Vogue Knitting Winter 2015/2015

Have you seen the new issue of Vogue Knitting Magazine?
Go get it. Go get it now. 
It is amazing. 

All the patterns are just so perfect. So now I will let the photos do the talking and try to keep my squealing to myself. 















I actually told myself that I don't use my magazine stash enough to justify buying any more magazines, but maybe just this one more would be okay, right?

Right. 
--Bee

How to Beat Second Sock (Mitten) Syndrome

It is pretty well known throughout the yarn community that there is a very real struggle: finishing the second sock. I haven’t ventured into sock-making yet, but the same syndrome can be applied to gloves. 
These fingerless gloves that I finished last week, for instance. 

I really really  wanted these things to be done so I can stay warm during lectures and at work and while drinking tea and while knitting and…everywhere else.
So to fight the urge to drop the second one with disgust and hate, I have a very simple medicine for Second Sock Syndrome. 
Wear the first one while making the second one. 
Simple solution or what?
While knitting the second, you will be blissfully awaiting the day that you can show the pair off to the world and receive compliments and “ohh you make me a pair”’s and “you actually make those!”’s 
Yes, it will be a little harder to give up when you have one warm hand and one very cold hand. 

How do you get over the infamous Second Sock Syndrome?

-- Bee

Year of Handmade: In My Dreams

Year of Handmade II: In your wildest dreams, where would you like to see your craft take you.

Self-Knitting Needles

My blog takes off. Like, it is just soaring high and far past any hope I had ever had for it. It is excelling and reaching new people, I get to have great conversations with so many people around the globe. 
I decide that it is time to put my selfish knitting to an end. So, I open an online shop. I sell little things. Scarves, ornaments, hats, headbands. I make and publish my own patterns to sell. All the proceeds from my shop go to a charity that I feel strongly about (probably Siloam Mission and the Alzheimers Society of Canada).
I have now found great crafty friends with a similar dream to mine: open a yarn store/coffee place/ vintage knick knack place/ cool fabric place. We may sell a big variety, but only a little bit of each thing we are sell. Quality over quantity in our store. But don’t you get hypothetically worried, we can order anything in for you. 
This dream place is a place to get quality knitting supplies. Merino wool, baby alpaca, angora… you know, the stuff that gives you butterflies. This would be a place for conversation, with a big comfy couch and a fireplace so people can sit and knit with their coffee and muffins. 
Also, in my dream I have a pet sheep and my dog will live forever. 

The end. 
--Bee

p.s. This is not really how I want my life to turn out. Besides the pet sheep and that my dog lives forever part maybe. 


Nalu Mitts

I never really saw the point in the fingerless glove trend until last semester when I was sitting in class with a parka on and trying to type notes with just the thumbs of my mittens because, for an unknown reason, the heat didn’t work in this one particular lecture hall. (I would guess that that classroom’s share of heat was redirected to my next class, because it was about 1000 degrees in there, let me tell you)
Anyway, my blue hands have a hard time typing to the point that is required for note-taking purposes. 
Solution: Fingerless gloves. 
I can still use the keypad. My hands stay nice and toasty and pretty.


The wave pattern is so cool. Its one of those things that was so much fun to actually make and adds so much to the simple little project. I did skip the moss stitch on one side of the wave, it wasn't showing up as nicely as I had anticipated.
I used a very little bit of yarn to actually make this project, Paton’s Wool Worsted (probably left over from the Copycat Hat), and I have some left over too. 

Have you jumped on the fingerless glove bandwagon? 
--Bee



PS, loved seeing this hack on the pattern

Five Years Ago



Last week, I wrote about how I started crocheting (for Year of Handmade). This post prompted some reflection.

I clearly remember my first trip to Michaels to get some yarn for the baby blankets. 
It was tricky. I wasn’t working from a pattern; I didn’t know how to read a pattern yet. I didn’t really know how big to make a baby blanket, I didn’t know which crochet hook to use or that I would need to weave in ends… everything was so new to me. 
I walked to the empty yarn isle. 
More accurately, it was almost empty. There was 1 nice elderly lady there shopping for sock yarn. This was on a saturday, probably around 11, which now is a busy time for Michael’s stores. But there we were, this nice old lady and myself. One wise and carefully reading the yarn packaging, the other confused and overwhelmed.

I talked to this nice lady, she pointed me to the baby yarns, suggested how much to buy, and wished me luck.

Now, if I was to go to the yarn isle at Michaels on a Saturday morning, the place would be crazy. Anyone, any age. Not just one 16-year-old and one 75-year-old. 

Crochet, knit, DIY, general crafting, has taken over. It is not just a “I need to make some baby blankets” kind of craft, but a “woah, this is on sale? I better stock up” kind of craft.  It’s not strange to see someone knitting on a bus bench or in the school cafeteria (or at least thats what I tell myself). It makes me so excited the see this little craft from 5 years ago take over slowly but surely. 

How far will it go, do you think? Can it become much bigger than it is? Is this just a phase?

--Bee

Possibly the Best Hat Ever Made



If you saw my last few Instagram posts, you may have guessed that I was not in snow covered Canada for Christmas.
But, that didn’t change the fact that I was working on a few knitting projects. Admittedly, not as many as I had anticipated (I over-packed on yarn and under-packed on summer clothes), but I still got this one done. 
And I love it. 
This hat was made from a pattern from Simply Knitting magazine, and I used the beautiful baby alpaca yarn I got from Fibre Festival in summer, and topped with a giant fuzzy pom pom from Wolseley Wool.


It is perfect. Like, the softest thing ever. 
It hugs my head perfectly, it is pretty, will go with all my clothes (since all my clothes are neutral) and I learned how much I love cabling. 

So surprise, surprise, my current WIP is also a cabling project (hopefully done next week!)
This knitting thing, guys. It's so rewarding. I am having a blast because every little thing I make, I am learning and getting better and loving it so much. 


Anyway. This hat receives the reward for Last Thing Made in 2014 and Best Thing I Made in 2014. 
But this and this and this could be tied for the Best Thing 2014 reward. 

--Bee

Year of Handmade: In the Beginning

It was spring of 2010. 
I had tried (and failed) at learning to crochet. Learning a lesson that I would end up learning several times in my future: I learn best when I challenge myself.  But crocheting just to crochet didn’t stick. I didn’t want it enough to push myself.

That spring, the announcement of “Your aunt is pregnant…” made crocheting seen useful, exciting, challenging. I would make this long awaited baby a blanket.

But this plan quickly hit a snag when the announcement sentence was finished with “with twins”. 

That was a busy year for me already. I had an exchange student living at my house with me, I needed to prepare for 3 months in Europe, I needed to keep my grades up so I could go.
"But December is still a long ways away", I told myself, "I  can make 2 blankets before they are born”.
And so I managed to learn how to single crochet and chain, and worked on the baby blankets slowly but surely.


Fast forward to early November of 2010. I had 1 baby blanket done and the second half done. Then I came home from church one morning to a message on the answering machine.
They were born. A month early. 
I raced downstairs and picked up my hook and crocheted on. If I was going to eat, it was “after this row is done”, if I was going to do my laundry, it was “after I finish this colour off” and if I was going to go to school, I would wake up an hour early and come home for lunches to get some more crocheting done. 
Two days later, when I was finally able to see those little bundles, I brought 2 completed blankets to the hospital. 
The sides of the blankets were not straight, the colour changes were not great, they were not perfect or even close to a standard I would hold myself to today. (Unfortunately, I cannot find the pictures I took of the blankets right now. But trust me when I say that they were not great)

But they were done. They would keep those little sunshines warm. 
And I found a new hobby. Which later lead me to starting this blog, and much later lead me to knitting.

Now, you have all watched me go from completely afraid at the idea of knitting to can’t put my needles down to sweater making (still not finished) to just loving my knitting adventure. Me starting to knit happened because of the much wider availability of knitting patterns than crochet patterns. And, let’s be honest, I was jealous of all you knitters. For good reason, knitting is one of the best things ever. 

This post is part of a Year long project I am working on called Year of Handmade. Its a link-up for which I have provided 24 craft blog post prompts. I have loved getting the the feedback about it so far, and I can't wait to read everyone's posts! Tell your friends! Let's make this a party! If you do join in the fun, there is a click the "Add Your Link" button at the bottom of the page and add the button below (or the one on the introduction post to YOH) to your sidebar. Spread the word and use the hashtag #yearofhandmade.

grab button for rebecca bee designs
<div class="rebecca-bee-designs-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.rebeccabeedesigns.com/2015/01/year-of-handmade-craft-blog-prompts.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="http://i934.photobucket.com/albums/ad184/rebeccaepp/blog%20pics/IMG_7018_zps9f74a73f.png" alt="rebecca bee designs" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>

Darn Good Yarn

I love to buy secondhand. I go to thrift stores when I am bored. I love buying Fair Trade. It always makes me feel good about my purchase, knowing that good things are happening even if I had the tiniest bit to do about it. Its not just a purchase, its an investment. Big things happen a little bit at a time. 

Darn Good Yarn is a super cool company that makes me feel good about my purchase.  They recognized a problem: Families surviving on less that $2 a day in India, families with amazingly talented and beautiful mothers caring for them, families in need of income. My favourite line on their All About Us page is "all of our yarns are, essentially, mirrors of the amazing women who create them.” They hire women in need of money and pay them so they can not only so they can survive, but also to thrive. 

Darn Good Yarn uses such creative resources to produce their yarn. They recycle high-quality silk form Saris. They use fair trade and sustainable fibres like Banana Fibre (who knew you could make yarn out of bananas?). They are fixing big problems in small ways. 
I love this. 

I am so impressed with this company. I love that they are doing so much good little by little. 
I am going to find a great one skein project and order some of my own. And soon. Because they make me excited and happy. 

--Bee

These are affiliate links, but opinions are all my own.

Year of Handmade: Craft Blog Prompts

Welcome 2015! 


I thought this year it would be fun if we could join together and work on something all together. 
There are oodles of link-ups out there in blogland, but I had a hard time finding any crafting- themed linkups. So I thought maybe this would be a good way of joining together and making 2015 the year of hand made. 

So I have here a list of 24 blog post prompts. They can be used for any craft, sewing, embroidery, knitting, crochet, baking, cooking, music... Anything you could possibly be passionate about or creative with. 
So write a post, click that "add your link" button below and others will be able to find similar blog posts. 
I will try to do at least 2 a month, as this linkup will be up for a year.

Year of Handmade Prompts

1. In the beginning: how did you get into the craft? 
2. In your wildest dreams, where would you love to see you hobby/skill/craft take you?
3. Favourite craft products that you often use. 
4. Dream craft products to use 
5. Favourite thing you have ever made 
6. Blogs that inspire you 
7. Your bad craft habits
8. Crafting in public stories 
9. Least favourite thing ever made 
10. A Crafting Horror Story
11. Something you wish you could make
12. A craft you would like to get into 
14. Someone you admire 
15. Something you wish you were better at 
16. Crafting pet peeves 
17. Something that limits your crafting time. 
18. How you get over lack of inspiration 
19. How you get over lack of motivation 
20. How many work in progress projects you have going at this moment.
22. Are you a multitasker? What do you do while you work on a project? 
23. What has the craft done for you?
24. Best handmade gifts you have ever received or given. 

Here’s the deal:
--Click the "Add Your Link" button at the bottom of this post to add link up your blog. 
--Add this 250x250pixel button to your sidebar and in your post so others can find out how to join in on the fun. (I will have more buttons available soon with each of my #yearofhandmade posts if you prefer a different design.)

grab button for Rebecca Bee Designs
<div class="rebecca-bee-designs-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.rebeccabeedesigns.com/2015/01/year-of-handmade-craft-blog-prompts.html" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://i934.photobucket.com/albums/ad184/rebeccaepp/ButtonYOH1_zpsdf5be2f1.jpg" alt="Rebecca Bee Designs" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>

--This is going to be a year long thing. There are enough prompts for 2 blog posts each month.  
You can do any one in any order at any time. You don't need to use every prompt. You can use one prompt more than once. But always link-up and spread the word on social media (#yearofhandmade) so more people know about it, and we can make this the Year of Handmade!

I'm excited to see where this will go! 

Happy blogging! 

--Bee

   

    An InLinkz Link-up