Upcoming Show!

Just a quick update on how things are doing in the world of Chipkey Creations.  

I put an update on the Chipkey Creations Facebook page (link here) but not here.  A selection of crocheted catci are now available at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa.   It's a great gallery and community space. I'm very excited to be in their gift shop with a bunch of other cool artists from Durham region. You can check out the gallery's site here.

I have also been pretty busy applying to some shows for August and September.  I am still waiting to hear back for some.  I've heard back from one and I am excited to announce I will be a vendor at Uxbridge Art in the Park on the weekend of August 19-20th 2017!  I've been to this event a few times as a guest and it's a really good show and I'm over the moon about being a vendor this year. 

You can get more details about the Uxbridge Art in the Park by checking out the events tab or go on the web site (the event is way nicer than the website leads you to believe, trust me). I hope to see you there.

I will keep you posted on other events that I will be attending them.  I have a lot of prepping to do to build up stock for these events. Would a blog-post series on how I'm getting myself organized be interesting?  Let me know. 

If you want to stay up to date on everything, you can following me on Facebook or Instagram.  As well you can sign up to get e-mail (It won't fill up your inbox I swear) to get updates.

All the best, 

Zoe, Head Boss Person of Chipkey Creations

Canada 150 Inspired Embroidery - Free Pattern

 
Hudson bay Canada 150 Embroidery free
 

I exhibited at my first fair of the year a few weeks ago.  It went really well, but after it was done and everything was put away I needed a project that wasn’t fair related to acts as a creative reset before I got back into the swing of things.

 
Canada 150 Hudson Bay embroidery
 

I decided that an embroidery project would work really well to do this.  I follow some embroiderers on Instagram and every time I see them stitch I am reminded that it’s something I can do.  Not as well as them, obviously, but it really got my creative juices flowing.

 
Canada 150 Embroidery close up
 

 

I thought about what I wanted to stitch.  A cactus crossed my mind, but it reminded me too much of the crochet cacti that I’ve been working on recently.  I enjoy working on them but I wanted to shake things up.  I decided on the Canada 150 logo.

Canada 150 Logo

 

It’s Canada sesquicentennial anniversary, and the logo they designed to celebrate was fully embraced by us Canadians.  It’s on everything and it’s everywhere I go when I leave the house.  It’s a pretty, simple design that I really enjoy the look of.

Since I was going Canadian themed, I double down and made the logo in the Hudson’s Bay colours.  Hudson’s Bay is Canada’s oldest company and they have this super iconic colour pattern.  It’s stripes of blue, red, green and yellow broken up by an off white.

Image from WIkipidea: link

Image from WIkipidea: link

To make the embroidery, I printed a picture of the logo and traced it out with a pencil on a piece of white fleece fabric I had in my fabric collection. I made this step way harder for myself than it should have been.  

I should have waited for some sunlight and used a window to trace everything.  Instead, I just squinted really hard and tried to trace it.  Not the smartest thing I could have done.  I do not recommend it but it was dark out and I really wanted to start the project.  

Since then, I've made a diagram, I’ll be able to use transfer paper to create more embroidery patterns of the logo, should I decide to make this pattern again.  

Canada 150 Hudson Day Free Embroidery Pattern

I eventually figured it out and got a outline on my fabric and picked out the threads I wanted to use. Most of the colours, I had on hand from previous projects but I did have to buy a blue.  They were all DNC brand threads. I lost the bit that had the colour name on it, so I’m not exactly sure which ones I used.

I cut my thread to be about a foot long.  I find anything over that and I am prone to getting a lot of knots.  I split my thread in half.  Embroidery thread has 6 strands. I used three of these strands to get the stitch thickness I needed.  I did the backstitch method of embroidery, doing my best to keep my stitches and tension as even as possible.  Something that I’ve struggled with in a lot of my past projects.

 
A look at the back, and faint traces of me tryining to draw 

A look at the back, and faint traces of me tryining to draw 

 

It was a really quick and easy project. I found that the stitching was pretty quick to do and I got into a decent rhythm.  It was really calming to work on and it was a perfect break from some of the other projects I’ve got going at the moment.

In some spots I’m not as straight as I hoped. However, I think it gives it more charm...at least that’s what I keep telling  myself.  I don’t really embroider often but I wanted to share this project. I think it came out really well and it shows my Canadian pride.  You are welcomed to download the template and make your own piece.   If you do, tag me (@ChipkeyCreations across the web) so that I can see your project.

 
Free embroidery Canada 150 Hudson Bay
 

 

 

Tutorial - Simple Pillow Cover

 
Tutorial pillow cover sewing
 

A while back, two of my friends moved into their own apartment. They decided to decorate the living room with greys and light blues. They bought a new couch and asked me if I could make pillowcases for the pillows they wanted to throw onto it. They were thinking of buying some cases, but they are crazy expensive. There is an unproportionally high cost for the amount of fabric you’re getting. When we were shopping together there was a small case (no pillow) on sale for $40! It wasn’t even cute looking, I don’t understand. They ended up picking some fabric out and I made them the cases that are featured in this tutorial. Since then, I've made a bunch more pillows, either for them or for myself. The pillows are super fun to make and a great beginner project. The cases don’t come off the pillows so there is no need to worry about zippers. The only thing you may need to worry about is what type of pillow you buy and if it is machine washable.

 
Tutorial - Pillow Sewing
 
 

Things you need:

  • A metre of fabric of your choice. In this tutorial I am using a 100% cotton fabric that was purchased from Fabricland

  • A pillow, for this project I’m using the Inner, 50 cm x 50 cm (20” x 20”) pillows from Ikea

  • Newspaper or scrap paper for a template

  • A sewing machine

  • A needle and thread

  • Pins

 
The Fabric I am using

The Fabric I am using

Inner Pillow from Ikea

Inner Pillow from Ikea

 
 

Steps:

1) Wash, dry and iron your fabric. I’m sure you are very excited to start your project, but before you can start cutting you need to wash your fabric. This will rinse out the extra dye the may still be in the fabric (you 100% have wash it separately if it’s a really strong colour like red or blue.  For other types of fabric I wouldn’t recommend it but probably won’t be the end of the world if you did).

Your fabric might shrink due to the heat, so it's better if it shrinks now instead of when your project is finished. You'll want to iron it so that the fabric is a flat as possible, which will help ensure you have straight lines when you’re sewing.

2) Use the newspaper to make a template of the pillow; mine was just a square. If your pillow is a rectangle make your template to match the shape. I added a centimetre (1/2") of seam allowance on to each side and cut the newspaper down to the size I needed. My pillow was 50 cm by 50 cm so I made my template 52 cm by 52 cm by adding two centimetres on each edge.  

 
52 cm by 52 cm square on my fabric before I cut it out. 

52 cm by 52 cm square on my fabric before I cut it out. 

 

3) Place your fabric on a clean surface and fold it in half. Place your template on the fabric and pin into place, and cut. I am making two pillows with this piece and I ended up with four pieces of fabric.

Two pillows in the making

Two pillows in the making

 

4) Place two pieces together, rights facing each other. If your fabric is patterned, ensure the patterns are going in the same directions. Pin the pieces together and leave a space on one side that will be big enough to put your pillow into.

5)  With scrap fabric do some test stitches to make sure the stitches are tensioned properly for the fabric you’re using. This means that the thread on both sides of your work is even and isn't pulling.

After you’ve done this sew around your pillow.  Make sure you don’t sew the whole thing closed.  

You want to make sure your stitches are being made at a centimetre from the edge, anymore and your case will be smaller than you want.

The pink line is where you want to sew around

The pink line is where you want to sew around

 

6) After you’re done sewing, cut the extra fabric off the corners of the case, this will make for sharper corners to your work. Make sure you don’t cut the stitches themselves.

tutorial sewing pillow corner

 

7) Put as much of your hand in the hole you created and pull the fabric through the hole to turn the pillow inside out. After that, use a pencil to push the fabric in the corners more to make them really pointy.

Mid turning it inside out 

Mid turning it inside out 

8) Optional: You can iron the case to make sure the fabric looks really good and to help set the stitches.

 
Nice sharp corner

Nice sharp corner

 
 

9) Put the pillow into the case. With the first pillow, I took it out of the plastic and then spent an hour trying to stuff the pillow into the case because I made the hole too small. With the second pillow, I measured the circumference of the pillow in its packaging and made sure that the hole I left would be bigger. Then I cut the top of the pillow packaging and put the whole thing in the hole and held the pillow in place as I pulled the plastic off. The pillow then just unfolded itself into the case. This took less than 30 seconds.   

The first pillow, mid stuffing

 
This was hard and took to long

This was hard and took to long

 

 

 

Second pillow, which was faster

 
Insert Pillow, remove plastic and BAM a pretty pillow.

Insert Pillow, remove plastic and BAM a pretty pillow.

 

 

10) Make a blind stitch to close up the hole.

tutorial sewing pillow case bind stitch

• Take your needle and thread and double your thread and tie a knot. Make sure your thread is long enough to close up your hole, but if it’s too long there is more of a chance that the thread will knot as you’re working. It's a fine balance.

• Pin your hole closed so that you do not have fabric moving around on you.

• From the inside of the fold, poke your needle and pull the thread through. Poke it back through a few millimeters on the inside fold of the opposite piece of fabric and pull through.

• You will be sewing the fabric on the inside of the fold of the hole to bring the two pieces of fabric together while trying to hide the thread.

Knot in between both layers

Knot in between both layers

Poke needle in the fold of your opening 

Poke needle in the fold of your opening 

 

When your can't tell where the blind stitch is.

Pretty Blind Stitch 

Pretty Blind Stitch 

 

11)  Fluff up the pillow! I was told that if you leave the pillows in the sun they will fluff up on their own. I tried it, but I can't prove the pillows fluffed up because of the sun or because of the air and not being in a vacuum sealed bag.

When I was done, I delivered the pillows to my friends house and was trying to take photos of the finished product, but my friend kept photobombing them. So I am including some of the photos I have of her and the pillows.  

tutorial sewing pillow finished product

 

Here are some of the other pillows I've made.

A pillow I made for myself out of old fabric samples from a furniture store 

A pillow I made for myself out of old fabric samples from a furniture store 

Pillow out a quilt I made for the Canada 150

Pillow out a quilt I made for the Canada 150

Haul: Makeology April 2017

 
HaulMakeologycraftfair
 

During the Easter long weekend, my family and I took a road trip to Hamilton, Ontario to check out the Makeology Spring Fair.  I had found out about Makeology through Instagram and was interested in checking out the fair since it seemed really cool and hip.  I had been featured on the Makeology Online Market (Link here) back in March for one of my Crochet Cactus (Shameless plug here) and thought it would be fun to see the show live. 

The fair was very busy and fun to attend.  The whole famjam wound up buying stuff. I went over my budget by a few dollars and wanted to share the purchases that we made. Not all of them were mine. My parents let me borrow their purchases to take pictures before they started using their purchases. 

 

Breakfast in Bed Candle by Campy Home (Etsy Shop Here)

Campy Home Candle
Campy Home Candle out of box

This a soy candle is suppose to burn for 80 hours. That fact has yet to be fully tested.  When I was at the Campy Home booth I took a sniff of this candle expecting some coffee scent given the name.  It's not, it's a light citrus smell with grapefruit, lemons and limes as the main scents. It's a really nice and light smell.  The woman running the booth was so nice and politely laughed at my bad jokes about her candle called A Late Night. (It does not smell like alcohol, cigarette smoke and regret btw).

 

Lunar Facial Scrub By Mellow Bath and Body (Shop Here

Mellow sold some soap bars. I have a huge stash of soap that I need to use up so I skipped  over these. The facial scrub powder seemed interesting.  You add a bit of water to make a paste and put that on your face as either an exfoliant or mask depending on how long you leave it on your face. Mellow Bath and Body is vegan, doesn't have any preservative, and they use all good natural stuff. 

 
Monkey Butter

White Chocolate and Raspberry Peanut Butter by  Monkey Butter PB (Site here)

I like peanut butter. I like white chocolate, and I like raspberries. There's no reason to not love this product. I've had it on my toast for breakfast a few times and it is super delicious.  The downside is that it is really sweet, so I can't have it for breakfast everyday or my dentist will come knocking at my door to yell at me.  It uses all natural ingredients and it's made in small batches. 

 

Painted Concrete Planter by Double L Decor (Site here)

At the fair it was actually hard to get to this table, since there were so many people at it at all times;  great for them, but a tad annoying.  When we got to the table it was well worth it.  Double L's planters are really pretty. All the planters are hand painted and aren't rough like you would expect a item made out of concrete to be.  I am currently using it with one of my crocheted cactus and it looks fabulous! 

Double L Pot
Double L Pot from above
 
I don't have model hands... 

I don't have model hands... 

Midi Ring By Dawning Collective (Site Here)

All the stuff at this booth were crazy cute.  Dawning has really cute cactus and llama necklaces which I am in love with.  They also had these sweet and dainty midi rings.  I had tried a few on since they look great stacked or on different parts of the finger.  Unfortunately, I don't think I'm cool enough to to pull off the multiple ring look, so I ended up getting one midi ring.  I really like the hammered look, and it kinda mimics the look of my engineering Iron Ring which I wear on my left hand.  I've been wearing this one on my right hand to balance out the amount of jewelry I have on each hand. 

 

Earrings by Priestess (Site Here)

These earrings are made out of a really glittery stone.  I'm not 100% sure what it is. I think it's peacock ore.  The woman told me what it was the day of the fair but I've since forgotten.  This stone is suppose to bring wealth and who doesn't like that. The earrings are nice studs and versatile in it's look as the stones reflect different colours.  

Priestess Earrings
 

Support Handmade Patch by Maker's Movement (Site Here

Maker's Movement Patch

Maker's Movement's main project is a bi-annual magazine about creatives. The magazines are gorgeous.  I picked up a patch because I am a sucker for patches and I liked the look of it. I've already put it on my denim jacket as flair and it looks really good. 

 

Flair by Makeology (Site here)

Running a fair and a booth must has been super hard but they did it.  The Makeology table was selling some maker inspired items.  I picked up a patch and a pin.  They are both on my jacket and look super cool. 

Makeology Patch
Makeology Pin
 

That's pretty much it.  The fair was really fun, and I was glad to have made the trip out.  The fair brings a lot of people in and introduces people to artisans that they may not have heard about otherwise. 

Field to Fashion

 
5 EasyNo-Bake BirthdayCakes.png
 

I’m part of a spinning group, and not the one that makes you really sweaty and regret moving the next day.  We’re a group of people that spin our own yarn using spinning wheels. It’s a great group were we can chat and share knowledge (as a relatively inexperienced spinner I appreciate all the knowledge that is being shared with me). One women that I’ve met there, Katie, is the founder of The Wool Guild.  It’s a guild that brings people that love wool and people that are part of wool production together for the love of the fiber.  She made this great video that goes into the production of wool garments, from the sheep to a finished product.  It is a lot prettier to watch than a How it’s Made video.

Katie is an amazing person that is truly passionate about the work she is doing.  You should definitely check out The Wool Guilds website (link Here).  Also the Wool Guilds Instagram (@thewoolguild) is great for pictures of wool and many cute lambs. 

Katie hasn't asking me to talk about this, I genuinely enjoy the video and want to share it with the world.  Ontario is filled with some amazing wool and people that really care about it. 

Edit 22/04/2017:  Katie had submitted this video into the TVO's Short Doc contest.  It's a contest the local public television channel ran, for documentaries that were under 5 minutes. Field to Fashion won second place over all, as well as peoples choice!   You can check out more about that here.   

Yarn Review: Caron Cakes

 
Caron Cake Yarn Review.png
 

During the holiday season, I was hired as part-time staff at a rather well known craft store. I enjoyed working in the yarn department.  Not only because I like yarn, but also because the yarn worked as a sound insulation, so the Christmas music wasn’t as loud. When I was working there I noticed that the Caron Cakes were insanely popular. As soon as we got more in stock, the display seemed to empty within days.  People were calling the store on days they knew we got deliveries, asking if the colour they needed was back in stock.  It was madness.   

 
This display would be full for less than a day 

This display would be full for less than a day 

 

I eventually got my hands on a cake in the colorway “Rainbow Sprinkle”.  I didn’t need the yarn, but I really wanted to know why it was so popular.  When I bought it, the plan was to make a pair of fingerless gloves and a matching hat.

 
Rainbow Sprinkle out in the wild 

Rainbow Sprinkle out in the wild 

 
 
The fleck's I'm taking about are most noticeable in the green and blue on this Cake

The fleck's I'm taking about are most noticeable in the green and blue on this Cake

I started with the green colour. In my cake, this was the colour that was in the middle. It seemed to knit up pretty well. Nothing really all that impressive. It wasn’t too scratchy, nor did it make my fingers raw like some of the low quality acrylic yarns that are on the market. Something I didn’t notice before I purchased the yarn was that it does not gradient from colour to colour. I thought it did, but that is a fault on my part. Although it doesn’t gradient, there are flecks of other colours throughout. The first time I came across it, I thought it was a mistake in the dying process. It’s not. It is intentionally designed to have a amature sloppy dye look to it. That should be an indication to you how I feel about that element of the yarn.  Also the colour changes are far apart and very abrupt, changing suddenly in just a few stitches. I really dislike this about the yarn!

I quickly realized that fingerless gloves with this yarn wouldn’t be a great idea.  I probably could have made a glove and not reached the next colour. So I frogged that project.  

At this point, I was less than impressed with Caron Cakes. When I looked on Ravelry or Pinterest for inspiration, all I saw were shawls and blankets. Good projects, just not something I felt I would personally get any use out of. In March, I decided to make a spring cowl, the colours of the yarn are very bright and work with the season. Also, the crochet stitch I picked is a stitch that required a lot of yardage, with the hopes that the colour changes would happen in closer intervals. Moreover, I was hoping to use up all the yarn so it wouldn’t just sit in my house.

Cowl I crocheted using the yarn

Cowl I crocheted using the yarn

I ended up having to buy another cake of yarn to make my cowl long enough to wear.  After that I also made a super big owl pillow (a variation of the Purl Soho pattern, found here), which ate up 90% of the second cake.   

The yarn’s texture is good. There is certainly nicer yarns that exist in the world. It is a good yarn for the price point at $9.99 CAD, (especially if you buy it on sale or use a coupon). The lowest it will go on sale is $7, and that is about once or twice a season. I believe you can get it lower with certain coupons.

The owl pillow that I made to finish up the second cake I got

The owl pillow that I made to finish up the second cake I got

Close Up of the Color Change from Blue to Red

Close Up of the Color Change from Blue to Red

It’s a 80% acrylic, 20% wool blend, which at major crafts stores, they don’t carry a large selection of blended yarns. This yarn works best for really big projects because of lengths between colour changes. With a little extra effort on certain projects, you could also just change colours when you wanted. I suppose that the individual balls of yarn to do that would be cost more than ten dollars.   


When I was knitting, the yarn did untwist on me, which I find a common problem with Caron’s Simply Soft yarn.  It wasn’t scratchy like some cheap acrylics, but after working on a project for a bit, my finger tips did start to hurt a little - Something that doesn’t happen with some other types of yarns, especially bamboo, merinos or the Caron Simply Soft.  I just picked it because it is a different yarn from the same company so a good comparison of what they can produce.  

Due to the wool content of this yarn, it isn’t recommended to machine wash it. You could probably get away with washing it in cold water, since heat and friction is what causes felting. I have yet to try this myself since the projects I’ve made are better washed by hand. This is something to keep in mind if you are thinking of purchasing this yarn. 

Pros:

  • A lot of yardable (350 m/383 yards)
  • Affordable
  • Many colour options (and the colours are pre-coordinated to match)

Cons:

  • Limited usage for the yarn to really notice the colour changes
  • The colour has flecks of others in it, giving it a dirty look
  • Not machine washable  

That pretty much sums up my feelings about this yarn.  Since the Caron Cakes have been so commercially successful, a lot of other yarns have been hitting the market that are a similar idea.  It will be interesting to see how they will do.  If you have made any projects with the Caron Cake, I would love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments.