My photo
I am a smart, beautiful, successful Belizean creole. I was born in Vancouver, BC, Canada and now call Scarborough, Ontario, Canada home. I am mixed with african, indian, scottish and who knows what else. July 2008 I decided to go permanently natural. Beside my obsession with my natural hair, I am a hand knit and crochet artist. I am passionate about Jesus and I love to run, walk, yoga, read, crossword puzzles, news and sports. While visiting, stop by my Etsy shops www.etsy.com/shop/dylanadesigns and www.etsy.com/shop/thejoyofknitting

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Issue 2011

We are saying goodbye to the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer... Fall is fast approaching and so we are all thinking Back to School and warmth.  Why not check out Dylana Designs and buy yourself a custom hand knit/crochet design or better yet you can curl up in front of the fireplace and make something special from the beautiful array of yarns and patterns on The Joy of Knitting

Recaping some of my New listings in my Etsy shops Dylana Designs and The Joy of Knitting.

Men's Knit Crochet Hat n Scarf in Tweed




Rainbow Yoga Mat Bag


Spiderweb Brooch




Rejuvenation Wool in Olive

Rejuvenation Wool in Charcoal

Rejuvenation Wool in Cocoa

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hey I took a SUMMER break...

With the summer months being so short here in Toronto, I always spend the time walking about outdoors, which includes visiting tons of festivals, hanging out down by the lake and soaking up rays poolside.  I took a holiday from blogging and sending out e-blasts.  In September I will be fully back in business.

I have been busy coming up with new designs and writing new patterns for the upcoming season.  I am preparing to start knitting and crochet workshops by mid-September and participating in a few open houses and shows.  I have been fortunate to be featured in two blogs this summer.

The Dad Project


Natural Glam Diva

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why I L.O.V.E. my business...

For the first time since starting my business I decided last year to really take a good look at my business for what is was and is. I went full throttle into it with my eyes wide open. I had to put into perspective exactly where I wanted my business to be three to five years down the road. While it's no walk in the park I must admit that I am totally enjoying this journey. I would love to share a few things I learned along the way with you:

1. Be a joyful business owner and have fun running your business. You are everything to your business, the manager, assistant, accountant, shipper, etc. Don't stress about the small stuff with every new day there will be new challenges so roll with the punches.

2. Listen to your clients! (don't take them for granted)

3. Try everything once! (sometimes the same things that you think will not work surprise you; always be ready to reinvent your business again and again)

4. Listen, listen, listen to advice from other people even those who do not have a business; remember they are looking at your business from a consumer standpoint.

5. Be true to yourself and your product/service. Meaning stick to good ethics and your vision, mission and policies when it comes to doing business, people will respect you more.

6. The most effective marketing for my business is talking to everyone and anyone about what I do.  It has gotten me so much sales and referrals sometimes I cannot keep up.

I always remind myself that I was creative and artistic before I turned my passion into a business and when things are not going perfectly or sales are slow.  I come back to homebase, sit down, relax and start a project and I fall in love all over again...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our Great Canadian Weather!!!!

I guess it's old age but I am so sick and tired of the cold, rain and lack of sun. To top this all off I have been suffering the worst allergies ever in 10 years. I need to really talk about out great Canadian weather. Indeed it's been wearing me thin this year. Now don't get me wrong I love the seasons and Fall is my favourite by far. Fall just seems to me like a shedding of old skin, then Winter comes along so we can wrap that tender new skin in warmth, only to thaw out to the new life of Spring, then when Summer rolls around we are ready to find new friends, new adventures and just about anything new and exciting that this life have to offer. In my home country of Belize we like to say that there are two seasons. Heat and Rain. It is totally different from this Canadian climate. While I love them both differently at times when I am in Belize I long for the changes the Canadian climate have to offer and when I am in Canada especially at this time of the year I cannot wait to feel that hot sun on my face.

So for now I will just sit back and relax and wait for our great Canadian Summer which I hope will get here sooner rather then later.

To get everyone in a summer mood, check out my Summerwear  http://www.etsy.com/shop/dylanadesigns?section_id=7848428 and Accessories http://www.etsy.com/shop/dylanadesigns?section_id=7919985

Saturday, May 7, 2011

One Love for everything Roots Rasta

Roots Rasta Drawstring Bag
Roots Rasta Halter
The Rasta colours are my very favourite to knit and crochet.  I make everything and anything from these colours.  If you are not familiar here is a brief meaning of what the colours stands for:

Black - Africa
Red - Blood
Gold/Yellow - All the treasures of the World that we desire
Green - Earth

Roots Rasta Yoga Mat Bag
Roots Rasta Headbanz

Roots Rasta Earrings

Roots Rasta Slouchy

Go to my Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/dylanadesigns to see more Roots Rasta designs. If you do not see something you like you can order at any time.

Friday, May 6, 2011

May - Happy Mother's Day

***Joyful News***

I Love my Mom. She is the reason I am the person I am today. She taught me to love, dream, walk, talk and this list is endless. Good-natured, inspirational, smart, funny are just a few words to describe her. She has a very gentle, warm, kind spirit and she invites everyone into her heart and home and once you are there she will cook literally whatever your heart desires and feed you as much as you can eat from main course to dessert. She will mother you for a lifetime. I am not just writing these words because she is my Mom, anyone that knows her can fully attest to this. On Sunday and everyday, please remember to honour your Mom by saying and showing her how much you love and appreciate her and if you get the opportunity to hang out with her give her a big hug and kiss and remind her how fortunate YOU are to have her as your Mother. I Love You Mommy and wish I could be there to spend this time with you. Happy Mother's Days especially to my sisters, my sister-in-laws and all the other wonderful Mothers that are a part of my life.

News & Events

May Sale of the Month... I am having an end of Winter Sale in my Etsy Shop all this month. See the SALE SALE SALE section and save $10.00 or more on each item http://www.etsy.com/shop/dylanadesigns?section_id=8043481

April 16th Easter Open House at Yvonne's Coffee Haus went off without a hitch even though it was a very rainy day, I got a few sales and a couple people interested in signing up for the Fall Workshops.

April 30th Shop Cats - TESTy Spring Craft Show at The Gladstone Hotel was very, very successful, it was the best show I have ever had. The flapper hat was the best seller for me, see more in my Etsy shop> http://www.etsy.com/shop/dylanadesigns?section_id=7848428

Gladstone Hotel
Gladstone Hotel

Gladstone Hotel


Please remember to check out my website www.thejoyofknitting.com


The Joy of Knitting on Facebook now has 113 likes, please feel free to join or share with your friends http://on.fb.me/TheJoyofKnittingonFB let me know if you like?


Follow me on Twitter @LadyDylana I am always looking for more Tweeties.


Check out my blog, I would love to receive feedback. http://ladydylanabelize.blogspot.com/

Facebook, blogging and tweeting keep me very busy every day. I do realize that it’s a necessary part of my business.

Custom Orders + Workshops

As always this is a reminder that customization is a huge part of my business and I am always open to work with you on your own style and design.

Please call me 416-828-5895 if you are interested in attending a knit or crochet workshop.

***Joyful Tips***

Q + A This month is about taking care of your cotton items...

Q. How to launder cotton knitted and crochet items?
A. Cotton, unlike many synthetic fibers, doesn't stain easily and easily releases dirt in washing. Machine washing of good quality cotton yarn is perfectly acceptable and has some advantages to hand washing. Machine washing in warm water with a mild detergent on a gentle cycle can be easier on a sweater than hand washing. Cotton is very absorbant and gets very heavy and hard to handle when hand washing. Getting all the suds out of the sweater is one of the most important steps and a washing machine completely drains and uses centrifugal action to get the soapy water out of the sweater and then rinse it completely and spin most of the water out. This makes the sweater drier than in hand washing.

It is also good to put your garment in the dryer on low heat for about 10 minutes to get most of the moisture out. After the sweater feels almost dry, grab it by the shoulders, snap it in the air a couple of times and lay it out on a towel, shaping it a little. This snapping action stretches each stitch lengthwise, bringing the sweater back close to its relaxed size, the size the sweater was right after you knit it. Cotton will absorb any moisture in the air so plan on washing your sweaters on a dry day.
Note: I find what works best for me is when washing coloured cotton, pay keen attention when washing so the colour does not run by doing a very short wash with very cold water and a little amount of soap.

Thank you friends, family and all the new people that came out to support me at my two shows in April, your business is much appreciated!

Please do not delete this email, share the JOY with someone you Love...

Thank you for Reliving the JOY!

Sunday, April 3, 2011



***Joyful News***

Spring has Sprung and I am so ready for the freshness of the season. My most exciting news is finding Yvonne’s Coffee Haus to host my workshops. With Spring comes Easter, Mother’s Day, tulips, daffodils, Blue Jays and the list goes on. I am always so enthusiastic about Spring as this is when I make all my new year resolutions. My main resolution to start off the season is to eat healthier, get at least 8 hours of sleep every night, keep walking, going to yoga, and my most important plan for this season is to buy a new bicycle.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

News & Events

April Sale of the Month... 10% OFF Accessories: http://www.etsy.com/shop/dylanadesigns?section_id=7919985

Saturday, April 16th - Noon til 5:00pm
Easter Open House
Yvonne’s Coffee Haus
98 Island Road
Scarborough, Ontario
Directions and Map: Yvonne's Coffee Haus

Saturday, April 30th - 10:00am til 4:00pm
The Toronto Etsy Street Team (TESTy) Spring Craft Show presented by Shop Cats
The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom
1214 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario
Directions and Map: Gladstone Hotel

Knitting and Crochet Workshops

Please call me 416-828-5895 if you are interested in attending my knit or crochet workshops starting in the next couple weeks.


I made some cosmetic changes to my website www.thejoyofknitting.com , check it out!!!!


The Joy of Knitting on Facebook now has 100 likes, please feel free to join or share with your friends http://on.fb.me/TheJoyofKnittingonFB let me know if you like?


Follow me on Twitter @LadyDylana I am always looking for more Tweeties.


Check out my last blog, I would love to receive your honest feedback. http://ladydylanabelize.blogspot.com/

Facebook, blogging and tweeting keep me very busy every day. I do realize that it’s a necessary part of my business.

Custom Orders

As always this is a reminder that customization is a huge part of my business and I am always open to work with you on your own style and design.

***Joyful Tips***

Q & A this month is for the knitter in you...

Q. How do I make a buttonhole?
A. Knit to the point where the buttonhole will be placed.
Slip the first stitch on the left needle as if to knit.
Move the yarn to the front of the work and leave it there. Slip the next stitch from the left needle to the right needle as if to knit. Pass the first slipped stitch over the second slipped stitch and off the needle. Repeat until you have bound off the number of required stitches for the buttonhole.
Slip the last stitch from the right needle back to the left needle. Turn. Bring the yarn to the front of the work. At the edge where the buttonhole was begun, cast on the number of stitches you bound off plus one additional stitch. The twisted purlwise cast on is a good choice. Turn. Slip the first stitch from the left needle to the right needle as if to knit. Pass the extra cast on stitch over the next stitch; then slip this stitch back to the left needle.

Q. How do I do an invisible seam?
A. If your garment is worked in stockinette stitch; insert the yarn needle under the horizontal bar between the first and second stitches. Insert the needle into the corresponding bar on the other piece. Pull the yarn gently until the sides meet. Continue alternating from side to side.

Thank you friends and family for all the custom orders over the month of March, your business is much appreciated!

Share the JOY with someone you Love...

Thank you for Reliving the JOY!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Very Unique Work Space

Lol, I live in a 1300 sq ft condo with 2 bedroom and my youngest child occupies the second bedroom.  She will be moving out by August and although I will miss her a lot it will give me a workspace that I am so much in need of.  In the meantime I do what I need to do to get my work done.  My place is usually a mess as I always need to see my yarn in clear light to get inspired to start something new. If I know I am having visitors and they are not coming to see my shop I clean up and get the place really spic and span. I hold an open house every couple months in my place so therefore my place usually looks like a shop for at l
east a week considering I need to set it up and tear it down.  I have so much baskets and bins and boxes with yarn and stuff anywhere they can fit and not look too messy, props, a clothing rack set up in my living room that is there permanently and beside that is a chair that is holding one of my afghans and usually my unfinished work.  Then to the right of that is my bookshelf with five shelves that really is holding just half of my knitting, crochet and arts and craft books. My laptop is on my dining room table permanently it gets moved to the floor next to my printer if I need to use the full table for anything else (like eating, lol).  All my other stuff is either under my bed in plastic pullouts, in boxes and suitcases in my walk-in closet and the remainder is in a storage unit that is a 15 minute drive from my place. 

Enjoy my pics.  I wanted to share with everyone to let them know that no matter what work spaces we have, we do what we need to do to do what we totally love!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

25% Off March Madness Sale

March Madness Sale on my Etsy shop Dylana Designs is on until the last final day of March.

Save 25% on absolutely everything in my shop.

Below please find all the new items listed in my store in March.

Peachy Delight http://www.etsy.com/listing/69125590/peachy-delight

Bath Mat and Paper Cover http://www.etsy.com/listing/69250108/bath-mat-and-paper-cover

Jute Market Bag http://www.etsy.com/listing/50673632/jute-market-bag



Feel Free to Tweet, Tumbleupon any item above.

Thanks for your kindness. Relive the JOY! Share the Love!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Winter in Toronto via Hot, Hot, Hot Belize

Mountain Pine Ridge
I am not sure if it's purely age, lol,  or just that I am fed up with winter. For the last few years by the time March rolls around I am so sick and tired of the cold, chill and snow. I was born in Canada to Belizean parents that did not have no desire to live in Canada. Being a Canadian it gave me the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. I came back to Canada 27 years ago and over the years I have enjoyed travelling back and forth to Belize to enjoy my family and the many gifts that Belize have to offer.  Let me walk you through some very interesting information about Belize.

Belize (formerly British Honduras) lies on the Caribbean coast of Central America, bounded on the north by Mexico and the south by Guatemala.  There are many islands along the coast called Cayes (keys). Belize and its Cayes are sheltered by the second largest barrier reef in the world.  Belize hosts The Great Barrier Reef, longest in the Western Hemisphere, shelters the best stocked light-tackle fishing grounds in the Carribean.  The territory's greatest length from the north to south is 180 miles and its width is 68 miles.

Going to Northern Lagoon
 Estimated population is 230,000.  The main ethnic groups are Creole (African Descent), Mestizo (Spanish-Maya) and Garifuna (Caribs).  There are also a number of people of Spanish, Asian and East Indian descent.  There is also a small Mennonite community. Ethnic groups are heavily intermixed.

Altun Ha Maya Ruin
I grew up in this jewel called BELIZE not realizing how fortunate I was and not appreciating the sheer beauty of my country.  Over the years that I have visited I felt like a tourist in my own country and I really got to love everything about Belize all over again. It can be hot, balmy or rainy but mostly hot (avg. temp 80F). It has so much to offer to the tourist that want a laid-back, backpack style vacation. There are coral, cayes, atolls, lagoons, pine forests, maya ruins, rivers, caves and much, much more.  You can dive, sail, fish, paddle, hike, bike, ride, swim, walk, bird watch, eat. Because I have so much roots in Belize I personally feel that the people and the culture is what makes Belize so special. My most favourite place in Belize is Caye Caulker, take it from me if you are ever in this part of the world do not go home without visiting Caye Caulker. Whew I needed to get my homesickness out of my system and blogging about it sure helped!

Caye Caulker
My Joy of Knitting is what keeps me alive and kicking in the long winters of Toronto.  Please remember to check out my Etsy shops. Dylana Designs and The Joy of Knitting.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March Madness 2011

***Joyful News***

March is here and February seems like just a blur.  I am so glad that it’s March as after this it’s Spring then Summer. I am back in shape and running a mile in under 12 minutes. Soo looking forward to NCAA's March Madness and to starting back yoga. My knit and crochet projects that are on the go includes, halters, bikinis, summer totes, floppy hats and I can go on and on...

News and Events

March Madness
***Sale of the Month***
25% off entire Shop

The Valentine Showcase at Retirement Suites by the Lake and Valentines Open House at my condo were well attended. Thanks to all who took the time out of their busy day and came out to support me.

My next showcase and open house will be in April. I am still trying to nail down the dates, will share as soon as I can.


Join The Joy of Knitting on Facebook http://on.fb.me/TheJoyofKnittingonFB let me know if you like?


550+ tweeties and counting... Follow me on Twitter @LadyDylana.


I have been keeping my blog updated, remember to take a peek and give me your feedback. http://ladydylanabelize.blogspot.com/

Custom Orders

As always this is a reminder that customization is a huge part of my business and I am always open to work with you on your own style and design.

***Joyful Tips***

Q. Where do you get inspiration to always keep knitting and crocheting?
A. I get inspired everyday by something I see in nature, architecture, colours or fashion. Most of the time I spot a ball of yarn and on a whim I am inspired to create something new and different. At any given time I can have 5 or more projects on the go.

Q. What do you do to grow your business and keep it current?
A. This business is not unlike any other small business. To keep it fresh at all times, I network, blog, tweet, facebook and send out a monthly e-blast and last but not least do shows. I try to do two shows every other month. Most importantly I make a point to talking to everyone I meet about my business.

I am always looking for venues to do my open houses. If you cannot make one of my open houses, please host and I will gladly come and host a show at your place. There are freebies for the host/hostess.

Thank you friends and family for all the custom orders over the month of February, your business is much appreciated!

Please do not delete this email, share the JOY with someone you Love...

Thank you for Reliving the JOY!