Lately

After a bit of frenzy gearing up for the Yarn Hop, I’ve been quiet on the blog lately, catching up on other things…

My niece and nephews have birthdays relatively close to each other, so every summer we give them all their gifts at the same time — that way everyone gets to open a gift! :D

One of the gifts was a loom knitted dinosaur — when I first stumbled upon it on the web I thought I had to make this! The pattern is by The Loom Muse

(The wooden dinosaur is a gift from a dear friend :D) I find that with the extra small 12‐peg loom the gauge is very loose, and I ended up having to weave a strand of yarn through all the stitches in every column of knitting to prevent the stuffing from being visible. Perhaps I will have to try using an even heavier yarn next time (I used extra bulky for this one). I’m still quite happy with how it turned out!

Another gift was an owl puppet, pattern also by The Loom Muse but only available as a video. The pattern is for a stuffed owl but I ran out of yarn, so I left the bottom open and a puppet it is!

I love that it also has a tail! :D

And we’ve all met the alpaca! The mascot I loom‐knitted for the Yarn Hop (because we were team alpaca). The pattern is also by the Loom Muse (it is a treasure trove of stuffed animal patterns!). Here’s our fabulous team in front of the wonderful Purple Purl! (You can also kind of see the makeshift alpaca carrier on my tote.)

Throughout the day alpaca got named Albert, inspired by Lambert at Spin Me a Yarn, another local yarn shop :D (you’ll find Lambert and his yarn adventures on this Insta feed)

Here’s Albert at Yarnsomniacs enjoying the very soft yarn made by his friends.

As you can see we also made an alpaca sign to keep us humans from wandering off. The super cute template is from Picot Pals. Here he is at Knit‐O‐Matic with everyone busy looking and crafting! 

And here we are at Passionknit — note the beautiful wall of Canadian hand dyed yarn on the right!

In other news, I wore my crocheted sandals outside for the first time since making them last year (or even the year before?). I don’t know why I haven’t worn them. Worried they’ll break I suppose. But it’s been so warm lately, I decided to give them a go. It’s really difficult for me to find sandals that don’t hurt my feet, so I haven’t bought or worn sandals for like the past ten years, and always suffered from socks and sneakers no matter the heat wave >_< 

So I wore these out on the street, walked around, took the subway and streetcar, walked on the grass… and they’re really comfortable! My summer shoes problem is solved! :D 

In case anyone’s interested, they’re made with flip flop soles and worsted weight cotton, pattern is here.

And finally, I’m down to my last row of the mitered square blanket!! 

There will be 150 squares in total! And about 4 feet by 5.5 feet! I have been slowing down with making this though because inevitably I have to put it on my lap to knit and it’s been really warm >_< definitely a winter project, for next time. But soon I’ll be able to show you the blanket with all 150 squares in all its glory! 

Until next time, keep on crafting!

 

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