from the deep, dark sea…

Have been neglecting my shop for a while (it’s a rented cubby in my friend’s gift shop). It was sparse and pitiful-looking when I went in to look for a greeting card earlier this week :'( So I plunked myself down in my studio (aka couch and coffee table) this weekend, and came up with these —

A family of deep sea creatures :D

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Close-up of “Inky and the Moon” — moonstone and crocheted squid.

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I also like to spend a lot of time writing and drawing the packaging. I hope the customers find them as amusing as I do… (Mike walked by when I was working on the cyclops and he commented, “he’s watching you!”, hence the tagline. We’re a great team :D)

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I’m actually terrified of deep water, and cannot swim to save my own life, but I’m strangely attracted to sea-related things… I have more ideas swimming in my head (haha) for sea creature brooches and such, looking forward to making them in the upcoming weekends (or maybe even during the week if I can conjure up the energy)!

Hope you have a fantastic week!

 

 

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yarn-filled day of fun!

At the TTC Knitalong — an annual charity event in which groups of crafters spend a Saturday travelling (and knitting/crocheting) on public transit to visit multiple yarn shops across the city.

Proceeds of the event go to a local women-centered agency, participants get to hang out with fellow crafters and meet new people, yarn shops get lots of visitors and love — everybody wins! Whoever invented this is a genius. It is in its 10th year and this year’s got the biggest turn out yet! The only disappointment is that I didn’t know about this in previous years… will definitely join again next year.

And now, some pictures from my day :D

My group started at Wool-Gathering in the west end. It has on display this beautiful rug, which makes me want to learn rug hooking one day.

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I also love these small rugs with vibrant, abstract designs.

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Our next stop was Passionknit. Look at these delicious colours! More excited than a kid in a candy shop :D

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I spotted this photo of me on instagram, knitting along on the subway, and chatting with our awesome team captain :D (if you’re wondering, I’m making a keyhole scarf in fisherman rib)

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In the meanwhile, our other team captain completed a snowflake on the subway while standing the entire time!

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Then we hopped on the approaching train above and made our way to a sun-filled Lettuce Knit in Kensington Market. These friendly ones are enjoying the sunny spots and relaxing by the knitting pile…

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Also hanging out in the sun…

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This was when I remembered what my mom used to always say to me when I was a kid and we were at the store and I wanted to bring home all the plush animals. “You can give it a hug and put it back.” Such dreamy colours…

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We spent some time on the patio outside. Spotted these cheerful yarn-wrapped branches. My phone camera does not do the colours and sunshine justice.

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And this beautiful yarn-bombed bike!

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More knitting on the streetcar…

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… and arriving at our final shop, The Knit Cafe :D I’ve always been a big fan of the shop and its fabulous window displays.

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People chatting about patterns, marveling at the wool, the warm afternoon sun pouring in, the ball-winder busy spinning… the happiest place :)

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And look who I ran into :D

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Found the secret knitting garden.

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Here we are at our final stop, the Firkin for drinks, food, and more knitting.

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I didn’t buy a whole lot that day, wasn’t at all prepared with shopping list or even project list, and feeling slightly overwhelmed most of the time (not a bad thing though), mainly because I didn’t know what to expect. But I did get a skein of hand-dyed wool from Wool-Gathering (far left), because the colours remind me of sunsets, and a giant skein of Cascade Ecological wool (centre), because I love the colour and it was the last skein on the shelf (I already have an idea of a sweater for it, but have to finish my holiday crafting first). ALSO! I won a draw at Lettuce Knit, which generously donated 4 skeins of wool the colour of strawberry ice cream :D I was rather surprised, because I don’t ever win anything.

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This means I definitely have to join the knitalong again next year :D

I actually don’t knit or crochet on public transit very often, because sometimes I get motion sickness from it, especially on the bus. But after the knitalong I think I will start bringing my knitting to work, so I can at least knit after work on the subway (there is no hope of getting a seat in the morning, and I haven’t developed the skill to knit/crochet while standing yet :P). It’s actually quite calming, and I think it will do me more good in terms of de-stressing than playing Angry Birds.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! :D

 

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pocket friends :D

anything animals

Had to make these anything animals :D I just love the seed stitch sweater! I even used both the sweater colour and fur colour on the cat’s arms, so they look like sweater sleeves.

AND! Tomorrow is the long-awaited TTC Knitalong! I will definitely report back on the day of fun and yarn! :D

Hope you have a wonderful, crafty weekend, everyone!

 

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this week’s awesome finds

One of my favourite cartoons! :D Hamtaro crochet pattern in both Spanish and English from Mi Pequeno Mundo Rosa.

 

I love these Anything Animals by Melissa Wastney. The animals’ textured sweaters are so lovely.

 

Have always loved the wooden yarn bowls. Maybe this can be made in wood colours. From Seven Thirty Three.

 

Ingenious origami cardigan, on my to-make list! I don’t think there’s a pattern that I don’t like from the Purl Bee.

 

Excellent way to revive a tired old t-shirt, with cats! :D from Tata Cousette.

 

I love the way the light shines through the sea glass. Would make a lovely travel souvenir too, from a sea or lake-side destination. From Lovely Greens.

 

This is the best — a pineapple purse! I want to make one for myself and everyone I know :D From Craft Ideas.

 

Quilting is one craft that I’m not too interested in at the moment but I would love to make one of these super cute mushroom squares. From Sew Scatterbrained.

 

Have an awesome weekend, everyone! :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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underwood 315

Came across a good quote that I wanted to display at my desk at work. Thought about handwriting it, or finding a good type face for it and printing it out, but then remembered that we’ve inherited Mike’s grandmother’s Underwood 315.

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It took us a while to get the imprints looking right. At first we thought the ribbon was out of ink. After all, Mike remembered that the last time he saw it used was in the 80s. But then we tried to adjust a number of things, and eventually we were actually able to get a dark enough imprint.

I typed the quote 3 times over to end up with one that doesn’t have typos – proof that I’m far too used to typing on the computer and being able to easily erase mistakes. The first time I ever typed was on a computer keyboard; this is actually the first time I’ve used the typewriter. And how did people use their pinkies on the typewriter? The keys require quite a force to make an imprint on the paper. I imagine getting callouses on the fingertips, much like playing the guitar. But I find it to be quite a rewarding experience! To practice and practice and finally get it right :)

And it reminds me so much of printmaking. Especially with the two-colour ribbon. One just wouldn’t know exactly how the words will appear, there are always slight variations even if the letters are the same. Maybe I will try to make more things with it :D

Have a wonderful start to the week, everyone!

 

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in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius

It’s become a bit of a summer tradition now, my sister and I going to the ROM :)

This year the feature exhibit is Pompeii. I loved learning about Pompeii when I was a kid! :D (and had dreams about becoming an archaeologist or a paleontologist, and once in a while I wonder about what my life would be like now if I had followed my dreams… anyway, I digress)

Usually when I hear about Pompeii the images of the body casts come to mind. And there were casts of the body casts in the exhibit too. But I found myself more attracted to marvelous mosaics, made of tiny, probably 1mm x 1mm pieces of clay. I’m quite surprised by how well these were preserved, despite the fire and the heat of the volcano eruption.

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I imagine the artisan’s hand, placing these clay chips one by one carefully onto wet grout, tracing the lines on the face, the subtle tonal variations of the skin.

And this is my favourite in the exhibit, the spectacular sea life mosaic.

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The phone photo really doesn’t do it justice. It is quite large in person. Looks like the octopus is battling a lobster-like creature. Here’s a close up of the octopus, made of many tiny tiles.

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This must have taken a long, long time to make. I imagine the artisan(s) taking a step back after the last tile was put into place, and feeling incredible joy and satisfaction when they saw what they have created.

I was also surprised by the survival of the many frescoes, like this one, of seafood.

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Intrigued by the sculpture’s very intricate hairstyle.

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Figs and bread carbonized in the eruption.

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There was also a video projection showing the eruption, with this wide-eyed statue in front of it. Looked to me like it was frozen in terror.

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Mike went on this trip with my sister and me, and he hadn’t been to other parts of the museum for a while, so we also toured the dinosaur galleries and the biodiversity gallery. There was an exhibit of the new dinosaur discovery! And! This is a 3-D printed model!

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Wendiceratops pinhornensis, named after the Canadian fossil hunter, Wendy Sloboda, who discovered it in Alberta, Canada :)

In the biodiversity gallery I was hoping to find a display of fungi. I’ve been to this part of the museum many times, but I thought maybe I’ve always missed it. Finally I found it, replicas in the Boreal Forest section, I think, as well as a drawer of dried mushrooms that were difficult to tell what they actually looked like before they were picked. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a larger display of more species of fungi and mushrooms, but this is still nice :)

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So that was the end of our adventure to the ROM. I hope you will get a chance to visit if you’re ever in the neighbourhood! :D I’m looking forward to finding out what next summer’s feature exhibition will be! Maybe it will be on the diversity of mushrooms and fungi! :D One can always dream… (I once saw a course at a local university titled “Mushrooms: Lords of the Dark Earth”. I so wanted to take the course but it wasn’t being offered anymore… anyway.)

Hope everyone is having a good week!

 

 

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leucocoprinus birnbaumii

That is the very uncommon name of a very common yellow houseplant mushroom :D

According to Wiki, it is also called “flowerpot parasol” or “plantpot dapperling”. Very pretty names. One started growing in our spider plant!

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When we first spotted it it was very tiny, maybe quarter of an inch tall.

Then a few days later we noticed the cap completely open. It was still tiny, about half an inch tall.

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This is a better picture from Mike.

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We took these pictures at night. The next morning we found the mushroom already wilted :(

Have you had these mushrooms in your plants? According to this helpful site, it does not hurt the houseplants, and it’s not harmful they’re eaten. So maybe not so great when there are young children and pets.

Which reminds me, maybe some mushrooms are out already in the park. I should go out for walks sometimes and start looking :D

Hope you have a happy Sunday and a good week!

 

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water’s edge, a remake

 

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A remake of the Pastel dress, with a yarn that reminds me of the seashore — the different shades of blue in the distance, the greens of algae and seaweed washed up on the rocks.

Similar to the remake of the Ginkgo top, this sweater uses the same lace pattern as the top of the Pastel dress (which was a variation of the Ginkgo lace pattern), minus the armhole shaping and with a simpler boat neck shaping.

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The yarn I used was Mary Maxim Prism in Still Waters. I love this yarn. It’s affordable, super washable, the colours are amazing, has a nice drape. I wish there is a Mary Maxim closer to where I live… *sigh*

It has a very simple shape and stitch pattern, so I imagine it would look nice with a variegated yarn like Noro, or a sparkly yarn for fancier occasions :)

I used:

Light worsted weight yarn, approx. 700 yards

5 mm and 4.5 mm hooks

Tapestry needle for sewing

Sweater measures: 34″ around, 19.5″ in length

Length is easily adjustable by working more or fewer rows. Width can be adjusted by adding or subtracting stitches in the foundation ch by multiples of 6.

6 stitches = 1 3/8”

Pattern:

Stitch pattern:
Fan = [dc, 2 ch, dc, 2 ch, dc] in same space

Front: 

With 5 mm hook, ch 85.

Row 1: dc in 6th ch from hook, skip next 2 ch, dc in next ch, [skip next 2 ch, fan in next ch, skip next 2 ch, dc in next ch] to end, [dc, ch 2, dc] in last ch, turn.

Row 2: ch 3, skip first dc, fan in dc between fans, [dc in 2nd dc of next fan, fan in next dc between fans] to end, dc in 3rd ch of turning ch, turn.

Row 3: ch 5, ch in 1st dc, dc in 2nd dc of next fan, [fan in next dc between fans, dc in 2nd dc of next fan] to end, [dc, ch 2, dc] in turning ch, turn.

Repeat rows 2 & 3 until there are 34 rows altogether, ending with row 2.

Neck shaping:

Row 35: work in pattern to the 4th fan of the row, dc in 2nd dc of the 4th fan, dc in next dc between fans, turn.

Row 36: ch 5, dc in next dc, dc in the 2nd dc of next fan, work in pattern till end, turn.

Row 37-38: work in pattern. Fasten off.

Attach yarn to the other corner of row 34, repeat rows 35-38.

Back:

Repeat pattern for front until neck shaping. Work 2 more rows so that there are 36 rows altogether, ending with row 2.

Neck shaping:

Row 37-38: repeat rows 35 and 36 of front. Fasten off.

Attach yarn to the other corner of row 36, repeat rows 37-38.

Assembly:

With right sides together and wrong sides facing, sew shoulder seams together.

With right sides together and wrong sides facing, sew side seams together, starting at the top of the 11th row from the top of the sweater.

Turn sweater right side out.

Edging: with 4.5 mm hook

Neckline: attach yarn to a dc (not part of a fan) on the back of neck. ch 1, sc in same dc, [sc in 1st dc of fan, sc in next ch 2 sp, skip 2nd dc of fan, sc in next ch 2 sp, sc in 3rd dc of fan, sc in next dc] around, sl st in beginning sc of found, fasten off.

Armholes: attach yarn to any space on the armhole. We will be crocheting into the side of the rows, or what I call “row-ends”. ch 3, work 2 dc in each row-end around, sl st in top of beginning ch 3, fasten off. Repeat for the other armhole.

Bottom edge: attach yarn to any ch 2 space, ch 3, work 1 dc in every ch 2 space, every base of a fan, and every base of a dc, sl st in top of beginning ch 3, fasten off.

Weave in all ends.

And it’s done! :D

Here’s an in-between shot in which I was caught adjusting the necklace, which I thought turned out kind of cool and stylish :D

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Hope you enjoy the remake! Have a happy Saturday! :D

 

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lately

I recently received a lovely email from a friendly staff person at Warby Parker inviting me to write a post about my summer moments and to pick some of their sunglasses to go with them, for their #seesummerbetter campaign. While I’m not receiving any material or monetary compensation for writing this post, except perhaps friendly shout-outs from the Warby blog, I’m still feeling rather flattered that there is interest in this blog, especially since Mike just got a pair of glasses from them and he quite liked them, and had been telling me good things about the company, including friendly and approachable customer service :) Another thing that attracted Mike to shop from them is their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, which doesn’t only create access to affordable glasses, but also opportunities for skill-building and employment.

So I was happy about writing this post. But there is one problem: I don’t usually wear sunglasses. It’s kind of a foreign topic to me and I don’t really know what to write about.

Not that I don’t like wearing sunglasses. I think they’re very important for eye health. I’m just rather utilitarian about it (among many other things). I used to own a pair of sunglasses that I bought from the drug store, they go over my regular glasses (as in wearing two pairs of glasses at the same time). But then I got new glasses that are a lot wider than my old pair and the sunglasses can’t fit over them. And I never bothered to get a pair of prescription sunglasses. So I haven’t been wearing sunglasses for a few years now. Probably not good for my eyes, especially in the summer. The invitation to write this post might actually be a good reminder that I need to get myself a pair of prescription sunglasses soon… and maybe I’ll think a bit more about style rather just utilitarian this time (sunglasses that go over regular glasses aren’t the most stylish ever :S).

So I sort of interpreted the invitation to write this post as: if you were to buy a pair of sunglasses from our shop, which ones would you consider?

It’s always fun to window shop :)

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Last week I got my hair cut and coloured :D I’m quite happy with the vibrant but not too bright colour showing from underneath. I have an affinity for grey glasses, so I think the new hair would look great with these :D And with a beautiful name like Luna Fade it’s hard to not like them.

 

Have I ever shared pictures of the curtains I finally sewed and put up? It’s only taken me 8 months! :S For the longest time we had disposable plastic table cloths taped to the window… but now we have these sea glass coloured curtains! :D And look at the glorious blazing summer sunset shining through.

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I like sea glass… or is it seafoam? Anyway, I like these, because they’re sea glass coloured… and they are indeed named Beach Glass! :D

 

And today we had the perfect summer evening – sandals, cotton-candy-colour pants, trip to the library at 8pm in daylight!

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Today’s awesome finds for summer reading/viewing – Muppets Most Wanted, Amigurumi at Home, and Life After Life :)

And what goes well with cotton-candy-coloured pants?

I love these… and they’re beautifully named Moonstone! (As you may notice I’m a sucker for nice product names.)

Thanks for window shopping with me! :D Hope everyone has a fun and sun-filled weekend!

 

 

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this week’s awesome finds

Woohoo! Balloon ice creams, perfect photo booth prop for summer parties :D From my favourite party blog Oh Happy Day.

 

A friend pointed me to this cute knitted snail from Hobby Craft.

 

Lovely gold twig hair pins from Love Maegan.

 

Clever, simple and super cute pom pom cactus, from Pinch Me Beautiful.

 

Hop to Wool and the Gang for this adorable knitted bee pattern and learn more about saving the bees!

 

Something very stylish about these coasters. From Lebenslustiger.

 

A floor pouf! I’ve always liked the idea but didn’t feel like buying a ton of Polyfil. This one doubles as a secret storage – how smart! For pillows and extra blankets and such! From Chaleur Life.

 

Beautiful summery tote, by Aunt Peaches on I Love to Create.

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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about genuine mudpie

Hello, my name is Trish. I live in Toronto. I like to make things (particularly with yarn). This is a place where I share my crafty endeavours and things that inspire me. Thank you for visiting! Would love to hear from you - feel free to leave a comment! :D

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