You wouldn't believe my excitement when I got a call from my friend Pierre who was organizing a Christmas market, and folks did he ever!
Not long after having set up my table we received a lovely welcome mimosa...
...as you can see some more shamrocks were assembled for this market as well!
There was music, great (amazing) food and even sleigh rides!
The table assembly continues to evolve...
I'm always learning about different audiences and market locations, what is more popular where and with whom... I completely sold out of dish cloths this round, and almost all of my socks are now warming feet across the Gatineau hills! A few custom orders were received, though I was tentative about offering them as I had a few holiday orders yet to complete.
All in all a great success - and a huge thank you to Pierre and Sandra (and your many helpers!) for such an amazing event. I can only hope it will become an annual get-together!
This year I was excited to once again be invited to Venosta, QC for the annual sale of Celtic Christmas Crafts - now there's some alliteration for ya! Last year was my first time attending flea markets and sales, so refining the art of creating an inventory and table display is an ongoing process.
This year I spent some time making new tags (may or may not be because I couldn't find the old ones - ssh!) and figuring out what items I had more or less of. (With a little help from my pink monkey friend - sold in Venosta!) Lots of folks had asked for socks in the previous year, so I made sure to have lots of those.
Given that it is a Celtic sale, I also had to make sure I had some shamrocks on hand!
I set up near the fire for some extra ambiance ;).
It was a successful sale for sure - the little stories along the way are my favourite part, and sharing the experience with my Momma who comes with me to most of my sales. One of the things we learned to predict was who would pick this sweater up:
The last highlight I can't forget is seeing a previous customer show up in her handmade sweater!
I had completed this request following a visit from a customer at the Brennan's Hill Market last summer - and didn't she walk in wearing it this year!
Thanks very much to Lisa Kelly who organized another great event this year - I'm grateful to be included. One more market to go before holiday orders get wrapped up!
Oh right I have a website - here's a post about stuff I do, cause that's what you put on a website, I'm told.
Instagram is my jam, it's where I share all my updates and completed projects (much more consistently than I do this website, that's for sure). One of the items I make and post about that gets the biggest reaction (and requests for custom order) are what I have deemed: Wonderstuffs. I get a lot of questions about them, so here's some insight, and some credit where it is due.
It happens fairly often that I seek out a new challenge in knitting - that's why you see such a variety of items, I'm constantly making new things.
A few years ago I made the first stuffed animal ever, for my step-son (Filou the elephant - there's a post about him around here somewhere). It took me a long time to complete him, I kept putting it down, picking it up... but ever since then when I'm between projects I've been working my way through a book of patterns, learning as I go.
In the case of this book "Knitted Wild Animals", there was a lot of sewing. After I made the first one I thought, no way this has to be so much work. So I started altering the patterns and knitting everything in the round (if you're not a knitter, that means I knit it all as one piece, instead of sewing together multiple smaller pieces). This made the projects go faster, and always adds a bit more challenge as I read the pattern and incorporate changes (that I have to remember I made) all along the way.
All that said - that's just my style of knitting, I like to knit outside the lines, if you will, and almost always make changes to patterns once I've made them once. I wouldn't be anywhere without the designers who share their patterns, and cannot say enough for how fantastic this particular book is. The author is Sarah Keen, and she is a freakin' wild animal genius because I mean look at them! If you are a fellow knitter and interested in recreating any of these, get her book!
Anyway - she got me hooked, and since my changes made assembly so much easier, I wanted to try to make them all!
First I made the elephant, and then the hippo.
Then a snake, and a giraffe.
A tiger and a classic teddy...
And finally, the ones I kept looking at but hesitating to make... the moose and monkey.
For some reason I made two more hippos, cute little buggers...
They have made (and will continue to make) great gifts - who knows how many I'll add to the collection... I haven't made the antelope yet....
So there you have it - no real method to my madness... it's like a melange of boredom, curiosity, inner maker extraordinaire, and... A.D.D.. Yeah... that's nice. Let's go with that. Cuddle up friends.
As always, as soon as Fall hits it is a very busy season for me. This year, we upped the anti by attending a couple of craft fairs, and a summer of farmer's markets. Needless to say, by the time the holidays rolled around, I was anxious to fulfill orders on time, and boy did folks keep me busy!
A pair of very large socks - these for men's size 11.5 feet, and let me tell you - that's large. I was thrilled to make these for a friend who was gifting them to her father.
You can find this pattern free online here.
A customer found this pattern online and asked me to make it for a young boy - it was also gifted over the holidays.
I didn't realize this was a popular hat until after I knit it up - it seems there was a fairly large KAL (knit-along) a while back. Check the hashtag #baablehat on instragram, you'll see what I mean!
This pattern was not free - but purchased for me by the customer. You cand find it here.
These two little buddies were made for a first-time customer who raved about them when received. Apparently her husband didn't believe they were handmade by yours truly. I'd say that's a darn good review!
These guys are from a book of patterns by Sarah Keen: Knitted Wild Animals
And that about sums it up! Another busy holiday season behind us, an an exciting new year ahead! Bring it on, 2017!
This was an especially exciting summer with respect to knitting - TRS took part in the inaugural season of the Brennan's Hill Farmer's Market! Beginning in July, you could find me at the market as you headed home or to the cottage via Highway 105, every Friday night from 3:00PM - 7:00PM. We had a blast with the other vendors; through traffic was slow and knowledge of the market was slowly growing in the community, I was very pleased with turn-out and sales during the hotter months.
A great big thank you to all who came out and supported local vendors!
To wrap this up - here's a recap of a number of projects that were completed over the summer.
Well let's face it - everybody's pregnant right now. I don't know about your circle of friends/family, but 'round here - everybody's pregnant. So there have been many a request for blankets, including a colleague of mine asking for "four baby blankets - you pick the design, I'll let you know gender as they're revealed". So I got to work.
It took about three weeks to amass six blankets; I decided I'd reveal them with some flare for once, so I began #sixdaysofbabyblankets on Instagram - my favourite place to showcase knitted wonders (other than here, of course).
First I made this one - a cabled stroller blanket, I made it smaller than the pattern calls for.
You can find the pattern on Ravelry here.
I then moved on to some colour blocking. I used a yarn I hadn't before, double-stranded, and frankly am not that pleased with out it turned out. This patterns needs a much more solid DK to achieve the look I wanted (and have done in the past, see here).
You can find the pattern on Ravelry, here.
I needed something other than blue or grey to work with, time for some colour - and shape! Chevron is so fun to knit up:
Two pictures to show the colour contrast that happens - be careful when online shopping! The pinned blanket on the left is an accurate idea of the colours - on the right, you see a picture taken in sunlight an the colours look quite distorted.
You can find this pattern on Ravelry, here.
I then wanted something a little more traditional, so I made a blanket I've made several times before - Ravelry pattern here.
Finally, my entrelac addiction took over, I couldn't resist finishing my first entrelac projects as baby blankets, and am so thrilled with how they turned out!
These I used basic entrelac technique to complete on my own, sans pattern.
All of the blankets took a Soak bath....
....then were blocked and photographed!
And that's all folks! ...well not really, as since I started six days of baby blankets, I've received and started two more. Bring 'em on, and stay tuned for more #sixdays!
A few years ago I received a book of patterns for stuffed animals at Christmas time. I was soon excited to get started on one and decided I'd make the elephant. I had a few of the pieces beginning to take shape when the littlest resident of my household asked me if - when I was finished - he could have the elephant. I said yes, of course.... And shortly thereafter put the project aside.
A few months later I picked him up again, worked at stuffing various parts and had all the actual knitting completed. Then for some reason, away he went again and sat unfinished....
Well, this year just before Christmas I found him in the closet of my studio and thought: What a great surprise this would be! I finished him up, and gave him to that little man who requested him over a year ago.
Suffice to say I am very pleased to introduce Filou, who quickly climbed the teddy corporate ladder and planted himself in the coveted #1 position, where he receives all the love.
...about a day later I was asked to get started on a snake.... Maybe when he graduates high school I'll have that one ready. Ha!
I picked up the honeycomb technique when I was looking for a mitten pattern that was well, actually warm. My favourite way to add warmth in any project is through the weight of texture, rather than simply adding more and more yarn. I was itching for some new inspiration for sweater design and thought, how haven't I applied this concept to the pup sweaters yet?
There you have it - and here they are, the newest TRS design soon to be found for sale at Cricket & Company!
The rainbow sweater is a small, I saw the rainbow yarn and couldn't resist a peek-a-boo effect for the changing colours.
I did a medium in red, I could think of a few Ottawa sports fans who might appreciate this colour scheme 😜.
And finally, a teeny size in lime green. I die for the teeny cuteness!
That's all for now - hope folks are into this fun design, I'll be thrilled to make more of these. Hit me up if you have a colour and size you'd like custom made.
If you own a dog or cat, or know someone who knows someone who owns a dog or cat... and you, or any of the previously mentioned dog owners or general acquaintances of dog/cat owners... you know Cricket & Co. If you don't, well gosh I'm glad you stumbled upon this post because you're missing out.
Nat & Kizil own and run the shop - they know like, all the things. Dog has gas - feed 'em this; dog keeps chewing things - here's three ways you can remedy that; dog won't eat - try this; dog eats too much - use this.. I can go on forever. You want five different types of leashes to choose from, three of which you won't find anywhere else in Ottawa? Cricket & Co. You want fresh, raw food? Cricket & Co. You want only the best you could possibly find to plop into your pet's food dish? Cricket & Co. You want someone who will deliver your food, to your door step, with no additional charge? CRICKET & CO.
Know what else is amazing about this shop? They love to support local businesses, small businesses, and generally non-business-savvy-but-crafty-people-like-me. These ladies learned of my fidgety fingers and suggested I look into knitting dog sweaters and snoods. I began to look through the patterns, tried some, and had them for sale at the shop. Now I'll be honest.. I wasn't that convinced that folks would be all that interested in my knitted wonders - who knows why, I mean, they're awesome. But much to my surprise and delight, there was an excellent response and all kinds of requests came in. Here are some of the happy pups who's owners couldn't resist the cute...
Here is Lincoln, our Bo-Jack, modelling a number of other items for you...
And now, we are into our second year! Last year, since I wasn't convinced or clear on what exactly I was doing, a few of the above sweaters rolled into the shop... This year. This year I came prepared - here's what's left from last year as well as piles of new stock to be sold this year:
We've been working hard to make sure there are lots of options, no pooch is alike, and neither are the tastes of their owners ;). Get down to 21 Murray, browse the project gallery, and make sure you're keeping your beast toasty as the cold weather approaches. Thanks for your support!