TCJ Inspiration Place

Magpie Darling Hat: new colors ~ click here to comment January 15, 2018 15:30 1 Comment

Happy #TCJMonday 

Magpie Darling Knit Kit Hat

Do you love sparkle as much as I do?  How about sparkle AND cashmere together? This is my number one combo right now, and we are offering it! Shop Knit Kit

Cashmere Magpie Darling Hat

Put your sunglasses on, new knit kits are now up and we have lots of choices: two balls of cashmere in Lt Grey, Dk Grey or Hot Pink with your choice of sparkle: Gold/Gold sequin, Black/Black sequin, Black/Gold sequin, Silver/Black sequin, Black.Rainbow sequin or Gold/Rainbow sequin.

Sequin Magpie Darling Hat

What will you choose?  One of each?  

 Magpie Darling Hat

Just want the pattern?  No problem, it's listed here on Ravelry.

Restock ~ click here to comment January 08, 2018 00:00

Happy #TCJMonday

Have you recovered from the hustle and bustle of the Holiday's and the rush of New Years?  I can't believe it is actually 2018 already!  Here we go!  

Paris Night Mecha

I have added 2 NEW colors to the Bestie Bandana & Bambi Cowl: Paris Night & Mix (Arapey).  Mecha can do no wrong, these colors are fabulous!  Paris Night is the original color I used to design Bambi; and now, I am so excited to finally be able to offer it! It's a deep navy that makes my heart sing!

Bambi Cowl

Mix (875 Arapey), is totally new; and, if you love the Boho-look, this is the color for you! It's a warm soft mix of many colors that blend and shift together: mauves/blues/greens/mustards....

Arapey mecha

I also restocked Grey (43 Plomo), an old'ie but a goodie! 

Bestie Bandana

Are you finishing projects from the past? Or, casting on new ones?  I am doing a combo: casting off older projects, making room for the new ones!  Next week I have a super sparkly explosion of colors & combos to show you, can't wait!

LYKKE Needle SetsLYKKE stocked up: Fixed Needles, Crochet & Interchangeables! Shop Now. FREE SHIPPING to US & Canada orders, no minimums. 

Gratitude for 2017 & thankful to all the fans ~ click here to comment December 30, 2017 15:41

As 2017 comes to a close and the anticipation of 2018 fills my mind, I pause to look back to reflect; wow, what a roller-coaster year! Politically & personally my life has been filled with major ups and major downs; but, thank goodness I have my craft, my family, my friends, my fans. I am so grateful to be able do what I love as my full-time occupation and I am overwhelmed with appreciate for all the supporters, fans, knitters & crafters that lift me up, follow me, participate, make my designs and shop at The Crafty Jackalope; I couldn’t run this beast without you! Thank you.

LYKKE Fixed Circular Needles

To end the year and kick off 2018, I have added to the LYKKE collection!  I am so excited to announce the arrival of the LYKKE Fixed Circular Needles and a limited quantity of the newest colors offered in the Interchangeable Sets: Indigo & Umber.  These colored sets are truly fantastic in person!  I also added the LYKKE Cords for the sets.

LYKKE Interchangeable Set: Indigo       LYKKE Interchangeable Set: Umber

I have some big ideas for 2018, but this is the year I am going to take my time and try to execute with more purpose and less haste....

Things to look forward to in the beginning of January: new colors and more sparkles will be added to the Cashmere Blackstone Slouchy and Magpie Darling Hat, along with 2 new colors for the Bestie Bandana & Bambi Cowl.

Major projects/collections in the works: a spring/summer cotton shawl collection; a baby knits collection; a women’s wear collection!

Teaching: I will continue to teach at the Elementary Schools, recruiting new knitters!  These classes are truly about imagination: starting with an idea, knitting and being creative, changing the idea and turning the knitted fabric into something else!  I will also continue to teach day-time classes at Baaad Anna’s when applicable.  And, of course I am always teaching private and group lessons around Vancouver, BC Canada.

And to end this year on a super positive note, I want to share with you all a beautiful and cheerful Pilot Pullover from ggmadeit! Her smile is infectious and I just love how she embraced this knit full-heartedly!

Pilot Pullover

Pilot Pullover

 HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!  Let’s make 2018 a creative & positive one!

Merry Christmas ~ click here to comment December 24, 2017 11:50

Christmas Eve is finally here.  With all the hustle and bustle lead up, I hope everyone could enjoy the Holiday sparkle and not be too stressed out...knitting gifts! 

Christmas Eve Jackalope poem

This year, the meaning of Christmas got more special for me; the amazing December lead up has been about reuniting with family! I know I have been a bit absent from TCJ, my knitting was a little less and my online presents was a little lacking, but focusing on building relationships as revived me to go into 2018 with a bang! And, let me tell you, there are a lot of exciting things happening and to look forward to!  

I hope everyone who celebrates has a wonderful Merry Christmas. xo

sample sale online ~ click here to comment November 27, 2017 08:21

Happy #TCJMonday 

sample sale

If you missed the sample sale a few weeks ago, don't worry!  The sample sale is now up online

sample salesample saleThere is still time to receive mail in time for the holidays, if you are looking for that perfect gift.  Prices are at amazing discounts and all knits/crochet are made from high quality yarns. 

And, don't forget, we offer free shipping always!

shop silk

We love mixing our fibers & textures; silk & knits are a phenomenal combo!  I can't say enough about RLKD 100% silk collection of scarves.  These pieces are absolutely beautiful.  The graphics are amazing and depending on how you wear your scarf, different colors are highlighted, making them very versatile.  Exceptional quality, I highly recommend owning at least one of these for yourself and gifting a bunch!

shop samples

The Holidays are approaching fast, make sure to order your knits, kits or scarves by December 04th for Hanukkah delivery & December 15th for a Christmas delivery!  Need help finding your size?  Use this measuring chart to help.  You can also always contact us through the live chat or contact form found at the Left and right bottom corners of the website.

How Hobbies Help You Age Healthy and Happy ~ click here to comment November 20, 2017 08:36

Guest post by Maria Cannon

Happy #TCJMonday Everyone! 

TCJ intro: Crafting and making is a integral part of my life.  I grew up in a super creative household where I was raised to always be making.  The rule in our house was "no watching TV unless you are making something." I understand this is not everyone's childhood, but I believe it is in all of us to make and create at some capacity.  Starting a hobby at retirement or any age is such a fabulous thing to do. If you feel intimidated learning to knit or crochet for the first time, find your local yarn shop (LYS); joining a beginner class or a weekly knit-night is a great place to start.

Please welcome back Maria as she illustrates the importance of finding a hobby in retirement and where to start.  I believe these tips cross over to all ages; starting a hobby, joining knit groups, being part of the community can benefit your life in so many positive ways.

How Hobbies Help You Age Healthy and Happy

Once you're retired, you may find that you have more time for hobbies, but how do you know what kind of hobby to pursue? Finding a meaningful hobby is an important part of healthy aging because it reduces stress and improves mental health. If you aren't sure where to start, these tips can help you find hobbies that fit your interests and give the best boost to your mental health too.

Challenging hobbies give meaning to life

Many people feel like their sense of purpose vanishes when they retire, and no longer having the role that comes from working can leave you feeling lost. When you pursue a hobby you enjoy, it helps you find your identity again and a renewed sense of purpose. Try a hobby where you have to learn something new. While negative stress causes anxiety, taking on a challenge or positive stress, called eustress, is actually really important to a fulfilling life and avoiding depression as we age. A hobby can give us this positive challenge, and the feeling of accomplishment you get is an added benefit. 

Creative hobbies sharpen your brain

Research reported by CBS news shows that creative hobbies have benefits that keep your brain sharp as you age. In the study, participants who engaged in creative hobbies developed less cognitive impairment. To maximize this benefit, try your hand at a new creative endeavor. The extra mental challenge will boost the benefit to your brain. Knitting, painting, music, woodworking, and writing are all great creative activities to keep your mind active and engaged. 

Hobbies create healthy habits

While hobbies make life fun and can lift your mood, they can also help you develop healthy habits as you age. If you feel stuck thinking of what you'd like to try, check out this list of healthy hobbies from The Huffington Post. Making time for healthy hobbies on a routine bases gives structure to your life, which may be lacking after retirement. This is especially helpful for anyone who is in recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Addiction is a habit that's extremely hard to kick, but according to the Harvard Health blog, healthy hobbies can be a powerful way of stopping addictive behaviors. When you replace unhealthy addiction with healthy hobbies, not only does your hobby fill that void, but it also helps you become invested in something you're passionate about and possibly find a new community too.

Social hobbies form friendships

An unfortunate problem for many of us as we age is feeling socially isolated. Finding new hobbies that get you out of the house and part of a community of people who have the same interests helps build back that social network you may be missing. According to Psychology Today, numerous studies have shown that people who are socially engaged are happier. Researchers have even nailed down the optimal number and types of hobbies. They say that retirees who are happiest do three to four activities regularly, and they get even greater benefit if those activities are social. Engaging in social activities is especially important for someone who is in recovery from addiction because it helps you form new bonds based on a positive shared interest, which can replace past relationships that may have been damaged.

Get physical to boost benefits

When you choose hobbies that are active, your mental health gets an added boost on top of all the other benefits of a hobby. Physical activity boosts chemicals in your brain that make you feel good and promote mental health. Even moderate exercise can reduce anxiety and depression. Yoga, walking, and gardening are all great physical activities that can also be social if you join a class or club.

As you age, taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and finding a hobby is a great way to do both. What have you always wanted to try but never had the time for? Don't wait any longer! Now is the time to jump right in and discover how rewarding it can be.

Photo credit: Pexels

Quilting is my favorite pastime, but it's much more than that, too. As someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety, I've also found that having a hobby, like quilting, can be the perfect prescription for boosting mental health, not to mention that it challenges the brain.
In general, no matter how old you are, hobbies can reduce stress, improve mood, offer feelings of accomplishment, and provide opportunities for socializing. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes the benefits of hobbies, so I have started looking for more resources and information to share with people of all ages. I created Hobby Jr as an outlet to share my found information including useful links, resources and articles about how to get started.

put a pompom on it: new Blackstone Slouchy knit kits ~ click here to comment November 13, 2017 12:11

Happy #TCJMonday

Blackstone Slouchy with pompom


Blackstone Slouchy with pompom

Whenever you add a pompom to an accessory, it bumps it up to SUPER COOL status; it just adds that je nes sais quoi.  Get a Blackstone Slouchy knit kit! Included in the kit: yarn, pattern & faux fur fox pompom to complete your project all wrapped up in a cute TCJ 100% cotton project bag. 2 colors to choose from.

Blackstone Slouchy

These knit kits are fabulous for quick holiday gift-giving projects.  For the full list of all the Holiday gift-giving ideas, click here.  We got your back, these are projects everyone will love to receive!

Don't forget to mark your calendars, our huge sample sale is coming up quick, this Friday November 18th 4pm - 8pm & Saturday November 19th 10am - 6pm at the Designers Collective on 2885 West 33rd (corner of Mackenzie St), Vancouver, BC CANADA.  We have tons of amazing knits at incredible prices and beautiful 100% silk scarves designed by Rebecca, along with Uashmama washable paper bags made in Italy, knit kits & copies of my new book, AFTERGLOW! 

See you there!


Bobble Bliss Shawl ~ click here to comment November 06, 2017 00:00

Happy #TCJMonday !

Bobble Bliss Shawl

Wow, I am so proud of my ma, Nancy Walker, who designed this beautiful Bobble Bliss Shawl. It's fun, engaging and simple all wrapped up in one design, the result is stunning.

Bobble Bliss Shawl

The bobbles give whimsy and texture, the simplicity of the Garter Stitch and Stockinette Stitch rows give sophistication.  

Bobble Bliss Shawl

I already cast on my second Bobble Bliss, it's super fun to make and using different colors and weights keeps it interesting every time. The pattern has suggestions for weight & needle size variations along with extra row repeats if you want to knit for days.............. And, the pattern comes as two styles, one with every row written out, if you are list-checker-off'er; and one that has been simplified referring you to the repeats.

Sample sale

And, don't forget to mark your calendars, if you haven't already. Vancouver LOCAL SAMPLE SALE.  Shop local, high-end knitwear, accessories, silk shawls, Uashmama, knit kits all at great prices!

When: November 17th 4pm - 8pm & November 18th 10am - 8pm.
Where: Designers Collective 2885 West 33rd Ave, Vancouver BC CANADA.

save the date: we are having a major sample sale ~ click here to comment November 01, 2017 00:00

Hello Everyone,

I am so excited to announce an event coming up in a few weeks!  We are hosting a major knitwear sample sale and you are invited!  SAVE THE DATE.....

WHEN: November 17th 4pm - 8pm & November 18th 10am - 6pm.
WHERE: Designers Collective 2885 West 33rd, Vancouver BC CANADA

Over the years I have knit a, really...a lot and I have made tons of knitwear & accessory samples from knitting TCJ designs, knit kit samples in multiple colors and from knitting for enjoyment and learning. 

All the samples are made out of amazing quality yarn, never been worn and I just want to clear-house, so the prices are incredible! If you live in or close to Vancouver, I encourage you to come out to the event and shop "LOCAL" for this years Holiday Season gift-giving! And, of course pick up a few pieces for yourself!

This Sample Sale is not limited to just knitwear!  I am so happy and honored to be sharing the space with my talented friend and amazing Graphic Designer, Rebecca Kovacs Dinning whom recently launched a beautiful line of 100% Silk Scarves!  You can follow her design story on Instagram.

Also, at the event, I have brought in some fabulous and functional UASHMAMA washable paper bags and a few purses! These are handmade in Italy.  I will also have a few knit kits, as per requested.  So, RSVP on the FB Event page, or just show up of course, but come early as I expect to sell out fast!

ASAP Bandana, another quick Holiday gift idea ~ click here to comment October 30, 2017 05:00

Happy #TCJMonday !

We have another Holiday knitting project to announce!  I love this one, the ASAP Bandana.  This one-skein-wonder project is meant to be knit fast, it is both engaging and speedy!  

 ASAP Bandana

Knit Kit comes with 1 skein of 100% Alpaca Mirasol Paqu Pura in color Mustard Blossoms, a bright sophisticated yellow. 

ASAP Bandana Mustard Blossoms

Or Peruvian Nights, a deep blue with slight variation in shade.

Don't stress about the holiday gift making, get a head start and order a few ASAP Bandana kits and some Cashmere Pom pom Toques!  FREE SHIPPING ALWAYS!

new cashmere knit-kits, the start of holiday knitting ~ click here to comment October 23, 2017 10:43

Happy #TCJMonday ! 

It is that time of year when we seriously need to think about and cast on our Holiday knitting projects!  Whether you need to make a few special things or something for everyone, Holiday making should be stress free, quick, enjoyable and fun!  We got your back! 

cashmere pom pom toque

Introducing the newest knit kit: Cashmere Pom Pom Toque!  This knit kit comes with 2 balls of 100% chunky cashmere, a luxury faux fox pom pom and pattern!  Knitting with the cashmere is such a joy, making a gazillion for your friends, family and of course one for yourself will be effortless and fun!

cashmere pom pom toque knit kit

This kit is offered in 2 colors of cashmere (Dusty Blue #03 & Beige #02) and 4 pom pom colors (Grey, Black, Brown & Cream).

cashmere pom pom toque

Don't wait until the last minute to get your Holiday knitting underway! Over the next few weeks I will be adding more projects and quick knit kits to the shop.  I love this time of year.

cashmere pom pom knit kit


Knit city & kristyglassknits pilot pullover reivew ~ click here to comment October 02, 2017 15:26

Happy #TCJMonday

WOW, what a weekend!  Thank you to everyone who came out to Knit City 2017! I don't know about you, but there was so much talent, amazing yarns, fibers, people, makers in one place, my mind was blown! What a whirl wind.  I am in awe of all the amazing talent in our city, Vancouver.  And, not only in our city but all the wonderful vendors & teachers that come from out of town to participate in Knit City, amazing!  Each year this event gets bigger and better and mum (Nancy Walker, Talking Clay) and I just love participating in it and meeting all the makers! The Knit Social gals do an amazing job!

I am still digesting, but here are some highlights....

Stephen West & The Crafty Jackalope

Stephen West popped by our booth! Gawwwww... 

A super fan, and more importantly a Bestie came by to represent, wearing a TCJ t-shirt and a Portobello Cowl, can't get better than that!

And...Stephen West was Wonder Woman....YES!

As if Knit City wasn't exiting enough, last week Kristyglassknits posted a bunch of photos of her Pilot Pullover she recently knit! WOW, what an honor!

kristyglassknits on IG

She also posted this Pilot Pullover review on her YouTube channel. Her channel has tons of great resources on how to knit, fabulous reviews about yarns and patterns, places to go and baking, along with reviews from knitwear designers and yarn shop owners.  I highly recommend following her channel

Pilot Pulloever

You can get the Pilot Pullover pattern here on Ravelry.  We also sell the Pilot Pullover as a knit knit in the shop, here if you want the whole shaa-bang!

Have a great week everyone!  Can't wait to see the treasures you acquired this weekend at Kity City if you were able to go! xo

Knit City, the LYKKE collection & AFTERGLOW ~ click here to comment September 25, 2017 00:00


Knit City

Knit City is just around the corner!  Are you getting excited?  We are!!!  Mum, Talking Clay, and I are sharing a booth again this year and we have a super wonderful surprise for you, you wont want to miss our booth #306

Due to popular demand, I have added to the LYKKE collection, and now offer crochet hooks, DPN's along with the Short & Long Interchangeables.

LYKKE Crochet hook

If you are interested in ordering AFTERGLOW or any parts of it, click here.

Happy Knitting everyone!  See you at Knit City!

We Are Knitters Party ~click here to comment September 19, 2017 21:20

Who likes to party?!  We do!  And by party we mean...crochet, or knit!

We Are Knitters

Last Sunday we gathered a big group of besties, and together we crochet a We Are Knitters kit!  Some learnt new skills, others brushed up on old hobbies....

Sadly, the dog ate all my Rosy (above) is the only evidence that such a wild party was had........

Botos Tee

We crochet the Botos Tee which comes with 4 balls of super soft cotton, a pattern and hook (optional)! This super cute top is a great piece to learn a new skill, get back into crochet or whip up something quick! 

We love cool crochet, and when we get into a craft, we go all in.  

LYKKKE Crochet Set

Getting the new LYKKE Crochet 10-hook set was a no-brainer.  Order yours today, here.

Well, what a night.  Believe me, it was fabulous, Rosy was a gem and so was the company and the craft! Thank you WAK!

AFTERGLOW seven-piece collection full video ~ click here to comment September 18, 2017 15:15 1 Comment

Happy #TCJMonday

It's almost been two weeks since the launch of AFTERGLOW!  The response has been immense, thank you for your support!  It takes a lot to publish a book and to put yourself out there, literally on the pages and then to put it out there in the world.  But, The Crafty Jackalope has amazing followers and fans, making the process so enjoyable every step of the way! 

I put this video together, hopefully it captures the feel of the collection and inspires you to cast on!

Hardcopies (eBook included with purchase) are now available here! Or simply order an eBook or single pattern PDF's here

Wool And The Gang has a coupon code for you guys which I will reveal very soon!  So, check out the yarns here and fill your shopping carts! Take the time to imagine................

AFTERGLOW book release party ~ click here to comment September 06, 2017 10:18

Well, you have waited long enough!  The second book from The Crafty Jackalope is finally here; today is the day!  I am so excited to share this 7-piece collection with you!


Inspired by WATG yarn, this 7-piece collection has a full range of styles & projects: two cardi's, two cowl, one shawl, one shrug, and a pullover; there is something for everyone.  And, although I knit using the amazing WOOL AND THE GANG yarn (which I highly recommend), I have also included a list of tried-and-true yarn substitution options in the book.  I am all about making these pieces your own and using local yarns and/or whatever you prefer!

Peppercorn Pulloever

You will be familiar with the Peppercorn Pullover & the Bestie Bandana.  These were the 2 original designs that re-sparked my passion for WATG yarns. 

Bestie Bandana

Last year I designed these 2 pieces as a joint giveaway with WATG.  Since then, they grew into a full 7-piece collection.  Below is Cowlicious!


I wanted the feeling to be boho and casual with the idea you could knit these anywhere: on the beach, poolside, summer, winter, fall or spring! Snuggle up in Beau Cardi.

Beau Cardi

I thought about wearability, and knitability when designing.  I love the idea of rhythmical knitting, where the repeats become part of you and your mind can start to wonder and socializing is possible.  Rosy Shawl is just that.

Rosy Shawl

Knitting these pieces with your besties, is what I imagined.  Building community and building friendships. Laughing, sharing stories and not missing a stitch is what matters. Shrug It Off, a chunky lace knit makes life's woes vanish for awhile. 

Shrug It Off

Something unusual, some thing bold, something that stands out and keeps you interested.  iHeart Cardi was one of the most fun designs to design.  

iHeart Cardi

The eBook instant PDF download and PDF Single patterns are now available!  You can also preorder a hardcopy (which comes with an instant PDF ebook copy). Hardcopies will be sent out no later than September 27, 2017.  Signed Hardcopies will also be available at Knit City 2017

Book #2: Afterglow, a sneak peek ~ click here to comment August 24, 2017 18:10 1 Comment

Wow friends, it has literally been one month since I last blogged, July 24th to be exact.  Where have you been? You might ask. Well, I have been working on the second book, called AFTERGLOW which is a seven piece collection featuring WOOL AND THE GANG yarns!  Over the last few month I have shown mini sneak peeks through IG, FB & the newsletter, but really, they haven't been very detailed or revealing....  Since I am so close to the launch (in 1 - 2 weeks), I want to show you a bit more behind the scenes and inspire some excitement!

I am not sure if you know this, but I do almost everything myself when it comes to self publishing.  Of course I have help from amazing yarn dyers/creators/suppliers, my husband takes all my book-photos and I have fabulous test knitters and an amazing editor! 

Designing is my first passion.  Using beautiful yarns is one of the perks and joys; collections are often built on being inspired by fiber.

Designing a collection that becomes a book has many parts to making it all work and come together. 

One of the most overwhelming parts is putting the collection together in InDesign, creating a single pattern into a book format. These images are the view from my laptop, in InDesign. This step becomes my obsession and I love the puzzle, getting all the pieces (designs) to fit in the right spot. 

I am a designer who likes to test my designs, I can't tell you how many times I knit and re-knit this collection.  I like to make sure the patterns read clearly and I like to try different yarns and fibers.  That being said, I certainly can't do this step alone, I have an amazing crew of test knitters, getting outside feedback is invaluable! 

And my fabulous editor helps me keep consistent and polishes up the small & big things I miss.  

And lastly, my husband is my photographer.  We love to travel and go on adventures, lucky for me he has a great eye for photography and design and I am naturally comfortable in front of him.  This collection was taken on our last vacation to Riviera Maya, Mexico.  When I look at the photos, it takes me back there ~

I am so excited about AFTERGLOW, this collection just kept getting bigger and better and I can't wait to share it with you, for real.  You can expect an official launch within 1 - 2 weeks! Afterglow will be available right away as single patterns, and PDF downloads.  I will be taking pre-orders for hardcopies and of course, AFTERGLOW will be ready for purchase at Knit City 2017 (September 30th & Oct 01). 

Deep Vee Tee & LYKKE Interchangeables ~ click here to comment July 24, 2017 08:28

Happy #TCJMonday Everyone! 
I have two really exciting things to tell you!  

Deep Vee Tee

Firstly, my newest design is now up on Ravelry!! Deep Vee Tee.  It's knit with a beautiful 100% silk, Araucania Mana.  This top is full of delightful details, like the deep V in the back and frilly sleeve caps! I love how this top turned out, it was so fun to design and you will love knitting it!

Deep Vee Tee

Secondly, we had a fabulous response to the LYKKE 3.5" Interchangeable needles we added to the shop last week! WOW, no shocker but they are super popular!!  We have one faux black leather case left and I have a bunch of faux denim sets arriving this afternoon or tomorrow!

Faux denim case LYKKE

Put your orders in asap, before they sell out and I will get them in the mail by Tuesday latest.  FREE SHIPPING to USA & CANADA!

LYKKE needle sets


eeeeek, what a great Monday!  I hope I was able to bring you some joy!

Deep Vee Tee

How Hobbies Can Boost Your Mental Health and Help Fight Depression ~ click here to comment July 17, 2017 00:00 1 Comment

Guest post by Maria Cannon

Happy #TCJMonday Everyone! 

TCJ intro: There has been a lot of buzz lately about how knitting, hobbies and crafting help with depression and the positive benefits creating has on the brain for all ages.  I am a big believer in knitting/crafting as a form of meditative therapy to help manage everyday stresses, big and small and to increase concentration and build community.  In this day in age of electronics and mass amounts of information constantly bombarding us, it is important to take a minute to knit, crochet, craft or just create something handmade. 

Please welcome Maria as she gives us some great informative tips about why crafting is so great and how we can incorporate it into our lives:

If you're battling depression, anxiety, or simply not feeling like yourself and need a general mental health boost, there are a variety of remedies you may be prescribed. Among these, one of the best ways to improve your overall mental wellness without any sort of side effects is taking up a hobby, or immersing yourself further in something you love to do.

Hobbies provide a distraction

Whether you're fighting depression, on a recovery path from alcohol or drug addiction, or simply wish to rid yourself of bad habits, having a hobby provides a crucial distraction.

When you're depressed your energy levels can drop drastically, but the last thing you want to do when feeling down is to keep yourself from getting up. It's a physiological fact that activity fights depression, notes

Hobbies are a top tier stress-buster

You don't need science to tell you that spending some time doing something you're interested in is a great way to reduce the stress of everyday life. Whether it's knitting, gardening, golf, or cooking - performing a hobby is a top-tier way to bust stress.

After three days, the researchers found that people who engaged in leisure activities were 34 percent less stressed and 18 percent less sad during the activities. Not only did they report feeling happier, but their heart rates were lower and the calming effect lasted for hours, says Shape magazine.

Hobbies get our brains working

Idle minds are unhealthy minds, and having a hobby is a good way to get your brain working.

Personal pursuits spark and satisfy our curiosity, get creative juices flowing, and exercise our problem-solving skills. This is why people who enjoy hobbies have a lower risk for dementia and depression, notes

Hobbies provide a safe outlet

People need to dispel their energy somewhere, and without safe, productive hobbies, that energy can be expelled in unhealthy ways. Safety is one of the main reasons why having a hobby helps people with mental health issues. Of course, that emphasis on safety must extend to the actual logistics of the hobby itself. If your hobby is woodworking, for instance, it's vital that you focus on proper safety techniques when using the various equipment necessary for your hobby. Even knitting has some things to consider.

Whatever your hobby, it's going to be of great benefit to your overall mental health as long as it's a healthy one. By providing a distraction, giving you a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and giving you a safe outlet to manage life's stressors, hobbies are a vital tool in the battle against mental health issues, mental fatigue, and boredom.

Photo Credit:

About the Author

Maria Cannon.  Photo below is Holly, the beloved Dachshund.


Quilting is my favorite pastime, but it's much more than that, too. As someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety, I've also found that having a hobby, like quilting, can be the perfect prescription for boosting mental health, not to mention that it challenges the brain.

In general, no matter how old you are, hobbies can reduce stress, improve mood, offer feelings of accomplishment, and provide opportunities for socializing. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes the benefits of hobbies, so I have started looking for more resources and information to share with people of all ages. I created Hobby Jr as an outlet to share my found information including useful links, resources and articles about how to get started.

sewing on the Prismatic Anywhere Cowl tassels ~ click here to comment July 06, 2017 11:29

Ahhh, there is something so satisfying about finishing a project; not just Casting Off, but really finishing, like blocking, sewing in the ends and adding all the final touches! This Anywhere Cowl  was bright & cheerful, the perfect knit to bring in the summer.

Prismatic Anywhere Cowl

If you're making the Prismatic Anywhere Cowl, I posted the modifications on last weeks blog.  Here are some more tassels tips:

Prismatic Anywhere Cowl

After Blocking, I marked out 24 spots using removable Stitch Markers on the side I wanted the tassels. 

Prismatic Anywhere Cowl

Note: Because I prefer the blue (Sapphire) color which I started with next to my face, I chose to place the tassels on the green (Basil) color which I ended with.

Prismatic tassel placment

After marking out the tassel spacing, I threaded the tail of the tassel using a small sharp tapestry needle and whip stitched the tassel on in a few rounds, ending on the wrong side.

Prismatic tassel placement

On the wrong side, I made a little knot.

Prismatic tassel placement

Then, I fed the needle down the towards the tassel fringes.

Prismatic Anywhere Cowl

And then I cut the tail the same length as the fringe to blend it in!

Anywhere Cowl

And there you have it, repeat those steps, 23 more times!

I would love to see your Anywhere Cowls, please post,  tag me & use hashtag: #anywherecowl 

Prismatic Anywhere Cowl Modifications ~ click here to comment June 28, 2017 08:59 2 Comments

Anywhere Cowl

A work in progress but some of you have already received your Prismatic Knit-Kits and I know you are itching to Cast On!  The Prismatic Mini-Skein Set is made up of 12 colors about 50 yards/45 meters each which makes a total of 600 yards/540 meters total, about 100 yards/meters more than the original Party of Five Mini-Skein set; this means there is room to play! 

Prismatic Tassels

I thought tassels would be a unique and fun addition to the Anywhere Cowl in this beautiful Prismatic rainbow gradient; it is the first thing to make before Casting On.

Prismatic Tassels

Mini Tassels (make 24, 2 in each color)

  • Cut a 12"/30.5 cm piece of yarn.  Put aside.
  • Loosely wrap yarn around 2 fingers, 10 times. Cut yarn.
  • Slip wrapped yarn off fingers and thread the 12"/30.5 cm piece of yarn through the loop of the wrapped yarn.
  • Center the 12"/30.5 cm piece of yarn and make 2 knots securing the loop; this will be the top of the tassel. You now have 2, 6"/15.25 cm pieces of yarn at the top of the tassel.
  • Using one of the 6"/15.25 cm pieces of yarn, wrap it around the tassel about 0.25"/0.75 cm down from top of tassel. Secure with a knot and cut to the length of the tassel.
  • Cut the loops on the bottom of the tassel (do not trim until blocked).
  • I know it may sound silly but, wet block the tassels!
  • Once dry, trim the ends evenly.
  • Once you are finished knitting the Cowl, using the other side of the 6"/15.25 cm piece of yarn at the top of the tassel, sew evenly onto one side of the cowl, placing the tassels about 1.75"/4.5 cm apart (divide your circumference measurement by 24)
  • Color order: *(Beach House, Sapphire, Empress, Grape Jelly, Raspberry, Cherry, Cayenne, Pumpkin, Dutch, Saffron, Pistachio, Basil), then repeat *

Prismatic color Wheel

Set the tassels aside until the Anywhere Cowl is complete.  I casted on the same amount of stitches as the original pattern called for. Because I already made my tassels I don't have to worry about saving yarn for them; I can knit the Anywhere Cowl up just the same as the original, not worrying about a specific round start or where my colors end. 

Color order

  • Cast On: Beach House
  • Sapphire
  • Empress
  • Grape Jelly
  • Raspberry
  • Cherry
  • Cayenne
  • Pumpkin
  • Dutch
  • Pistachio
  • Bind Off: Basil

Any color combo would be amazing! Have fun and I can't wait to see your versions!

Unicorns, Anywhere Cowls & Yarn Bowls ~ click here to comment June 20, 2017 19:32 1 Comment

Anywhere Cowl

As I was completing an Anywhere Cowl in SweetGeorgia Party of Five Mini Skein set in color Swell I was dreaming about the next one, wondering where it could take me..........

Anywhere Cowl

Swell took me to the beaches of the Caribbean...with each knit-one-purl-one stitch...........


A few weeks ago, I picked up SweetGeorgia's newest mini skein set, Prismatic which is made up of 12 beautiful rainbow gradients; the color is bold but I am not scared! At first, I had the notion of design something new with it, but every time I played around with the colors I kept wondering what it would be like knit up as an Anywhere Cowl.

Anywhere Cowl

Tonight, I am Casting On!  Because there are more colors and ultimately a bit more yardage I made 24 (2 of each color) mini tassels which I will attach to one side of the cowl.

rainbow tassels

~ make unique ~

I made the tassels first so I don't have to worry about saving extra yardage for later; I can knit freely, without a stitch marker, adding the new colors as the old ones run out.

Prismatic makes me dream of Unicorns...have you ever wanted to meet one? 

We are now offering PRE-ORDER Prismatic Anywhere Cowl Knit-kits in the shop! Free shipping always.

Talkingclay yarn bowl

And, speaking of unicorns, my talented ma made a few exclusive Unicorn yarn bowls!! WHAAAAT?! Yes, that is right...UNICORN YARN BOWLS! Check them out on the Etsy site, TalkingClay, here!

unicorn yarn bow

new pattern/knit-kit: anywhere cowl ~ click here to comment May 29, 2017 08:30

Happy #TCJMonday

Guys, I am so excited about this new SIMPLE pattern/knit-kit I designed for anyone looking for a chill project this summer!  So many of my friends, family & students travel and they are always seeking no-brainer knit projects to bring with them that don't take up too much room mentally or physically.  They kept asking me to come up with the ultimate project they could take with them to the poolside, flights, road trips, or even just a relaxing project they could knit between their hectic schedules and at social events.  Thus, through my own experience, talking with you all, and being inspired by SweetGeorgia Yarns, Anywhere Cowl was born; a project you can literally knit "anywhere!"

I put together some Knit-Kits which come with a SG Party of Five Mini Skein Set in the color of your choice and the Anywhere Cowl pattern (instant Download).  The color choice is extensive; the brights, ombre and stripes screamed summer and of course I couldn't leave out the neutrals. 

The sample shown is knit out of color Waterfall. 

Already have yarn? No problem, this pattern is a FREE download on Ravelry! You will need 5 colors x 105 yards/96 meters each or 525 yards/480 meters total of a Fingering/Sock/4ply Weight yarn... But honestly, this pattern is so chill you can do whatever you want; more stripes, a solid, more yardage...................... The possibilities are endless, and that's the way we roll in the summer!

a sale and calling all test knitters ~ click here to comment May 15, 2017 03:00 2 Comments

Happy #TCJMonday!

It was Mother's Day yesterday and to honor & celebrate all the amazing Ma's out there we had flash sale 50% off all TCJ patterns on the Ravelry store!  I decided to extend the sale one more day!  Use coupon Code: MAMA17 at Ravelry check out. Sale ends Monday, May 15th, 2017 at 11:59pm PST.


If you follow me on FB or IG, you might have noticed I was away this last week on a well needed vacation!   Ahhh it was bliss.......  While away we shot the new collection; and, despite the hot sweaty weather and early mornings we were able to capture the vision!  Next step, Test Knitters!  Test Knitters are an important part of the publishing process, if anyone is interested in Testing any of the pieces, please write in the comments and send me your email by clicking on the post title or email me directly at: amanda @ thecraftyjackalope [dot] com (no spaces). 

Here are a few details:

  • This 7 piece collection has 1 shawl (Sport, DK or Worsted), 1 bandana (chunky), 1 pullover (bulky), 2 cardigans (1 chunky, 1 bulky), 1 cowl (bulky), 1 shrug (chunky). 
  • Timeline will be about 3 - 4 weeks depending on piece (open for negotiation).
  • The original yarn used is all from Wool And The Gang, but I am not picky about yarn choice and I am open to most anything (natural fibers preferred). I can work with you on yarn choice. 
  • If anyone wants to use SweetGeorgia Yarns, I will be offering a 25% off discount (color choice might be limited).
  • All Test Knitters will receive a final copy of the eBook through Ravelry.
Thanking everyone in advance who is serious about Testing Knitting!