today is the day! =(^・x・^)=

Today IS the day! The annual Toronto Yarn Hop! Caturday the cup cozy is chilling out at my neighbourhood LYS Yarnsomniacs, one of the many exciting stops on our grand tour of Toronto LYS’s today!

A bunch of us (over 120 people, to be more precise! :D) are yarn-crafting in public transit and going around to different independent yarn shops today while raising funds for Sistering, a 24/7 drop-in/support centre for women who are homeless or precariously housed. Last year we raised around $2700, which went toward much needed services such as primary healthcare, counselling, support groups and meal program (learn more about the event by reading my previous post here).

If you’re not able to physically come to the yarn hop this year, you can still join us (and help us reach our fundraising goal of $3000!) by donating to Sistering through this link here, and in return I will send you the pattern for the Caturday cup cozy (more photos here), which is a pattern that I wrote for yarn hop participants to crochet along. You can donate any amount and you don’t have to tell me how much or send me proof, just simply make a donation then email me at genuinemudpie@gmail.com to let me know, and I will send you the pattern in appreciation :)

Happy weekend!

 

 

Caturday… and count down to YARN HOP!

 

The Great Toronto Yarn Hop is coming up in exactly a week, on July 14! :D

All of us volunteers are getting super excited and busy organizing for a fun day knitting/crocheting/yarn-crafting in public with other yarn enthusiasts. It’s a great event for people to get to know each other, make a statement about the importance of craft and creativity by crafting in public, and support independent yarn-craft businesses.

So how does it work, you ask? Yarn-hoppers buy tickets and get organized into teams that take different public transit routes throughout the city to visit different independent yarn shops. At the end of the day we reconvene at a resto-pub for food, drinks and raffles. Proceeds from tickets and raffles go to Sistering, a 24/7 women’s support and drop-in centre that offers much needed services like primary healthcare, support groups, counselling and meal program to women who are experiencing homelessness/precarious housing, social marginalization and other challenging circumstances.

Sistering has a special place in my heart because that was where I trained as a social worker. The participants, volunteers and staff were the most valuable, knowledgeable teachers and I wouldn’t know what I know now and be where I am today without them.

There are still tickets left on a few of the routes, you can find out more details and buy tickets here

If you can’t physically come to the Yarn Hop, you can still join us! I wrote a crochet cup cozy pattern as part of the gifts for the Yarn Hop participants, called Caturday (because, you know, the Yarn Hop is on a Saturday). You can donate to Sistering through this Yarn Hop link, and I will send you the pattern! 

You can donate any amount, and you don’t have to let me know how much you donated or send me any proof, I trust that we all want to make a difference in someone’s life when we have the opportunity to. Simply send me an email at genuinemudpie@gmail.com letting me know that you have donated, and I will send you a pdf file of the pattern in reply :)

The cup cozy uses a small amount of DK yarn and 4 mm hook. It has a dense, textured fabric that will keep your fingers safe from hot beverages. If you’re not into cats, simply omit the last row and the embroidery, and you’ll have a simple yet not-so-plain cup cozy to show off a beautiful yarn. Great for using up scraps!

Want to know more about how your donations will make a difference? Visit Sistering’s website for information and inspiring stories from the most resilient women. 

In the meanwhile, I was also busy loom knitting a mascot for the team that Mike and I are co-leading — Team Alpaca! Look how cuuuute… (if I do say so myself, haha)

I’ve named him Cousin Alpaca, because I have a plush llama, who is perhaps like a cousin to alpaca…? Anyway, I thought Cousin Alpaca is a good name :D

If you loom knit and want to make your own alpaca, the pattern is by the Loom Muse and can be found here

If you’re in or near Toronto, come hang out with us and Cousin Alpaca next Saturday! :D Hope your weekend is full of crafty goodness!

 

 

loom-knit-along: join-as-you-go mitered square blanket – part 5

Now that we’ve gotten the hang of making mitered square, you might get a bit bored of making solid colour squares. You can make striped ones! And use up smaller balls of scraps! Here’s what I do…

After casting on, purling one row, decreasing one stitch on either side of the centre peg, and moving each stitch over, introduce the new colour by making a slip knot with the new yarn and placing it on the peg with the first stitch of the row.

Knit over the old yarn (pink), then continue e-wrapping with the new yarn (blue). Purl one row with the new yarn. Then switch back to the pink yarn.

Lay the working yarn of the previous row on top of the new yarn before making the first e-wrap to carry the yarn with you as you go. (in this case we’re bringing back the pink yarn and about to make an e-wrap on the first peg, notice the blue yarn is on top of the pink so it gets wrapped into the stitch.)

When you have 5 stitches left after a purl row, cut the current yarn, and tie off.

Do the decrease around the centre peg and move the stitches over as usual, and complete the square.

Here’s the stripy square!

You can also make scrappy squares that use up every last bits of yarn. I knit till I have about 2 inches left, and tie on a new yarn very close to the peg (I learned this from watching videos of loom knitting plush toys by the Loom Muse — more on that in another post!)

In the photo below the new yarn is the grey one and the one that ran out is green.

The resulting scrappy square looks like this :)

Yes, lots of ends to weave in on these squares but I like the look of them :)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of how-to for making a mitered square blanket! Happy knitting!

 

Posts in this series:

How to make the first square

How to join the subsequent squares in the first row

How to join the first square in every row

How to join all the other squares

How to make striped squares

 

loom-knit-along: join-as-you-go mitered square blanket – part 4

Hello! We’re back with the last step in loom knitting the mitered square blanket, which is to join all the other squares in the blanket after the first row and after the first square of any row. This is how the majority of the squares will be joined!

As always, we orient the loom to the blanket (or in the case of this demonstration, a dish cloth). The square we joined in the last post is the blue square.

The loops marked with the blue dots on the blue square will go on the pegs parked with the blue dots, and the loops marked with the red dots on the yellow square will go on the pegs with the red dots. 

We would begin with placing the loops on the yellow square on the pegs, starting from the edge towards the centre, and starting the first peg that is right beside the side knob. We place the last loop on the yellow square on the peg before the marked centre peg, then place the first loop of the blue square on the marked peg, and the rest of the loops of the blue square onto the pegs until the second last peg of the loom — 23 stitches altogether. 

Here’s a closer look at the loops that are placed on the pegs. Note that the loops that are picked up are the horizontal strands in between purl bumps.

And here’s how it looks on the loom when both yellow and blue squares are attached, with the right side of the square touching the inside of the loom.

When you’re actually knitting with the blanket on your lap, it would be oriented like this. I would start putting on the loops from the black/grey/beige square, which is the square from the previous row, and then put on the loops from the purple/mixed colour square, which is the square made just before the current one.

Now we’re ready to knit the new square as we usually do. We start with adjusting a slip knot on the first peg (the one right beside the side knob), knit off the loop below, then e-wrap and knit off each stitch.

Instruction for the rest of the square is pasted below, but if you need more help there are photos in the first post.

Row 1: Purl (here’s a video of purling) to the marked peg, e-wrap knit the marked peg, purl to end. (Note in the picture that the last peg of the loom is empty — we only use 23 pegs of the loom.) Beware not to make the stitches too tight.

Row 2: Move the loop on the peg to the left of the marked peg onto the marked peg. Move the loop on the peg to the right of the marked peg onto the marked peg. Now the marked peg has 3 loops on it. (Always move the loop on the left first, then the one on the right, so it looks consistent.) 

Move the loop on the peg to the left of the now empty peg onto the empty peg. Keep moving each loop to the empty peg to the right until you reach the beginning of the row.

E-wrap and knit off each peg until you reach the marked peg. E-wrap the marked peg, knit off all three bottom loops on the peg (I prefer knitting them off one at a time, it’s easier).

You will now have an empty peg to the right of the marked peg. Move the loop on the peg to the right of the empty peg onto the empty peg, e-wrap the peg and knit off. Then keep moving each loop to the empty peg to the left and e-wrap and knit off until you reach the end of row. I find it easier to do this with the loom sitting flat on a surface.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have 3 stitches left. Purl the 3 stitches. Place the stitch on the left and stitch on the right onto the middle peg, e-wrap, then knit off all 3 bottom loops. Fasten off.

Here’s how my mitered square dish cloth looks like! :D I crocheted a border and loop at the top with a 6.5mm hook, basically 1 single crochet in each stitch around, and 3 sc in each corner.

Next time we’ll have our last post of the series on how to make striped squares, or essentially how I change colours to use up every last bit of those scraps.

You might ask, isn’t there a million ends to weave in at the end? Yes, so I don’t wait till the end. Usually I weave in the ends after making one or two squares. Leaving ALL the ends to weave in after 10x15 squares would drive me mad :S (I plan on making the blanket 10 squares wide and 15 squares tall)

Till next time, happy knitting! 

 

Posts in this series:

How to make the first square

How to join the subsequent squares in the first row

How to join the first square in every row

How to join all the other squares

How to make striped squares

loom-knit-along: join-as-you-go mitered square blanket – part 3

Hello friends! We’re back again with our mitered square blanket! Today we’re going to join the first square on the second row, and the method for joining is the same for the first square in every row. 

Let’s first orient ourselves. For the first square in every row, we will always be joining under the first square in the previous row. In our case, it’s the purple square (in the last post we joined the yellow square). 

We will place the loops on the bottom edge of the purple square (as indicated by the red dots) onto the pegs on the loom that are marked by the red dot, starting at the first peg (the one that’s beside the side knob) and ending at the peg marked with a stitch marker, or the one just before it. So you will put on 11 or 12 loops, it doesn’t make a difference.

To place the loops on the square onto the pegs, find the horizontal strands between the purl bumps, and place the strands onto the pegs.

When actually joining/knitting the square, you would position it like this, with the right side of the square you’re joining to facing the inside of the loop, and picking up the loops on the side this way. (And yes that was a wonderful day knitting in the sun sitting on the grass in a park! :D)

Once the loops are placed onto the peg, make a slip knot with the new yarn (in this demonstration it’s the blue yarn), place it on the first peg, and knit over with the loop on the peg.

E-wrap the next peg, then knit over. Repeat until there are no loops on the next pegs. Then, e-wrap the next loop twice and knit off the bottom loop (in this demonstration it is the marked peg, but it can also be the peg after the marked peg if you have placed a loop from the previous square on the marked peg, it doesn’t really make a difference), thereby casting on a stitch.

Continue casting on until the second last peg on the loom — that will be the last stitch, 23 stitches altogether.

You’re now ready to continue making the square as usual. Instructions are pasted below for convenience’s sake but if you need more help there are photos in the first post.

Row 1: Purl (here’s a video of purling) to the marked peg, e-wrap knit the marked peg, purl to end. (Note in the picture that the last peg of the loom is empty — we only use 23 pegs of the loom.) Beware not to make the stitches too tight.

Row 2: Move the loop on the peg to the left of the marked peg onto the marked peg. Move the loop on the peg to the right of the marked peg onto the marked peg. Now the marked peg has 3 loops on it. (Always move the loop on the left first, then the one on the right, so it looks consistent.) 

Move the loop on the peg to the left of the now empty peg onto the empty peg. Keep moving each loop to the empty peg to the right until you reach the beginning of the row.

E-wrap and knit off each peg until you reach the marked peg. E-wrap the marked peg, knit off all three bottom loops on the peg (I prefer knitting them off one at a time, it’s easier).

You will now have an empty peg to the right of the marked peg. Move the loop on the peg to the right of the empty peg onto the empty peg, e-wrap the peg and knit off. Then keep moving each loop to the empty peg to the left and e-wrap and knit off until you reach the end of row. I find it easier to do this with the loom sitting flat on a surface.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have 3 stitches left. Purl the 3 stitches. Place the stitch on the left and stitch on the right onto the middle peg, e-wrap, then knit off all 3 bottom loops. Fasten off.

Now we have the first square of the row joined! Next time we’ll join the next square, which is how we make the majority of the squares in the blanket.

Be sure to leave a comment on the post if you have any question! You can send me an email too but other readers may also find your questions helpful so don’t be shy :)

Happy weekend!

 

Posts in this series:

How to make the first square

How to join the subsequent squares in the first row

How to join the first square in every row

How to join all the other squares

How to make striped squares

loom-knit-along: join-as-you-go mitered square blanket – part 2

Welcome back to the loom-knit-along mitered square blanket project! :D

In this post we knit a second square while joining it to the previous one. Every square on the very first row of the blanket will be made this way. You can make the row as long as you want. My blanket is 10 squares wide, and it’s 39″. 

First, let’s orient ourselves. We will put the loops on one side of the first square onto 12 pegs of the loom, as illustrated in the picture below. The red-dotted stitches will go on the red-dotted pegs.

With the right side of the square facing the inside of the loom, start by putting the first stitch at the top of the square onto the marked peg. For the following stitches, use the loom pick to pick up the horizontal strand of yarn between the purl bumps and place it onto the peg, like so…

Continue putting a loop on each peg until you reach the other corner of the square and each of the 12 pegs have a loop on it. It will look like this.

Then, go to the first peg of the loom, and cast on the 11 pegs that don’t have loops on them with a new colour for your new square (my second square is yellow).

When you get to the first peg with a loop of the previous square on it (the marked peg), e-wrap, then knit off the loop from the previous square.

Continue until the end of row. And that’s it! You’ve cast on a conjoining square! :D

Knit the rest of the square the same way as the first square. For convenience, I’ll paste the pattern below but there are photos in the blog post that might help if you’re having trouble.

Row 1: Purl (here’s a video of purling) to the marked peg, e-wrap knit the marked peg, purl to end. (Note in the picture that the last peg of the loom is empty — we only use 23 pegs of the loom.) Beware not to make the stitches too tight.

Row 2: Move the loop on the peg to the left of the marked peg onto the marked peg. Move the loop on the peg to the right of the marked peg onto the marked peg. Now the marked peg has 3 loops on it. (Always move the loop on the left first, then the one on the right, so it looks consistent.) 

Move the loop on the peg to the left of the now empty peg onto the empty peg. Keep moving each loop to the empty peg to the right until you reach the beginning of the row.

E-wrap and knit off each peg until you reach the marked peg. E-wrap the marked peg, knit off all three bottom loops on the peg (I prefer knitting them off one at a time, it’s easier).

You will now have an empty peg to the right of the marked peg. Move the loop on the peg to the right of the empty peg onto the empty peg, e-wrap the peg and knit off. Then keep moving each loop to the empty peg to the left and e-wrap and knit off until you reach the end of row. I find it easier to do this with the loom sitting flat on a surface.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have 3 stitches left. Purl the 3 stitches. Place the stitch on the left and stitch on the right onto the middle peg, e-wrap, then knit off all 3 bottom loops. Fasten off.

Now we have two squares joined together! Next time we’ll join a square to the row below. Here’s a first look at how we’ll do that.

In the meanwhile, join as many square as you’d like for the first row, by placing the loops from the previous square on the loom (i.e. if I were to join a third square to the first row, I’d place loops from the yellow square on the loom). Then come back and join us for the second row!

Happy knitting! :D Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions!

Posts in this series:

How to make the first square

How to join the subsequent squares in the first row

How to join the first square in every row

How to join all the other squares

How to make striped squares

loom-knit-along: join-as-you-go mitered square blanket — part 1

I’ve been looking for a good yarn scrap project because I love the patchwork look and my yarn collection is growing at an uncontrollable rate.

I came across a mitered square baby jacket one day so I followed the link to the free pattern, but it involves sewing all the squares together… doable maybe for a baby jacket but I wasn’t into sewing hundreds of squares together to make up a blanket. So I tried looking for visual tutorials for a join-as-you-go version but didn’t come across any. After making the Ten-Stitch Blanket I was pretty sure it’s possible to join as you go, so I tinkered around a bit and figured out a system!

Interested in knitting along? :D I figure if we start now, and knit one or two squares a day, we’ll have a blanket by Christmas to give away as gift! (or keep for yourself!) You can also use the idea of temperature blanket, mood blanket, or sky blanket. They’re really great ideas to be mindful of our surroundings or our feelings so we don’t take them for granted or be unaware of how things affect us. 

Each square doesn’t take very long to make, only 23 stitches at its widest part, and it keeps decreasing as you go so it feels like it’s knitting up even faster. There WILL be a million ends to weave in, but I weave them in as I complete each square so I don’t leave them all till the end.

So! In this post we’ll show you the materials I used, and how I made the first square. In the next few posts I will share:

How to make the first square

How to join the subsequent squares in the first row

How to join the first square in every row

How to join all the other squares

How to make stripes!

First, we need:

24-peg loom (I got mine from this kit, it’s the smallest in the kit)

Loom pick

Bulky weight yarn or two strands of worsted held together

Stitch marker

Tea! (optional but highly recommended)

(For the demonstration I’m going to make a hand towel with some worsted weight cotton, and for clarity purpose, I’m just going to use a single strand. But for the blanket, if you’re using worsted weight, it’s best to use 2 strands held together for the gauge of this loom.)

Before knitting we need to mark the middle stitch. Counting from the first peg, which is the first peg to the right of the side knob, put the stitch marker on the 12th peg on the loom, like so…

Then we’re ready to cast on!

Cast on row: Make a slip knot with the yarn, adjust it to the first peg. E wrap (wrap the working yarn around the peg from right to left) the first peg and knit off. Cast on the next 22 pegs by e-wrapping each peg twice and knit the bottom loop over the top loop. Beware not to cast on too tightly.

Row 1: Purl (here’s a video of purling) to the marked peg, e-wrap knit the marked peg, purl to end. (Note in the picture that the last peg of the loom is empty — we only use 23 pegs of the loom.) Beware not to make the stitches too tight.

Row 2: Move the loop on the peg to the left of the marked peg onto the marked peg. Move the loop on the peg to the right of the marked peg onto the marked peg. Now the marked peg has 3 loops on it. 

(Always move the loop on the left first, then the one on the right, so it looks consistent.)

Move the loop on the peg to the left of the now empty peg onto the empty peg. Keep moving each loop to the empty peg to the right until you reach the beginning of the row.

E-wrap and knit off each peg until you reach the marked peg. E-wrap the marked peg, knit off all three bottom loops on the peg (I prefer knitting them off one at a time, it’s easier).

You will now have an empty peg to the right of the marked peg. Move the loop on the peg to the right of the empty peg onto the empty peg, e-wrap the peg and knit off. Then keep moving each loop to the empty peg to the left and e-wrap and knit off until you reach the end of row. I find it easier to do this with the loom sitting flat on a surface.

And that’s it! Just repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have 3 pegs left with loops on them. (moving the stitches is kind of tedious, apparently there are looms with moving inserts to help with this…? But I don’t have one of those looms, so this is why we only make one or two squares a day! It’s not so bad.)

Purl the last 3 loops, then move the loops to the left and right of the marked peg to the marked peg. E-wrap and knit off the bottom 3 loops. Take the last loop off the peg, cut yarn, and tie off by bringing the yarn tail around the loop to the front, then through the loop from back to front, as pictured.

And here we have our first square! Now by always e-wrap knitting the marked/middle peg, you’ll get a raised line of knit stitches or braid running diagonally through the square. For my blanket I just purl all the pegs on the purl rows, because I can’t trust my attention to always knit that one stitch on purl row and not make mistakes. But it’s up to you!

Here’s a sneak peek of how we will join the next square, so you can see the finished square. (and see? I already make a mistake by purling the marked stitch on a purl row!)

Happy knitting! I’ll be back in a few days with the next episode of join-as-you-go mitered square blanket! :D

 

Posts in this series:

How to make the first square

How to join the subsequent squares in the first row

How to join the first square in every row

How to join all the other squares

How to make striped squares

 

 

this week’s awesome finds… and YARN HOP!

Adorable llamas to hold your yarn/embroidery scraps and it’s a free printable! :D From Picot Pals.

 

These would make cheerful buntings and adorable blanket squares. Llama granny squares from Maria’s Blue Crayon.

 

Look at these party llamas made of party plates! From Handmade Charlotte.

 

For the more adventurous, this no-drama-llama is very cuddly. Free pattern from Red Heart <3

Why so many llamas, you ask?

Well, this year I’m going to be team captain again for The Great Toronto Yarn Hop on Saturday July 14, and I’m with Team Alpaca! (formerly TTC Knit-Along — but we want to expand the name to include all forms of yarn-crafting and we actually have no official affiliation with the Toronto Transit Commission, hence the name change)

Alpacas are kind of cousins of llamas (I think), hence all the llama crafts :)

What’s so great about The Great Toronto Yarn Hop? It is an event where yarn-crafters get into teams and visit various local yarn shops in Toronto, shop for high quality yarn and enjoy special discounts, knit/crochet/yarn-craft in public on buses/streetcars/trains, meet other yarn enthusiasts and share projects/tips/jokes, support independent LYS’s, AND raise funds for Sistering, a local, 24/7 drop-in and support centre for women that offers services like counselling, housing help, meal program, primary healthcare, and a safe place to be. At the end of the day we all gather at a pub for food and drinks and raffle draws! I’ve only been involved for the past couple of years but this event is in its 12th year! What can be more great? 

If you’re in Toronto or close to it, we would love for you to join us! Tickets can be bought here for just $20. Each team follows a different route that visits different stores, and you can check out all the different available teams/routes and how the whole thing works here. And be quick because quite a few teams have sold out already! 

Need ideas for what projects to shop for or what to make during the Yarn Hop?

This cardigan is made with two hexagons sewn together! Very clever. Make it with a breeze cotton/linen for summer or wool for cozy fall/winter layering! Imagine using yarn with long transition colour changes! From Make & Do Crew.

 

What about a portable project perfect for knitting on the public transit, like these fluffy clouds? From Bernat Yarn.

 

Making granny squares is another excellent portable idea. This comfy summer sweater pattern is free this week only on Love Crochet!

 

Happy making, everyone! :D

 

adventures in paper marbling

I volunteered to make some bookmarks for my sister’s church fundraiser. And as I was looking for ideas to create cool effects on paper, a friend asked me to sign a birthday card she’s made for another friend, using a piece of paper that she marbled with shaving cream. I’ve seen this before but never thought of trying it. Until now! 

So I dashed to the dollar store for the shaving cream and the grocery store for food colouring, and pulled out the largest baking pan I had. I used a 140 lb. watercolour paper that I had on hand (cold press/smooth, as I read that toothy/textured paper doesn’t work well), and cut them into bookmark-size. I wanted to stamps some words on it, so I used masking tape as a resist, to tape off a section in the centre. I had no idea whether the dye will bleed through. We’ll see.

The first dip was MAGICAL!

When I saw this on other tutorials I used to think, how does the marbling not smear when you peel it off the shaving cream? But it doesn’t! I used a spatula to scrape off the excess cream.

Here’s a bunch of them I made! :D

 

This was so much fun, and clean up was a breeze. Also, it smells refreshing. Perfect for kids. Or adults who don’t like cleaning up. Who likes cleaning up anyway? So perfect for everyone, most likely :D I foresee making many more of these for other projects!

Happy weekend!

   

sneak peeks!

It’s been quiet on the blog for a while, and that’s because I’ve been busy working on a multi-pattern project!

I’m going to put out an e-book!

Yes!

I thought I’ve been writing up patterns for a while, perhaps it’s time to put together something more “official”, with different sizing options, etc.

One of the projects does involve the above black cat, and to join in the fun you can download the peeking cat picture above as a desktop wallpaper! Get the full size picture here and then right-click it to set it as a background, so you too can have those glowing eyes peering at you every time you turn on your computer ;)

Here are a few sneak peeks of some of the patterns in the book! I’m still working on one other, hoping to put this out sometimes in July :) 

Yes, this top can be worn with either side in front — it’s like two tops in one! :D

And this one definitely needs a better photo shoot than stripes-on-stripes — but I was feeling happy that the drape worked out as the way I imagined.

So, stay tuned! :D And hope everyone’s enjoying some sun this week!