Etsy feature: gorgeous flower hats by FilcAlki

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Good. Opening and happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. I’ve spent most of the last five weeks on the road going from show to show, and I’m finally on the way home for a few weeks of much needed rest.

Yesterday I felt in need of a pick me up. I wandered through Asheville, did some shopping, and ate at a few local little places with great food. I also browsed a bit through Etsy and debated getting myself a treat for my hard work. I stumbled upon an amazing shop with some gorgeous felted hats. The Shop is FilcAlki, and she is an artist based in Poland. Her work is vibrant, crisp and bright. She offers hats, gloves, and some felted scarves. It’s the hats that really shine to me.

Her flower hats are sassy and bold.

Also in love with these architectural gems.

I have worn felted hats with a great coat and scarf in winter, as an addition to a cosplay, or simply to celebrate the season. Reasonably priced, handmade and unique, I’ll be adding more of these to my personal collection!

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Loopy Fall Projects

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Happy Sunday!

The weather is finally getting cooler and this usually inspires me to seek out cozy yarn crafts. While I still consider myself a newbie to crocheting, I’ve been starting to venture beyond simple scarves and afghans. Here are some of the projects I plan on giving a whirl in the next few weeks so if you’d like to join me, post your WIPs in the forum pages!

First up is something that seemed very simple and useful for those colder evenings when you just want some steaming hot chocolate or cider, a mug warmer:

Keeps the liquid at the appropriate temperature and saves you from excessive heat!

Keeps the liquid at the appropriate temperature and saves you from excessive heat!

If you want to give it a little fall flair, these cute crochet leaves look like they will work up quickly:

No need to rake these up.

Just imagine jumping into a pile of these!

Or perhaps you’d like something a little more subtle so how about this leafy hat:

If you really want a riot of color, some nice variegated yellow/orange/red yarn would make this amazing.

If you really want a riot of color, some nice variegated yellow/orange/red yarn would make this amazing.

Finally, the accessory that I’ve been most obsessed with lately, hand warmers:

My hands always get cold while crafting so these are perfect for maximum mobility and warmth!

My hands always get cold while crafting so these are perfect for maximum mobility and warmth!

I’m so excited for my favorite time of year, so expect more themed posts on the coming Sundays. Time to go out and enjoy this weather!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


A Tip of the Hat

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We’ve had a lovely few days here in the Midwest and everyone seems to be out and about. The perfect time to show off…a new hat! I’ve come across Wendy Allen and her felted creations at a few conventions now. They never fail to pull me in. A dragon is what caught my attention the first time:

Imagine, wearing your very own Smaug!

Imagine, wearing your very own Smaug! (Yes, I realize this is not a hat)

She started out selling “normal” pieces through her site, Miss Fitt and Co but then decided to indulge her fanciful side and Moss Fete was born. Wendy makes a variety of wearables but the hats are the decided stars. Whether you want to augment your cosplay or just show off on your walk around the park on a Sunday, she’s got something for you!

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Perhaps something for the dapper gentleman on your arm (or yourself)? I love the detail and texture!

MossFeteRamTopHat  MossFeteHareTopHat

I would proudly wear any of these on a regular basis. If you, too, would like to own a piece of the magic, Wendy and Moss Fete can be found on her website, Etsy, Facebook, and Instagram.

Now back to basking in the sun while it lasts!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Add a bit of Fantasy to your Reading Time

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In my late teens, we moved to a house with no heating in our basement. Not a huge deal until you take into account that that was where the media room ended up being. As a result, all the the kids at the time (myself and 4 siblings) fought over the only blanket we had down there in the winter. It’s also the reason I taught myself how to crochet. So I wouldn’t have to share a blanket I made. True story. If only I knew about this pattern I would have had less worry as I doubt my brothers would’ve bugged me so much afterwards.

CrochetbyJennifer may have designed these to be used as reading blankets, but I think kids would enjoy them as just general anytime blankets….not to mention using them as dress up items. 😉 While she makes a pattern set just for such an occasion, her specialty is really just creating patterns for adorable children’s clothing (and occasionally adults too).

All of her pattern are for sale as she only creates them, not sell the finished product. As such, she has this to say about selling work created with her patterns:

PATTERN COPYRIGHT:
You are welcome to sell your finished items however you like, but do not copy and/or redistribute this pattern, or alter it in any way to claim it as your own. Please provide a link to my website if you are selling your finished items online. If you change the name of the item when you sell it online, please provide the pattern name in the link so other customers can find the correct pattern.

Great news if you want to expand your crochet clothing line but aren’t the best at making pattern. 😀 If you are a crocheter I highly recommend giving her store a look through. The holidays are coming after all…

~Nicole


Artist Feature – Lisa Shaub Fine Millinery

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It’s been a while; I’m sorry if you missed me last Sunday but I’m back!  On to the feature:

One of the worst Summers in terms of heat is upon us, at least here in New York City, and feel like our Sun is entirely to blame.  I mean, where does it get off being so hot and stuff?  We need to ward off its advances in many different ways, but the most fashionable way right now is wearing hats to at least avoid being marked by those pesky spots (always use sunscreen, kids!)

That is where Lisa Shaub and her Fine Millinery come in to play!  She has been creating custom, handmade hats and fascinators for over 24 years, and her work has been in Vogue, Elle, and, most importantly, now CraftHackers! 

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Her Summer 2015 collection pieces are styled with enough flair to combat those pesky UV rays and bad hair days.

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These Kentucky Derby pieces have a whimsical feel, with their perfectly coiffed feathering and tight almost liquid-looking design.  They look like they were custom made for each head!

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This flowery bunch is also from the Kentucky Derby collection, showing that now only can Ms. Shaub create dramatic pieces, she can also create a look that lends itself moreso to subtlety and soft elegance.

“My mission is to create hats that are good looking, well designed and long lasting. I feel that putting on the right hat is like putting on that special pair of well worn jeans-comfy, versatile and endlessly chic.” – Lisa Shaub

Lisa Shaub makes her hats custom, and everything is taken into consideration, including head shape and size, skin tone, and the colour of whatever it is that you’re intending to wear with it.  Considering that some of her celebrity clientele includes Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, and Aaron Neville, I think we can assume that she has really embraced and succeeded at her craft!

These things take time, but if you are passionate about something it will be worth all of the years spent in honing your abilities.  Keep that in mind, fellow craftys!

If you’d like to know more about Lisa Shaub Fine Millinery, visit her website and follow her on twitter.

– Shalyn


Retro G Couture – A Lesson in the Fantastic

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Hello Ladies and Gentlemen and fellow Crafthackers!

As you know, Anime North in Toronto is coming up soon and I’m presenting another artist who will be attending it as a vendor this year (after a 4 or 5 year absence) – Retro G Couture.  If you haven’t heard of Retro G, and don’t know the fabulous things that Georgie creates, then pay attention. Class is now in session.

A taste of this year’s offerings.

I have also personally known Georgie (as with Matthew in last week’s post) for quite some time and I have always been spreading the word of how wonderful her creations are.  She designs and makes the most fabulous hats and jackets.  They’re fit for everyday wear since the quality is supurb and they are certainly one of a kind pieces.  I even own a couple of these lovely works of art myself and they look almost brand new, though I bought them probably about 7 or 8 years ago  now.

Retro G has been in different conventions and shows throughout the years. You can always find her at the One of a Kind Shows as well as the Canadian National Exhibition, but I’m happy to announce that she’s back at Anime North and she will be easy to recognize. Her creations are all reminiscent of carnivals and magic and of a time when people dressed to impress on the regular.  Her garments are all fantastical creations that your eyes will just devour.  When you go to her booth, don’t be intimidated by the outspoken garments you might see. Just wander on in and you’ll meet Georgie (and if you’re really lucky, you might also meet Stevie) who is so chock full of charm that you won’t even notice when she puts a hat on your head and a jacket around your shoulders.  Be careful though, before you know it, you may be in love and go home with something new and spectacular!

Who’s wearing who, now? 😀

What I think is one of the coolest thing that Retro G does is that Georgie designs very distinct lines over the years. One year was themed around playing cards, another around Alice in Wonderland, others in stars and this year you’ll find something else that’s new and exciting. This always leaves you wanting more, and keeps you coming back for her different styles.

You can contact her on her website and connect with her own blog as well as finding out what shows she will be doing throughout the year.  Oh, and don’t forget, she doesn’t do clothing for just women. She has a men’s line as well (though it could be argued that the hats can go in either direction pretty easily.  If you’re like me and have fairly broad shoulders for a lady, you can find some very lovely and flattering men’s jackets too. The biggest difference between the two is sometimes the broadness in the shoulders and sometimes the amount of lace.  This is yet another thing that I love about these designs.

 

Drop on by to see Georgie along with all the other lovely vendors that are selling in the Dealer’s room. We are going to have some marvelous finds!

 

~Megan

 


Favourite Hat Project?

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Today, I’m going to continue on with the theme of hats since it’s not getting any warmer outside.  Instead of finding your favourite to purchase, if you’re a crafter like I am, you may wish to make your favourite hat!  So I’m going to share with you some of the best/most fun patterns I’ve come across so you can knit your own hat.

The Foliage Hat from Irina Dmitrieva is a beauty.  The leaves in the pattern are so distinctive that with the right wool, this becomes a hat of art!

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Are you looking for a classic hat with a touch of gorgeous?  Then the Lucy Hat from Carina Spencer is right for you!  It’s hard to believe that this is even hand crafted!

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The Swirl Hat from Mandie Harrington is an awesome design created by an easy knit!

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Do you have a little bit of animal in you?  Or you just feel like being whimsical?  This deer with antlers hat from Tiny Owl Knits may be just the thing for you!  It’s so cute!

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In a world where the slouchy hat is becoming increasingly popular, maybe this is what you’re looking for!  If you want a slouchy hat with a bit more “oompf”, you should look at this Quick Cable Slouch Hat from Azure Knits.  I think the title says it all!

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Finally, are you looking for a hat for the man in your life?  Or wanted something simple for yourself?  How about this Jacques Cousteau hat from Lalla Designs?  With a bit of a twist in the design, this simple hat is also interesting!

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So?  Are you feeling motivated yet?  Get out those sticks and start knitting!

– Lindsay


Favourite Hat?

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Do you guys have a favourite hat?  One you don’t want to leave home without?

I’m a bit of a goof because as much as I know I *should* wear a hat in winter, I don’t…  I mean I do live in Canada afterall!!  But alas…  With it getting colder and colder outside in Southern Ontario, I feel like more and more of a fool when I leave the house without one.

Today’s post is meant to add a bit of encouragement to people like me.  If I can find a hat I love, surely I’ll want to wear it!  Surely I will!  I’m going to feature Canadian made hats exclusively today because brrrrr….

I’m going to start with the gorgeous choice out of the bunch.  Pure classic touch with the Felted Cloche Hat by JulieSindon.

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KnitsbyNat has so many of my favourites that it was hard to choose so I didn’t!  Here’s a few of the ones that I love.  The Avocado Green Lace Beanie, the Lace Striped Slouchy Hat and the Beehive Beret.

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KetisCrochet gives us a unisex or man version of a baseketweave beanie!  Be sure to check out this store for lots of adorable options for kids!

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The Twist Me Beret from BiKayBoutique looks warm and pretty!

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Finally, this slouchy hat from RoklandeFashionShop seems so incredibly cozy that I can’t imagine being cold again!

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So, if you’re like me are are too “cool” to wear hats, smarten up!  Find your favourite and save your poor ears from the cold!!  🙂

– Lindsay


Crochet Winter Wear: Hats

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Outside of plush, the most popular crochet items I have found at cons are hats. While they’re not as common as the fleece ones, they are starting to gain popularity due to the versatility the working in yarn offers. One of the best examples of this is the viking/beard hat that made rounds online about 2 years ago.

While crafty sewers can easily make a fleece version of the helmet, they will have to work much harder to create the ‘natural’ look that yarn provides for long beards. The application is also easier for a crocheter as they simply crochet the base under ‘beard’, and then use the scarf tassel method to attach the hair in large chunks. Which can then be braided and styled to the crafter’s liking. This is a bit on the more complex side though, so let’s scale things back.

Ah, there we go.

When starting out on your first hat, I highly recommend making a beanie first, especially if you have interest in making amigurumi/plush in the future. Most beanies are worked in the round but are fairly large, allowing you to get some experience with this method of crocheting before working with smaller hooks that making plush usually requires. When making beanies you’re also not limited to the average weight yarn as well. One of my favorite hats was made using left over homespun yarn that was large/chunky and just wonderfully soft and warm. I wouldn’t recommend think yarns for the hats if this is your first experience with them, however, as depending on the dye style/texture it can get quite difficult to see your individual stitches. Not all brands have this issue of course, and you should definitely shop around in person to see what your potential yarn looks and feels like.

 

The issue I come across most often when teaching people how to make hats in the round is losing count/failure to increase evenly. While the former issue isn’t so bad as you can always stop working and count how many stitches you’ve done; the later can be quite a problem if you’ve gone several rows before you notice and have to pull out all your hard work. Stitch markers are your friend here, and while you may feel silly marking every increase the first few times, it will drastically help your accuracy and allow you to develop a rhythm and tension to your work.

Seriously, these are cheap and will save you lots of time and stress

Here a few examples of my favorite adult hat patterns if you’d like to give them a try. One can even easily be adapted into your very own Jayne Hat if you’ve got some experience under your belt. 😉

As just a little aside (a foot note if you will) on hats, don’t be afraid of making pom poms for decoration. These little accents are incredibly cute and only require the multipurpose Hair Pin Lace Tool. Most craft stores carry one and all you have to do is set your width, loop the yarn around about a hundred times or so, take a separate string and tie it around the middle section of the bundle tightly, remove from tool, cut loops, and you’re done! 😀 Think of all the body heat you can now save with your future warm and stylish hats. ^_^

~Nicole


Artist Allley: Monster Pet Emporium

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Have you ever wanted to own your very own monster?  Monster Pet Emporium allows your dream to become a reality.  They create cute, cuddly, and creepy monsters as hats, scarves, hair accessories, or just as a pet.  Who wouldn’t want their own monster?

 

 

 

I fell in love with these cuddly monsters!  There is something that is creepy but cute as the same time.  If you would like to see more of these amazing monsters and adopt one of your own then check out their Facebook or their website.

-Toni