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! 

 

this week’s awesome finds

Cute glowing ghosts! Easy pattern from Red Heart, link via Ravelry.

 

How awesome is this rain cloud costume? :D From Make It & Love It.

 

And purple rain for awesome grown-ups. From Curbly.

 

And the most scared jewelry — petrified wood! Learn how to wire-wrap them on Doodlecraft.

 

These cute triangular bean bag chickens :D from Petals to Picots.

 

These hedgehog mitts are super adorable and oh they’re knitted flat!! From mom.me.

 

Make a toasty waffle blanket! Maybe the stitch will work for a sweater too… From Lu North, Strong and Free.

 

Elegant sweater, reminds me of falling leaves, from Nurturing Fibres.

Have a lovely rest of the week, everyone!

 

lately

It’s been a very busy fall so far, haven’t had a lot of time to update here. But here are some fun local adventures from the start of the fall :)

We visited a new cat cafe in the city one weekend, aptly named Meow Cat Cafe. All the cats live with the owner of the cafe. photo-2016-09-24-12-29-09-pm

When we got there a very fluffy cat made sure that we were reading the rules.

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They’ve got very cute cup sleeves :D

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It was a warm, sunny afternoon. The cats were quite relaxed. Look at that paw~

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*heart eyes x1000*

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The shop owners are very friendly, looks like they have a few locals visiting regularly with the cats, which makes for a very homey environment. Though I started sneezing quite a lot while I was there and had to leave (reluctantly).

One might ask why I like visiting cat cafes if I were allergic. The answers being: 1) I’m allergic to some cats but not others. I’ve visited other cat cafes but haven’t had allergic reactions that was severe enough that made me need to leave, so having allergies doesn’t stop me from being with cats; 2) I love cats, but I don’t have the time or space or experience to make me feel comfortable about committing to caring for a cat.

But sometimes I do wonder about visiting cat cafes. I wonder whether I was intruding on the cats’ space, disturbing them when they just want to relax or sleep. And I don’t know how to play with cats, because I’ve never had pets (aside from my office beta fish, who died an unexplained death and made me vow to never have beta fish pets again, but I digress), but sometimes feel weird about sitting and just looking at the cats when other people are enthusiastically trying to get the cats to play.

My favourite cat cafe was one we visited in Montreal. The cats were just wandering about as people chatted. People would pet them if they happened to walk by under the table, or if they were sitting still somewhere. It was like sitting at a cafe that happened to have a few cats in it, rather than visitors chasing the cats to coax the cats to play. Much more relaxed.

Anyway, maybe one day we’ll meet a cat that wants to live with us.

We decided not to go to Nuit Blanche (annual overnight art event in Toronto) this year because the past couple of years have been disappointing. There were just so many people and many of the installations took hours of lineup to see. But we visited a couple of exhibits at Toronto City Hall, which stayed up for a week or so after the event. This one was called Death of the Sun by Director X.

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The sculpture changed as it goes into different phases. Here it looks like a giant lantern (or pearl onion, I kept thinking).

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And eventually it turned dark.

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Which reminds me that nothing is forever. Not our impressive buildings, not our earthly achievements, not even our sun.

Across the square there was a video projected onto the water fountain, called Pneuma by Floria Sigismondi. My favourite part was when the owl emerged.

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Because it reminds me of the magical Hedwig.

Hoping to have more time to spend here now that my busiest week is over. Wishing you an awesome start to the week!

 

more sparkles sparkles sparkles

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I have a weakness for sparkly things. A couple of years ago I shared a tutorial for making sparkly earrings with buttons. After being inspired by these earrings by Happiness is Creating, AND finally buying myself a bottle of Mod Podge Dimensional Magic (with a Michaels 50% off one regular item coupon), I found a new and improved way of making sparkly earrings :D

I used:

1 clean kitchen sponge

4mm earring posts with backings

sparkly nail polish (I got a Sally Hansen “Ice Queen” and a “Big Teal” from the dollar store)

Mod Podge Dimensional Magic

a dash of patience

1. Stick the earring posts into the sponge so it stands upright

2. Apply a coat of sparkly nail polish to the posts (I put the teal one on first). Let dry for half hour (this is where the patience comes in… there’re lots of small steps with long stretch of waiting in between)

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3. Repeat step 2 a couple more times.

4. When the nail polish is completely dried (I suggest drying overnight after final coat, because the nail polish does build up to a bit of a dome on its own, and while the top layer has harden, the layers underneath may remain soft and take a while to dry), apply dimensional magic, wait a couple of hours, apply second coat to create as full of a dome shape as possible without the glaze running over.

5. Let dry overnight, and it’s done! :D

Here’s a super macro picture of them…

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I’m not sure if Mod Podge is waterproof so I would avoid wearing them in the shower. But I’m quite happy with how they turned out :) I like that they’re a lot smaller than my other sparkly earrings tutorial.

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Have a bright and beautiful weekend!

 

this week’s awesome finds

gift-making season (aka Christmas elfing season) is here! :D :D :D

Really like this cardigan from Lion Brand Yarn. It’s loose-fitting so the measurements don’t need to be super exact, which makes it a nice gift to crochet :)

 

Sweet origami brooches from Lana Red Studio.

 

A bit steampunk and very festive, must give this a try. Earrings made from hex nuts from Cafe Craftea.

 

More hex nut goodness from Hello Glow. A trip to the hardware store is in order.

 

These are the sweetest. From Petit Bout de Chou.

 

Stumbled upon something similar on a Japanese Instagram account. Could not for the life of me find that account again, but found a resin tutorial that looks very similar. Aren’t these gorgeous? From Nunn Design.

 

A beautiful pine cone pattern using corner to corner crochet — something I have yet to try! Would make a lovely pillow. From Make & Do Crew.

 

Also from Make & Do Crew, this stylist hexagon shelf! Made using the humble popsicle sticks!

 

Made from prints found in magazines. One could also use newspaper, fabric, washi tape, origami paper, pressed and dried leaves… the possibility is endless! From Happiness is Creating.

 

Say “I love you” in ASL and shrink plastic :D From Greenbean’s Crafterole.

 

Happy crafting! :D

 

 

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