Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Learning to Knit a Hat

I have wanted to learn how to knit for some time now and started many years ago, but did not get very far. Last year, I started teaching myself how to knit from some books and online video tutorials. My first two projects were more of a sample piece that I embellished with some crochet details. I was happy with them and used them quite a lot. However, it was more about me getting use to knitting and getting comfortable with the process. I did not have a pattern and the end product was purely by accident and I simply designed as I went along.

Recently I decided to embark on my first real pattern and follow some instructions. I was happy to receive some much-needed assistance from one of my sewing students and her friend. Both these ladies were kind enough to spend an hour with me explaining a few very helpful points about knitting. At the end of our one-hour session, I had discovered that I was actually not doing too badly and had figured out how to pick-up a dropped stitch and discovered that a "Stockinette" stitch was the same knit, pearl pattern I was doing all along.

I wanted to share my latest project with you. I got a simple free pattern from off of the Lion Brand website and even though I used a smaller needle and thinner thread, I was able to create a beautiful hat that fits my son Miles. Next time I'll have to get the proper size needle and yarn so that the hat will fit me.

These pictures were taken with a little effort to get him to sit for more than two seconds, but he was a willing model and we had lots of fun taking pictures.

I used two 10 1/2 U.S. (6.5 mm) needles and a #5 bulky Bernat yarn. I added two rows of basic crochet stitch to the bottom edge of the hat to finish it off. I think however that I must have missed a row or two of stitches, because the finished hat looks a bit different than the picture for the pattern. I had fun doing this project and was able to finish in a couple hours (and I'm really slow).  If you will like to try it out, visit Lion Brand website and refer to pattern number L0503B.  However, I think that the only way to download the pattern is to join their website.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Crafty New Year Resolutions

The first show for the year on Crafted Spaces Radio was all about wishing everyone a wonderful year for 2012. I also wanted to share great ways that you can connect with and share with us your stories and creative projects.

Last year I had set out to teach myself how to knit and it was lots of fun doing so. This year one of the things on my list is to learn silk screening. Attending Kingi Carpenter's, Peach Berserk - silkscreening workshop is high on the list. I am also hoping to get a few others on-board to join in the experience.

We continue to connect on Facebook and Twitter, and at the end of last year a new Crafted Spaces profile was created on Pinterest. This fun space is full of amazing resources including amazing diy projects and inspiration. If you will like to connect with us on Pinterest, visit Crafted Spaces' Pinterest profile, where we have created several boards including one on sewing and another focusing on DIY projects.

When it comes to New Year Resolutions, I try not to overwhelm myself. I can very easily generate a list a mile long, but I wanted to keep it simple.

So here is my Mini Crafty List:
  1. Learn to silk screen
  2. Shear more DIY projects and tutorials
  3. Post more crafty articles
  4. Stay away from clutter
  5. Bake more goodies
  6. Reduce the insomniac crafting hours and get more sleep
So with this list in mind . . . What is planned for Crafted Spaces this year?

Well, we will be launching a new website in several weeks. We have been developing our online classes and will provide updates on when they will be launched for the spring. Our in-studio beginner sewing program starts next week Monday on January 16th, and I am super excited about the fun projects that are lined up. We also hope to have more guests, sharing their stories and creativity.  If you will like to join us or know someone of interest, just email us at We also have two new ongoing segments, one looking at finance and the other on professional development.

On a personal note, one of the first thing I have started doing for the year is declutter. I have a list of projects for around my home and have been using part of my weekends to tackle that list. On my Verona Collections blog I have shared what I finally have done with the beautiful Anna Maria Horner, "Innocent Crush" fabric I purchased last year.

What is your Crafty New Year Resolution?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Family Art Night

Last year my husband Don and I were looking for a way to engage the kids. Our boys have a bit of an age gap, so we wanted to do something that would be fun for both a 9 year old and a 19 month old. We have a family game night, but most family games are designed for older children not toddlers, and it is usually a challenge playing games when Miles starts running with game pieces or putting them in his month. We therefore came up with our "Family Art Night," which has been great for all of us. Miles can get in on the fun with crayons, while it gets my eldest Matthew away from playing too much video game.

We gather our art and/or craft supplies and let our imagination and hands go wild. Sometimes we create around a theme or concept, but most times the idea is to just create what comes to mind. For our first family art night of the year, my son Matthew wanted to do a comic strip style drawing. We all had to create three frames and include a thought or speech bubble.

I wanted to share with you images of our drawings, with the hope that it will give you ideas about your own art night.

Here are our drawings!

My drawing was done with colour pencils and Sharpie.

My son Matthew used pencil.

My husband Don and son Miles decided to do a pastel drawing with cutout speech bubbles.

As you can see there are no classic masterpieces in the works, but a fun way to spend some time with the kids. The idea is to find something fun and creative to do. If you are looking for something to do with your family, perhaps this is something you can try. Have fun!

Wishing you a Happy New Year 2012!
May your year be filled with good health, joy and lots of creative energy.

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