s Clothing.

Believe it or not, these patterns are just a drop in the bucket of her designing output. As of this writing, Frankie has a whopping 584 patterns in her completely free Ravelry store, Frankie’s Knitted Stuff.

Advent Garland - Frankie Brown
Advent Garland
Photo: Frankie Brown

What Makes Frankie Brown and Her Patterns Special?

Frankie’s patterns and story are notable for several reasons.

First, many of her patterns are well suited for charity knitting. In her collection you’ll find some delightful blankets, baby items, and toys. Her patterns are also perfect for the frugal knitter, as many of them are perfect for using leftover scraps of yarn.

Second, you’ll find a wonderful number of whimsical, fun patterns in her collection. Just take a peek at Frankie’s Knitted Stuff, and you’ll see what I mean!

Finally, Frankie’s patterns are notable because of what ties her knitting patterns to charity.

All of her patterns includes the following notation:

“All my Ravelry patterns are free to download but, if you enjoy them, please consider making a donation to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, a charity which funds research and supports the families of children with a liver disease. You can do this easily by going to my fundraising page www.justgiving.com/frankiesknittedstuff

As of 2024, Frankie has raised over £27,005 for this organization! (That’s the equivalent of over $34,171.)

I was fascinated by Frankie, her patterns, and her fundraising, and so I asked her for an interview.

Want to know more about another wonder of the charity knitting world? Take a look at my profile of Bev Qualheim of Bev’s Country Cottage!

Baby Boots
Photo: Frankie Brown

Frankie’s Top Ten Most Popular Patterns

  1. Ten Stitch Blanket
  2. Ten Stitch Twist
  3. Pinwheel Purse
  4. Ten Stitch Zigzag
  5. Baby Boots
  6. Mistake Rib Tea Cosy
  7. Emergency Hat
  8. Sheep in Sheep’s Clothing
  9. Double Ten Stitch
  10. Pocket Ted
Sheep in Sheep's Clothing - Frankie Brown
Sheep in Sheep’s Clothing
Photo: Frankie Brown

Burning Questions with Frankie Brown

Knitting for Charity: What was the first pattern you wrote? Is it one that you currently have in your Ravelry store, or is it something different?

Frankie Brown: I think that would have been my pattern for knitted ammonites. It was published in the Knitting and Crochet Guild’s magazine “SlipKnot,” in an issue with a sea theme. Looking back, it’s typical of many of the designs that followed it, which tend to be esoteric rather than practical. I’ve never turned it into a Ravelry pattern, maybe I’ll do that one day.

Ammonite
Photo: Frankie Brown

KFC: When and how did you get the idea to tie your free knitting patterns into fundraising?

FB: I was inspired by my mother, who died in the year I started publishing designs on Ravelry. She had always made things – quilts, dolls, clothes – and she often sold them to raise money for various charities.

I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing my fundraising total grow; it gives an added dimension to my work that I really appreciate.

Mistake Rib Tea Cozy - Frankie Brown
Mistake Rib Tea Cozy
Photo: Frankie Brown

KFC: What made you choose the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation as the organization to support through fundraising?

FB: I chose the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation as my friend’s son was born with biliary atresia, one of the many liver diseases which affect children.

He has been lucky so far, he had a life-saving operation as a baby and is now seventeen. Liver disease is not something that can be cured, though, and families affected by it never know when their child’s liver will fail. A liver transplant is then the only hope.

CLDF is a small charity; they combine raising research funds with supporting not only the child with a liver disease but their whole family, including after the death of a child. By fundraising for them, I hope to raise awareness about their work as well as helping them financially.

KFC: Where do you get ideas for patterns?

Pinwheel Purse - Frankie Brown
Pinwheel Purse
Photo: Frankie Brown

FB: That’s a big question! I love geometric patterns and have designed various blankets based on traditional quilt designs. Origami is another good source of inspiration; my “Pinwheel Purse” is a knitted version of a traditional fold. Sometimes I just want to play with lots of colours, and then I often turn to crochet.

Mostly though, I just think of something I’d like to have and then work out how to make it. [For instance,] I wanted a warm rug for a cold floor, so [I worked] on a knitted rug design.

KFC: What made you decide to start the Frankie’s Knitted Stuff group on Ravelry?

FB: This was suggested to me by a fellow designer Pat (Woolhelmina on Ravelry) who helps me moderate the group and sorts me out when I don’t know how to do something technical! It’s proved to be a great place for sharing tips and showing off what we’ve made.

It’s particularly fun in December each year when the members are working on my Christmas series of patterns, there’s always a bit of a competition to be the first to finish each pattern as it’s published.

KFC: Do you do any other kind of charity work? Knitting for charity, for instance? (We’re called Knitting for Charity… I have to ask!)

FB: No, I’m afraid not. My designing is a full-time job, and I can raise more money for charity through my patterns than I could by knitting things for charity myself. Knitters do often knit things from my patterns to raise money for other charities, and I’m pleased to be able to support more charities in this way, albeit indirectly.

Again, a hundred thanks to Frankie for her interview. If you love the Ten-Stitch Blanket, or one (or more!) of her other patterns, I encourage you to do the following:

1) check out her other patterns available in Frankie’s Knitted Stuff, and

2) donate to her fundraising page.

You can also take a look at her Frankie’s Knitted Stuff blog for more behind-the-scenes into her knitting and designing.

This is a great way to make a difference while you delight in knitting her incredible patterns!

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