plain old cardigan with bonus headband

Hel­lo there. Meet my new cardi­gan. (It was made before the hair­cut, yes.)

It has cro­cheted buttonholes.

It was made from a turtle­neck that was kind of ill-fitting. 

Sit­ting in my clos­et col­lect­ing dust for years, it was either donate or remake. I’ve been look­ing for a plain, sim­ple cardi­gan that I can pair with any­thing. So remake it is. Remake is always the more fun choice :D

There are cer­tain­ly lots of shirt to cardi­gan refash­ion tuto­r­i­al in the blo­gos­phere, but I thought I’d share my process too…

I used:

A turtle­neck (a reg­u­lar long sleeve shirt would work too)

Sewing nee­dle and thread

5 but­tons

DK weight yarn

2.35mm cro­chet hook (2.5mm would work too, 2.35 just hap­pens to be what I inher­it­ed from my mom)

 

First, I cut off the col­lar, which has a bit of ruf­fles and lace on it.

I then dis­cov­ered that with some stretch­ing the col­lar bit makes a pret­ty nice head­band! :D

While hap­pi­ly wear­ing my new head­band, I made a Y‑shape cut (can’t help but think of CSI. *shud­der*) in the shirt. 

To deter­mine the Y‑cut:

1. I put on the shirt and mark where I want the low­est point of the neck­line (i.e. where the three lines of the Y meet).

2. I then mea­sured the width of the bot­tom front and divide mea­sure­ment in half to deter­mine mid-point.

3. With tai­lor’s chalk I drew a line from mid-point to the low­est point of neck­line. Then from the low­est point of neck­line I drew a line each to the right and left neck­line at the shoulder.

Next, I fold­ed and pinned the edge 1/4″ along the front and neck, and then hand-sewed it in place with run­ning stitch­es. One could def­i­nite­ly sew it with the sewing machine, I just felt like hand-sewing that day. And I thought hand-sewn stitch­es add sub­tle character.

So, for the but­ton­holes, deter­mine how many but­tons you’d like to have and mark where you want them to be. We’ll be work­ing from the bot­tom up.

1. Thread a nee­dle with approx. 3 feet of DK yarn, dou­ble-knot the end.

2. Insert­ed the nee­dle through the hemmed/folded edge of the left front. The nee­dle has to come out on the fold, at the bot­tom point of the bot­tom-most but­ton­hole. Like so…

3. With yarn still thread­ed, tem­porar­i­ly set nee­dle aside. Make a slip knot with the cro­chet hook as close to the point where the nee­dle came through as pos­si­ble. Make 4 chain stitch­es with the hook.

4. Take hook off loop. Pick up nee­dle and insert nee­dle through the loop.

5. Pull the nee­dle and yarn almost all the way through, then tuck on the loop to close it, then con­tin­ue to pull through the rest of the yarn.

6. Insert the nee­dle 1/2″ up from the begin­ning of the cro­chet chain on the fold line of the front edge, and come out anoth­er 1/2″ up from where the nee­dle was insert­ed. (I messed up the first stitch. There should have been more dis­tance between the cro­chet chain and the next stitch on the fold line.) One but­ton­hole made.

Con­tin­ue to make stitch­es 1/2″ apart until you reach the next but­ton­hole mark. Then repeat steps 1–6 for buttonhole.

Row of but­ton­holes complete.

I hope the instruc­tions make sense. A close up of the but­ton­holes here might be help­ful… (feel free to let me know if you have any ques­tions though)

A very quick refash­ion that was done in an evening :D

 

Hap­py crafting!

 

weekend wonders

Mid-Autumn Fes­ti­val is com­ing up! :D We enjoyed some moon­cake while we stopped at my par­ents’ over the long weekend.

 

The next stop was Mike’s par­ents’. Bal­le­ri­na flow­ers on the front porch. (Can any­one help me with the plan­t’s real name?)

 

Then, a game of Mas­ter­mind. Appar­ent­ly award­ed “British Game of the Year” in 1973. It was indeed quite fun.

 

The pre-cel­e­bra­tion banana fos­ter :D 

 

The pre-cel­e­bra­tion ani­mal-farm vis­it. The ani­mals polite­ly decline our offers of food.

 

A goat peer­ing at me through the fence :S

 

Did­n’t have a lot of time before it start­ed to rain and we must head over to the cel­e­bra­tion, but I must­n’t leave the farm before vis­it­ing my favourite farm ani­mals :D

 

 The cel­e­bra­tion! My niece’s plush pup­py and I enjoyed a piece of wed­ding cake after the meal and speeches.

 

The bride made ceram­ic mugs for every­one! It was an incred­i­ble amount of work to make so many mugs. And they were so beau­ti­ful. Noth­ing express­es love bet­ter than handmade.

 

Post-cel­e­bra­tion, I head­ed home with thoughts heavy as the clouds hang­ing over us. Well, there’s my return­ing to school. And then there was an upset­ting news — I found out over the week­end that I was­n’t sched­uled to work in the com­ing school year (I am to be “on call”, what­ev­er that means).

I was only able to work 5 hours a week any­way, so even though extra income cer­tain­ly helps, los­ing the job isn’t dev­as­tat­ing finan­cial­ly. Actu­al­ly, the first thoughts that came into my mind when I received the news was: oooh, then I get a day off to craft! And maybe I get to keep Favourite Things Fri­days. And the still, small voice in my head tells me that it’s prob­a­bly a bless­ing after all:

More time to do school work + more time to attend to my emo­tion­al well-being (i.e. craft­ing) = bet­ter results in school work = bet­ter chance of get­ting into grad­u­ate pro­grams (if I choose to apply) = more options.

5 hours of work a week at min­i­mum wage OR more options? 

“Duh,” says the still, small voice in my head. 

 

So I was­n’t too upset about basi­cal­ly los­ing that spe­cif­ic job (“on-call“ my foot). I think I’m upset because I place a lot of val­ue on hav­ing a job, how­ev­er small that job is. As if oth­ers would think of me more respect­ful­ly if I can say that I go to work on a reg­u­lar basis and I have an income. Being job­less is ter­ri­fy­ing (even though 5 hours a week at min­i­mum wage with no con­tract is as close to job­less as one can get with­out being actu­al­ly jobless).

That, and I felt total­ly dis­re­spect­ed, that I was being treat­ed like I was total­ly dis­pos­able and unim­por­tant in the way I found out about my job situation.

Feel­ing dis­re­spect­ed, for me, is far more dif­fi­cult to get over than los­ing a job.

When we got home it was ear­ly evening. And as I looked out the win­dow I saw that the sun­set sky was purple.

 

… which reminds me of my sis­ter. Her favourite colour is pur­ple and one of her favourite things to do is cloud-watch­ing. Then I remem­ber her atti­tude of for­giv­ing eas­i­ly, and always giv­ing peo­ple the ben­e­fits of the doubts, and always giv­ing her best with­out think­ing about rewards, whether it has to do with finan­cial com­pen­sa­tion in a job sit­u­a­tion, or peo­ple’s recog­ni­tion in a vol­un­teer situation. 

Then I thought if it would be pos­si­ble for her, then it would be pos­si­ble for me, too, to let this all go. And move for­ward. Start afresh. Who knows what open doors tomor­row may bring.

Indeed, school starts tomor­row :D

Thank you so, so much for your encour­age­ment after my “back to school” post! I will car­ry your wise words with me as I step foot in the class­room tomorrow.

All my best wish­es for the new adven­tures in your life this fall!

 

 

 

on a journey…

 

I gave myself a hair­cut dur­ing the week. Look­ing pen­sive here in the pic­ture because I did­n’t exact­ly know whether it looked OK on the back. That’s right, I hacked (and hack is an accu­rate descrip­tion here) off about 3 inch­es of hair by myself in front of a mir­ror. And more than once I blind­ly hacked off the hair on the back of my head hop­ing that it would look OK…

Also pen­sive because I’m going back to school on Wednesday.

I like to mark a new begin­ning with a hair­cut and that’s main­ly why I decid­ed to cut my own hair rather than wait­ing to ask my mom to cut it (she’s always cut my hair. I’ve nev­er stepped foot in a hair salon in my life and I don’t ever plan to if I can help it). 

I’m kind of wor­ried about a full-time course load after a cou­ple of years of a part-time school or work sched­ule. But at the same time I’m excit­ed about the knowl­edge and train­ing I will gain.

Recent­ly in an inter­view I was asked how I take care of myself amidst the often emo­tion­al­ly drain­ing work of ther­a­py and social ser­vices. I gave some lame‑o answers that weren’t very con­vinc­ing because I did­n’t real­ly think about how to respond to such ques­tions. And I think sub­con­scious­ly I’m kind of shy about say­ing that “I take care of my emo­tion­al well-being by crafting”. 

But that’s what I do to take care of myself, real­ly. To keep myself sane. I craft.

And while I craft, I thank God for hand-mak­ing this world, one atom at a time, and that I’m alive today, and I’m rel­a­tive­ly healthy, and in a rel­a­tive­ly good emo­tion­al place. I craft.

I paint some­times as well. But I enjoy craft­ing more.

I nev­er thought about it that way until the inter­view. That craft­ing and hav­ing a place to share are actu­al­ly very impor­tant to me across all aspects of my life, that it affects my work/school life as well. It gives me the moti­va­tion to notice the mun­dane, every­day, hope­ful things. It gives me the moti­va­tion to think cre­ative­ly and fol­low through on ideas that I’m excit­ed about, to put them out there and make them alive in the world. 

So I will fierce­ly carve out time to craft, and to share too. Because I do believe I have made some blog friends here, and I’m so grate­ful for the con­nec­tions we’ve made, for the inspi­ra­tions and ideas and kind words you’ve shared with me. I will cher­ish these con­nec­tions always.

But inevitably as sea­sons and sched­ules change this blog will see some changes too. I don’t know exact­ly how the changes will look like yet. I sup­pose it will all unfold once I get into a new routine. 

But I can fore­see that:

  • “Reg­u­lar fea­tures”, i.e.  favourite things Fri­day and Sun­day video will be a bit more brief or may not hap­pen some weeks (though I’m work­ing on get­ting some guest posts for favourite things, we’ll see :D).
  • Today’s awe­some finds would make an inter­est­ing and flex­i­ble reg­u­lar fea­ture. So you may see more of that!
  • There would be more posts of point & shoot :D
  • There may be few­er tuto­r­i­al posts :( Though fun, tuto­ri­als do take a long time to make.
  • There my be less fre­quent posts of craft­ing :( Real­i­ty is, I will have to give school work priority…

 

This new jour­ney. It’s a chal­lenge, but it’s so full of possibilities.

Thank you for jour­ney­ing with me, friends!

 

 

 

 

favourite things friday

 

Oh. My. Good­ness. This is made of duct tape. DUCT TAPE! Def­i­nite­ly my most favourite of the favourite things this week! I’ve always been intrigued by coloured duct tape and won­dered what I can use them for — now I know! Would­n’t this make an awe­some state­ment brooch? Or an embell­ish­ment for a state­ment neck­lace? Or a state­ment belt buck­le? Does­n’t mat­ter what it’s being used for, it will make a state­ment for sure. Duct tape! Bril­liant idea and tuto­r­i­al by Howjoy­ful. 

 

The inner crit­ic says, “aren’t you too old for mem­o­ry games?” To which I respond­ed, “nev­er! Espe­cial­ly not with these pop­si­cle print­outs.” Delight­ful pop­si­cle mem­o­ry game for down­load at Eat Drink Chic. 

 

Love­ly minia­ture twig chairs for minia­ture wood­land friends :D Would­n’t they look nice with a tiny twig table in a ter­rar­i­um or a pot­ted plant? How-to on One Inch World. 

 

Isn’t this bril­liant? Using TB tube to store cables and wires. By berserk on Instructa­bles.

 

 

A love­ly quick tee tuto­r­i­al by Noodle­head. No sleeve-set­ting, but with the appear­ance of sleeves! Love the sim­plic­i­ty of its con­struc­tion and style.

 

A plush and a clever stor­age idea, all in one paja­ma eater! It’s not a free pat­tern but for a small fee it’s a great way to get a new project going and sup­port a fel­low crafter. From Sew Fear­less. 

 

From the Martha archive, a styl­ish scarf that’s kind of cozy but not too warm for fall. It’s a good thing indeed!

 

I love felt flow­ers. This one has a bit of sculp­tur­al qual­i­ty to it. It would make such a nice brooch! (Yes, I do like brooches very much.) From Inkred­i­ble Stamp­ing. 

 

Peanut but­ter and jel­ly that’s fit for a par­ty! :D And in case of food aller­gies, per­haps cream cheese and jam would make a pret­ty good alter­na­tive? From Shine.

 

Some­times the sim­plest ideas are the best. Heinz ketchup ad by McCann Erick­son, via Inspire Me Now.

And that’s a wrap for this week! :D Have a great week­end, everyone!