Simplyteee x H&H: Styling your knits

One of the reasons we got into the DIY business is because we absolutely love making our own accessories and clothes. It’s fun, therapeutic, and rewarding. However, many makers are tempted to just call it a day after casting off their final row (myself included).To take your project to the next level though, you don’t want to forget about styling. As a Toronto-based company that sells DIY knit and crochet kits, how fitting is it to have a local fashion blogger style our finished knits?

Tina Dao is the mastermind behind Simplyteee, a blog she uses as a creative outlet to chronicle her love for fashion, beauty and travel. Basically, a woman after our own heart. We asked her to choose her favourite items out of our sample knits, and style them based on how she’d wear knits in the cold weather. Here are her picks:

Screenshot_20170220-233134-2

The Joey Sweater can be worn over a dress shirt and torn jeans for a casual day out. This is also a great option for those who may have sensitivities to wool, but don’t want to give up the cozy fibre.

Screenshot_20170220-233759-2

A little chilly? No problem. The sweater is knit using worsted weight yarn, so it’s light enough to wear under a fitted jacket. Or, thrown over your shoulders 😉 Top it off with the Audrey Headband and your outfit is complete.

Screenshot_20170220-234121-2

If you don’t wanna go all gray, brighten up your outfit with the Martina Cardigan.

Screenshot_20170220-234542-2

We love a chunky scarf a la Lenny Kravitz, but chunky on chunky doesn’t always go well and can overwhelm a tiny frame. In the image below, Tina balances our Winter Wonderland scarf with a simple dress shirt and Top Shop boots.

How do YOU style your knits? We’d love to see. Tag us and hashtag #hankandhook on Instagram for us to go ooooh and ahhhh. Oh, and don’t forget to follow @simplyteee on Instagram too for more fashion inspo!

DIY // The Audrey Headband

Hi y’all!!! We’ve missed you so so much. Anna & I have been crazy busy these past few months half year life for the longest time ever, but we’re back at what I’m hoping is close to full force! For one, Anna got freakin’ MARRIED. Yessss, one half of the HANK & HOOK leading ladies is now off the market for good. Ok I digress.

We’ve been all over the place, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is our desire to create.. as cheesy as that sounds. And we’re here to share the love with another FREE pattern!

As I’m writing this, it’s freezing rain over here in Toronto and I just want to go home and cuddle with my kitties… and knit. We hope you feel the same way because I’m here to introduce our first knitted headband pattern, the currently unnamed headband (stay with us for the whole post and you won’t be disappointed).

It only takes two balls of Wooly Bully Alpaca to make and it’s a relatively straightforward and quick knit. Aren’t those the best? Work hard for a few hours and the outcome is a fabulous new accessory you’ll get compliments on wherever you go (if I can say so myself, he he he).

We love this yarn because it knits up a fuzzy texture that’s warm and a beautiful contrast to the cables that run along the piece. Without further ado, let’s get to what you’ll need to start the project, shall we?

MATERIALS

  • 2x balls of Wooly Bully Alpaca
  • 5mm knitting needles or whichever size to obtain gauge
  • Cable needle
  • Tapestry needle

MEASUREMENTS

All sewn up: 8.5in long and 4.5in wide

ABBREVIATIONS

(US Terminology)

co = cast on

k = knit

p = purl

st (s) = stitch (es)

cn = cable needle

 

GAUGE

3 stitches and 4 rows per 1 inch in garter stitch.

4 stitches and 4 rows per 1 inch in the cable pattern.

 

TECHNIQUES

C4B (Cable 4 back): Slip next 2 sts onto cn and hold at back of work, K2 from left needle, then K2 from cn

T3F (Twist 3 front): Slip next 2 sts onto cn and hold at front of work, P1 from left needle, then K2 from cn.

T3B (Twist 3 back): Slip next st onto a cn and hold at back of work, K2 from left needle, then P1 from cn

CR (Cable right): slip 3 sts to cn and hold at back of work, k2 from left needle, then k2, p1 from cn

CL (Cable left): slip 2 sts to cn and hold at back of work, p1, k2 from left needle, then k2 from cn

PATTERN

Cast on 24 sts

Row 1: k3, p1, k2, p4, C4B, p4, k2, p1, k3

Row 2: k4, p2, k4, p4, k4, p2, k4

Row 3: k3, p1, T3F, p2, T3B, T3F, p2, T3B, p1, k3

Row 4: k5, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k5

Row 5: k3, p2, T3F, T3B, p2, T3F, T3B, p2, k3

Row 6: k6, p4, k4, p4, k6

Row 7: k3, p3, C4B, p4, C4B, p3, k3

Row 8: repeat row 6

Row 9: k3, p2, T3B, T3F, p2, T3B, T3F, p2, k3

Row 10: repeat row 4

Row 11: k3, p1, T3B, p2, T3F, T3B, p2, T3F, p1, k3

Row 12: repeat row 2

Row 13: k3, p1, T3F, p3, C4B, p3, T3B, p1, k3

Row 14: k5, p2, k3, p4, k3, p2, k5

Row 15: k3, p2, T3F, p1, T3B, T3F, p1, T3B, k3

Row 16: k6, p2, k1,p2, k2, p2, k1, p2, k6

Row 17: k3, p3, CR, p2, CL, p3, k3

Row 18: k6, p4, k4, p4, k6

Row 19:  k3, p2, T3B, T3F, p2, T3B, T3F, p2, k3

Row 20: k5, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k5

Row 21: k3, p1, T3B, p2, T3F, T3B, p2, T3F, p1, k3

Row 22: k4, p2, k4, p4, k4, p2, k4

Repeat rows 1-22 three more times and then bind off, leaving a tail about 15” long (we like to use the tail for seaming).

 

FINISHING

Prepare the piece for joining by lining up the cast-on and cast-off edges together, with the right side facing up. Using the horizontal invisible seaming method, sew the cast-off edge to the cast-on edge with the 15” tail and a tapestry needle. Weave in any loose ends. You are now done!

P.S. We love how you can wear it as a neckwarmer/snood too. Doooo it.

IMG_6351

You can download the pattern as a PDF here.

Wait, don’t go yet! There’s more. We’re doing an awesome giveaway where you can WIN the knitting needles and the yarn used for this project. Remember how I said we’d give you more info on the Unnamed Headband? Well, we need a little help. Head on over to our Instagram and give us your best shot at what we should call this awesome headband. It’s a win-win for everyone.

 

Ciao bella!

 

xx

Joan

DIY // Live Forever Tank

♪Maybe you’re the same as me
We see things they’ll never see
You and I, we’re gonna live forever ♫

OMG, it’s August already!? It is downright scary how quickly the summer has escaped us. As owners of a growing business, time flies by especially fast as everything is always go, go, go and now, now, now. It doesn’t help that here in Toronto, it feels like summer began not so long ago and we’re winter bound once again (haven’t you heard, ‘winter has come’?).

Anna & I have been working hard to add new and exciting products to our shop, with one of them being Wool and the Gang’s aptly named Shiny Happy Cotton. Let’s just say ‘obsessed’ doesn’t begin to cover how we feel about it. The cotton is soft to the touch, durable, and comes in so many colours that variety is never an issue. There are an endless number of projects you can make with it, with one being…

The Live Forever Tank.

IMG_3708 resized

I guess you can say the pattern’s inspired by what I envision myself wearing on a perfect summer day. I can’t imagine anything better than a lazy day spent under the sun with a generous heap of gelato on one hand and a ginormous iced cappuccino on the other.

The Live Forever Tank is an intermediate level knit pattern that features a simple side lace pattern that stops short of your waist, accentuating your curves. The top also comes in two versions: high low or symmetrical. Yes, we love it so much we couldn’t resist making two styles! Knit one in Cinder Black or True Blood Red for a sexy and bold vibe, or choose a more neutral colour like Nude Pink for a flirty, feminine look. The options are aplenty 😉

IMG_3767 resized

MATERIALS

MEASUREMENTS

High-low tank (front length measured from shoulder, back length, width): XS (49cm, 56 ½cm, 40 ½ cm), S (51 ½cm, 59cm, 43cm), M (54cm, 61 ½ cm, 45cm), L (56½cm, 63 ½ cm, 45 ½cm)

Symmetrical tank (length, width): XS (49cm, 40 ½cm), S (51 ½cm, 43cm), M (54cm, 45cm), L (56½cm, 45 ½cm)

IMG_3644 resized

You can purchase the pattern for $3.99 over in our shop or on Ravelry

We can’t wait to see your creations. Use the hashtag #hankandhook so we can have a look!

 

 

 

My biggest DIY project to date.. my wedding!

Some of you may or may not know, but I’ve been engaged since last summer. Being the ultimate procrastinator though, I’ve been avoiding wedding planning like the plague.. at least up until the past month or so. And now that we I started planning, I can’t stop!

Everyone says wedding planning can be stressful, but as someone who’s had a lot of event planning experience, I never really took those complaints to heart. But oh boy were they right. I mean, it’s not just any event, right? It’s the one day you’ll have forever immortalized via photos/videos/grandma’s photographic memory.

As someone who loves all things DIY (Exhibit A:  the blog you’re on right now, Exhibit B: our store), I knew I wanted to incorporate as many crafty elements as humanly possible. The benefits are trifold: have fun (always), save money (sometimes), and ultimately be able to make something that’s a true reflection of myself (definitely).

Thankfully our wedding isn’t until next summer, so that gives me 1½ years to attempt my gargantuan list of things to make:

  • All stationary: save the dates, invitations, seating chart, table numbers, place cards, wedding program, guestbook, card box, misc. signage
  • Wedding website 
  • Silk flower aisle runner
  • All decor (floral wall, backdrops)
  • All centerpieces and bouquets (started)
  • Two wedding garters (started)
  • Doilies for each table
  • Tablerunner for the head table
  • If I haven’t gone crazy by then.. A dress for photos

Not all of these projects involve yarn, but many of them do. Here are just a few yarnful projects I’ve made/will be attempting to make this year:

Crochet bridal garters (one to keep, one to throw!)

garter
Photo credit:  klschaller on Ravelry

This pattern is easy to follow, even for a beginner like me. It’s a great project for those wanting to try using crochet thread, because it’s small enough that it can comfortably be made in a week’s time. I made the first one, but kinda gave up halfway into the second garter. Anna has amazingly offered to finish the second one for me (OMG I LOVE YOU GIRL). It means a lot, so thank you!!! TIP: If you plan on losing weight for your big day (like me) and are making it well in advance, complete all the steps up until tying the ribbons. This allows you to easily make adjustments if you are planning to go down a size or two. TIP #2: Ribbons tend to fray when cut. To keep the ends from fraying and unraveling, lightly singe each edge.

 

Balloon art

Balloon art

Photo credit: Pinterest

This is an excellent scrap yarn project! Plus, it elevates a cluster of balloons into an art installation. I’ve already purchased 36″ round helium balloons to hang from the ceiling, but after seeing this, I plan on alternating plain white balloons with these. As you can see from the picture, you can use paper doilies or yarn to decorate. If you have lots of time to experiment, why not combine the two.. and use a crochet doily instead?

Table Runner

Apple Blossom Placemat

Photo credit: condroidle on Ravelry

As much as I want to make a table runner for each table, I just don’t have the patience to see it through. Even the idea of crocheting ONE table runner is driving me up the wall. I though the free Apple Blossom Placemat pattern by Red Heart to be absolutely stunning, so I’ll be using it as a base pattern and elongating it into a tablerunner.

Wax paper backdrop

Wax paper backdrop

Photo credit & tutorial: Style Me Pretty blog

While undoubtedly time consuming, this project should be fairly straightforward to tackle. You basically create the cone shape out of wax paper circles, and then use size 10 crochet thread to create the individual garlands. I’m so excited to start it – I’m sure our guests will love using it as a photo backdrop!

Butterfly Dress

Butterfly Dress

Photo credit & paid pattern by Jennie Atkinson 

Two crochet projects and no knits? What’s going on? I began knitting this piece a few weeks ago using Debbie Bliss Angel, but am taking an indefinite break from it until I can get more pressing things on my list done. I haven’t decided when I’ll be wearing this (it’s a toss up between our engagement photoshoot this summer or for our first dance). It’s a fun knit, but because it’s lace weight it takes time. I own A Handknit Romance by Jennie, and I can’t get over the intricacy and feminine nature of her designs. Regardless of how long this project takes, I’m sure the result will be stunning.


So, that was just a few of the projects I plan on tackling in the coming months. There’s bound to be both successes and failures and lots of tweaking in between… but I’m soo excited to be sharing this journey with you all!

Cheers,

Joan

 

 

Happy Holidays!

Anna & I just wanted to say…

happyholidays

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

We can’t believe the year is almost over!! 2015 has been absolutely incredible for us. We launched our store nearly 6 months ago and have grown it into something we believe is truly promising. We’ve learned so much about the crafting business, about ourselves, and have picked up enough skills to survive the apocalpyse (and we’re not just talking about knitting and crochet here).

We’d also like to say a huge, huge THANK YOU. We couldn’t have done this without our amazing friends, families, and customers. Basically if you’re reading this post now, you’ve contributed to the HANK & HOOK brand in some way or another.

We’re super excited for what the new year brings! Trust me, we’ve got a ton in store for you (both literally & figuratively!). We wish you an amazing holiday, full of laughter, love, yarn, and wonderful memories.

Here’s to 2016!

Anna & Joan