this week’s awesome finds

Long time no write! Have been working on some long projects for a while, which I will be sharing soon! But for now, awesome projects I came across this week!

This is brilliant! I should make one of these so I’m not forever fishing for the right hook in my box full of hooks (and needles, sigh, so disorganized…). From Crochet Spot.

 

Stay calm and smell the lavender, without harmful chemicals. How-to for an easy-to-make lavender room spray on Purely Katie.

 

With just 3 ingredients, perfect for gift-making! Tutorial for lip balm lockets from A Beautiful Mess.

 

Perfect use for variegated cotton, a meditative stitch worked from corner to corner so it’s not boring. Pattern for a moss stitch dish cloth from The Cookie Snob.

 

I’ll pack a cowl! XD This awesome cowl is a free Ravelry download, by Deb Jacullo.

 

What a brilliant idea, building a terrarium with Legos! From Make and Takes.

 

This chubby cockatoo! Free pattern from Furls Crochet.

 

Have a fantastic crafty week, everyone! :)

 

going places

If I were to give this shawl a name I would name it “going places”. Because of the repeated arrow pattern.

It is a loom knitted project, for a gift. I used a 41-peg loom (largest of the set), and followed this pattern for “woven herringbone stitch”, but I replaced all the yarn-overs with purl stitches, because the yarn-overs just came out way too loose with the gauge of my loom.

(But you know what, the other night I had a dream that I got a new finer gauge loom that works perfectly with worsted weight yarn. Yes, very specific dream. So maybe it’s a sign. We’ll see. Anyway, I digress.)

It’s actually a really easy k2 p2 pattern repeat with just different number of knit stitches at the start of each row to create the herringbone pattern. Perfect for knitting while TV-watching, but not boring.

The yarn I used was Loops & Threads Barcelona. It’s quite soft, the colour transitions are fun to knit with, and the weight works well with the gauge of my loom, plus it was on massive sale at Michaels.

The pattern is worked over multiples of 4 stitches, so I knitted this over 40 pegs, until it reached 46″. Basically until I ran out of yarn, which is one skein and a bit more (leftover from another skein). With the regular bind-off method it really puckered, so I used a stretchy bind-off method. If I were to make it again I would definitely make it longer. I did win at yarn chicken on this one though, so no complaints!

It was even long enough to work as a squishy scarf :D

Perhaps you’d give this a try? Let me know if you do! :D

Whether you use needles, hooks or looms, have a happy crafting week!

 

cumulus cowl

I had a vision of this cowl when I saw the yarn, which was Loops & Threads Barcelona in Arctic, and I bought it because it was on massive sale. It is a very fluffy yarn and with the colours it reminds me of clouds. I wanted to create a subtle cable texture where the cables may not be super noticeable at first glance, and the crossing of the stitches are a bit hidden, like clouds, which are easily taken for granted unless we take time to stop and notice their forms and shapes, and twists and turns.

I was happy with the way it came out so I thought I’d share what I did. The fabric is doubled so it’s extra warm and squishy. It would work nicely with any bulky yarn with long colour transitions of grey and white. (or other colours you like!)

 

It is a loom knitting pattern, and if you’re new to it now worries! I include links to video tutorials for different techniques. Loom knitting itself is quite easy, so a beginner would be able to follow this pattern.

Material:

Half a skein of Loops & Threads Barcelona — about 150 yards.

41 peg Knit Quick round loom and loom knitting hook

4 mm crochet hook (for weaving in ends)

Pattern:

Mark the pegs with elastic bands or stitch markers. Mark the first two pegs, *skip two pegs, mark the next two*, repeat from * to * around until there are 3 pegs left.

E-wrap cast on all the pegs around the loom.

E-wrap every round until piece is 2″ in length.

Cable round: *Take off and hold the loops from the first two marked pegs. Place the loop from first peg on the second peg, then place the loop from the second peg on the first peg, then e-wrap the two stitches* (cable stitch complete). E-wrap the next two stitches as usual. Repeat from * to * over the next two stitches on marked pegs to work cable stitch. Continue around working cable stitch over the stitches on marked pegs, and working regular e-wraps over unmarked pegs. (Here’s a video for the cable stitch, except that in the video u-wraps and purl stitches are used, whereas in this pattern only e-wraps are used)

E-wrap 3 rounds.

Repeat the last 4 rounds until piece is 16″ in length.

E-wrap until the piece is 18″ in length, don’t fasten off.

Seaming:

Place the cast on loops back on the pegs, careful in matching the loops to the pegs (i.e. the first loop of the round in the first peg, second loop on the second peg, and so on). Bind off loosely, treating the bottom two loops as one. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Move the seam towards the middle of the cowl, and enjoy the fluffiness!

Happy weekend, friends! :D

 

the sharing hat

This hat was made and the pattern written while Mike and I participated at the Warming Toronto event at the end of February, which was an event in which people gather together and make hats and scarves for shelters and outreach programs in the city. So I’m sharing this pattern with these intentions:

1) The hat is quick to make. I had to restart several times while I was figuring out a pattern, and I was also eating a very delicious plate of fish and chips (AWAY from the yarn — this setup was only for Instagram!), but I made the hat from start to finish within 4 hours, so making it from the pattern should take much less time!

2) Since it’s such a quick make, I’m hoping that this will encourage you to make one for yourself and make another to pass it on to someone who can really use a thick and warm hat!

Behold the cozy yarn pile — by the time I finished the hat we’ve collected 114 finished items! :D

The event took place at a pub, which has an upstairs library with couches and fireplace, perfect for yarn-crafting and provided backgrounds for my photo shoot that are much more interesting than what I usually have :D

The hat is worked sideways then seamed together. It has rows of braided puff stitch and texture created by crocheting into the 3rd loop on the back of a half-double crochet stitch. If you haven’t tried neither of those stitches, don’t worry, I took plenty of process photos to show how it’s done :)

The hat measures about 9″ tall (brim folded) and 20″ around. 

Material:

Two skeins of Bernat Softee Chunky, or other super bulky weight yarn (the hat uses about 150 yards, so 3 skeins would make 2 hats! :D)

Contrasting colour yarn for pom pom.

9 mm hook, and a smaller hook for weaving in ends.

Yarn needle.

Pattern:

*Note: beginning ch does not count as a stitch throughout the pattern.

Row 1 (RS): ch 26, hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc in each ch to end. (24 hdc’s)

Row 2 (WS): ch 1, hdc in back loop only (BLO) in the first 6 hdc’s, then hdc in the 3rd loop in each of the remainder of the hdc’s, like so…

You would insert the hook into the strands of yarn in the direction of the arrows. This creates a nice raised braid on the right side :)

Row 3: (puff braid row) ch 3, skip first 2 hdc, dc in next hdc…

[yo and pull up a loop] three times in the first hdc of the row, then pull through all loops on hook (puff stitch made)…

*skip next hdc, dc in next hdc, puff st in the same hdc as last dc made* rep from * to * till there are 7 hdc’s left in row, dc BLO in each hdc to end.

Row 4: (puff stitch row) ch 1, dc BLO in next 7 dc, sk next st, dc in next dc (between 2 puff st’s)…

puff st in the st before the skipped st…

*skip next st, dc in next st, puff st in st before skipped st* rep from * to * till end of row. When arriving at the end of row, work last dc in the very last st…

Then end with a puff st.

Row 5: ch 1, make sure the first hdc is made in the very first st…

Then hdc in next 17 st’s, hdc BLO in last 6 st’s.

Row 6: ch 1, hdc BLO in first 6 hdc’s, hdc in the 3rd loop in the remaining 18 hdc’s.

Row 7: ch 1, hdc in first 18 hdc’s, hdc BLO in remaining 6 hdc’s.

Repeat rows 2–7 three more times, except in the last repeat, omit row 7 and end with row 6.

Decrease row at top: ch 1, 2 dc tog evenly across the top of the hat.

Cut yarn and leave a long tail for sewing. Thread yarn tail in yarn needle, weave yarn tail through the stitches at the top of hat, cinch close and tie to secure. Turn hat inside out, sew seam. Make and attach pom pom. Fold up the brim for extra warmth!

I hope you enjoy making the hat! Leave a comment if you have any questions or need clarifications. And if you’re looking for places to send your yarn-craft items… 

Here’s a list by the Toronto Knitters Guild of places that accept yarn-crafted goodness in Toronto.

Warm Hands Network collects and sends handmade items nationally and internationally, especially to northern locations.

For friends in the USA, the lists on Mental Floss and Red Heart may be good places to start :)

With glowing heart and busy hands — happy yarn-crafting!

 

 

winter solace

Have been hearing about the Winter Stations project for a couple of years now, but haven’t had a chance to go. I had a week day off last week, and it was relatively warm, so I headed down to the beach to visit this year’s installations.

Winter Stations are installations that go over life guard posts on the beach. This year it’s nice and close to the bus route on Kew Beach

I spotted the Pussy Hut from far away.

I love this picture of bright magenta knit against a cold, foggy lake.

A gem on a desolated winter beach.

Inside the structure one could see a piece of the sky, and the sound of the waves crashing to shore is actually amplified.

This makes me think of a forest of strange trees. Designed by OCAD students! :D

A lace tower in the fog.

A closer look brings rows upon rows of pinwheels. It wasn’t very windy that day, but I imagine that if it were and if all the pinwheels were spinning it would have looked epic.

This piece was called “Obstacle”. The structure seems impassable until one actually tries to walk through it — the pieces spin to make way. There’s always a way out. Probably my favourite interactive piece.

Winter Stations is up until April! Check it out when the weather is clear :)

Happy March, everyone!

 

Lately

Lots of loom knitting projects lately. I even made myself a garter stitch sweater.

Really hoping to write up a pattern soon, but I think I have to give it another try in order to get some process photo to explain the collar part. It’s quite thick and warm, and really happy to have used up much of my blue yarn stash :D

Made a garter stitch hat as well, for my mom. I think I like this look better than the ewrap stitch version. And it would look quite nice with a pompom.

Also learned how to make slipper socks! I watched this YouTube video to understand how to make the toes and heels (which are actually made the same way), and then read this blog post to learn the top-up method.

They look cozy don’t they? Kind of like the reading socks they sell at bookstores these days.

It was Chinese New Year a couple of weeks ago, so I made some new year cake to bring to my parents’. I followed the recipe on All About Ami, it was really good, and very, very simple, perfect for someone who doesn’t usually bake, like me :D

Also on the cooking front, my co-workers have been recommending turmeric tea for a long time. Mike came across some turmeric paste in the grocery store, so we gave it a try. I found numerous recipes and they’re all very similar. I ended up just making this with 1/2 tsp per cup of milk, pinch of black pepper, pinch of cinnamon, pinch of ginger powder, a few squeezes of honey, and boiling all together. I enjoyed the taste, and hope to reap the health benefits of it soon!

And if your in the downtown Toronto neighbourhood tomorrow, it’s the annual Warming Toronto Knitting Day, benefiting Street Knit, which brings handmade mittens, hats and scarves to folks who are street-involved. Swing by for some snacks, mingling and yarn-crafting fun! 

Happy weekend!

 

this week’s awesome finds

Deep winter, indoor mode with busy hands and many projects :)

 

A cocoon shrug with a gorgeous stitch, paid pattern by Eleven Handmade on Ravelry. (there’s also a sweater version!)

 

Make one for every door. From Make and Takes.

 

I’m partial to sweaters with sideways construction. This one’s from Lion Brand Yarn (follow link from Ravelry). 

 

An asymmetrical crochet scarf that looks very meditative to make. From Little Things Blogged.

 

Dream of summer weather with this summery backpack. From Paint Box Yarns.

 

This pattern is called “Diary”, which makes me think of patterns that involve mindfully making one section a day, and I always liked patchwork designs. From Wollinger on Ravelry.

 

Another sideways sweater, this one is a cardigan and has pockets! From Amy Christoffers on Knitty.

 

So fluffy! I’m intrigued by how to make crochet look so furry… And February 16 is the first day of the year of the dog! :D Make your own fluffy pups to celebrate! From All About Ami.

 

And last but not least, this incredibly beautiful pattern from My Crochetory.

 

Stay warm and keep crafting! :D

 

 

knitting is caring

knit knit knit…

I made a pair of Totoro baby mitts for a friend who just had a baby :) Following the charts from this Ravelry pattern. For the small Totoro, I used this Totoro hexipuff chart

Over January I was busy getting as much knitting done as possible for the Hand Knit Hope initiative for eating disorder awareness. This project delivers handmade scarves, hats, headbands, etc. to treatment centres across Canada as gifts of encouragement, and the handmade goods are also used to raise funds for other initiatives aimed to increase support for people living with eating/body image issues or eating disorders. (you can read more about the project, and how you can help out too, on their Facebook page. If you scroll down a bit you’ll also see a brochure I made, and you might recognize a couple of patterns on it :D)

So I made 3 headbands, all on the knitting loom, with either two strands of worsted held together or one strand of super bulky weight yarn.

They were all made on the 36-peg round loom. The far left one is just a long tube of e-wrap stitches until it was about 8 inches long, then the top and bottom edges are sewn together so it’s double thick.

For the middle one, I followed this video tutorial

The one on the right is made with garter stitch, which is basically alternating one round of e-wraps and one round of purl stitch.

I also made a cowl, which was inspired by the Purl Soho Garter Gaiter cowl, using alternating colours for the e-wrap and purl stitch rounds. It was made on the 41-peg loom.

On the topic of knitting for a good cause, the Warming Toronto Knitting Day is back again at the end of February! Mike and I are planning to be there :D If you’re in the neighbourhood we’d love for you to pop by! You can find all the details here on Facebook.

Happy February everyone!

 

may the porg be with you

I made a tiny porg!

Fan opinions about them seem to polarize. I happen to love them like I love all fuzzy round-shaped creatures. Its shape is so amigurumi-ready, and it reminded me of my penguin tots. I couldn’t help but had to make one. 

If you’ve made the penguin tots before, the porg is not different structurally but a bit more complicated with the colour changes.

It’s very carry-able and rides well in pocket, so it can always be with you :)

The upturned mouth of the actual porg makes my tiny version look sad, so I opted for a regular mouth instead. 

Here it is contemplating life, or deciding what to eat for lunch, by the jade plant.

To make your own tiny porg, you’ll need:

Small amount of mustard, white, brown and orange yarn in worsted weight

3.5 mm hook 

2.5 mm hook (for feet and weaving in ends)

2 black safety eyes (3mm), or round black beads

Black thread and sewing needle

Yarn needle

Yarn ends (for stuffing), or polyester stuffing

Pattern:

Body:

Note: beginning ch 1 does not count as a stitch throughout.

Round 1: With brown, ch 4, 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next ch, 3 sc in last ch, sc in the remaining loop of the next ch (the ch that has only 1 sc in it), sc in the next ch (the ch with the beginning 2 sc in it), sl st in first sc of round.

Round 2: ch 1, 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 3 sc, 3 sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc, sc in next sc (the sc with the beginning 2 sc in it), sl st in first sc of round.

In the next round we begin to incorporate other colours. Here’s a tutorial on how to change colours seamlessly, in case it’s helpful.

Round 3: ch 1, in back loop only, sc in next 7 sc. When completing the 7th sc, attach and change to white. Carrying the brown yarn (i.e. wrap it in your stitch) as you crochet with white, sc in the next 4 sc. When completing the 4th sc, change back to brown, sc in last sc, sl st in first sc.

Round 4: With brown, ch 1, sc in next 7 sc, change to white, carrying the brown as you go, sc in next 4 sc, change to brown, sc in last sc, sl st in first sc.

Round 5: Repeat round 4.

Round 6: With brown, ch 1, sc in next 6 sc. Change to yellow and carrying brown as you go, sc in next 2 sc, change to white and carry the brown and yellow as you go, sc in next 2 sc, change to yellow and carry the brown as you go, sc in next 2 sc, change to brown, sl st in first sc.

Round 7: Repeat around 6.

After round 7, install safety eyes (or sew on beads for eyes) in between the 2 yellow stitches between rounds 6 and 7. Sew on mouth. Stuff with yarn ends or stuffing.

Round 8: With brown, ch 1, 2 sc tog three times, change to yellow and fasten off brown, 2 sc tog with yellow, change to white and carry the yellow as you go, 2 sc tog with white, change to yellow and fasten off white, 2 sc tog with yellow, sl st in first sc of round, fasten off, leave a long tail. Weave the tail in the remaining stitches around and cinch the opening close, secure and fasten off, weave in ends.

Wings (make 2): With brown, ch 2, 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook (forming a point), sc in ch with the 5 sc in it, sl st in first sc of round, leave a tail for sewing, fasten off. (I only leave a tail for sewing on one wing, not both.

Sew on wings: Position the wing with the yarn tail for sewing on the side of the body, thread the yarn needle in the yarn tail, insert needle where you want the first wing, pull the needle through the body so the needle comes out on the other side where you want the other wing to be. Thread the other wing through the needle, and sew back and forth through the body to secure both wings at the same time. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Feet:

Feet are made linked together with a few ch in between.

With orange, *ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch, ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in very first ch made, ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch, sl st in very first ch made*, ch 2 (link between feet), then repeat from * to * once more. Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Position feet under body and sew on with yarn tail, fasten off and weave in ends.

The porg is ready for adventures!

Tiny porg wishes everyone an awesome week!

 

this week’s awesome finds

Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean the home can’t smell festive! Easy to make wax sachets from Hello Glow.

 

This cozy cardigan was made with a round knitting loom! Must try. From Good Knit Kisses.

 

Good night’s sleep and relaxation in a bottle makes a great homemade gift :) Pillow mist from Let’s Mingle.

 

 

Oh my goodness, a gorgeous cable sweater and it’s free! Crochet pattern by Sewrella.

 

Lion Brand Yarn has come up with some designs that I really like lately, such as this simple, relaxed-looking cardigan.

 

And this nice cowl — perfect for practicing cables and I like it’s clever construction.

 

These felted cats! Made using a cookie cutter! Brilliant! Tutorial from Cat at Roof.

 

One of my favourite things from the Last Jedi :D Pattern by The Geeky Hooker on Ravelry.

 

I think I’ve probably posted this before but it’s so awesome, no one would mind if I post it again! Cord tacos as easy to make as real tacos :D From Local Adventurer

 

Hope everyone’s having an awesome weekend! Stay crafty :D