Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy Crochet

Just thought I'd take a moment to share a pair of projects from February. I worked up this pair for Kevin as his Valentines Day gift. They are baby Groot and Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Don't they make a perfectly adorable pair? And FYI, I took these photos outside in February... yep that's how mild and dry our winter has been

The Baby Groot Pattern is by the always fantastic Twinkie Chan. He worked up really quickly with some brown acrylic I've had in my stash for years. He's got a pipe cleaner skeleton and is potted with some brown pom poms. Because he was for Valentines Day, I put a cute little heart in his hand (branch?).

The pattern is free, and simple to follow. If you're confused at all, there's also a YouTube video you can follow along on.

Unfortunately, I didn't hide Groot well enough, so Kevin spotted him a few nights before Valentine's day, and loved him right away. However, I still wanted to surprise him with something, so I thought why not his pal Rocket, the angry and awesome racoon?

I bought this pattern on Ravelry from Kristel Koevenig and really I wish I hadn't paid for it. At first the pattern was going great as I worked my way up the legs, but when I got to the strips on his body, something funky was going on with the way it was written, so I improvised from the waist up on his body.

Then I ran into the same trouble with his head. Maybe it was because I wasn't reading carefully enough, but at $5.40 for a small toy pattern, I guess I just expect it to work up with clear directions that give you the anticipated result. However, I am happy with the over all result, and love the details on his face and with his little backpack.

Well that's all I have for now. Happy Hooking!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Sometimes what seems like a mistake can turn out beautiful

This skein came out of yesterday's dyeing session. It absolutely wasn't what I was trying to achieve, but once it dried, it was my favourite of the batch.

I may spend many moons trying to recreate it.

Yarn is 50g of 100% fine superwash merino, about 150m, and will be listed on Etsy tomorrow, along with a pile of other skeins.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Bringing a little bit of Canada to Hawaii - Wanderlust Projects

Just continuing on in sharing the garland projects I crocheted up for my camp site at Wanderlust O'ahu. If you'd like to see the other projects they are the:

Half Lotus Bunting
Doily Bunting

Again, this project was a great stash buster for me, all the yarn used was acrylic that I already had. The pattern is the Maple Leaf Banner designed by Susan Badgley for Red Heart. Rather than make only 7 leafs all in red, I tried to capture the fall colours of my childhood in Northern Ontario and did 5 red, 4 orange, 3 yellow, 2 dark red and 1 green, and hung them all in random order.

I loved the look of this finished garland, and can't wait to whip of some more of these leaves (I have a great idea for them), however I struggled super hard with the pattern at first. Completely my own fault (tuns out its important to read the pattern notes before jumping right in to row one). Thankfully there is a YouTube tutorial for the pattern.

 I swear you can teach yourself just about anything on YouTube.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Hand Painted recycled yarn.

Available on Etsy.

This weekend I hand painted my very first yarn.

The yarn was recycled from a thrift store sweater.

The fiber content is 42% wool, 25% viscose, 21% nylon, 8% angora and 4% cashemere, and the yarn is a DK.

I pre-soaked the skeins in room temperature water with a bit of white vinegar in it.

And prepared my Wilton's food colouring dyes. (I love the way the purple started breaking right on the paper towel!

I lay out my skeins on some plastic wrap.

And started painting. I way underestimated how much dye I'd need for so much yarn, and mixed up some more.

Look at those beautiful colours! The pink broke out of the purple.

Next, rolled the whole thing up and popped it into the microwave.

Once it had cooled it was into the bath tube to wash, and hang to dry.

The colors turned out beautifully.

Especially with Easter on it's way.

One skein will be listed on Etsy to sell, a whopping 450 yards, great for a project like a shall.

Another 450 yards I wrapped up for my self. The mini skein...well I'll be saving that for something special.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Half Lotus Bunting - Wanderlust projects

I recently attended the Wanderlust Yoga Festival in O'ahu, Hawaii. And while I was there I camped in a tent on the beach (a beautiful experience you can read about in full here). What does this have to do with yarn? Well, Wanderlust invited us to decorate our campsites with prayer flags, and while I do have a beautiful strand of traditional Tibetan flags, I opted to leave them at home and make some of my own.

So in this first Wanderlust Projects Post, I'll be sharing with you my Half Lotus Bunting, designed by Annie Soutter, and available as a free Ravelry download.

This project practically called out to me, considering the place the lotus takes in the world of yoga, and overall, the shape of this pattern really does call to mind Hindu motifs.

So I grabbed some gold yarn from my stash (bunting projects are great for de-stashing by the way) and started hooking.

Within a few minutes I knew something was going drastically wrong. Unfortunately I just didn't seem to be up to the task of following the pattern correctly. Which was likely due to the fact that I was crocheting at the myograph in the lab, while running an experiment. Any ways, I ripped it out and referred to Ravelry for help.

And this is the great, amazing thing about Ravelry... chances are someone else has run into the same problem as you, and because this community is just so amazing, chances are someone has found a solution to said problem and shared it.

Which lead me to AcorntoOak and her blog and thank goodness, a chart! I won't share the chart here, because you should definitely check out her blog and get it direct from the source. But I will share the results of it, a half lotus she made from crochet thread, which looks tiny and perfect, and I might have to make one of my own ASAP (is it just me or does it call to mind a book mark?).

Any ways, thank you so very much AcorntoOak for providing the chart (in beautiful technicolor too!) because I don't know if I would have been able to make my lotuses without you!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Yarn in Hawaii

I just got home from a solo trip to Hawaii... to enjoy some sunshine, hiking and personal time and a yoga festival. And of course, being an addict like myself, some yarn.

So I have to admit, I did a fair amount of beach knitting. Working on my Painted Desert Lace Shawl. In fact it's my very first shall and the colours of this yarn, in the candle light colourway, are just beautiful. I can't wait to decide what to do with the other two skeins of it I bought.

I also checked out the two local yarn shops on the island, Yarn Story in Honolulu, and Aloha Yarn in Kaneohe. Of course I bought some souvenir yarn at both shops, which I'll show off in a separate post. But one of the things I bought was 50 grams of Schoppel Wolle, 100% merino, pencil roving in the parrot colourway.

Which I promptly got to spinning, in my tent, on my new handmade spindle, while watching the waves crash on the beach in front of me.

And it turned out beautiful, I can't wait to finish it, and knit with it. I don't have much, so I'm thinking it would look great in little stained glass windows outlined in black. So inspiring!

And speaking of inspiring, I saw this beautiful giant dream catcher at one of the vendor tents at Wanderlust, and I simply must make one for myself!

I didn't just create while I was away, I also recycled. I found this blue cotton sweater marked down to just a couple dollars at the Forever 21 in Waikiki, and decided to unravel it. I've got a project involving over dying some of the yarn in mind for it.

I of course always bring books with me on vacation, this time I ventured into the world of knitting novels, and read My life in Stiches by Rachael Herron,  and All Wound Up by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I picked up both books in the mark down section at Chapters just before I left. Something about Stephanie...AKA the Yarn Harlot....it's so inspiring to see a fellow Canadian making her life as a Knitting-Writer!

Overall the trip was amazing, and I swear I didn't have my knitting in my hands all the time.