Tag Archives: Ravelry

Introduction – Yarn Love Challenge

Thanks for visiting to follow me along on my #yarnlovechallenge. My name is Cindy, and I have been a maker of something pretty much all of my life. From the earliest influences in my young life I was taught to try to make something from nothing and I have been obsessed with that concept ever since – both making, and trying to make use of existing things that I have in my stash, or that I can create myself or find in my journeys. I started to sell my work in 2000 and the first iteration of Studioloo as a business actually started on a website called Diaryland.com. I started out selling random things that I was making at the time – sculptural dolls, toys and mosaic and mixed media clockworks. I then started making several other things – t-shirts, fridge magnets, and the crochet bug bit me. I was taking part in a lot of online trading groups – making mixed tapes, making homemade fridge magnets in a group I created called ‘Fridge Love’ and starting to think about making garments and working with yarn. I had been influenced in my youth a lot by different knitters and crocheters and eventually found that the kind of yarn I wanted to use to make things with didn’t exist – so I embarked on figuring out how to make my own yarn. From there, my path narrowed creatively with hyper focus on fibre and I got my first spinning wheel and began to spin yarns – immediately being inspired by themes and the concept of yarns that were functional beyond just the standard traditional use for yarn. I made a lot of hats – sculptural and wild, and I made a lot of other things. You can take a look at a lot of my projects in my Ravelry Notebook.

Fast forward all these years later and I have progressed my fibre education to include hand dyeing, handspinning of mostly art yarns, needle and wet felting, knitting, crochet, weaving, and making a lot of the embellishment items that can be used with fibre goods. I continue to run studioloo.com , sell my goods, and participate in many art and craft shows each year. I have also expanded my hobbies to working with clay, wood, and textiles.

In November, I became a mother to my sweet Matilda Bee so my days are now enriched in so many more ways with baby coos, tiny clothes and the feeling of family that has never been so strong and wholesome. I am blessed with a husband who is very involved in the overall process of my craft and business and I am able to balance my career, art and family life with his support. Most days my updates happen on Instagram or on my Facebook page.

Apparently…I am crazy when stagnant!

My poor little pup, Toasty, developed some kind of illness in the middle of last week and through the weekend so I stayed home with him…all….weekend. I have really come to the point in my life where I can’t ever stay inside the house for an entire day. I don’t know why…but it makes me insane…and makes me think about how I could be doing a million different things but I just sit there…and watch TV.  It’s bizarre but I think a testament to the human body and mind needing nature, activity and stimulation.

So, I looked at my to do list from last post…let’s see how I did:

1. Update Art Yarn page in the shop with all new art yarns.
2. Finish reading driving manual and look into booking test.
3. Review required updates to pottery guild website
4. Think about trip to US and PR stuff with husband, start a plan.
5. Determine packaging for wooden buttons and start packaging.
6. Dye sock yarn.
7. Photograph and update Ravelry with rebranding on new yarns.
8. Work on cowl pattern.
9. Walk every day.
10. Work on documentation database for work.

Ok, not too bad…I finished 4 of 10 things but also managed to finish a few things not on the list…like teaching the husband to weave the rope rug I have been working on so he can help me and as a result I finished 2 more circles and he finished a couple. Here are mine:

 

And, I made really good food, including lovely beef short ribs. Here’s a photo mosaic of the process:

On Sunday I finally broke down and had to take a walk. Toasty was starting to feel a lot better but still just wanted constant sleep so we packed him up in his own little, cuddly crate and walked the beach. It was a nice, inspiring walk and was very nice in that I felt like part of a busy, artsy city. It was quiet and had freshly snowed.

The swans that I visited throughout the summer were there. I photographed these babies in various stages of their growing up process. Now they just look like baby swans but in an adult size.

There were guys filming a music video, singing and playing guitar. They had a cool, little rolling track that the camera could move farther and closer on.

There was even a lady letting her wee bunny take a run around on the beach. He was wearing a cute, little purple sweater and I even got to give him a little cuddle but I only managed to photograph his butt.

Then I collected a lot of amazing drift wood, some charred and a bit piece that looks like a bird head from Beetlejuice or something. I love it!

 

And there was much knitting hexipuffs for my ever-loving Beekeeper’s quilt.

And, in the shop there is a big new art yarn update! Check out the shop here: http://www.studioloo.com/handspunartyarn.htm

Take a peek at these handspinnies!

Also, I am in the middle of re-branding, dyeing, and photographing a ton of new sock yarn and other yarns. But, my best friend, Mat of Manspun fame has also written a lovely sock pattern for use with my yarn.  It’s called Man-Tastic Socks! and works for men or women. It’s a fun knit and great with variegates, solids or semi-solids!

Pick up your copy here! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/man-tastic-socks

 

Weaving with the Walrus

It was a fine New Year’s day spent at the Toronto Zoo with the husband. I took a ton of pictures with my new Nikkor telephoto lens that I am really happy with but I don’t have them edited yet. I will share some once I do. I spent the last couple of days prior to the new year just organizing things, planning projects and relaxing. I managed to pull a back muscle over the holidays which has slowly been getting better.

I picked up the weaving that I was working on some time ago and have started up on it again in an attempt to use up this giant basket of rope that I have collected over the months for this project. I was thinking it would be a rug but I think it will be too nice and end up being a wall hanging.

Here’s a shot of one of two circles I finished over the last couple of days.

I have more shots of this project on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/studioloo/coiled-rope-rug

I am thinking that beginning tonight I am going to start tackling a big to do list so I can feel more accomplished. For my own benefit I will list 10 things I need to accomplish over the next week or so.

1. Update Art Yarn page in the shop with all new art yarns.
2. Finish reading driving manual and look into booking test.
3. Review required updates to pottery guild website
4. Think about trip to US and PR stuff with husband, start a plan.
5. Determine packaging for wooden buttons and start packaging.
6. Dye sock yarn.
7. Photograph and update Ravelry with rebranding on new yarns.
8. Work on cowl pattern.
9. Walk every day.
10. Work on documentation database for work.

Work is sort of too quiet this week. Most of the clients have taken the rest of this week off, as well as a lot of the staff here. I am trying to keep motivated to work on a few things and use this down-time as best I can but it can be challenging after just coming back from holidays. I think I will feel more focused tomorrow as I have a meeting, and get to dig into some new things.

Tonight I will be working on some fun, secret things for a swap I am taking part in on Ravelry. The theme is ‘Mash-ups’ where you design a package for someone, secretly, and you mash up their 5 favourite fandoms. My partner’s fandoms are run and have a lot of child-like imagination so I have a lot of ideas. I see much photo-collaging, felting and assemblage happening tonight to put together a couple of the bigger projects.

Of Dogs and Totem Poles

Yesterday I had a really great morning. I went to Woofstock! One of the nicest things about living in Toronto is that there is always something going on – and this weekend it is North America’s largest dog festival! The roads all around St. Lawrence Market are closed down and you get to see every kind of dog imaginable. It’s so fun. First the dogs take a stroll up the red carpet.

There are hordes of people with dogs, vendors, restarants, and it’s just a really fun, happy scene.

I will mention that I published my Totem Pole Socks pattern up on Ravelry as a free download – but then the rest of this post will be entirely dog related. 🙂

Grab it here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/totem-pole-socks

Ok, now on to the dogs!

First my favourite dog of the day – this sweet little girl in her roller cart:

She was so sweet, calm and gentle and her face had a way of melting your soul.

Funniest dog face of the day is awarded to:

Best tutu award….

Cutest toenails…

Best all-over face lick!

Best dachshund prarie dog stance! (This is a piebald – really rare..)

Most impressive fancy group of cute:

Best leash chompage:

Least amount of hair:

Today I need to get a little knitting in public done – WWKIPD was officially yesterday, but I am sure you can see why I simply didn’t make time.  🙂

My Yarn Scares Me

It has been a very eventful week or so with much stuff happening so I have not had much time to blog, which reminds me that I also need to get working on the next episode of the Muststashyo podcast. It is almost ready for production. I just have a bit more research to do on a couple things. It has been a crazy week of issues with my job, my cat, my organization freakout craziness which led me…to the inevitable ….task…of….adding ALL my yarn stash to Ravelry’s database. It is somewhat terrifying, mainly because it actually only accounts for about 40% of all the yarn I actually own. It reflects only the stuff that is whole skeins and has labels. With the nature of my mediums in fiber work, I tend to have a lot of yarn for using bits of in different things. However, this is a good accomplishment because I now can cross-reference the yarns I have with projects I am planning. So, wanna peek at my scary stash? Check it out: http://www.ravelry.com/people/studioloo/stash

I had a relatively good day. I spent most of it crocheting pieces for my ocean reef. I have determined that that is a good way to both give my brain a rest as well as use up a lot of yarns that are scraps, partial skeins or too weird/tacky for garments, etc. Here is what I accomplished in the last couple days:

I am really excited to set up the ocean reef again to take a good look at how big it has gotten because I have not done so for about a year now and off and on I just keep making more pieces and tossing them into this giant sized ziploc bag. So, it should be quite large now.

I went to the bookstore tonight and was stoked to see that Chapters is having a sale on a load of McSweeney’s books. I love reading short stories so I bought my first books since receiving a Kindle for xmas and vowing to stop buying books. I determined this is acceptable book buying however because their books are so awesome and ..not on the the Kindle that I know of (admittedly I haven’t searched) but also they were like 80% off….so who can say no to that?

I also had my first pottery class for my third stint with the Mississauga Potter’s Guild and it was fantastic. I have a new teacher this time, which is great. I have loved working with the teacher that taught my last two courses; she is very technical and this has helped me really grasp the importance of form and function. The current teacher seems very creative and makes your mind buzz with ideas for texture, glazing techniques and colour. So, I am thinking that the output I will have in this class will be really unique and broad. I’m totally excited and on a mission to find tjaps from India or other areas where saris are printed and made. Tjaps are the woodblock or copper  printing stamps, often hand carved, and used to print the lovely floral, tribal, or themed patterns on the sari cloth. I am also working on doing some planning to carve my own and possibly sculpt and bisque a few different stamps for clay imprinting. Tjaps are really cool though. Check out Zanzibar Trading to learn more about them here: http://www.zanzibar-trading.com/store/default.asp?ID=48 . It seems a few different companies import them from time to time but they are usually the copper ones or the handcarved wooden ones so they are really expensive and sell really fast. Look how amazing they are:

Also, I will be reviewing this more on the podcast later this week but in the meantime I wanted to promote Kissing Party because they totally sent me their amazing CD ‘The Hate Album’  and a tambourine! How awesome! Deidre’s voice is awesome and they just have a really great sound. It’s fun music – give them a listen!