wee bear

Photo 2014-09-29, 8 44 37 PM

6th pattern in the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures (and Their Favourite Things) project. Can you believe we’re already half way done? Fun times go by fast :D

For this bear I used:

Worsted weight yarn in blue, light blue and brown

3.5 mm hook

Small black beads for eyes

Needle and thread for sewing and embroidering

Pattern:

Head

Round 1: With blue, 6 sc in magic ring, do not join.

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around, do not join (12 sc).

Round 3: *1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat from * to * around, do not join (18 sc).

Continue working 1 sc in each sc around until piece is 1″ tall, ch 1.

Now we make the ears. Press head flat, insert hook in next sc and the sc before the st on hook, like so…

DSC03808

Make 1 sc in these sc, then make 2 hdc and 1 sc in same sc, sl st in each of next 5 sc in both layers, ch 1, [1 sc, 2 hdc, 1 sc] in next sc, sl st in last sc on the edge, fasten off. Weave in end.

Snout

Row 1: With light blue, 3 sc in magic ring, turn.

Row 2: ch 1, sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last sc, sl st in magic ring, fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Embroider nose on snout with brown yarn.

Face

Sew snout to head. Sew on eyes. Sew french knots on the ears with light blue yarn.

Body

Round 1: With blue, 6 sc in magic ring, do not join.

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around, do not join (12 sc).

Continue making 1 sc in each sc around until piece is 1″ tall.

Second last row: *1 sc in next sc, 2 sc tog over next 2 sc*, repeat from * to * 3 more times.

Last row: 1 sc in each sc around. Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

Arms and legs

Arms are attached between first and second rows from the top of body, and legs are attached between last and second last row of body.

Attach yarn to the st where the arm/leg would be, like so.

DSC03809

Draw up a loop, ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each of next 2 sc, sl st in the st where the yarn is attached, pulling up a length of yarn about 24″ long as you complete the sl st…

DSC03810

 

Cut yarn. Insert hook through the stitch where the 2nd leg will be AND the stitch where the first leg is attached, and pull the yarn through.

DSC03811

Insert hook in the stitch where the 2nd leg starts and make 1 sc in the stitch. ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each of next 2 ch, sl st in the st where the leg is attached, fasten off, weave in ends.

Do the same for the arms, except use sl st instead of sc when crocheting down the arms.

Using long tail from body, sew body to head. I also made a french knot for a tiny tail.

And we have a bear! :D

Have a happy rest of the week!

 

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mushroom 2 ways

5th pattern in the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures (& Their Favourite Things) project!

So, we’re going to a mushroom identification workshop at High Park tomorrow, and Mike thought it would be a really great idea to make a mushroom pin on his own for the occasion. And so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make up the mushroom pattern while teaching him how to crochet :D

Apparently, hedgehogs really like mushrooms. So do Hobbits – “It is said that Hobbits have a passion for mushrooms, surpassing even the greediest likings of Big People” (source). Anyway, I digress.

Here’s Mike working hard to master the ch, sc, hdc…

Photo 2014-09-25, 9 17 29 PM

 

And here’s what he made :D I love the whimsical different sizes spots on it.

Photo 2014-09-26, 2 58 25 PM

And here it is with the other two I made.

DSC03713

These mushrooms are flat, great for applique, brooches and ornaments.

There are probably dozens of mushroom applique patterns written already. But I thought what I can offer is two super quick, super easy ways of making mushrooms – a rounder, more plump one (red and blue) and a narrower one with vertical texture (brown).

Materials:

We used chunky weight yarn for the red and blue mushrooms, with a 5 mm hook, because Mike wanted to use a specific colour of yarn and I only have it in chunky weight. But worsted weight yarn and a 3.5 mm hook will also work well.

Also, tapestry needle for sewing and embroidering.

Patterns:

Round mushroom cap

ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd st from hook, do not join.

*2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc*, repeat from * to * two more times, do not join (9 sc in round).

Continue in rounds working 1 sc in each sc until mushroom cap is about 1″ tall. Fasten off, leave tail for sewing.

Stem

ch 6, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next ch, sl st in each of remaining ch. Fasten off.

Assembly

Embroider spots on mushroom cap with french knots.

Place the narrow end of the stem into mushroom cap. Using yarn tail from mushroom cap, sew the opening of the mushroom cap together along its width, sewing through the stem when you come upon it.

Narrow mushroom cap

Make a magic ring, ch 4, 8 dtr (double triple stitch) in magic ring, sl st in the top of beginning ch 4. Fasten off, leave tail for sewing.

*the dtr may take some practice to master as it has a tendency to become loose between stitches, but once you’ve done all eight of them then that’s it! You’ve finished the mushroom cap!

Stem

ch 8, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next ch, sl st in each of remaining ch, fasten off.

Assembly

Same as round mushroom.

There will be big gaps between the long dtr stitches, but embroidering on the spots and sewing the opening of the mushroom cap closed will help keep it in shape.

 

Hope you enjoy the mushroom patterns!

Also want to give you a heads up that the next couple of patterns for the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures project may get delayed a bit. Things are becoming busier than I have anticipated. I’m making stuff for a craft sale next weekend, and then several school/work related meetings and deadlines also suddenly got scheduled for this coming week… here’s a look at my couch, in the midst of pre-sale rush, with Filbert the cat looking on, full of concerns…

Photo 2014-09-26, 3 07 13 PM

 

But it’s exciting! The coming week is full of exciting opportunities. It just took me by surprise, that is all.

I had planned on posting a pattern every 2-3 days, and I will still try to do that, but if the next one comes out a day or so later, please bear with me >_<

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!

 

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hoot!

 

 

owl

Took a while to figure this one out. I initially just wanted to make a flat owl shape, but thought it would be nice to give it some texture. I tried incorporating the v-stitch but it didn’t look quite right… so I thought I’d try the loop stitch again and I think it looks rather fluffy and cute! It looks like the loop stitch is becoming one of my favourites (I’ll have to show you a larger scale project that I just finished, involving hundreds of loop stitches). Hope you like it as much as I do!

By the way, I found a slightly different way of making the loop stitch on We are Knitters, which seems a bit more secure. The video tutorial can be viewed here (nice music too!).

So! The pattern!

I used:

Worsted weight yarn in 2 shades of yellow and blue

3.5 mm hook

Needles for sewing and embroidering

Blue and orange thread for embroidering beak and eyes

A bit of white felt for eyes

Two black round beads for eyes and black thread for sewing on eyes

Body front:

Notes: it’s worked from top to bottom to accommodate the direction of the loops, then reattach yarn to crochet the head. For the 2 different shades in the body, MC is main colour and CC is contrasting colour. Carry the colour that is not in use up the rows when switching colours.

With MC, ch 8

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn.

Row 2: ch 1 (turning ch 1 does not count as a st), lp st (loop stitch) in each sc across, turn.

Row 3: change to CC, ch 1, 2 sc in first st, sc in each st across until second last st, 2 sc in last sc, turn.

Row 4: ch 1, lp st in each sc across, turn.

Row 5: change to MC, ch 1, 1 sc in each st across, turn.

Row 6: ch 1, lp st in each sc across, turn.

Row 7: change to CC, ch 1, 2 sc tog over first 2 st, 1 sc in each st across until last 2 st, 2 sc tog over next 2 st, turn.

Row 8: ch 1, lp st in each sc across, turn.

Row 9: change to MC, ch 1, 2 sc tog over first 2 sc, 1 sc in each st across until last 2 st, 2 sc tog over next 2 sc, turn.

Row 10: ch 1, 1 sc in each sc across, fasten off.

Now we make the head.

With MC and wrong side facing you, attach yarn to the first row of body.

Row 1: ch 1, 1 sc in each st across, turn.

Row 2: ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sc across, 3 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sc across, ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in the bottom of last sc just made (i.e. in the first sc of previous row), fasten off.

Back:

Note: back is worked from bottom to top in one piece and with MC only.

ch 7

Row 1: ch 1, 1 sc in each ch across, turn.

Row 2: ch 1, 2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each sc across until second last sc, 2 sc in last sc, turn.

Row 3: ch 1, 1 sc in each sc across, turn.

Row 4: Repeat row 2.

Row 5-7: Repeat row 3 (i.e. work even).

Row 8: ch 1, 2 sc tog over first 2 sc, 1 sc in each sc across until last 2 sc, 2 sc tog over last 2 sc, turn.

Row 9: ch 1, 1 sc in each sc across, turn.

Row 10: work even.

Row 11-12: Repeat rows 1-2 of head. Fasten off, leave long tail for sewing.

Wings (make 2):

Leave 3-4 inches of tail for sewing, ch 4

Row 1: 2 dc in 4th ch from hook, turn.

Row 2: ch 3 (turning ch 3 counts as a stitch), 2 dc in next dc, dc in top of beginning ch 3, turn.

Row 3: ch 3, 3 dc tog over next 2 dc and top of turning ch 3. Fasten off, leave 3-4″ of tail for sewing.

Assembly:

Cut 2 circles for eyes. I cut mine about 1/2″ wide, but you can make them smaller or larger if you like. Owl plushes with giant eyes are very cool-looking too.

Sew eyes on the head of owl with blue embroider thread, if you like that look.

Embroider beak.

Sew on black beads to complete eyes.

Sew front and back together. I made two small loops at each ear while sewing but that’s optional. If you’re making an ornament you may also want to make a loop with a ribbon and sandwich it between the front and back and sew it all together.

Attach the wings by tying the yarn tail at the top of wings to the top corners of the first row of loop stitch, and the bottom of the wing to the bottom corners of the last row of body. This sounds more complicated than it is – you will easily get it by looking at the picture :)

And we’re done!

Here’s the owl and me with an owl shirt on :D

Photo 2014-09-23, 10 18 31 PM

I love how fluffy he is :D

Would be fun to make it with different colour combinations. And if I were to make another, I would probably try to make the loops a bit smaller.

It would be so exciting to see the different owls everyone makes!

Until next time – happy crafting!

 

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mighty acorn

acorn 5

“Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” ― David Icke

(and yikes, I have really dry hands…)

 

3rd pattern in the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures (and Their Favourite Things)! Today we have the squirrels’ favourite things – Acorns!

The mighty acorn would make a mighty oak, or a mighty good snack for the woodland creatures. Either way it’s going to do good :D

An extra small acorn makes a wonderful necklace. Simply attach a jump ring at the top and put a chain through – voila!

acorn 1

 

Fun~ So I thought I would write the pattern for both the mini acorn and the regular acorn. They’re very similar, just slightly different stitch counts.

For the acorns I wanted to use a sock weight yarn in my stash that has very rich shades of brown, so I’ve used smaller hooks. But if you’re using worsted weight yarn you can just use the 3.5 mm hook as usual, and you would end up with a slightly larger acorn.

I used:

Sock weight yarn in brown and green

2.25 mm hook

Scrap yarn for stuffing

Red embroidery thread (optional)

Needle for sewing and embroidering

Pattern:

Note: instructions are for mini acorn [regular acorn in square brackets]

Cap:

Round 1: ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch (you’ve just made the stem), ch 1, 8 [10] sc in next ch, sl st in first sc to join.

We’re basically crocheting a circle with the stem in the centre, so when joining you will have to go behind/around the stem, like so…

acorn 3

 

Round 2: ch 2, dc in same sc as starting ch, *dc in next sc, 2 dc in next sc*, repeat from * to * to end, sl st in top of turning ch 2 to join. Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Nut:

6 sc in magic ring, do not join.

sc in first sc, *2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc*, repeat from * to * 2 [5] more times.

sc in each sc until piece is 3/4″ tall. Fasten off, weave in end.

Assembly:

If you’d like, embroider a heart on the acorn by making two lazy daisy stitch (here’s a great tutorial for it). But the acorn would be just as awesome if you leave it plain.

Stuff the acorn with scrap yarn. Sew the cap on the nut using the long tail left on the cap. Because it’s so small I just sew right through the acorn in a cross-manner all around, sewing through the bottom edge of the cap and top edge of the nut, being careful not to pull too tight so the acorn would keep its plump shape.

And here we are! I made different colours :D

acorn 4

 

They would make great pins with mini pin backs attached on the back. I think they would also make great hanging ornaments on the tree or by the window. You can also skip stuffing the acorn nut, squash the cap and acorn flat, then sew them together to make an applique.

Hope you enjoy the acorn pattern! Happy Monday! :D

 

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saturday is white squirrel day!

white squirrel

Well, at least on this blog anyway ;)

Here comes the second pattern for the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures (and Their Favourite Things)! To the awesome visitors who have commented on my last post – thanks SO much for joining me in the crochet-along! And to everyone – it is never too late to join in the fun (details here)! You can make all or a few or just one of the 12 creatures you like. It would be really great to see what everyone has created at the end!

AND! I’ve created a Ravelry group! I thought maybe it will make it easier to share pictures. Please feel free to join if you use Ravelry! I’ve never made a Rav group before, barely participated in one and not so sure about how they run… so we’ll see how it goes! :D

So, anyhoo, the elusive white squirrels are legendary creatures in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park (though I’m very sad :'( to find out that we just lost one recently). There is a street and a coffee shop in the neighbourhood named after the white squirrel. I have yet to encounter a real one, so I just keep making crocheted ones. Apparently there are also white squirrels in Exeter, Ontario, which are not albino with red eyes, like the Trinity Bellwoods squirrels, but just have white fur instead of the more common grey or black fur. So I suppose the white squirrel we’re making here today can be a variety of the Exeter squirrels. Actually, I chose to give the squirrel the regular black eyes because I’m making it for a baby mobile, and the thought of tiny red eyes staring down at the baby is just… a bit strange.

I think the white squirrel also makes a nice tree ornament! :D

The construction of this squirrel is rather simple. It’s made out of 4 pieces: 2 head pieces and 2 body pieces. Oh and a fluffy tail.

I used, as usual:

Worsted weight white yarn

3.5 mm hook

Black beads for eyes

Needle and thread for sewing and embroidering

A bit of pink yarn for embroidering the nose

A bit of fluffy white yarn for tail (like Bernat Boucle or Lion Brand Homespun)

Pattern:

Head (make 2) – crocheted in rounds

Round 1: 6 sc in magic ring, sl st in first sc to join.

Round 2: ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), 2 sc in each sc around, sl st in first sc to join.

Round 3: 1 sc in each of first 3 sc, sc in next sc, ch 3 (this is an ear), sc in same sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, sc in next sc, ch 3 (this is another ear), sc in same sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 2 dc tog over next 2 sc (this is the nose), ch 2, sc in the same st as first sc of the round, sl st in next sc, fasten off, weave in ends.

*When finishing the 2nd head shape, leave a long tail for sewing.

Body (make 2) – crocheted in rows

ch 4

Row 1: sc in 2nd st from hook, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, turn (3 sc).

Row 2: ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), sc in each sc across, turn (3 sc).

Row 3: repeat row 2.

Row 4: ch 1, sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last sc, turn (4 sc).

Row 5: ch 1, sc in each sc across, turn (4 sc).

Row 6: ch 1, sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last sc, turn (5 sc).

Row 7: ch 1, sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last sc, turn (6 sc).

Row 8: ch 1, 2 sc tog 3 times, fasten off, weave in ends.

*When finishing the 2nd body shape, leave a long tail for sewing.

Attaching tail:

1. Cut 6 pieces of the fluffy white yarn, each about 5-6 inches long.

2. Find a gap between stitches in the lower centre of the squirrel body.

3. With crochet hook, pull each piece of the fluffy white yarn, one by one, through the same gap, leaving the long tails on one side of the body piece and short ends on the other side, like so… (I hope you can see it alright… white yarn is a bit difficult to photograph…)

DSC03670

 

4. Tie the short ends together by pairing them up and tying each pair in double knots.

Assembling body and head:

1. With all the short ends of the tail inside, sew the 2 pieces of body together.

2. Sew eyes and embroider nose on one head piece (I made a giant french knot with pink yarn for the nose).

3. Position the head pieces so that they sandwich the body, with the nose covering the top row (neck) of the body. Sew head together, and sewing through all head and body layers when you get to the neck/nose area.

(If you’re making an ornament, you can make a loop with a piece of ribbon and sandwich it between the 2 head pieces at the top of the head before sewing the head together).

Positioning the tail:

Curl the tail up in a position that you like on the side of the body. Take one piece of yarn from the tail and pull it through a stitch on the edge of the body through the front, where the head and body meet, then take the same piece of yarn and wrap it loosely but securely around the entire tail once, then pull it through the same stitch on the body through the front again, and tie a knot at the stitch on the back to secure.

Trim tail to the length you like.

And the squirrel is done! :D

 

Happy weekend, everyone!

 

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12 days of woodland creatures

Introducing!! 12 Days of Woodland Creatures (and Their Favourite Things)!

Hedgehog

You’re invited to a crochet-along! :D

I’ve been planning this for a while now. Every year I try to do a “daily practice” kind of project, where I make something everyday, as a way of keeping creativity flowing, like the square-a-day project. This year I was asked by a good friend to make a forest-themed mobile for the newest member of her family (exciting!!). So, to honour my friend’s generous spirit I thought I would share how I make each creature with everyone on this blog :D

And then I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for a crochet-along! The creatures don’t only belong on a mobile, they can be used for a lot of different things…

Brooches?

Applique?

Ornaments? Maybe for an advent calender like this? Or, by the end of the project you would have a set of woodland ornaments for the Christmas tree, just in time for the holiday season!

Characters for felt storyboards, with velcro on the back?

Carry-along plush toys?

Pocket pets?

Possibilities are endless :)

 

So! This is how it works:

Every 2-3 days I will post a pattern for a crochet woodland creature (or its favourite things). And I won’t be pre-announcing what the creatures are, so it will be a surprise every time! At the end there will be 12 patterns. You can crochet along for all of the patterns, or just one, or pick the ones you like. And if you send me pictures or blog posts about what you have created, I will share it here, like our craft-along gallery a couple of years ago (that was lots of fun! :D), then we can see all the different and fun and creative ways that everyone has used for the creatures!

I’d love to know if you’d like to join in the fun, please make a comment below! :D

AND!! Today we have our first creature – yup, you guessed it. The hedgehog!

hedgehog fuzzy

Love the fuzzy yarn on this one :)

I also learned the loop stitch in the making of the hedgehog. There’s a great photo tutorial of it if you haven’t made it before.

I used:

Worsted weight yarn – one colour for the body and a contrasting colour for the head.

4 mm hook

2 small black beads for eyes (just one if you’re making a brooch)

Needle and thread for sewing

Pink embroidery thread and brown yarn for embroidering rosy cheeks and nose

 

Note: the turning ch 1 in this pattern does not count as a stitch. The pattern alternates between loop stitch (lp st) rows and single crochet (sc) rows, with the increases and decreases made in the sc rows and working even in the lp st rows)

Pattern:

With body colour, ch 5

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn.

Row 2: ch 1, loop stitch (lp st) in each sc across (4 lp st), turn.

Row 3: ch 1, 1 sc in each of the next 2 lp st, 2 sc in each of the next 2 lp st, turn.

Row 4: ch 1, lp st in each sc across (6 lp st), turn.

Row 5: ch 1, 1 sc in each of the next 4 lp st, 2 sc in each of the remaining 2 lp st, turn.

Row 6: ch 1, lp st in each sc across (8 lp st), turn.

Row 7: ch 1, 1 sc in each lp st across, turn.

Row 8: ch 1, lp st in each sc across (8 lp st), turn.

Row 9 & 10: repeat rows 7 & 8 (8 lp st).

Row 11: ch 1, 1 sc in each of the next 2 lp st, *2 sc tog over next 2 lp st*, repeat from * to * twice, turn.

Row 12: ch 1, lp st in each sc across (5 lp st), turn.

Change to head colour, fasten off body colour.

Row 13: ch 1, sc in each lp st, turn.

Row 14: ch 1, 2 sc tog over first 2 sc, 1 sc in each remaining sc across, turn.

Row 15: ch 1, 1 sc in each of the next 2 sc, 2 sc tog over the remaining 2 sc, turn.

Row 16: 3 sc tog, fasten off.

If you’re making a double-sided hedgehog:

Make a mirror image of the above hedgehog shape by reversing the increases and decrease in the pattern, i.e. if the row ends with increase/decrease stitches in the pattern, start with increase/decrease stitches when making a mirror image, and vice versa. Leave a long tail for sewing when fastening off both the body colour and the head colour. Sew on eyes, embroider nose and rosy cheeks, then sew the two hedgehog shapes together, using the long tail of head colour when sewing the head section and the long tail of body colour when sewing the body section.

If you’re making a single-sided hedgehog, like a brooch:

Make a back piece for the hedgehog using head colour following the pattern above, replacing all lp st rows with sc rows. Sew pin back to the back piece, sew on eye, nose and rosy cheek, then sew the back piece to the hedgehog.

And that’s it! You have a new hedgehog friend :D

Hope you like the pattern, and please drop me a note if you want to join me in crocheting along!

 

 

 

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weekend quick knit

P1070151

What to do with half a skein of Bernat Handicraft cotton that’s been in my stash since the late 1990s? Make a retro cropped top :D

It’s a cropped top because I don’t have enough yarn to make a full length sweater. And this colour is probably discontinued, so it’s unlikely that I can get more of it. I do really like the colours in this variegated cotton though. It’s just that every time I try to crochet something with it the colours tend to clump together (as I later found out, the proper knitting/crocheting term is “pooling”, as in the colours “pooling” together). So I thought maybe a knit pattern would decrease the pooling a bit.

I adapted the cap sleeve lattice top by The Purl Bee. Made some simple changes to accommodate the heavier yarn (the original pattern uses a sport weight yarn), so I thought I’d share them here in case anyone would like to make a similar top.

I used:

Worsted weight cotton. I’m not sure how many yards I had left in the leftover skein, but I still have quite a bit leftover after the sweater, so I’d say the sweater used about 450-500 yards.

6mm needles

Finished size: Bust 38″, length 15″

What I did:

CO 61 (can adjust for size by casting on more or fewer stitches, just make sure that there is an odd number of stitches)

Work in garter stitch (knit every row) for 5 rows.

Work in lattice pattern (as per The Purl Bee) until piece is 15″ (or as long as you like), end with lattice row 3.

Neck opening row 1 : k 15, BO 31, k 15

Neck opening row 2: work in pattern for first 15 stitches,  CO 31 (see The Purl Bee’s instruction for cable cast on), work in pattern for remaining 15 stitches.

Work in pattern until piece is 14″ from neck opening (or as long as you like, matching length of the the back minus the garter stitch rows).

Work in garter stitch for 5 rows, bind off.

With right sides together, sew sides together, leaving an opening of 7″ from top of shoulder to underarm (or length as you see fit).

And it’s done! :D

P1070142

We happened to be at High Park on the weekend so I took some pictures of it by the duck pond :D

I have to say that the pooling was still happening with all the dark purple clumping together in large areas, so I ended up dividing the skein of yarn into two balls, and knitting two rows from each ball alternately, which definitely helped.

 

Wishing you a fantastic week!

 

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public art

So, in my previous post about our Quebec trip I wrote that there was this amazing public art exhibition happening in old Quebec. It was called Les Passages Insolites (The Unusual Passages – you can read more about each piece and the artists on the exhibition site). And I thought, what’s a better way to appreciate public art than to be part of it? :D

This one I’m most proud of. Delirious Frites (Noodle Delirium).

delirious frites

 

Attempted to fit into the interlocked pile of stuff. Also, perfect for a game of eye-spy. Stock en Transit (Stock in Transit).

stock en transit

Not intentional, but wearing brightly coloured shoes and cardigan certainly helps me blend in to these particular installations.

This one was especially delightful :D L’Odyseé (The Odyssey).

l'odyssee

The installation also includes two other pigeons and a Campbell soup can. Here’s the full view of it :D

10629736_10154542737010228_9121230563092853048_n

 

This one isn’t part of the exhibition, but equally fun. The Mural of Qubecers commemorates the histories of lower town.

the mural of quebecers

 

So here we find ourselves at the end of summer, but more exciting things are afoot! Possibly a crochet-along… stay tuned if you enjoy crafting together :D

Have a wonderful Thursday!

 

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yarn blessings

Photo 2014-09-01, 12 08 29 PM

This came to me a while ago and I meant to write about this earlier, but was going through some stuff (more below) and then went on a trip

I got yarn in the mail! From my friend Amy :D She has so kindly asked me to try out her pattern and sent me this gorgeous yarn. I absolutely love the forest tones in it, with the yellows and greens and blue. What a treasure. I love working with variegated yarn and seeing how all the different colours blend differently in each stitch. Cannot wait to start making the cowl!

What cowl, you ask? The Love-Me-Knot Cowl!

The love knot (or Solomon’s knot as it is also called) is one of my favourite crochet stitches. Here’s a handy tutorial if you hadn’t used it before. I find it very meditative, and makes a delicate fabric with a nice drape. It also makes very quick projects because of the height of the stitches, perfect for last-minute presents (or, if you’re like me, you might be making Christmas presents already). And cowls are especially great because they’re stylish when worn indoors and they don’t have long ends that get caught in coat zippers while wearing outdoors. It is generously shared by Amy to download for free on Ravelry :D

But this particular skein of yarn is more than just yarn. It actually arrived at a time when I was very much not myself. I had just finished my final semester, feeling lost, purposeless and more than a little afraid after being in school on and off (more on than off) for 10 years, which resulted in four degrees but little job experience. Sent out dozens of job applications and heard nothing in return. And then there was administrative mix-up at school that could quite possibly jeopardize my graduation. My future was looking rather bleak.

And then this yarn came in the mail, with a lovely hand drawn note, and generosity and kindness that expects nothing in return. It reminded me of what I want to be for others and why I took the (long) path to be where I am today, and brought back some sense of purpose. I’m therefore truly blessed by this yarn, and most importantly Amy’s friendship.

(And since then the administrative mix-up has been fixed and I WILL graduate! But I digress…)

Do give Amy’s pattern a try! And for the beginning of fall I would like to pass on an Irish blessing that one of my favourite teachers shared with me:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.

Happy September! May you find joy and new learning in all that you do.

 

 

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greetings from quebec!

As mentioned in my previous post, Mike and I took a short trip to Quebec City a couple of weeks ago. We thought it would be a relaxing trip with fewer things to do than our trip to Chicago last year, but it turned out being quite a busy trip with lots and lots and lots to see!

But it was still relaxing, because we were being tourists and doing fun things, and things seem to move a little slower in Quebec than they are in Toronto. Cars share narrow roads with horse-drawn carriages and indecisive/lost tourists but I never heard anyone honk. And Old Quebec, where we stayed, is a truly beautiful place. It’s impossible to share everything from our 5 fun-packed days, but here are some things that are particularly memorable to me, and great places and wonderful local businesses to visit if you ever consider your taking a trip there :D

The Morrin Centre was one of the first places we wandered in. It’s a library that used to be the only Anglophone university. Look at all the books!

morrin 3

I especially love its elegant light fixtures.

morrin 2

 

But the basement reveals the building’s former self – a jail! We were able to see it with the guided tour, and the friendly guide has many interesting historical anecdotes and stories to tell. Highly recommend a visit!

morrin

On the same day we visited the Artillery Park, the military quarter that is part of the fortification of Quebec. Note the similar deep windows made by super thick walls.

artillery park

 

One of the gates into Old Quebec.

port st jean

Switching gears, one day we took the bus to Montmorency Falls. Just 30 minutes away from Old Quebec, on one bus :D (I try to avoid bus transfers even in Toronto :S)

View from the suspension bridge across the falls.

montmorency falls

We took the very long staircase on the right down to the bottom of the falls and back up again. It wasn’t exactly fun, but the cable car was over $10 per person per ride… so, the stairs.

montmorency falls 2

Back in Old Quebec, we visited Quartier Petit Champlain, the lower part of the city. Note the stairs, again. We realized that Quebec is quite a hilly province and there is a lot of stairs climbing involved to get around by foot. These stairs are appropriately called the “Breakneck Steps”, but they’re actually not that bad, compared to the stairs at the falls.

petit champlain

But a trip there at night is totally worth the sore calves!

petit champlain 2

My best attempt at photographing the night scene doesn’t capture the magic that was in the air. There was accordion playing and the warm glow of the lanterns in the trees. I could stay in that moment forever.

Over the week we stayed at a very quaint hotel, perfectly located near everything from historic cites to touristy shops in Old Quebec AND on a side street so it’s much quieter than the hotels on the main roads.

au petit hotel

And it was very affordable, very clean, run by very friendly and helpful staff. It even has breakfast service for a few dollars extra per night :D It’s a gem. We enthusiastically recommend it if you are visiting Old Quebec!

petit dejeuner

 

Also enjoyed very much the Paillard bakery. Surprisingly affordable (where else can you find $1 a cup of tea, not just in touristy Old Quebec but anywhere?), very good quality tea and treats. Especially love its communal long tables.

paillard

 

We had planned on only exploring in Old Quebec because 1. we were on foot, and 2. we are the kind of tourists who prefer spending time to know more about one place than quick visits to lots of places. But we ended up taking a side trip to Lévis, a small city that is just a 10-minute ferry ride from Old Quebec across the St. Lawrence River.

There we visited the old ship repairing yard and house of A. C. Davie. The top level of the house is kept the way it was in the 1950s. The lower levels of the house have already been renovated as offices and museum space. I suppose some demolition work has already started when the last occupants left, so there are floors with layers of laminate peeled back to reveal the different floorings over the years.

AC Davie 2

I like windows in nooks.

DSC03641

AC Davie

If one is looking to buy souvenirs,  Lévis is actually a much better place than Old Quebec, I think, with shops run by local artists and artisans, and definitely fewer crowds. Unless you find yourself in Chocolats Favoris in the middle of August. But a little crowdedness and a few minutes of line-up is nothing compared to 4 different flavours of soft ice cream and an astonishing 12 flavours of sauces to dip the ice cream in. Here’s dipping in action!

chocolats favoris

 

And finally, a photo that sums up our trip: uphill climbing and looking at maps.

levis

 

While we were in Quebec there also happens to be an exhibition of public art installations called The Unusual Passages. But that deserves its own post – stay tuned! :D

Hope you were able to relax and re-energize over August too. Wishing you a great start to September!

 

 

 

 

 

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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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