forest

First sweater project of the year is from a gorgeous pattern in Learn to Crochet Love to Crochet by Anna Wilkinson. The patchwork pattern was a lot of fun to make, and it reminds me of the diverse foliage in the forest.

I made the ribbed bands using single crochet stitches in back loops, because I had a lack of patience for slip stitches :S But I’m happy with how it turned out :)

Also! This is made with yarn I bought in Hong Kong! It’s really just acrylic DK yarn made it Europe I think, and it was on sale, so I bought a sweater quantity. So glad that it’s put to good use :D

AND! Did you notice the new design of this space? :D Mike kindly did an update! It’s not very different, because I wanted it to still feel like home, but just more contemporary and less late 90s blog-like, so it’s like a reno to the bathroom or kitchen and some reconfigurations of furniture. And I think the result is perfect :) and it’s responsive! (that’s a new word I learned :D it means that the layout adapts to the mobile devices so it’s easy to read on any device) 

Here’s a great start to a crafty year! Looking forward to sharing more crafty adventures with you. Cheers! 

one busy elf!

Now that the holiday’s over, I can show you the Christmas gifts I made and all the fun I’ve been having since the fall! This was one busy elf!

So I made a number of wash cloths, to give with artisan soaps that I got from craft fairs, very practical gifts that I thought everyone could use :) The butterfly wash cloth is from this Paillon Cloth pattern, which was a lot of fun to make with a variegated cotton. The tiny fish ones are for my niece and nephews, from this pattern on Ravelry. The hanging towel was a modification of the Circle Cloth pattern. Also made a couple of these pineapple hanging towels.

 

I took a workshop in November with my co-workers at a glass shop making millefiori pendants. I’ve made one for myself before and it was a lot of fun, so I made another for a gift :)

While making pom pom hair ties for my sincere sock cupcake project, I thought I’d also try making some soot sprites hair ties for a couple of Studio Ghibli fans :D

Caught in a perfectly tiny tin! :D (that used to hold some sparkly tea)

These hedgehogs mitts are for my niece, made almost entirely in commute. Excellent pattern from mom.me.

Spent a couple of Sunday afternoons at the Gardiner Museum drop-in clay class, and made an army of ornaments and tea bag holders! It was a great way to spend a weekend afternoon creatively, must go back sometimes!

And my newest invention — sushi sock rolls! :D For my dear friend’s baby. I used this 2-needle baby sock pattern, but had to modify it quite a bit to get the black part long enough to roll around. So the socks are faaarrr too big for the baby right now, they’re more for a toddler. But they’ll fit soon enough! And the idea is that when the child out grows the socks, they can be rolled up and sewed together permanently and be used as play food, or a pin cushion :D

 Now, the biggest project ever undertaken — behold the polar bear blanket!!!

I’ve been working on it for months and it’s for my parents! Wish I have a better picture of it, but it’s just so big! I didn’t have the room in my place or my parents’ for a good photo shoot. So here it is on my parents’ bed :) This is my first attempt at corner-to-corner crochet as well. I first made the polar bear blanket from Simply Crochet magazine (issue 50), then thought my parents would probably like a larger blanket. So I thought I’d add squares around it. I used the pine cone pattern from Make & Do Crew, then found and modified some knitting and cross-stitching graphs to make the snowflakes and the north star. Discovered that Microsoft Excel is a great program to draft crochet charts! 

And now, one great gift I received from my sister — from the awesome Out of Print clothing, a Miss Peregrine shirt!

Stay peculiar and levitate!

(Well, maybe not too much levitation this year. I haven’t tried taking this kind of photos for a while, and then afterwards my knees were a bit sore… another year older, after all. But stay peculiar, definitely!)

Happy first week of January! Hope everyone had a re-energizing holiday and have a great start to the new year! :D

 

 

holiday (tiny) shop update!

Feeling a bit inspired and motivated after visiting the One of a Kind show last weekend, I made some last minute update to my kind of dormant Etsy shop :D

I listed a very small quantity of items at friends-and-family prices in order to find them good homes, I only have one of each at this time.

There’s Santa’s Favourite milk and cookie ornament pack

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This very festive tiny wreath with mushroom and bell (the bell DOES ring!)…

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And a few pairs of tiny sushi earrings. There are 3 different sushi combo sets, you can see the other sets in the listing.

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To make sure the the orders will arrive before December 25, please place orders before Dec. 10 for Canada/US destinations and before Dec. 1 (that’s in 2 days!) for international destinations.

Have a look at the genuine mudpie shop if you’re looking for some handmade tiny plush to spread holiday cheers!

Wishing everyone an excellent rest of the week!

 

momo

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Momo means peach in Japanese. Perhaps this tawashi looks more like a pumpkin than a peach, but momo is a cuter name :)

I’m going to show you how to make one with tulle, using the pattern from Pierrot (link via Ravelry, with slight modifications explained below). Tulle makes for a scrubbier tawashi than acrylic or cotton yarn, I think.

A roll of this decorative tulle from Michaels makes 2 tawashi’s! It’s 6 inches wide by 20 yards. Here’s how we transform the roll of tulle into balls of yarn :D

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  1. Roll of Tulle.
  2. Pop off the plastic caps on both ends of the roll, then remove the inner paper tube.
  3. Using fabric scissors, cut roll in half through all layers (it would be a bit tough to cut through but just keep nudging forward)
  4. Roll half of the roll into a ball. Repeat with the other half. 

Now we have 2 balls of tulle yarn!

For the tawashi, I also used 5mm and 3.5mm crochet hooks, tapestry needle, and a small amount of green yarn.

I followed the pdf pattern from Pierrot (it’s charted, but very easy to understand), but with the following stitch counts: 

  1. Using 5mm hook, ch 16.
  2. Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across (15 sc).
  3. Starting at row 2, work in pattern for 18 rows, it’ll be close to the end of the ball of yarn. Fasten off, don’t cut off the yarn, and there should be a long tail enough to do all the sewing described below.

To finish:

  1. Sew the two short edges together with the long tail, don’t fasten off.
  2. Thread the tail through the stitches at one edge around, cinch.
  3. Then thread the yarn tail to the other edge, and thread the tail through the stitches around. Cinch, and tie off to secure.
  4. Using green yarn and 3.5mm hook, tie yarn to the middle of the tawashi through all layers, ch 15, sl st to where the yarn was attached in the middle of the tawashi, fasten off, weave in ends (I hid the ends inside the tawashi).

And there we have it, quick homemade gifts one can make a handful in a couple of evenings!

Happy autumn! 

 

friendship and hospitality

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I was thinking of making some practical Christmas gifts for family. I thought of making wash cloths. Because everyone can use more wash cloths. And I made a couple using this excellent pattern from Hakucho. It’s a lot of fun to knit using variegated yarn!

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And then I thought I could modify the stitch pattern a bit and make some hand-drying towels. I know that the specific gift recipients I’m thinking of are always inviting people over and hosting gatherings for family and friends. And the hexagon pattern lends itself easily to the making of a pineapple, and pineapple is a symbol of warm welcome, friendship and hospitality (read more here if you’re interested!). So the pineapple hand-drying towel pattern was created. And since it is a symbol of friendship, it must be shared ^_^

I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in “Lemon Swirl” and “Sage Green”. I wish I could find a brighter yellow and a lighter green, but there weren’t any other kind of worsted cotton at the Michaels I visited. But I think overall it still looks like a pineapple.

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This pattern uses both knitting and crochet. Crochet is only used in the top (green, hanging) part. It’s not complicated, just involves making chains, single crochet and slip stitch.

I used two 4.5 mm straight needles and a 3.5 mm crochet hook. Also used tapestry needle for sewing and a 1-inch button.

Knit — pineapple body:

First, download the free Circle Cloth pattern from Hakucho. (I know it’s a bit annoying to go back and forth between two patterns, but the knitting pattern isn’t mine so I don’t want to reproduce it here — so please bear with me >_<)

With green, CO 14.

Row 1: p all stitches.

Row 2: kfb all stitches (28 st).

Rows 3–8: Attach yellow, work pattern rows 3–8 in Circle Cloth pattern.

Row 9: Switch to green, work pattern row 9 in Circle Cloth pattern.

Row 10: k2, *k1fb, k1*, repeat from * to * across until last 3 st, k3 (40 st).

Rows 11–12: Work pattern rows 11–12 in Circle Cloth pattern.

Rows 13–18: Switch to yellow, work pattern rows 3–8 in Circle Cloth pattern.

Rows 19–22: Switch to green, work pattern rows 9–12 in Circle Cloth pattern.

Rows 23–28: With yellow, work pattern rows 13–18 in Circle Cloth pattern.

Rows 29–32: With green, work pattern rows 19–22 in Circle Cloth pattern.

Now there should be 3 sections of yellow completed.

Repeat pattern rows 3–22 in Circle Cloth pattern 3 more times. Then repeat pattern rows 3–8 once more. There should be 10 sections of yellow altogether. Fasten off yellow.

Pineapple top row 1: With green, work pattern row 9 in Circle Cloth pattern.

Row 2: k1, k2tog to last st, k1.

Row 3: p1, p2tog to last st, p1. (11 st.)

Row 4: k all st.

Row 5: p all st.

BO all st, don’t fasten off. Insert crochet hook in last remaining loop.

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Crochet — pineapple top:

The pineapple top is crocheted in loops. We’ll first make 2 loops attached to the pineapple top, then make 3 longer loops going from the pineapple top and attached together at the top creating a buttonhole tap, and end with 2 loops attached to the pineapple top, like so…

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Loop 1: From where we left off in the knitting part, ch 25, sc in same st at beginning of ch. When crocheting into the knit part, be sure to insert hook through both loops in the BO stitches.

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Loop 2: ch 25, sc in next BO st.

Loop 3: sc in next BO st, ch 42, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 5 ch, ch 35, sc in next BO st at pineapple top.

Loop 4: sc in next BO st, ch 35, sc in each sc in the 6-sc row that was made in loop 3, ch 1, turn (turning ch does not count as a st), sc in first sc, ch 3, skip 3 sc, sc in next 2 sc, ch 35, sc in next BO st.

Loop 5: sc in next BO st, ch 35, sc in next 2 sc at top of loop 4, 3 sc in next ch 3 sp, sc in last sc, ch 1, turn, sc in next 6 sc, ch 35, sc in next BO st.

Loop 6: sc in next BO st, ch 25, sc in next BO st.

Loop 7: ch 25, sl st in same st at beginning of ch, fasten off. Weave in ends.

Sew button to the knit part of the pineapple top. And we’re done! :D

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Hope you like the project and have fun if you do give it a try. Have a fabulous first week of October! :D

 

be magical

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Was feeling nostalgic the other day, and was in need of a new keychain, so I decided to make a Sailor Moon transformation brooch. Luna (the cat) gave this to Usagi in the first anime series, so that she could transform into Sailor Moon. (pic from Pinterest)

She wears it on her bow. (pic from Sailor Moon News)

Sailor Moon was hugely, HUGELY popular when I was a kid in Hong Kong, so I had a plastic transformation brooch that came with a box of cookies. It had since been lost :’(

So anyway, I crocheted one for my keys, and because it took me a couple of tries, I ended up writing down what I did, in case I want to remake it for friends who are also Sailor Moon fans, or maybe there are blog readers who want to make one too :)

I used:
Small amount of worsted weight yarn in yellow
3 mm hook
Tapestry needle
Pink plastic pearlized shank button about 3/8″ to 1/2″ in diameter (mine’s 3/8″, I think it’s a bit small, but it’s what I have)
Small translucent round or crystal shaped beads in red, green, yellow and blue

(If you don’t have the button and beads, you could also try using yarn and embroidery for a completely textile look, which I think would be quite nice also, and might end up swapping the beads for embroidery if they start coming off after the keychain and keys get tossed around in my bag for a while…)

Pattern:

Pattern is worked in continuous rounds, all with right side facing, no need to fasten off at any point. I’ve divided the instruction in sections.

Centre circle: In magic ring (how perfect!), ch 3, dc 11, sl st in top of beginning ch 3.

Moon section: Working in back loop only, sl st in next dc, sl st and sc in next dc, 2 sc in next dc, 2 hdc in next dc, 2 sc in next dc, sc and sl st in next dc, sl st in next dc, working in both loop sl st in next dc.

Outside ring: ch 1, continue working in both loops, sc in same dc as last sl st worked, 2 sc in each of next 3 dc, now work in back loop only, 2 sc in next sl st, continue working in back loop only, [sc in next st, 2 sc in next sc] until you reach the first sc of this section, sl st into first sc of section.

Edging: turn, working in front loop only, sl st in next st and each st around, use invisible join to complete round, fasten off.

Perhaps this picture will give you a better idea of the different sections (this was before the last round of edging)… see the outline of the crescent moon?

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We will now attach yarn to this stitch on the outline of the crescent moon, made by the front loops of the stitches, where the crochet hook is pointing.

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Join by making a slip knot on the hook, insert hook under the stitch where you’re joining, pull up a loop through the stitch and pull through the loop on the hook.

Then, working in the front loops that make up the top outline of the moon, sc in next st, sc and hdc in next st, hdc and sc in next st, sc in next st, sl st in next st, fasten off, leaving a 6″ tail.

Using a tapestry needle, pull the yarn through the piece at the top left corner of the moon, like so…

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Then pull the needle and yarn back to the front and sew the part just made to the front loops that make up the bottom outline of the moon, like so…

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Fasten off and weave in ends, and we’re done the crocheting part! It’s really much easier than it looks, it will all make sense when you start making it, but if you need any clarifications please feel free to drop me a note!

Then we finish the transformation brooch by sewing on the button and beads…

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And we make a back piece:

In magic ring, ch 3, 11 dc, sl st in top of beginning ch 3.

ch 3, dc in same dc, 2 dc in each dc around, sl st in top of beginning ch 3.

If you’re not making a keychain, you can just fasten off with a long tail, then sew the front and back pieces together, and maybe sew a pin back on and wear it as a brooch!

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If you’re making a keychain, then don’t fasten off at the end of round 2 in the back piece, and continue like so…

[ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each of the next 4 st, turn] repeat 5 times, fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing. So that you end up with this…

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Wrap the rectangular part around a key ring (preferably not with the keys on it, much easier that way, but I was too lazy to take mine off), and sew the edge to the top of the circle, like so…

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Then put the front and back piece together and sew all the way around. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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Carry around and be magical.

(I realized that I sewed the front piece on a bit off, that was bugging me a bit, but it’s too much work to undo it so I left it. Being magical does not mean being perfect.)

Have a happy day! :D

 

 

sweetheart

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We were visiting my cousin in Ottawa, who had a baby a while ago. So, a week before we were about to leave on the trip, I was reminded of this adorable cupcake granny square by Sewrella and I thought, I could make my cousin and her baby a blanket with this square!

I have never made a granny square blanket before and have no idea how long it would take. But I thought if I use every spare moment to crochet I could definitely get it done in a week :D

And I thought I’d incorporate other squares that are less complicated. I found this heart square pattern and thought it goes pretty well with the cupcakes.

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Most of the squares were made while taking the subway, which made my commute a lot more enjoyable :)

And it was done in time for our trip! :D

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I joined the squares with the granny square join method also used by Sewrella for her awesome bake shop blanket (check out her other bake shop squares too! They’re very cute). I forgot to take a good measure of the blanket before wrapping it up, but here’s roughly how big it is.

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I used some scrap worsted weight yarn I already have, and Lion Brand Pound of Love, with a 5mm hook. Acrylic yarn tends to be stiff so I washed and dried it with some fabric softener, which really helped make it feel more snuggle-able.

I hope my cousin and her sweet baby will enjoy it :)

Have a happy weekend, everyone!

 

 

september

september

Saying goodbye to August, and hello to September with this fall colour seat cover :)

I’m actually a tad sad about summer being over soon, the days getting shorter, the leaves starting to fall. It felt like not too long ago that the trees were budding. I guess we’ve had a late spring. I’ve always been more of a fan of spring than of fall. And the only way of making the best of the situation is to start crafting for cooler weather and the holidays.

I’ve been wanting to try this “In Treble” square pattern for a while. I love that it looks like flower petals or leaves scattered all over. I added two long chains on the top left and right corners after taking this picture, so I could tie it to the back of the chair. Quite happy with how it turned out :)

Happy Friday! :D

 

it’s not easy being green

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It’s actually a really easy pattern, it just reminds me of Kermit’s song :D

I spotted the Kawasaki pattern by Crafty Queens on Ravelry, and I loved the geometric fillet crochet eyelets around the sleeves and the edge of the sweater. It’s a simple and brilliant design, and a very quick make.

I used the “leaf green” of Premier Cotton Fair, because it’s the only DK weight cotton yarn that’s available at my local Michaels and it’s relatively affordable. It turns out to be very soft and smooth, and the finished garment quite breathable, just a bit splitty while working with it, but will definitely use it again.

I wore it to a family function in which I was entrusted with the task of taking pictures of the guests at the photo booth and throughout the event, so I didn’t have a chance to take a picture with the new sweater except in the bathroom. Never have I thought I’d take a bathroom selfie, but this bathroom’s got some retro wallpaper that goes really well with my retro outfit. And if I didn’t tell you that this was a bathroom, you would’ve never guessed, would you? :P

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(I also made the skirt a couple of years ago :D)

Closeup of the eyelets on the sweater. Mike’s awesome cousin took this picture of us at the photo booth :D (We made the crepe paper background!)

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Have a good week everybody! :D

 

square cat

Stumbled upon this adorable granny square cat pattern on Instagram by Suregal27 — have to share it! :D

This is the one I made, I love how it looks kind of annoyed, like the way cats often do :D

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Now I want to make a bunch of other ones with different fur colours!

If you want to make one too, search for #grannysquarecat on Instagram, scroll to the bottom and you’ll find a photo tutorial.

Happy square-cat-making! :D

 

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