TCJ Inspiration Place

monday june 27, 2016: bamboo interchangeable sets ~ click here to comment June 27, 2016 14:12



monday June 06, 2016 June 06, 2016 15:00

Happy #TCJMonday Everyone!

Canadian Slouchy

There are only 24 days until July 01...CANADA DAY! I am really not that patriotic, however Canada is pretty great.  I have designed a few "Canadian" knits and if you want a head start, now is the time to order a kit, pick a pattern and/or cast on!

Canadian Fingerless Gloves

If you want to make something quick, I suggest going for the Canadian Fingerless Gloves or the Canadian Slouchy.  Both say CANADA pretty loud and clear.  I currently have a few Slouchy knit kits available here.

If you are looking for something less in-your-face Canadian...sorry, I would suggest the classic Top Down Trapper hat.  This shape says CANADA but it can be knit in any color combo to make it your own!

Top Down Trapper Hat

This hat is not as quick as the other two projects I listed above simply because you basically have to knit two and seam them together; but, you still have time to make it for July 01st!

Happy Knitting everyone!


monday may 30, 2016: a sneak Peek ~ click here to comment May 30, 2016 17:05

Happy #TCJMonday

Last week it felt like Summer left us but today, a Monday of all days, the sun is out and I feel like it's going to be a great week; summer is coming back!

mini collection

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you will know that I am working on what I have been calling a "mini collection."  This "mini collection" is my premier knitwear collection; for the first time I am sitting on a lot of designs, waiting to release them all at once. 

mini collection

I have been working on this collection since last fall. It is a collection inspired by yarn, color and textures. For this collection, my first collection, it was important to knit with local Vancouver, BC Canadian yarn.  Our knit/fiber/yarn community here in Vancouver has exceptional designers, yarn dyers and dedicated, loyal crafters; our community is big and still growing! This collection is designed exclusively using  the beautiful SweetGeorgia Yarns

mini collection

I have a little history with SweetGeorgia Yarns that goes back about 7 years ago when I first started my adventure with yarn and knit design.  It seemed like a natural choice to pick SweetGeorgia Yarns as my inspiration for my initial mini collection.

mini collection

The yarn can be bright, colorful, vibrant, and it can also be calm, sophisticated and neutral.  The qualities of yarn from merino, to mohair, to silk to thick to thin to chunky inspire texture!

mini collection

This mini collection will be out this Summer 2016 as single PDF's, an e book and print copy.  I will keep you all posted on dates and links...don't worry!

yellow roses

Let's hope this sun keep shining over the week to come......


monday May 23, 2016: crochet is cool ~ click here to comment May 23, 2016 15:59

You might feel as though I am knit biased, but really I love all crafts and especially love crochet too!  Crochet, I feel is a bit harder to make modern; too many doilies are not very cool.  I am happy to say, today you can find many cool crochet patterns.  Vogue Knitting started coming out with a yearly or bi-yearly magazine exclusive to crochet.  Noro Magazine has also included some cool crochet in with the knits.  Love Crochet recently started an exclusive site just for crochet as well.  Love it!

supersonic crochet cowl

Although I have not designed a lot of crochet I did design a simple and quick crochet cowl called the Supersonic Crochet Cowl.  If you already know the basics of crochet this cowl can take under an hour to make which is ideal for gift giving!  If you want to learn to crochet, this is a great basic piece you can start with.

supersonic crochet cowl

We also offer this pattern as a crochet kit!  It comes with the pattern, yarn and hook (optional).  We use Malabrigo Rasta which is a beautiful hand dyed 100% merino yarn; it comes in some pretty cool colors!

supersonic crochet cowl malabrigo rasta

If you are not into crocheting but want the cowl we also offer it handmade "ready to wear!"  All the Supersonic Crochet Cowls are handmade locally in Vancouver, BC Canada. 


Monday May 16, 2016: Noro Magazine #8 ~ click here to comment May 16, 2016 11:20

Happy #TCJMonday everyone,

I am still trying my best to get back into the swing of things around here.  I figure, two weeks away, gives me two weeks to come back fully?  You might notice, I added some share buttons (Pinterest, Google +, FB & Twitter) on the left hand side of each page on the site and this blog; please feel free to pin and share!

Noro Magazine #8 spring/summer 2016

While I was away, something great happened!  Noro Magazine #8 Spring/Summer 2016 came out on newsstands.  OK, Noro yarn can be hit or miss: it can sometimes be scratchy and the color can be too bright; but, many of the Noro yarns are also super soft and the color combos are daring and beautiful! Earlier this year one of my designs got picked up by Noro Magazine and it is in this issue!  #9 Bandanna Cowl.

Noro Magazine #8 Bandanna Cowl

I love seeing my designs on the pages of magazines, it will never get old.  It is always an interesting process from submitting a design and swatch to final outcome.  When I submit a design and swatch often the yarn sent to me is totally different, a different gauge, a different color and in many ways I have to re work, re imagine the design to fit the yarn.  There is always a push to get the piece knit and sent back on time and then there is the waiting...waiting...waiting.  I think I waited about three or four months before I got the e mail with the stylized photos.  This part is the most fun; Soho Publishing always does such a beautiful job with the photos and styling. 

The yarn used is Noro Silk Garden Sock in color #426 dusty purple, emerald, coral and mustard.  I used brushed gold and silver beads which gives the cowl a nice weight to it and added pizzazz! 

I am currently in the middle of knitting this project but out of Noro Taiyo Sock in colorway #33S which is a blend of pastel browns, greens, purples and peach.  It is a bit thinner gauge but since it is a bandanna after all, I am not concerned if it comes out smaller.  I am using pale translucent blue and opal pink beads.

New version of Bandanna Cowl #9

To see what other publications I have been in from radio, newspapers to magazines, click here


May 09, 2016: travel knitting ~ click here to comment May 09, 2016 13:29

Happy #TCJMonday

I have been away for the last two weeks and I feel like I am in a bit of a fog and under a mound of laundry! I find it's always an odd feeling coming back to reality; at least I am coming back to you guys and this knitting life I can call my business!

Speaking of knitting, I brought way too much on my vacation; I don't know about you but I always over pack yarn.  I thought I was being reasonable when I packed three shawl projects: one of my designs; another test knit & tech edit for my mom; and lastly Waiting For Rain by Sylvia Bo Bilvia. 

Waiting For Rain

On the flight to Florida I got through 1/3 of the test knit out of Rowan Felted Tweed. 

It is hard to see what this image is, but if you look close, it is the view of the window next to me covered in lint; four hours of knitting aftermath!

window view of lint

When I arrived at our destination I switched to Waiting For Rain knit out of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Moonstone.  Waiting For Rain was a good choice for less thinking, more relaxing and just when I had enough of garter st, there was a lace insert! Brilliant. 

Waiting for Rain

Over the two weeks I plugged away at Waiting for Rain, not touching the other two projects.  I knit maybe zero to twenty minutes a day; too exhausted at night, too busy during the day to think about knitting.  I suppose I truly got a break from work!

On the flight home, I zipped through a couple more sections of Waiting For Rain, again not thinking about the other two projects.  Now I am determined to finish all three; how many started projects do I have?  Ugggg let's not count!

Anyone going on a vacation and thinking about which project(s) to bring?  How many do you typically pack?


April 18, 2016: Kale Chip Recipe ~ click here to comment April 18, 2016 11:04 1 Comment

Happy #TCJMonday everyone!

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you will know that I love to garden and cook!  And nothing is more satisfying than to cooking the food I grow.  It amazes me how much produce I can grow in such a small amount of space!

Last weekend, in preparation for replanting my garden for the summer, I harvested all my kale; a great excuse to make Kale Chips!  Seriously, kale is amazing, it lasted all summer, fall and over the winter, giving us beautiful leaves all year around!

I am a huge fan of Kale Chips; never bough only made, this recipe comes from a student of mine.  Since then I have modified it but only because I am notorious for not following recipes...my style in the kitchen is very freeform, tasting, trial and error...a little bit of this, a little bit of that....  It was odd measuring this batch for you guys, but it turned out delicious, so I hope you enjoy!

Kale Chips
It takes a lot of time to make these kale chips, but it is so worth it!

Ingredients

  • 10 cups of washed & prepared kale leaves (any variety or an assortment is nice)
  • 350 ml (1 1/2 cups) of unsalted roasted or raw cashew nuts (soaking them overnight is optional but not necessary)
  • 3Tbls lemon juice (1/2 or 1 fresh squeezed lemon is the best)
  • 1/4 tbsp cayenne pepper (or to taste, I like a bit of a bite)
  • 1 tbsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbl red chili flakes (added after to taste)
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) nutritional yeast (optional)

Before you begin, cover as many trays or plates that will fit in your oven on multiple racks with tin foil and set to the side.  It is not necessary to cover your trays with tin foil but it helps remove the chips once cooked/dehydrated.  For 10 cups of Kale I covered one large & one medium sized tray, two circle trays and one rectangle plate (that is all I can fit in my oven between three racks).  Make sure you test out your oven space beforehand! There is no need to preheat your oven.

Once your trays are covered it is time to wash, de-stem and break up your kale. 

Kale chips The Crafty Jackalope

You can use any variety of kale for this recipe and an assortment is lovely.  No matter which variety you choose, de-stemming them is a must. 

I try to keep them in as bite-size big as I can. And without being too picky about it, I just remove the biggest part of the stem, often leaving the tops in tact. Place all the kale de-stemmed and in bite-sizes in a bowl and set aside.

Kale Chips the crafty jackalope

Make your sauce: (I prefer using a handheld blender, but any blender will do) add the sauce ingredients into the blender beaker: cashews (drained if soaked), lemon juice, cayenne, salt, water & nutritional yeast.  Blend all together until smooth.  Stir in red chili flakes. Your sauce will be a thick paste. 

Kale chips The Crafty Jackalope

Add more water if it is too thick and more cashews if it is too thin. 

Kale chips The Crafty Jackalope

Dump sauce on top of the prepared kale. Now, this is the part where you need to kneed.  I remove all rings and jewelry, this gets a bit messy!  Massage the paste into the leaves of the kale. 

Kale chips The Crafty Jackalope

The kale should be full saturated with the paste and feel a bit limper than before you massaged.  Once it is all mixed and massaged, it's time to place the leaves on the tin foil covered trays.  This is the part that can take a long time.  Rather than dumping all your leaves on the trays, place them individually spreading out the leaves as best you can.  Taking the time during this step will allow for the leaves to cook/dehydrate more evenly.  I place the leaves as close as I can, if they touch that is fine but try not to overlap them.

Voila, a few hours later your leaves should be ready to cook/dehydrate.  Place the trays in the oven (remember you tested it beforehand and you know they will fit!) 

I have a wonderful dehydrate setting on my oven that I use.  It works perfectly for these but a conventional oven without this function will also work.  The idea is to cook these low for a long time.  Set your oven to no more than 150 - 160 degrees Fahrenheit depending on your oven (some cook hotter than others).  Cook/dehydrate at this temperature for about 3 hours.  Check them often!! After 3 hours, turn the oven up to no more than 190 - 225 degrees Fahrenheit depending on your oven (some cook hotter than others). Cook/dehydrate for another 1 - 2 hours until they are crispy.  Keep a close eye on the chips; do not let them burn!

Once they are crispy, remove them from the oven and let cool (they wont be very hot).  Gently lift the tin foil from underneath bending it to pop the Kale Chips off.  If you did not line your baking sheets, use a stiff rubber spatula to gently remove the chips (they are very delicate and prone to break.  If they crumble, save the bits, they are great as salad toppings!

Kale Chips The Crafty Jackalope

Place Kale Chips in a glass jar with a sealable lid for storage.  Be sure they are 100% cool before closing the lid! 

Kale Chips The Crafty Jackalope

~ Enjoy ~


monday march 28, 2016: crazy for cowls ~ click here to comment March 28, 2016 09:33

Happy #TCJMonday!

I 'hop' everyone who celebrates had a great Easter weekend!

Easter Bunny Card

Here at The Crafty Jackalope we are crazy for cowls! We love them in the winter, in the summer and the seasons in between.  Here are a few we are mad about!

 

If you are looking for a quick cowl to make as a gift I would highly suggest the Capital Cowl V2.0.  If you have the yarn already (something bulky weight/12st) then all you need is the pattern.  Or you can get the complete kit with yarn and pattern all in a cute 100% cotton TCJ project bag.  The yarn the comes with the kit is a beautiful blend of silk and Alpaca and is offered in three colorways: grey; teal & opal.

 

One of my favorite designs is the Brave Cowl.  If you love plaid, this is the cowl for you.  It is knit with the delicious Purl Soho Super Soft Merino in 3 colors (sample: Super Pink 1120; Timeless Navy 1580 & Oyster Grey 2080).

 

Another quick knit is the Bambi Cowl.  We also offer this cowl as a kit; it come with two skeins of Malabrigo Mecha and pattern in a 100% TCJ project bag.

 

Looking for a cowl for the spring/summer months?  The Magpie Darling Cowl is airy & light.  The original pattern is knit with a strand of sequin sparkle (great for the holiday seasons or to dress up an outfit) but choose any light weight sock yarn in a linen or cotton or a soft merino and it is perfect paired with a t-shirt!

 

Another favorite is the Supersonic Crochet Cowl.  This is can be crochet in one hour (if you already know basic crochet techniques). This cowl comes as a pattern, a kit or handmade!

For a complete listing of all our cowl patterns, click here.  For the kits {yarn & pattern}, click here

 

 

 


monday February 22, 2016: pom poms ~ click here to comment February 22, 2016 10:38

Happy Monday!

I know last week I said we were going to explore some existing products & projects, but I have to stray from that this week...because, WE GOT POM POMS!!!

These faux fur pom poms look like the real deal; super soft, and plush. They are perfect on top of a hat, as tassel ends for any shawl, wrap, or cowl and great for slipper decoration...but really, you could put a pom pom on anything! #putapompomonit

We have four colors: White, black, beige & grey. 

We started with neutrals but if you would like some bright colors or soft pastels let me know, it is something we could bring in for sure.  ooo I am so excited about these!

These fluffy-bunny-kitties have a circumference approximately 11"/28cm and a
diameter approximately 3.75"/9.5cm.


monday february 15, 2016: my favorite products ~ click here to comment February 15, 2016 00:01

Happy Monday! #TCJMonday.

First of all, a bit of housekeeping: I added a mandatory name and e mail requirement for the live chat.  I missed a chat this week and without an e mail, I am unable to reply.  This is terrible and I feel bad so I made the changes ASAP to avoid this moving forward. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day whether you spent it with a loved one, with your family, close friends or beloved furry friends!  Here in Vancouver, BC Canada it was a dreary, rainy, grey day but with a kiss from my husband, kitty by my side, this was the perfect day to hunker down for some serious knitting! I am sure you can all relate....to the knitting at least!  And, Happy Family Day to the rest of Canada!

Starting this week I am going to take a bit of time over the remainder of the month, or so, to show you a few of my favorite things in the TCJ shop!   

This was the second pattern I ever designed!  Since then, I have revamped it but it still has such a charm to it and I am very proud of this one.  It is the Owl Headband, starring Kitty. 

You can purchase the pattern which calls for a DK weight yarn in BSA Suri Merino or you can purchase the kit in a merino/alpaca blend.  The kit comes with: yarn; pattern; two purl buttons for eyes; one purl button for the back closure; yarn for attaching the buttons; and for the rest of this month, I will throw in a TCJ 100% cotton project bag for FREE!

Happy Crafting!


monday, January 04, 2016: blackstone slouchy {knit kit} or {knitting pattern} ~ click here to comment January 04, 2016 00:00

Happy Monday!

A few days into 2016 and I think most of us are back at work or school or back into the real life.  If you got some time off, and are anything like me...this might be an extra hard Monday to face.  All week my schedule has been knitting and watching movies really late into the night and getting up at a leisurely time...no earlier than 10am.

This morning...I can tell you I did not go to bed early but I sure had to get up early...and to boot, I have a date with Jillian Michaels....

This Monday I think we all need an extra treat so I have for you 1 project 2 different ways!

  

Some of you might be familiar with the Blackstone Slouchy.  I released it this Fall for Knit City 2015 in October.  The original pattern was designed for Berroco Blackstone Tweed which is a beautiful worsted weight tweed.  I love worsted weight but I also love choice, so I decided to add a DK option.  I found a stunning tweed from the Diamond Luxury Collection called Impression. It is a blend of 50% wool, 25% superfine alpaca & 25% viscose.  It is soft, light weight and still a one-ball-wonder project!  The pattern comes in three sizes: small, medium & large.  One ball (Worsted: 130 yards/119 meters; DK: 145.45 yards/133 meters)  is enough to make 1 of the three sizes.

For all you knitters whom already have the yarn (worsted or dk) I have added the single PDF pattern to the website. You can purchase it here.  Instruction for all three sizes along with the Worsted weight and DK weight versions are included in this pattern.

      

If you prefer a knit kit I have 2 colors available #1 white tweed & #2 medium grey tweed (the sample is shown in the #2 medium grey tweed in large size).  The knit kit comes with 1 ball of your color choice in DK tweed; the Blackstone Slouchy pattern (Instruction for all three sizes along with the Worsted weight and DK weight versions are included in this pattern); and a 100% TCJ project bag.

I hope I was able to inspire you this Monday! A good start to the week, means a great week ahead!


Happy New Year! January 01, 2016 23:20

Good Bye 2015, Hello 2016!!!

I am not sad to see 2015 be swallowed up in my dust cloud as I run really fast towards 2016.  It was a doozy of a year mixed with some pretty spectacular moments.  Luckily there is enough momentum from 2015 to swing me into 2016!  Read all about the positive here. I am excited about this new platform; bringing weekly inspiration to you all is an incredible feeling full of potential! 

Remember to check back weekly for the "newest" blog post {every Monday}.  I invite you to also sign up for the newsletter, and I promise only one e mail will come to you monthly {first Monday of every month}, recapping last months inspiration along with some exclusive deals for followers plus more!

I also want to take the time to thank all the Crafty Jackalopes out there: my fans, students, friends & family, those who support me and appreciate the love of craft, knitting and making!  I couldn't do it without you, nor would I want to! Thank you xo and cheers to 2016!!