It has been a while since I have posted so allow me to re-introduce myself to readers old and new;
Hello! My name is Rebecca Challenger and I am a Canadian textile artist specializing in Tunisian Crochet, wall hangings mostly. You can catch me happily hooking away most Wednesdays 2-5pm EST over on Twitch as SmarTheNimble.
I recently got a gorgeous new overlay made by the highly talented Gage Designs and would love to show it off to you all! Hope to see you over there 🙂
In between streams I have been plugging away at writing up some new patterns and giving some old ones a bit of a glow up. I am quite pleased with how they turned out, so if you want to check them out for yourself, I have added a new page to aggregate everything. If you try out one of my designs, I would LOVE to see your work over on either Twitter or Instagram so be sure to tag me!
If you like my work and want to support me, I live and breathe coffee so why not buy me one over on Ko-fi?
I am looking forward to sharing some new projects with you all in the near future so thank you for sticking with me ❤
Foundation Row: Chain desired number of stitches, even or odd. Insert your hook into the second chain from hook then yarn over and pull through, leaving the loop on your hook. Continue picking up loops until you’ve reached the end of the chain. The number of loops you have should be the same as your initial chain. (1-2)
Foundation Row Return Pass: You will now begin working left to right. Yarn over and pull through to chain 1.
Yarn over and pull through the next 2 loops on your hook, completing the stitch. Repeat this until there is one stitch remaining on your hook. Chain 1. (3-4)
Click images to enlarge
TFS Row 1 Forward Pass: Insert your hook into the space between the 2nd and 3rd vertical bars and pick up a loop. Continue this motion with the remaining spaces. (5)
Once you have run out of workable spaces and are at the end of the row, make sure to also work the vertical end bar by pulling a loop up through it. Chain 1. (6)
TFS Row 1 Return Pass:*Yarn over and pull through the next 2 loops on your hook, completing the stitch. Repeat this until there is one stitch remaining on your hook. Chain 1. (3-4)
TFS Row 2 Forward Pass: Insert your hook into the space between the 1st and 2nd vertical bars and pick up a loop. Continue this motion until only one space remains. Skip this space and work the vertical end bar as done previously. Chain 1.(7-8)
Foundation Row: Chain desired number of stitches, even or odd. (1)
Forward Pass: * Insert your hook into the second chain (or front bar of stitch) and yarn over then pull through, leaving the loop on your hook. Continue picking up loops until you’ve reached the end of the chain. The number of loops you have should be the same as your initial chain. (2)
Return Pass: You will now begin working left to right. Yarn over and pull through to chain 1.
Yarn over and pull through the next 2 loops on your hook, completing the stitch. Repeat this until there is one stitch remaining on your hook. Chain 1 and repeat from* (3-4)
Like most, my yarn stash is quickly dwindling as store closures make restocking more difficult than usual. Luckily, I had some colours leftover that just might work for a design I have been workshopping mentally since the relaunch of Classic World of Warcraft back in August 2019.
Choosing which symbol best fit the conversion from JPEG to wall hanging proved to be more difficult than I originally assumed. The Scarlet Crusade flew many banners, but the one I settled on replicating was their version of the Symbol of the Holy Light.
After Lord Uther the Lightbringer was betrayed and killed by his former apprentice Arthas Menethil, the Knights of the Silver Hand were devastated by the Scourge‘s undead armies. Isillien was formerly a priest of the Holy Light in Lordaeron, assigned to be the liaison for the Knights of the Silver Hand. There he worked closely with the elder High General Abbendis (the father of the younger Abbendis) and his youthful charges, tutoring the young paladins in their quest for truth. Priests and paladins fought as the Scourge attacked the city, but they fled as Lordaeron fell around them. Some whisper it was the wounds both men received in battle, or perhaps just the shock of seeing their whole purpose destroyed, but since that day both Isillien and Abbendis had become quite insane. Isillien and Abbendis wandered the area as the Scourge defiled the land, destroying what undead they could, gathering what warriors would join them. They had but one concern: eradication of all that had destroyed Lordaeron.
Yarn weighed and wound for the front panel of the wall hanging and we are ready to go!
The first issue I encountered was…well actually I didn’t encounter any issues really with this pattern. I have a funny feeling that I won’t have much to write about for this one so let’s just roll the pretty pictures, hm?
I have found that between work sessions, that blocking your work can help with any tension issues that may crop up. As a rule, I try to make as much progress in one work session as possible so that my tension is more or less consistent.
I think what really needs work is my ability to take photos that don’t suffer from intense bloom. Either that or I need to figure out how to fix it in post.
The blocking for this design was finicky, the straight lines in the pattern make it so that any tension issues are immediately obvious. Luckily, I managed to mitigate most of it with multiple blocking sessions.
Unfortunately, not all things are remedied by wet blocking; however I discovered a trick to flatten even the most unruly of edges. Running a drawstring through the back stitches and pulling it taught is a simple but effective process.
With both front and back panels blocked and ready to assemble, I line it all up and make quick work of whipstitching it together.
And voila! One Symbol of the Holy Light a-la Scarlet Crusade hooked and ready to hang in your game room.
These are strange and scary times; everyone is hiding away inside and doing their best to ignore the surrounding chaos and sometimes you need an escape. For many individuals, that escapist fantasy took the form of Animal Crossing New Horizons.
On March 20th, 2020, Nintendo gave many of you the perfect excuse to sequester yourselves away from all other life forms and live out your lofty dreams of owning a house and having a crippling debt that can be paid off at your leisure.
I never really ‘got’ the hype behind Animal Crossing, to me it seemed like a game where you kinda just did nothing, and why would I spend $80-$90 on that?
I was miffed that so many people felt differently from myself so I was certain that I had to be missing something. What was it that made this do-nothing-game so enchanting to so many? Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford to find out for myself so I began to watch others play on Twitch and YouTube.
I still haven’t been able to pick the game up but I can say that I getit now, and I wanted to be a part of it somehow. So, I decided to design a pattern to help you bring a bit of the Animal Crossing charm into your own home.
I settled on a simple design and rummaged through my dwindling stash of yarn to see what colours I had at my disposal.
Yarn located and pattern in hand, I got to work testing what would become the newest edition to my Etsy shop. I figured that since shipping items out wouldn’t be a wise move what with cross-border shipping being a bit of a mess, the best thing I could do would be to sell my patterns instead!
In spite of this being a very spur-of-the-moment design, I was really enjoying the colour pairing. Originally, I had wanted to mimic the pattern of Tom Nook’s fur (the tan and brown rings) for the background of the design but I couldn’t locate the right yarn for it in my stash and decided to simplify.
As I was taking some progress pictures, I noticed too late that I had flubbed a row but decided to proceed with the pattern anyway; it would be too demoralizing to frog it and start mostly from scratch.
Finally on the blocking board, the front of the wall hanging measures approximately 13″ wide by 15.5″ long when stretched. As per usual, I spritz it with water, pat it down and let it dry over-night, repeating as necessary until it lies flat.
The backing passes inspection with quality cat-trol and joins its sibling on the blocking board. When both pieces are no longer curling, it is time to move onto assembly.
I decided that I wanted the edges to be as crisp as I could get them, so I whip-stitched around the edges with the background blue yarn. This condensed the fluffy edges of my single crochet and provided the clean look I was hoping for.
I continued to whip-stitch my way around to the top of the wall hanging until I was 2″ in from the top corner where I anchored my stitching. It was time to attach the hanging loops.
Placing one edge of the loop strap under the backing, I carefully lined up the stitches before sewing them together.
Folding the hanging loop in half and sandwiching it, I push my needle through the other 2 layers and work my way across. When I reach the end of the hanging loop, I anchor my stitching and whip stitch along until it is time to repeat the process with the second loop which will be placed 2″ in from the other outside edge.
After accenting the border with what little brown yarn I had available (whip stitch again), the Nook Leaf Wall Hanging was finally complete!
I am excited to announce that I will be making all my patterns available for purchase in the near future!
We are starting today with the release of the Horde Wall Hanging which can be found on Raverly and Etsy for $7 CAD.
Display your faction pride and show off your skills with this easy to read and simple to craft PDF pattern. The colour graph and product pictures provided along with the written instructions, provide a clear and concise guide to follow even for beginners.
Nothing breaks your flow like having to stop and decipher what to do next due to improper formatting, so I went through great lengths to ensure that this pattern is easy on the eyes as well as your hook.
For this pattern you will need the following:
~Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss) and Single Crochet (Sc)
~Red and Black worsted weight yarn
~Tunisian crochet hook 7 or 8mm (L/11)
~1 wooden dowel approx. 12″ in length
~2 eyelet screws
~A place to wet block (pins, spray bottle, measuring stick, foam puzzle mats)
Persona 5 saw its worldwide release on April 4, 2017, I like many others with a soft spot for the series (and a flood of new fans) became instantly engrossed in the game’s world and problems.
With immersive cut-scenes, a dynamic soundtrack that you can’t ever seem to tire of and a cast of easily loveable and relatable characters, Persona 5 delivered to its players an introspective storyline fraught with very real-world issues; and I could not get enough. But if you are already here and reading this post then you most likely know all that, so let’s move on shall we?
Inspiration struck me one day and I found myself designing the most intricate wall hanging I have attempted thus far; 5 different colours and more carrying than I felt I had the capacity to handle, it quickly left me feeling defeated.
Luckily for me, I have wonderful internet friends (Hi Keredya!) who shared my woes and soon we had decided that maybe I should try carrying things vertically instead of horizontally.
That would make my fabric far less girthy and enable me to worry about holding onto fewer threads; I figured it was worth a shot.
Now, if you squint at the picture above, you may notice an error that I wish I had picked up on; I just wrapped the yarn around the dowels and didn’t put it on a spool.
After bashing my head against my own stupidity for a few minutes, I came up with a solution involving some old toilet paper rolls, corrugated cardboard and a bit of tape:
After I had finished rewinding the yarn around my makeshift spools, I placed some alligator clips on the board and fed the yarn through them to help maintain order, and trepidatiously began to work.
I struggled with maintaining my tension, I was unused to carrying the yarn vertically; dropping a thread after 1-5 stitches meant that I had to be more aware of how I anchored my stitches before I moved onto the next segment.
I decided that it could be fun to share my progress on my Magnum Opus, so I fired up the computer and streamed some of my work.
I was shocked when a newly acquired internet friend (Hi Kain!) had enough faith in my design to stake claim to the prototype, and so it became a commission I never expected to have.
I learned quickly to place my work on the blocking board at the end of each stream, this helped to maintain the shape and speed up the stretching process that was inevitably going to take eons.
I lost track of how long this tapestry took me from start to finish, I am sure I can figure the math out if I were to try but let’s just say a long fekkin’ time.
21″ long on the blocking board
11″ wide on the blocking board
Hover over the images to see measurements
For the backing, I decided to go with solid black and white trim to match the front. The inspiration for this whole project came from the tarot cards that are a staple of the Persona franchise.
Although I wasn’t wholly satisfied with the end product (what with it being the prototype), the customer voiced their enthusiasm and gave the stamp of approval to ship out.
The lighting in these pictures is a little on the cool side, I need to become a better photographer next!
Overall, I think the effect of the chain-link design turned out really nicely and the pattern itself translated well into the end product.
Things I learned from all this:
My tension is shit if you throw more than 3 strands of yarn at me. I need to practice working with more yarn until that becomes second nature.
I work better at a table, and it was fun to share my work as it was developing.
However, I work faster and more efficiently when the camera is off and I can throw something up on the TV to distract myself.
Tension matters in areas other than just the hook; when whip-stitching the bottom of the tapestry I must have pulled too hard and bunched the bottom up a bit. This was mediated later but I can still see a slight issue there and it will haunt me forever.
I have a long way to go before I can claim mastery of my craft.
Want to follow me around without being picked up for stalking?
I have priced these banners at $150.00 CAD each, and I take commissions on a first come first serve basis. All items are made at the time the order is placed and are not just held on hand. Expect between 3-4 weeks before your creation is ready to ship. Pricing is determined based on labor and material costs with the shipping cost being extra and fluctuating based on where I am shipping the order. A 50% initial deposit is required before any work can be started on your order. Payment options include Paypal, and ETransfer.
To submit a request to have a custom piece made, you can contact me through Email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or with the Contact button found on the website. If you want the quickest reply, send me an email.
How do you price your items?
I take commissions on a first come first serve basis.
All items are made at the time the order is placed and are not just held on hand.
Expect between 2-3 weeks before your creation is ready to ship.
Pricing is determined based on labor and material costs with the shipping cost being extra and fluctuating based on where I am shipping the order.
If your request requires me to purchase a specific pattern then the price of the pattern is added to the cost of materials.
If I am working to design a pattern from scratch for your commission, an added cost will be attached to your total.
A 50% initial deposit is required before any work can be started on your order. Payment options include Paypal, and ETransfer.
Still have questions? Feel free to drop me a line and I am more than happy to answer your inquiries.
I have priced these banners at $110.00 CAD each, and I take commissions on a first come first serve basis. All items are made at the time the order is placed and are not just held on hand. Expect between 2-3 weeks before your creation is ready to ship. Pricing is determined based on labor and material costs with the shipping cost being extra and fluctuating based on where I am shipping the order. A 50% initial deposit is required before any work can be started on your order. Payment options include Paypal, and ETransfer.