Free Pattern of the week: Happy Pride Week Halifax!

Halifax's 20th Pride Week came to a close today, so I thought that I'd make Pride the theme for the free pattern this week (late, as per usual). I was able to go to the parade this year and the weather was fantastic. Despite Environment Canada's threats of rain, it was sunny and hot and made the parade that much better. Aside from a gap mid-parade, it was long (lots of floats) and fun to watch. I capped the day off with a stop at a friend's pride party, which led to me mixing drinks like I was 18 (this morning, I remembered why I stopped drinking rye. Why I stopped drinking most dark booze).

In my search for pride week related patterns, I came across the entry on Liz Collins' Knitting Nation 4:

Knitting Nation 4: Pride Flag

Impressive, non? Knitting Nation is an "ongoing, collaborative performance and site-specific installation project" created by Collins, who is an artist and a professor at RISD.

As impressive as it is, it's a bit much for your average knitter. We can leave that to the professionals. Instead, I offer you something a little more manageable:

Knit your mind Felted Bag

The "Knit Your Mind Felted Bag" is designed by Donna Druchunas for her Subversive Knitting site. The site is dedicated to charity and activist knitting. So, while not on as grand a scale as the activist knitting seen at Knitting Nation 4, it is activist and a reason to knit yourself a new bag. Druchunas features knitting charts for a number of themes, including a pride flag.

And with that, I wish a Happy Pride to all, and to all a good night.


Posted byHello Pineapples! on Monday, July 28, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

A work in progress: half way there!

I had posted before about a quilt I was working on for a friend's baby. The quilt is made up of squares that were signed by friends and family who were at the baby shower. The baby in question is now three months old and no longer lives in my building, but from what I've seen in photos, she's damn cute. Anyway, a very exciting thing happened tonight:


I finished embroidering the squares! Now the back needs to go on and there is quilting to be done, but I'm very pleased with how it's turning out. I will post better pictures once I have better light to take photos, but I was too excited to just fold it up and wait to take the picture.

Even one of the cats was psyched about it and checked out my handiwork:


Although, it could be that she just likes to climb under things, especially blankets.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Friday, July 25, 2008 1 comments Links to this post  

Retail Therapy: Pineapples at Love, Me

I've been hanging out at Love, Me Boutique lately, picking up some working hours here and there. I really love the store. It's the sort of place where I'd work for free if I won the lottery. My last bunch of monkeys sold out (hooray!) and I've been trying to keep on top of the monkey supply and demand chain.

About two weeks ago, I was excited to see that some had sold, but then realized that sadly I forgot to take a picture. It was made out of some fantastic bright coloured socks (pinks and oranges) that I really loved. I am horrible at taking pictures of my work. I finish something, declare it done and walk away.

The same thing almost happened for a few other monkeys that are/were available, but I've been snapping pics as I shut down the store (hooray for camera phone):


I fell in love with the socks that made the monkey on the left. I found them while visiting my parents and knew that those socks would make a pretty spiffy monkey. The monkey on the right is made of what I like to call "pre-loved socks". That means I (or someone I know) used to wear the socks and they've been washed within an inch of their life (and any holes are conveniently covered).

Anyway, here are some other shots (apologies for any poor quality photos - low light + camera phone = kind of crappy photo):

Monkeys and Clem at Love, Me

Along with the two monkeys is Clem, the Sock Experiment. He's been "adopted" and is off to make new friends in his new home. Also in this photo: fable quilt (hanging up), dujoo onesies, uptown tub soap, cabin and cub wooden kids' bank, bobs and lolo DVD.

Here's a monkey I had a lot of fun making:

bad ass monkey @ love, me boutique

He is embellished with some fun times bedazzling studs. He also has pearly button eyes. I feel this gives him a bit of White Stripes-ishness. I think his studded cuffs and earring make him a bit of a bad-ass.

bad ass monkey @ love, me boutique

And finally, a pink monkey that was a pain in the ass to make. It's the sock that I melted:

pink monkey @ love, me boutique

The monkey did recover from the melted legs, but the result was substantially shorter legs than planned. But then, I like to think that their imperfections is what gives them character.

So that's it for now. If you're in Halifax, be sure to stop by the store. It really is lovely and full of awesome things that are all handmade by awesome artists and artisans.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Thursday, July 24, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

Wednesday win stuff: Pimp Stitch

The gals over at Pimp Stitch are giving away one of their super nifty looking kits that were made for Renegade Craft Fair. While I'd like to keep this news to myself in the hopes of keeping the odds in my favour, that'd be a little too mean...even for me. So go comment and have a happy Wednesday!


Posted byHello Pineapples! on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

Lessons in Knitting: or Why Gauge is Important

Way back in March, I posted a free pattern for a french press cozy. The finished product is meant to look like this:

frenchpress cozy - design*sponge

The pattern looked easy enough, so I set about knitting one for the french press that the Mister was keeping in his office at school. I don't usually make coffee with the french press, so I hadn't bothered to see how the cozy worked until this morning.

french press cozy gone wrong


french press cozy gone wrong

I quickly threw the buttons on this morning, so they're looking mismatched and haphazard, but they are the least of my worries.

french press cozy gone wrong

Oh Elizabeth Zimmerman! How right you were. The chapter on gauge is required reading (I still haven't read it). I've never been one for gauge, but it's a math thing. I honestly believe I have dyscalculia (math dyslexia), so anything that involves math is not my friend. This is probably why my first (and only) sweater was a bit of a disaster (it was HUGE!).

Although, to be fair, the french press was in the office at school and I wasn't able to check my knitting against it. I might actually be right on gauge, but that doesn't help if his french press is smaller than the model used for the original pattern.

Ah well. I'll just have to frog it a bit.


Posted byHello Pineapples! on Monday, July 14, 2008 1 comments Links to this post  

Free Pattern Friday: Water water everywhere

I've been having some water bottle issues lately. Part of me feels as though it would be a complete faux pas to show up with a nalgene bottle. I feel like everyone who has already switched a aluminum (or whatever) would be judging me and my possibly carcinogenic water bottle. Bottled water from the store is even worse: it's just headed to the landfill (or maybe the recycling depot, depending on the bottle and whether or not my recycling bag i has been torn open in search of pop cans).

So what's a girl to do? Apparently aluminum drinking bottles are all the rage these days, but I can't justify the expense with my meager income. What I can do is get crafty and share it here on the ol' blog. And until I do get the better drinking receptacle, I will just have to make myself one of these cutees:

MrFunky water bottle holder

The "On-the-go water bottle holder" from Mr. Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful. I was really impressed to see that it was a featured free pattern from Mr. Funky and My Craftivity. Kudos to them for the free pattern! There are other free patterns available as well, if crochet water bottle holders with faces aren't your bag (no pun intended!). I signed up for an account over at My Craftivity awhile back, but haven't really done much with it. I think I should start looking around to see what it's about. It could offer even more free patterns and I've been missing out.

That's it for me today. I'm falling asleep as I type this up (went for a swim this evening at 'Tea Bag' Lake and I'm totally wiped out...even bailed on going out for a drink with a friend). Apologies if there are any glaring grammar/spelling issues. I'll check back in for that tomorrow, when my contacts aren't feeling like they may fall out of my eyes.

Happy Weekend!

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Friday, July 11, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

Free Pattern search: Hooray for Canada Day!

Actually, as much as I dig my country, I'm not a huge fan of Canada Day. That sounds worse than it should. As Sloan sings in Coax Me, "it's not the band I hate, it's their fans" (a quote that the mister and I often apply to just about every imaginable situation). Canada Day would be much better if it involved less face painting, bad t-shirts, and novelty hats. Out for ice cream with J.Lau and Mr. Pineapples today, we saw an entire family dressed in red and white, complete with face paint; a couple wearing matching Canada t-shirts: hers in white, his in red; a mom and her son in Canada day t-shirts that were recently sold at the grocery store. I'm all for loving one's country, but I wish it was possible to do it with a wee bit more style.

Having said this, I thought I would attempt to celebrate the day with a free pattern (seeing as I missed the most recent Free Pattern Friday due to a new job, sale at Mexx, a board meeting, and playing Wii with J.Lau). The plan was to offer up a pattern that was something Canadian. This vague plan was easier said than done. A google search for "Canada Day crafts" or "Canada crafts" led me to crafts for children that involved items such as poster paint, streamers, and paper plates. Not that there isn't a place for such a craft, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for.

canada day streamer

Truth be told, I really didn't know what I was looking for. So I tried looking for patterns/crafts by Canadian crafty types. This led me to crafts for kids by Arounna of Bookhou. I liked these because while they really are meant to be kid friendly, they're things I want to try doing and they are way more interesting than painting a paper plate. It also led me to the website of one of Canada's favourite knitters, the Yarn Harlot, which does have some free knitting patterns. But still...not quite what I wanted.

I then tried looking for something that involved one thing that embodies Canada for me: the CBC. Despite some of it's flaws (usually on the TV side or involving Jian Ghomeshi), I adore the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Every radio in my apartment is tuned to the CBC. Since there is a Ravelry group for CBC fans, I figured I might find some CBC themed patterns. Alas! This too proves to be easier said than done (If you can prove me wrong and are aware of CBC craft patterns, please let me know). So I'm going to improvise:

From those dark days of the CBC lockout comes a pattern that was knit into headbands:


I think that could easily altered in order to have a CBC logo embroidered/knitted into your project: just take off the part that makes it look like a lock and you're good to go.

Or, you could get really fancy and check out knitPro from microRevolt. All you need to do is upload a picture like this awesome retro CBC logo:


and knitPro will spit out a PDF pattern for your embroidery or knitting. Très awesome, non?

And finally, I'll finish this post off by sharing a link to the CBC's web archive on "Handmade in Canada: the Art of Craft," which features 13 television pieces on craft in Canada. I link to this because it is how I found a radio interview by Peter Gzowski from 1983, where he learns to knit over the radio (he's in Toronto, she's in Halifax!). While he doesn't actually learn to knit, it's well worth the listen.

Well, now it's July 2 and no longer Canada Day, but I do hope you were able to enjoy the holiday (if you're Canadian, otherwise I guess it was just another Tuesday for you). I know I did - it was sunny and hot and we spent the afternoon with ice cream on the waterfront, sangria and wine on a patio on Argyle Street and fireworks on Citadel Hill (sort of. there were buildings between us and the fireworks) - and that's why I'm posting now rather than yesterday.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Wednesday, July 02, 2008 0 comments Links to this post