Today is the first day of Chi­nese new year. I made this bam­boo as a gift. Pret­ty hap­py with how it turned out. 

I thought bam­boo gen­er­al­ly sym­bol­izes good luck because it’s sold in every Chi­nese shop that sells plants. But with a quick search on the inter­net I learned that it also rep­re­sents renew­al (because of how quick­ly it grows), flexibility/strength, and longevi­ty — so, resilience, tenaciousness. 

“Tena­cious” is a word that I’d like to be described by. I don’t give up, or per­haps more truth­ful­ly I find it hard giv­ing up on things or peo­ple. Some would say that I’m not very good at let­ting go. Oth­er have said I’m stub­born. I’d like to think that I’m tena­cious. But I guess a way for­ward would be to cul­ti­vate flex­i­bil­i­ty, to renew or reori­ent my approach to how I’m tena­cious­ly con­nect­ing to some things. 

Any­way, I’d also say that the cro­chet slip stitch is a very bam­boo-like stitch, because it makes a firm fab­ric and there­fore tena­cious, it is how­ev­er also very flex­i­ble and stretch­able, almost like a knit­ted rib.

Here I’d like to share a loose­ly formed recipe for mak­ing the bam­boo. It’s kind of like free-formed cro­chet­ing, and how tall the plant is depends on the vase you’re using, but there are some basics to it, in case any­one would like to give it a try.

I used:

Caron Sim­ply Soft for the bam­boo stalk because of its sheen

Patons Astra for the yel­low rings and caps

Bernat Super Val­ue for the leaves

5.5 mm hook for the stalk

3.5 mm hook for the rings and caps

Tapes­try needle

Pop­si­cle sticks

Vase with pebbles

Stalks are made with back loop slip stitch (tuto­r­i­al).
With larg­er hook and lighter green, make a chain of desired length. I start­ed with 25 ch for the tallest, and 21 and 15 for the oth­er two. Then sl st BLO until piece is about 1.5″ wide. With­out fas­ten­ing off, sl st to join the seams togeth­er length­wise, mak­ing a long tube (the sl st seam will be on the out­side; the piece won’t be turned inside out after seam­ing). Fas­ten off. 

Rings are made around the stalks with sur­face slip stitch (tuto­r­i­al).
With small­er hook and yel­low, attach yarn where you want the ring to be at the back seam of the stalk. sl st in every stitch in the rows cross­wise (not just the stitch that appears as a “v”, but also the stitch in between the “v“s, so that the rings would pro­trude a bit). Fas­ten off after every ring made and pull the tails inside the stalk.

Caps are made with mag­ic ring (tuto­r­i­al) with 8 sc inside the ring, sl st to join with first sc, then fas­ten off and leave a long tail for sewing. Attach ring to the top of the stalk. 

Leaves may be a lit­tle tricky to explain… I regret not tak­ing progress pho­tos, very sor­ry. It took quite a bit of exper­i­men­ta­tion but I set­tled on this method and I think the results are quite live­ly look­ing. I hope this makes sense.

With small­er hook and dark­er green, ch 5 to 7 (this is the stem you’re sewing to the stalk, so its length depends on how you want to posi­tion the sprig of leaves on the bam­boo), dc in sec­ond ch from hook, *[ch 1, dc in ch just made] two or three times (depend­ing on how long you want the leaf to be), ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st even­ly into the dc’s made ear­li­er (rough­ly 2 sl st per dc), sl st into the last ch of the stem*. At this point you can sl st down every ch of the stem then fas­ten off with tail for sewing, or you can make anoth­er leave by sl st down just a cou­ple of ch on the stem, then repeat * to *, and sl st down every ch of the stem, fas­ten off and leave a tail for sewing.

Sew the leaves to the stalks as desired.


The bam­boo stalks are sup­port­ed by pop­si­cle sticks on the inside. I used pop­si­cle sticks because it’s the only thing I can find to use at home. The width of it and the thick­ness of the cro­chet fab­ric takes up the inte­ri­or of the stalks so they don’t need more stuff­ing. I’ve had to con­nect a cou­ple of pop­si­cle sticks togeth­er for the taller two stalks by sim­ply over­lap­ping the ends of the sticks and glu­ing them togeth­er with white glue (hot glue would be a bet­ter choice). 

To deter­mine the lengths of pop­si­cle sticks you need, mea­sure how deeply you want the sticks to extend toward the base of the vase. I would want the sticks to actu­al­ly touch the base of the vase to make sure the sticks don’t wob­ble too eas­i­ly. Deter­mine the length of stick that is stick­ing out of the end of the stalk. It would be the same for all the stalks. Then mea­sure how tall each stick will need to be accord­ing to the length of the stalk. 

Pour a lay­er of peb­bles into the vase. I think small­er stone chips at least for the bot­tom lay­er are bet­ter for sta­bil­i­ty. Insert the stalks and arrange as desired, then pour on more peb­bles. I used dif­fer­ent glass ones on top for interest.

I lat­er added a red rib­bon around the stalk for gift-giv­ing that is not pic­tured because it blocked the bam­boo too much. But that also helps with the stability.

I did­n’t have any oth­er new year dec­o­ra­tions but thank­ful­ly there are emojis 😊🎋

Wish­ing every­one good health and hap­pi­ness in the year of the 🐀

new year sweater

I’ve always want­ed to make a granny stitch sweater. I wear the side­ways sweater a lot in the fall and win­ter for lay­er­ing. The open stitch pat­tern makes it not too warm for indoor heat­ing but the thick­ness of cro­chet makes it warm enough for the amount of time I spend out­doors in pub­lic tran­sit or walk­ing from one place to anoth­er in the city. So I want­ed a sim­i­lar sweater but dif­fer­ent, and granny stitch would have the sim­i­lar effects.

The pat­terns I came across are usu­al­ly worked flat with the front, back, and sleeve pieces seamed togeth­er, like this one, and this one, which look fab­u­lous. But I want­ed to make one that is cro­cheted top-down and in the round so that it incor­po­rates the granny cor­ner stitch­es in the yoke as raglan increases.  

I found this video tuto­r­i­al on Oana’s cro­chet chan­nel, which is bril­liant, espe­cial­ly the way it start­ed with the foun­da­tion “arch­es” made of ch’s and dc’s. There’s no writ­ten pat­tern; it’s more of a for­mu­la to make what fits and try on as you go. I’ve made some mod­i­fi­ca­tions for worsted weight yarn and larg­er hooks. If you’d like to try doing some­thing sim­i­lar, you’d have to watch Oana’s video first for the fol­low­ing to make sense.

The fin­ished mea­sure­ments of my sweater:

Bust: 36″ around
Arm open­ing: 14″ around
Sleeve length: 17.5″ from under­arm
Length: 18.5“
Neck width: 8.5“
Neck depth: 3″ 

I used about 1200 yards of worsted weight yarn and an 8 mm hook, as well as 6.5 mm hook for edgings. 

My mod­i­fi­ca­tions:

Yoke foun­da­tion chain (with larg­er hook): The sweater begins with a foun­da­tion chain of “arch­es” or loops made of ch’s and dc’s. I made 6 arch­es for the back of neck, 2 for each of the sleeves, and 4 for the raglan increas­es, and omit­ted ones in the front, so it’d make a smoother neck­line. So alto­geth­er I start­ed with 14 arches.

Note 1: I had to take away some stitch­es in the raglan increase, so that it is [2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc], because it was start­ing to buck­le with the orig­i­nal [3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc] combination.

Note 2: I turn at the end of each round.

Row 1: first raglan increase (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc), 3 dc in next 2 arch­es, raglan increase (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc), 3 dc in next 6 arch­es, raglan increase (as pre­vi­ous one), 3 dc in next 2 arch­es, last raglan increase (2 dc, ch 1, 3 dc).

Rows 2–3: increase at the start of the row as per the video (ch 3, 3 dc between first and sec­ond dc of the row), then work raglan increas­es in ch 1 spaces, and granny stitch­es across, then increase at the end of the row (4 dc between last dc and begin­ning ch 3 chain of last row).

Row 4: increase at the start of the row (ch 3, 2 dc between first and sec­ond dc of the row), then work raglan increas­es in ch 1 spaces, and granny stitch­es across, then increase at the end of the row (3 dc between last dc and begin­ning ch 3 chain of last row).

I then join the front with 3 arch­es, so that now the yoke is joined in the round.

I worked 5 more rounds around the yoke, then joined the front and back at the under­arm. Then worked until the piece is 18″ in length from shoulder.

For the sleeves, I start­ed with join­ing yarn in the stitch at under­arm (where the front and back joined), then worked 2 rounds even, then worked a decrease round.

For the decrease round, I did­n’t fol­low Oana’s video for sleeves, which involves a decrease row of sc stitch­es. I want­ed the entire sweater to be granny stitch­es, so here’s what I did.

Sleeve decrease round: ch 3, 2 dc in same space, [2 dc in next sp, 2 dc in next sp], work granny stitch around, sl st in top of begin­ning ch to join.

Round after decrease: ch 3, 2 dc in same space, work granny stitch around, until the group of stitch­es in [] of pre­vi­ous row, skip the 4 dc in [] (i.e. treat it as one group of granny stitch), work granny stitch in next sp to end, sl st in top of begin­ning ch to join. 

After the first decrease round, I worked decrease round every 6th row three times, then worked 3 rounds even, then worked anoth­er decrease round, and a final round.

For all the edg­ing I switched to a 6.5 mm hook and worked 3 rounds of sc stitch­es around the neck open­ing, cuffs and bot­tom of the sweater. Gen­er­al­ly I work 3 sc in each ch 3 space, and one sc in each dc around the cuffs. 

And that’s it, no seam­ing. And It’s a very quick make, I fin­ished it in a few days. I’d like to try mak­ing anoth­er one with dif­fer­ent colours in the yoke so the raglan increase stitch­es stand out more. 

Hope 2020 brings you many good things ♥