A Trip to The Bay (The Store, that is, Not the Beach)

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Nick and I had an appointment near Yonge Street and Queen on Wednesday afternoon.

Then we made a date of it by admiring the Christmas windows at The Bay and going inside for a bit of shopping.

The Hudson’s Bay Company is as much of an iconic representation of Canada as anything is. According to this Wiki page about it, it was North America’s (that includes the Unites States) oldest company, having been in business continually since 1881.

Even if you don’t live here you might recognize the coloured stripes that represent the brand. This pattern began being used on woolen blankets that were used as currency for trading. They were given different numbers of points based on their size, which explains why they were originally called ‘Point Blankets’. (There’s in interesting story them on The Bay’s site, here, and I did a story about the pattern here, where you’ll also see some photos I got of a handsome dog wearing a Hudson’s Bay Blanket Coat.)

I’m not a big shopper, aside from regularly going treasure hunting at the thrift store (where I went yesterday incidentally), but when I do feel like or need to go shopping, I love The Bay. It’s a beautiful store filled with lovely things of good quality.

First, let’s look around the outside of the store …

The animated miniature dioramas they put in the northern windows are such a favourite of mine (as indicated by previous posts here and here). This recent story on the Toronto Life Magazine site talks all about it, including that it takes a team of 5 to 10 people a week to put the models up.

I’m not the only one who loves them; although they were meant to be used once in Toronto and then sent to the Montreal Store, these windows, along the northern side of the store, have been the same every year for 7 years now, due to popular demand.

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Many of these shots ended up looking almost like double exposures, including reflected images of buildings, streetcars and myself.

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While those windows have stayed the same every Christmas for year, the others change. I was taken by the ‘balls of yarn on cute sheep’ in the corner display, at Yonge and Queen.

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I purposely took shots that included the striped pattern for this post. Nowadays it is widely used and incorporated into all kinds of different items, but The Bay is not only ‘rugged and rustic’. Most of it is rather sparkly and bright actually.

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I originally took these selfies in the fitting room with the intention of using them to illustrate this post about the new hat I made, but on the way home I asked Nick to shoot some more pictures that were better at showing the hat. So these ended up being just for fun.

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As for the shopping … I ended up getting a nice shirt. Before I tell you that it is black, I’d like you to take note of the prints and colours that were in my ‘to-try-on’ selection. I do try to get away from wearing so much black, but it’s hard. No matter what, if given the choice I always like the black one best.

Thank you very much for dropping over. I hope your week is going well so far.
xo loulou

Posted in Holidays : Christmas, Shopping in Toronto, Streets of Toronto | 7 Comments

Hot Off the Hook : A New Crocheted Hat

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The truth about this hat is that it started out being a headband ear-warmer. I had a small remnant of red yarn and a keen desire to try out a new-to-me stitch called “Chevron Lace”, designed by the creator of the crocheting blog Moogly. The pattern, found here (for free!), is actually for an infinity scarf, but as mentioned, I only had a small bit of suitable yarn at the time, so I thought I’d practice the stitch by making a headband.

After I’d finished it I wasn’t thrilled with the results. I loved the Chevron Lace pattern and now have some yarn to make the full infinity scarf as per the pattern, but I found that as a headband, it was a bit too wide. I tried it as a neck-warmer at it was ok, but too loose to be very warm and too short to be a cowl. So I set it aside, chalking it up to a sample of a newly learned stitch.

Then I found a second small remnant of red yarn tucked into the back of a drawer where I keep some crafting supplies. It wasn’t quite the same weight and colour, but it was close enough that I got to thinking about how I could use it to turn my headband into a hat!

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The result is soft, light and slouchy, perfect for those days that are cold enough to need a hat, but not so freezing that you need something thicker. I like how the chevron lace pattern naturally formed vertical ridges around the band.

This was a stash buster extraordinaire, as I was left with only a foot or so of yarn from each remnant.

And since photos of someone wearing a crocheted creation will do the best job at showing how it looks, and I couldn’t convince Nick to model it, here are some mug shots of me in the hat …

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I wore it out as soon as it was finished and plan to post some pictures taken during that outing, later in the week. A spot of shopping was involved. [Edit : that post is here.]

Thank you for dropping over. I hope you had a good weekend.
xo loulou

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For fellow crocheters who might be interested in knowing how I made it:

The yarn I used was a fine sport/baby weight.

As mentioned, the band/body part was made following these instructions. I made mine 22 inches long, but I have a pretty big head and I prefer my hats to fit loosely.

To make the cap part: Note, the fit of the hat is loose and forgiving, so you don’t have to be exact and can can modify to suit your head. I wanted some slouch so added more rows than you might want.
Chain 5 and slip-stitch (ss) to form a ring.
1st row: Chain 3, this takes the place of your first double crochet stitch (dc), as it will for the remaining rows as well. Make 11 more into the ring. SS to top of beginning chain.
2nd row: Chain 3 and dc into the base of the chain. Make 2 dcs in every stitch in previous row, and close with a ss. (Total 24 stitches)
3rd row: Chain 3 and dc into the base of the chain. Make 1 dc in next stitch and 2 dcs in following one. Continue like that all the way around (36 stitches)
4th row: Chain 3 and dc into the base of the chain. Make 1 dc in next TWO stitches, and 2 dcs in the third. Continue sequence around (48 stitches)
5th row: Chain 3 and dc into the base of the chain. Make 1 dc in next FOUR stitches, and 2 dcs in the 5th. Continue sequence. Last set will only have 2 stitches with 1 dc. (58 stitches)
6th row: Chain 3 and dc into the base of the chain. Make 1 dc in next EIGHT stitches, and 2 dcs in the 9th. Continue sequence. Last set will only have 3 stitches with 1 dc. (65 stitches)
7th row: Chain 3 and dc into the base of the chain. Make 1 dc in next TWELVE stitches, and 2 dcs in the 13th. Continue sequence. (70 stitches)
8th row: Chain 3 and dc into the base of the chain. Make 1 dc in next SIXTEEN stitches, and 2 dcs in the 17th. Continue sequence. (75 stitches)
9th row: Chain 3 and dc into the base of the chain. Make 1 dc in next TWENTY stitches, and 2 dcs in the 21st. Continue sequence. (79 stitches)
10th row: Repeat 9th row.

This yielded a cap that fit onto the headband quite closely with minimal puckering. I lined up the seam in the cap and the seam in the band and attached them together used a running slip stitch on the inside.

To make the small detail on top, chain 20, turn and make a single crochet stitch in each. Fold in half, poke ends through the beginning loop and sew.

The flower is the pattern I demonstrated in this post, however because the yarn was so fine, the flower, as instructed in the pattern looked too small, so I added an extra row of petals at the back, following the same method (chain 5 ss to bottom middle of previous row, all the way around, to create 8 petals, but increasing the number of treble crochet stitches per petal to 7. I chose to sew the flower directly onto the hat rather than attach a metal brooch clip, because I like to stick my hats into my coat pocket when I’m inside, so I didn’t want any metal parts that might pull at the delicate lace.

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This post was linked up with ‘Hookin On Hump Day’ at Moogly
and Petals to Picots.

Posted in Crocheting, Making Things DIYs | 6 Comments