brings joy

Mike put up the tree last week. As we were look­ing through the orna­ments I real­ized that these rab­bit ones were made almost 10 years ago. The paint is a bit fad­ed and got bits of the tree stuck on them now but they held up quite well, giv­en that they were made of salt dough.

I thought they looked a bit cold this year so I made them sweaters. 

Also thought the Ice­landic Yule Cat needs some­thing spe­cial to stand on, so we all know it’s no house cat (though noth­ing wrong with house cats).

Small bits of craft­ing. Brings joy. (and pro­cras­ti­na­tion from work)

May your week be joy­ful and bright.




This blog was like a home. I’ve been away for a while. It’s been dif­fi­cult to return from a sea­son of loss­es, in which I’m still find­ing myself wan­der­ing. This is one of my repeat­ed attempts in find­ing myself. 

Every year Mike and I make Christ­mas cards. A tra­di­tion since we’ve been mar­ried a dozen years ago. This year we almost did­n’t make it, but we did final­ly, with just what we have. We thought we need­ed oth­er things, but real­ized, as we were going through the process, that we already have what we needed.

We had an idea to make block prints of a hedge­hog with mush­rooms grow­ing out of its back. Mike told me about this plush toy that he and his broth­er got from a mas­sive Kinder Egg when they were chil­dren one Christ­mas. Our nieces and nephews now have the hedge­hog. The chil­dren kind­ly share a photo: 

(The mush­rooms on this hedge­hog are green, blue and red.)

We thought about mak­ing a block print of the hedge­hog with lino blocks. I thought it would be too much work. I thought we could just use foam pieces from food trays. 

I cut shapes of the body and head of the hedge­hog from the foam tray with a basic util­i­ty knife. Mike had the bril­liant idea of tap­ing (with dou­ble-sided tape) the foam shape to the bot­tom of a glass con­tain­er in order to make prints. That way, I can see exact­ly where the shape was print­ing onto the paper, and have an almost per­fect reg­is­tra­tion (in print­mak­ing terms). 

This is the foam piece (head of the hedge­hog) taped to the bot­tom of the glass con­tain­er, and me brush­ing acrylic paint on it with a foam brush.

This is me press­ing it onto the card with the oth­er part of the hedge­hog already print­ed on it.

I hope this makes sense. But if it does­n’t, and you’d like to try a sim­i­lar thing, just leave me a mes­sage in the comments.

Here is the herd of hedgehogs…

May you too find joy and com­fort in both famil­iar and unex­pect­ed things around you this hol­i­day season.

Send­ing much love.

settling in…

I don’t think I’ve ever been away for so long, I’m so sor­ry folks! >_<

April was a very chal­leng­ing month. There was a great loss in my fam­i­ly, there were final papers for the school term, and we were mov­ing to a new place. The month felt like a blur, but at the same time each day felt excru­ci­at­ing­ly long, with too many thoughts and too many feel­ings. So have been spend­ing the month of May try­ing to set­tle in and feel­ing the earth beneath my feet again.

But I thought I’d bring a new thing when I return here. A how-to for a floor pouf!

The pouf is fin­ger-knit­ted and uses exact­ly two skeins of Bernat Blan­ket yarn. It uses the same tech­niques of four fin­ger knit­ting and turn­ing as the ear warm­ers, and the pho­to tuto­r­i­al is here.

The pouf is about 2 feet in diam­e­ter and 1.5 feet tall. I stuffed it with an old dou­ble size duvet. I do have to fluff it up after sit­ting on it, so for a firmer pouf it can prob­a­bly be stuffed a bit more with a queen size duvet or anoth­er blanket.

To make the floor pouf, cast on the first row and knit until piece is about 25″ long, then turn and knit until you have just enough yarn left to sew up the seam (about 50″ of yarn tail). The piece would be about 45″ wide.

Sew the short edges of the rec­tan­gle togeth­er using tapes­try nee­dle, tie off, then turn right side out. Weave the yarn tail through the stitch­es around one open­ing edge, then cinch tight­ly and sew shut. Fas­ten off.

Stuff with duvet. Using a dif­fer­ent colour yarn (I used a length of worsted weight yarn dou­bled up) that’s about 50″ long, weave through the stitch­es around the oth­er open­ing edge, cinch and tie with a remov­able knot. So that the duvet can be tak­en out for washing.

This is the first piece of knit­ted fur­ni­ture I’ve made so I’m quite proud :)

Hope to write again soon. Until then, take good care!

tchotchke the cat pillow

I bought some very chunky, very fluffy wool in Cape Bre­ton a few years ago. It knits up in var­ie­gat­ed stripes and I thought it would make a won­der­ful cat pil­low. And the yarn weight is great for the large gauge of loom knitting. 

I named the cat Tchotchke, because I like the sound of the word :D and because I have a lot of cat tchotchkes.

It’s basi­cal­ly a tube shape with­out any shap­ing, it’s the sewing togeth­er that makes the feet nub­by feet and the ears. It’s a very begin­ner-friend­ly project :)

Reg­u­lar knit­ting: Alter­na­tive­ly, if one isn’t into loom knit­ting, I imag­ine that this cat pil­low can also eas­i­ly be made with a 10 mm cir­cu­lar nee­dle and super chunky yarn. Just cast on 41 stitch­es, then knit one round and purl one round (garter stitch) until it’s 14 inch­es in length, then pro­ceed with the sewing instruc­tions. (I haven’t tried it though, so I don’t know if it might knit up small­er using reg­u­lar nee­dles, and one would there­fore make the cat shorter.)

I used:

41-peg loom, from this Loops & Threads set 

12-peg loom (option­al, just eas­i­er when mak­ing the tail)

Loom knit­ting pick

Super chunky weight yarn about 200 m / 150 g (I sug­gest using the chunki­est fluffi­est yarn you can find so less stuff­ing show through)

Poly­ester stuffing

Tapes­try needle

Black yarn (I used worsted weight dou­bled up)


With draw­string cast-on (instruc­tion video here), cast on all the pegs of the 41-peg loom using the super chunky yarn.

Knit one row (knit stitch instruc­tion video here, ignore the cast-on part in the beginning).

Purl one row (purl stitch instruc­tion video here, again ignore the cast-on part).

Repeat the pre­vi­ous two rows (thus work­ing the garter stitch) until the piece is about 14 inch­es in length.

Bind off (bind off instruc­tion video here).


Cast on 7 pegs on the small­er loom or the same loom. 

Knit one row and purl one row. Repeat these two rows until the piece is 12 inch­es long. 

Leav­ing a very long yarn tail, weave the tail through the stitch­es on the pegs, then remove the stitch­es from the pegs and cinch to gath­er the stitch­es. Fold the tail in half length-wise and sew togeth­er using mat­tress stitch. Stop sewing and tie off 2 inch­es away from the end.

New we sew it togeth­er and make a cat shape!

With the draw­string cast-on on the body, pull on the yarn tail and cinch it close, but not too tight­ly. It will form a sort of curve. Tie off, then sew the open­ing close by sewing through both lay­ers of fab­ric using whip stitch. (pic­ture below)

With the oth­er end of the tube (the ears and head), using whip stitch again, and sewing both lay­ers of fab­ric togeth­er, sew from the edge in about 2 inch­es toward the cen­tre. Repeat from the oth­er edge. It will leave an open­ing in the cen­tre of the head. 

Stuff with stuff­ing, but not too firmly.

Weave a piece of yarn around each stitch in the cen­tre open­ing, cinch it tight­ly closed, and tie off secure­ly. (pic­ture below shows what the top of the head looks like after it’s all sewn together.)

With the tail, spread open the end of the tail and sew around its edges while attach­ing it to the body using whip stitch. It will look like this:

Final­ly, sew on eyes, nose/mouth and whiskers with the black yarn. 

A new friend to watch TV and hang out with! :D

Have a good week everyone!

this week’s awesome finds

Lip balm made with sim­ple ingre­di­ents, from Our Lives with Bel­la.
I love fun­nel neck and marled yarn. Pat­tern by Purl Soho.
Of course I meant to write this post before Valen­tine’s Day to include this cute and prac­ti­cal craft! But love can be cel­e­brat­ed any day and I’m sure these olive stress balls will be great­ly appre­ci­at­ed any­time as a gift :D From Hand­made Char­lotte.
Also from Hand­made Char­lotte, a yarn ball, an ice cream cone, a pup­pet — what can be more adorable?
It is not too ear­ly to dream of spring and boxy cot­ton sweaters. I par­tic­u­lar­ly like how the cen­tre seam is made an ele­ment of design rather than hid­den. From Hooked on Tilly.
Also a boxy sweater, but a cozy one. I real­ly like the cowl neck. By Lion Brand Yarn (fol­low link in post for pattern).

Hope every­one have a won­der­ful week!


What I’ve been work­ing on after the holidays…

This was some­thing that I start­ed on my trip to Hong Kong. Work­ing on this got me through excru­ci­at­ing­ly long flights and some moments of sad­ness as well as a cold. I actu­al­ly man­aged fin­ish­ing most of the body dur­ing the trip and fin­ished the sleeves after I came back. 

I made up the pat­tern entire­ly and jot­ted down some notes with the hope of shar­ing it some­times in the future… it might not hap­pen till May when the win­ter semes­ter is over, so hope­ful­ly I will still remem­ber what I did…

I used the Red Heart It’s a Wrap that was sent to me from Yarn Cana­da to review. Remem­ber the ghost­ly doily? So I fin­ished the doily AND made this sweater AND still have yarn left for prob­a­bly anoth­er doily. The yardage is incredible!

After school start­ed back again I did­n’t have as much time but I did knit a hat! I’ve loom knit­ted a hat with with this Caron Chunky Cake before but the wide gaps between stitch­es (part of loom knit­ting but I think it’s fix­able, I just don’t know how) make the hat not very warm… so I fig­ure I’ll unrav­el and knit a 2x2 rib one. 

And then I thought it’s a bit too short and the brim not wide enough, so I unrav­eled again and added stripes with the left­over grey sec­tion of the yarn cake.

I think this one is stay­ing knit­ted :D

Have a great week, everyone!


Over Christ­mas I made a trip to Hong Kong with my mom and sis­ter, because my grand­ma is unwell. We tried to spend as much time as pos­si­ble with her, know­ing also that hav­ing vis­i­tors was also tir­ing for both my grand­par­ents. So my sis­ter and I did quite a bit of wandering. 

The grimy streets, the humid air, the plume of exhaust every time a bus pass­es by on the nar­row street. The palm trees, the emer­ald moun­tains, the trop­i­cal plants bloom­ing in Decem­ber. Peo­ple who would speed walk right into you if you don’t make way quick­ly enough. The sea that always smells faint­ly like the sewer. 

I love every tree, every brick, every grimy side­walk, every pedes­tri­an bridge in this city. 

But I won­der if I would say the same if we nev­er left. If I had to grow up and learn to be an adult in it. If I actu­al­ly have to live with its var­i­ous com­pli­cat­ed polit­i­cal and social issues now. I don’t know. I don’t even know if I will always be able to vis­it as freely as I do now, with the ways the said com­pli­cat­ed polit­i­cal and social issues are pro­gress­ing. We’ll wait, and see, and hope. And in the mean­while I’ll show you some pic­tures of this beloved city.

Porg, our trav­el com­pan­ion, pos­es in front of the win­dow at our guest house.
View from a pedes­tri­an bridge on King’s Road with the old style tram.
Oil Street arts cen­tre near our guest house. Folks relax­ing on the lawn at lunch time.
Street mar­ket and shoppers.
Wan­dered into Hong Kong Uni­ver­si­ty, a colo­nial insti­tu­tion built in 1912.
Of course, stitch­ing on the MTR. No one stitch­es on the MTR though…
Vis­it­ing Hong Kong Park. It has meerkats and lemurs. Much green­ery. Also unsea­son­ably warm this time of year.
Porg wants a pho­to. It’s not every day he gets to ride the MTR.
Anoth­er pedes­tri­an bridge, anoth­er view.
A refur­bished cot­ton fac­to­ry that turned into an arts cen­tre and retail space, with a thriv­ing rooftop garden.
One of the many ghost signs. It’s clear that there are lots of thoughts and efforts put into pre­serv­ing and show­cas­ing the orig­i­nal struc­ture. Even the bench­es are made from the orig­i­nal wood­en doors.
Vis­it­ed the neigh­bour­hood where my par­ents grew up and met with my mom and aunt. Also where I went to kinder­garten. I have a few spe­cif­ic mem­o­ries of this place.
My par­ents’ fam­i­lies lived in small flats like these.
Toasts at tea time.
We egg tart lovers. Held on to Porg’s wing just in time to stop him from falling right in. 
Spent part of our last evening at the har­bour, with many groups of enthu­si­as­tic buskers, and the back­drop of the icon­ic Hong Kong skyline.

One of my favourite poems by Ursu­la Le Guin comes to mind, wher­ev­er home is for you…

May your soul be at home where there are no hous­es.
Walk care­ful­ly, well loved one,
walk mind­ful­ly, well loved one,
walk fear­less­ly, well loved one.
Return with us, return to us, 
be always com­ing home. 

From Always Com­ing Home, 1985

new year’s awesome finds

A few projects to get the new year craft­ing start­ed! :D

A quick and cozy make. I love fun­nel neck. By Two of Wands.
Intri­cate stitch pat­tern inspired by the Great Lakes. From Cro­chet 365.
Impressed by how much it looks knit­ted! I’m not super into cro­chet projects that try to look knit (because there’s noth­ing wrong with cro­chet that looks cro­chet!), but I do love the look of knit­ted fab­ric while my hands pre­fer to cro­chet. From My Hob­by is Crochet.
I’ve always want­ed to make a good jack­et and this one looks stur­dy! A paid pat­tern by Eli­na Vaana­nen on Rav­el­ry.

Hap­py 2019! May your year be filled with love, joy and crafts! :D

Merry Christmas!

This year Mike and I mar­bled paper using shav­ing cream and made Christ­mas cards with them. It was a lot of fun and I wish you can smell the refresh­ing scent from across the screen! :D 

Thank you so much for jour­ney­ing with me this year. Though my posts have been few and far in between since the fall, this blog has been with me since 2010 and is still a joy­ful anchor amidst var­i­ous busy and chaot­ic times in my life. Thank you for being a part of it by vis­it­ing, read­ing and shar­ing your thoughts too!

Wish­ing you a won­der­ful hol­i­day, with time to pause, rest, re-ener­gize, craft, eat good food, share lots of laughs with your loved ones, and craft some more :D

this week’s awesome sweaters

Cozy win­ter projects :)

Real­ly like the garter pan­el on the side of the sleeves and looks like a begin­ner’s make I can han­dle :) By Tin Can Knits.

Weeee! An alpaca hol­i­day sweater! *heart-eyes x1000* By Joy of Motion.

I think this would be a per­fect project to learn round yoke colour-work sweaters. By Sewrel­la.

I love every­thing about this sweater — the raglan detail, the sim­ple design, and the fun­nel neck. By Eleven Hand­made in issue 108 of Inside Cro­chet (fol­low link on Rav­el­ry).

Love espe­cial­ly the pops of teal around the edges! And the tri­an­gles of course. By Amy Gun­der­son in the lat­est issue of Knit­ty!

Hap­py win­ter stitch­ing! :D