Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Here is the result of my attempt at the Artfully Simple Angled Scarf from Moogly. I used two skeins of Sirdar 4-ply cotton in grey dawn and a lovely button, all purchased at my local yarn shop, Odds & Sods. I have to admit that I am very pleased with this elegant scarf - that can also be worn as a shawl.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


You can find the free pattern below the photo.


Size 4 mm crochet hook
Worsted weight cotton yarn

Bottom of basket
Make a magic ring.
Round 1: Sc 6 in magic ring, Do not join.
Round 2: Sc 2 in each sc from previous round. Do not join. (12 st)
Round 3: Sc 2 in first sc, sc 1 in next sc. Repeat 5 more times. Do not join. (18 st)
Round 4: Sc 2 in first sc, sc 1 in each of next 2 sc. Repeat 5 more times. Do not join. (24 st)
Round 5: Sc 2 in first sc, sc 1 in each of next 3 sc. Repeat 5 more times. Do not join. (30 st)
Round 6: Sc 2 in first sc, sc 1 in each of next 4 sc. Repeat 5 more times. Do not join. (36 st)
Round 7: Sc 2 in first sc, sc 1 in each of next 5 sc. Repeat 5 more times. Do not join. (42 st)
Round 8: Sc 2 in first sc, sc 1 in each of next 6 sc. Repeat 5 more times. Do not join. (48 st)
Round 9: Sc 2 in first sc, sc 1 in each of next 7 sc. Repeat 5 more times. Do not join. (54 st)
(End of increasing for small size. For medium, continue increase in the same manner to 66 stitches and for large to 78 stitches.)

Side of basket
Round 1: Working in back loops, sc1 in each sc around. Do not join. (54 st)
Round 2: Working in both loops (for this round and the rest), sc 1 in each sc. (54 st)
Round 3-4: Repeat round 2.
(For medium size, repeat round 2 two more times for a total of 6 rows of sc.
For large size, repeat round 2 four more times for a total of 8 rows of sc.)

Round 5: Sl st in first sc and ch 3. Dc 4 in same st. Remove hook from loop, insert hook in ch 3, replace loop from last dc on hook and pull through. Ch 1. *Dc in next st. Dc 5 in next stitch, remove hook from loop, insert hook in first of 5 dc, pull loop through. Ch 1. Repeat ending with dc in last stitch. (27 popcorns and 27 dc)
(For medium size, 33 popcorns and 33 dc. For large, 39 popcorns and 39 dc.)

Round 6 - 9: Repeat Round 2.
(For medium size, repeat round 2 two more times for a total of 6 rows of sc.
For large size, repeat round 2 four more times for a total of 8 rows of sc.)

Round 10: Repeat Round 5.

Round 11-12: Repeat Round 2. Join with sl st in first sc.

Round 13: Sl st all around. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Recently, a friend of mine told me about a yarn shop opening in our hometown. Pretty exciting news, as fellow knitters and crocheters will surely understand. Up to now, I was limited to purchasing yarn at the big retailers and big box craft stores - I could not wait to see what goodies I would find almost on my doorstep.

Well, I was in for a treat! On April 1st, day of the opening, I went searching for 43 Queen Street and to my disappointment, I found a real estate office... Double-checking the address on my phone, I see that I had missed that the entrance was on Chapel Street. Two minutes later, I see this:

Ah, ah! I found it! Not in any way turned off by the graffiti, I ventured inside and found the ultimate "girl cave"! A yarn shop with a knitting corner!

But also, lots of eye candy... Yarn everywhere! Yarn I had only dreamed about before, right there in front of me. I was in yarn heaven!

I went searching for the owner of this little paradise and found one of the most interesting person I had met in a long time: Rikki Rumball. As she proudly gave me a tour of her shop, I learned the story behind this shop and many of its treasures. But you will have to go visit and find out for yourself.

Odds & Sods Wool Shoppe is a lot more than a yarn store. It also carries work by local artists and crafters, all creatively displayed. After a few visits, I soon felt more like I was visiting a friend's house than browsing in a store. Apparently, many customers instinctively take their shoes off at the door.

When the weather warms up, watch for a new mural to beautify Chapel Street and the Odds and Sods sign to go up on Queen Street. A few others projects are also in the works, but I have been sworn to secrecy...

Odds & Sods is located in Bolton, Ontario, north-west of Toronto. They are opened from 11 am, Tuesday to Saturday. More information and directions are on their website at

Friday, March 20, 2015


Yesterday, I went out to a craft store to find a replacement for my favourite 5 mm hook, and I browsed through their book section while I was there. (And yes, I picked up a few balls of yarn, too.)

I have to say that, with all the resources offered for free online these days, I seldom buy any crochet or craft books. I also find that they tend to be repetitive and, since I already own a few reference books, don't offer anything new, not enough anyway to justify their purchase.

But yesterday was different. I came across this book, the four-colour crochet spiral on the cover initially catching my attention. The book is The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet, 2nd edition, by Margaret Hubert. I could not put in down, neither at the store nor at home.

Not only does it cover the basic techniques and stitches, it includes many stitches that I had never seen or heard of before. All the stitches and techniques are very well illustrated, with both a large colour photo and a chart, along with easy to follow instructions. A few patterns are also featured in the book.

My new favourite go-to book for stitches and inspiration!

Sunday, March 15, 2015


After a long, very long, and cold winter, I was looking forward to working with bright coloured yarn and making some fun spring items. I really enjoy making hats because you can experiment with stitches to create different textures. I thought some shells, alternating with v-stitches, would create a lovely airy texture for spring hats, and the DK weight yarn gives them an even more delicate look. Of course, spring hats must have some fun flowers and leaves, too! Here is my first spring hat in coral, just listed on Etsy. Available in size newborn to 10 years. More to come in different colours!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


I love learning new stitches - and a scarf is the perfect item to practice them! This Goblet stitch consists of one row of single crochets, one row of double crochets and an extended treble over two rows of chain spaces. It works up fast and is an interesting way of mixing colours. Here it is on a double wrapped infinity scarf. The buttons add the versatility of being able to wear it as a regular scarf too.

Friday, February 27, 2015


With the encouragement of some friends (thank you! you know who you are), I decided to look into opening my very own Etsy Shop. Although it was overwhelming at first, albeit exciting, little by little the process became clearer. I have to admit that I did a lot of research before taking the plunge. Kudos to the Etsy community for sharing so generously all their knowledge. 

Listing on Etsy in not expensive, about $2 to list 10 items, and if you sell anything, then you pay 3.25% of the selling price. Also, a payment processing fee of $0.25 plus 3% of total sale price, if you use their Direct Checkout, or you can use PayPal.

Some preparation is required: photographs of your items, description, price (not as easy as it sounds to set), variations (it is offered in different sizes, other colours), etc. So far, not too bad. But... the most difficult part, in my opinion, is the shipping.

In Canada, it would seem that Canada Post is the least expensive option, although the cost is not simple to figure out. For example, shipping from Ontario to BC is about $3 more than shipping the same item to Quebec. Now add in shipping to the US! Also, there are many variables to consider: do I want delivery confirmation, a tracking number, insurance, faster service? Let's not forget the size of the parcel, the volumetric size and the weight all affect the shipping cost - as well as the final destination! The decision regarding the shipping cost is what held me back for some time from opening my shop. After more research, more reading and more measuring, I selected the highest end of the economical scale: assuming the furthest destination and including a tracking number. In my Shop's policies, I inform potential customers that I will refund the difference if the actual shipping cost is at least $2 less than what they paid.

This reminds me, you also need to develop your Shop's policies regarding ordering, shipping, refunds, and anything else that might be relevant. Taxes too. You have to figure out the HST or GST for each province and set that up. No HST if your Shop is in Canada and your customers are in the US, but they might have to pay taxes and duties in their country. However, although there are some advantages to registering for HST, if your sales are below a certain amount, you are not required to - unless you have other business income that puts you above that threshold. Taxes have to be set up to be calculated based on your customer location. Also, collected and remitted, less input credits, which means the taxes you paid on your supplies and other expenses to do business can be deducted from the sales tax you owe. 

Old Hickory Crafts is now open for business on Etsy. Overall, I am pleased with what Etsy is offering its sellers... And time will tell if it was worth the effort, but in any event, it will have been an interesting learning experience!