I’m Nuts About Squares!

Hello, Stitch Friends! I’ve mentioned a few times that I’ve been stitching less than usual due to other projects, and today I thought I would share some of the progress I’ve made on the largest one: the Nuts About Squares Crochet-Along from Esther of It’s all in a Nutshell. Esther has teamed up with eleven fabulous crochet designers to bring together an afghan of 35 squares. She came up with three different colourways, each using a different type of Scheepjes yarn.

Nuts About Squares – Week 1 – Esme’s Winter Cottage

Because I absolutely needed to add a giant agfhan to my to-do pile (yeah, right!), I decided to join in. I’m using the Nuts About the Sea colourway, which uses Scheepjes’ Colour Crafter yarn, a super soft and fluffy DK weight acrylic. The colours are bright and cheerful, and they definitely remind me of the sea. (You can check out the kit here at Wool Warehouse.)

Nuts About Squares – Week 2 – Spiro Star

I’ve fallen a bit behind (surprise, surprise) as we are now up to week 11 but I’ve only completed the squares through week 7 (actually, that’s not even true since I’ve only done one of the three squares for week 4).

Nuts About Squares – Week 3 – Denna

Each week we have been given one or two new patterns to crochet. Every week we complete three squares (except for week 10, which is only two squares). We will then be given the instructions for joining the squares and for completing the border.

Nuts About Squares – Week 4 – Le Vesinet Square

I’m doing my best to get caught up as I don’t want this to become a giant UFO. Depending on the difficulty of the pattern, it takes me about two days to crochet the three squares.

Nuts About Squares – Week 5 – Rachel

New patterns come out every Thursday, so it seems like every time I start to make progress a new pattern is released! πŸ™

Nuts About Squares – Week 6 – Bavarian Beauty

If you’d like to learn more about this CAL, head over to It’s all in a Nutshell. Esther has a fabulous introductory post and weekly posts for each pattern. She also has filmed incredibly helpful videos for every pattern. Esther is awesome! And I sincerely hope she knows how wonderful she is and how much we all appreciate her. Check out her YouTube channel for tons of helpful crochet videos.

Nuts About Squares – Week 7 – Fantastic!

 

 

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WIP Wednesday – What Day Is It? Edition

Hello, my lovely stitchy friends! It seems that WIP Wednesday has come and gone yet again without me posting. I had pictures taken and a plan, but I was laid low by a migraine that came out of nowhere. πŸ™ The best laid plans, etc. That’s why we shouldn’t procrastinate! If I had posted my pictures right after I had taken them, rather than waiting for later in the day, I could be posting about something else today.

Enchanted Ornaments Stocking, from Dimensions

Now that I’ve finished up O Canada! Sampler, I’ve got more time to dedicate to my Christmas stocking. I’m stitching Enchanted Ornaments from Dimensions for myself. See, I’ve even got my name on it already. Once it is complete, I’ll just have my husband’s left to complete and I can stop feeling weird and guilty for no reason. (Funny how arbitrary goals we set for ourselves can be guilt inducing, eh?)

Hygge Shawl, designed by Kirsten Ballering of Haak Maar Raak

I’ve pretty much stalled on my Hygge Shawl. All the pieces have now been released, but I’m stuck working on the centre panel. I’m not sure why, since I absolutely love it. (I even have a second colourway to work on later thanks to a very generous birthday gift.)

With the warm weather finally here I’m finding it harder on concentrate on my stitching. I want to go for walks, ride my bike, and enjoy the warmth. Before we know it, the cool fall winds will be blowing again. Hopefully, though, I’ll have my Hygge Shawl done by then!

Get out and enjoy the weather!

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Smalls SAL – May 2017 Check-In

Hello Smalls Stitchers! First, I’d like to apologize for getting this post up just a little bit late. It is around noon my time on check-in day, but I know for some of you it is already tomorrow! To be totally honest, I forgot it was the last Friday of the month. Where has May gone?

I’ve had another month where I haven’t stitched too month. I’ve gardened, read some good books, and spent some time outdoors. My poor stitching has languished! Thankfully, though, I did get my small done.

Merry Santa Kit, designed by Lizzie*Kate

This is Merry Santa Kit from Lizzie*Kate, a limited edition kit from 2015 (I think…). The kit included the linen, finishing fabric, and embellishments. I still need to add the buttons and little bell, and sew it all up into a bag, but the stitching is complete. I used DMC rather than overdyed thread since, honestly, I don’t want to buy eight skeins of fancy floss that I will only need a length or two from. πŸ˜‰

My plan is to have him sewn up into a bag by earlier next week, and I will share him again when he is all done.

So, what did you stitch this month? Please head down towards the bottom of this post to add your link to the list. Please be sure to use the permalink for your blog post and a picture of your small as your thumbnail. If you run into any problems, please don’t hesitate to email me. I’m always happy to help out.

The link list will remain open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on Friday, June 2nd. Update: The list will stay open until midnight Eastern on June 8th. So, you still have lots of time to add your link even if you aren’t quite finished yet. Remember: for each month that you share a finished small, you get one entry into the end of the year draw.

Next Month: The next Smalls SAL check-in will take place on Friday, June 30th. See you then!

Thanks again, very much, for stitching smalls along with me! I can’t wait to see what you’ve stitched.



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Sesquicentennial Finish

It is so wonderful when something gets done on time. And it is even better when it is done early! I put the last stitch into my O Canada! Sampler this weekend, and I am so happy with how it turned out.

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler

I love this design so much! It was originally released by Thea Dueck through her first company, Lamplight Designs, back in 1992 for Canada’s 125th birthday. She included many Canadian symbols, like our Parliament/House of Commons building (aka the main home of our federal government), a Canada Goose, a beaver, grain (for our prairies), and snow (for the arctic). The words around the Parliament Building come from our national anthem (called O Canada), and the Latin words at the bottom are Canada’s motto. It is official translated as “From Sea to Sea” and “D’un ocΓ©an Γ  l’autre.”

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Victoria Sampler

The two crowns at the bottom represent our ties to the Queen Elizabeth. One of her many titles is Queen of Canada, so while we many refer to her and her family in general as the British Royal Family, thy are in fact also the Canadian Royal Family. She is technically the employer of all government officials and staff. The Queen also approves all federal laws, which is done through her representative, the Governor General of Canada. She is represented at the provincial level by lieutenant governors. In practise, these officials approve all bills presented to them (but first they must pass vigorous debates and voting by elected officials), paving the way for them to become laws.

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Victoria Sampler

I stitched the chart more or less as it was charted. Unfortunately, it called for Needle Necessities Overdyed Floss #126 – Mulled Wine which has long ago been discontinued. I used ThreadworXs #1038 – Cherry Cola, and one 5 yard skein was just enough. I also changed one of the rows of pulled stitches to a different stitch, and I left out one row just above the motto (I got the spacing wrong…). The biggest change was recharting the 125 to 150.

I’m so happy that I was able to finish this well before Canada Day! Hopefully I will get ti framed before then! πŸ˜‰

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Smalls SAL – April 2017 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitchers! Can you believe it is already the last Friday in April? The year seems to be speeding by so quickly. It really seems like I was shovelling snow just the other week, and now I’m thinking about cleaning up the garden and all the veggies I’ll be planting soon.

I have to admit that I’ve done very little stitching this month. Most of my time has been spent working on two different crochet alongs: the Scheepjes Hygge CAL and Nuts About Squares. But of course, I had to find some time to finish up my small for this month.

Jingle Bell Wreath, designed by Mill Hill

This month I stitched Jingle Bell Wreath from Mill Hill’s Winter Holiday Collection. It is stitched as per the pattern using the included DMC thread and Mill Hill beads. I love the little jingle bells. So very festive.

What did you stitch this month? Head down toward the bottom of this post to leave a link to your finish. Please be sure to use the Permalink for your post and use a picture of your finish as your thumbnail. The list will remain open to new links until midnight Eastern time on May 6th.

Remember: for each month that you share your finished small you get one entry into the end of the year draw for a prize full of stitchy goodness.

And, while you are down at the bottom of the post, please consider leaving me a comment. Let me know what type of smalls you like stitching. Also, click on some of the links to your fellow smalls stitcher’s finishes. I’m sure they would love to have some new visitors.

Please consider posting your finish on Twitter or Instagram using the tag #smallssal2017.

Next Month

The next Smalls SAL check-in will take place on Friday, May 26th. Get stitching!



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WIP Wednesday – Capital

Hello, Stitchy Friends! It has been ages (okay, like a month) since I’ve posted anything for Work-in-Progress (WIP) Wednesday . Truthfully, I’ve been spending a lot of my time crocheting lately because I am working on a couple of great (but really big) projects. Of course, I have been making time to pick up my stitching needle once in a while.

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler (WIP)

With Canada’s 150th birthday just around the corner I’ve been giving O Canada! Sampler a bit of attention. I completed some of the pulled work between the alphabet bands this week. I need to do a little bit more below the UVW and XYZ but I don’t like the charted stitch. Hopefully I can come up with some sort of substitute.

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Victoria Sampler (WIP) – close-up of pulled work and alphabet band

My goal for this coming week is to chart out the “150” to add to the alphabet band, find a new pulled work stitch, and finish up the smyrna cross row I’m working on right now. And then it is back to my crochet projects! πŸ˜‰

Don’t forget: the next Smalls SAL check-in takes place this Friday! I can’t wait to see your finishes!

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Mandalas With Mikey

If you are a crocheter who frequents Facebook or YouTube, then you probably have heard of The Crochet Crowd. Started several years ago by Michael Sellick (who was later joined by his partner Dan Zondervan) as a little website that provided crochet tutorials, the Crowd has now grown two include two more team members, a very busy Facebook page, hundreds of YouTube videos, a partnership with Yarnspirations (and more), and a series of very popular crochet cruises.

Mikey and Dan are actually based in Southern Ontario, not too far from me, and have taken part in the Creativ Festival in Toronto many times. Somehow, though, I never got around to taking a class with them. I managed to remedy that just this past weekend when they taught a mandala crochet class at the Markham Guild of Craft.

Ceiling Tile Mandala (WIP)

We spent several hours discussing a brand new pattern Mikey had just finished creating, a pretty squared-circle mandala-inspired afghan square. (Yes, it will eventually be released, for free, once it goes through a little more testing and tweaking.) Dan shared some thoughts on mandalas and colour choices, and Mikey spoke a lot about crochet diagrams and why they are so handy to learn. (I’m a convert now, for sure!)

Bernat Mosaic Yarn in colourway Pink Poodle

Mikey and Dan brought a whole pile of yarn with them, and we picked three balls to work with. Since I am boring, I decided to get three of the same colour–Bernat Mosaic in colourway Pink Poodle. (I love Bernat Mosaic, and I was super disappointed when it was discontinued.)

Ceiling Tile Mandala (WIP)

The pattern itself is not too hard, just a bit fiddly.Β  There are front- and back-post crochet stitches, bobbles, and more. Once the circle is completed, it is squared off using a mixture of single, half, and double crochet stitches. The resulting square is very pretty and full of texture. Some of the ladies changed their colours nearly every round, and they we stunning. My square is a little more plain, but still attractive.

Mikey and Dan are a great team. The class was loads of fun, and they really know their stuff. Both were patient and happy to help anyone who was having trouble. They definitely deserve their popularity and good reputation, and if you love crochet, I recommend taking a class with them if you can. Even better, go on one of their cruises.

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