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Voodoo anyone?

Amanda Pants:

Since I have been bogged down with special orders (not to mention crazy hours at my actual job), this blog has become a little stagnant.
This amigurumi pattern was shared with me on FB this morning and it’s a perfect little Samhain/Halloween project! Oh who am I kidding! These little guys would also make great Yule gifts!
Enjoy!

Originally posted on AmigurumiBB's Blog:

It is time when most of us are preparing for the end of the month and Halloween. Time of pumpkins and bats, ghosts and walking skeletons; flying witches and black cats. For those brave enough to try something more, I have created voodoo dolls :)

Not just plain and simple voodoo dolls! These are very special! They are lovable, huggable, kissable, simple irresistible voodoo dolls that will melt your heart on first sight. And above all they are dolls with feelings, so please take it easy when using pins on them!

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These simple voodoo dolls are simple and easy to make and will make great addition to your doll collection or as fun companion for your little ones.

Materials needed to make your voodoo doll:

  • any yarn of of your choice (any color and any weight), in addition to basic yarn for yoru doll you will need scraps of different…

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On the hunt for locally made yarn…

Ever since I began this obsessive fibre arts period of my life, I have enjoyed visiting local yarn shops when I travel.

I usually take the time to hunt them down before we arrive so I have a sense of where they are in the city.  That also means that I can manipulate our plans to bring us near said shop and then say something like “Oh, look!  There’s a yarn shop over there!  It’s a sign from the universe that I should check it out! Can you pull in? I’ll only be a minute!”

Cue the sigh, the raised eyebrow and my partner B pulling out his book as he lowers his seat back and settles in for a long wait. ;)

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“But I want to stop in to the yarn shop. I’ll only be a minute! I promise!”        “NO.”

I have to say though, that over time, I have been able to somewhat shorten my visits … well… depending on how talkative the shop owner is!
Part of the reason for this is that I like to look for local items when I travel.  I visit the local yarn shop and the moment I enter, I ask if they carry anything made by local artisans.  My logic is that, generally speaking, all the other mass-produced yarns can be found near my home.  So if I’m going to stuff my suitcase full of lovely skeins to bring back with me, they had better be unique and one of a kind.

My most recent outing was to Port Elgin, Ontario.

We were visiting friends at their cottage and a few of us decided to head out for some needed groceries….and a chai latte!  It’s always time for chai!

Anyway, I digress.

As we drove through the downtown portion of Port Elgin, it occurred to me that perhaps I could convince the driver, our friend John, and B to pop by the local yarn shop….assuming there was one.

At a red light, I googled yarn shop + port elgin and came up with Doc Knits.  I excitedly mentioned that there was a yarn shop somewhere nearby and could we maaaaaybe go find it.

B looked up, pointed to the left and said “You mean THAT place?”

We were stopped at the light in front of the shop.  It was the universe saying that I should *definitely* visit! ;)

They didn’t open for another half hour so we did the shopping first and then the guys parked the car and gave me some time to poke my head into the loveliness that is Doc Knits.

One of the first things I noticed about the shop is the sitting area in the back, beyond the front desk.

Gorgeous cozy sitting area in Doc Knits
Cozy sitting area in Doc Knits

 

The second thing I noticed was BUTTONS!

How I LOVE wooden buttons!
How I LOVE wooden buttons!

It was at that point that I stopped looking and headed to the counter to ask about local yarn.  The woman working there was lovely and quite friendly, I’m sorry I didn’t get her name.
She pointed me in the direction of their ShantiKnits yarn.  The yarn itself wasn’t local, but the dye job was done nearby in Southampton, Ontario.  Good enough for me!

I really liked her choice of colorway names!

IMG_3549 IMG_3550 IMG_3548There were many skeins to choose from but I went with Chantry Mist as it seemed to be the most interesting and unique of the bunch.

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Cannot wait to work with these two skeins!


Once I had decided what I would buy…I couldn’t help but look around a bit more.  Just to see what they had of course!

I came across this lovely cowl, which turned out to be a free pattern off Ravelry!  I liked the look of it, so I took a shot so I would remember to find it online.

IMG_3545 IMG_3544

AND the other item I found that excited me was an alpaca/bamboo blend yarn!

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I am always on the lookout for yarns that are natural fibres, warm, and NOT wool as so many folks who order shawls from me specify that they don’t want wool of any kind.

We could get into the discussion about wool and how there are so many different kinds, treated so many different ways that it’s hard to say that all wool is the same: itchy, scratchy, rough, uncomfortable.

BUT

I absolutely love working with alpaca and I am completely  happy to search for an appropriate yarn to make a custom order!  It can be hard to find a heavier weight so this yarn that I came across made me happy!

Heavier weight alpaca, wool-free and chain-constructed. Perfect for those heavier winter projects I want to work on!

I didn’t buy any…I just took a picture for later! ;)

So in the end, I was in the shop for about 15-20 mins and only bought two skeins of locally dyed yarn!

That’s a success in my books!

Searching the far corners of the earth…to finish a shawl! (AKA Ravelry…you saved my project!)

Sometimes, you have to go all out to complete a piece of art, even when it’s a lovely piece of fibre art like this shawl!chainmail skull shawl with silk edgingThis is only the second time I have crocheted this pattern.  It is a blend of a couple of different crochet projects I have come across, but the actual pattern isn’t available….yet.

It presently lives in my head, and in the pages of illegible handwriting  found in my crochet notebook.

The second time turned out better than the first….although I love them both!

First attempt
First attempt
Second attempt
Second attempt

The skull portion of the second one improved slightly as I tweaked the stitches and tried different combinations and counts.  I can only hope it will get even better with the third one, which I have already started!

I presently refer to  it as the chainmail shawl since many who have seen the pictures comment that, upon first glance, it looks like chainmail. :)

So,  searching the far corners of the earth?  Yes.  Yes, I did!

What happened was that a couple of months ago, I ordered two skeins of a lovely silk peacock coloured yarn from Expression Fibre Arts.  After I shared a picture of my new yarn on my Facebook page (I was SO excited!), a customer contacted me and placed a custom order for a skull shawl made from that exact yarn.

Shawl made from my two skeins of peacock colorway silk yarn
Shawl made from my two skeins of peacock colorway silk yarn

I was originally concerned that I wouldn’t have enough yarn, but it worked out well and when I was done, I had about 50g left.

The same customer then requested a chain mail skull shawl with the skull edging done in the same peacock yarn.

50-60g remaining?  I thought that would be enough…so I said sure!

She needed it by a certain date as it would be a birthday present.  The date in question gave me a few weeks and I couldn’t foresee a problem.  I had the time.  I had the yarn.

Turns out, I didn’t.
My peacock yarn ran short….by THIS much!

That space between the arrows...that's how much yarn I needed.  One row!  about 3 grams!  That's it!
That space between the arrows…that’s how much yarn I needed. One row! about 3 grams! That’s it!

On the right at the arrow is a hanging yellow thread…from that point to the upper left arrow…the completion of that final row was all that remained!

What a pain!

I considered changing up the pattern but it had worked incredibly well and there wasn’t much I could change to save yarn.

I checked with Chandi at Expression Fibre Arts but she was out of that yarn.  Of course!  Because it’s awesome!

Next stop….Ravelry.com.

Ravelry has this amazing feature called “stash”.  It’s where you can record all the yarn you have and link to that exact brand of yarn online.  It will store your amounts along with the details about that yarn so that you can keep track.  You can even specify whether you’re willing to sell/trade each yarn or not.

The extra awesome thing about it is that you can nose around and look at OTHER people’s stashes!

So I did.

I found everyone on that site that had the “Peacock 2 Sparkle Silk Fingering Weight” and I sent them a desperate email!  Whether they were selling their skein or not, I wrote to about a dozen people from all over!  I asked if they would be willing to sell me just a wee bit…5 grams or so…20 yards give or take…to help me finish a shawl.

Many responded that they hadn’t even started working with their skein so they had no idea how much they could spare.  But finally, one awesome lady from British Columbia offered to mail me 5 grams!

Her awesome, fantastic, amazing 20+ yards of peacock yarn arrived in my mailbox four days before the birthday that required this shawl!

Lovely little ball of yarn!  When it arrived, I almost kissed the envelope!  ....almost.
Lovely little ball of yarn! When it arrived, I almost kissed the envelope! ….almost.

So a couple hours to finish off the row and the edging…another day and a half or so to block the shawl (It was hot and humid…took forever to dry!)…half an hour to take a few pictures…..and then off in the mail for overnight delivery with a few hours to spare!

Whew!

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