totoro sweater!

My very own Totoro sweater! :D

Totoro sweater

 

I made up my own basic raglan sweater pattern and then adapted the knit Totoro chart from this beautiful mitten pattern. I had to take out a few rows in the chart because the hdc’s are taller than knit stitches.

Of course I had to do a levitating shoot for this! (If you hadn’t seen the film My Neighbour Totoro, you can catch a glimpse of Totoro flying in this lovely montage)

Photo

 

I’m making another one for my sister, so that will give me a chance to write down and test out the pattern for the raglan sweater. One can then incorporate any knit, crochet or cross stitch chart, like this owl chart.

Have a happy Friday and weekend! And happy thanksgiving! I’m grateful for your visit today — thank you for journeying with me on my crafty adventures!

’tis the season to be cozy

I made a pair of mittens for a friend :D

cozy 1

They’re convertible! :D

cozy 2

Great for using the phone while outdoors :)

I’m sharing my pattern here so you can make a pair too if you like, and so I can return to this pattern when I need to make another pair :P

They’re very quick to make, because the yarn is thick. Each took me a couple of hours in front of the TV.

The pattern is for the mittens only. The butterfly applique is made following this beautiful pattern. I thought they look nice without being too flashy with the subtle blue/grey/teal tones. The yarn I used for the butterflies is a discontinued sock yarn by Mary Maxim.

I used:

Bulky weight yarn (I used Bernat Alpaca in “Ebony”, it’s very soft)

6.5 mm and 6 mm hook

Size:

It fits my hand, which has an 8″ circumference at the widest part of my palm (including thumb)

Note:

Mitten is crocheted in the round, but turning at the end of every round, except when working on the thumb.

Pattern is written for the right mitt. Pattern for the left mitt is the same as the right one except for rows 11 and 18, instruction for these rows are in (parenthesis).

Pattern:

With larger hook, ch 23, sl st in first ch to form a ring, being careful not to twist the chain.

Row 1: ch 1 (does not count as a st), sc in each ch around, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn (23 sc).

Row 2 — 10: sc in each sc around, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 11 (thumb opening): sc in first sc, ch 4, skip 4 sc, sc in next sc, sc in each sc around, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

(Left mitt, row 11: sc in each sc until there are 5 sc left in the round, ch 4, skip 4 sc, sc in last sc, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.)

Row 12: sc in each sc until 4 ch space, sc in each of the 4 ch, sc in last sc, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 13 — 17: sc in each sc around, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 18 (begin mitten top): sc in first sc, sc in each of next 9 sc in the back loop only, sc in next sc, ch 12, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

(Left mitt, row 18: sc in first sc, sc in each of the next 9 sc in the front loop only, sc in next sc, ch 12, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.)

Row 19: sc in each of the next 12 ch, sc in each sc across, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn (23 sc).

Row 20 — 26: sc in each sc around, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 27: sc in first sc, 2 sc tog, *sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc tog*, repeat from * to * around until there are fewer than 4 sc left in round, sc in remaining stitches, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 28: repeat row 20 (work even)

Row 29: sc in first sc, 2 sc tog, *sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc tog*, repeat from * to * around until there are fewer than 3 sc left in round, sc in remaining stitches, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 30: sc in first sc, 2 sc tog, *sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc tog*, repeat from * to * around, sc in last 2 sc, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 31: sc in first sc, 2 sc tog around, sl st in first sc. Press mitten top flat so that the working loop is in the top right corner. Crocheting through both layers of work, sl st across the last row of mitten top. Fasten off.

Reattach yarn to the stitch next to the beginning ch for mitten top.

Next row: ch 1, 2 sc tog, sc in each sc until stitch just before the beginning ch for the mitten top, 2 sc tog, sc in the remaining loop of each sc (the other loop of each sc in this part is attached to the mitten top) to end, sl st in first 2 sc tog, ch 1, turn (21 sc).

Next 6 rows: repeat row 20 (work even for 6 rows). (In retrospect I thought maybe I made this part a bit too tall. Maybe 5 rows are enough.)

Fasten off.

Thumb

Attach yarn to a stitch in thumb opening.

Row 1: ch 1, sc in each sc. When you come across the side of the row on either side of the thumb opening, insert hook into the side of the row, draw up a loop, insert hook into next sc, draw up a loop, yo and pull through all loops on hook. There are 8 sc around the thumb. ch 1, do not turn.

Row 2–6: work even for 5 rows.

Row 7: 2 sc tog 4 times. Press thumb flat so that the working loop on hook is on the top right corner of thumb. Working through both layers of thumb, sl st in next 2 sc, fasten off.

Cuff

Attach yarn at the bottom of the mitt.

With smaller hook, ch 3, dc in next st, dc in each st around, sl st in top of beginning ch 3, fasten off.

Weave in all ends.

Ta-da!

cozy 3

I hope the pattern is clear! If there’s anything unclear please feel free to post a comment, your question(s) will probably be helpful to others too!

Bye for now :) Stay cozy!

 

12 Days of Woodland Creatures gallery!

I’ve finally put up all the pictures that fellow crocheters have shared for the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures project! :D

You can see everyone’s delightful creatures here :D It’s under the “craft-along gallery” tap at the top of this blog.

Thank you so much everyone for crocheting along! It’s made the whole project a lot more fun. Really appreciate you sharing photos of your lovely creatures too! I’m looking forward to hosting more CALs in the future!

You can still find all of the creature patterns in the “tutorials” tap at the top of this blog.

Have a happy Friday and weekend, everyone! And to everyone who’s experiencing winter (to the extreme in some areas), sending you all my best wishes for warmth and safety!

IMG_2385

 

 

analogue

A while ago a dear friend gave me Diana Mini as a gift (yes, lucky me! :D) for taking pictures at her wedding. I haven’t used a film camera in ages, maybe since I was 16. I thought I would get impatient or even frustrated with not being able to seeing results immediately like with digital cameras, but it was actually a lot of fun! I currently have a roll in the camera that I started on the night of Nuit Blanche, which was in early October, and I’m still waiting to finish it, but it almost feel joyful to wait to see the results. It makes the pictures and the moments they capture feel more special.

Also! The Diana was actually first made in Hong Kong in the 60s, which was where I was born (but not in the 60s :P) and makes me love it more :D I had some trouble with loading and winding the film in the beginning (actually, I still have some trouble loading, it’s not made of very sturdy plastic and I’m always worried that I would snap something if I press too hard on any part). Parts of my first roll was ripped maybe because it wasn’t loaded properly, but somehow it’s working better.

So, anyway, here are a few that I think are particularly cool :D

analogue1Picture of Mike taking a picture. Actually, when I’m walking around with the Diana I find that I often get asked by strangers to take a picture of me taking a picture, it’s kind of funny.

cnI think I had the camera on “bulb” mode or long exposure by mistake. Kind of a dizzying dream world, with the CN Tower in the background! :D The biggest part of the fun with a “toy” camera like the Diana is the surprise I think, the happy accidents.

analogue2This was actually taken on a kind of film for slides, which I didn’t know at the time. The friendly staff at the photography shop said it required “cross processing” to develop, and the results were AMAZING. I wish I can show you more pictures of it, but then it would be a total photo overload and you would probably get bored. So here’s one that I really like, a corner in a very quaint cafe.

dance floorThis one was probably my favourite of all the Diana pictures I have taken so far. One very neat thing one can do with the camera is multiple exposures!

And now these ones are taken by Mike with a Minolta that he’s inherited from his uncle. It was a beautiful fall day at a nearby trail — look at the tree-lined path! I love the pictures that the Diana takes, but this is clearly a camera of a much better quality. I really like how they turned out :)

fall

diana

 

So, Mike had this brilliant idea of one day taking a trip in which we only take analogue photos, without constantly taking pictures with our phones and posting them on Instagram and such. Cannot wait until that happens! :D

Will share more pictures when my current roll in the camera is developed! Have a happy Thursday, everyone!

 

 

space

10251915

Oh my, it’s been 10 days since I last wrote >_< I must say, it’s been very busy since the beginning of November. I started a new job, and then our apartment building started undergoing some renovations, which required us to pack away and seal everything in plastic sheets and tape so that they don’t get covered in renovation dust. So then we thought, we might as well rearrange our apartment!

I like rearranging the apartment once in a while, it’s like moving into a new apartment! It’s just a lot of work that has to be done over several weeks because we’ve got jobs to go to during the day (or night) and other things to do and people to see…

But look! We were able to carve out a new work space for me over the weekend! I love the shelves above it. And I get to display one of the hand painted signs from Honest Ed’s (for 99 cents “Holiday Marshmallow Biscuits”), which commemorates not only the iconic Toronto landmark but also the day in which my dear friend and I lined up for 7 hours to buy these signs (I also have an “Acrylic Ladies Sweater” one and an “Instant Noodles” one, but I don’t have frames for them yet. I think my friend got “Fleece Shorts” and “Ankle Weights”). It was probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve done (and the whole time we were like, “oh, it looks like it’s just another hour of wait, we’ve been here for 3 (or 4, or 5) hours already, what’s another hour, we’ve spent too much time on this to turn back empty handed…” and poor Mike was waiting for us outside Honest Ed’s to go to dinner), but now we have “a piece of history of Toronto” displayed on our shelves and great stories to tell :P

And all my yarn colour-sorted and neatly tucked away in bins! For the past few years I’ve had the yarn just sitting in the shelving unit like in a yarn store (see this post about the “wall of yarn” and my initial excitement). It was nice to look at for the first month or so, but before long I had yarn spilling all over the place from the front AND the back of the shelves. So, now we don’t get to see the pretty colours of the yarn on the shelves, but they are much easier to manage.

In the meanwhile, I’m working on a sweater project that I can’t wait to finish and show you, and new items for my shop :D Stay tuned! I’ve been feeling a bit sluggish over the summer and into the fall, so I’m grateful for the energy that November brings.

Have a fabulous, energized week, everyone!

 

p.s. And if you have creature photos for the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures project, please feel free to send them my way before Wednesday, Nov. 12! I will put together a celebration post with everyone’s photos shortly after that :D

all together now :D

All together now, plus bonus pattern!

A mosaic of the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures (and Their Favourite Things) project :D

mosaic2801f409d21bbbac7e2df2662857552e912b8a98

 

Don’t they look so festive together?

Actually, I’d like to feature your creations on this blog! Much like the photo gallery we created before with the weekend craft-along party. Feel free to send me pictures of everything you made from this project or just your favourites :) If you just found out about this project and want your picture to be featured, no worries about making the whole series — make your favourite creature and send me a picture :D

Many of us have shared pictures in the Ravelry group, but if you’re not on Ravelry or in the group you can also send me a link to pictures of your creations (if it’s posted online) in the comments below, or email pictures to me at genuinemudpie[at]gmail[dot]com. I will link your picture to your website or blog as well if you send me the URLs to them.

Please send links or pictures to me by November 12 :)

And I thought it would be fun to show you the “behind the scene” of all the written patterns — jumbled diagrams and notes on scrap pieces of paper on the coffee table. Not sure why I never use a proper piece of paper or a notebook. I always jot down ideas and stitch patterns on random pieces of paper I find around the house. So, sharing pattern here is also beneficial for me, because these scrap pieces of paper get thrown out. I just go back to my own blog posts to follow the patterns if I need to remake something.

Photo 2014-10-23, 4 29 38 PM

And finally, bonus pattern — a new and improved squirrel pattern :)

The white squirrel was one of the first creatures I made for this project, and since then I’ve developed a slightly different way to make animals, which makes the animal looks a bit more plump. And of course, the tail with loop stitch!

Photo 2014-10-29, 4 44 20 PM

I used:

Worsted weight yarn in grey and brown

Small black beads for eyes

Needle and thread for sewing and embroidering

3.5 mm hook

Pattern:

Head

Round 1: 5 sc in magic ring, sl st in first sc to join.

Round 2: ch 1, *sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat from * to * once more, 2 sc in next sc, sl st in first sc to join (8 sc).

Round 3–4: ch 1, 1 sc in each sc around, sl st in first sc to join (8 sc).

Row 5 (ears): press head flat, with stitch on hook at the right top corner, crochet through both layers of head. ch 1, sc in same sc, ch 1, sl st in same sc, sl st in next 3 sc, ch 1, sc in same sc where last sl st was made, ch 1, sl st in same sc, fasten off, weave in ends.

Body

Round 1: 4 sc in magic ring, don’t join.

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around, don’t join (8 sc).

1 sc in each sc around until piece is 3/4″ inches tall.

Decrease round: *sc in next sc, 2 sc tog in next sc* repeat from * to * two more times

1 sc in each sc around (6 sc), fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing.

Tail

The tail has quite a bit of shaping using increases (2 loop stitches in one stitch) and decreases (2 loop stitches together over 2 stitches).

This is what I mean by 2 loop stitch togeter (2 lp st tog): insert hook in next st, draw up a loop, insert hook in following stitch, make loop stitch as usual, and pull through all loops on the hook as you finish off the loop stitch.

Row 1: leaving a long tail for sewing, ch 2, 2 sc in second ch from hook, turn.

Row 2: ch 1, sk first sc, 2 lp st (loop stitch) in next sc, turn.

Row 3: ch 1, 2 lp st in first st, lp st in next st, turn.

Row 4: ch 1, 2 lp st in each of next 2 st, turn.

Row 5: ch 1, 2 lp in first st, lp st in next st, 2 lp st tog in next st, turn.

Row 6: ch 1, 2 lp st tog over next 2 st, lp st in 2nd st in the 2 lp st tog just made, 2 lp st tog over next 2 st, turn.

Row 7: ch 1, 2 lp st tog over next 2 st, 2 lp st in next st, turn.

Row 8: ch 1, lp st in first st, 2 lp st tog over next 2 st, turn.

Row 9: ch 1, 2 lp st tog over next 2 st, fasten off, weave in end.

Assembly

Sew on eyes and embroider nose with brown yarn. Sew head to body. Sew tail to body.

 

Wishing you a happy weekend! Looking forward to seeing creature pics from you! :D