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I am a knitter

A handspun knitted cowl

I am a knitter.

I picked up the needles (after having a short affair with crocheting) in high school and finally mastered the elusive knit and purl stitches on a basketweave dishcloth using a soft turquoise acrylic. It sat in the corner of my closet for years before I decided to rip it out.

I am a knitter.

My relationship with knitting was sporadic, I remember spending an entire summer trying to learn to knit socks. The result? I permanently bent my fancy wooden dpns into a curved shape (the ones that didn’t bend were broken) and was considering if I needed perhaps an even smaller size than 2.0 mm.

I am a knitter.

I came back to knitting when I was determined to make myself a pair of socks. I wanted to know what the craze was about sock knitting (up until then I had joined a Ravelry group meant for those who loved sock yarn but not sock knitting). I ripped that first sock I had started summers ago, and started over. It was slow, it was uneven, and it was beautiful. I finished a pair of socks, that were not identical in gauge yet were loved equally.

I am a knitter.

It was my second year of university. I was faced with insecurity about my decision to pursue a degree that wasn’t what my family had in mind. That little monster kept being fed with my own worries now. What was I doing here? I tried to switch majors and join the path that would (hopefully) be more accepted but hated every single minute being in my classes. It was Fall, and I decided it was time to pick up the needles again.

I am a knitter.

Podcasts and yarn became my comfort. I spent that year knitting Christmas presents for my entire family for the first time. Click, click, the needles went as hats and mittens came off it with a confidence that was missing in other parts of my life.

I am a knitter.

No one ever tells you how hard it is to overcome insecurities. To deal with the not so little monster in your head that’s there to tell you that you aren’t good enough. It’s a struggle to even handle school anymore. The monster is winning till you pull out your weapons, and cast on.

I am a knitter.

Spinning becomes a companion, who provides a different outlet. A skill I admired but was convinced I would never do, soon became a part of me. It was like knitting, but not like knitting. It was its own thing, and still played harmoniously with knitting. I could control what it should be or simply let it be.

I am a knitter (& a spinner).

I decided to try and battle that monster, who is so much larger than me now. Sometimes it wins, and other times I don’t lose as much. It’s ongoing, and isn’t like a movie where the end is near in sight.

I am a knitter & a spinner.

Fibre is my comfort. It gives me peace whenever and wherever. I take it with me because it helps me escape or enjoy the present, depending on how I feel.

I am a knitter & a spinner.

We don’t always work well together, but you (usually) don’t argue when I frog back. Or when I decide to start another project. You don’t ask me what my plan is. Or question why I wasted so much time. You wait patiently until I am ready.

I am a knitter & a spinner.

Thank you: for being my comfort, for being there when I needed it, and for never judging.

I am a knitter & a spinner.

Tutorial: A party hat fit for a toy!

Party Hat Tutorial

This tutorial has been on my to-do list for months now, and so here it is! I hope I have explained each step enough for you to make your own party hat, but feel free to contact me by leaving a comment below if you have any questions!
Party Hat Materials

Materials needed:

  • Card stock (or any heavy scrapbook paper)
  • Washi tape
  • Rubber band (or a hair elastic)
  • Exacto Knife
  • Scissors

Step 1: Using the template from here, trace and cut out the doll party hat from your card stock. I usually trace straight from the computer screen or tablet, so I play around with the zoom functions of my pdf browser (in Chrome click View in the top toolbar, and then Zoom Out) to find a right size for my toy. However feel free to simply cut along the curved edge to make the hat smaller to fit your toy.
Party Hat Step 2

Step 2: Take your washi tape and start covering up your hat template. I like to overlap the edges slightly to make sure everything is covered. Feel free to simply cover the paper with pretty wrapping paper or draw on it instead.

Party Hat Step 3

Party Hat Step 4

Party Hat Step 5

Step 3: After covering the paper, flip it over and feel free to either trim the excess tape along the curved edges (as shown in the left side of last photo above) or simply wrap the edges on to the paper (as shown on the right side of the last photo above). I prefer the latter since it covers the bottom edge of the hat. Make sure to NOT trim away or wrap the straight edge of the party hat.

Party Hat Step 6

Step 4: Remember that straight edge of tape? Use that to stick the two straight edges together of the party hat! If you used wrapping paper to cover the party hat, than simply use clear tape at this step to attach the edges together. I also like to put a small piece of tape on the inside of the party hat to make sure it’s extra secure.

Party Hat Step 7

Step 5: Using the Exacto knife, poke a hole on the opposite sides of your hat for the strap to go through. Make sure the seam of the party hat is facing the back when poking the holes. Also, ensure that the hole is wide enough for the rubber band to pass through.

Party Hat Step 8

Step 6: Cut the rubber band (or hair elastic) so it’s one long straight piece. Stick one end through one of the holes and tie a knot. Now is the time to try the hat on the toy to figure out what length is best. For this hat I ended up trimming several inches off! Remember, because you are using a stretchy rubber band, it’s better to err on slightly tight vs. loose. After choosing the right length, stick the other end of the rubber band through the opposite hole and tie a knot again.

Party Hat Step 9

And voila! You are finished. Feel free to leave any questions if you are unclear about any step!

Toy Mania

I have a love-hate relationship with knitting (and sometimes crocheting) toys. I love the end product but it’s so hard on my hands! Being a loose knitter I tend to go down quite a few sizes when it comes to knitting toys, and I love a tight gauge (which makes it perfect for holding in all that stuffing!), so my hands get tired easily dealing with small needles + thick yarn + super tight tension. Still, it makes my day whenever I hand over a toy I spent hours of work on and it gets loved. Some toys end up being played with so much it starts looking a bit grimey, while others spend their days on tables or shelves where they are admired from afar. Either way, every toy finds its way to a happy recipient and that makes the pain of knitting it worth the effort.

Maple Leafs Inspired Wild Thing
Maple Leafs Wild Thing for my 11 year old nephew
Back View of Wild Thing
Made entirely of acrylic yarn, and the eyes are 13.5 mm from AmiEyes on Etsy
Squid
Inspired by these shoes, and knit for my eldest brother’s birthday
Squid Side View
Main body is handspun in the Oyster colourway from the lovely Classic Squid Fiber Co., and the green and pink tentacles are Patons Worsted dyed with food colouring.
Bonnie Wee Front
Bonnie Wee Mouse knit for my cousin’s birthday, inspired by the Houston Rockets.
Bonnie Wee Behind
A classic bum shot :). Knit with Rowan Pure Wool Worsted in Cardinal and Loops & Thread Yellow acrylic yarn.

All the patterns are from the lovely Susan Claudino, and feel free to check out my Ravelry projects page if you want to know about any mods I made.