this week’s awesome finds

Homemade reed diffuser, easier to make than I thought! Didn’t know that one could even use bamboo skewers for this. From Make & Takes.

I like tiny stud earrings, and these heart-shaped ones are just lovely. From Fall for DIY.

I often see coffee pots at thrift stores and wondered what they can be used for. Now I know – a terrarium! Though last time I tried growing air plants it didn’t work out so well, they just shriveled up and died. How I could kill an air plant that only requires air to live I don’t really know. But anyway, this coffee pot terrarium from A Charming Project is brilliant!

I must share this, because I <3 Chococat :D Pattern from Sabrina’s Crochet.

I do like cats very much, and this is SO cute! The pattern is in French but Google Translate does a pretty good job. From La Souris aux Petits Doigts.

This tunic might be my next project :D Looks fantastic with the variegated yarn. From Red Heart.

Add some subtle cuteness to any outfit with this donut ring, spotted on Dream a Little Bigger.

Love this stitch pattern, might make a cozy sweater too. Pattern from Slugs on the Refrigerator.

And finally, if you like The Grand Budapest Hotel as much as I do (and if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend!), and if you like to bake, you might enjoy making these pastries from the film! Video recipe spotted on Make.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

 

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silverwoods

 

Photo 2015-02-11, 8 01 11 PM

This is a remake of this crocheted sweater that I made a long time ago. I had been wearing it less and less frequently ever since someone commented that it looked like an armor :S (I think it was meant to be a compliment) so I figure I’d unravel it and make it into something with a more softened look.

I tried making the beautiful February Lady Cardigan a while ago but wasn’t successful. But I really like the lace pattern in the cardigan, so I tried to adapt the pattern into something that I could manage (i.e. without having to knit in the round).

And this was the result! The bulky lace reminds me of trees in the winter.

Photo 2015-02-09, 9 29 02 PM

 

It has a bit of a cowl neck. Or one could roll down the collar for a more sculptural look.

Photo 2015-02-11, 7 55 43 PM

(It’s been difficult to take good pictures in the apartment in the winter when there’s no daylight left when I come home from work, so I put this black & white filter on and hoped that it comes across sort of stylish…)

Anyway, here’s my pattern adaptation of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s February Baby Sweater, in the middle of February :D It’s a very quick make. Took me several weekends while watching Harry Potter movies.

What I used: 

Approx. 700 yards of Patons Shetland Chunky, in grey. (my sweater is kind of a cropped style, but if I had more yarn I’d probably make it longer)

7mm and 6.5mm needles

Stitch markers or pins

Needle for sewing

Finished size: bust 38″ / length 17″ / arm opening circumference 14″ / neck opening circumference 18″ (Size easily modifiable. Suggestions for modifying size in pattern below.)

What I did:

This sweater is knitted flat. The front and back are knitted in one piece with some stitches bound off and then cast back on to create neck opening. Then stitches are picked up along the sides to knit the arm bands. The sides are then seamed. And finally the collar is knitted.

**************

Gull Lace pattern, from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac, with slight modification (I just added a knit stitch in the beginning and end of each row):

Rows 1 and 3 (WS): k1, p to last st, k1

Rows 2 (RS): k1, *k1, k2tog, YO, k1, YO, ssk, k1* rep from * to * till last st, k1

Row 4 (RS): k1, *k2tog, YO, k3, YO, ssk* rep from * to * till last st, k1

**************

Body:

With larger needle, CO 58.

(The Gull Lace pattern is worked over a multiple of 7 stitches, so to make a larger size, one can add multiple of 7 stitches from number of CO. One pattern repeat or 7 stitches = 2.25″)

Knit 9 rows.

Begin Gull Lace pattern rows 1-4. Repeat Rows 1-4 until piece is 17 inches from beginning, or desired length. End with row 1 or 3.

Next row (neck opening): work 15 st in pattern, BO 28 st, work remaining 15 st in pattern.

(If you have added more stitches in the beginning, you can perhaps divide the shoulder/neck/shoulder stitches as follows:
Added 7 stitches – work 15 st in pattern, BO 35, work 15 st in pattern
Added 14 stitches – work 22 st in pattern, BO 28, work 22 st in pattern
Added 21 stitches – work 22 st in pattern, BO 35, work 22 st in pattern)

Next row: k1, p14, CO 28, p14, k1. (or adjust number of stitches as listed above)

Continue in pattern until piece is 17 inches from neck opening, or same length as the other side, end with row 1 or 3.

Knit 9 rows, BO.

Arm bands/sleeves:

On the side seam, find the mid point that divides front and back. Mark this point with stitch marker or pin. Measure 7″ (or length as desired) down the side seam from the mid point, mark this point. Measure 7″ (or same length as the other side) up the side seam from the mid point, mark this point. Remove marker at mid point.

With smaller needles and right side facing, pick up 44 stitches evenly along side seam from marker to marker (or more stitches if added more length; generally 1 stitch per row). Knit 6 rows, BO. Repeat on the other arm.

Sew side seams from underarm to bottom of sweater.

Collar:

With smaller needles and right side facing, pick up stitches evenly around neck opening. Knit every row until collar is 3.5″ tall (or desired length). BO, weave in ends.

(One could use circular needle or DPNs and knit in the round. I’m not really good at knitting in the round, but I inherited these flexible needles from my mom, so the collar is knitted back and forth and then seamed. Doesn’t look as great as if it were knitted in the round, but it worked out :D)

Photo 2015-02-07, 11 45 09 PM

 

This was a fun knit! And a cozy layering piece for February :D

Hope everyone has a good week!

 

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finally!

I actually finished making this in the SUMMER. Just never got around to taking a proper photo of it. The wonderful and very generous Amy sent me yarn in the mail to test out her Love-Me-Knot cowl pattern. And finally! Here it is :D

Photo 2015-02-11, 8 18 42 PM

I didn’t make it as long as the pattern calls for and added a twist before joining at the end, so it’s kind of a mobius shawlette. I love the drape and the forest colours in the yarn. I also really like the love knot stitch. I find it very meditative, more so than any other crochet or knitting stitch.

I very much enjoyed the pattern (and the yarn!), thanks so much again Amy!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend! :D

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ode to hedwig

Photo 2015-02-07, 3 35 57 PM

Ode to Hedwig, Harry Potter’s very loyal owl friend, and a token of thanks to Mike’s very kind co-worker, who lent us the entire Harry Potter DVD series over the past month :) because we had never watched or read the series before.

I first started following this owl pattern, but then the yarn I had was a lot heavier than what the pattern calls for, and I would end up with an owl much larger than I wanted, so then I just made up my own stitch count and incorporated grey feather pattern and added wings. But the overall structure is still adapted from the original owl pattern.

I also didn’t have safety eyes, and not sure where I can buy them in the city (does anyone who lives/works in Toronto know where they’re sold?)… I think the stacked buttons look alright, but safety eyes would definitely look nicer.

Here’s the back of the owl. It has a bit of a tail. And my hand is there for scale.

Photo 2015-02-07, 3 37 59 PM

It’s a very quick make, the entire owl is just 10 rounds (plus wings). So I thought I’d share my pattern adaptations in case anyone wants to make a quick owl :)

What I used:

A bit of bulky weight yarn in white and grey

4mm hook

Buttons or safety eyes

Sport or DK weight yarn in black for embroidering beak

Needle and thread for sewing and embroidering

Polyfil or yarn ends for stuffing

What I did:

*Don’t join at the end of each round.

Rnd 1: With white, 6 sc in magic ring.

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12 sc).

Rnd 3-4: sc in each sc around (12 sc).

Rnd 5: [2 sc tog, sc in next sc] 4 times (8 sc).

Rnd 6: [2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc] 4 times (12 sc).

Rnd 7: sc in next 3 sc in white, attach grey, [sc in grey, sc in white] 3 times, sc in next 3 sc in white (12 sc).

Rnd 8: sc in next 4 sc in white, [sc in grey, sc in white] 2 times, fasten off grey, sc in next 4 sc in white (12 sc).

Rnd 9: Continuing in white, sc in each sc around (12 sc).

Round 10: [hdc, dc, hdc] in next sc, 2 sc tog 5 times, sl st in next sc, leaving a long tail, fasten off.

Stuff owl. Using needle, weave yarn tail through the base of the hdc-dc-hdc clutter and in each of the remaining 5 sc, pull tight and fasten off.

The wings are the same as those in my Tiny Wings bird pattern.

With white, 4 sc in magic ring, ch 2, work 2 dc tog by working 1 dc in magic ring and 1 dc in first sc, fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing when finishing one of the wings. Weave in ends.

Sew eyes, embroider beak, and sew wings on owl.

And tiny Hedwig is ready for action :D

Photo 2015-02-07, 3 39 49 PM

 

Hoot! Have a lovely week, everyone! :D

 

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this week’s awesome finds

 

 

 

First, I want to share with you this AWESOME installation that my sister pointed out to me, by Chicago artist Melissa Jay Craig. Why books as mushrooms, you ask? She says, “When I was a child, the first time I had the intriguing feeling that the planet carried messages (texts, if you will) for those who were curious enough to look, was when I came upon a group of Amanita Muscaria, huddled together in a dark, secret space under tall pines.” Isn’t it beautiful? Read more about the installation at This is Colossal.

 

Now, want to make your own mushroom installation? Here’s a lovely how-to using wine corks and magnets on At Home in Love.

 

These cacti are so very cute. From Craftberry Bush.

 

I don’t know much about beading, and I wanted to make a statement necklace to wear to a wedding with an old black sweater dress, so I was looking for tutorials, and I really like this one on tuts+, featuring different stones.

 

Tutorial for making these beautiful needle felted birds, by Joe & Cheryl.

 

Origami is one of my favourite things, and this is just adorable – diagrams for making the sushi AND the wooden platform they’re on, plus a treasure trove of origami diagrams from dinosaurs to flying squirrels to soft serve ice cream cones on Origami Club! :D

 

A beautiful wall hanging of moon phases, from Almost Makes Perfect.

 

A super fun strawberry cake tissue box cover by the awesome Twinkie Chan, using loop stitch! (my favourite!) From The Tissue Box Bakery.

 

If I have a cat, I would make him this cat tent. From Practically Functional.

 

Beautifully knitted broccoli florets by Ravelry designer Sara Elizabeth Kellner (check out her other patterns too! I especially love the queen bee). I love how the textures are made of purl and knit stitches. Pattern for sale on Ravelry.

 

Wishing you a week of delightful crafty adventures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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insta-sunshine

It’s been a cold week around here! Could use some tropical sunshiny-ness right about now, in the middle of January. So I made these :D

Photo 2015-01-18, 7 21 34 PM

Made these using the pineapple from the old piña colada pattern, but using embroidery thread and a 2.35mm hook. I kid you not, I thought I smelled pineapples when I was crocheting this. Need to get some canned pineapples next time I’m at the grocery store…

I then attached jump rings (which I made by bending head pins, because I didn’t have large enough jump rings on hand) to the base of the leaves, then attached the pineapples to earring hooks.

Give this quick project a try and instantly add some sunshine to your day! :D

Have a great week, everyone!

 

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holiday crafting

I was waiting until the last presents were opened to post this :D And by the way, if you’re visiting because of the grown-up cardigan, thanks so much for dropping by! I don’t think I’ve ever had that many views in a day before. Thanks so much for checking out the pattern!

So, holiday crafting! This bonsai is a custom order. I’ve never made anything like this so it was all an experiment. I never really do preparatory sketches (or check gauge, or make swatches) but I actually drew a picture of how I wanted the branches to twist this way and that. It didn’t turn out looking like the picture at all after I inserted the sculpting wires, they seem to have a mind of their own? But I’m glad it worked out looking like a bonsai anyway :D

bonsai 1

And we even had a bonsai pot hidden away in our closet, waiting for years to be used for this of course! It was from a bonsai that didn’t live :( apparently few people can keep a bonsai alive for long – hence the need for a bonsai that never dies!

And I added a tiny gnome because I thought the bonsai looked a bit lonely. Here’s a close up of the gnome. It was crocheted with embroidery floss with a 2.3mm hook (2.3 is kind of an odd size for a crochet hook don’t you think? But that’s what it says on the hook… anyway, I digress).

bonsai 2

He’s kind of like a candy corn, except with eyes and a beard. Maybe I can even make a candy corn gnome in the fall… I like the gnome so much that I put him in the shop :D With a new and improved extra fuzzy beard. He is a pin :)

wee gnome

And then Mike requested a tiny yeti pin for his co-worker who is rather fond of yetis. So I thought I could use the same method as the tiny yeti, except with the thinnest yarn I have and the trusty 2.3mm hook…

Behold the tiniest yeti!

tiniest yeti

Doesn’t he look like he’s ready to give the most sincere hug? :D He’s in the shop as well. Both the gnome and the yeti are about an inch tall. My hand is in the pictures for scale.

And I made these for Mike – they’re soot spirit hand warmers :D

soot warmers

I decided to make hand warmers for Mike because his hands get really cold in the winter, to the point where he has difficulties typing when he first gets into work in the morning. So I thought these would work great if he pops them in the microwave for 30 seconds before he heads out to subway to work in the morning and before he heads home from the office at night. There are many tutorials on the web showing how to make them (with rice inside). But because I have black flannel on hand I thought it would make really great soot spirits! They appear in My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away. Here’s a lovely video montage of them in action if you haven’t seen the movies already :D

Also made these for my friend’s shop, cat earrings and necklace!

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

cat 3

I bought them from a local Etsy seller, Yum Yum Objects. The shop owner is super friendly, and the package was wrapped in book pages and pattern tissue, with extra cat beads! The cat beads are a beautiful translucent grey that have an iridescent quality to it in the light. And so of course I have to immediately make myself a necklace (and a pair of earrings) when the beads came in the mail! :D I’ve been wearing it for the past few days. So excited.

cat
I also knitted and crocheted an assortment of scarfs/neckwarmers, a shawl, a hat, a few brooches and a loop stitch bathmat for various family members, but didn’t take pictures of them. Aaaand there’s one more gift that I haven’t yet mentioned because it will come with a pattern! So stay tuned! :D

Have a wonderful week everyone!

 

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a grown-up cardigan

I thought after the Totoro sweater I should make a dressier cardigan for more grown-up occasions like interviews and work.

And today, I’m going to attempt to translate my scribbles and diagrams into an actual pattern! Yes, my diagram of a rectangle, a trapezoid, and several numbers on a single piece of sticky note. I did jot down these things so I can write the pattern later, and I’m sure they made perfect sense then, but how did I expect myself to make sense of it months later? Please bear with me as I try to write a pattern that makes sense, and please drop me a note if you have any questions!

Here’s the cardigan :D

DSC03913

Because I made it in black (for dressiness, you see), I overexposed the photos a lot so you can see the details. I like shawl-style collars, they go well with most shirts. Except maybe collared shirts, but I don’t have many of those.

I added some simple details so it’s not just rows upon rows of double-crochet, which would be boring to look at and to make. Here’s the back…

DSC03909

 

Here’s a close up of the shawl-collar…

DSC03904

The construction is extremely simple. There’s hardly any shaping, just a bunch of rectangular shapes sewn together, and then crocheting along the front and neck to make the collar. So I imagine it would be pretty easy to modify by adding or subtracting stitches as needed.

I got this yarn from my mom, who got it from my grandma in Hong Kong. There was never any label on it. But I compared it with my other yarn and it looks closest to fingering weight. One way to increase the size of the cardigan would be to use a heavier yarn (sport, DK, or worsted with good drape) and larger hooks (5-6.5mm).

Edit: Since I’m seeing A LOT of traffic to this post lately (thanks so much for visiting everyone! I have never had that many views before and I think the site might have crashed for a bit…), I’m reposting here my reply to a visitor’s comment below about adding stitches to the foundation ch to increase the size of the cardigan – hope this helps! As usual please feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions!

“to add width to the sweater shouldn’t be difficult, as they are just rectangles. you can add more stitches to the foundation ch. it’s approximately 10 stitches for 2 inches, and the sweater i made is 32″ around. so for example, for a size 36″ sweater I would add 20 ch to the back, and 6 ch to each of the front left and front right pieces (the eyelet row needs an odd number of stitches). so you can add ch in multiples of 10 and split them between the back, front left and front right pieces according to the size you need. the same goes for the sleeves. my sleeves are 11″ around at the widest part. you can also do more increase rows in between so the cuff wouldn’t become too wide, maybe increase every other dc row throughout after the first 6 rows. hope this helps!”

I used:

Fingering weight yarn, about 1600 yards

4 mm hook

Stitch markers (or contrasting colour scrap yarn)

Size:

Bust 32″, length 21″, sleeve length (underarm to cuff) 17″

Gauge:

6 rows of 10 dc = 2″ x 2″

Pattern:

Back

ch 83.

Row 1: dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each ch across, turn.

Row 2: ch 3 (counts as a dc throughout), dc in each dc across, turn.

Rows 3-5: repeat row 2.

Row 6 (eyelet row): ch 4, skip first dc, dc in next dc, *ch 1, skip next dc, dc in next dc* repeat from * to * to end.

Row 7: ch 3, dc in first ch 1 sp, dc in next dc, *dc in ch 1 sp, dc in next dc* repeat from * to * to end.

For the rest of back:

Work in pattern so that there are 5 dc rows between eyelet rows, until there are 8 eyelet rows altogether, then work 5 more dc rows. There will be 53 rows altogether. Fasten off.

Right and left fronts (make 2)

ch 25.

Work in same pattern for back until there are 53 rows altogether. Fasten off.

Sleeves (make 2)

ch 41.

Work in rows 1-7 of back.

Row 8 (increase row): ch 3, 2 dc in next dc, dc in each dc until last dc, 2 dc in last dc, turn.

Rows 9-11: dc rows.

Row 12: eyelet row.

Row 13: dc row.

Repeat rows 8-13 four (4) more times. Basically, every second row after the eyelet row is an increase row.

Next: work 1 dc row, one increase row, one dc row, one eyelet row.

Next: *work 1 dc row, one increase row, one dc row, one increase row, one dc row*, one eyelet row. (Basically, every second and fourth rows after the eyelet row is an increase row.)

Next: repeat from * to *. Fasten off.

Assembly

With right sides facing each other (wrong side facing you), sew shoulders together.

With right side facing itself, fold sleeve in half lengthwise, mark the center at the top edge of sleeve. With right sides facing each other, pin the center of top edge of sleeve to shoulder seam. Pin the rest of the top edge of sleeve along the front and back pieces. Sew sleeve to front and back. Repeat for the other sleeve.

Sew side and underarm/sleeve seams together.

Turn cardigan right side out.

Collar

With right side facing, attach yarn to lower left corner of cardigan front. ch 3.

Row 1: Evenly crochet a row of dc up the left front, 2 dc tog in the last stitch of the left front and the first stitch of the back, place marker, dc along the top edge of the back, 2 dc tog in the last stitch of the back and first stitch of the right front, place marker, and dc down the right front, turn.

(What seems to work for me to evenly crochet a row along the edges: up and down the front pieces, crocheting into the side of a the rows – dc into the middle of the dc, then dc into the joint between 2 rows. It’s not exactly 2 dc in each row, it’s fewer stitches than that. When working across the back pieces, just dc into each dc.)

Row 2: ch 3, *dc in each dc until the stitch before marker, 2 dc tog, move marker up a row*, repeat from * to * once more, dc in each dc to end, turn.

Row 3: repeat row 2. Remove all markers.

Row 4: eyelet row.

Rows 5-7: dc rows.

Row 8: eyelet row.

Repeat rows 5-8 three (3) more times. Work 3 more dc rows. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

And here we have it, a grown-up-looking cardigan :)

DSC03910

 

Happy new year everyone! :D

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an analogue Christmas

This Christmas I only took a few pictures with my phone, the rest I took with a Diana Mini (a film camera). I’m really enjoying not being able to immediately see what I’ve captured, and waiting to see the results, and ending up with significantly fewer photos. It all makes picture-taking a much more intentional activity for me.

So I just want to share with you a few of my favourites :D

Some of these are from the fall. Here we are, with friends at Nuit Blanche. Some major streets were closed for the “all-night art thing”, so we were able to take a leisurely stroll in the middle of the night down the middle of a streetcar track.

81360036

 

This was one of the Nuit Blanche installations at Fort York. Taken with long exposure, made more dramatic with light leaks. The lights moves from the canons down the hill. I wished I had recorded the sounds and music that went with it too. It was beautiful.

81360038

 

Kind of a confusing picture but I really like it. It was actually a double exposure of baby’s breath in a vase and me wearing a mushroom cap.

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Here’s a better picture of me in the mushroom cap (found at Ikea! Best thing ever :D). One cannot be stressed out while wearing a mushroom cap and sipping tea.

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The annual Santa Claus parade! We haven’t been for a few years but this year a friend was in the parade so we were hoping to wave at her from the sideline. Sadly, we missed her, with all the festivities going on and children running around. But I’ve got some multiply-exposed pictures to capture the (somewhat overwhelming) holiday cheers! (Because I was also running out of film, was trying to take in as much as possible :P) Here we have a couple of posing clowns…

81360009

 

and a princess in a giant skirt and a giant bonhomme de neige.

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And rabbits! And tea party amidst the giant mushrooms!

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And finally, Santa! With the band playing around him…

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And we also went to the annual Christmas Market at the Distillery. Very magical with the lights. This one is my favourite shot from the market.

90020023

 

There was a very giant Christmas tree, but the pictures I took of the tree turned out rather dark because the Diana doesn’t have a very strong flash. So, tree with more string lights.

90020026

 

The cheerful crowd :D

90020038

 

In the building where all the artist studios are.

90020027

 

And some family time. Got to do some holiday yarn crafting with my cousin (who is 8, so I’m more like an aunt than a cousin…). Here are the pom pom pets we made, all lined up for a group photo :D (a granny rabbit, a panda and a pig)

90020017

 

Having some tea and trifle at grandma’s, a yearly tradition :) (I love how it captured the cream dispersing in the tea)

90020003

 

I just started another roll of film for new year and lunar new year – stay tuned for more Diana pictures! :D Until then, wishing you good health and much joy in 2015!

 

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holiday skirt

I made this sometimes in the fall, didn’t have a chance to wear it until the holidays :D

Photo 2014-12-27, 12 41 17 PM

The pattern was from this book. I added the button panel because I wasn’t sure the fabric would have enough stretch for the fitted waist opening to go over the hips. It turned out a bit big on me but I like that it looks woven. Here’s a closer look at my blue/light blue/brown colour pattern :)

Photo 2014-12-27, 11 37 30 AM

More posts on holiday crafting to come! Hope everyone has had a restful and joyous holiday season!

 

 

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about genuine mudpie

Hello, my name is Trish. I live in Toronto. I like to make things (particularly with yarn). This is a place where I share my crafty endeavours and things that inspire me. Thank you for visiting! Would love to hear from you - feel free to leave a comment! :D

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