tchotchke the cat pillow

I bought some very chunky, very fluffy wool in Cape Breton a few years ago. It knits up in variegated stripes and I thought it would make a wonderful cat pillow. And the yarn weight is great for the large gauge of loom knitting. 

I named the cat Tchotchke, because I like the sound of the word :D and because I have a lot of cat tchotchkes.

It’s basically a tube shape without any shaping, it’s the sewing together that makes the feet nubby feet and the ears. It’s a very beginner-friendly project :)

Regular knitting: Alternatively, if one isn’t into loom knitting, I imagine that this cat pillow can also easily be made with a 10 mm circular needle and super chunky yarn. Just cast on 41 stitches, then knit one round and purl one round (garter stitch) until it’s 14 inches in length, then proceed with the sewing instructions. (I haven’t tried it though, so I don’t know if it might knit up smaller using regular needles, and one would therefore make the cat shorter.)

I used:

41-peg loom, from this Loops & Threads set 

12-peg loom (optional, just easier when making the tail)

Loom knitting pick

Super chunky weight yarn about 200 m / 150 g (I suggest using the chunkiest fluffiest yarn you can find so less stuffing show through)

Polyester stuffing

Tapestry needle

Black yarn (I used worsted weight doubled up)


With drawstring cast-on (instruction video here), cast on all the pegs of the 41-peg loom using the super chunky yarn.

Knit one row (knit stitch instruction video here, ignore the cast-on part in the beginning).

Purl one row (purl stitch instruction video here, again ignore the cast-on part).

Repeat the previous two rows (thus working the garter stitch) until the piece is about 14 inches in length.

Bind off (bind off instruction video here).


Cast on 7 pegs on the smaller loom or the same loom. 

Knit one row and purl one row. Repeat these two rows until the piece is 12 inches long. 

Leaving a very long yarn tail, weave the tail through the stitches on the pegs, then remove the stitches from the pegs and cinch to gather the stitches. Fold the tail in half length-wise and sew together using mattress stitch. Stop sewing and tie off 2 inches away from the end.

New we sew it together and make a cat shape!

With the drawstring cast-on on the body, pull on the yarn tail and cinch it close, but not too tightly. It will form a sort of curve. Tie off, then sew the opening close by sewing through both layers of fabric using whip stitch. (picture below)

With the other end of the tube (the ears and head), using whip stitch again, and sewing both layers of fabric together, sew from the edge in about 2 inches toward the centre. Repeat from the other edge. It will leave an opening in the centre of the head. 

Stuff with stuffing, but not too firmly.

Weave a piece of yarn around each stitch in the centre opening, cinch it tightly closed, and tie off securely. (picture below shows what the top of the head looks like after it’s all sewn together.)

With the tail, spread open the end of the tail and sew around its edges while attaching it to the body using whip stitch. It will look like this:

Finally, sew on eyes, nose/mouth and whiskers with the black yarn. 

A new friend to watch TV and hang out with! :D

Have a good week everyone!

other fun things

I’ve been only posting about the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures for the past month! But you know me, that wouldn’t be the only project I’ve been working on — here are some of the other fun things that have been keeping my hands busy :D

Photo 2014-09-19, 6 47 03 PM

About a month ago I made a couple of stool covers for my awesome friends as a wedding gift, following this pattern by We are Knitters. Yes! The loop stitch! It’s just so fun to make! But after making hundreds, possibly thousands of loop stitches to make the 2 covers I think I will give it a rest for now… I think the covers will also make nice padding for regular chairs or extra floor seatings!

I also made these very cute (and very easy! Instant plush!) knit square rabbits following this patter from Lebenslustiger, for my niece and nephews to celebrate the arrival of the new baby brother :D

square rabbits

They have white pom poms for tails.

square rabbits 2

One day I went out to gather the last few dandelions and filled a few small bottles with the seeds.


As you can see I’ve attached a head pin to the cork — they turned into necklaces and are now in my friend’s shop, amongst other things…

new shopThat’s right! I’ve joined my friend Jessica’s shop again this month :D It’s a shop in downtown Toronto that rents out spaces to local artists/artisans. Please visit if you’re in the neighbourhood :D You might recognize some of the pins that I made earlier (see better pictures of them in this post) for an outdoor craft show (which was unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather), and the hedgehogs and owls!

AND! As you may have noticed on the right sidebar of this blog I’ve also reopened my Etsy shop. I took a break from both the physical shop and the Etsy shop last year because of a very packed schedule of school and work. But since I’ve graduated (yay!) I’ve got more time on my hands :D

So one item I recently listed — and I’m quite proud of it — is the BYOBLT stackable magnet set!

BYOBLTMike designed the packaging for it — isn’t it so professional-looking? Here it is in action!


And because the bacon was a lot of fun to make, I made a few smiling bacon magnets for the physical shop as well (plus some very festive candy corns for the season!). Maybe I will list them on Etsy too.


I have definitely been enjoying more time to craft and be creative!

Wishing you a wonderful Friday and weekend!


order of the year

Because I only get about one order a year. And that’s perfectly ok, because I’ve been really busy with school and work. But I do really enjoy working on these. Makes me really miss having a shop. I hope that one day I’ll be able to get back to it. 

But here it is, nigiri and their wasabi friends :D

team sushi


Close up of the tuna…

nigiri and wasabi friend 2


Close up of the salmon… I found this nice variegated orange yarn with white/peach, I think it mimics the marbling of the salmon nicely.

nigiri and wasabi friendsalmon

Plus a carrot and crimini duo.

team veg

They’re on their way to the east coast (my favourite part of the country!) as I write! Safe travels, tiny plush friends! 

Now that I’m on break, will be back with more festive postings soon! Cheers!


an angler fish named grace

grace 2

An angler fish named Grace, grateful for the light before its path.

It’s made from a pattern from this book, but the pattern is also online for free :D

The pattern uses ribbon for teeth, but I don’t have that kind of ribbon, so I crocheted them with thread. I’m quite happy with how they turned out. And the mouth is lined with black felt.



She looks rather happy :D

grace 1


Have a great week!



sherbert, the yeti


Meet Sherbert, the yeti :D

Sherbert lives on our couch with Filbert the Chococat and Herbert the tiny elephant (Mike found him wandering about at a trade show and invited him home).

Anyhoo, here’s how I made Sherbert the yeti. He’s actually made based on the groundhog pattern, just with a more elongated body and legs, and different arms. And because of the kind of yarn and size of hook used, he turned out quite a bit bigger than groundhog (Sherbert is 4″ tall, while groundhog is 3″), but still tiny, for a yeti.


I used:

A fuzzy kind of yarn in white, like this one.

Worsted weight yarn in light blue

5.5mm and 3mm hook

Sewing needle and white thread

Tapestry needle

Small piece of  felt in light blue

Embroidery thread in brown, pink, and white

Stuffing (I used yarn scraps)


Head and Body:

With white yarn and 5.5mm hook:

Row 1: ch 3, 5 sc in 3rd ch from hook, sl st. in top of beginning 2 ch.

Row 2: ch 2, [2sc in next sc, sc in next sc] 3 times, sc in top of beginning ch.

Row 3 and on: sc around until piece measures 1.5 inches from the beginning,  take hook off loop, don’t fasten off.

Cut an oval out of the light blue felt about 1″ wide and 3/4″ tall. Embroider eyes, mouth, teeth, and other facial features as desired. Sew face to head (the piece you just crocheted) with sewing needle and thread.

Put hook back in loop where you left off. Continue with sc in each sc until piece measures 2.5″ from the beginning. End with last st in centre front (I just eyeballed it, but one could count the stitches to make sure it’s centered if desired), don’t fasten off, continue onto legs.


ch 2, bring the ch across the opening of the body and sc in a st in centre back (I just eyeballed it, but one could count the stitches to make sure it’s centered if desired — the groundhog pattern has process photos that explains this step). 

Then, sc in each sc until the ch 2 in the middle, sc in each ch, then sc in each sc for 3 more rounds, sl st. in each of next 2 sc, fasten off.

For the other leg, attach yarn to the same st in centre front at the base of the other leg, ch 1, sc in next sc, sc in each sc until the st in centre back at the base of the other leg, sc in the st in centre back, sc in each ch of the ch 2 in the middle (one would have to crochet in the back loops of the chain), sc in the beginning ch 1 of this leg, sc in each sc for 2 more rounds, sl st in each of next 2 sc, fasten off.

Now would be a good time to stuff the groundhog through the openings at the bottom of the legs. After stuffing, close the bottom of the legs by weaving through the inner loops of the opening with yarn and tapestry needle. Weave in ends.

Arms (make 2):

ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in each of next 2 ch, ch 1, fasten off.

This makes a thick chain with kind of a forked end, like this…

Weave ends into the thick chain.

Hands (make 2):

With light blue yarn and 3mm hook:

ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in each of next 2 ch, *ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in very first ch*, repeat from * to * once more, ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in each of next 2 ch, sl st in very first ch, fasten off. 

The hand looks like this…


Sandwich the top half of the hand between the forked ends of the arm, hiding the yarn ends of the hand. Sew in place with sewing needle and white thread (the fuzzy yarn is really good with hiding sewing stitches).

Repeat for the other arm and hand.

With sewing needle and white thread, sew arms to body.

The arm and hand look like this…


And yeti is ready to take on the world! :D


Even challenging the difficult and dangerous mount of yarn, facing the great risk of a yarn avalanche!


But at the end of an adventurous day, Sherbert the yeti is back on the couch, enjoying a cup of cocoa with his friends, and wishing everyone an awesome week filled with wonderful, exciting things.


P.s. if you spot errors or anything unclear about the pattern feel free to drop me a note! 





Not much to report lately. Still trying to get a rhythm of all the different (and some new) projects and timelines this fall. 

But at the end of the summer I did manage to finish a new set of magnets. The idea of it has been lingering in my head for a while. Tea time! :D


Forgot to take a photo before I packaged it up for the shop, the shape of the teapot is a bit obscured by the plastic, and you can’t see the tea in the teacup (it’s made with yarn the same colour as the cookie)… will have a take better photos if I make another set. Quite proud of the teapot, I must say!

And last week I saw this squirrel eating a pretty sizable chestnut. 

He was so focused and still that I was able to take a picture of him (maybe it’s a she…?). And here he is, having peeled off all the shells and enjoying the chestnut.

I love chestnuts too.

Yesterday, I tasted ground cherries for the first time! :D

(found this nice picture here, with recipe! :D)


Intense flavour for such a small fruit!

New discoveries everyday.

Thinking maybe I need to come up with a daily art practice in the midst of this busyness (which means it would have to be very short, so the square-a-day project wouldn’t work very well — but I think it’s important for me to take the time to pause and make something). Will keep you posted! :D

Have a great weekend, everyone!




at the shop

I mentioned a while ago that my friend opened a shop across from the art college we attended, and I was renting some space for my plush… I don’t think I’ve ever showed you pictures of my plush in the shop! 

Here they are! :D



That was back in April. I’ve added more stuff this past weekend.

Fierce octopus pins!


The prototype had eyes made of beads from the gift package that my friend sent me — they’re extra fierce, bulgy eyes! So I had to keep it for myself :D


Close up of the extra bulgy eyes…


Also made tea rose pins that can also be worn on a necklace.


And the updated shop! :D


Mike brought the new items to the shop and took this picture for me, because I didn’t have time to go that day. If you look closely you’ll see that one of my snow mushroom lid has been pushed into the jar… I suppose a customer thought it belonged inside the jar rather than sitting on top of it. And I suppose that’s one of the risks of putting my beloved plush into a public, physical shop. My friend kindly fixed it for me afterward. 

I actually found it difficult to walk away from all my plushes when I put them into the shop. Felt like I was leaving them behind… :’( So I like selling online for this reason, I can keep my plushes with me indefinitely, until someone buys them. At the same time, sales have been extremely slow at my Etsy shop, while quite a few things have gone to good homes at my friend’s shop. So I’ve been contemplating whether to keep the Etsy shop…

Also, I’ve been hearing a lot about unfair practices on Etsy lately. The latest news came from one of my favourite crafters

I won’t repeat the stories here (if you’re interested in learning more please visit the above and following links), but I will certainly join the protest, because a lot of what has happened is simply not right and our voices need to be heard.

Some believe that closing our shops for one day won’t make a difference. My shop, for instance, will likely not make any sales on any given day even when it’s open. Thus, its temporary closure pretty much means nothing to Etsy in terms of profit. But I suppose by joining in the protest I can at least let the company know that I’m not okay with its unfair practices toward my fellow crafters and its inaction toward reselling.

Some expressed concerns that all the shops that are involved in the protest will be closed down by Etsy. I personally don’t believe that will happen. And if that happens then I will definitely not partner with an organization that operates through dictatorship and simply seeks to eliminate all expressions of opposition. I suppose the stakes for me is not as high as artisans who depend on their handmade business to make a living. So that’s all the more reason for me to contribute my voice to this protest, in the hope that things can change for the better especially for crafters and artisans whose independent businesses are their main sources of income.

Support handmade!




a long overdue shop update!

Spent the past week crocheting and sewing, and finally a shop update! :D I haven’t been putting a lot of effort into the Etsy shop, to be honest, but my friend has just opened a physical shop downtown and I really wanted to make some stuff for her, so I thought I’d put some new stuff in my shop as well :D


I had this idea in my head for a long time, a grassy brooch with flowers on it, but couldn’t figure out what I should use to make the flowers, what kind of flowers I want to make, etc. It finally all came together when the weather was getting warm and the dandelions started blooming, and I was reminded of the backyard in my family’s first home in Canada. It was in Northern Ontario and we had wild roses and, of course, dandelions in the yard. We’ve never had a yard or garden in Hong Kong, so this was quite new to us. We planted other things too, like pansies. But the wild roses and dandelions, they’re the ones that came back spring after spring without watering, tenaciously, persistently, care-free.

So! The spring garden brooch is in the shop! :D



I also made an oval one.


The brooches were a lot of fun to make. I’m hoping to make more soon, maybe with different flowers.

And here’s snow mushroom’s cousin, spring mushroom! :D


Spring mushrooms like sunbathing and picnicking on sunny days and falling asleep to the sound of the rain. He has shiny sequins on his cap. 


There’s also another cousin of snow mushroom, the snowflake mushroom. She will be living in my friend’s shop.


Snowflake mushroom has snowflakes on her cap.


The original snow mushroom is still available at the shop :D

And here are the ones I’m bringing to my friend’s shop — the teacup mushrooms!

It’s also an idea that I’ve been thinking about for a while. The grassy bit is a lid, so one could put things in the teacup, like candy, loose change, a rock collection, love notes…

Here’s another one…


When I was at the thrift store I saw these glassware and I thought these would be just perfect for the snow mushrooms! So I had to make them too.


They have sparkly beads on their caps :D


The teacup and glassware mushrooms are only at my friend’s shop for now, but I’d be happy to making them on commission :D


It was a blissful week crocheting, drinking tea and watching Gil Grissom solve crimes…

The mushrooms and I wish you a lovely weekend! :D 




shop revisited

I have plush in my shop again! :D Since I had to list a custom order I re-listed the ornaments as well. 

There’s a s’more… he’s in stock.


And snow mushrooms… 


The snow mushrooms in the picture have been sold, so they are made to order, and will likely look like this one…


With the ribbon loop instead of jute. And has gills under its cap! :D (the old ones didn’t have gills.)


Drop by for a visit if you have a minute! :D



super quick penguin tots!

Inspired by a dear friend of mine who loves penguins :D

Remember the tater tot pattern? It’s just adding a few things to the tots to make them look like penguins.

Super quick to make and hardly uses any yarn!


You’ll need:

A bit of yarn in penguin colours (blue, black, teal?)

A bit of felt in penguin colours

A bit of felt in white

A 3.5 or 3.75mm hook

Small round black beads for eyes

Sewing / embroidery needles

White, black, and penguin colour sewing thread

Orange embroider floss

Stuffing (I use yarn ends)

Jingle bells (optional)


Sorry for some of the blurry photos due to low light conditions. It’s been difficult trying to take photos in full day light since daylight saving time with the sun going down at 4pm :( If you need clarification please feel free to leave a comment or send me a message!


First, follow pattern for tater tots up to row 5 (before decreasing). Remove hook but don’t fasten off.

With white felt, cut a small rounded trapezoid-like shape for belly and sew it onto the penguin body. Then sew on the eyes with the black beads and embroider the beak with orange embroidery floss. (Now that I look at it, it might look even cuter with some rosy cheeks with pink embroidery floss!)


After all sewing/embroidering is done stuff the penguin. I also threw in a jingle bell. The jingling is muffled by the stuffing but it still makes a fun noise.


Continue onto row 6 and the rest of the tater tot pattern

Then, using the penguin colour felt, cut out two small teardrop shapes for wings, and sew them onto the sides of the penguin.


And guess what? Now you have a penguin! *jingle jingle jingle*

To make it into an ornament, I didn’t want to just attach the yarn to the top of the penguin because it might pull it out of shape. So instead I hooked a piece of silvery yarn right through the length of the body. This might be a bit tricky with the jingle bell in it, but it’s possible to maneuver through.


Pull the piece of yarn from the bottom of the penguin and out through the top. Then pull the one end back down through a different stitch from the top and out through a different stitch at the bottom. This diagram here may make it easier to understand…

Through different stitches at the top…

Through different stitches at the bottom…


Now make a knot at the top…


And tie the two ends together at the bottom…


Then weave the ends into the body.

And our penguin is ready to dangle!