Point & Shoot Wednesday

I took this picture last spring. It’s one of my favourite pictures.

Today was rainy and grey. On rainy and grey days I often like to pretend that I’m in England or Ireland. I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland and see if there are really sheep everywhere like in tourism pictures.

Here’s a rainy and grey picture I also took last year, from my balcony, after a storm. The yellow glow in the atmosphere is just incredible. Also one of my favourites.

Here’s another one taken from my balcony, through my green stained glass sun catcher.

I’ve been wanting to get a Diana camera for a long time, but didn’t want to spend the money for it. This was an experiment. Basically I placed a green stained glass sun catcher over the lens of my point & shoot and clicked. I really liked the result — melty and accidental and dream-like and I especially like the blue in the sky. I might even print that one day. Definitely one of my favourites.

And then there is one of my favourite places on earth (and I haven’t been to many places on earth) — Nova Scotia! The smell of salt water and the humid ocean breeze just feel like home to me (I guess it has to do with my growing up on an island surrounded by ocean — even though I’m terrified of deep water and I can’t swim). The trees there have these lichens and moss-like vegetation growing all over them. The woods felt magical and I was absolutely enchanted. This picture was taken at a place called The Fisherman’s Life Museum.

And today I’m lamenting the fact that Mike and I are missing the fabulous wedding of a totally cool couple in the East Coasts this weekend! I can only send them wishes for the bestest things in the world as they enter a new chapter of life together :D And look forward to photos taken by Facebook friends :P

So this post has turned into a bit of a review of my favourite pictures taken over the past few years. It all started with me trying to find a picture of an amigurumi grim reaper that my friend and I made a while ago. I still can’t find that picture, and the little reaper is stolen :(

But, anyway, this review of favourite pictures is fun! I should do it again :)

Peace.

The Yeti

I’ve decided to call this jacket I’m working on “The Yeti”.

I’m following the Copenhagen Jacket pattern from Naturally Caron. I realized that the 100% acrylic white yarn that I’m using (because I have lots and lots of it) is not going to drape like the picture in the pattern. In fact it’s going to look rather bulky when I’m done because this particular acrylic yarn I have is kind of stiff, because it’s kind of vintage. I think they make acrylic yarn a bit softer now. So. I thought might look like a yeti while wearing it, all white and bulky. Which would be nice in the winter. I’m quite pleased with the prospect of looking like a yeti in the winter, with all that snow (if there’s going to be snow…).

So, anyway, the jacket is made up of 2 long panels and 1 short panel, plus the collar. So far I’ve done the first panel and it occurs to me that it would make a rather nice cowl.

Like an Irish fisherman sweater, but a cowl.

It would have to be worn with a sweater pin. I don’t have a sweater pin. But I have a small piece of drift wood I picked up some time ago at a beach. So I used that for the photo. Drift wood… fisherman… perfect :)

I took a closer picture of the drift wood, because I think it’s quite beautiful in itself.

For a moment I debated whether I should stop and just let it be a cowl. But I thought about the yeti… and decided that I will finish the entire jacket. It’s going to be a bit of a long project, but it doesn’t feel like it’s taking as long as it is actually taking because of the fun crochet cable pattern.

And as always (well, not always, but often enough), my gauge is completely off. I think the yarn I’m using is a bit thinner than the one called for, even though it says “worsted” on the label and the pattern also calls for worsted weight yarn. So I switched to a larger hook and also followed the instruction for a medium/large size (i.e. adding extra dc rows to the long sides) to match the dimensions in the pattern diagram. But the construction of it is rather straightforward so I’m sure it will all work out.

And I will look like a yeti. *grin*

Oh gâteau!

Today I stumbled upon this lovely, lovely, lovely piece of crochet heaven, all full of cakes, all made for charities!

~Cake Sachets by Norma Lynn Hood~

Oh. My. Goodness. I understand that you might need a moment to take them all in. So I’ll pause…

Just look at the incredible details! (I’m particularly drawn to the carrot cake in the bottom right — the tiny carrot is just too adorable) And all the different kinds! AND! Instead of plain ol’ Polyfil, these cakes are stuffed with lavender sachets — pretty + functional = Brilliant! And the line-up of Fairy Cakes are just so, so cute I almost melted.

And yes, these rare treats are made and sold for charities, but the retail places where they’re sold are in San Francisco… which is kind of far from where I live :(

But the kind woman who runs the shop has also generously posted free patterns for some of her sweet creations, including a Twinkie and this Sundae Oh La La Cheesecake!

Oooh la la! I think I might make a cake or two, or cupcake, with that adorable tiny carrot on top! :D I happen to have a jar of lavender sitting on my shelf, my mom bought it for me from her trip to China. But maybe the carrot cake should be stuffed with cinnamon sticks…? Yay, projects!

So, anyway, if you have a moment check out Cake Sachets! :D They’re just so amazing and it’s an all-around great inspiration.

Have a sweet Sunday!

Piña! Colada!

Finally getting around to post the pattern for Piña Colada :D They’re about 3 inches tall, and I’ve attached magnets on the back for mine.

This is not a complicated pattern, but it has many parts to it, and I apologize in advance if there’s any mistake — please let me know if you see any! Your feedback is greatly appreciated :)

To make Piña Colada, you’ll need:

  • Small amount of worsted weight yellow, green, brown and white yarn
  • Small amount of DK weight white yarn
  • 3.5mm and 3mm crochet hooks
  • Embroidery floss in pink, brown, and black
  • black round beads for eyes (I used 4mm)
  • sewing needles
  • Stuffing

Pineapple: with yellow and 3.5mm hook

Row 1: ch 3, 4 sc in 3rd ch from hook, sl st in top of beginning ch.

Row 2: ch 2, hdc in same st, 2 hdc in each of next 5 st, sl st in top of beginning ch.

Row 3–6: 1 sc in each sc around. Fill with stuffing.

(You may also want to sew on eyes and mouth before stuffing it, but I usually like to decide on the placements of eyes and mouth after the amigurumi has been stuffed and filled, and then I hide the loose ends of the threads under the magnet or pin that I’m going to attach on the back.)

Row 7: 2 sc tog five times, sl st into next st, leaving a long tail, fasten off.

Weave tail through each of the 5 st at the opening, pull tight and tie off. Weave in ends.

At this point, I also added the “eyes” of the pineapple by stitching french knots all around, like so:

Pineapple top: with green and 3.5mm hook

Row 1: Leaving a long tail, ch 6, sl st into 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in each of remaining ch’s, ch 1, turn.

Row 2: sc in 1st sc, sc in next sc, ch 4, sl st in 2nd st from hook, (crocheting back towards the beginning of row 1 at this point) sc in each of remaining ch’s and sc’s, ch 1, turn.

Row 3: repeat row 2.

Row 4: sc in 1st sc, sc in next sc, ch 5, sl st in 2nd st from hook, 1 sc in each of remaining ch’s and sc’s, ch 1, turn.

Row 5: repeat row 4, except omit ch 1 at the end. Fasten off.

Then, starting from the end that has just been fastened off, I rolled it up, like so:

Then I stitched it together, through all the layers in the stitches below the “spikes”, using the tail I left in the beginning.

Sew pineapple top to pineapple. I had enough yarn left after sewing the pineapple top together, so I didn’t tie off and just continued using the same yarn tail to do the attaching of the two parts.

Then I attached the eyes with black embroidery floss and embroidered the mouth (I used brown embroidery floss). I like to use straight pins with black bead pin heads to try out positions for eyes.

Now it’s time to make arms and legs, but they’re optional. I made them for this pair because they’re wedding gifts and I like that they’re able to hold hands :)

Arm/hand (make 2): with DK weight white and 3mm hook

ch 8, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch, ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch, ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch, sl st in 5th ch from the beginning ch, sl st in each of remaining ch’s. Leaving a long tail, fasten off.

Leg/foot (make 2): with DK weight white and 3mm hook

ch 8, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch, ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in next ch, sl st in 5th ch from the beginning ch, sl st in each of remaining ch’s. Leaving a long tail, fasten off.

Then I stitched the arms and legs to the pineapple using the long tails I left, and weaved in all ends.

Now, on to the coconut!

Coconut — shell: with brown and 3.5mm hook

Row 1: ch 3, 4 sc in 3rd st from hook, sl st into the top of beginning ch.

Row 2: ch 2, sc in same st, 2 sc in each sc around, sl st into top of beginning ch.

Row 3: ch 2, sc in next sc, * 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc into each of next 2 sc*, repeat from * to * around, sl st in top of beginning ch.

Row 4: ch 2, 1 sc in each sc around.

Row 5: repeat row 4. Fasten off, weave in ends.

I sewed on the eyes and embroidered the mouth (I used pink embroidery floss) at this point.

Coconut — flesh: with worsted weight white and 3mm hook

Row 1: ch 3, 4 sc in 3rd st from hook, sl st into the top of beginning ch.

Row 2: ch 2, sc in same st, 2 sc in each sc around, sl st into top of beginning ch.

Row 3: ch 2, 1 sc in each sc around. Leaving a long tail, fasten off.

Put coconut flesh into coconut shell, so it looks like this:

Using the tail left from the white part, I sewed the shell and flesh together by making a few stitches around, being careful that the white yarn is not showing through the brown shell, i.e. sewing through the stitches that are on the inside of the shell. I suppose one could also attach the shell and flesh together with a blob hot glue at the bottom, that might be more straightforward.

Lastly, make arms and legs and attach to coconut.

So here we have it -

Piña!”

Coladaaah!”

I realized that coconut in Spanish isn’t “colada”, like I’ve always thought. I found out that “Colada” actually means “strained”. But coconut needed some magnetic alphabets to pose with. Hence the picture.

Again, I hope the pattern is clear. If you come across any problem or need clarification please drop me a note!

What is your name. What is your quest. What is your favourite colour.

Purple/pink flowers with white and yellow centers. We saw them in someone’s front garden on Sunday.

Blob of yellow sinking into sea of white in a make-shift paint container (i.e. plastic egg carton) on a purple table cloth.

And speaking of colours, this morning I came across this colour personality test via How About Orange. The results look surprisingly elaborate. And here is a bit of what it said about me:

You are 45 % extrovert and 55 % introvert.

You are able to have an in-depth thinking, you think before acting, and you know how to communicate your knowledge.

You are also a leader, you know how to organize the groups of persons and give them your energy.

Finally you are creative, you always have new ideas, and your inspiration comes from the inside.

In your relations with others, the bonds that you created with your family and friends represent 54% of your core emotions. Your creativity, your openness and your need to open up to renewal in your life have also an impact of 45%.

Also, your point of view and your decision-making are motivated by your inner conviction at 58%. Dialogue and exchange of views with others are taken into account at 41%.

Finally, your actions and behaviour are determined by your sensibility and that of your partner at a ratio of 60%. Then you are driven at 39% by own will and personal goals.

And all that from picking out colours from most favourite to least favourite, and then again from least favourite to most favourite… the internet does know everything, doesn’t it? Including things that we don’t even know about ourselves! Yikes.

What I’m really wondering is, why do all the percentages only add up to 99? Where did that 1% go?

I’m convinced that the internet is trying to withhold some information from me. And that information must be really important, and it’s all encapsulated in that 1%.

When we first met, Mike had this greeting on his answering machine:

What is your name. What is your quest. What is your favourite colour.” (These questions were stated, not asked. So that made it kind of confusing when I called him for the first time. I think I left a message saying that my favourite colour was blue.)

My quest, now, would be to find out what the internet knows about me and my favourite colours!!! That one percent

Let me know if you do the test too, would you?

In progress…

This past weekend, I started another shirt reconstruction project with one of Mike’s shirts that he no longer wants to wear.

I’ve actually done the reconstruction part, now waiting to sew on a trim crocheted with cotton thread. I want to wash the trim in the laundry once to see if it shrinks before sewing it on. Will probably be able to post the finished product next week :D

I was also working on a free pattern from Lion Brand Yarn called an “Acorn Shrug”, which looks like this:

I really liked the collar, and the name of the pattern, so I started on it. After working on it for a week I realized it’s going to take forever to finish and it uses up tremendous amount of yarn. And it was a bit boring to make, because it’s basically a huge rectangle made with hundreds of thousands of single crochet stitches. So I decided to unravel it. This is an action shot of me unraveling it.

Yarn noggin! As big as my noggin and I was only 1/3 through the pattern. Imagine all the yarn it would take to finish making it!

So now I decided to make this Copenhagen jacket from Naturally Caron Yarn instead (and unlike Lion Brand Yarn, one doesn’t have to sign up to be a member to access the free patterns. SO! Crochet along, anyone? :D).

It has the same collar that I like, and probably takes up the same amount of yarn, but more of different stitch patterns and therefore more fun to make. I have a ton of that white yarn anyway, all donated :D

I will be reporting my progress periodically, stay tuned!

Hope you’re enjoying the sun and warm weather!