I’ve got another exciting magazine feature to share with you all! Issue 35 of “Knit Now" magazine based in the UK comes with an exclusive special edition magazine called "Quick & Easy Crochet”! This bumper issue contains many free patterns and is a great 2 for 1 deal, particularly if you are both a knitter and crocheter :)
If you look at the cover of “Quick & Easy Crochet”, you’ll spot the amigurumi Pony that I designed and blogged about for Chinese New Year!
I am delighted and honoured to have such a beautiful spread in the magazine! They interviewed me and asked questions such as what it is I love about amigurumi specifically and the biggest lesson I’ve learned about crochet since getting back into it. This spread includes pictures of Dragon, Snuggles, the Knotted Headband, Sweetheart Bunny and Pony. Along the right hand side of the feature, you’ll see a little section called “How to perfect kawaii style" in which I give some tips about eyes and nose placement!
The following pages include my Pony Pattern! Hopefully some more people will be inspired to begin their amigurumi and crocheting journeys by seeing my pony pattern in this magazine :)
Thank you to Hugh for interviewing and featuring me in “Quick & Easy Crochet”! I am so thankful for each and every magazine feature that I get and I see each one as another opportunity to share my love of crochet and amigurumi with new people. You can purchase the digital copy of “Knit Now 35" HERE and you will also receive the digital copy of “Quick & Easy Crochet" (I’m told the supplement starts after the last page of the main magazine). You can also find the magazine at Barnes & Noble stores in the US. I think it’s wonderful how knitters are being introduced to the world of crochet through this supplement, and I’m so happy that I could be a part of it!
As Myla grows up, she is loving more and more activities such as colouring, playdough, kinetic sand, stickers and crafts. I really wanted to get an inexpensive kids’ table and chair set so that she could have a suitable place to do all these activities! While scrolling through my Instagram feed, I noticed a cute table and chair set in one of babybellykelli's photos. I immediately asked her where she purchased it and was delighted when Kelli told me that it was actually from Ikea! I quickly looked it up on-line and found out that the Ikea LATT was a great bargain ($19.99 USD/$26.99 CAD) as it comes with a table and two chairs.
While researching the LATT on-line, I discovered that this set is a very popular item to modify/hack with its simple base design and inexpensive price. Without modification, the LATT is made of solid pine in a natural wood finish with a white fiberboard table top and seat (see original product and dimensions HERE). There are tutorials on how to convert the table top into a chalkboard and a lego table, how to add cushioning to the seats, and how to add storage along the sides. We decided that we wanted to add some cushioning to the seats so that it would be more comfortable for Myla and to add a fun print to this simple set. We went out to Ikea to purchase the LATT and Ryan began building it…
Ryan beveled the edges of the wood seat with a utility knife since we needed to accommodate for the added thickness of the fabric that would wrap around this piece later on…
We purchased some 1/2” thick foam from a fabric store and ordered this beautiful chevron fabric from Spoonflower (called "BlueChevron" by "mrshervi"). We ordered it in the “Linen-Cotton Canvas” so that it was thicker and hardier.
Ryan measured out how much foam and material we needed for each seat and began cutting away…
Next, he folded and hot glued the fabric over the foam and cardboard as depicted in the pictures below. He also added white duct tape for added support.
And here we are with a beautifully padded cushion! I love how no sewing is required and how simple it is to add this modern chevron design to our chairs! To secure this cushion to the plywood seat, Ryan used a spray adhesive.
Ryan also wanted to add plexiglass to the table top so that it would be very easy to wipe down and we could add pictures underneath for different themes or seasons depending on what we were working on with Myla! He bought some plexiglass from the hardware store and cut it to the appropriate size.
Our modified LATT with cushioned chevron seats and a plexiglass table top was soon complete!
There are tutorials on-line showing some beautifully painted and stained LATT’s as well (grey stains, gold-dipped chair and table legs), but we decided to keep it in the natural wood finish since it matches so well in our house.
We had a blast choosing the fabric and are really happy with the one that we ordered. You can have so much fun choosing coordinating paint colours and fabrics to really customize the LATT for your family!
Here is a close-up of the corner of the table top! Ryan cut tiny notches in the corners of the plexiglass so that it fit perfectly flush on the surface.
We’ve placed our table and chair set near our window so that we get plenty of natural light, and it is a wonderfully bright space for Myla to work and play in!
Myla’s eyes widened with delight when she first saw these little chairs and little table that were her size! It’s adorable whenever we see her climb up on the chair by herself to get ready to do her activities.
Right now she loves playing with playdough and using cutters to make different shapes and patterns! I love how cute Myla looks with her feet dangling above the ground :)
We love playing in this area, and in the future, Myla’s little sibling can sit on this other seat instead of me :)
If you’re in the market for a children’s table and chair set, check out the Ikea LATT! It’s inexpensive and lends itself well to being modified- just google or search for “Ikea LATT hack” on Pinterest and a multitude of tutorials will come up. Adding the padded chevron cushions to the seats and plexiglass to the table top was quick and easy, and Ryan assembled and modified it all in one sitting! Let us know what you think and if you have any other ideas of how the LATT can be modified :)
Hello, everyone! I am very excited to share about our experience at Anime Expo 2014 in Los Angeles last month! It’s been our dream to attend one of these big anime conventions, and we thought going to Anime Expo (AX) would be perfect since we could also visit Disneyland in Anaheim while we were in California :) Anime Expo is the largest anime and manga convention in North America, and we excitedly bought our 4-day badge months in advance and were so excited to attend it!
As we drove up to the Los Angeles Convention Center, we saw a MASSIVE line-up that seemed never-ending as it winded its way around the building. We hoped that this was not the line-up that we would have to wait in since we had already purchased our badges on-line, but sadly, it WAS the line-up to pick up our actual badges. It was a scorching day as the sun beat down on us and we knew there was no way that Myla would be able to wait in this line-up. Thankfully, the AX staff let Myla and I wait inside the convention center as Ryan and my brother Corey lined up to pick up our badges. In total, they waited a whopping 3.5 HOURS! Here is a glimpse of the line-up and all the people waiting to get inside…
Many people were cosplaying in the line-up, such as this Wolverine Joker - this was Ryan’s favourite cosplay of the day!
Towards the end of the line, people were getting excited that they were finally approaching the entrance to the convention center, so they were giving each other high fives!
Myla and I rewore our Mei and Totoro costumes from last year on Day 1 of AX! Check out my blog post HERE to see how I put together this very simple costume and crocheted the cherry balls for my hair. Last year Myla couldn’t even walk, so it was sooo sweet that I could hold my little Totoro’s hand and have her walk around in her cute costume complete with a leaf headband! Just look at that adorable smile :)
Now Myla actually knows who Totoro is as she enjoyed the movie and likes to play with the Totoro stuffies we have at home (last year she was oblivious to who Totoro was)!
On Day 2 of AX we wore another matching mommy-baby cosplay outfit as we dressed up as Togepi and Misty! I loved playing and watching Pokemon growing up, so it was fun dressing up as these two. I bought this yellow tank and jean shorts from H&M and made the suspenders out of ribbon. We bought Myla’s white dress from a gently used kids’ clothing store and glued these blue and red felt triangle shapes onto it.
Notice the pokeball I’m holding in the picture above? It was fun adding a touch of crochet to this costume by using Makayla’s free pokeball pattern found on her blog “Planet Yarn" HERE! It was very quick and easy to work up, and Myla really enjoyed throwing it around!
Myla was ecstatic to find this big Totoro! Too bad we weren’t dressed in our Mei and Totoro costumes that day that we encountered this giant cutie :) As you can see, Myla is clutching her pokeball as she stares at Totoro!
On Day 3 of AX, Myla dressed up in her “Attack on Titan" Mikasa costume that we worked so hard on! It was amazing seeing her wearing it after all the hours we put into this costume!
To read more about how we made this costume and to see plenty of step-by-step pics, check out the blog post I wrote about it HERE!
Here are a couple of other cosplay photos that Ryan snapped! It truly was amazing seeing all the effort and love that people put into making their costumes and showing them off to everyone. People spend the whole year working on them, and it was so neat seeing people’s creativity in their costumes.
Besides seeing all the cosplayers, I was VERY excited to explore the exhibit hall as it had the largest collection of Japanese culture goods in North America with over 240 vendors and exhibitors. I knew I would be able to find tons of kawaii and unique items! Check out these adorable panda, Ariel and bunny socks I picked up :) I can’t wait to wear them and see Myla’s face when she sees my feet, hehe…
I immediately fell in love with the adorable jewelry designs by Faheema of “Unicorn Crafts”. For starters, check out this extremely cute packaging!
I ended up buying these kawaii “Milk and Cookie Earrings”! Faheema has other cute earring sets such as “Bacon & Egg” and “Mac & Cheese”, so be sure to check out her Etsy store HERE!
I loved this Cat t-shirt by “Lokisa" when I first saw it! It has so many cute cat expressions, and the colour is very vibrant. Myla enjoys pointing to the different pictures as we talk about how each cat feels. Lokisa features originally designed and handmade items manufactured in the US- you can check out their site HERE!
I connected with Stephanie of “The Steppie" last year when I discovered her extremely cute clothing line (see me wearing her "Arrow x Heart Flowy Tank Top" in my "Fluff Bears" blog post HERE). Stephanie is a very talented designer and entrepreneur, and it was such a pleasure being able to meet her in person! Her booth was packed full of panda and ninja goodies, from tote bags and onesies to tank tops and phone cases.
I picked up this “Panda Bums Racerback Tank" and let me tell you, it is one of the comfiest tanks ever because of its very soft material. The racerback and flowiness of the tank is very flattering, and I’ve already worn it many times!
I was also really excited to pick up this “Nerdy Panda Gradient Tank Top”, Stephanie’s new summer tank! The pretty rose pink to baby blue gradient is gorgeous, and I couldn’t resist the cute nerdy panda face too!
The last Steppie item I brought home is this “Panda Face/Nerdy Panda Ceramic Soup Mug”! I love how huge this mug is and how one side has the normal panda face while the other side has the nerdy panda face :) I use this mug when I drink my milk tea in the mornings, and Myla loves seeing the different faces!
As you may know, I am a huge “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" fan (see the amigurumi Link I crocheted HERE), so I got really excited when I saw this “Triforce of Courage Tank Top" by Geeky U! I had actually seen this shop on Etsy before, so I was really happy to see them in person since I wouldn’t have to pay for shipping. Shipping to Canada on this tank would’ve been a whopping $15, almost as much as the tank itself! Sigh…so sad when shipping costs are so high…
One of my favourite items that I picked up from AX are these “Kawaii Star Wars Group Leggings" by "WeLoveFine”! I used to watch the Star Wars trilogy a lot growing up, and these chibi Star Wars characters were too cute to resist! I really can’t wait to wear these comfy leggings to an upcoming convention :)
We had a blast exploring Artist Alley as there were so many incredibly talented artists showcasing their artwork and crafts. I was very excited to meet Sharon of “Ami Amour”, a fellow amigurumi artist who is a staple at AX’s Artist Alley. She started selling her plushies and patterns five years ago in her shop HERE. Sharon is incredibly kind and gracious, and it was such a delight meeting and chatting with her. She was the only amigurumi artist in the whole Artist Alley, and she gifted me with the cute amigurumi Soot Sprite that I’m holding in the picture below! Be sure to check out Sharon’s facebook page and blog to see more of her work and access her free patterns as well!
We purchased two prints from Artist Alley, the first being the gorgeous one below by Jo of “My Rolling Star”. We immediately fell in love with all of her dreamy, whimsical, ethereal pieces, and it took us a while before we decided which one to take home. I love this beautiful piece depicting a girl bringing her imagination and creativity to life through her artwork. We can’t wait to frame it and find a place for it in our home!
As soon as we saw this stunning piece showing Studio Ghibli characters on a trek through a mystical and mysterious forest, we knew we had to take it home! Unfortunately, I put the artist’s business card in the pocket of my jean shorts- I then proceeded to wash said shorts at home forgetting that I had anything in the pocket. Needless to say, her card has now disintegrated. If you know who the artist of this piece is, please let me know so that I can give her credit and update this blog post! Thank you to Christine who helped direct me to the artist! This gorgeous piece is by Brigitte of “Relatively Serious" and you can see the process gif for this print HERE!
Overall, we had a wonderful time at Anime Expo despite the rocky start during registration (I saw some people on Twitter calling AX “linecon” since so much of the convention was spent lining up!!!). There is a certain camaraderie and spirit present during conventions such as these, and everyone was so friendly and kind. The love of anime, manga, and Japanese culture was such a unifying factor in bringing people together from all different backgrounds and ages. We really enjoyed seeing all the creative cosplayers, meeting all the exhibitors and artists of AX, and also preparing costumes and dressing up ourselves! We hope you enjoyed reading about our experience there and seeing what we picked up (I thought that chances are if you like kawaii amigurumi, you’ll probably enjoy seeing some of the adorable items I picked up too :D). Hopefully we can attend another Anime Expo in the future! Let me know if you’ve ever attended an anime convention and if you like any of the items that we brought home with us :)
We have some exciting news to share with you all! Myla is 21 months old and I’m……….21 WEEKS PREGNANT!!! We are overjoyed that our family will be expanding again as the new little addition to our family will be arriving in mid-December ❤
I am so thankful that this pregnancy has been similar to my first with Myla as I haven’t experienced any nausea or morning sickness! However, once again, I did feel extremely fatigued in the first trimester, but this time round was different since I couldn’t simply nap whenever I wanted to. Chasing an active toddler around and trying to keep my energy levels up was challenging, but I napped whenever Myla napped. That meant little time for blogging, crocheting, and designing, so thank you for sticking around even though there haven’t been too many new projects as of late! Now you know why :P
It’s so surreal that there is another little one growing inside of me, and that Myla will be a big sister! I was re-reading the blog post announcing my first pregnancy HERE from two years ago, and it brought back so many memories. When I look at Myla now and how much she’s grown, it reminds me to cherish each and every day since she is growing up so quickly. Sometimes the days seem long, but as they say, the years are short, and they really do go by so quickly. Ryan and I have learned so much since becoming parents, and we’ve been able to experience a joy unlike any other since Myla came into our lives. She sees the world with such wonder, and we love hearing her laugh and seeing her eyes widen with excitement with every new experience. To think that we will have another special little one to share our lives with brings us to tears, and we thank God each and every day for our blessings!
We know that our lives are going to change drastically again in a couple of months as we navigate life with a toddler AND a newborn….and adjust to the lack of sleep again! Thankfully, I’ve had more energy recently and I’ve been having a blast designing some fall/winter crochet projects. I also want to crochet some items for Baby #2, so feel free to send me cute baby projects that you’ve come across :) It feels good to pick up my crochet hook again! Thank you for supporting and loving our family so much, and we appreciate your prayers for us and this pregnancy!
When we first heard about a new anime called “Attack on Titan" last year, we were intrigued because everyone was raving about how great it was. Ryan and I enjoy watching anime together, so we decided to give this series a try! We were immediately hooked by the premise of the show, the fast-paced action and the suspense and mystery of it. Some parts were a little gruesome for me, so I admit that I covered my eyes at times (this is also how I watch "The Walking Dead" haha).
When we were brainstorming cosplay ideas for our very first time attending Anime Expo 2014 in Los Angeles, we had a good laugh imagining Myla dressing up as a cute chibi Titan (giant humanoids who terrorize the populace), running around and wreaking havoc. My brother Corey then made the observation that Myla should actually dress up as a soldier and pretend to fight the adults dressed as Titans since the proportion would be correct! We thought that would be so adorable, so we set off making an “Attack on Titan” costume for our toddler!
If you are unfamiliar with the series, this is how the soldiers dress with a cropped jacket, belt, straps, boots, harness, and 3D maneuver gear attached to their sides and back to help them swing through the air. We wanted to dress Myla up as “Mikasa” pictured below, a very strong and skilled soldier who also wears a burgundy scarf.
We began looking for a toddler trench coat and were ecstatic to find this one at a gently used kids’ clothing store for only $8! This is what the trench looked like from the front and the back before we heavily modified it!
We also picked up this white t-shirt from H&M and some white leggings from Old Navy. From a local fabric store, we purchased some brown canvas material, silver buckles, thin brown straps and faux brown leather.
And now for the modifications! We severely cropped the trench by cutting along the black line…
Ta da! This is quite the cute cropped trench, is it not?
We also ended up releasing the ruffled/ruched bottom, reattaching it to make it straight, and cutting off and hemming the sleeve cuffs. In addition, we removed the pockets from the bottom of the jacket so that we could reattach them to the top part, and we replaced all the buttons with gold buttons. It’s amazing how changing the buttons can give a jacket a completely new look!
Here is the cropped jacket with the gold buttons and pockets sewed onto the front. We also sewed some velcro backing onto the sides of the arm, the front pocket and to the back.
These velcro spots were for the Survey Corps emblems! Ryan found some high resolution pictures of the embroidered emblem, so we simply adjusted the size, printed them off and glued them onto the velcro.
Thus, it was extremely simple to attach these emblems to the jacket since we just had to slap them onto the velcro! Don’t they look great on the jacket? You may also note that we modified the lapel of the jacket as we found that it overlapped too much when Myla wore it.
Next we sewed the straps and small pieces of the faux brown leather onto the white shirt. We wanted to secure as much as we could in place so that this would seem like a normal shirt to Myla, not a fancy costume that had too many intricate and complicated parts that she might end up refusing to wear.
We also added some of the brown straps to the leggings and also used the faux brown leather to make the 3D maneuver gear harness. We designed the harness so that it attached onto the leggings with velcro.
This is what the leggings with the harness looked like from the front and back! To make the belt, we sewed the brown canvas material around the faux leather harness and threaded it through the silver buckle.
We also sewed on velcro pieces to the sides and back of the harness so that we could attach the 3D maneuver gear later on!
Making Mikasa’s burgundy scarf was simple as we purchased some material, hemmed the edges and cut some fringe along one side!
To make the sides of the 3D maneuver gear, Ryan looked around for objects that were the perfect shapes and sizes! We ended up buying some boxes of “Hawaiian Punch” and using some Fragonard perfume atomizers that I had lying around. He glued them together, spray painted them silver, and then glued some of the faux brown leather around it.
For the back part of the 3D maneuver gear, Ryan used the top and bottom part of a glow stick container. I thought it was hilarious how Ryan found these random objects to make the maneuver gear!
The finished 3D maneuver gear, all spray painted beautifully and ready to be attached onto Myla’s costume!
During the week leading up to our trip, Ryan and I worked relentlessly on this costume, staying up till the wee hours of the night. One of our worries was that Myla would refuse to wear it at the Anime Expo and all our hard work would be to no avail! 20-month-olds can be unpredictable, and we weren’t sure how she would handle the crowds or the heat. Thus, we decided to try and take some pictures at home before we left and to make sure that the costume fit. We were so incredibly excited when we put all the costume components on her as it looked so good, and she loved wearing it!
We hoped that she would be just as happy to wear it in Los Angeles!
Thankfully, Myla had fun wearing her costume for a little while at Anime Expo! I held her hand the entire time, and she enjoyed walking around the lobby- just look at that darling smile :)
It was amazing seeing her wear the costume that we had spent so much time on, from the jacket and the maneuver gear to the shirt and the leggings. In case you’re wondering, we purchased these cute little brown boots at the same gently used kids’ clothing store for only $4!
We happened to see someone dressed as a Titan walking around the lobby, so we asked if she would take a picture with Myla! Ryan was actually thinking of dressing up as a Titan, but all the costumes we saw on-line were expensive and I feared that Myla would be traumatized seeing her Dad as a Titan. Thankfully Myla was not scared of this Titan, and she was a very nice lady :)
Myla was very popular as everyone who saw her would squeal with excitement when they saw our tiny toddler Mikasa! You can see some adults wearing the same costume as her in the picture below on the left side.
Myla got a little hungry so she started munching on a croissant as she happily posed for people…
After about half an hour, Myla was done wearing her costume as she started taking off her jacket. She couldn’t sit comfortably in her stroller or be carried by us with her maneuver gear and harness, so we changed her back into a comfy dress and continued to explore the rest of Anime Expo that day!
If cosplay and anime is new to you, check out this music video that “The Cosplay Scene” made showcasing Anime Expo 2014. You can see some really intense costumes that people spend the whole year working on, and you can also see our little Myla Mikasa appear in it for two seconds (0:14-0:15)!
Thanks for all your lovely feedback and excitement about this costume! Ryan and I had a lot of fun working on it together, and I’m so glad that I could put my sewing machine to use after it was in hibernation for almost two years (it took me a while to learn how to thread and use the machine again!). The entire costume was inexpensive to make, and we were so proud of our finished accomplishment since we tailor-made each component just for Myla! We hope you enjoyed seeing the making of this costume and that it inspires you to get crafty and try making some costumes for yourself or for your little ones! To read more about our whole Anime Expo experience, what we bought, and who we cosplayed as on the other days (Mei & Totoro, Misty & Togepi), check out the full blog post I wrote up HERE! Happy crafting and cosplaying!
During our California Blog Meet Up (read all about it HERE), we had a delightful pin exchange in which we prepared crafty pins ahead of time for each other! As soon as fellow amigurumi artist Jo suggested that we do a pin exchange, I knew exactly what type of pin I wanted to make!
I love perusing Craftgawker, and there was a particular project that had caught my eye from December of last year. Francesca of “Fall for DIY" had made some beautiful "DIY Monkey Fist Knot Earrings”, and I absolutely loved how they looked like little yarn balls! For our pins, I thought it would be so cute to make a little yarn ball with a crochet hook similar to the one pictured in my blog logo! In Francesca’s blog post on how to make her earrings HERE, she includes step-by-step instructions, and she also filmed an extremely helpful video entitled “How to Tie a Monkey Knot” HERE (I’ll embed the video at the end of this blog post too!). Rather than reiterate her instructions, we recommend that you visit her blog post and watch the video to see how it’s made!
We searched for the perfect pink yarn, and we ended up going with Lion Brand Yarn’s “Martha Stewart Extra Soft Wool Blend in Gerbera Daisy”. Ryan is actually the one who mastered the monkey fist knot, and to keep the yarn balls consistent and similar-sized, he made them all! It was such a whirlwind leading up to our California trip since we were making our costumes for Anime Expo as well, and I am so thankful that I have such a supportive husband who helped me make these pins! Here are some step-by-step photos showing how Ryan made our little yarn balls and crochet hooks :)
We bought some brass jewelry pins from Michaels (came in a set of 10) and hot glued the little crochet balls onto the pins after tying the ends of yarn into a knot. To make the crochet hooks, we used these ornament hooks that we purchased from Walmart a couple years ago (we have a large stash of these since we use them to hang the baubles from our white Christmas tree every year)!
Ryan used pliers to shape the ends of the ornament hooks to resemble crochet hooks! You may recall that we made a similar crochet hook for Mochi our Fluff Bear to hold (read about the making of our amigurumi Fluff Bears HERE)!
Ryan placed the crochet hook through the yarn ball so that the yarn ball was at the bottom of the hook. He then added some hot glue to the middle of the crochet hook and then slid the yarn ball upwards into the glue in order to secure the hook in place. After each pin was complete, we mounted them on cardboard and were so excited to give these out at the meet up!
To see the making of a monkey knot in action, please see this wonderful video below filmed by Francesca of “Fall For DIY”! We paused this video many times as we followed along to learn how to make this special knot!
Here are some notes about making your own yarn ball:
- Instead of wrapping the yarn around the hand three times, we did it four times to make a bigger yarn ball (depends on thickness of yarn).
- Towards the end, try and pull each strand of yarn evenly and with consistent tension to make a uniform yarn ball.
- Don’t pull the strands of yarn too tight or else the yarn ball will be squished.
- Ryan made many “failed” monkey knots/yarn balls before getting the hang of it and achieving the right look, so just keep trying and practicing and don’t be discouraged!
These little yarn balls are so cute, and once you’ve mastered how to tie this special knot, they are inexpensive and relatively quick to make! Wouldn’t yarn ball earrings or a yarn ball necklace pendant be the perfect gift for us yarn lovers? The addition of the little crochet hook helps us proudly display the love of our craft too! I hope you enjoyed reading about the making of our “Yarn Ball & Crochet Hook Pin" and I want to extend a big thank you to Francesca for inspiring this idea! We are giving away one of these pins on my Instagram page (@AllAboutAmi) since we reached 5000 followers recently- if you would like to win one, just follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on the picture of the pin to enter! Happy monkey knot and yarn ball making :)
We are back from our wonderful vacation in California! We had so much fun attending the Anime Expo, going to Disneyland, and stuffing ourselves with delicious food. One of the highlights of this trip was the blog meet-up that my fellow amigurumi artist Jo (of “A Morning Cup of Jo Creations”) and I organized to meet other crochet enthusiasts!
We ended up holding this get-together in the very peaceful and beautiful Schabarum Park in Rowland Heights. Some people who were interested in coming to the meet-up ended up not being able to make it since it was during the very busy Independence Day long weekend. Others were attending the last day of Anime Expo or the location was a little too far out of Los Angeles for them. We ended up with a smaller group, but this made the meet-up more intimate and personal which I really enjoyed!
Jo had the brilliant idea of having a handmade pin exchange so that we crafters could prepare something for the meet-up and come away with a variety of pins! It was a lot of fun seeing what everybody made, from hand-stitched pins to cute crocheted stars! Can you guess which one Jo made (it’s very reflective of her company name)?
For our pin, Ryan and I ended up making this little yarn ball and crochet hook that resembles my logo! I’ll do a full step-by-step blog post on the making of this pin so that you can make one for yourself if you’re interested!
It was great meeting in the park because Myla could run around and be free! She also really enjoyed looking at all the handmade pins and examining each of them!
Being naturally introverted, I was both nervous and excited for the meet-up. I enjoy talking with people one-on-one and was unsure how the larger group setting would be like. Jo actually brought some board games and yarn, but we ended up just chatting for most of the time! It felt very casual and relaxed as we talked about when we all started to crochet, how we got started, and traveling in general. Ryan is very extroverted so he really enjoyed the large group setting and getting to know everyone!
It’s rare that we get to really sit down and talk with people when we travel (besides just chatting with people in passing), so it was wonderful being able to get to know some new people as well as meeting on-line friends in real life! Despite our geographical differences, I thought it was so neat how our love of crochet and crafting united us all together. We all came from different occupations, backgrounds and experiences, but our passion for crochet was such a unifying factor that helped lead us into other topics of conversation easily. We had a good laugh about how there is no need for chunky cowls, hats and scarves in California since it’s always so sunny and beautiful there (as opposed to the frigid Canadian winters we experience).
Here are all the people who took time out of their busy schedules to meet up with Jo and I! Love all the big smiles :) We want to thank each and every person who came! You made our trip to California very memorable, and it was so surreal meeting people who read my blog! I know there were some of you who really wanted to come but were unable to for various reasons- we apologize that the timing couldn’t work out, but we hope we can meet you in the future!
Besides Jo and I, there were two other crafters who have blogs! Check out Amanda's “Crystal Panda" HERE (and photo credit to her for the last two photos of the collage below) and Peng's “Yarn Treasures" HERE! I also want to give a shout-out to my brother Corey who came along with us on this trip (he’s a big Anime fan) and helped us take care of Myla so much, including at this meet up!
Jo is such a talented artist who is also very passionate about her education and teaching! She is very inspiring, and I am so happy that I could finally meet her in person after connecting with her for the past few years. Thank you for helping me organize this meet-up, Jo!
I am excited to share more about our trip to California, especially the Anime Expo! We took a lot of photos of our cosplaying, and I can’t wait to show you what our experience was like! Thanks again to those who came to the meet-up, and I really hope I can meet more of you in the future!
We know a little girl who absolutely ADORES owls: her bedroom is full of owl pillows, owl decals and owl stuffies, and she even wears owl hats as well! I knew I wanted to crochet her an owl (I love it when little kids have such an absolute favourite animal), and I had the perfect pattern that I had always wanted to try out!
Josephine of “A Morning Cup of Jo Creations" designed a super cute FREE "Baby Owl Ornaments" pattern a year and a half ago. I downloaded the free pattern on Ravelry (find it HERE) and was amazed by just how quick and easy this pattern is. I love how pinching and closing up the top gives the curved look of the owl- so clever and simple! Instead of making this owl an ornament, we attached it to a keychain so that the little girl could take it wherever she wanted by hanging it on her backpack or little purse!
The details are so incredibly cute with the big white eyes and cute dainty yellow beak. The placement of the eyes and beak is key to giving this owl its kawaii look, and I tried to make mine look as similar to Jo’s as possible- she provides great, detailed instructions!
I think this owl keychain is so sweet, but you could be a super keener and start working on your Christmas ornaments too…December is half a year away!
Just as Josephine says, once you’ve made one, it’s tempting to make more since they’re so cute and easy! These are the baby owls that Josephine made in a rainbow of colours:
Jo also offers a pattern for a bigger, palm-sized “Travel Owl Plush" that you can find for free HERE!
I was so pleased with this owl keychain and how quickly we could whip it up, and I hope that the little girl will like it too! Check out Jo’s Etsy store HERE to see more of her amazing designs. ***ALSO, if you live in the Los Angeles area, Jo and I will be hosting a meet-up with other amigurumi and crochet enthusiasts in early July! Read all about it HERE and RSVP using the Google form in that blog post. Happy owl making!
I recently received an e-mail from the Etsy team, inviting me to become an Etsy Canada affiliate! I am excited to partner with Etsy because I adore browsing all the beautiful handmade items from around the world. Basically how it works is that I link to Etsy products or shops that I love in my blog posts (which I already have done many times in the past), and if a reader makes a purchase based on that referral, then I will make a small commission. I wanted to inform you all of this so that you know that all Etsy links found on my site will be affiliate links. You can find so many creative, artistic people on Etsy who design and sell items that cannot be found in stores. I thought I would do a round-up of all the Etsy shops that I have previously blogged about in case you haven’t heard of them!
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is where I purchase my safety eyes for amigurumi. When I first started crocheting my own stuffies, I excitedly went to my local Michaels to try and look for safety eyes. I walked away disappointed and had to use beads in place of safety eyes for my first few projects. I was delighted to find “6060" on Etsy as Clara, the shop owner, specializes in selling safety eyes and noses for amigurumi. My safety eyes shipped extremely quickly, and I was very pleased with their quality. I always try and keep 6, 9 and 12 mm safety eyes on hand so that they are ready to be used for any sized amigurumi I crochet. Shipping to Canada has unfortunately gone up over the past while, but is very reasonable if you live within the US. Clara has safety eyes in a wide variety of colours and sizes- check out her store HERE!
I featured Sami and Marissa of “Momomints" in my first ever "Craft Chat" and was so excited to share their polymer clay and amigurumi work with you all! Their Etsy shop is full of adorable items, including their Meowchi’s pictured above. They also recently added this “DIY Amigurumi Crochet Sheep Kit" that includes almost all the material you need to make their very popular "Fluffie", including the yarn, safety eyes, stuffing, bell, and pattern (crochet hook and yarn hook not included). We all know how hard it is to find the exact yarn that the designer used, and sometimes you don’t know what to do with the left-over yarn! I think this convenient kit would make a really great gift for crafters! Check out the Momomints store HERE and my Craft Chat with them HERE!
I discovered Kris and Lorin’s “Two Girls Patterns" shop last fall when I was browsing for crocheted boots. I was in awe of all their beautiful crocheted footwear designs that could be made for babies, toddlers and adults. I was very impressed with their detailed, thorough instructions that included many helpful photos, and Kris and Lorin were always available for support through e-mail. I crocheted these white "Furrylicious/Little Diva" boots for Myla (see step-by-step blog post HERE) and they served her well throughout the winter. I crocheted the purple ones for Myla’s friend and sprayed them with Plasti Dip to give them more grip (read more about this HERE). You can check out the Two Girls Patterns shop HERE and see all their great designs for yourself!
I have been a fan of “Mikaylove" jewelry ever since my good friend Kay started her store a year and a half ago! Since then, Kay has amassed a large following as people love her stylish, beautiful pieces. Some of my favourite pieces are my "Cross Weave with Chain" bracelets and my "Braided Bracelet in Pink and Mint Green”. For every purchase made, a portion is donated to charities that feed hungry children around the world. Kay is such a devoted mother to her adorable daughter Mikayla (who inspired her to create her jewelry line), and I think it’s amazing how she has been able to channel her artistic skills and eye for design into her jewelry line! Check out the Mikaylove store HERE and read my full Mikaylove blog post from November 2012 HERE!
Lastly, I wanted to highlight “Yellow Heart Art" on Etsy, a store full of unique and quirky graphic art prints and cute sillhouette pillows for the home. Leonora, the graphic designer behind “Yellow Heart Art" is the one who helped me design my logo, header and buttons for my blog redesign, and I’ve always loved her work since she opened her shop in January 2011 (the exact same time I started my blog!). I love my "I Make Pretty Things All Day" print that I proudly display near my yarn shelf. Leonora updated this print with a more modern feel in black and gold (check it out HERE). Her prints are all so unique, humorous and full of beautiful typography and designs. Check out Yellow Heart Art HERE to add some fun additions to your homes :)
I always enjoy learning about new handmade artisans and their work, so I hope you enjoyed this post too! I look forward to featuring more Etsy artists in the future and spreading the word about handcrafted goods!
Hey everyone! Notice anything different around here? As I mentioned a couple of months ago, I’ve been trying to revamp my blog and make it more unique and reflective of my own style! I’m so excited to show you my newly updated blog and explain the process behind it!
I started “All About Ami" about three and a half years ago on tumblr, and I remember I was so excited to choose a blog template back then. I ended up going with "Royal Ribbon”, a free template by Simon Fletcher designed in 2010, and I loved the clean grey and pink theme that looked very classy. However, as time went on, I wished that I had a sidebar, and I found out that this could not be implemented easily if it was not a part of the theme. I also came across many others who used the exact same theme as me, so I didn’t feel very unique! I was itching to redesign my blog but it always seemed so daunting, especially for someone with very limited html knowledge!
A couple of months ago I started looking into different tumblr themes to see what was out there. I really wanted to stick with tumblr since it has been such a supportive community for me, but I was a bit dismayed that there seemed to be fewer options for blog templates and customization options compared to Blogspot or Wordpress. However, I came across a tumblr theme that I really liked called “Atlantic Noir" designed by Style Hatch. It’s a premium theme ($49) that allows for a lot of customization options. I loved how it had the traditional blog look with the sidebar. Ontop of that, Jonathan Moore, the founder and creative director of Style Hatch, was extremely quick and responsive to all my e-mails, so this gave me the confidence to go ahead with this theme since I knew I would have support! This is what the default “Atlantic Noir” theme looks like:
I purchased “Atlantic Noir” over the weekend, and I didn’t know that it would be implemented right away! My heart skipped a beat and I tried to revert back to my old “Royal Ribbon” theme but alas, I could not find it as I do not think it is available anymore. Trying not to panic, I quickly tried to work on all the changes little by little. I actually started feeling nostalgic and missed my old template since I had used it for 3.5 years! Thank goodness I had taken some screenshots last week so I could remember what it looked like! If you visited my blog on Saturday evening, you may have seen some wonky things happening! I changed the font and colours, deleted some items from the sidebar, and added my own background (check out “michLgstudios" on Etsy HERE for some beautiful blog backgrounds). I was still waiting for my final graphics, so this is what my blog looked like without the header and welcome button:
I hired Leonora of “Yellow Heart Art" to design my header, logo and buttons. I love her work (check out her Etsy store HERE and her blog HERE) and am so happy with how everything turned out. I wanted to have a pink, grey and gold colour palette as I think it looks very pretty and classy! Below you can see how adding the header and welcome button changes so much!
For my logo, I really wanted to incorporate a crochet hook and a ball of yarn. I love what Leonora designed and how the strand of yarn is in the shape of a heart! We also added some gold leaves to help frame the logo and tie in the colour scheme.
For my header, I wanted to include a subheader/tagline saying “a crochet blog" in case people didn’t know what "All About Ami" was about! The little sideways hearts also represent crochet stitches (like the ‘v’s consisting of a front and back loop) and I love how Leonora included them in the header and in my welcome button too!
I wanted to have some sort of welcome button that also introduced myself in case people don’t click my “About Me” tab! Many people still think my name is “Ami”, haha. We’ve been meaning to take a new profile pic, but we haven’t had the time! I’ll add an updated one once we’ve taken it :)
Leonora also made these pretty pink social media buttons on my “Contact" page! They’re actually not functional yet but I’m hoping they will be soon!
I have had so much fun trying to redesign my blog and I am incredibly happy with how it has turned out! I think it has an airy and elegant feel to it and is definitely more reflective of my style. It’s been fun putting our own touches on it so now it does not look like any other blog! I wanted to extend a big thank you to Leonora and Jonathan for all their help, and also to Ryan who has helped me envision this along the way! There are still changes to be made, but I’m excited with how it’s coming along. I would LOVE to hear your feedback about what you think of this new redesign! Thanks so much for all your support throughout the years!
Hello everyone! I wanted to share about an exciting feature that my amigurumi Dragon has in a beautiful new bookazine called “Hand Made Toys”!
When Helen, the editor of “Hand Made Toys”, asked if my Dragon could be included in this special edition, I happily said yes. Helen is an editor at Future Publishing in the UK, and this publishing company is behind “Simply Crochet" and "Mollie Makes”. As some of you may remember, Dragon was also previously featured in the premier issue of “Simply Crochet" magazine last year! I was very impressed when I received my own hard copy of this bookazine as all the projects included are incredibly cute and whimsical!
“Hand Made Toys" contains 40 toy designs to crochet, knit and sew. I loved seeing the different crafts put together in one magazine, and some of the sewing designs really caught my eye…I have already forgotten how to use my sewing machine, but there are some hand-stitched toy patterns that I could possibly try! The crocheted hedgehogs seen on the cover look absolutely adorable too- I might have to make some :)
The bookazine is divided into 5 sections: (1) “Once Upon A Time" containing fairytale and rhyme characters including my Dragon; (2) “Busy Bees" containing indoor toys for children; (3) “Special Friends" containing a variety of adorable animals; (4) “Let’s Pretend" containing delicious play food and treats; and (5) “Just For Fun" containing mini toys for big craft and play happiness!
I am so happy to have my amigurumi Dragon featured in “Hand Made Toys" along with some of my other crochet blogger friends including Mei of “Amigurumei" and Tanya of “Little Things Blogged”! Thank you for including my work in your bookazine, Helen! It truly is a delightful magazine with such a wide variety of cute toys!
If you’re interested in getting your hands on your own copy, you can order “Hand Made Toys" by mail HERE or find copies in WH Smith stores and leading newsagents in the UK and in Barnes & Noble stores in the US. You can also buy a digital copy of “Hand Made Toys" through the Apple Newsstand (download the free Simply Crochet container app, and the digital version of Hand Made Toys will be available there). I think it’s so special how people all over the world are continuing to discover my amigurumi Dragon pattern, often through features such as these, and I truly adore seeing all the Dragons who have been crocheted with so much love ❤
Last week I blogged about how I was crocheting some amigurumi gifts for the daughters of some of our good friends. One of the girls loves elephants (see the one I made for her here) while her sister’s favourite animal is a pig! And so, I scoured Ravelry to look for a free and cute pig pattern. I really liked the look and simplicity of Studio Ami's “Micropig”, so I decided to give it a try!
However, I knew that the original pattern would yield quite a small pig, and I wanted to give the girls an elephant and a pig that were similar in size. I also wanted to use the same yarn that I used to make the elephant (Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids) so that the amigurumi would match! Instead of modifying the pattern to make it bigger, I wanted to keep it simple and follow the existing pattern but hold two strands of worsted weight yarn while crocheting. I used a 5 mm crochet hook to accommodate for the thickness, the largest hook I’ve ever used to make an amigurumi! As you know, the thicker the yarn and the larger the crochet hook you use, the bigger your amigurumi will turn out!
As you can see, the stitches are massive but no holes are visible and the piece has a sturdy feel to it because of the thickness.
This pig works up really quickly! I love how simple this pattern is as the body/head is already complete :)
With the eyes in place I thought this little one was starting to look like a Sackboy!
Next I crocheted the pointy ears…
And then the four stubby legs! When attaching the ears and legs to the body, I only used one strand of yarn as it was simply to thick and difficult to use both strands to sew the pieces together.
After attaching the ears, legs and also the felt snout, here is what our pig looked like!
The original pattern does not include a tail, but I thought it would be fun to add a little curly tail! I crocheted the tail as follows:
Ch 5. 3 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain across (12 sc). Fasten off and leave long end to attach tail to bottom-back of pig.
To make our elephant and pig amigurumi match even more, we added a cute floral bow to the pig using the same fabric we used for the lining of the elephant’s ears! What do you think of her?
She is a ball of cuteness, so round and sweet!
The curly little tail adds a nice touch, don’t you think?
I was really happy with how this pig turned out and how it was similar in size to the elephant I blogged about last week!
Have you ever tried holding two strands of yarn together to make amigurumi before? What have you done to make your amigurumi larger? If you’ve been looking for a cute amigurumi pig pattern, I highly recommend checking out the free one provided by Sylvia of “Studio Ami" HERE! Thanks for sharing your free pattern with us, Sylvia!
One day while shopping for yarn at Michaels, I came across this free adorable “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern designed by Twinkie Chan. Twinkie Chan is the queen of yummy and deliciously cute crochet (check out her site here), and I had seen her mention this project before on her social media. I excitedly took a copy of the pattern home and began working on it right away with some Bernat cotton yarn that I already had in my stash!
I was very impressed with this pattern and how this cupcake was designed. The pink frosting part involves using a magic ring, but rather than working continuously around the circle, you turn your work in order to achieve this semi-circle shape. The pink edging hanging over the green cake liner adds a pretty and whimsical touch. My favourite part though was achieving the cabled effect on the green cake liner by working front post half triple crochets (FPhtr) around stitches found in rows below. I thought this technique was brilliant and I love how it turned out- I’ll have to keep this in mind for future projects!
The original project includes the pattern for a circular cherry with a loop on the top so that you can easily hang your dishcloth. I wanted to make this dishcloth convertible into a bib as I wanted to gift it to a newborn baby girl! Thus, I did not include the loop on the cherry- instead, I crocheted a little stem.
After following the pattern for the cherry, I did not fasten off. I did the folllowing:
Ch 6. Sc 1 in 2nd chain from hook. Sl st in next 4 chains. Sl st in next 2 stitches of circle. Fasten off and leave end to attach cherry to cupcake.
In order to make this cupcake convertible into a bib, I added these two straps to the back of the pink frosting so that I could run a long neck strap through them:
To crochet these:
Ch 7. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain across (6 sc). Fasten off and leave ends to attach straps to frosting.
Next I crocheted the long neck strap consisting of double crochets with a button on the end. By using double crochets, this made the strap adjustable since the button can fit between any of the stitches!
To crochet the neck strap:
Chain 70. Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each chain across (68 dc). Fasten off and weave in ends. Sew button firmly onto one end. (My strap measured approximately 17 inches).
After feeding the neck strap through the pink straps, this is what my cupcake bib looked like! I thought that the family could use it at first as a bib, and when their baby daughter no longer needed to use a bib, they could remove the neck strap and continue using it as a cute dishcloth in their kitchen!
Cupcakes are so pretty and whimsical- I’m sure a Cupcake Dischcloth or Bib would be a welcome addition into many homes and kitchens, especially for those with a sweet tooth!
Myla absolutely detests wearing bibs now, but we managed to get her to wear this Cupcake Bib for a split second to capture this photo before she ripped it off, haha! Isn’t the bib adorable?
To make your own Cupcake Bib or Dishcloth, check out Twinkie Chan’s free pattern HERE! Her post also includes a very informative YouTube video in which she shows you how to crochet the entire project as well :) Have fun, and happy crocheting!
I am very excited to share my newest magazine feature with you all! When Lindsey first e-mailed me about being featured in an upcoming issue of “Inside Crochet”, I was incredibly thrilled and honoured. They first heard about me because they had featured my friend Sarah of “Repeat Crafter Me" in their Issue #51, and Sarah had listed me as one of her favourite bloggers! Sarah is a blogger whom I deeply admire as she is a busy mom of three and she consistently creates and blogs about her very creative and beautiful craft and crochet projects. Thank you for the wonderful shout-out, Sarah! You can read about her feature in "Inside Crochet" HERE.
I am featured in Issue 52, and I was very excited to pick up a copy at my local Chapters! If you live in the US, you can find this magazine at Barnes & Noble and select Jo-Ann stores. This issue contains 25 crochet patterns with many of them having a spring and floral theme, such as the “Summer Garden Throw" pictured on the cover of this issue. I was impressed by the beautiful lay-out of "Inside Crochet" and all the bright, vibrant pictures displayed page after page. I enjoyed reading about the other crochet artists featured in the magazine as well as the yarn and book reviews.
As soon as I got my hands on a hard copy, I excitedly flipped through the pages to find my feature! I was expecting it to be towards the back, so I kept missing it…my feature was actually near the front on Page 8! I was delighted they included the pictures of Dragon, Chinese New Year Doll, Pony and my Minnie Mouse Ears Headband.
Here is a close-up of my feature so you can read it for yourself! They slotted me under the “Crochet Entrepeneurs" section- although I don’t know if I would classify myself as an entrepeneur since I don’t currently sell anything or have a business, I am just thankful to be featured in this magazine!
Thank you to Lindsey and Adrian and the lovely people of “Inside Crochet" for the wonderful feature! They have also been very generous as they are offering a free one year digital subscription to a lucky reader! This means that you will be able to download a digital copy of each month’s issue and therefore be able to access tons of free patterns and high quality content! It’s a great prize valued at $44.99, and you can read more about their digital subscriptions HERE. You can enter this giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below, and there are 6 different ways to enter- none of them are mandatory, but of course the more entries you have, the higher chances you have of winning!
I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I do love my tea….particularly Milk Tea! When we visit Hong Kong-style cafes or bubble tea establishments, one of the drinks I always like to try is their milk tea. We started making our own milk tea at home and I thought I would blog about it because it tastes soo good! It’s very creamy and soothing, and it’s a great way to start off the morning with a muffin or scone :)
This milk tea is very simple to whip up if you can find these two boxes of tea: “Lipton Yellow Label Tea" and "3:15 PM Milk Tea”. Both contain tea bags (not loose tea or powders that dissolve in water), and we purchased them both at Walmart in the Asian aisle. Using the “3:15 PM Milk Tea” alone gives kind of a watered-down effect, but once you add a bag of the “Lipton Yellow Label Tea”, it packs more of a punch and makes it taste like the Milk Tea that you order outside!
We add two spoonfuls of sugar (of course adjust sweetness to your liking), 1 packet of the “3:15 PM Milk Tea” and 1 packet of the “Lipton Yellow Label Tea” to a mug. Next we add boiling water, let it steep a bit, and then we’re done!
Time to enjoy a nice hot cup of Milk Tea in the comfort of your own home!
If you are unable to find the “3:15 PM Milk Tea”, you could always add evaporated or condensed milk to black tea to make your own milk tea from scratch. And since the weather is warming up, you might want a more refreshing and cold drink- you could try making “Iced Milk Tea" by letting this tea cool down and then adding ice! Remember to add less water in the beginning though as you want a more concentrated tea to begin with since the ice will dilute it further. Or, you could put your milk tea in an ice bath like the picture below to prevent it from being diluted. We thought the presentation of this milk tea was so unique when we tried it three years ago in a cafe in New York City’s Chinatown!
Enjoy your Milk Tea, and let us know if you give this a try!
Crochet these absolutely adorable, whimsical elephants with a brilliant amigurumi technique that requires minimal attaching. Make them in a multitude of colours and add some fabric lining to the ears as a pretty touch! This elephant is an original design by Japanese artist Chisachi Kushima. For the Spanish translation, see Rani’s post HERE on “Amigurumies”, and for the French translation, see Fannie’s post HERE on “Petite Maille”. Below is the English pattern that I have translated! [Don’t forget to click the “Print" button at the bottom of this blog post right above the comments for a printer-friendly version of this pattern!]
grey or pink yarn (I used Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice in “Pink and Silver Grey”)
2.5 mm or 2.75 mm crochet hook (I used a 2.75 mm hook)
6 mm or 9 mm safety eyes (I used 9 mm)
fabric for lining of ears
white felt for tusks
Note: I worked in continuous rounds (vs. joined rounds). ***PLEASE follow along with my blog post HEREto see many more step-by-step photos. It is also VERY IMPORTANT that the "right" side of amigurumi is facing outwards for this project, otherwise the stitches of the body and the legs will look different. Please read about the “Right Side of Amigurumi" HERE to learn more!
Ch 9 ( this is the foundation chain),
R1: Starting from second chain from hook, Sc 7 in back loops of foundation chain. 3 sc in last stitch. Turn the chain, Sc 6 in front loops of foundation chain, then 1 inc in next front loop [we are making an oval by crocheting around the chain]. (18 sts)
R23: 39 sc, chain 6 (skip 12 sc to create the hole for the trunk), 39 sc (84)
R24: 37 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc, 1 dec, 37 sc (82)
R25: 1 sc in each sc (82)
Cut the yarn. Leave a marker in the last sc of Row 25. Work by rows for the next part. We will now be crocheting the tab that falls below the trunk.
R26: Skip 37 sc. Rejoin yarn and make 8 sc (8)
R27: Ch 1, turn, 1 sc in each sc (8)
R28: Ch 1, turn, 1 dec, 4 sc, 1 dec (6)
R29: Ch 1, turn, 1 dec, 2 sc, 1 dec (4)
R30: Ch 1, turn, 2 dec (2)
We have now created a tab that falls below the trunk.
Place safety eyes between Rounds 16-17.
In order to create the legs, we will divide the body into leg chains. Each leg chain consists of 6 chains and we will be making 4 leg chains (A-D) in total.
Leg Chain A: Join to one end of the last sc of R25 (see pic below), chain 6, count 21 sc, join with sl st to this end.
Leg Chain B: Continuing on from Leg Chain A, Ch 6. Sl stitch to last stitch of Row 30 of the tab.
Leg Chain C: Continuing on from Leg Chain B (the first end is in the last stitch of Row 30), chain 6, then count 15 sc from the beginning of the base of the tab of R25 and join with sl st..
Leg Chain D: Continuing on from Leg Chain C, Chain 6 then join with sl stitch to last stitch of R25 (where your stitch marker is). Do not cut yarn.
We will now be working on each individual leg, crocheting around the body and the leg chains that we have just created.
Starting from last stitch of Row 25 (so where the marker was, i.e. no need to cut the yarn from before, simply continue working):
R1: 21 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the leg chain A) (27)
R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)
R3: 5 sc, 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (25)
R4: 17 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (24)
R5: *2 sc, 1 dec* repeat around (18)
R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, repeat around (12)
R7: 6 dec
Fasten off and weave in end.
Count 23 stitches from where marker was in Row 25 (or as indicated in diagram above) and rejoin yarn.
R1: 15 sc (of the body), 6 sc (along the edge of the tab), 6 sc (of the leg chain B) (27)
R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)
R3: 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 11 sc (25)
R4: 1 dec, 23 sc (24)
R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)
R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)
R7: 6 dec
Fasten off and weave in end.
Begin in the last stitch of Row 30 (the tab) or as indicated in diagram above and rejoin yarn.
R1: 6 sc (along the edge of the tab), 15 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the chain C) (27)
R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)
R3: 5 sc, 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (25)
R4: 17 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (24)
R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)
R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)
R7: 6 dec
Fasten off and weave in end.
Rejoin yarn in the body in the stitch next to Leg C (as indicated in diagram above).
R1: 21 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the leg chain C) (27)
R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)
R3: 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 11 sc (25)
R4: 1 dec, 23 sc (24)
R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)
R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)
R7: 6 dec
Fasten off and weave in end.
Rejoin yarn in the hole left for the trunk. Rejoin in stitch in the middle of the tab (tab edge consists of 6 sts).
R1: 3 sc (half of the tab), 12 sc (of the body), 3 sc (other half of the tab) (18)
R2: 1 sc in each sc (18)
R3: *1 dec, 4 sc*, rep 3 times (15)
R4-5: 1 sc in each sc (15)
R6: *1 dec, 3 sc*, rep 3 times (12)
R7-8: 1 sc in each sc (12)
R9: *1 dec, 2 sc*, rep 3 times (9)
R10: 1 sc in each sc (9)
R11: *1 dec, 1 sc*, rep 3 times (6)
Fasten off and weave in end.
R1: 6 sc in the MR (6)
R2: 6 inc (12)
R3: *1 inc, 1 sc*, rep around (18)
R4: *1 inc, 2 sc*, rep around (24)
Stuff body and trunk firmly. To close the belly, attach the crocheted belly piece to the edges of the four leg chains. The belly piece should fit in perfectly since it consists of 24 stitches while the leg chains each consist of 6 chains (i.e. four leg chains x 6 chains = 24 stitches).
Ears (make 2):
Ch 7 ( this is the foundation chain),
R1: Starting from second chain from hook, Sc 5 in back loops of foundation chain. 3 sc in last stitch. Turn the chain, Sc 4 in front loops of foundation chain, then 1 inc in next front loop [we are making an oval by crocheting around the chain]. (14 sts)
Do you remember the “Amigurumi & Crochet Blog Directory" that I compiled last year in August? I really enjoyed visiting blogs from around the world and seeing what projects different crochet artists were working on. When I clicked on "Petite Maille”, a French blog by Fannie, I was greeted with some pictures of an absolutely adorable elephant (see here). I was immediately intrigued by the construction and shaping of this amigurumi as it looked very different from the traditional method of crocheting individual limbs and then attaching them altogether. I was delighted to see that Fannie provided the free French pattern on her blog. Fannie had translated a Spanish pattern that she herself had discovered on a blog called “Amigurumies" by Rani. I mistakenly thought that Rani was the originally designer behind this elephant, but Rani herself and some Facebook followers pointed out that the original pattern was Japanese, and that Rani had translated this pattern found in a Japanese pamphlet into Spanish for her blog.
Rani showed me what the original Japanese pattern looked like, and after some sleuthing and help from my Japanese friend (thanks Saho!!!), we believe that the artist who designed this elephant in the above pamphlet is Chisachi Kushima (久嶋千幸).
I was so incredibly excited to try crocheting this elephant and learn some new amigurumi techniques along the way! Armed with Fannie’s French pattern and Rani’s Spanish pattern, I began translating the pattern into English which turned out to be not too bad at all since I had previously studied both French and Spanish in school. It also made it easier since I had two patterns in two different languages to cross-reference in case I wasn’t sure about a particular phrase or the wording of something. I used this chart here to reference what the crochet terms were in different languages (e.g. “punto bajo” is “single crochet” in Spanish) and sought to make the pattern as clear as possible in English. After I had translated the pattern into English, I began following it to make my very own elephant!
The top part began with crocheting around a foundation chain to create this oval shape. Then the elephant’s body began to expand!
A hole was left where the trunk of the elephant would be added later on. A tab was then crocheted under the hole to help connect the front part to the rest of the body and legs.
I thought that the next part was incredibly genius: leg chains are created to divide up the underside of the body. This creates little “compartments” where we can crochet directly onto the body without having to crochet the legs separately and then attach them later on. Here is a visual showing where each leg chain is created and how many stitches are in between. Don’t worry, the pattern will explain this more clearly!
Here is a picture of the elephant-in-progress with the hole, tab and leg chains created! Isn’t it neat?
This next visual shows where each leg will be:
And this visual shows where you rejoin your yarn for each leg and in which direction to crochet. Remember that if the right side of amigurumi is facing outwards (see post HERE if you don’t know what I’m referring to), you should always be crocheting clockwise! I tried to add more visuals to make the pattern as clear as possible :)
And so, referencing the visuals that I created, I crocheted Leg A, Leg B, Leg C, and then Leg D!
We then added the safety eyes! Hehe, doesn’t he look funny without his ears and trunk…like some sort of weird lumpy creature?
I then crocheted the trunk in the hole that was left for it. To close up the belly, a circle was created and then sewed onto the underside!
Next up was the ears! We did a little modification to the ears and added fabric lining, just like we did with the Spring Bunnies :) I think mixing fabric with crochet adds such a beautiful touch, and you can add so much character and variation by choosing different fabrics. We thought that this red fabric contrasted nicely against the grey yarn. As a tip, sew the lining onto the ear with small back stitches before you sew the ears shut.
Here is our little round elephant with his ears attached! The fabric definitely adds a nice pop of colour, don’t you think?
The last part to crochet was the little tail which I then attached to the back!
And now may we present to you our sweet little elephant!!!
We added some tusks made out of white felt which we glued onto either side of his trunk!
Isn’t the shaping and design of this elephant absolutely brilliant? I love the smooth contours and how the upper body becomes the legs and the trunk seamlessly. There is minimal attaching (which is my least favourite part of making amigurumi) as you only need to attach the ears, belly and tail!
I actually crocheted this little guy for a silent auction that my friend was organizing to raise money for an orphanage in Taiwan. I was delighted to find out that a couple who was planning on adopting a child from the orphanage ended up with the winning bid as they were purchasing it for their future child- isn’t that so special?
Of course, that also meant I HAD to crochet another elephant for us to keep since I loved the design so much! I ended up crocheting a pretty pink elephant for Myla using the same fabric lining that I used for the Spring Bunnies. For both elephants I used Lion Brand Yarn’s Vanna’s Choice (in Pink & Silver Grey).
I named these two “Rosie" and "Gris" since "rose" is pink and "gris” is grey in French! I think these elephants would look adorable using any colour…you could crochet an army of elephants in a rainbow of colours!
You may notice that Rosie has tusks pointing upwards while Gris has tusks pointing downwards for some variation! You can choose which way you’d like them to point.
A number of you mentioned on Facebook and on Instagram that this elephant looks like “Olli”, a popular Dutch character who is apparently the symbol of the Rotterdam Zoo and a professional football club! I love our international community and how we can learn interesting tidbits of information that I otherwise wouldn’t have known :)
Don’t you think these elephants would make an adorable and whimsical addition to any baby nursery or child’s room? Hehe…they’d also be great desk buddies- judging from the response already, it seems that many of you love elephants!
Here is a short video I posted on Instagram showing Gris and Rosie in action! You can follow me on Instagram (@AllAboutAmi) for more photos of my crocheted creations and day-to-day life…I really love my Instagram community and all the support and lovely feedback I always get on there!
I am just so impressed with this pattern and design and I love learning new techniques and skills to bring my amigurumi to the next level. I find that Japanese artists are so creative and ingenioius in the way they design their amigurumi (e.g. the ball joint of Link here and the leg chains of this elephant). I hope that I can incorporate some of these techniques into my future designs and keep expanding my repertoire of crochet skills as I continue making my own and trying other people’s patterns. Thank you to Rani and Fannie who translated the original Japanese pattern into Spanish and French respectively and greatly helped me in my task to bring this amazing pattern to an English audience! I hope that you enjoyed reading about and seeing the making of Gris and Rosie :) ***The free English translation can now be found on my blog HERE***!!!
I love attending craft shows, and I have many fond memories of my parents taking me to Christmas craft shows growing up and allowing me to pick out something to buy. I was always astounded by the things that people could make and I thought it would be so neat if one day I could have my own booth of handmade goods, meeting many interesting people along the way! Although I never ended up having a booth, I do have this blog to display my projects and I have indeed met MANY interesting and wonderful people through it :) I still enjoy attending craft shows and seeing people’s creativity and handiwork displayed in full force!
This past weekend, we attended “Make It! The Handmade Revolution”, a large, hip, urban craft show in Western Canada that takes place in Edmonton and Vancouver. It was the very first craft show that we took Myla to when she was less than two months old and we perused the booths with her strapped to us in the carrier a year and a half ago. It was our first time attending their spring show this past weekend and I was very excited to see what vendors were participating! I wore this pink crop top that I got from Forever XXI over my long black belted maxi dress from Old Navy. I brought along the “Crochet Mesh Bag" that I made last year and hoped that I would be able to fill it with some wonderful handmade goodies! The step-by-stepblog post and link to the free pattern for this mesh bag can be found HERE in case you didn’t see it before! It is the perfect accessory for all your spring and summer adventures coming up at the beach or farmer’s markets!
"Make It" has a beautiful venue as the high glass ceilings allow natural light to pour in, giving it a very open, bright, airy feel. It’s also a very popular event, so it was hard to maneuver around at times. I wish I could’ve spent more time looking at each booth, but time was of the essence with a fidgety toddler! Pictured below are some of the items that we purchased- we were looking for some gifts for friends, so this craft show was the perfect place to buy them!
-Wooden Bow Tie by Dear Fawn Inc: I first met Loan at a different craft show last summer, and Ryan and I were really impressed by her crocheted handiwork and sewing skills (and killer sense of style :D). She has since focused her company to selling bow ties, and she offers fabric bow ties with some really fun prints (Star Wars, Ninja Turtles) as well as fresh and modern wooden bow ties! We couldn’t resist picking up a wooden one for a stylish little boy who we know :) If you act fast, you could win two Storm Trooper baby bow ties by vising the Dear Fawn Inc facebook page HERE (giveaway ends tonight [Wednesday, April 16] at 8 PM MST)!
-Bunny Earrings by Foe and Dear: We were really impressed by Katherine’s beautiful booth as her jewelry was gorgeously displayed on books and vintage trays. I love wearing stud earrings and I was immediately drawn to these adorable little bunny studs! They are incredibly cute and lightweight as I can’t even feel them when I wear them (I hate wearing earrings that are too heavy!). Katherine does a great job with packaging too!
- Spring Shoes by WildCotton Gifts: We picked up these pretty little shoes for our friends’ baby girl and had a fun time looking around Kara’s booth. Her sewing skills are amazing as she had beautiful boots, blankets, bibs, onesies and shoes on display with gorgeous prints and designs. I really admire people who can create so much with their sewing machines….I have yet to use mine again since sewing the curtains for Myla’s nursery -_-‘
We absolutely fell in love with the work by Caitlin Bodewitz of “CMBPrintWorks" as they all had a beautiful, romantic, ethereal feel to them. It was fun choosing what to get and hang in our house, and as soon as we saw this wood print, we knew it was perfect! We love the quote and the beautiful image. We hung it up in my workspace as soon as we got home and it reminds us that we’re adventuring together as husband and wife through love, faith, family, travels, crafting and life till we’re old and grey, paving new territory and taking risks along the way!
We had a great time at the craft show, and I enjoy connecting with local crafters and hearing them excitedly and proudly explaining their work and what they make. I would LOVE to hear about what your favourite craft shows are from your hometowns or places you’ve visited! Wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing to attend craft shows all around the world and see what the local artisans are doing in each city? Thanks for reading, and I’ll be blogging about an amigurumi that I think you’re going to love next week!
This past weekend I attended a good friend’s baby shower, and I was so happy to gift her with some crocheted goodies! A while back, I came across a really cute pattern for a “Foxy Stash Basket” on the “Yarnspirations" website HERE. I thought it would be a wonderful gift as it would not only make an adorable addition to the baby’s nursery, but also have the functional ability of storing items such as little hats, socks or towels! I had a lot of fun crocheting baskets in the past (see posts HERE and HERE), so I was very excited to make a cute animal basket!
I went out and looked for red and beige cotton yarn: I ended up purchasing “Bernat Handicrafter Cotton" yarn in "Off White" and "Country Red”. You need to hold two strands of yarn together when crocheting this basket. I did not buy enough skeins of yarn during my first shopping trip- in total, I used 4 skeins of the beige yarn and 2 skeins of the red yarn! Some black yarn is also needed for the eyes and nose, but I simply used some black acrylic worsted weight yarn that I already had in my stash.
I began by working on the base of the basket with the beige yarn. I loved the look and feel of it already! I used a 6 mm crochet hook for the basket and a 4 mm crochet hook for the ears and eyes as recommended in the pattern.
After crocheting the base, the basket started to build upwards…
Then after all the increase rounds, it was time to build up the height of the basket!
Next, I added the nose with some black yarn!
I was excited to begin working with the red yarn! Rather than cutting the yarn every time you need to switch colours, this basket is worked with the tapestry method of crochet in which you hold both colours at the same time, carrying and crocheting around the strands that are not currently in use. If you are unfamiliar with this technique, check out this video HERE to see it in action! Since you are working with two colours in the round, that essentially means that you are working with two strands of one colour while carrying along two strands of the other colour (thus four strands going at once)!
As I was following the pattern exactly and building up the red in subsequent rounds, I noticed that the red appeared to be going lopsided upwards. Even in the photo provided in the pattern (appearing below), I thought that the face looked crooked or lopsided. When I read the pattern through, I thought it made sense in theory if each stitch were placed exactly ontop of one another round after round. However, as you can see, stitches are not exactly aligned ontop of each other (e.g. third stitch of Round 3 will not be perfectly below third stitch of Round 4), as they tend to build up at an angle. Thus, I tried to make some modifications and eyeballed it as I went along, trying to make the face as symmetrical as I could!
This is what I came up with as I crocheted more and more of the face…
Then it was time to cut off the beige yarn and continue working only with the red yarn!
I tried my best, but I admit that I did not do a perfect job of making the face exactly symmetrical. As you can see in the image below, the sides are not identical (left side curves more at an angle while right side falls more steeply). I did not have the patience to undo my work and start that part over again, but you can always give it a try yourself and see what you come up with!
After some decrease rounds, the last round was given a nice finishing touch as it was worked with the reverse single crochet. I absolutely love the beautiful roped and textured feel that the reverse single crochet gives to the basket!
The basket was not as sturdy as I expected it to be (compared to the other baskets which I had crocheted using two strands of super bulky yarn and using an 8 mm crochet hook). Thus, we thought it would be neat to give this basket another function: by adding buttons to the top, the basket could be closed up to be a pillow or cushion!
I enjoyed crocheting the ears as they were worked from the bottom to the top which is opposite to how I usually make my ears. The shape turned out beautifully, and I love the pointed tips! To give a bit more shaping and dimension, we pinched the ears in the middle and sewed the back, giving them a creased look.
The eyes were simple to crochet as they were simply black circles with some white strands of yarn added!
After attaching the ears and eyes, here was our finished product!
These are the modifications I made to the original “Foxy Stash Basket" pattern by Yarnspirations (all modifications made to the FACE part, not the base):
3rd rnd: With A, 1 hdc in each of next 6 hdc.
4th rnd: With A, 1 hdc in each of next 9 hdc.
5th rnd: …………..Do not break MC. With A, 1 hdc in each of next 12 hdc…………..
6th rnd: With A, ch 2, 1 hdc in each of next 21 hdc……….With MC, 1 hdc in each of next 7 hdc…With A„ 1 hdc in each of next 13 hdc………
7th rnd: WIth A, ch 2. 1 hdc in each of next 22 hdc…..Do not break MC. WIth A, 1 hdc in each of next 14 hdc…….
8th rnd: With A, ch 2. 1 hdc in each of next 24 hdc…..With A, 1 hdc in each of next 15 hdc………….
I presented this Fox Basket packed with some goodies to my friend during her baby shower, and it was a hit! I think it look so cute, don’t you?
It would be such a beautiful and whimsical addition to the nursery of any baby boy or girl! Here it is pictured with some of the steel bins from Myla’s nursery (purchased from Ikea and Home Sense). Most of Myla’s stuffies in her nursery were actually my previous stuffies that I brought from home….that goes to show how much stuffies can be loved and cherished and passed down the generations, amigurumi included :)
Here is the Fox Basket serving its dual purpose as a cushion or pillow! Doesn’t it look so huggable? And how adorable would this fox pillow look on any sofa or bed?
Thus, if you don’t feel like using the basket as storage anymore or if a cute pillow is needed for a big boy or girl bed, it can be converted easily into a cushion or pillow simply by closing up the top with the buttons!
We used fiberfill to show what it looked like stuffed as a cushion, but we would not recommend using it as the actual stuffing unless you sewed the top shut (hazardous for children as they might remove it, play with it or eat it)! You could try finding a small pillow or cushion that would fit inside to keep the button closure and to easily switch from using this as a basket or a pillow!
And here’s a third use for the basket….as a Fox Mask! Haha all joking aside, I thought it was funny how this basket was pretty much head size!
If you liked this basket, check out these baskets pictured below that I crocheted HERE. I still use them to this day in Myla’s nursery and my workspace as they hold so much and look so beautiful.
If you’re interested in crocheting a matching amigurumi fox, here’s a round-up of some cute FREE fox patterns that I found on-line:
As I mentioned above, I think this Fox Basket would be so cute in a nursery, particularly if it had a “Woodland Forest Theme”. I enjoy looking through the beautiful handiwork of different artists on Etsy, and I found the following items that would go perfectly in such a themed nursery!
Hope you enjoyed reading about the making of this fun project and how we made some modifications to the original pattern and made it convertible from a basket to a pillow! Keep in mind that the Yarnspirations website gives it a 3 out of 4 “Intermediate” difficulty level as it does involve switching yarn colours using tapestry crochet. To access the free pattern, click HERE and download it! I love this idea of making baskets into animals- you could add bunny ears, cat ears, bear ears…the sky’s the limit! Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to stay updated with my work by following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
This week we will be starting a new series called “Craft Chat" in which I will feature different crafting artisans who I have personally connected with and who are passionate about what they do! I always find it fascinating learning about how people got started on their crafting journeys and what motivates them. Nowadays with social media, blogs, YouTube and the internet in general, crafting is being taken to the next level as we can teach and learn from one another and connect with other crafters from around the world who we would normally never be able to meet!
I am very pleased to feature “Momomints" in the very first edition of "Craft Chat”! Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sami and Marissa are the crafty duo behind “Momomints”, specializing in amigurumi crochet stuffed toys and keychains as well as polymer clay keycharms. I first connected with them on Twitter and Instagram and was very impressed with their work! Our love of all things kawaii and crafty bonded us and we became fast friends and great supporters of each others’ work! It’s always amazing finding people who share the same interests as you in your own country or who live near you too, so it was neat for me to connect with these fellow Canadians :)
When Sami and Marissa found out that I was celebrating my 3 Year Blogiversary, they wanted to send something special. They knew that Myla absolutely adores cats, so they sent us one of their signature "Meowchi" amigurumi cats! Their Meowchi’s typically have big bows (see HERE), but they included a special “3” to help commemorate my blogiversary. I love the shaping of their Meowchi, the blush cheeks and the beautiful hang tag!
This side view also shows Meowchi’s adorably long tail, cute yellow stripes and lovely “Momomints” label. Marissa is the one who does all the crocheted work of Momomints, and I think she did a great job designing these Meowchi’s with all their details!
Marissa also crocheted this mini Meowchi keychain for Myla as well! I love the dainty feet, and Myla enjoys having a “big Mama cat” and a ”small baby cat” :) These mini Meowchi keychains are a new product in their Etsy store, and they come in different editions. Marissa and Sami were so sweet to name the pink mini Meowchi the “Myla edition”! You can read all about these cuties and the different editions in their blog post HERE!
I love how you can take these mini Meowchi’s anywhere you go!
When Myla has her own backpack or little purse, we know what we’ll be attaching to it!
We were so excited to show Myla these handcrafted cats that were crocheted especially for her!
Myla was thrilled and immediately said “meow meow” when she saw them!
Myla is very gentle and sweet with her stuffies- she frequently gives them lots of hugs and kisses! Thank you for crocheting these cats with so much love, Marissa- Myla will treasure these stuffies for years to come!
I was very surprised to discover another gift from the generous duo of “Momomints”. Sami, who does all the polymer clay creations, made me these custom polymer keycharms! When I first saw these adorable teddies, I squealed with delight! Upon closer inspection and seeing the ball of yarn and crochet hook that the white bear was holding and the scarf that the beige bear was wearing, my jaw dropped as I realized that these were my “Fluff Bears”, Coco and Mochi! Sami did a wonderful job including the details and giving the bears a textured look to simulate their fluffiness!
Here are my Fluff Bears (free crochet pattern found HERE) with their polymer keycharm counterparts! How special is this?
I can’t wait to attach these Fluff Bear charms to my keychain or purse and take them wherever I go! Thank you for these special teddies, Sami- your work is impeccable!
Now that we’ve seen some of their work, here’s our chance to get to know Sami and Marissa of “Momomints” a bit better with the following questions that I asked them:
1) Where did the name Momomints come from?
Sami: Momomints was an original name that Marissa and I had come up with. “Momo” translates to peach in Japanese, while mint is Marissa’s favourite colour (one she really wanted to incorporate into our branding). Combined, these two words form “Momomints”, a play on words that sounds like “mo-mints” or “moments”. Overall, we really wanted to create a handmade gifts business with unique and cute products for all those special moments in people’s lives. And so we like to say: “Momomints - peachy fresh creations for all occasions”. It may be a bit cheesy, but we think it really defines us!
2) Describe your store in 5 words.
Cute, Japanese-inspired, Minty!, Handmade, Gifts
3) When did your love of crafting first begin? How did you learn your craft?
Marissa: For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved doing arts & crafts. When I was younger I remember watching Mr.Dress Up and always looked forward to the craft times where he would make things with ordinary craft supplies. And of course watching Martha Stewart on television! I actually didn’t learn how to crochet amigurumi dolls until later on when I was in University. I was browsing through some craft sites and stumbled upon the cutest fuzzy Panda Bear amigurumi pattern on Craftzine by Roxycraft. From that moment on I was hooked on amigurumi!
Sami: Like Marissa, I have been crafting since my toddler days. I remember always trying to reinvent my toys, creating dolls and doll houses out of paper and cardboard, and doodling my own story books. I first discovered polymer clay charms through Oborocharms on deviantART. The first keychain I created was a replica of a special little ghost charm I received as a birthday present, and since then I’ve been creating them as special presents for other people =).
4) Where do you get your inspiration from?
Marissa: Cute packaging, nature and anime/cartoons. Lots of things inspire me at any place or any time.
Sami: Besides all the random things I’m inspired by in my day to day, I’m inspired by Marissa! I can say it without hesitation that she is the most crafty person I know. She has great taste and judgement.
5) Do you craft for a living?
Sami: At this moment both Marissa and I work full-time jobs outside Momomints. I always like to say that Momomints is actually our second full-time job. We invest every other pocket of time we have into making products, promoting them and just growing Momomints into something more than just a hobby. Running Momomints and crafting for a living would be a dream but we understand that it will take some time and definitely lots of perseverance to get there. We’re just getting started!
6) What are some of your favourite crafting blogs or resources?
7) What advice do you have for people who are thinking of starting their own store or business?
Marissa: Do lots of research (read through Etsy forums, reach out to fellow established crafters, join craft meet-ups). If you’re truly passionate about it just go for it and have fun in the process :)
Sami: When starting it’s important to plan things out. Think about what products you’d like to make and how you could possibly expand on this in the future! Don’t limit yourself from the start! Think big! Also do understand that starting your own business does require actual work! and of course focus. Keep at it and don’t give up =).
I hope you enjoyed reading about these Canadian crafters who are producing such cute and high quality amigurumi and polymer keycharms! They not only have an Etsy store, but also a blog in which you can keep up with their news. They recently posted their FIRST FREE AMIGURUMI PATTERN for this incredibly adorable sheep named "Fluufie"HERE! I think Fluufie is too cute for words and I know that many of you will be excited to make your own :)
Visit the “Momomints” websiteHERE and follow them on their Facebook, Twitter (@momomintsshop) and Instagram (@momomintsshop) to see all the cute crafting that they’re up to! Thanks for being a part of this “Craft Chat”, Sami and Marissa, and we are excited to see where your crafting journey will take you
Hey everyone! It’s time for another “Crochet Corner" post in which we showcase the beautiful amigurumi that have been made all over the world! This edition will be starring Pony, our latest amigurumi design who was made to help celebrate the “Year of the Horse" for Chinese New Year! Let’s dive right in and see how others have interpreted our pattern :)
Kim-Hoa from California made this horse for her husband since he was born in the Year of the Horse! He chose out the colours himself and loved how he turned out. I think it’s incredibly sweet how Kim-Hoa made this adorable Pony for her husband!
Ana of “Mis PequiCosas”, who is originally from Spain but is now living in Switzerland, made this gorgeous pony using fine yarn. She named him “Johnny” and blogged about him HERE. She says that he is indeed a baby pony because he is just learning how to stand on his 4 legs! Ana writes that it was a challenge using fine yarn but that she is very happy with how he turned out :) I think her work looks impeccable as always!
Amanda of “Crystal Panda" from California has three friends who are having their first babies this year during the "Year of the Horse"! She made this pony below for the first horse baby and even personalized it with her info including her name, date of birthday and birth weight! How incredibly meaningful and special! You can read Amanda’s blog post about her pony HERE.
Ania of “Szydetkowe AnWool" from Poland made a blue and white pony with big blue eyes! She blogged about her version HERE. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the different colour combinations that people have used!
Jenna from Saskatchewan, Canada made this golden-maned pony for her sweet little girl who declared, “It’s for me!” as soon as she saw it :) Jenna and I were actually grad school classmates, and it’s sooo neat whenever I see someone I know personally crocheting and following one of my patterns! Jenna actually started crocheting when she was very young at the age of 6, but she took a big break and picked it up again a couple of years ago. I am so glad that we both rediscovered our love of crochet!
Jenni decided to make this pretty pony for herself after having made so many toys for other people! Love her purple mane and double lashes!
Roseanne from Uruguay made this little beauty for her 11 year old daughter who was born in the Year of the Horse! Roseanne said that she really enjoyed making this pony and that both her and daughter fell in love with it!
Teresa from Canada also decided to use red and white for her very first horse and had a lot of fun making this cutie! I’ve loved seeing how you all put together the mane for your horses, and this one looks particularly spunky and mohawk-like!
Trish from California is rounding out the red and white ponies with this little horse that she made for herself! Her daughter is jealous as she wants one too, and Trish writes that she needs to get a shelf in her kitchen to display all her little stuffies!
Belén from Italy used my pattern and added a horn to make her unicorn! Love this very simple modification to make such a whimsical creature :)
Jenny from Wisconsin just learned how to crochet a couple months ago and has already made many amigurumi using my patterns such as Dragon and Snake! She made this absolutely beautiful pony as a gift for her husband for Valentine’s Day. I adore the lustrous yarn she used as well as the swirly scarf accessory that looks like it’s blowing in the wind!
Makayla of Planet Yarn from Illinois also made an exquisite accessory for her beautiful pony! She crocheted this blanket and posted the pattern on her blog HERE so you can make one for yours too!
I’ve absolutely loved seeing all your ponies and these are only a dozen of them as I didn’t want to cram too many into one post! And so, if you didn’t see your pony in this post, do not fret as I am already compiling pictures for the second Crochet Corner post featuring Pony! Hope you feel inspired to create your own Pony after seeing these pics- the free pattern can be found HERE and the step-by-step blog post can be found HERE. Thank you for bringing our pony pattern to life with all your beautiful renditions! To check out more “Crochet Corner" posts, visit this page HERE!
Spring has arrived! It’s been 3 years since I designed the Spring Bunnies and I know that this pattern has been dearly loved and used many times all over the world since then. If you never jumped on the bunny bandwagon, now’s your chance to join in on the fun and make your own Spring Bunny as the weather warms up and Easter approaches! This pattern originally appeared on Craftzine HERE and it is my pleasure bringing it to you on my blog for the very first time!
Yarn [beige or white medium weight (4) yarn for the body; pink lightweight yarn (3) for the flower]
2.00 mm crochet hook and 1.25 mm crochet hook (for the carrot)
Brown or pink felt (for the feet)
Patterned fabric (for lining of the ears)
12 mm safety eyes
Embroidery floss (brown or beige for the nose and to attach felt for the feet; orange and green for the carrot)
[For new bunny: 9 mm safety eyes, yellow embroidery floss for flower, pink embroidery floss for nose, beige felt for feet]
Note: I worked in continuous rounds (vs. joined rounds). ***Please follow along with my blog post HERE to see step-by-step photos!
Using beige or white yarn,
R1: 6 sc in Magic Ring. (6 sts)
R2: Sc 2 in each sc around. (12 sts)
R3: *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 6 times. (18 sts)
R4: *Sc 2, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 6 times. (24 sts)
R5: *Sc 3, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (30 sts)
R6: *Sc 4, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (36 sts)
R7: *Sc 5, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (42 sts)
R8: *Sc 6, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (48 sts)
R9-13: Sc 48
R14: *Sc 6, dec 1*, rep 6 times. (42 sts)
R15: *Sc 5, dec 1*, rep 6 times. (36 sts)
R16: *Sc 4, dec 1*, rep 6 times. (30 sts)
R17: *Sc 3, dec 1* rep 6 times. (24 sts)
Place 12 mm safety eyes towards bottom half of head. Begin stuffing head.
R18: *Sc 2, dec 1*, rep 6 times. (18 sts)
R19: *Sc 1, dec 1*, rep 6 times. (12 sts)
Continue stuffing head firmly.
R20: *Dec 1*, rep 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off and weave in end.
Using brown or beige embroidery floss, sew nose onto head using following tutorial:
For new bunny nose variation:
EARS (make 2)
Using beige or white yarn,
R1: 5 sc in Magic Ring (5 sts)
R2: Sc 2 in each sc around. (10 sts)
R3: *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 5 times. (15 sts)
R4-8: Sc 15.
R9: *Sc 3, dec1*, rep 3 times. (12 sts)
R10-11: Sc 12.
R12: *Sc 2, dec 1*, rep 3 times (9 sts)
R13-15: Sc 9.
Fasten off and leave long end for sewing. Sew open end together. Cut fabric lining in shape of ears. Sew fabric lining onto ears. Attach ears either on top of head pointing up or towards back of head pointing down.
Using beige or white yarn,
R1: 7 sc in Magic Ring. (7 sts)
R2: Sc 2 in each sc around. (14 sts)
R3: *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 7 times. (21 sts)
R4: *Sc 2, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 7 times. (28 sts)
R5-8: Sc 28
R9: *Sc 2, dec 1*, rep 7 times. (21 sts)
R10: *Sc 1, dec 1*, rep 7 times. (14 sts)
Fasten off and leave long end for sewing. Stuff body firmly. Sew body to head.
Using beige or white yarn,
R1: 6 sc in Magic Ring. (6 sts)
R2: *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 3 times. (9 sts)
R3: Sc 9.
R4: *Sc 1, dec 1*, rep 3 times. (6 sts)
R5-7: Sc 6.
Fasten off and leave long end for sewing. Attach to sides of body.
LEGS (make 2)
Using beige or white yarn,
R1: 6 sc in Magic Ring. (6 sts)
R2: Sc 2 in each sc around. (12 sts)
R3: *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 6 times. (18 sts)
R4-6: Sc 18 sts.
Begin stuffing legs.
R7: *Sc 1, dec 1*, rep 6 times. (12 sts)
Continue stuffing firmly.
R8: *Dec 1*, rep 6 times. (6 sts)
R9: Sc 6.
Fasten off and leave long end for sewing. Cut ovals out of brown or pink felt. Sew oval pieces onto feet using embroidery floss. Attach legs to bottom of body.
Using beige or white yarn,
R1: 6 sc in Magic Ring. (6 sts)
R2: Sc 2 in each sc around. (12 sts)
R3: Sc 12
R4: *Dec 1*, rep 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off and leave long end for sewing. Sew onto bottom-back of body to give the bunny balance.
Using orange embroidery floss,
R1: 6 sc in Magic Ring. (6 sts)
R2: *Sc 2, 2 sc in nex st*, rep 2 times. (8 sts)
R3-7: Sc 8.
Fasten off and sew open end together. Tuck ends in.
Using green embroidery floss,
Ch 3, sl st to any middle stitch on top of carrot, ch 3. Fasten off. Sew ends back into chains.
Using pink yarn,
R1: *Dc, ch1, dc* in fifth ch from hook. *Ch1, sk1. Dc, ch 1, dc in next stitch* till the end (repeat 8 times). [Result is 9 sets of double crochet ‘V’s.] Ch 3 and turn.
R2: In first ch1 space between the double crochet V’s, dc 4 times. *Sl st in next ch1 space between the double crochet v’s. Dc 5 times* till the end (repeat 9 times). Sl st in last stitch in row. Fasten off and leave long end for sewing. With long end on the right side, roll the flower inwards (clockwise motion), placing the petals how you would like. Use yarn needle to sew the long end through the layers of the flower to fasten them in place. Attach the flower to the side of the bunny’s head.
This pattern is an original pattern by Stephanie of All About Ami (April 2011) and originally first appeared on Craftzine. Please do not claim this pattern as your own. If you wish to share this pattern, you may link to this pattern but please do not reprint it on your site. You may keep a copy for your own personal use but you may not sell or distribute it. You may sell items made from this pattern but please give credit or link back to “All About Ami” as the original designer!
Non-Slip Soles with Plasti Dip (Rubber Spray Coating)
Three weeks ago we attended a little girl’s first birthday party! We were very excited to go as we’ve been friends with her parents for a long time. They choreographed the waltz and rumba during our wedding reception and years later we both ended up having little girls born just a few months apart! I knew that I wanted to crochet her something special for her first birthday, and I knew exactly what: Loop Boots! That way, our little girls could match with each other :) See the full blog post for Myla’s “Crochet Loop Boots with Suede Soles" HERE!
However, rather than using suede for the soles, I wanted to investigate another method to make these boots non-slip that had piqued my interest. Crocheting these boots was a lot of fun and they worked up quickly since I was used to the pattern! I used grey yarn for the soles and purple yarn for the rest (Vanna’s Choice in “Silver Grey” and “Dusty Purple”).
During my research trying to figure out how to make crocheted footwear non-slip, I came across a YouTube video in which a lady used something called “Plasti Dip”. Plasti Dip is a multi-purpose rubber coating that can be used for “comfortable grip, slip resistance, anti-moisture protection, abrasion, and corrosion resistance”. I knew that people had successfully used the canned version to dab on dots of Plasti Dip to make rubber grips. However, I was intrigued by the aerosol version that I had seen in the video!
The aerosol comes in different colours but we made sure to get the clear one (with the clear lid) so that it would not affect the colour of the soles and keep them grey. We picked up this Plasti Dip at Lowe’s for $20 but you can find it cheaper on Amazon (see affiliate link below if you’re interested in purchasing it on-line for $10).
After reading the instructions, Ryan was excited to begin spraying the boots! However, he wanted to make sure that the Plasti Dip only got on the soles and not the rest of the boots (such as the loopy parts). Thus, Ryan made some cut-outs in a cereal box so that he could place the boots in it while isolating the soles like so:
Here is a video showing how we sprayed our boots! The instructions say to allow a minimum of 30 minutes between coats and to apply at least 3-4 coats. Then you need to wait a minimum of 4 hours to let the Plasti Dip dry before you are completely done. Be warned that it smells really bad when spraying the Plasti Dip but when everything is dried, no scent remains.
Here is the finished product! We were sooo curious to see how the soles would look and feel after all the coats were applied! The rubber coating gives a very interesting, bumpy texture that will no doubt provide a lot of grip to these boots. I originally wondered if the other side of the soles would be affected (inside the boots) but thankfully they remained soft and did not harden. I think that if you have large stitches with holes in between, however, there is a chance that the Plasti Dip may affect the other side and cause it to harden!
Apparently Plasti Dip is waterproof (people use it on their cars) as water will not stick to the surface and will actually bead up and fall right off. The following question can be found in the Plasti Dip FAQ section as well:
"Is Plasti Dip safe to use on children’s toys, animal containment, and/or on kitchen utensils?"
They answered, “Plasti Dip does not contain any heavy metals, and when completely dry, is considered harmless. However, it is not recommended that it be used on items that may be chewed or inserted into the mouth as it may present a choking hazard.”
Thus, don’t let your kids chew on this (although you probably wouldn’t want them chewing on any of their shoes anyway!)!
Here are the finished purple loop boots! We loved the look of Myla’s gold buttons so much that we went out and bought the same ones for these boots :)
The Plasti Dip spray preserves the look of the boots while providing plenty of grip and texture!
We had fun trying to package the boots in a beautiful way: we ended up using a gift box and I attached some of my business cards onto the top! The boots were very well-received and I cannot wait to see the little girl wearing them in the future :) If you’re interested in purchasing the pattern for these loop boots, check out the “Two Girls Patterns" shop run by Kris and Lorin on Etsy HERE (this pattern comes in baby, toddler and adultsizes). See the step-by-step making of the loop boots I previously made with suede soles HERE!
I think using this aerosol Plasti Dip is a great option to make crocheted footwear non-slip. For other methods, check out Moogly’s round-up HERE. This rubber coating will not wear down easily and you most likely will not need to reapply (I’ve heard that dots of glue or puffy paint tend to wear down easily). There is no extra sewing required, it does not leave ugly or irregular marks, and it covers the entire surface area of the soles. One can of the aerosol Plasti Dip will probably last a while and I think this will be the option that I myself choose whenever I want to make my crocheted slippers or boots non-slip! On an ending note, if you’ve never seen my crocheted slippersblog post before, check it out HERE as I made 6 different variations based on the same pattern :)
Hey everyone! I wanted to let you know about some changes that I have been making to the blog! Firstly, I have added a “Frequently Asked Questions" tab in the navigation bar above as people tend to ask similar questions…I thought it would be nice to compile all the questions and answers in an area so that everyone could benefit! Check it out HERE. I will keep updating this page with more questions that come along!
I also added a “Community" tab to explain what my "Crochet Corner" series is all about and how you can be a part of it! Check it out HERE!
These next updates might be useful if you yourself have a blog or if you frequently print items on the internet:
I’ve added a feature called “Link Within" that shows related stories from my blog archive under each post. All you have to do is add a free simple widget to your html and you are set! Find out more about “Link Within" HERE!
I’ve also added a “Print" button under each blog post which was developed by a site called "PrintFriendly”. They format web pages for free by removing ads and navigation so that they are easier to print, allowing you to save paper and ink. You can check out the PrintFriendly site HERE and print to your heart’s content :) This also means that you can now more easily print any blog post of mine (such as crochet patterns) by hitting the “Print" button found at the bottom of the post. Once you hit the button, you are given options to also print it as a PDF, e-mail it to yourself, manually remove any images you would like, and change the text size. It’s also very easy to install the “PrintFriendly” widget if you’re interested in it for your own blog too!
You may have also noticed that I now have a google ad on my page! I never started my blog with the hopes of making any money as I simply wanted to chronicle and document all of my crochet projects. People often ask me if I am interested in starting my own store and selling my creations so that I can make money from my passion for crochet. I know that I would grow tired of crocheting the same item over and over and I might get bogged down with orders. Providing content for the blog takes a lot of time and effort and I know that if I were to start a store, I would not be able to focus and devote as much time to doing what I love: blogging. I have also thought about perhaps charging for my patterns but I really did appreciate the free patterns that I came across when I first started making amigurumi, and I loved how it was accessible for everyone. I know people are very appreciative of my free patterns and I am happy to be able to provide them!
It never even crossed my mind to begin monetizing the blog, but as I did some reading, it was inspiring to see that many bloggers out there are living the dream and making a living on their blogs! I am a newbie to all of this, but I asked some of my friends who run successful blogs for advice and did some research into google ads and ad agencies. I think it’s amazing how I can continue doing what I love doing but also earn some money along the way. Being able to cover my cost of materials (as you can imagine, I buy a lot of yarn), web hosting fees, postage for when I send packages and prizes, and just being able to give back with revenue from the blog will be amazing. And so, thanks for your understanding as you might see more ads appearing on the blog and occasionally Amazon affiliate links to products that I blog about (I’ll let you know when I do)! If you ever see something wonky on the blog it’s probably because I’m trying to edit the html and figure everything out as I go along :) I’m also in the process of redesigning my blog layout, so I am very excited for that!
Thank you for being such loyal readers and providing me with the viewership where I am able to earn some money doing what I love!
As I’m sure my fellow crochet and yarn enthusiasts can relate, it is difficult finding ways to store yarn. When new projects, ideas, or patterns come along, there always seems to be a need to buy more yarn and different colours, and our stashes continue to grow and grow! I myself used to store my yarn in a nice box, but it soon became brimming with yarn and I found myself just storing them in bags around my workspace. This made it difficult finding particular yarns and colours as I would have to rummage through my box and bags, and I would often forget what I already had in my stash!
Two years ago I blogged about my workspaceHERE and showed this picture of it below:
It is not quite as clean and immaculate as it once was (understatement of the year!) since Myla and I play in here and it is now filled with children’s books, puzzles and toys. I really enjoy being in my workspace as it is filled with natural light during the day and it came with some built-in shelving units that are great for storage!
Here is a close-up of the shelving. As you can see, the shelves are quite deep. I decided to rearrange the contents of these shelves and move my binders upwards in order to clear out the middle shelf for my yarn! The bottom shelf continues to store my craft books, fiberfill, embroidery floss and other craft supplies.
A deep and empty shelf all ready to be filled with yarn!
For a while I just placed all my skeins of yarn on the shelf like so! However, there was still a lot of yarn getting lost in the back and underneath so I knew this wasn’t a great solution. It just looked like one big mess of yarn!
Four years ago we paid a visit to the “Lion Brand Yarn Studio" on our trip to New York City. I had just rediscovered my love of crochet and began making my first amigurumi during the months prior. I ended up starting my blog "All About Ami" during the following month in January :) Visiting this beautiful studio was high up on my to-do list, and as soon as Ryan and I walked in, we were in awe of all the Lion Brand yarn displayed so beautifully! It was a yarn lover’s dream! I hoped that one day I would be able to have something like this in our house…
After I cleared my shelf, Ryan and I began brainstorming ways to display my yarn. We looked up storage units such as wine racks and shoe and tie dividers but we knew that to get the perfect fit for our particular shelf, we would have to build our own dividers. Ryan measured the height, length and depth of my shelf and did some calculations…
Ryan knew exactly what material he wanted to use! Three and a half years ago, we planned our dream wedding and handmade as much as we possibly could….we had so much fun and had no idea that it was just the beginning of our crafting journey together! Ryan actually made all the pillars you see in the photo above including the aisle pillars (on which the candles, vases and curly willows are sitting atop) and the various pillars on the stage. He made them all using a special material called corrugated plastic! Thus, Ryan was very familiar with this material and already had a lot of experience working with it…
Ryan actually drew out the dimensions of my shelf onto a large box that we had from Myla’s playhouse. That way, he could map out the cross-sections and visually see how big each compartment would be. He could then measure each diagonal line and see exactly how long we had to cut each piece of corrugated plastic!
From this, we could see that we needed six long pieces (the light pink lines) and four short pieces (blue lines). Remember that we are looking at our dividers straight on with this view. Our measurements for each piece in this view equates to how long each piece should be. The width of each piece should remain a constant as it equates to the depth of the dividers (as determined by your personal preference).
In addition, each piece needed to have notches made in them so that they could be later connected together. A notch was needed wherever the lines intersected as represented by the green dots in the picture above. As you can see, the short pieces (blue lines) each needed one notch while the long pieces (light pink lines) each needed three notches.
With our measurements in hand, Ryan drew out our lines and began dividing up our sheet of corrugated plastic into six long pieces and four short pieces. One sheet was enough to make all our dividers and it costed about $22 from Home Depot (see HERE).
He used an exacto knife and ruler to cut each piece in order to make them as straight as possible!
As mentioned above, each piece needed to have notches so that they could be later connected together. Ryan told me the measurements and I marked off where each notch needed to be. We made our notches 5 mm wide and cut them halfway up each piece.
SIx long pieces and four short pieces all nicely cut up with notches!
The next part was fun as we assembled all our corrugated plastic pieces together! It looked great and only took us about an 1.5 hours to do (during one of Myla’s Saturday afternoon naps)!
The moment of truth was next: Ryan carefully and slowly pushed our corrugated plastic dividers into our shelf. It was a perfect fit as it was not too small and not too big!
The compartments looked beautiful and I could not wait to begin filling them with all my yarn!
Ta-da! Here is our finished product! My yarn is organized by colour with each compartment able to hold quite a few skeins! Now I am able to see what yarn I have very clearly which makes working on projects that much easier.
I also have quite a few little yarn balls left-over from projects and for now I store them in my crocheted basket (see blog post HERE). If you’re interested in my beautiful “I Make Pretty Things All Day" print, check out my friend Leonora’s Etsy store called "Yellow Heart Art" HERE- she is an uber talented graphic designer with tons of beautiful items in her shop! Isn’t this just the perfect print for us crafters?
I absolutely LOVE my new yarn storage solution and it makes me so happy whenever I look at it! It’s such a beautiful and efficient way to store yarn, and I adore going to my shelf to choose the perfect yarn for my next project. It just so happens that my friend Sarah and fellow crochet blogger of “Repeat Crafter Me" also blogged about her yarn storage this week, and the results are similar since we were both inspired by the "Lion Brand Yarn Studio"! It’s not the first time that we’ve been on the same wavelength for projects, and it’s neat to see how similarly we think! You can check out her blog post HERE and see how she also stored her buttons and other craft tools :) In case you missed the post about my workspace, you can also check it out HERE to see where I store my other crafting supplies!
We enjoyed hearing about how you currently store your yarn on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! We hope this gives you some inspiration on a cheap way to store your yarn and that you enjoyed seeing the step-by-step process! It’s great because you do not need to be incredibly handy with tools or a professional carpenter to make these shelf dividers as corrugated plastic is easy to work with! Happy crocheting and yarn storing!
Two years ago we visited Maui and absolutely fell in love with the Hawaiian island and vowed to return! The amazing scenery, delicious food, laid back atmosphere and friendly people made our first trip very special and memorable. We decided to return again this year, this time with our little toddler Myla and the rest of my family!
We revisited some of our favourite spots and restaurants but also discovered some new places as well. Whenever we go on trips, I love doing lots of research to see where to get the best food and what the most popular attractions are! I thought I would write up a blog post summarizing what we did in case anyone will be traveling or is interested in traveling to Maui! I always love living vicariously through other people’s travel photos as well ;)
On our first visit two years ago, we drove up to the Haleakala Crater to watch the sunrise. This meant waking up around 3 AM and starting to drive at 4 AM to make it in time…however, since there is a couple hours time difference between Maui and where we live, this wasn’t actually too bad since we did this the day after we arrived. Watching the sunrise was absolutely breathtaking and one of the most beautiful sights that I’ve seen. We revisited the crater on this trip but during the afternoon. Your view really depends on the weather and it was quite cloudy when we went. It was neat driving up through the clouds though! Also be warned that it is quite chilly up there as you are at over 9700 feet elevation- we wore every single layer that we brought!
I was very excited to visit the “Maui Swap Meet" which occurs every Saturday morning from 7 AM to 1 PM! I was delighted to see tons of vendors when we pulled up to the market- however, we ended up getting rained out as vendors started packing up within an hour when we arrived as their products were getting soaked. I was sad that we did not get to see everything, but we also found a tiny little craft market beside a McDonald’s that we visited that had plenty of jewelry and dresses for a very affordable price. Myla enjoyed walking around and shopping for herself as you can see in the picture above!
Whenever I am on vacation, I love collecting bracelets to add to my collection! I adore these two peach colour bracelets I got- I think the mini tassels and “love” are so cute! I also really like the bracelet that I bought by "Indies Attic" (my only buy from the Maui Swap Meet) and it’s special because it’s made from recycled paper! Also, a portion of their proceeds goes to help children in Uganda, and their tagline is "People Before Profit”! What an amazing company :)
We also decided to visit the “Maui Ocean Center" because Myla LOVES animals! It was smaller than we expected but we enjoyed the exhibits and we found the talks by the naturalists working there particularly interesting and educational. Myla was totally unfazed by the sharks and enjoyed watching them swim around!
After visiting the Maui Ocean Center, we dropped into the nearby “Hula Cookies” for their famous ice cream sandwiches! You get to choose which ice cream flavour and which cookies you would like (you can even choose different flavour cookies for each side). The cookies were so gooey and soft- it was the perfect afternoon snack and we wished we had gone again!
Our all-time favourite snack/dessert in Maui is from “Ululani’s Shave Ice”! They have the BEST shave ice as it is pillowy soft and their flavours/syrups are amazing. My favourite combination is the “Haleakala" as it is made of coconut and leche topped with sweetened condensed milk and cream. I always add mochi on the top too! I could not wait to eat this again as I had been missing it from two years ago….we went almost every single day to get shave ice and made good use of their stamp card!
Some other treats we discovered on this trip were the delicious mochi from “Maui Specialty Chocolates”. The mochi itself is so soft and chewy and their flavours such as “Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate" and "Dark Chocolate Truffle" are delicious. I am a big mochi fan so I was very excited to try them and I was not disappointed! Another popular Hawaiian delicacy is "Spam Musubi" (spam and sushi rice wrapped in seaweed). It can be found in many little shops and stores (we got ours mostly from the ABC Stores) and it makes a tasty little snack! I also found a great recipe for it here and I can’t wait to make it at home :)
Here is a family picture of us outside a popular restaurant called “Mama’s Fish House”! The ambiance and location are amazing as it gives you the quintessential Hawaiian experience. The service was wonderful and the fish was fresh although the entrees are pricey!
We spent some time walking around a hippie surfer town called Paia. There were some quaint shops and a delicious lunch spot called “Paia Fish Market" which has our favourite seafood pasta. We also lay on the beach and watched the surfers brave the waves and also got to see some really cute sea turtles!
Myla really enjoyed playing in the sand with her shovel and sand toys. Here she is with her Uncle Corey, digging right into the soft sand of Makena Beach!
Another popular area with many oceanfront stores is Lahaina, which used to be a whaling town (one of these times we’d like to go on a whale watching tour)! Two years ago we went to a highly rated and very popular magic show called “Warren & Annabelle’s" and got to see Warren himself perform his sleight-of-hand magic and comedy. We absolutely loved it and highly recommend it! We did not go this time but the rest of my family went and thoroughly enjoyed it (you need to be over 21 to attend because of the liquor laws).
We also found a delightful restaurant called “Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop" that is famous for their sandwiches and pies! Here you can see Myla picking out exactly which pie she wanted to try :) We really liked their "Macnut Chocolate Praline Pie" for dessert as it was divine!
We visited the “Iao Valley State Park" and soaked in the beautiful views with their very short, easy hike. For us, it was a warm up for the long hike to come shortly after!
One of the most memorable things we did from two years ago was “The Road to Hana”. The Road to Hana is a long, narrow and winding road that takes you through the rain forests of Maui. Along the way, there are many breath-taking views of the coast, forests and waterfalls. Ryan and I were hesitant and worried about what it would be like with a toddler but overall it went well and I am so thankful that we were traveling with the rest of my family on this trip as they could entertain her! We stopped off at “Nahiku" which offers the most stunning views of the coast!
We also stopped off at the “Black Sand Beach”- the sand is actually made of small, smooth lava pebbles!
On our last full day in Maui we did the hike that we were most looking forward to out of the whole trip: the “Pipiwai Trail”! It is an amazing 4 mile hike (2 miles there, 2 miles back) that takes you through some stunning scenery. I was worried what this hike would be like with a toddler too- I strapped Myla to me in a baby carrier and she was asleep for most of the first half. It was exhausting and grueling for me though as going uphill seemed so much more difficult with the extra weight I was carrying. I actually seriously doubted whether I would make it and was contemplating turning back….
However, I kept pushing myself and just went slowly, taking frequent water breaks. I am so glad we persevered as we did not want to miss out on the beautiful sights! Two years ago we took one of my favourite travel photos sitting atop a gorgeous banyan tree that can be found along the hike. It was neat seeing it again, and this time I got to take pics with our little (sleeping) Myla too!
For those of you wondering, we use the Ergo baby carrier and we love it! It is very comfortable to use as it has a lot of padding and cushioning with multiple carry positions available (front, back and hip). We were very glad we used our Ergo on these hikes!
Myla woke up just as we were entering the beautiful bamboo forest! This is one of my favourite parts of the hike as it is calmly serene as you can hear the bamboo hitting against each other as the wind blows. Myla wanted to walk a bit too so we took her out of the carrier and let her walk along the wooden planks! She got many friendly smiles from fellow travelers who were surprised to see such a young hiker make it that far :)
At the end of the Pipiwai Trail you are rewarded with this amazing site: the stunning 400 feet Waimoku Falls! It is breathtaking when you first see it and it makes the whole hike worthwhile. We took a little snack break here and soaked in the scenery before embarking on the journey back!
We decided to stay a couple nights in Hana so that we could take our time and not have to rush back to the other side of the island. We stayed at the “Hana Kai Maui" which is the most beautiful place that we’ve ever stayed in. I was completely taken aback when I first walked into their flagship unit (the "Ka’ahumanu") as I had never before stayed in a suite with such stunning views and panoramic windows. You could hear the waves lapping onto the beach since we were so close to the ocean and it was amazing being able to fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the waves.
The views from our balconies were spectacular!
We were so sad to leave this place and drive back to the airport. Maui is such a beautiful, family-friendly island with so many things to discover! We had a great family vacation and we cannot wait to return in the future- we hope you enjoyed seeing our photos and what we did! I will do a quick summary below in case anyone is planning a visit :)
Aston Maui Hill (Kihei): great location, spacious unit with fully-equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, perfect for families
Hana Kai Maui (Hana): amazing views, great location; pricey though (anything decent in Hana is quite pricey, but it’s more worth it if you’re staying with a large family)
Haleakala Crater: beautiful at sunrise (very cold with extreme winds so be prepared)
Maui Ocean Center: great exhibits and talks by naturalists; shark tank and underwater tunnel
Iao Valley State Park: easy, short hike with beautiful views
Maui Swap Meet: open every Saturday morning 7 AM - 1 PM with many vendors and handcrafted godos
Warren & Annabelle’s Magic: great sleight-of-hand magic and comedy show
Road to Hana (Nahiku, Black Sand Beach, Venus Pool, Seven Sacred Pools, Pipiwai Trail leading to Waimoku Falls)
Ululuani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice: soft, fluffy ice with incredible syrups and flavours
Hula Cookies: make your own ice cream sandwiches
Maui Specialty Chocolates: delicious peanut butter milk chocolate and dark chocolate truffle mochi
Spam Musubi: tasty Hawaiian delicacy that can be found in many shops
Mama’s Fish House: wonderful Hawaiian ambiance, great service, fresh fish but pricey entrees
Sansei Restaurant: great panko-crusted ahi tuna rolls, shrimp dynamite; get 25% off bill if you arrive before 6 PM at Kihei location
Koiso: deliciously fresh sushi; only sits 14 people so you need to make a reservation; the omakase offers a great variety
Kihei Cafe: great breakfast place
Paia Fish Market: the best seafood pasta and delicious fish and chips
808 Deli: great sandwiches and potato mac salad
Da Kitchen: Hawaiian-style home cooking with very big dishes; Kalbi ribs and shredded pork were delicious
McDonald’s: don’t laugh! They have special local deluxe breakfasts consisting of Portuguese sausages, spam, eggs and rice! They also have taro pies which are very unique!
Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop: sweet and savoury pies; macnut chocolate praline pie was awesome
Thai Food by Pranee (Hana): amazingly delicious Thai food with very good prices (limited opening hours so check ahead); a great place to eat after the long Pipiwai Trail Hike (there are very limited food options in Hana)
“Maui Revealed" is a wonderful guidebook for the island as it details many stops along the "Road to Hana" and gives very useful information in a humorous tone! You can pick this book up at a great price at the Costco in Maui (also a great place to stock up on snacks, groceries, water gear and ahi tuna!).
Please let me know if you’ve been to Maui and if you have any recommendations for us during our next trip there! I love sharing experiences and swapping stories! Mahalo and Aloha :)