Saturday, June 27, 2015

Yarn Bombing Hats Pattern

Chicks In Bowls Nova Scotia, 1st official meeting (June 17 2015, Halifax NS)
Photography by Richard LaFortune
Alright, I'm going to admit something to you all.  I have been neglecting my knitting.  Life has worked it's way in between me and my yarn.  I am on both the Dead Ringers and the Dockyard Brawlers with Anchor city rollers.  Our bouting season started in May and we have had games, practices and/or training camps 2-3 times a week.  I have also learned to love going to the skate park and jumping around with Chicks in Bowls.  I'm quickly over coming my fear of skating on the ramps (and have a new appreciation for a banked track derby).  So far my summer has been filled with a lot of skating and running around in the sun.  
Fabulous contribution by
the Hickster from Anchor City Rollers

I am very excited for one of my projects though.  It was a work in progress for so long and I'm really happy with how it came out.  International yarn bombing day was June 15th and a few of us went out to decorate.  I love yarn bombing.  Its a wonderful way to decorate mundane things.  Little works of art and love that will put a smile on someone's face.  Last year we went out and put bow ties on a few statues around down.  Something small that I had whipped up in that week.  This year I had bigger plans.

There are quite a few knit/crocheters with Anchor City Rollers.  I love catching up with everyone's current projects before practices.  A few of them had previously expressed interest in yarn bombing with me.  I asked them to knit me some tiny hats for the tops of fences...or whatever else looked like it needed a tiny hat.  I received so many beautiful bits of yarn!

The full pile of yarn bombs

 If you are feeling short on time or want to whip up a yarn bomb really quick I have a few tips for you.  I used a pom pom makers and was able to pump out cute pom poms in no time.  We did up a bunch of them the night before.  It is fun to play around with sizes and colours.  Not to mention you can tie a pom pom onto anything!

Another wonderful idea for yarn bombing is using any unfinished projects you may have.  There are more than a few test squares I have in my odd ball pile.  These items are great to tie together and make a larger project out of.  This is my plan any time I go to Boland's Island.  Check out your WIPs, you never know what you can find!  I rediscovered a flowered chain project for one of my previous apartments.  It was going to go outside and around my deck, but did not get finished in time.  Since then it has been sitting in a bag, waiting to get finished.  Sounded like the perfect item for a yarn bomb.

A few of us went out a night for the mischief of putting everything up.  We started out at the Halifax Commons.There is a big fountain in the middle of the park and I have wanted to yarn bomb it for years.  Seemed like the perfect situation for the flower chain and a few pom poms!

Up to some mischief

There is a children's park at the Common Roots garden that encourages yarn bombing!  Well you know we were not going to turn that down.  There were a few flowers left over that did not make it into the chain.  I weaved them into some of the support sticks for growth.  Also the bulk of the pom poms were put up here.

To top off the night we took all the little hats out to the Public Gardens and decorated the fence tops.  It was a lot of fun but I was a little too short to put them all up.  It was really exciting to see the reactions of people passing by while they were going up.  The hats were the most fun to make and were very easy to do.  I've shared a few basic patterns to get you inspired to yarn bomb.

Basic Little Hat Pattern

I like to knit my hats from the top down.  I find that they are usually much more uniform and my stitches look neater.  I have provided a basic hat pattern to start and then included variations.  These hats are meant to be fun and playful so feel free to switch up the colours or add any other embellishments you like!


This pattern can be used with any time of yarn and any needle size.  Finished item measures only a few inches tall and approx 3" around.

Be sure to have a tapestry needle or two, especially if there are a group of people yarn bombing.  I have lost so many needles throughout the night and have found bobby pins to be a handy alternative.  I can pin a few to my shirt and keep track of them all night.

You will also want to have a spare ball of yarn and some scissors.  Some items will need help staying in place and it helps to have something to tie them down with.  

Last (and most importantly) bring some friends.  It is always much more fun yarn bombing in groups.  Having more people really builds the excitement level and gets everyone creative about where to put things.


CO 6, join for working in the round
K6 sts
KFB 6 times
K12 sts
*K1, KFB* repeat 5 more times
K18 sts
*K2, KFB* repeat 5 more times
K24 sts
Continue knitting until piece measures 2"
BO all sts

To add a ribbing at the bottom of the hat continue in pattern until last 2 rows.  Switch to K1, P1, or K2, P2 pattern till end.

With Earflaps

Pickup 6 sts from base of hat
K all sts
P all sts
Repeat last 2 rows
K1, K2TOG, K3
P all sts
K1, K2TOG, K2
P all sts
K1, K2TOG, K1
P all sts
P all sts
Repeat on opposite side of hat

Now that you have the basic hat pattern down you can start getting creative.  Mix up the colours or alternate your stitches.  Play around with adding some purl rows.  You can change the sizing, by adding or shortening the amount of increase rows, to fit any sized object you want to decorate.

Taximus Prime even got her mom to help us yarn bomb.
Everyone likes to help spread the love!

Now go out and yarn bomb your neighborhood.  My advice is to use bright wonderful colours to catch someone's eye.  Spread the yarn!  If you have any pictures of your projects, or yarn bombs in your local area I would love to see them!  Please feel free to share them here, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Halifax Spring Geequinox 2.0

Last weekend something magical happened.  The Spring Geequinox 2.0!  This was a pretty big milestone for me as the Spring Geequinox 1.0 was the first geeky market I attended as a vendor.  This year I teamed up with Creative Creations by Marcy, and James Parker designs for a table.  It was really fun working together to create a table display and getting it all organized.  We made some awesome chalkboard signage with a little bit of hard work and chalk board paint.  I'm quite happy with the way it all came together and I think it looked great!

It is so much fun getting out there and meeting other geeky people.  I spent my whole weekend chatting to people about the things they love the most.  (Fans are pretty fanatical don't ya know.)  Not  to mention how much fun it was getting all dressed up!  I had a costume for each day, of course.  On Saturday I wore my unicorn horn from Kaidáin Ivy’s Sanctuary for Magical Misfits.  James in a steampunk/prohibition style outfit, including a bright pink knitted bow tie and pocket square.  For Sunday I dressed up as the 4th Doctor, swapping between my Timey Wimey gloves and my Timey Wimey scarf if I was knitting.  

Interacting with the other vendors is probably my favourite thing to do.  Even before I was a vendor I would frequent the local markets.  I find it so much fun checking out all the amazing creativity you can find from local vendors.  I've included a bit of information about a few of my favourite vendors, just in case you weren't able to make it!

I was blown away by the high quality knitting at Canadian Chica's stall.  She used such fine yarns to make all of her projects that they came out with such fierce detail.  She had so many amazing things such as rainbow Daleks, pocket Endermen, Admiral Ackbar drink cozies.  There was even two full sized Star Trek uniforms!  Marcy picked up a TARDIS bin.  It looks just like a stuffed TARDIS but opens up for a super secret hiding spot!  The work she put into her knitting is unbelievable.  You should of seen the Gir plushie on a felt Iron Throne.  *swoons*  Read more about her here.


I am a regular visitor to An Oddity or Two's booth every market.  Isabelle Pineau is amazing.  There is always something new to see.  Her art ranges from the standard prints and pictures to earrings, magnets, pinbacks, egg holders, salt shakers etc.  A seasoned veteran on the market scene, she has been running her own business fir about 7 years now.  I'm always blown away by her work when I see it at Plan B in Halifax, or Cape and Cowl comics and collectibles. Find more here

Star Ships Star Here is the brain child of Andrew Burke.  It combines historic images of Halifax and Nova Scotia with your favourite sci-fi scenes. They are so amazing I just had to pick up a few prints. I think my personal favourite image is of MP Megan Leslie in a Star Fleet uniform outside of the new Spring Garden Library.  See more here.

I met April and Jessica from Perler Pixelations last year at the Spring Geequinox 1.0 and it is amazing to see how far they have come.  They have so many wonderful geeky items, from pokemon, sailor moon and final fantasy.  They even do commissions!  Find out more about them here.

I fell in love with Sticks and/or Stones jewelry last year at the Geequinox 1.0, where I picked up a mustache necklace and  key earrings for my derby wives.  At the Cape and Cowl spring market I couldn't help but ogle all the shiny on Alex Naugler's  table.  Captivated by the robots, skulls and yes, even tool charms.  Out of all the items though her tapestry needle necklace caught my eye.  It was perfect!  I lose tapestry needles left right and centre.  Alex and I struck up a deal.  The necklace in exchange for a custom orange bow tie.  I love trading with other vendors!  Find out more here

This was one of the most magical tables at the geequinox by far.  Kaidáin Ivy’s Sanctuary for Magical Misfits is run by the lovely Caitlin Coo.  You may remember her from our joint bow tie/unicorn horn photo shoot.  The first day of the Geequinox I was even wearing my own horn!  I received so many wonderful reactions from people and it was great to be able to send them a few tables over to get their own horn.  Find out more here

These guys again!  You may remember Terra and Rachel from 5X5, a geeky co-op in Truro.   I met these badass ladies when they were the president and vice president of the Halifax Roller Derby Association (Now Anchor city rollers).  Back then they went by the names of Cry Baby Blocker and The Big Bop Her.  Now they are regulars to the market scene around the Halifax Region and their native Truro.  They have so many amazing things including custom prayer candles and cross-stitch art.  Recently they have expanded to include home made soaps.  I love these girls!  You can find out more at 2 hearts 2 suns.

I hope you enjoyed my trip to the geequinox.  Please join myself and a few of these vendors at Aubcon, May 23rd

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cat Toy - Basic Ball

My kitty is a very big part of everything I do.  When I'm at home he follows me everywhere, constantly getting into my stuff.  Sometimes this is really cute.  Other times it gets tedious pretty fast (especially when he goes for the merino wool!)  He can be a very big inspiration as well.  Recently I've started making some geeky cat toys for him.  It helps to keep him busy and out of my working yarn!  Not to mention it is too adorable watching him going crazy over a pokeball.

I've included a pattern for a basic ball, knit in the round.  It is very versitile as it can be adopted by so many different colour patterns and gauges.  I usually stuff it with catnip and bell for an added treat that makes them pretty irresistible. 


 - 4 Double-pointed needles; size 4 US 

- tapestry needle 

- Stuffing.- I use scrap yarn for stuffing on the chance that my kitty is munching on it.         *Polyfil stuffing is not digestible and should not be used*
- catnip 
- bell (optional) 

Finished size approx 2" x 5" around


Sts - Stitches 
CO - Cast on 
K - Knit 
KFB - Knit front and back 
K2tog - Knit two stitches together 


Co 6 sts, divide between 3 double-pointed needles and set up for working in the round (6 [2-2-2]) 
Row 1: KFB 6 times (12 [4-4-4]) 
Row 2: Knit to end Row 3: [K1, KFB] Repeat 5 more times (18 [6-6-6]) 
Row 4: Knit to end 
Row 6: [K2, KFB] Repeat 5 more times (24 [8-8-8]) 
Row 7-17: Knit to end 
Row 18: [K2, K2TOG] Repeat 5 more times (18 [6-6-6]) 
Row 19: Knit to end 
Row 20: [K1, K2TOG] Repeat 5 more times (12 [4-4-4]) 
Row 21: Knit to end


This is usually the point where I stuff my cat toy.  Anything smaller and I can't fit my fingers or the stuffing in!  If you are having trouble stuffing your cat toy I would recommend going back to before Row 20. 

I fill my ball about halfway before adding the catnip and bell.  About 2 pinches of catnip does it for me.  Then I put a little more stuffing on top and start to close it up. 


Row 22: K2TOG 6 times (6 [2-2-2]) 
Finish by pulling tail through last 6 sts. 

Weave in all ends.  Or don't.  My cat loves playing with the strings as much as batting it around sometimes. 

Thank you for reading!  I would love it if you shared some pictures of your cats playing with their new toys.  Any questions or comments regarding the pattern please contact me.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Halifax Spring Geek Markets

I'm back in school now for my level 3 Automotive Service Technician courses.  I love being back in school.  It is great because not only am I learning new things every day, I get to knit in class!  I'm the type of person who can't sit still when paying attention to something.  If I didn't have my knitting needles then I would be fiddling around with my pens, doodling, fidgety.  All of my teachers know that I can knit and still learn, so in between taking notes and testing engines I'm tinkering away with my projects.

There have been a few orders that I had been finishing up, a Harry Potter scarf and a Police Box purse.  The Trekkie drink cozies now come in a 3-pack so I spent a few days making some extras.  The cat toys have been so popular that I have been working on a few new designs.

School comes at a perfect time as I'm getting ready for all the spring craft shows that are popping up! Last year I started attending geeky markets and conventions as a vendor.  It was an entirely new perspective on both attending conventions and what I am aiming to do with my knitting.  It was amazing fun to experiment with designs, table layouts, photography, etc.  I feel like I've expanded so much since then, mostly due to the massive year-end convention for me with Hal-Con 2014.

I can't wait to show you what I've been working on and learning!  Check out these upcoming events:

Cape and Cowl comics is a wicked comic book store in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia.  They have a huge collection of comics and are really enthusiastic about getting people to read.  There is even a safe space in the back for people to hang out and read or play games.  Shortly before Christmas last year they hosted a pop-up craft fair.  It was such a success that there is a spring craft fair coming up in a few weeks.  This is going to be my first market of 2015 and I'm so excited to share some new patterns as well as new table designs!  

More about the Cape and Cowl Spring Craft Fair - March 28

The Spring Geekquinox was the first market I did last year.  It was a really big stepping stone into the geeky craft scene for me.  I had so much fun meeting all the people that came through the door.  The other vendors were great to check out and I ended up seeing many of them at other markets throughout the year.  The geekquinox last year was a big opportunity for me to bring my knitting from simply being a hobby to something that more than just my friends and family would be able to appreciate.  It was all about stepping out into the larger community and interacting with people with similar interests.  I really can't wait to do it all again!

My table last year at Spring Geekquinox 1.0
More about the Spring Geekquinox - April 25 and 26

Aubcon was another market that I started doing last year.  It is a comic/gaming convention set up by the students and teachers at Auburn Drive High School.  They had rooms set up with video game and board game tournaments, panels on cosplay and costume design, as well as the whole gym and surrounding hallway being set up for vendors.  There were a few new patterns that I had out for this market.  There were Punisher and Deadpool wristbands. There was even a suggestion box with a chance to win a knitted item. I had so much fun going through all the suggestions, my notebooks were filled with cool new ideas!  I'm very excited to announce that I will have a table again this year at Aubcon.  

You can find out more about Aubcon - May 23

I will provide more information for the markets as they become available.  Please keep your eye on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds for updated information as well as sneak peaks for new projects!