A Pillow (in Sophie’s Universe)

If you crochet and have an internet connection, you’ve probably seen the Sophie’s Universe pattern that has been making the rounds over the last couple of years. If you’ve somehow missed the craze, you can find the pattern and pics on the blog “Look What I Made.”

People go crazy for this pattern and I watched www.reddit.com/r/crochet make these blankets all through last year.

Well… this is something the same, but different.

Sophie's Universe Pillow #1

I wanted to try The Sophie, but I found myself in the camp of people who felt all of those colour changes were a bit much.

Hmm. After some deliberation, I thought a few balls of Elann Meander Yarn with slow and gentle colour variations should keep things interesting! I also used a size 5.5 hook, which wound up making the pattern looser, so you can see the pillow through it.

This pattern was so much more awesome than expected because of all the different stitches. It’s no good for in front of the TV, but it’s great for keeping you interested and motivated to keep hooking!

Sophie Pillow #2

The other thing I wanted to mention is that sometimes, you can love a project and not feel the need to press ahead with it at a certain point. This Sophie was meant to be a pillow. I got the actual cushion on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond… and voila! A Christmas present for my Mom was born. (Yes I am only posting it now, shh.)

This was a good chance for me to work on my freehand crochet. I did the last few rows of squaring the Sophie and making stretched out corners that fit the pillow by just eyeballing it. I am pretty proud of finding a way to make this Sophie my own!

So, what did you make this week?

xo Jax.

Lucky Elephant Baby Blanket

An elephant with its trunk up represents prosperity, good luck and victory. All good intentions to pass on to a new baby and her mama — and that’s the inspiration behind my latest creation.


My best friend has always loved elephants and I knew that would be the basis of the blanket I’d make for her, now that’s she’s expecting her first child. I am so excited and the time is flying by. I can’t wait to meet the little one!

Will it be a little boy or girl?! Either one will be full of sweetness, but when you’re not sure, keeping colours neutral is important! I went with a turquoise, sea-foam, grey and white palette. I loved it! I had it ready JUST in time for the baby shower last weekend. I was also in charge of planning some games, so it was a busy one!

The pattern was inspired by this Repeat Crafter Me blanket, except the squares are single, half-double and double crochet. Just subtract one stitch of length for each larger stitch. (ex. 25 across for SC, 24 for HDC and 23 for DC).

I also made some multi-coloured squares. There are tones of patterns online for creative granny squares, but here’s how to do a solid one and then you can just change colours as you go!

The elephant applique was also inspired by Repeat Crafter Me’s pattern. I just added another round of stitches to make him a bit bigger! I think his little flapping ear really makes it.

2016-02-15 Elephant Applique Detail

Elephant Detail

I used Loops and Threads Snuggly Wuggly yarn and a size 4.5 hook. Machine washable!

I was thrilled she loved the gift when she opened it at the beautiful shower (in a bicycle-themed restaurant!) , but my heart will be even more warmed to see her baby wrapped up in it!

For now, here’s a pile of wrapped gifts! Lucky baby! You can see the diaper cake I made peeking out the top of the pile in the back there! 😀


What did you make this week?




Summer Ocean Views blanket for an East Coast baby


I met Holly when I was a baby.

Our moms, no doubt looking for camaraderie in the challenging and often solitary world of first-time parenting, had signed up for a local baby group. I was born in June, and then she came into the world in August.

In many ways, we’ve long been opposites. I was a precocious child, while she was painfully shy. I wore dresses – she hated them. As teens, I became the bookish and calculating one, while she got a part-time job and a boyfriend… and then eventually moved across the country after university, because why not?

She loved it out by the water, and never looked back.

Now, my longest-time friend has just delivered a baby of her very own. A sweet little nugget named Jack.

Since Holly was the one who inspired me to learn crochet (she also knits and sews – you can find her stuff here), I knew I wanted to bring some of my own yarn love to the little man who I’m excited to meet next month. I also wanted to represent the province where this family is making their home – on the coast of Newfoundland.

Inspired by a trip out East for her wedding last year (if you haven’t been, it’s a whole other world out there!), I went with a beach-and-boats theme for my gift. I took inspiration from a number of different patterns around the internet (linked below) to put it all together. So nice to sit after work, stitching and thinking about a new life set to begin.


Bonus adorable anchor ribbon from Michaels!

I loved making this blanket and I can’t help but think this could have been sweet and fun as an “Under the Sea” theme with more detailed aquatic appliques.

I was really happy with my sewing too. From the back view you can hardly tell there’s so much detail on the other side – I actually just like the simple wave pattern.

BabyJack2015Blanket BACK

The Summer Ocean Views blanket:

The blanket itself takes its waves from a wavy chevron pattern. I drew inspiration from this simple ripple pattern.

I used an “I” hook and three kinds of yarn. The sandy effect came from (I think – there was no label) Patons Smoothie DK yarn. The blue was Red Heart Soft from Michaels. I alternated the two blue colours to make it look more like caps on a wave – not sure if you can tell the difference from the photos. I might use more varied colour if I were to do it again.

Then I did the appliqués!



Here’s a link to the sailboat pattern/video I was inspired by.



Here’s a link to the simple fish pattern I was inspired by. It’s the goldfish one, but there some bonus guppy patterns too, if you prefer!

Crab friend!


Here’s a link to the crab pattern that I used for the CLAWS ONLY. The body was just an oval that I did freehand. You can do her body, if you want yours to be round. Or make your own oval! I’ve included a picture of me blocking it because it really needed it…



Here’s a link to the starfish pattern I was inspired by. I added a white border to mine…

So, what did you make this week?

xo Jax

Rare sheeps, learning to knit and inspiration from abroad: How some special wool brightened my week

2015-04-13 New Zealand Woolshed Flyer 2Rolling hills, glistening sea and even the smell of the air – there’s nowhere quite like New Zealand. And I am so lucky to have just received some very special yarn from that country.

Two skeins of wool in the colour “misty grey” are now mine, sheered from the rare breed of Gotland sheep.

But these strands didn’t come by the post. Some history: My father grew up in New Zealand and I still have family there. That includes my Nana, who first taught me how to knit and purl. When I was a girl — deeply committed to my ballet classes — I was always the envy of other girls with the coziest, snuggliest leg warmers at the barre, made for me by Nana.

While crochet has become my first love since then, my Nana’s house in South Island of New Zealand was ground zero for my introduction to the fibre arts.

So, when my Dad announced he was making a trip home to see the family this March, I was hoping he might bring me back some yarn. And he did – from a farm and craft shop called The Woolshed on Takaka Hill. It’s pretty cute place by the looks of things, with a lunch menu, ice creams and farm animals you can pet!

2015-04-13 New Zealand Woolshed Post

But this delivery was extra special to me because my dad also brought back my Nana’s knitting needles and the bag she used to put her yarn in. I am so lucky to have received it, and it’s found a home next to my glitzier yarn box. And that about sums me up – a taste for the modern and the vintage.

Naturally I can’t wait to see what I can do with this yarn… but I’m also inclined so save it and just enjoy the possibilities for a little while.

What should I make?!



2015-04-13 New Zealand Woolshed Flyer 1

Yarn in the mailbox? Lucky me!

2015-04-12 Elann Reddit Yarn 1All that comes in the mail these days is just (to quote Destiny’s Child) Bills Bills Bills. *Does a little dance*

But in the last few weeks I had something to look forward to, when I participated in the Reddit Gifts exchange, yarn edition.

For those unfamiliar, participants sign up for a Secret Santa program where they are matched with another fibre artist either in their country or abroad (depending on how far the person is willing to ship $$$). Then you read about your giftee and send them something they’d love. I went with some luxe fibers from a yarn store near my work that doesn’t distribute its yarns in the province of Alberta, where my recipient lives.

Then you wait for your own surprise yarn to arrive!

I had a god time running to the mailbox each day, waiting for my yarn to arrive. When it did, I found I’d received 5 balls of Elann in the “fire and fury” colour. I assume that’s because I said my favourite colour is red! Now I’m enjoying dreaming of what those strands will become.2015-04-12 Elann Yarn Reddit 2

I highly recommend participating next year. And if you love to knit or crochet, can I recommend the amazing community of hookers and knitters who inhabit Reddit’s community?

There’s something really lovely about connecting with people who have a shared interest. I loved scrolling through the gallery of gifts to see what other people received in the exchange! Some gifters were incredibly generous. Can you imagine if a GIANT TUB OF YARN showed up on your doorstep?

Dreaming of HDCs,


Weekend works in progress: The crochet bits and pieces I’ve got on deck right now

It’s Work In Progress (WIP) Weekend!

I usually prefer to blog when I finish objects that I’m proud of, but lately I’ve been starting a lot of new pieces and haven’t wrapped up many (…any) in a few weeks. And it’s getting kinda lonely over here without any posts. So, here’s a little update about what I’ve been up to.

1.) Blanket for Baby by the Sea

This is a simple chevron blanket that I’m doing up for a baby that’s due to be born in June. I am so excited for that little muffin’s arrival! He’s going to be a water baby (to be born in Newfoundland, near the ocean), so I decided to go with a water theme. I’m making up the colours, but if you want to know how to make a ripple, DaisyCottage has a good pattern here for your waves. There’s a sandy beach and I’ve started on the water. You could add all kinds of sea creatures, and a crab on the beach! Possibilities are endless! I haven’t decided if I’m going to do fish or sailboat appliques when I’m done… Thoughts?

2015-04-11 By the Sea Blanket Baby

2.) Textured Throw with Squares

This is a blanket I’m whipping up with a bulkier yarn (Loops and Threads Charisma) for a couple getting married in May. I’m using the Red Heart pattern for the checkerboard textures throw afghan, but planning to make fewer squares. The couple has purple as a wedding colour, so I wanted to get that in. But I was going for a more modern look as they start their new home. Two and a half squares down, only 9 more to go… I think I’m going to do at least one bobble stitch square with their initials…

2015-03-11 Textured Squared Blanket WIP

3.) Spring Sweater

Here’s the start of the Ariane bolero/sweater — a free pattern from Peggy Grand. It’s being made with some gorgeous merino/baby alpaca from Americo, which has a flagship boutique near me in Toronto. But the pattern is a bit ambitious for me, if I’m being honest. Just starting out on the collar here…

2015-03-11 Ariane Swater Collar WIP

4.) Baby Leftover Blanket

And here’s a baby blanket I started with the yarn leftover from the Langley blanket. It’s the crochet beachcomber blanket by knitculture, but I’m using a lighter weight yarn and went down a hook size. Crochet shellz 4 dayz.

2015-04-11 Beachcomber baby WIP

And I think that’s the major stuff, for now.

What are the rest of you working on?



Spring, New Babies and a Flowered Blanket

LangleyLogview1Fibre artists of the internet! I finished my FIRST BABY BLANKET! My fingers are sore and my heart is full of love and pride!

I am thrilled with this little springtime creation, which I began after Christmas and lovingly stitched until last weekend. Then I delivered it to a snuggly bundle of pure joy. (I had never held a new baby – it fills you with awe of our wondrous world, doesn’t it?)

I started out with a plan to make the Daisy Afghan from Repeat Crafter Me, since she posted her pattern. If you hang out on Pinterest, you’ve likely seen this adorable baby blanket. A cascade of grit-stitched squares, single crocheted together, with a scalloped border. Check out this perfection.

Now, mine didn’t come together quite as neatly. First of all… I bought some worsted weight yarn, and some lighter-weight baby yarn. WHY!? Why didn’t I double check the weights!? *Sigh* Annnyyyway, instead of taking some of them back, I just used a hook one size up for the #3 yarn, which made the squares basically the same size.

And then there were the damn daisies. First off, I couldn’t get them to come out right. I just couldn’t. They were al floppy and curled. And I also felt like I should find a flower that was a little bit more suited to a February baby. I think the ones I chose look a little like snowflakes, floLangleyBlanketCornerating down the blanket. They’re called ‘Maybelles.’

The other major modification came when I was doing the border. By then, I was getting a little bit tired of this blanket. I was enjoying thinking about the arrival of its future owner, but other patterns and yarn were calling to me. Instead of single crocheting two rounds in every colour to make the border, I chose to do one row of half-double crochets. Yes, this decision was born of laziness, but the results were great. I’d do it that way again.

It’s been a brutally cold winter in Toronto and many other parts of North America, and a blanket seemed the perfect gift for a new baby girl at the end of February.

It was well-received by little Langley, just six days old. She made her approval known by sleeping through my visit. What beautiful girl — can you tell I’m smitten? Her parents are keeping her off the internet, though. So out of respect I won’t post her photos here.

Instead, here’s one of me, with the blanket I have affectionately named, The Langley.


So, what did you make this week? (Or this month…!)



P.s. Here are a few more snaps…

Hats of All Shapes and Sizes

HatFirstComissionThis winter has been all about hats.

An ear-flap hat as my first commission ever. Another bear earflap hat and mittens when the first one turned out to be too small for the toddler. (I was gutted!) A hat for my Secret Santa to keep her cozy as she walks her English bulldog. A hat for an old friend. Dozens of hats with massive pompoms falling off my loom like snowflakes from the clouds.

There’s no sweeter project when you’re camped in front of the TV watching White Christmas for the millionth-and-a-half time. And since I kept seeing those massive pom-poms all over town in the last couple of months, I figured this was the year for cranial snuggles.

And you know what? It’s nice to do a few projects that aren’t a labour to create, and yet still manage to be crowd-pleasers.

I’m sure a lot of you think this is cheating, but I love the knifty knitter loom. Here’s the way to create perfect hats every time.

On a 36 peg round loom:

-Six rows of alternatingHat1GreenMark *knit 2 stitches, purl two stitches*

-19-25 rows of e-wrapped knit stitches (depending on how long you want your hat and if you want it to be slouchy.)

-Begin decreasing by taking the loop of every fourth peg and putting it on the peg to the right. Knit off all these moved stitches. Then e-wrap all the remaining pegs (this would be three pegs in a row, then a space).

-Continue decreasing by taking the middle stitch of every remaining block of three stitches and moving it to the right. Knit off these stitches. E-wrap all the remaining pegs (this would be every other peg on the loom).

-I’m probably doing a poor job of explaining this. Here’s a great video on decreasing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui8hc5-uT4k

-Take your working yarn and wrap it around the whole loom. Cut it, leaving a long tail. Then use the working yarn and pull it through each stitch. Using you knitting tool take all the stitches off the pegs and pull the yarn to close the top of the hat.

-Tie it off on the inside of the hat.


So, what have you been working on this week?



Recovering from Holiday Yarn Hangover — Ready for New Projects!

Sunday morning and the wine is already open… to add to a Sunday roast in the slow cooker, of course! The Christmas décor might have to go back in its box today, but nothing can stop me from soaking in the last of the holiday before kicking off the New Year with a hiss-boom-pow on Monday.

The lead-up to the festive season was a whirlwind of… mostly just yarn. Fibrous fluffs abound! I didn’t quite meet my goal of crocheting ALL my gifts this year, but I did knock out a bunch of projects I was really proud of, including an embellished tea cozy for my mom (which I sort of made up), Martina Gardner’s Sir Knight Helmet, several of Knotted by Nicole’s Mindless Scarves in different yarn weights.

I didn’t avoid staying up until 3 a.m. on Christmas eve (boyfriend snoozing beside me) madly weaving in ends and desperately knotting ends. Zzzzzzz… That’s probably why I completely missed getting photos of a lot of my work. Lesson learned.

Learning to KnitBut for all my efforts, I got pretty lucky this Christmas. I received the Boye crochet master set (get ready, lace, I’m comin’ for you!) and plenty of yarn. My man’s grandmother also gifted me her set of Boye knitting needles now that she’s unable to stich any longer. My first effort to make use of them isn’t exactly worthy of posting, I know. But I’m keeping myself humble here.

Anyway, there’s never going to be a shortage of projects ever again!

In the annual Reddit Secret Santa gift exchange I received some Lion Brand Homespun yarn from a gifter who was concerned I might not be able to turn it into anything, so I worked that up into a scarf too to show her.

Secret Santa Yarn

Secret Santa Yarn Scarf

Now that the holidays are over, I’ve got high expectations for all the work to come this year. I’m on to baby blankets and clothes for a few newborns expected in 2015. Can’t wait to swaddle these little munchkins in something cozy. But first, I’m making myself a simple granny blanket, because It’s been ages since I made something just for me, and it’s snuggle time. I’m thinking of taking a couple of Craftsy classes to improve my skills, too.

So, what did you guys make/receive this holiday?