Blog Archives

Japanese Flower Shawl

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As a response to my “Unique Blanket Patterns” post I received a new request! It took me a couple of days to get back to this one as my little guy has been sick and my family has had an exciting weekend including the university graduation of my sister-in-law (Congrats Holly!) and the Kamloops Family Market where Brian had a booth.

Imagine my surprise when I received this lovely request in my inbox!

What beautiful patterns! especially the star at the top. Have you seen Japanese Flower Shawls? I’m looking for a simple circular pattern to make the pieces for my own. Apparently, the actual original pattern is only available by buying the original book (in Japanese). Here it is on Pinterest. http://pinterest.com/pin/239042692691556187/:)

I do love a challenge! So I have set out on a treasure hunt and found some resources that I hope will answer lotsofnicethings’ request and also inspire some of you out there to give this beautiful and unique pattern a try too. Thank you so much to lotsofnicethings and please feel free to keep those requests coming!

Tracking down this pattern definitely proved itself to be quite a challenge. I did find a few blogs, most in French (Yay for bilingualism!) but even these had pulled down any tutorials or written instructions out of respect for the original author.

They all have a valid point of course. As any of you who have ever written a pattern know, crochet is an art in itself. I too have chosen not to write out any pattern or offer tutorials. In an effort to inspire you to learn the pattern yourself, I have posted a few pictures from outside sources and some crochet charts. (Check out this post to learn more about reading crochet charts.)

Japanese Flower Shawl

Delicate and brightly coloured, these flowers are beautiful draped over your shoulders as a shawl but could also adorn a sweater or toque or become a beautiful afghan!

As was mentioned in the request, the original pattern for these flowers is in Japanese. This isn't quite the same flower but may work. If you can read a crochet chart, this little picture may serve well as a guide!

Another chart.

This is such a great picture. If you are familiar with crochet, you may be able to figure out the pattern by this photo alone.

Yet another clear photo to follow. And the comments on this blog post may give you a few more hints too!

You may notice that these are not all the same. They are quite similar but there are a few options out there so I guess it is up to you what you like! Aside from these images, most of what I found was quite repetitive. If what I’ve listed here doesn’t do the trick, try this search for plenty more resources!

Please share your Japanese Flowers with us!

Thanks and happy hooking!

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A baby beanie – Staying motivated

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If I had to categorize knitting and crochet into a particular season, I think winter is very fitting. In the winter, the cooler weather and ever-changing fashions lure me back to my yarn stash. Inspiration is easy to find in stores, on celebrities and in the natural need for a fresh new pair of mittens on a cold day.

In the summer, warmer weather calls to me and, for some reason, I forget all about fiber arts. It’s certainly not for lack of projects to do. I always have a long mental list of pieces I want to accomplish. Perhaps I fall prey to the cliche that knitted and crochet garments are better suited to the cold (we all know that there are plenty of summer patterns on Ravelry). I just tend to set aside my projects with the intention of picking it back up in a day or two and, before I know it, it’s time to start Christmas gifts again.

The projects that I had told myself I would accomplish once I finally had the time are put back on hold before they are begun.

This year, as I feel my interests begin to once again shift, I am more determined than ever to stay focused. So, inspired by a request by my husband, I have come up with a strategy. I am going to sprinkle in a bunch of small projects with my larger ones so that I can enjoy the satisfaction of a completed piece and stay motivated to continue on the large ones.

What does this have to do with you? you may wonder. Well, for one, it means that I will be blogging more often. For two, (do we say “for two”?), it means you get a free pattern for the sweet little newborn hat I made for Brian’s associate who just had a baby girl! By the way, how do you stay motivated to work on those bigger projects? Share your strategies in the comments!

For this little newborn beanie, I used some leftover Bernat Alpaca in Ebony (Less than 50g) and a couple of meters of hand spun yarn made by Alli which was absolutely beautiful! (Check out her yarns and other products here!) The pattern is super simple and the whole project took me less than an hour!

To form the base of the hat:

Size: 0-3 months
Hook: H
Yarn: Bernat Alpaca, Ebony
Qty: Approx 50g

Note: If subbing for another yarn, I would recommend a DK or sport weight yarn or slightly lighter than worsted.

Begin: Ch4, sl st to first chain to form a loop. Ch2, 8 hdc into loop. Join to first ch2 with a sl st.

Row 1: Ch2, hdc1 into first hdc, hdc2 into each rem. hdc around. Join.
Row 2: Ch2, hdc1, [hdc1, hdc2] rep. around. Join.
Row 3: Ch2, hdc1, [hdc1, hdc1, hdc2] rep. around. Join.
Row 4: Ch2, hdc1, [hdc1, hdc1, hdc1, hdc2] rep. around. Join.

Repeat row 4 seven more times. Fasten off and weave in ends.

To form the flower:

This is a great little appliqué for using up scraps of yarn. I used some of Alli’s hand spun yarn!

Hook: H

Begin:
Ch 11 (foundation chain), ch2, turn.
Dc4 into 4th ch from hook, ch2, [sc, ch2, dc4, ch2], rep. until you have formed 5 petals.
Fasten off yarn with a 5″ tail and draw tail back through the foundation. Tighten to form flower and fasten off.
Use a large button as the centre of the flower and attach flower to the base hat.

PDF coming soon!

Happy hooking!

 

Spinning the ugliest yarn… On purpose!

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I love art yarns. I love looking at them, feeling them and spinning them myself! In the year I have been spinning, my forays with art yarn have been mild, beginning with yarn that became a big wool toque. I spun the colours together with no reason and it wasn’t until I knit with it that I realised how great it was.

To date, the Art Yarn I spun up using “Franklin” Art batt from Neauveau Fiber Arts, corriedale fleece from Wooly Wool of the West and some gold filament from my Mum-in-law, is my very favourite. I spun the art batt into a thick & thin single with lots of lumps and chunks, I then plied it with coils onto a single of combed corriedale top and to bind it all together I spun it loosely with gold filament. This really made all the wonderful colours and sparkles from the art batt pop!

Successfully making a skein of funky, colourful yarn can only serve as a gateway to even crazier things! Therefore, I started my newest art yarn with a collection of rolags from leftovers off my comb & hackle.

The pile consists of primarily corriedale, with splashes of merino, cotswold, mohair and synthetics. And yes, I plan on spinning the WHOLE pile of it! As for the wheel, I am using my Mum-in-law’s beautiful wheel.

She is a single-treadle, bobbin driven, large orifice wheel and I especially love her for plying! Notice the size of the bobbin? Yeah, they could be dumbbells for King Kong!

So last night I got into my spinning chair, turned on the newest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race and started treadling. After nearly 2 hours of Drag Queens and Futurama, I ended up with this:

Reds, yellows, and pinks! Oh my! And sadly, it isn’t half as colourful as the frocks worn by the Drag Queens… Sigh.

It is spinning beautifully, with some lumpy-bumpy bits and spots with sparkle. Currently, the plan is to spin up that pile into sock-ish weight singles and then ply them together using different techniques. I’m hoping to get a great big skein on nonsensical, squishy yarn to amuse and bewilder the masses.

Please check back over the next week to help me name the skein!

The Great Toque Marathon: finale!

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Now that my Xmas and winter weather knitting rush has quieted, I can get back to blogging and building my Etsy store! I was very happy to receive an email from the customer who purchased the 10 toques from my Great Toque Marathon Part 1 & Part 2. The toques were enjoyed by all over Christmas as well as out in Banff and Lake Louise, AB.

I was very pleased that the toques helped the family to bond and keep warm in the cool weather. I can only imagine they bewildered looks wherever they travelled. According to my customer, they were helpful in spotting each other on the busy Banff sidewalks!

I’m very proud and happy that I was able to help welcome French visitors to Canada in style. Bienvenue!

Christmas with warm ears!

Thank you to Jan & her family for sharing their Christmas photos.