Posted in Blog Post, Uncategorized, update, World of Warcraft

Profession Skill Up! Tunisian Crochet Unlocked.

Today’s posting is very near and dear to my heart, it involves a very special group of people in the World of Warcraft community; Reckles of WTBGold and the lovely (all be it sometimes terrifying), Recking Crew that accompanies him on his Twitch journey.

I will pull some backstory from his Patreon page for those of my readers who are not familiar with Reckles; after studying economics at Columbia and deciding that Investment Banking just wasn’t his thing, Reckles moved to Texas to take up the mantle of WoW Gold Making Guru.  This took shape in the form of a YouTube Channel and Twitch stream, where he passes on his knowledge of economics to fledgling goldmakers looking to get a better handle on their in-game finances and reach the gold cap.

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I have been wanting to step up my crochet game for a while now, I felt that I haven’t really been delivering on the geeky goodness that my logo and name promises. So, in the spirit of the Reckles’ channel, I decided it was time I learned a new skill that would help me to deliver on that promise.

I visited my profession trainer (Google) and picked up the Tunisian Crochet skill.

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For the uninitiated, Tunisian crochet, sometimes called jacquard crochet, intarsia, mosaic, fair isle, and colourwork (today these terms tend to refer to different techniques), is done usually in single crochet stitches and can consist of multiple colours carried throughout the piece. It is sometimes seen as a mixture of crochet and knitting. The biggest difference between regular crochet and Tunisian crochet is the hook used and how those single crochet stitches are worked up.

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Tunisian crochet utilizes an elongated hook, often with a stopper or cord at the end which allows the user to cast on like with knitting.

With that out of the way, let’s get back to work!

I decided that I wanted to make something special for Reckles, to thank him and the community for all the times that they helped me to forget myself and laugh with them. Trust me, it is difficult to ignore the Anxiety Monster that lives in my head so this was no small feat.

Seeing as WTBGold is still a fledgling endeavor, I wanted to provide something that would hopefully help the channel out just as much as they all help me on a daily basis. After hearing that Reckles wanted to start improving on his branding, I decided that I would take a stab (hehe, rogue jokes) at making a wall hanging depicting his channel logo.

This proved to be an interesting experience as I first had to figure out how to turn his logo into a pattern for me to work from; with little knowledge of making pixel charts, I got to work.

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I decided to use Google Sheets as makeshift graph paper and flitted back and forth between the logo and my graph to make sure I was staying as true as possible to the design.

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With the pattern fleshed out, I picked up my new hook and began my work.

The first thing I noticed, was how difficult it was to maintain just the right amount of tension on my yarn so that I wasn’t working the stitches so loosely that the carried colours poked through while also ensuring that my stitches were not so tight as to make the end result look pinched.

Once I found my groove, I got tunnel vision. There were days when I actually worked on it for 8 hours straight without stopping to stretch, eat or even take a hydration break. If anyone from the channel is reading this and wonders where I disappeared to for a week, I was down a rabbit hole, and it was glorious.

This banner was the most fun I had had with crochet in a long time, I felt creative again. I started imagining the other things I could make with Tunisian crochet and my thoughts ran away with me. Eventually, the intense hand cramps pulled me back into the realm of reality and forced me to take a break.

After 2 and a half days, I had completed the first half of my project.

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After I had finished laughing like a crazy person from relief (and spooking my cats), I just sat there and stared at it for a solid 3 minutes with a critical eye. I remembered a suggestion given to me by a member of the Recking Crew (shout out to my “alter-ego”) that I should find a way of incorporating the red background from the logo.

This suggestion gave me an answer to another problem I was having; for those who have not tried out Tunisian crochet for themselves this is what the back of the project looked like at this stage:

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Yup, here it is, my secret shame. When you carry your secondary colour throughout your work, it results in this tangled mess. 

Luckily, I figured out that I could kill 2 birds with one stone and used the red yarn I had slated for the trim, to create a monotone copy of the shield and stitched the two together to create the backing.

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I happened to have some gold thread left over from another project, and I used it to accent the piece and hide the seams.

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My final task was to find a suitable dowel for the banner to hang from, this was oddly difficult to locate and in the end, I went to the dollar store and repurposed the pole from a paper towel holder.

By this point, 4 days have passed and I am beginning to get antsy the way that I do when I have almost finished a piece. Sadly, I still had to wet block so that the banner would maintain its shape. This took multiple attempts and more patience than I had access to but the end result was well worth the time and effort that went into it.

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I apologize for the less than perfect picture quality, one day I will level up my photography skill, but for the time being, you shall have to settle for phone quality.

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And there you have it. I really don’t know what else to say except to thank Reckles and the whole Recking Crew for the numerous laughs and shenanigans.

So with that, Smar out! Vanishes into the shadows, dual-wielding hooks as daggers.

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Posted in Blog Post, For Sale, Large Projects, Reclaimed Crochet, Uncategorized

Reclaimed Crochet: Over-Sized Wearble Blanket

Boy, it sure has been a while since I have done one of these, eh? I am back with another crochet transformation that I cannot wait to show you all, so without further ado, let’s get started!

Here is what we are Reclaiming today:

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This poor, unloved blanket was found at my local thrift store for just under $5.00 CAD. I was large enough to drape over my double bed and was so soft that I am astounded anyone let it go. Upon closer inspection, I found a few problem areas but I was certain I could clean ‘er up and work around them in order to give this blanket a new life.

Problem area #1: Odd, yellow-y fluff.

It was embedded in the yarn and I could only assume, it was some type of pet fur. Luckily, it was fairly easy to remove with a pair of small scissors, good lighting, and a careful hand.

With that out of the way, it was time to address the larger issue, the unsightly seam that ran straight down the center of the blanket.

Problem area #2: The construction of the blanket.

I really wish I knew why the original maker of this piece decided to make 2 different panels and stitch them together to make this blanket. Maybe it was for ease of travel so they could work on a larger project while on the go. Whatever the reason, it left a hard to miss seam down the body of the blanket.

This, I have to admit had me stumped for a moment as to how I would go about Reclaiming this piece. Should I just rip out the whole blanket and straight up just reuse this gorgeous, soft, liliac yarn? I didn’t much enjoy the thought of spending my day frogging. Besides, that is hardly very creative of me now is it?

So here is what I did instead:

I decided that the best way to hide the seam would be to turn the blanket into something wearable and then use a second, bolder colour to distract from the unsightly seam. I figured that if I could somehow get the seam to run in line with my waist horizontally, then your eyes would just kind of, gloss over it.

So, I went to work folding the blanket this way and that until I had origami’d it into something new. I took some gray yarn I had in my stash that was of similar weight and used that to make my new folds stitch together.

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The final result proved to be rather difficult to photograph without help but I did manage it.

Here it is, an over-sized wearable blanket that is sure to keep you warm and cozy while you snuggle up with that book and a cuppa.

 

I am pleased to offer this incredibly cozy over-sized wearable blanket for just $30.00 CAD+ Shipping. As usual, if you live locally and are able to come pick it up then we wave the shipping fee.

I encourage you all to head to your local thrift stores and see if you can find yourself something to Reclaim.

Posted in Blog Post, craft fair, For Sale, Uncategorized, update

Everybody Wants to be a Cat

As things are warming up and the need for hats and scarves becomes less of a necessity, I find myself struggling to find projects to work on for the warmer seasons.

Living in the city means that riding the LTC is just a part of regular everyday life; you take the bus to work or to school or when you are on your way to your friend’s house. The survival pack of the regular rider tends to consist of:

  • (1) cup of something tasty to drink. Usually procured from the nearest Tim Hortons
  • An over-large back of some sort. This is useful for blocking off the seat beside you so that you are not forced to interact with some random other LTC Warrior.
  • Headphones. These tend to be anything from the tiny Apple earbuds that are easy for tangling up in your pocket and using as a way to expel verbal aggressions at a later date; to the swankier Beats by Dre.

It was the sight of these headphones on a fellow weary traveler that caught my eye and gave me the idea to make this:

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Not as flashy, I will be the first to admit but they sure were fun to make.

As I look towards craft fair season, I start to see dollar signs when considering all the options for customization.

I am opening up orders for customized headsets, I will mod your current headphones for $20.00 or if you want to purchase a specific brand of headphones for me to modify then the pricing is dependent on the headset selected.

Because who doesn’t want to be a cat? 

 

Posted in Blog Post, Uncategorized

The Bad Beginning

Happy Friday the 13th! The day we all avoid walking under ladders and stepping on cracks to spare our dear old mothers is upon us and of course, you know what that means: Netflix has released A Series of Unfortunate Events. I am so excited to sit down with some yarn and a cup of tea and binge watch the hell out of it.

Before I can, I have to go out and run some errands tomorrow; walk in clinic and yarn shopping. I am hoping that I can convince my best friend to tag along if she is free, then we can platonically Netflix and Chill afterwards.

In other news, I am trying to get myself out there still as a small business. I am having a doozy of a time though and nothing seems to be working. I mean, heck I doubt that anyone even reads these things I put up here. I am sure that my friends are all sick of me berating them to “Like, Comment, Share” so much so that I am tempted to just give up at times.

And so, in a desperate attempt to gather more of a following I beseech you kind reader to lend me a hand. Please, help me to gain some more notoriety so that I can have a chance at success. Share this website with your friends and family, your dog and cat, your downstairs, upstairs and sideways neighbors. Heck, call your grandparents and get them in on the fun!

Check us out on Facebook  and remember that not all bad beginnings lead to an unfortunate ending.