TTC knitalong adventure :D

Last week I helped out with the TTC Knitalong and yarn-hopped with a wonderful group of people around the city yarn-crafting and sharing laughs! Thought I’d share some highlights!

Oh and if you aren’t familiar, the TTC Knitalong is a charity event that benefits Sistering, a trans-inclusive support and drop-in centre for women in downtown Toronto. Live around TO and missed it this year? You can read all about how it works here so you can be all ready next year! :D

Our route started at my local yarn store, the very cozy and friendly Porch Swing Yarnsomniacs. Mike is such a trooper, he had a wedding to attend in the afternoon but joined us for the morning, working on a Hufflepuff scarf :) Also, note the brilliant Star Wars sweater that the owner of Yarnsomniacs created!! (It’s on the back of the wooden rocking chair — you can see it in all its glory here :D)

We then hopped over to the bright and sunny Knit-O-Matic. Must remember that they carry Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cotton. I love summer knitting with cotton.

Eweknit not only has yarn, it also has WATG kits (heart-eyes) and tons and tons of gorgeous fabric!

Then we took a break for lunch. We went to Little Sito for Lebanese brunch, which I’ve never had before. The perfectly poached eyes on rich fried cheese, avocado, herbed home fries, oh my. Highly recommend it!

After lunch we went over to Yarns Untangled in vibrant Kensington Market. It has the perfect knitting spot for knitting/napping under the tree :) Also love that this shop always carries products from local artisans like greeting cards, soaps and buttons, in addition to unique hand-dyed yarns.

Finally, we spent the rest of the afternoon at Romni Wools in the isles and isles, floor to ceiling full of woolly goodness. (everyone quickly disappeared behind the yarn before I could take a picture :S)

Knitting along on the TTC! Knitting while standing in a crowded, moving streetcar is a Torontonian superpower. 

I’m actually quite directionally challenged (had to consult with my compass a couple of times throughout the trip!), so thankful for participants who super knew where they were going, and for a relatively easy, relaxing route :) Though because I’ve never led a team before I was quite nervous about remember the route and keeping time, so I didn’t try to buy anything until our last stops. But I did bring home sweater quantities of Briggs & Little wool (Canada’s oldest woolen mill!) in these beautiful shades of green, a back issue of Pom Pom magazine with lovely summer sweater patterns, and a beeswax food wrap with piles of cats on it to reduce the use of Saran wrap! 

We’re so fortunately to have so many local independent yarn stores in Toronto! I’ve always just known they are there but don’t really visit, because going to Michaels is easier, and I’ve started to take them for granted. Will have to make a point to visit them more often! 

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

central park florals by diana

Film from NYC developed :D

The best ones were from Central Park. I also have had to find a different photo developing place this time because the trusty service at Shoppers Drug Mart has closed down :’( This new place charges 5 times the price of Shoppers, but the images did turn out much more vibrant. I guess I’ll have to use film more sparingly from now on, it’s really becoming more and more expensive. 

Anyway, here are the Central Park florals :D

I also loved the weathered wood railings all over the park. 

Not sure why I haven’t learned this over the past few years I’ve been using the Diana Mini, but finally realized that it is best for capturing more intimate moments rather than landscapes in the distance.

Landscapes just turn out super fuzzy most of the time and so lack focus. I do like this one with the boats though.

And this one with the light leaks around lady Liberty. And some street scenes.

 

Wishing you a great weekend with new adventures, big or small :)

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

this week’s awesome finds

A wonderful project of knitting feathers of birds representing each territory and province of Canada. Paid pattern from Erin Black on Ravelry. (and thank-you to Amy who always shares the most awesome yarn crafting projects with me! :D)

A rope coiled and sewn together with sewing machine to make these cute bowls. From Lia Griffith.

I love that it’s not a square-form. I bet it’s very hug-able. From Hobby Craft.

Also hug-able is this onigiri pillow! Really want to make a crochet version of it for my friend who loves everything Japanese :D From Kittenhood.

This stitch would make a nice summer top I think. From We Are Knitters.

I saw the scrubber yarn at Michaels and have been wondering about trying it. This makes a nice cute gift! From Fiber Flux.

This is so awesome, and so well made! :D Gudetama pattern by Stuff Susie Made.

I’ve never had panna cotta, but they remind me of the almond tofu dessert that I like, and look easy enough to make, so maybe I’ll try making it one day in the summer! From Oh Happy Day.

And finally, this chart spotted on Pinterest! This will be my winter project, in a corner-to-corner crochet throw :)

 

Have a great week, everyone!

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

countdown to the TTC knitalong!

I spent yesterday morning stuffing awesome swag bags with awesome people for everyone coming to the TTC Knitalong (heart-eyes, heart-eyes, heart-eyes). Check this out!

So excited!! It’s only one week away! It’s not too late to sign up, but hurry, there are only a few tickets left!

So grateful for the sponsors this year!! <3 we’ve got very nice mercerized cotton, large buttons, needles, hooks and knooks (new craft to learn btw!), gauge ruler, and knitting patterns!

There are ALSO lots and lots of YARN raffle prizes, which you can check out on the TTC Knitalong Instagram feed :) And you can get a free raffle ticket for every yarn or finished item donation! The yarn donations go to organizations like Street Knit, Knitted Knockers and hospitals. Proceeds from the event goes to Sistering, a drop-in and support centre for women in Toronto.

Come join us this Saturday if you’re in the Toronto area! :D You’ll see me with team Magic Loop!

Have a good week everyone!

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

the travelling pineapple purse

I started the pineapple purse on the trip to New York. Here’s me participating in International Knit in Public Day in Brooklyn! (We had checked out of the place we were staying at and had a free morning before our flight in late afternoon, hence lugging around all our bags)

Made the straps when we got home. I think I made them too long, it was a bit hard to gauge… it works ok for now, but if they continue to stretch as I use it I will have to replace them.

Here it is in action, at the Devil’s Punch Bowl in Hamilton, Ontario!

Much fruitiness at the Punch Bowl :D Here’s another look at this beautiful display of rock strata.

I wish we had the time to figure out the trail to the base of the cliff. The view up on the face of the escarpment must have been magnificent. But we were heading out to visit family and there was a thunderstorm was coming, so we didn’t want to get stuck on a trail in the woods in the rain.

According to the Waterfalls of Hamilton brochure that I picked up in the nearby Punch Bowl Market (more on that in a minute!), Devil’s Punchbowl Falls was created at the end of the last ice age 450 million years ago, carved by huge amount of meltwater rivers that plunged over the escarpment. The Punchbowl is the only area where one can view such a large vertical display of Ordovician and Silurian stratified rocks. My phone camera didn’t capture it super well but you can see a brilliant teal band of rocks in the middle of the cliff. We will have to go back one day and see it better.

And the Punch Bowl Market is a treat in itself! We had a lunch of very fresh, very delicious pies (chicken, strawberry rhubarb, beef) under lush hanging plants in the patio outside :) They also sell a lot of homemade preserves and sauces, and the decor is delightfully retro :D

If you ever find yourself in the area, be sure to visit, along with the many many beautiful waterfalls in Hamilton area. I’ve only visited one other waterfalls in the area, so maybe a summer road trip is in order :) 

Have a good rest of the week, everyone!

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

the laziest cheesecake

If Gudetama were ever made into a cheesecake, this would be it…

… because I made it in a rice cooker :D

I literally just mixed all the ingredients together and pressed the “cook” button. Found the recipe from this Japanese cooking website, I chose it because it was the easiest (no separating egg whites and egg yokes kind of stuff). I converted some measurements and substituted some ingredients, and it turned out quite beautifully if I do say so myself :D so I’m recording the modifications here in case I have to come back to it again, or if anyone is interested in trying it. Note: I have a 5-cup rice cooker; for a smaller rice cooker, you might have to halve the recipe as suggested on the original recipe, so it will cook through.

  1. Warm 200g of cream cheese to room temperature (I eye-balled 1/5 of the 250g brick and cut it off), fluff with fork.
  2. Mix in 2 eggs (beaten), 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  3. Gradually mix in 1/3 cup pancake mix (I bought the kind that you have to add milk and egg, not the just add water kind) and 1/3 cup half-and-half cream. Mix very well to eliminate lumps (I used a hand mixer).
  4. Grease inner pot of rice cooker with margarine/butter. Pour mixture into pot. Cook on regular rice setting.
  5. When done, test with toothpick to see if the centre is still runny. If so, cook on same setting again. (Toothpick will not come out clean, but as long as the inside is not runny it should be ok)
  6. Take out inner pot and cover with plastic wrap, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours (I wanted to minimize the chance of it crumbling when I flip it out).
  7. Flip the cake out of the pot carefully with my hand (or a plate that fits inside the pot) pressing gently on the cake (as demonstrated with pictures in the original recipe).

Ta-da!

It tasted like a cross between Japanese cheese cake (light, fluffy, not too sweet) and New York style cheese cake (dense and rich). I suspect the denseness is due to me cooking the cake 3 times. The toothpick didn’t come out completely clean the second time and I thought it had to be, so I think I overcooked it. Next time I’ll just cook it twice. 

I made it for Mike’s birthday :D I’ll probably make it again for my parents, Mike’s parents, my co-workers, my friends, church potluck… it’s so easy!!

Wishing everyone a sweet Sunday afternoon!

 

p.s. Gudetama is a Sanrio character in the shape of an egg who is very lazy. It also morphs into different kinds of egg-based foods. His short anime are hilarious, and a bit bizarre… but fun for a short break in the day :)

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

pooling isn’t just for ducks!”

That was what Mike said when I first explained to him the idea of pooling when using variegated yarn. I thought it would make a nice catchy blog title! :D 

I was making a hand towel for a relative as a gift, and bought this variegated yarn because I liked the colour combination. I started with a chain of 40, so there are 39 stitches across. I used a 5.5 mm hook, and crochet moss stitch, using Bernat Handicrafter yarn in Queen Ann’s Lace (large skein). And look! It started making a plaid pattern!

This was completely unintentional. I was even feeling a bit bad about it because when I read about planned pooling, I saw that it often takes people 5–6 tries before getting the pattern to work (which kind of deterred me from trying at all…), and here I am, la-di-da, out comes a plaid pattern (which is not perfect but good enough for me!).

Which is why I wanted to share all the details of what I did, maybe it will save someone some time if you’re trying to make a similar thing? The finished towel came out to be 9″ wide.

But then I also read that the success of planned pooling depends on one’s tension, where in the colour section one starts and the skein of yarn, so even if I try to do the exact same thing I may not get the same result anyway.

Definitely a pleasant surprise! 

Happy crafting!

 

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

wicker

Made with simple V-stitch, the resulting texture reminds me of wicker furniture. 

It’s an open front, light cardigan with a seamless construction. That’s right — no sewing, no sewing at all :)

Simple stitch pattern means easy to customize. The size I made is 34″. I’ve added suggestions for increasing size in italics.

I used one ball of Lion Brand Pound of Love and a 5.5 mm hook.

The cardigan is made top down.

Stitch pattern:

v-stitch (v-st): dc in stitch indicated, ch 1, dc in same stitch

Back

ch 66

Add 6 ch to the beginning ch for every inch you’d like to increase.

Row 1: v-st in 6th ch from hook, [sk 2 ch, v-st in next ch] till last 3 ch, dc in last ch, turn.

Row 2: ch 3 (counts as a dc throughout), [v-st in ch 1 sp] to end, dc in top of turning ch.

Repeat row 2 eleven (11) more times. Fasten off. 13 rows altogether.

For larger size, work 2 more rows for every 6 ch added to the beginning ch.

Right front

Turn piece upside down, so that the beginning ch is at the top. Attach yarn to top right corner of piece.

Row 1: ch 3, [v-st in the base of the v-st  from row 1 of back (it would be upside down)] 6 times, dc in the base of next v-st.

For larger size, work 1 more v-st for every 6 ch added to the beginning ch.

Row 2: ch 3, [v-st in ch 1 sp] to end, dc in top of turning ch, turn.

Repeat row 2 eleven (11) more times. Fasten off. 13 rows altogether.

Left front

Re-position the piece so that the unworked side of the shoulder is at top right. Attach yarn to top right corner.

Repeat rows 1–13 of left front. Don’t fasten off.

Join front and back

Join row: ch 3, v-st in every ch 1 sp across left front, dc in last dc of left front, dc in first dc of back, v-st in every ch 1 sp across back, dc in last dc of back, dc in first dc of right front, v-st in every ch 1 sp across right front, dc in last dc of right front, turn.

Body

Row 1 after joining: ch 3, v-st in every ch 1 sp until under arm, v-st in between the last dc of front and first dc of back, mark v-st just made, v-st in every ch 1 sp until under arm, v-st in between last dc of back and first dc of front, mark v-st just made, v-st in every ch 1 sp, dc in last dc, turn.

Row 2: ch 3, [v-st in ch 1 sp] to end, dc in top of turning ch, turn.

Repeat row 2 until piece is 19″ from shoulder, or desired length. Fasten off.

Sleeve

Sleeve is made in the round, turning at the end of every row. You will now be working along the side or ends of the rows in the front and back pieces. You will be making v-st around the dc (which I will call the horizontal bar below) and in the joining point between rows (which I will call joining point below — it is either the top of a dc or turning ch, so you can just make a v-st into it like you would usually do into a dc or ch).

Row 1: Attach yarn to the base of marked v-st in underarm, ch 4, dc in same place. sk the first horizontal bar, [v-st in next joining point, sk the next horizontal bar and the next joining point, v-st in next horizontal bar, sk the next joining point and horizontal bar] to end of round, sl st in 3rd ch of turning ch, turn.

This might help illustrate where I’m putting the stitches. The circles are the joining points, and the dashes are the horizontal bars. The v’s are the v-st.

Row 2: ch 3, [v-st in ch 1 sp] around, sl st in top of beginning ch, turn.

Repeat row 2 until sleeve is 17.5″ long, or desired length. End on a wrong side row so next row begin with right side facing. Don’t fasten off.

Cuff

Row 1: ch 1 (does not count as sc), [sc in next ch 1 sp, sc in between two v-st] around, sl st in first sc, don’t turn.

Row 2: ch 1, in the back loop only, sc in every sc around, sl st in first sc, don’t turn.

Repeat row 2 two (2) more times. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Repeat for the other sleeve and cuff.

Front border / collar

Row 1 (RS): Attach yarn to bottom corner of right front, ch 2 (counts as hdc), 2 hdc around every horizontal row end (horizontal bar as described above in sleeve) up along front, across back of neck, and down front again, turn.

Row 2 (WS): ch 2, in front loop only, hdc in every hdc to end, turn.

Row 3 (RS): ch 2, in back loop only, hdc in every hdc to end, turn.

Repeat rows 2–3 once more (or until desired width), then work row 2 again once. Don’t fasten off.

Bottom edge

Row 1 (WS): ch 1, 1 sc in every row-end of the hdc rows in border, 1 sc in every st across body of cardigan, then 1 sc in every row-end of border, turn.

Row 2 (RS): ch 1, in back loop only 1 sc in every sc. Fasten off, weave in ends.

 

All finished. No sewing, as promised :)

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions! Happy crocheting :)

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

new york, new york

You might have noticed that I was MIA on the blog for a bit… sometimes I’m MIA for no good reason, but this time, I was actually in NYC! :D 20% of the trip was for work, but we sure did cram in as much sightseeing as possible in the remaining 80% of our time there, since we’ve never been!

Mostly just mesmerized and mildly intimidated by the street scenes. Also, fire escapes are such beautiful structures! Especially the shadows they cast on the building during certain times of day. 

At the corner of Little Italy and Chinatown :O

Made a beeline to Purl Soho as soon as we had free time *heart eyes x 1000* It is such a nice shop! I got too overwhelmed by all the yarn choices and couldn’t decide on what to get. But I did get the gorgeous anniversary edition of Pom Pom Quarterly, which I’ve been eyeing forever but hadn’t been able to bring myself to get it because of the hefty shipping fees! Can’t wait to start working on some of the patterns :D

My second favourite part of NYC is definitely Central Park. A close second. Or even equally favourite. Such a magical place. And we only covered maybe a 10th of it!

Isn’t this like the scene in Spirited Away? :D Almost expecting to come out to a world full of strange things on the other side…

Instead we found Alice and her toadstools :D

This brings people together :)

Saw that the Museum of Natural History has a jelly dome, made a beeline there as well! It was well worth the waiting in line. Wish I took a picture of the outside of the dome, it looked like an inflated grey cozy igloo. And inside they played beautiful footage of all kinds of jellyfish on the dome! It was like they were swimming all round you, with relaxing music, quite magical! I think it’s a great alternative to exhibiting live jellyfish in a tank, and makes a brilliant art installation, and I think the wonder on all the visitors’ faces is just as moving as the jellyfish footage itself. 

And of course we visited The Met! It is breathtakingly grand.

I’m most mesmerized by the lighting of this room, originally from Venice, I believe.

We had one last morning to spend in New York before heading home, and we made it to Brooklyn! :D

It was so nice to be able to step into the Hudson River.

Souvenirs from our trip include 3 perfectly rounded stones from the river (along with Cocokrispies squares — because we don’t have Cocokrispies in Canada anymore), now sitting with my glass bird :)

I also took some pictures with Diana, hoping that they will turn out! Will have to show them to you when I get the film developed — stay tuned!

There were so many places we wanted to visited but just didn’t have the time! Must return one day. Have you been to NYC, or do you live there? What’s your favourite place?

Have a good rest of the week, everyone!

 

 

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

this week’s awesome finds

Never too early to start knitting hats! The seed stitch adds a nice texture to this one. From Lion Brand Yarn (scroll down in post for link to hat pattern, free but registration required).

 

Simple yet bold poppies to add a stylish touch to any jacket. From Picot Pals.

 

Oh my goodness, MUST MAKE! From Make & Do Crew.

 

Make space for zen. Simple desk zen garden from Dwell Beautiful.

 

Never heard of shower melts before, but I think these vapour rub flavour ones would make a good practical gift! Would probably be better used than bath fizzes I think. I for one hadn’t taken a bath since I was a kid, always prefer showers. From The Homespun Hydrangea.

 

Macrame can be beautiful, hipster and not hippie. Necklaces from Lia Griffith.

 

Also from Lia Griffith, these beautiful flower rings! I think they would also make gorgeous earrings, and no one will be able to tell that they’re made from shrink plastic. 

 

These fabric coil bowls are intriguing, and made from t-shirts! From We are Scout.

 

Great alternative to actual birthday cake, or just for tea party! From Tikkido.

 

Looks super fancy but the recipe seems simple enough for me to tackle! And with croissants! From Make & Takes.

 

Happy summer crafting! :D

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page