this week’s awesome finds




First, I want to share with you this AWESOME instal­la­tion that my sis­ter point­ed out to me, by Chica­go artist Melis­sa Jay Craig. Why books as mush­rooms, you ask? She says, “When I was a child, the first time I had the intrigu­ing feel­ing that the plan­et car­ried mes­sages (texts, if you will) for those who were curi­ous enough to look, was when I came upon a group of Amani­ta Mus­caria, hud­dled togeth­er in a dark, secret space under tall pines.” Isn’t it beau­ti­ful? Read more about the instal­la­tion at This is Colos­sal.


Now, want to make your own mush­room instal­la­tion? Here’s a love­ly how-to using wine corks and mag­nets on At Home in Love.


These cac­ti are so very cute. From Craft­ber­ry Bush.


I don’t know much about bead­ing, and I want­ed to make a state­ment neck­lace to wear to a wed­ding with an old black sweater dress, so I was look­ing for tuto­ri­als, and I real­ly like this one on tuts+, fea­tur­ing dif­fer­ent stones.


Tuto­r­i­al for mak­ing these beau­ti­ful nee­dle felt­ed birds, by Joe & Cheryl.


Origa­mi is one of my favourite things, and this is just adorable — dia­grams for mak­ing the sushi AND the wood­en plat­form they’re on, plus a trea­sure trove of origa­mi dia­grams from dinosaurs to fly­ing squir­rels to soft serve ice cream cones on Origa­mi Club! :D


A beau­ti­ful wall hang­ing of moon phas­es, from Almost Makes Per­fect.


A super fun straw­ber­ry cake tis­sue box cov­er by the awe­some Twinkie Chan, using loop stitch! (my favourite!) From The Tis­sue Box Bak­ery.


If I have a cat, I would make him this cat tent. From Prac­ti­cal­ly Func­tion­al.


Beau­ti­ful­ly knit­ted broc­coli flo­rets by Rav­el­ry design­er Sara Eliz­a­beth Kell­ner (check out her oth­er pat­terns too! I espe­cial­ly love the queen bee). I love how the tex­tures are made of purl and knit stitch­es. Pat­tern for sale on Rav­el­ry.


Wish­ing you a week of delight­ful crafty adventures!









It’s been a cold week around here! Could use some trop­i­cal sun­shiny-ness right about now, in the mid­dle of Jan­u­ary. So I made these :D

Photo 2015-01-18, 7 21 34 PM

Made these using the pineap­ple from the old piña cola­da pat­tern, but using embroi­dery thread and a 2.35mm hook. I kid you not, I thought I smelled pineap­ples when I was cro­chet­ing this. Need to get some canned pineap­ples next time I’m at the gro­cery store…

I then attached jump rings (which I made by bend­ing head pins, because I did­n’t have large enough jump rings on hand) to the base of the leaves, then attached the pineap­ples to ear­ring hooks.

Give this quick project a try and instant­ly add some sun­shine to your day! :D

Have a great week, everyone!


holiday crafting

I was wait­ing until the last presents were opened to post this :D And by the way, if you’re vis­it­ing because of the grown-up cardi­gan, thanks so much for drop­ping by! I don’t think I’ve ever had that many views in a day before. Thanks so much for check­ing out the pattern!

So, hol­i­day craft­ing! This bon­sai is a cus­tom order. I’ve nev­er made any­thing like this so it was all an exper­i­ment. I nev­er real­ly do prepara­to­ry sketch­es (or check gauge, or make swatch­es) but I actu­al­ly drew a pic­ture of how I want­ed the branch­es to twist this way and that. It did­n’t turn out look­ing like the pic­ture at all after I insert­ed the sculpt­ing wires, they seem to have a mind of their own? But I’m glad it worked out look­ing like a bon­sai any­way :D

bonsai 1

And we even had a bon­sai pot hid­den away in our clos­et, wait­ing for years to be used for this of course! It was from a bon­sai that did­n’t live :( appar­ent­ly few peo­ple can keep a bon­sai alive for long — hence the need for a bon­sai that nev­er dies!

And I added a tiny gnome because I thought the bon­sai looked a bit lone­ly. Here’s a close up of the gnome. It was cro­cheted with embroi­dery floss with a 2.3mm hook (2.3 is kind of an odd size for a cro­chet hook don’t you think? But that’s what it says on the hook… any­way, I digress).

bonsai 2

He’s kind of like a can­dy corn, except with eyes and a beard. Maybe I can even make a can­dy corn gnome in the fall… I like the gnome so much that I put him in the shop :D With a new and improved extra fuzzy beard. He is a pin :)

wee gnome

And then Mike request­ed a tiny yeti pin for his co-work­er who is rather fond of yetis. So I thought I could use the same method as the tiny yeti, except with the thinnest yarn I have and the trusty 2.3mm hook…

Behold the tini­est yeti!

tiniest yeti

Does­n’t he look like he’s ready to give the most sin­cere hug? :D He’s in the shop as well. Both the gnome and the yeti are about an inch tall. My hand is in the pic­tures for scale.

And I made these for Mike — they’re soot spir­it hand warm­ers :D

soot warmers

I decid­ed to make hand warm­ers for Mike because his hands get real­ly cold in the win­ter, to the point where he has dif­fi­cul­ties typ­ing when he first gets into work in the morn­ing. So I thought these would work great if he pops them in the microwave for 30 sec­onds before he heads out to sub­way to work in the morn­ing and before he heads home from the office at night. There are many tuto­ri­als on the web show­ing how to make them (with rice inside). But because I have black flan­nel on hand I thought it would make real­ly great soot spir­its! They appear in My Neigh­bour Totoro and Spir­it­ed Away. Here’s a love­ly video mon­tage of them in action if you haven’t seen the movies already :D

Also made these for my friend’s shop, cat ear­rings and necklace!

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

cat 3

I bought them from a local Etsy sell­er, Yum Yum Objects. The shop own­er is super friend­ly, and the pack­age was wrapped in book pages and pat­tern tis­sue, with extra cat beads! The cat beads are a beau­ti­ful translu­cent grey that have an iri­des­cent qual­i­ty to it in the light. And so of course I have to imme­di­ate­ly make myself a neck­lace (and a pair of ear­rings) when the beads came in the mail! :D I’ve been wear­ing it for the past few days. So excited.

I also knit­ted and cro­cheted an assort­ment of scarfs/neckwarmers, a shawl, a hat, a few brooches and a loop stitch bath­mat for var­i­ous fam­i­ly mem­bers, but did­n’t take pic­tures of them. Aaaand there’s one more gift that I haven’t yet men­tioned because it will come with a pat­tern! So stay tuned! :D

Have a won­der­ful week everyone!


a grown-up cardigan

I thought after the Totoro sweater I should make a dressier cardi­gan for more grown-up occa­sions like inter­views and work.

And today, I’m going to attempt to trans­late my scrib­bles and dia­grams into an actu­al pat­tern! Yes, my dia­gram of a rec­tan­gle, a trape­zoid, and sev­er­al num­bers on a sin­gle piece of sticky note. I did jot down these things so I can write the pat­tern lat­er, and I’m sure they made per­fect sense then, but how did I expect myself to make sense of it months lat­er? Please bear with me as I try to write a pat­tern that makes sense, and please drop me a note if you have any questions!

Here’s the cardi­gan :D


Because I made it in black (for dressi­ness, you see), I over­ex­posed the pho­tos a lot so you can see the details. I like shawl-style col­lars, they go well with most shirts. Except maybe col­lared shirts, but I don’t have many of those.

I added some sim­ple details so it’s not just rows upon rows of dou­ble-cro­chet, which would be bor­ing to look at and to make. Here’s the back…



Here’s a close up of the shawl-collar…


The con­struc­tion is extreme­ly sim­ple. There’s hard­ly any shap­ing, just a bunch of rec­tan­gu­lar shapes sewn togeth­er, and then cro­chet­ing along the front and neck to make the col­lar. So I imag­ine it would be pret­ty easy to mod­i­fy by adding or sub­tract­ing stitch­es as needed.

I got this yarn from my mom, who got it from my grand­ma in Hong Kong. There was nev­er any label on it. But I com­pared it with my oth­er yarn and it looks clos­est to fin­ger­ing weight. One way to increase the size of the cardi­gan would be to use a heav­ier yarn (sport, DK, or worsted with good drape) and larg­er hooks (5–6.5mm).

Edit: Since I’m see­ing A LOT of traf­fic to this post late­ly (thanks so much for vis­it­ing every­one! I have nev­er had that many views before and I think the site might have crashed for a bit…), I’m repost­ing here my reply to a vis­i­tor’s com­ment below about adding stitch­es to the foun­da­tion ch to increase the size of the cardi­gan — hope this helps! As usu­al please feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions!

“to add width to the sweater shouldn’t be dif­fi­cult, as they are just rec­tan­gles. you can add more stitch­es to the foun­da­tion ch. it’s approx­i­mate­ly 10 stitch­es for 2 inch­es, and the sweater i made is 32″ around. so for exam­ple, for a size 36″ sweater I would add 20 ch to the back, and 6 ch to each of the front left and front right pieces (the eye­let row needs an odd num­ber of stitch­es). so you can add ch in mul­ti­ples of 10 and split them between the back, front left and front right pieces accord­ing to the size you need. the same goes for the sleeves. my sleeves are 11″ around at the widest part. you can also do more increase rows in between so the cuff wouldn’t become too wide, maybe increase every oth­er dc row through­out after the first 6 rows. hope this helps!”

I used:

Fin­ger­ing weight yarn, about 1600 yards

4 mm hook

Stitch mark­ers (or con­trast­ing colour scrap yarn)


Bust 32″, length 21″, sleeve length (under­arm to cuff) 17″


6 rows of 10 dc = 2″ x 2″



ch 83.

Row 1: dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each ch across, turn.

Row 2: ch 3 (counts as a dc through­out), dc in each dc across, turn.

Rows 3–5: repeat row 2.

Row 6 (eye­let row): ch 4, skip first dc, dc in next dc, *ch 1, skip next dc, dc in next dc* repeat from * to * to end.

Row 7: ch 3, dc in first ch 1 sp, dc in next dc, *dc in ch 1 sp, dc in next dc* repeat from * to * to end.

For the rest of back:

Work in pat­tern so that there are 5 dc rows between eye­let rows, until there are 8 eye­let rows alto­geth­er, then work 5 more dc rows. There will be 53 rows alto­geth­er. Fas­ten off.

Right and left fronts (make 2)

ch 25.

Work in same pat­tern for back until there are 53 rows alto­geth­er. Fas­ten off.

Sleeves (make 2)

ch 41.

Work in rows 1–7 of back.

Row 8 (increase row): ch 3, 2 dc in next dc, dc in each dc until last dc, 2 dc in last dc, turn.

Rows 9–11: dc rows.

Row 12: eye­let row.

Row 13: dc row.

Repeat rows 8–13 four (4) more times. Basi­cal­ly, every sec­ond row after the eye­let row is an increase row.

Next: work 1 dc row, one increase row, one dc row, one eye­let row.

Next: *work 1 dc row, one increase row, one dc row, one increase row, one dc row*, one eye­let row. (Basi­cal­ly, every sec­ond and fourth rows after the eye­let row is an increase row.)

Next: repeat from * to *. Fas­ten off.


With right sides fac­ing each oth­er (wrong side fac­ing you), sew shoul­ders together.

With right side fac­ing itself, fold sleeve in half length­wise, mark the cen­ter at the top edge of sleeve. With right sides fac­ing each oth­er, pin the cen­ter of top edge of sleeve to shoul­der seam. Pin the rest of the top edge of sleeve along the front and back pieces. Sew sleeve to front and back. Repeat for the oth­er sleeve.

Sew side and underarm/sleeve seams together.

Turn cardi­gan right side out.


With right side fac­ing, attach yarn to low­er left cor­ner of cardi­gan front. ch 3.

Row 1: Even­ly cro­chet a row of dc up the left front, 2 dc tog in the last stitch of the left front and the first stitch of the back, place mark­er, dc along the top edge of the back, 2 dc tog in the last stitch of the back and first stitch of the right front, place mark­er, and dc down the right front, turn.

(What seems to work for me to even­ly cro­chet a row along the edges: up and down the front pieces, cro­chet­ing into the side of a the rows — dc into the mid­dle of the dc, then dc into the joint between 2 rows. It’s not exact­ly 2 dc in each row, it’s few­er stitch­es than that. When work­ing across the back pieces, just dc into each dc.)

Row 2: ch 3, *dc in each dc until the stitch before mark­er, 2 dc tog, move mark­er up a row*, repeat from * to * once more, dc in each dc to end, turn.

Row 3: repeat row 2. Remove all markers.

Row 4: eye­let row.

Rows 5–7: dc rows.

Row 8: eye­let row.

Repeat rows 5–8 three (3) more times. Work 3 more dc rows. Fas­ten off. Weave in ends.

And here we have it, a grown-up-look­ing cardigan :)



Hap­py new year every­one! :D