Star Anise Hat, and the First Nice Day!!

Today was gorgeous. A perfect day for a Queen West march and photos of my latest FO – the Star Anise hat by Alice Twain. A completely selfish, instant gratification knit, I whipped this one out in 2 days. I love the way she designed it, and while I didn’t bother with the tubular cast on, and I worked with 3.25mm needles throughout, I can say that the pattern was perfect with no other mods and I love the fit! Ravelry project page here.


The best way to block a hat!


I love that you can see Tito taking the picture in the restaurant window.


It’s all melting… and while I know we will see snow again before Easter, I still love it.


Ye Olde Day Job

… is occupying my every waking moment. Definitely heading into a crunch time, and it’s hard to find time to craft. In honour of huge workloads, I’ve ordered new business cards for my own company, The Blue Brick :) They just arrived!


Tutorial – The Colour Shifting Scarf


This winter has been super cold, grey and monochromatic. So when Tanis Fiber Arts came out with mini-sock yarn skeins I was inspired to weave a colourful rainbow scarf, to give myself a cheerful pop of colour on these grey days. Changing colours as often as I did can be a bit fiddly, but oh-my the results are worth it, this is the perfect grey day scarf!


In Newfoundland they say ‘There is no such thing as bad weather. There is only inappropriate clothing’. Well, it’s -40 out there today, that strange, cold place where celsius and fahrenheit say the same thing. I think that the spirit as well as the body needs to be armed against weather like this, and this scarf is the answer. tutorial-blank

You will need:

  • 2 packs of Tanis Fiber Arts Mini Sock Yarn Skeins
  • Optional: approximately 120 yards in a neutral colour (I’m using Koigu KPM, colour 2360)
  • A rigid heddle loom (I am using the Ashford 24” knitters loom)
  • A 12-dent heddle (Better for sock weight, but work with what you’ve got)
  • A boat shuttle with extra bobbins*
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

*Most looms come with stick shuttles, but because you’ll be changing colours frequently, a boat shuttle with enough extra bobbins to give you one bobbin per colour is much easier. Also, a boat shuttle gives you a smoother pass through the shed, and because the bobbin spins freely it doesn’t do that awful snag thing when you’ve passed your stick shuttle though without a long enough length of yarn. If you enjoy weaving, it’s a worthwhile investment.


I made another one of these later on, and I made a few tweaks that really improved the design. I used a 10-dent heddle instead of 12 which greatly improved the drape and allowed me to warp to 80”, which meant that after I cut off the loom waste Tanis was left with a more generous sized scarf at 65” long and about 15” wide. Because I had fewer dents to work with, I warped 6 threads of each colour instead of 7, and when weaving I wove 12 picks of each colour instead of 14. She loved it :)

Click here for the hemstitching tutorial I wrote while weaving this scarf.


1. Open up the packs of yarn. Enjoy how ridiculously happy it makes you.


2. Wind up the yarn into little balls and work out the order that you’d like your colours to appear in the warp. I went for something close to a natural spectrum. You will use one ball of each colour for your warp, and one ball of each colour for the weft, so keep the 2 sets separated.


3. Do some math. You can change this to suite your preferences, but mine looked like this:

  • Intended scarf length: 60 inches
  • Intended scarf width: 15 inches
  • Estimated loom waste: 18 inches
  • Total warp length: 78”

Because a warp is under tension, pieces often seem shorter than you’re expecting when they get cut off. To account for this, I gave myself a buffer of 7”, increasing my total distance between the back apron rod of the loom and the warping peg to 85”.

Each mini skein is approximately 34 yards. With an 85” warp, this should let you fill about 7 slots of the heddle with each colour (remember, that means 14 warp ends per colour).

4. I chose to frame my scarf with a neutral colour, which has the added benefit of making it wider. This is optional, but if you choose to do the same thing then begin warping your loom with the neutral colour. I warped 8 threads of the neutral, and then proceeded to the first colour in my rainbow. Work your way across the loom, warping the colours in the order you set out in step 2, filling 7 slots with each colour.


5. Now grab the other set of yarn cakes. Pre-wind your bobbins, one with each colour.


6. Begin weaving. After you weave the leader, weave a few picks with the neutral colour and leave a tail at least 4 times the width of your piece. (You will use this to hemstitch the piece after weaving a few inches. This is my favourite hemstitching tutorial).  Starting with the first colour in your rainbow, weave 14 picks. Using the visual guide below, change to the next colour, staying in the order you set out in step 2.


Tip: Changing colours:changing-colours

7. When you get to your last colour, simply start again with the first colour. Continue weaving to the end of your warp. End by weaving a few picks of the neutral colour and hemstitching. On my scarf, this meant 3 full repeats of my 12-colour rainbow, and a little less than half of a 4th repeat before I ran out of warp.


8. Cut the scarf off your loom, wet-block, trim your fringe and buffer both body and soul against Old Man Winter!

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Petty Harbour Socks

I cast these babies on over the labour day weekend, for a drive to NYC. I managed to get through turning the heel before the end of the trip, and there the project sat for weeks on end.


I finally picked them up again about a month ago, and raced through the end of the first sock. The second sock got onto the needles right away, and (A Christmas Miracle!) were finished and blocked by Christmas eve, ready for me to give to my mama.


Designed by my dear friend Rayna, Petty Harbour is a gorgeous, free, easy sock pattern. Did I say free? I definitely recommend checking it out! It’s my first sock with an actual leg attached to it (I’ve only ever achieved ankle socks) so I feel pretty proud of my bad self.

Pattern: Petty Harbour by First Light Handcrafts

Yarn: Georgian Bay Fibre Co., Kilcoursie Fingering, Colour: Tobermory Shoreline

Beautiful little goodies

I just wanted to quickly share 2 things today, that I don’t have proper photography of, but that I’m too excited about to keep to myself!


This is my new circular needle holder. Tito made it for me out of polymer clay, and took pains to make it look like carved stone. I think he’s done a very convincing job of creating a middle earth needle holder straight out of Rivendell :) I’m so lucky to have someone that not only supports my crafts, but makes cool things to go with them, and is just as crafty!


And these were made late last night. That’s polymer clay with gold leafing on top, metal findings and a beautiful, glossy coat of resin on top. I can’t wait til these are fully cured! I am into production mode now for the one actual art show we do in the summer. It’s months away yet, but I want to use the winter to stock up :)

Resin Jewelry Black Friday Sale

I’ve received a few emails asking if I would consider putting the Resin Jewelry book on sale for Black Friday, here are the details!

From 8:30am EST until 10:30 EST tomorrow, the e-book will be $15 ($10 off the regular price). If you prefer a printed book, it will be on sale for $28.95 ($6 off the regular price). Read on for purchase links and more information on the book, including project photos and a table of contents :)




Create stunning jewelry and keepsakes from leaves, paper, fabric, or virtually any other material you can imagine. Jeweler’s grade resin is a fun, versatile compound that cures to a clear and durable finish, offering an ideal medium for preserving everything from photos to flowers.

Resin Jewelry ©Shireen Nadir 2014

Featuring step-by-step photography, and detailed written directions, Resin Jewelry, 2nd Edition is a comprehensive guide to working with resin to create one-of-a-kind pieces you will want to keep forever, or share as unique and personal gifts. This edition expands on the knowledge of the original book with these exciting additions:

• The use of pigments to create a number of new effects, including enamel and faux opal
• How to pour, sand, and finish a resin bangle
• How to use a vacuum chamber for perfect, bubble-free castings

Resin Jewelry ©Shireen Nadir 2014

Through 16 progressively challenging do-it-yourself projects, you will quickly build skill and confidence while creating beautiful pieces of jewelry. A further 18 pieces are explained using the skills you learn along the way, providing additional opportunities to practice and refine your technique.

Resin Jewelry ©Shireen Nadir 2014

Each page is filled with beautiful photography to excite your imagination and inspire you to take your skills to the next level. Troubleshooting, tips, and tricks are included to help you get the best results.

Resin Jewelry ©Shireen Nadir 2014

Whatever it is you want to create, no matter the material you want to encapsulate, this book is an invaluable companion to anyone who wants to make beautiful resin pieces that will last a lifetime.

Resin Jewelry ©Shireen Nadir 2014

Here are some of the other great things artists have had to say about Resin Jewelry

“I must say that I am blown away at the detail you go into for understanding the processes and the beautifully colorful step by step instructions for how to attain an amazing finished result. You answer my immediate questions within the first five pages and then “wow” me with the projects and finesse my mind around all of those mysterious nuances that left me in the dark before looking at your book. This is more than a book; it is a work of art. Two thumbs up. Thank you very much!!

“Your book is one of the best tutorials I’ve ever seen, so I can’t express enough how happy I am to see there’s a second edition coming. More breathtaking pictures and more mind blowing tips, hurray!”

“The only book on resin I have seen that covers how to prepare organic material for incorporating into resin jewellery. A great resource.”

“I love the pics you have posted and am so eager to see this 2nd edition! I am waiting eagerly – knowing there are some really good things to come!! It’s like Christmas in September!!”

“Thank you so much for such a wonderful book, I absolutely love it!!!!”

Resin Jewelry

Table of Contents:

  • 4 Intro
  • 5 Where to get supplies
  • 6 Preserving materials
  • 7 Preserving materials – Leaves
  • 8-12 Preserving materials – Flowers
  • 13 Preserving materials – Paper and photographs
  • 13 Preserving materials – Other organic material
  • 14 Preparing your materials
  • 15 Working with resin-Mixing
  • 16-17 Working with resin-Using a Vacuum Chamber
  • 18-19 Working with resin-Pouring and Doming
  • 20-21 Attaching a Bail
  • 22 Projects:
  • 22-23 Project 1: Getting your feet wet – Basic Resin Pendant
  • 24-25 Project 2: Working with resin molds – Ice Cube Pendant
  • 26-27 Project 3: Using a sealant to preserve elements – Washi Earrings
  • 28-29 Project 4: Using Fabric in Resin – The Lingerie Bangle
  • 30-31 Project 5: Using Printed Transparencies – The Filigree Bangle
  • 32-33 Project 6: Layering Elements in the Resin – I ♥Autumn Ring
  • 34-37 Project 7: Working with open backed bezels – Transparent Pendant
  • 38-39 Project 8: Using a Spherical Mold – The Jungle Pendant
  • 40-43 Project 9: Using Silicon Texture Molds – The Wrought-Iron Pendant
  • 44-45 Project 10: Using Pigments 1 – The Faux Enamel Bracelet
  • 46-49 Project 11: Using Pigments 2 – The Faux Opal Pendant
  • 50-51 Project 12: Using Pigments 3 – The Cherry Blossom Pendant
  • 52-53 Project 13: Using Pigments 4 – White Resin Lace Pendant
  • 54-55 Project 14: Using Pigments 5 – the ‘Stash Buster’ Pendant
  • 56 Bonus Project: The Queen Anne’s Lace Spherical Pendant
  • 57 Bonus Project: Preserving an Entire Dandelion Head
  • 58-65 Inspiration gallery and mini project pages
  • 66-67 Troubleshooting tips

Our Lady of Lourdes, Flatrock Newfoundland

From wikipedia:

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto is a religious shrine located outside of the parish church in Flatrock, founded in 1954 by Fr. William Sullivan after his return to the parish from Lourdes, France. Fr. Sullivan saw many similarities in the terrain in Lourdes to that of his church in Flatrock, and saw that it would be a great opportunity to take advantage of this land. It is to date the largest religious grotto east of Montreal and has been visited by Pope John Paul II on September 12, 1984 where it received a special blessing from His Holiness.

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