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.

wtbgold banner.png

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.

tailoring-otherworldly-bag.jpg

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.

tunisian-crochet-hook-typesJPG.jpg

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.

unnamed

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.

google sheet wtbgold.png

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.

20180315_162645.jpg

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:

20180315_162632.jpg

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.

20180317_141228.jpg

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

20180317_141314.jpg

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.

20180315_184559.jpg

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.

20180317_141141.jpg

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.

Advertisements
Posted in Blog Post, update

I need your help!

You, yes you sitting there looking at this post, I request your assistance.

No, I am not asking for money or for a kidney or even your first born feline, I merely need for you to take a moment of your time to complete this survey.

What is the survey for and how is it supposed to help? Well, I am glad that you asked random internet dweller! I am currently going through a small business mentorship program designed to help me with growing my business. I have an assignment to conduct a simple Market Survey and that is where I am hoping that you fine folk can assist.

No, this isn’t a scam, I am not selling your information and I am not getting money from each survey response. The only payment I get is a passing mark and the knowledge of how to better tailor my service to your needs.

So, I would be forever grateful should you choose to help me out by completing the survey yourself and if you felt so inclined as to share it with your friends, I would also appreciate it.

https://goo.gl/forms/PgUo6maFesebJ87k1

~Rebecca Challenger, Hookcrux

Posted in Blog Post, Large Projects, update

Cozy Kitty Cloak

About a month or so ago, I decided that I needed to make myself something for a change (which is rare as most things I make tend to find their way to other people eventually) and so I ventured out to Micheals with a friend.

I had already decided that I was going to make a blanket, winter was looming on the horizon and I could already feel the chill in the air during the wee hours of the morning. I envisioned curling up in this new, thick and cozy blanket with a cup of tea, a kitty and a good book. With that image cemented in my mind, I wandered the aisles and stalked for the perfect yarn.

At this point, I had pretty much decided on 2 things, firstly the blanket would be grey and white(or cream) and secondly, I was going to use bulky yarn for this piece. That was it. I had no plan for the actual pattern I would use and this made deciding on the amount of yarn needed a tad difficult.

I settled on using the Loops & Threads Charisma, and grabbed myself 3 of the Charisma BIG! in Steel and 2 of the 100g Off White; I shuffled off with my friend and discussed patterns on the way home.

Part of my ‘process’ when deciding on what to use a specific yarn for, is to hand-wind my yarn into center-pull balls. This gives me the opportunity to really get acquainted with my yarn; as odd a concept as this may sound, it allows me to discover imperfections in the yarn prior to using it in a project. If the yarn feels too scratchy or is thinner/thicker than anticipated, then I now have the time to consider how I am going to tackle these issues while I wind the yarn.

The yarn winding itself, I find can be rather therapeutic at times. However, let’s return our focus to the actual project.

While winding the yarn this time, I discovered that a few of the yarn balls were cut oddly and had multiple ends. (My total for one ball was 5 extra ends, which although annoying, did make me chuckle a little.) I also realized that this yarn was much heavier than I had first assumed but was also much softer.

Okay so, I have had this pattern saved for ages and it was just perfect for this yarn; the only issue is that the pattern was not for a blanket, it was for a hooded scarf. A hooded cat scarf.

So I gave in and I made the scarf, and as I made it, I silently mourned the loss of my cuddly winter blanket.

20170925_135258

 

When I had finished, I was pleased with the outcome but, it seemed to be missing….something. Again, I saw my cozy blanket in my mind but this time it looked a tad different; I messaged my friend for another ride to pick up more yarn (got severely motion sick on the ride back), and returned home with 3 more balls of the Charisma BIG! and some impulse yarn to be used later.

I went through my ritual of winding the yarn and then grabbed the Cat Scoodie I had just completed and got to work. Here is the end result:

Mosiac

 

I LOVE  how this turned out. This Hooded Cat Blanket was so much fun to make and I cannot wait to finish writing up the pattern and pricing it out so that I can offer it for sale.  Final count, approximately 5 balls of Loops & Threads Charisma BIG! in Steel and 1 ball of Off White Loops & Threads Charisma 100g.

The cloak is long enough to cover you and house a cuddle buddy for when you are curled up with that book, and it is short enough to wear around the house on a chilly morning while you prepare your tea. It has slits for your arms but comes with a button near the neck to hold it on your person if you want to keep your arms tucked in.

The pockets are a wonderful feature, (I am considering adding more on the interior) they are large enough to keep your hands cozy or carry your phone, glasses or pet rat. No? Just me? Hmm, okay.

One thing that I didn’t anticipate however is just how heavy this cloak is. It isn’t cumbersome by any means, but it has the bonus effect of acting like a weighted blanket (these have been known to aid in managing anxiety as well as providing added comfort to those who live with autism).

The added weight will bump up the shipping cost, but I will work that out in a little bit.

So, what do you all think? I look forward to curling up in bed with my cats, a cup of tea and a good book while the snow makes its silent descent to cover us in a blanket of its own.

UPDATE: I finished pricing out this piece and should you wish to commission one for yourself or another individual, you can for $126.14 +Shipping CAD

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:

wp-1487522182422.jpg

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, craft fair, update

Things sure have changed here on Walton’s Mountain

This was written while on vacation and is being published post-trip.

Boy do I hate busses. I finally managed to scrounge up the gold coins to make the trek back up north to visit my parents; one 8:30am bus ride later and I arrive around 5pm just in time for dinner. 

After Chinese food with the grandparents, parental units and their spawn, I finally get to collapse into bed. 

Going home is always a tiring expedition but my father heard tale of a yarn store going out of business so I woke up bright and early, pumped some coffee into myself and we ventured over to Steadman’s. 


I managed to find some lovely colours and I cannot wait to get back to London and start in on them. 

This morning however I hop into another car to drive down another long stretch of highway. Robin and her mother are taking me to see Robin’s sister and her baby boy Forest. If you recall, a while back I made this blanket in the hopes of gifting it to the little man. 

I hope that they like the blanket, it is one of my favorite pieces. 

On Sunday I am going to get the chance to connect with another old high-school friend and meet his growing family. It was a last minute plan so I had to work all night to finish this Elephant Snuggle in time to see them. 

Somewhere throughout the creation process, I name her Harriet Elephanté.

All of my younger friends seem to be adulting at an alarming rate that my hook can’t keep up with!

Once I return to London I am going to need to start restocking for craft fairs,  if anyone has patterns that they know are crowd pleasers I would love to see them. 

Posted in Blog Post, Large Projects, update

WIP Wednesday: Chevrons and Cat for Scale 

This past weekend Anthony and I made the trek to Michael’s and I snagged a couple balls of Aqua Loops & Threads for 55% off one of them. 


Although it is one of the staples of crochet, I admit to never having completed a chevron blanket so I decided it was about time to give it a go. 

So far I’m pleased with how it is turning out. I plan on adding a large border and making this my comfy reading blanket, because who doesn’t love to cocoon up with a good book?

So, what’s on your hook this Wednesday?

Posted in Blog Post, update

Migraines and Nausea

Ugh I do not feel well. Decidedly it is most likely misery of my own making; staying up until 4am can do that to a person. 

The boyfriend and I renewed our WoW subscription yesterday, and since he doesn’t yet have Legion we got a bit creative (and competitive) with our leveling experience this time. 

Some of you may know of the Ironman Challenge, a style of gameplay designed to increase the difficulty level of running a toon to max level. Well, while watching Griffter of SlightlyImpressive stream what he cheekily coined the Tinman Challenge, we decided to tweak his rules a little to make it a co-op friendly venture. You can find Griff’s Tinman rules by following this link

So we use the same guidelines as Griff but after each death there are ramifications. If Player 1 dies then Player 2 can choose to take 1 piece of gear (not weapon) from Player 1. Player 2 can then instruct Player 1 to either destroy the gear, trade it to the second player for personal use or to sell the gear and pass the gold onto the other player. 

We also added in a reward system, where starting after the first death, the next level that is an increment of 10 ( ie 10,20,30 ect), the 2 players compare death totals and the one to have died the least gets to equip 1 green item. This is done every 10 levels and you cannot choose to upgrade your weapon.

I’m not sure if you are even able to follow my psycho babble but that is essentially why I feel like poop today. 

Now to go log in. 

Posted in Blog Post, update

Hat of the Cat

So I have been trying to figure out what to make with the random yarn I have that doesn’t have a real project attached to it, and that is when I ran across a video for this Slouchy Cat Hat.

So I dug through my stash and selected something I had forgotten at the bottom of the bin and got to work. This is the end product: 

I found that what seemed to me to be the easiest part of the pattern was actually the part that gave me the most trouble; those darn ears!

Pro tip: when you are sewing the ears, attach the yarn at the top of the hat instead of the side. Doing this won’t warp the rest of the hat as much when you tighten the thread to create the shape of the ears. 

What patterns do you like to use to clean up your stash? Scrap blankets are a popular choice but in my opinion they take up too much space and time to be worth it. 

Let me know what’s on your hook!

Posted in Blog Post, update

Hello 2017!

Happy New Year hookers!

I apologize for my spontaneous hiatus, but I am back now and looking forward to trying out some new projects this year. 

Right know I’m in the process of writing out my first personally made pattern. It isn’t much but I made a cable and weave scarf for my boyfriend and I thought that it would be a good chance to put a pattern on Etsy.

Let me know what you think, I appreciate feedback and would love to know what I can improve on. 

In other news, I am working on creating new labels for my products. I picked up a decent printer from a buy and sell page on Facebook and a spool of ribbon. All I need now is to pick up some fresh ink and we are in business. 

I will also be posting a new item for sale in the near future.

I hope your New Year is getting off to a good start and I will talk to you all soon!