Sunday, March 12, 2017

Early Spring update

Hello denizens of the Internet!

I've been busy with life, work, work...LARP....more work....

I've been doing some knitting, some props work, and gearing up for the start of the LARP season.

But, don't think for a moment I haven't been crafting.  I've recently been working on slowly learning more crochet, as can be seen by these dragonscale styled fingerless gloves.

I've also been working slowly on a mermaid afghan in the shell stitch that has been taking forever.  Its wide, and I'm not the fastest at crochet.  It'll take a while.

Penpals are also a wonderful thing.  Over last year I have signed up with the International Geek Girl Pen Pal club.  IGGPPC for short, or IGGLE for the people who write to eachother.

To make things interesting, I've been doing doodles once in a while on the envelopes to send to people.  It's also a de-stress thing for me to just doodle.  I found that using Sharpie Pens are the greatest thing in the world to do the envelopes, since they don't run if by chance it gets wet, cause it's Sharpie!  Unlike their regular markers, it also doesn't bleed through the page.

I don't know when I will have time to make another tutorial, but I will try to at least post once in a while so this blog doesn't just sit and collect dust.

I hope 2017 is treating everyone well so far, and I will post again when I can.  Don't forget Earth Hour is on Saturday March 25th, from 8:30-9:30.  Knitting by candlelight can be kinda fun and relaxing.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Life Shinanigans

Hello fellow followers of this blog.  I swear I didn't mean to drop off the face of the planet.  Work and general life has kinda put this blog on a hiatus.  Posts will be slow, but I'm still here.

I just have not had the time to do any videos or tutorials lately.  But I have been crafting.

I have been making scale knitted gauntlets for those who are in my LARP group.  I do each one customized based on the scales that people provide. Each glove has about 300 scales on them....which takes a long time to knit.

I've also been working on making cowls, hats, and fingerless gloves for people's larp characters, or for daily use in the real world.

I've also been working on making rubber stamps. Again, each one is personalized to the theme or preference of each person. 

Hopefully I will post more in 2017, but we will see what life brings.  Till then, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

LARP prop: Fabric psychic state counter

At our LARP game, the club has been making efforts to minimize waste and littering while on the grounds.  We used to associate psychic abilities with purple duct tape.  Unfortunately,  the tape when used, didn't always make it to the garbage bin.

So, the club has been trying to find alternate methods.  I've been working to come up with ways to make reusable props, and eliminate litter and garbage.

I initially made a bead counter.(PDF format)  It is a good prop for a beginner, or an alternative to some of the other psychic state counters out there, but it does have some limitations. Getting the beads in and out of the sheath can be slow going.  It works great for a Psychic storage counter (we call these areas for psychic storage, a sanctum), but for on the fly battle encounters, these can be problematic in getting it into the sheathe in a hurry.

The benefit to both the bead counter, and the new fabric counter, is that you won't loose any ribbons or tape. 

This new counter makes it a bit easier to use the skills one has in a hurry, and reusing it is a ....snap!

This fabric snap system has the benefit of being fully washable, reusable, and can be made to fit almost anyone, and any colour scheme to match with your character's wardrobe.  Also because it is made out of fabric, with no lacquer, it won't get melted by bug spray.  I found over time that with the bead system, the outer coating and paint got sticky if it got doused in any bug repellent.

Follow this link to the fabric snap psychic counter tutorial. - PDF

Also, using this tutorial, you can make even larger counters by adjusting the instructions for the pattern.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Knitting Basics Tutorial

Here's a tutorial on how to knit with the basics.

Please note that I filmed it around the winter holidays.  I just hadn't had an opportunity to edit the video till now.

I apologize for the needles going out of frame.  Its hard to knit and watch a separate screen and not knock the camera all at the same time.

This is how I knit (which to other knitters might look strange, but it does work), but I also show how others knit as well.  There are many different knitting styles in terms of how the needles are held, and how the yarn is knitted.

Hope you enjoy the video, and find it informative!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Boffer Sword Tutorial

The long awaited Boffer Sword tutorial is now available.  With LARP season coming up fairly soon, my sword needed a complete overhaul.  So, I took the opportunity to set up a tutorial for everyone to use to make any length of sword.

Please note, the measurements I was using for the widths of the thrusting tip and the width of the padding on the sword are primarily measurements used for Epoch Toronto weapons.  Please see your own LARP's safety team, or executive team for details on lengths and specifications when making your own weapons.

Epoch Toronto also has the maximum lengths for weapons of the various types available on their website at

Happy Larping!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Shiniest Touque in the Verse - Knitting Pattern

As many of you out there know, I cannot sell this exact style, or colour of hat, as per a certain group of individuals with a lot of money and lawyers that say no.  Even though there are a few tweaks I made on the original hat in terms of placement of ear flaps, and the type of yarn used.

We'll call it the Shiny Touque, as we do up here in Canada.

However, with this being the holiday season, and there might be some last minute knitting going on, if you have the yarn, and a few hours....I hope this makes your gift making and holiday season a bit more.....shiny.

Please keep in mind this is my personal pattern.  Y'all in the verse can use it, but please credit me back if you do.  I also have a bonus tree ornament hat you can make which takes no time to knit up at all.

You can also change the colours and the amount of stripes to match your fave sports team, or to wear your hat with pride... as per this photo below...

A word of caution:  I have made this hat so many times, but the written instructions might not seem very clear.  If anyone gets confused, please send a message and I will try to clarify. (and possibly edit this post as needed)

The Patterns:

Needles:  US 6 or 4.0 mm needles, both circulars, and double pointed needles (it makes it easier to use DPNs the closer you get to the top)

Yarn: I used Bernat Super Value solids 100% acrylic worsted weight yarn.  I have also used Patons Canadiana worsted weight 100% acrylic yarns for this pattern. (I prefer the Bernat Super Value yarn cause its ever so slightly bulkier)  I'm personally not a huge fan of Red Heart's super saver yarns, but if you wanna go for it....just make sure its worsted weight.

Colours: Red, Orange, and Yellow

Guage: I almost never guage anything...if anyone has a guage they'd recommend, please recommend it in the comments.

The pattern for the full sized touque:

Cast on 92 sts in orange.  (if you need to make it larger or smaller, decrease or increase by 4 stitches per size), join the round.

Knit 2, purl 2, repeat to end of row

Join and repeat knit 2, purl 2, for 3 more rows

Knit for 3 inches for a smaller hat, 4 inches for a slightly longer one if you changed your cast on number, or the size of your head.

After the orange section is done, switch to yellow, and knit about 3 inches (4 inches if you are making a larger hat)

Once you are done that segment, follow this next set of instructions to shape the hat:

Knit 4, Knit 2 together.  repeat till the end of the row
Knit the next round
Repeat these instructions for about an inch

Next, Knit 4, knit 2 together every row till there's about 10 stitches left.  Cast off and cinch up the hole

Add a pompom to the top in a combination of all 3 colours

I usually  lay my hat flat and mark off where the earflaps go...but thats just me...however, if you wanna do this thing we call math....count out 23 stitches from the row join on either side of the join to get where your ear flaps should go.

Loop on 16 stitches per ear flap just under the inside of the rim of the hat where your ribbing on the rim stops, and the solid knit stitch starts.  It will have a hidden cast on seam rather than attaching it right to the brim.  I loop on 8 stitches on each side of your marker where the centre of your earflaps should sit. The earflap colour is red, and be sure that your knit side is facing out

Knit 1 row, purl 1 row, complete knitting/purling across each row for 15 rows

(Instructions in brackets are depending on if you are on a purl row and not a knit row depending on what side you started your earflaps on.)

Then, Knit/Purl 1, knit 2 together (purl 2 together), Knit 10 sts, knit 2 together (purl 2 together), knit 1 (purl 1)

At the start and end of each row, you should knit 1, knit 2 together, knit the rest of the stitches except the last 3, knit 2 together, knit 1

keep going till you have 4 stitches left, then cast off

Do the other earflap

Add little tassles to the end of your earflaps.  I usually use 2-3 pieces, and leave a little bit of the yarn when I cast off.

the way the earflaps are knit, they should curl up on their own a little bit.  If they don't curl out, and just curl in,  just shape it with your fingers, and stretch it out width wize a bit, and it will sit pretty for ya.   

And now, for the mini decoration hat.  You could also possibly use this for a doll too. The orange looks a bit red in this photo, but I was also taking a really close photo with the flash on at the time.

Use the same size needles for the full size hat, US 6 or 4mm needles.  You are going to want to use DPNs for this one cause its so small.

You can also use the exact same yarn as you used for the full sized hat. (Bernat Super Saver solids 100% acrylic worsted weight yarn)

The Pattern:  

Cast on 20 stitches in Orange

Knit 1, purl 1, repeat till end of row.

Knit for 2 more rows

Switch to yellow, knit for 4 rows

Decrease every other stitch till its really tight (I forgot to count how many stitches you should have left.  I would imagine 5 at the most), decrease and cast off last row.

Loop on 3 stitches for each earflap on the underside of the brim just like the full sized one

knit and purl 3 rows, cast off, leaving little tails for your tassles

add a pompom. I used my fingers to make one but a fork might work to make your pompom as well for size.

Add a decorative ribbon, or some method of hanging your mini toque on the tree or put it on your favorite doll.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Rug hooking

I apologize that it has been so long since I last posted.  Work tends to supersede my crafting. However, today was an important day.  Jenny at The Bronze Wombat and I went to the textile museum along with our friend Chinburd.  We mainly went to see the prints of famous artists like Salvador Dali and Andy Worhol, but we came across the Canadian Rug Hooking exhibit.

We took some photos, but Chinburd took some rather interesting 'Action shots' of us figuring out how this whole rug hooking thing works.  It's really not difficult at all to do....just super time consuming.

It makes me tempted to chop all my quilting scraps into 1/8 inch strips, get some burlap, and start experimenting.

This is one of my favorite pictures because it shows what we were working on.  The blue row at the bottom is what I was working on, and Jenny was working on the next row up with green.

This is not to be confused with Latch hooking, which is a craft I learned how to do way back in grade school (I think I was in grade 6 or 7 when I learned latch hooking).  A link on how to latch hook through Wikihow can be found by clicking here.

for Rug hooking, a very good demonstrational tutorial can be found by following this link to youtube.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Unicorn Hoodie and Art Journals

First off, I wanted to start with a project I've been working on, but somehow got stalled in finishing.  But, I finished it today!  It started off as the base hoodie that you see, but it also came with a pair of pants.  Sadly the pair of pants had a hole in it, so I used the waistband which was blue, and the pant legs, which were the same grey, to make the ears and the horn, with a little bit of leftover flannelette I had.  Then out of other flannelette I made the mane.  I added glow in the dark braids to add that little something that makes me happy when I see glow in the dark stuff.

Secondly, I've been into Art Journals lately.  I had been looking at getting my own copy of Wreck This Journal for quite some time just to see what the fuss was about, since I saw it being referenced on Tumblr.  It's a huge help to get out of the artists block.  There's an entire series of books by the same author, Keri Smith, and I've added to that collection.

 The whole premise behind Wreck this Journal is to slowly work on pages to break you out of your comfort zone by wrecking the book, like it says on the front cover.

The book will get dirty, muddy, possibly set on fire, filled with glue, paint, and bizzare objects you might find.


( "The Spine" character is from Steam Powered Giraffe, I only used his likeness to do fan art on this page, which thankfully the band encourages.  I encourage you to listen to their music.)

I started in a "gentle" stage of going through the journal.  Doing some of the doodle type pages like this one above, and slowly started demolishing pages.  The first true wrecked page I did was giving the page that is labeled "bring the book into the shower" a bubble bath.  I coloured over it in Crayola markers because I knew they would run, and dunked it page first into the suds.

Eventually I started glueing things like tea and sparkles into the book, and I've had to re-tape some of the pages back in because the water damage from the initial dunking, and subsequent mud baths (and cracking the spine) was starting to wear and tear.

My first copy of Wreck this Journal which I started in late February is starting to get rather difficult to close these days. 

Wreck this Journal Everywhere is very similar.  It's smaller, but its designed for you to take it everywhere with you to encourage friends to wreck pages with you, get it dirty from nature, or just to doodle ideas.  Here is the cover untouched and fresh off the bookshelf at the store.  That is, before I started decorating the front cover.

The Pocket Scavanger is like a giant scavanger hunt in your everyday environment.  I'm working on this one with my husband since he comes up with some rather unique ideas even if he doesn't draw. It's also another book that is starting to not close properly given the giant seed pod we taped onto one of the pages last week.

F_nish Th_s B__k (Finish this book) instructs you to do each page one at a time and NOT skip ahead, unlike the other journals by Keri Smith.  This one stretches out your brain muscles to start thinking critically about things, and doing cool encryption puzzles.  I haven't done much in this book yet, but it looks like it will be interesting to complete.

This Is Not A Book.  This one is a strange addition to the book collection.  Much like Wreck this Journal, you can do any of the pages in any order, but it also gets you to think somewhat critically about what you are doing to each page.  You can do this one in any order. There are bonus pages on the website link posted inside the book, and you can discuss what happened to Page 42 on the website as well. 

Keri Smith has far more books than this that are on my "to pick up" list once I'm done with these ones. 

There's other books out there that are art journals similar to these.  The Anti-Journal by David Sinden looks interesting.  There's also adult colouring books to de-stress with by Richard Merritt.

Most of these art journals can be found at your local book store (I got mine at Indigo/Chapters). sells most of these as well for those who don't have access to big book stores.  The best part is you don't need super fancy or expensive art supplies to finish these books.  You can use what you already have, use dollar store supplies (I've used glue sticks and mod podge for mine), or even simple supplies like Crayola products (I've used crayons and markers in my books). 

If you don't want to buy an art journal, you can always make your own.  There are turorials on how to make your own book, or you can buy a blank art book and start coming up with your own ideas on embellishing the pages, creatively using mixed mediums to make something new. 

***A word of caution: Be careful when using certain glues or paints due to toxicity.  Also be sure that if you plan on burning a page, that you do so with non-toxic materials on the page, and do it in a flame proof container, and be sure to have fire fighting equipment available in case things get out of hand.  The pages can burn quite easily and everyone should practice safe habits when working with anything hot, or on fire.  PLEASE be careful and responsible in your art journaling! Please be sure to take all nessessary precautions when working with hazerdous materials and use protective equipment when handling potentially toxic materials.***

*** Please note, the author of this journal entry on this blog is not responsible for any injuries, loss of limb, fire damage, or any bodily harm to those that take up art journaling as a hobby***

Friday, April 03, 2015

Deleted Quilt-a-long, and blog update

For those who are wondering, I decided to delete my secondary blog.  It was something I wasn't updating nearly as often as I update this blog, and why do I really need two seperate craft blogs?

If I had a craft blog for each separate hobby, I'd probably have about 50 or so blogs for each one.

So, instead, I will be posting all my quilting projects here.  I usually used to cross post them here anyways.

Also, as you might have noticed, I updated the blog a bit to accommodate for larger monitors, and give it a bit of a refresh.  I tried to keep it to a similar look to the previous layout.  I also clipped some of the dead links I had.


Knitting tips, tricks, and websites for beginners.

Some of these tips are some that I have come to realize over the years.  Some are recommended by knitters, some are mentioned on the very silly but practical Tumblr page called Knitpool (Deadpool spoof)



*  Take your time with learning new techniques.  You don't want to frustrate yourself.

* The internet is a wonderful tool, but if you get stuck, always ask another knitter.  Having someone show you versus reading the diagrams in a book or on a webpage is very helpful.

* is an amazing resource.  You can ask for help in your local groups, find local yarn stores or locally made fiber, tonnes of free patterns or amazing ones sold by other knitters....or engage in various discussions with people from across the world.   Personally, I don't know what I would do without it.

* There are different methods and styles of knitting. Every knitter has found their own method that works for them. Just because it looks different, doesn't mean it's wrong.  As long as you get the same results, its all gravy.

* crochet hooks and safety pins can be  invaluable tools when learning how to knit.  Especially to help count rows, pick up dropped stitches, or to help hold something in place. (I still use both)

* Stitch and row counters can be a lifesaver.

* Learn your core basic stitches to make learning other stitches and techniques easier.  Knit, purl, cast on, cast off, increase, decrease.  Once you learn these, you can make almost anything.

* There are all sorts of knitting needles out there.  Plastic, Wood, Bamboo, Metals.  Other knitters have insisted that bamboo helps with wrist problems.  Plastic can break if it gets cold cause it gets brittle (also with age), but this also depends on the manufacturer.  Aluminum is light, but I find in thinner gauges it can bend fairly easily. 

* It will take some time to get the tension right.  I used to knit super duper tight.  My sister knits so tight she chipped all the anodization off my needles.  Some people knit loose and it causes huge gaps.  Keep they say practice makes perfect.

* If you get frustrated, do something else for a little bit, then come back to it.

* Be careful how you store your projects and needles.  I've stabbed myself with my double pointed needles on multiple occasions.  Needle point protectors are wonderful things to have in your stash. (i have red and green sock shaped needle protectors in my collection of knitting tools)

*Setting goals for yourself is always a good thing.  Just make sure they are YOUR goals.


Websites: - Social site for knitting, crochet, and other fiber related activities.  Patterns, groups, yarn references, stash cataloging, needle cataloging tools, and yarny shopping.

The Anticraft - Knitting and Crafting for the dark and sinister.  Some NSFW topics or topics not safe for minors.  Wonderfully macabre ideas and patterns for knitting and sewing (and some recipes too). - Ezine for knitters with free patterns, and located right in the heart of Toronto, Ontario.  They feature quite a few local knitter's patterns. Published semi-quarterly - Lion Brand Yarn's website.  You have to make an account to get access to their patterns, but they also have an online row counter, as well as full pdf's for how to knit and crochet that you can print out for free.

YouTube - There are so many free tutorials and how-to's on youtube. 

If any other casual knitters would like to suggest websites, please comment on this post. 

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