Today is the last day of 2013 and out of curiosity, I checked my Google Stats to see which were my most popular blog posts this past year! I thought I would share the top 5 with you all in case some of you are new to my blog or are curious too!
We had over 1 million visits and over 2.5 million pageviews in the year 2013! Thank you for reading and supporting my blog from around the world, and we look forward to 2014! What designs and patterns are you looking forward to in the new year? Let me know in the comments below! HAPPY NEW YEAR, my fellow crafty and amigurumi friends!
Hey everyone! Cute Outfits Online has put together a very sweet and comprehensive blog post featuring my style and crochet fashion HERE! When they first contacted me, I was expecting a short blurb about my blog, but I was astounded by the very long post featuring everything from my cowls and headbands to my maternity and nursing fashion…and even a section on baby Myla’s style, hehe! I could tell that Scarlett, one of the admins of Cute Outfits Online, had scoured my blog and put a lot of effort into the feature, and I was so honoured and flattered by her kind words about my style, projects and blog!
Scarlett recently let me know that they have launched an online shop! They are offering us a 10% discount off the whole cart (excluding Mary Kay products) using the coupon code “AMI10" which is good until December 31st, 2013! You can find their shop here!
The collage above shows some of the projects and outfits that are featured! The free patterns and step-by-step blog posts are available for all of them, and from left to right, top to bottom we have my Chunky Double Crochet Cowl, Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanies, Knotted Headbands and Long Double Crochet Cowl! With the cooler temperatures and fall approaching, now’s the time to break out your crochet hooks and start working on these cozy pieces! Which of these have you made?
We went to Vancouver for a couple days last week and I made these “Granny Stripe Headbands" as gifts! Aren’t they pretty, especially with the layered flowers as embellishments? Working on these granny stripes reminded me of the "Granny Square Blanket" that I had so much fun making for Myla last summer :) You can find the free pattern for the headband HERE on “Tangled Happy”. I absolutely adore this free flower pattern HERE, and it’s a great way to dress up a hat or headband!
I’ve traveled to Vancouver many times throughout the years as I have family who live there. This, however, was Myla’s first trip and I was a bit nervous… She did very well on the flight though!
I thought I would share about some of the delicious food we ate in Vancouver! Ryan and I always LOVE stopping by the food court at Aberdeen Centre in Richmond for some of our favourite dishes, so we went as soon as we arrived. The crispy chicken wings are incredibly flavourful and piping hot as they make them fresh each time- we saw many tables enjoying this dish. The Hainanese Chicken is so moist, tender and delicious with the special rice. We always get these two dishes whenever we visit this food court!
We love shaved ice, and I am so happy we decided to try out “Frappé Bliss” (also in the Aberdeen Centre food court) that specializes in Taiwanese shaved ice! The first time we went we customized our own dessert with milk shaved ice, coconut milk, condensed milk, and rice balls. This was sooo good and it was my favourite dessert of the whole trip! We went back towards the end of our trip and ordered “The Garden of Eden”, consisting of mango shaved ice, mango ice cream, strawberries, kiwi and mango. This shaved ice is especially delicious because the ice itself is flavoured (without adding extra syrup or flavouring) and so finely shaved that it is very light and fluffy!
We always stop by Daiso when we visit Aberdeen Centre as well. I stocked up on cute packaging as I love giving away crocheted goodies in these adorable bags :)
That night our friends took us to “Sushi California" for some well-priced, delicious sushi! Look at how thick those slices of sashimi are! Vancouver never disappoints with its variety and freshness of sushi!
The next day we went for afternoon tea at the “Truffles Café" in the VanDusen Botanical Gardens. I looove going for high tea as it’s always such an elegant affair. The sandwiches were delicious and the view was lovely- I imagine this place would be very popular in the Spring and the Summer when the flowers and trees are all in bloom!
In the evening we went to “Sura" for some delicious Korean dishes! This was some of the best Korean food I’ve ever had, and the decor inside was beautiful. The chab-che and grilled beef were sooo yummy…
For lunch the following day our friends took us to a little French place called “Salade de Fruits”. It reminded me soo much of the French restaurants we visited in Paris last year! The waiters, waitresses and much of their clientele were all speaking French, so we knew this place was very authentic! I had their mussels and fries and they were very tasty. As you can see, there were generous portions as well!
After lunch we took a stroll towards Granville Island. Vancouver is known to be quite rainy, but we are very thankful that it was sunny and clear for most of our stay!
We enjoyed this beautiful view with our strollers :)
We ate dinner at a wonderful restaurant called “Sandbar" on Granville Island, and it was situated under the Granville Bridge! I had the most delicious ahi tuna that I’ve ever tasted, but I didn’t get a picture of it unfortunately…Myla started crying so we had to eat quickly!
The next day we visited “Bella Gelateria" for their world-famous gelato! I had the salted caramel gelato. I wore this beautiful cape sweater that I bought the first day we arrived in Aberdeen Centre- I really love its beautiful pattern and design! It also pairs very nicely with my Momzelle nursing tank that I blogged about here!
For our last meal before we headed to the airport, our friends took us to “La Brasserie" for oysters! They were so fresh and tasty….I knew I wanted to eat oysters on this trip, and this definitely hit the spot! The Brasserie Burger that I ordered was also very good :)
Here are some other shots that Ryan took of beautiful Vancouver…
Vancouver Convention Centre
Granville Bridge (Ryan calls this photo “Daddy Long Legs" ;P)
Seagulls on Granville Island
Waterfront SkyTrain Station
We are so thankful to our good friends in Vancouver who brought us to all these wonderful food spots! They are big foodies and are always in the know of new restaurants popping up in their diverse city. Our friends have babies as well, so most of these restaurants were stroller and baby-friendly (“Salade de Fruits" and "La Brasserie" were the only ones that didn’t fit our strollers since they were smaller establishments). We had a great little trip to Vancouver full of good food and wonderful company :) Vancouverites, have you been to any of these places? What are your favourite food spots?
Here is a matching mommy & baby “Knotted Headband" set I made as a gift! You can get the free pattern for the adult version HERE. For the newborn version, I followed the same basic pattern but chained 45 in the beginning (increase this number for older babies with bigger heads) and made 3 rows of double crochets. For the knot, I chained 7 and made 4 rows of double crochets.
If you’ve always wanted to make my Knotted Headband, now is a great opportunity as it is the March Crochet-Along project on “The Curious Pug”! You can participate by visiting Alycia’s blog HERE to link up your finished projects and see how everyone else’s turns out! Can’t wait to check back and see all the finished Knotted Headbands at the end of March too!
Do you all remember the stork pouch/hanging cocoon that I blogged about months ago HERE (click on this link to also access the free pattern)? I was soo excited to finally put it into action for Myla’s newborn shots! I initially crocheted the stork pouch thinking it would cover Myla’s entire body (with just her head poking out), but as you can see, it barely covered half of her! We have one tall baby on our hands :) Of course, we did not want to hang the stork pouch since Myla was so big for it, so instead we lay it on our carpet! Doesn’t she look so sweet with her pretty flower headband and cute arms? I will be sharing more photos from Myla’s newborn photoshoot, each with a different crocheted prop, so stay tuned!
I am a HUGE Disney fan and I’ve actually lost count of how many times I’ve been to Disneyland and Disney World as my parents used to take our family very frequently during our summer vacations. Thankfully, Ryan is ALSO a big Disney fan and we actually went to Disney World during part of our honeymoon two years ago! We wore our Cinderella and Prince Charming ”Just Married” pins wherever we went and had a very magical time :)
When we were planning our family trip to Tokyo this past June, we knew we HAD to pay Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea a visit as they were very highly rated. Part of the fun of going to Disney parks is getting into the Disney spirit, so I thought I would crochet a special set of Minnie Mouse ears that I could wear during our visits to the theme parks!
I picked up a set of Goody headbands that I could crochet around. The “no-squeeze” tips of these headbands were quite comfy, but of course any headband would do for this project! The little teeth at the top of the headband also provided some grip for the crochet stitches later on…
Here is a step-by-step picture tutorial I made showing you how to crochet around a headband! I used pink yarn for this tutorial so it would show up better on camera, but for my actual headband I used black yarn.
This is what my actual black headband with black yarn looked like as I was crocheting around it:
Next I crocheted my mouse ears! I actually crocheted four round circles…
Ears (make 4)
R1: 6 sc in Magic Ring (6 sts)
R2: 2 sc 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 36
Finish off and leave long end for sewing.
I sewed two ears together (right sides facing outwards) to give the ears more thickness so they would not flop down or be as flimsy. I sewed the two circles together by leaving the braided edges visible
Then I sewed the two thick black ears onto the headband. Of course, you can always adjust the size of your ears if you want them to be bigger! If you want to make a Mickey Mouse Headband, you can simply stop here :)
[Update: Some people have been asking me tips on how to attach the ears to the headband so the ears stand up straight! I made sure to attach the ears to the headband by going through both loops of the single crochets of the headband with a good chunk of the ears (the whole single crochets of the last round of ears). I connected about 5-6 single crochets of the ears (or as much as possible) with the headband so it had a steady base without flopping too much. I sewed together these parts multiple times to try and make it more secure too.]
Since I wanted a Minnie Mouse headband, the last part was Minnie’s delicate little bow! Here is the pattern:
R1: Starting in second chain from hook, Sc 10
R2-4: Ch 1. Turn. Sc 10
From there, single crochet up the right side of the resulting rectangle, across the top, down the left side and across the bottom, doing three single crochets in each corner. Please see the bow picture from my slippers post HERE for clarification. Scrunch the bow slightly and wrap yarn around the center. Tie a couple knots and attach the bow to one of the ears on the headband.
And here is the finished product: my crocheted Minnie Mouse Ears Headband!
I was so incredibly excited to wear these ears in Tokyo Disneyland, and I knew I had to take a picture in front of the castle!
I had also previously purchased these Hello Kitty frames a couple days before in Shibuya, so I thought I would whip them out for a quick picture too. Little red bows make everything so adorable! It just so happened that both bows were positioned on the same side as well…
I thought I might as well share some photos of our visit to Tokyo Disneyland in this post too since most people are probably more familiar with the American Disney parks! Tokyo Disneyland is extremely popular and can fill up very quickly. Everyone was recommending that we visit during a weekday (trying to avoid weekends or holidays) and go as soon as the park opened. There was already quite a line-up formed when we arrived early, and guests ran into the park as soon as they opened the doors! A big difference between Tokyo Disneyland and other Disney parks is that their “World Bazaar" (their alternative to "Main Street") is covered by a glass Victorian-style conservatory roof to protect guests from rain and snow.
One of the most popular attractions in Tokyo Disneyland is “Pooh’s Hunny Hunt”, and it differs from the American versions because it uses a “trackless” ride system. There is a master computer that generates random paths for the honey pots that you ride in, and since there are many different variations possible, apparently each journey through this ride is unique! We really enjoyed this cute ride, and the technology was very cool!
This ride typically has one of the longest wait times in the park, so we ran to get a Fastpass for “Pooh’s Hunny Hunt” as soon as the park opened. The park filled up so quickly that we were only allowed to get one fastpass for the whole entire day!
Snacking on Disney treats is another highlight for us when visiting the parks! While they did offer the typical churros, popcorn stands were everywhere and were extremely popular as it was common to see long line ups and many people carrying commemorative popcorn buckets. Their variety of flavors was very unique and unlike those typically offered in North America! We tried our best to sample most of the flavors :) Just outside of Pooh’s Hunny Hunt was the honey popcorn…
The soy sauce and butter popcorn had the longest line-up out of all the stands!
This flavor seemed to be the most popular, but we weren’t blown away by it…
Even though caramel popcorn was not a unique flavour, we had to buy some since it’s such a classic!
We ended up really liking the curry popcorn! We loved eating Japanese curry on our trip, and the tasty savory flavour of this popcorn made it one of our favourites :)
Some more sweet popcorns that we tried included strawberry popcorn and milk tea popcorn. Both were very good. We love drinking milk tea, so the milk tea popcorn ended up being one of our favourites as well! Overall, we had a fun time locating different popcorn stands and snacking on such a variety of flavours.
Another treat that I really loved in Tokyo Disneyland was their apple popsicle! It was incredibly sweet and refreshing. We snacked on this while waiting in line for an attraction called “Monsters Inc Ride and Go Seek" in which you use a flashlight to search for hidden monsters (making it different than the Monsters Inc ride in California Adventure). We ended up waiting the longest for this popular ride (more than 1.5 hours) since all the fastpasses had been distributed early on…
Here are some more photos in front of the castle, taken with the Hipstamatic on my iPhone :) I ♥ Disney!
Ryan and I in front of the castle…this trip brought back memories of our honeymoon two years ago!
My sister Ashley and I! Ashley sported these little clip-on Winnie the Pooh ears she bought from Hong Kong Disneyland when we visited a couple years ago (I bought matching Piglet ears during that trip). Don’t our dainty little ears look so cute?
Everyone visiting Tokyo Disneyland really got into the Disney spirit as the vast majority of guests were sporting some sort of Disney headwear. I saw some people wearing hats like this one pictured below which I thought was hilariously cute! The characters had massive heads with tiny little bodies in the back….it reminded me of amigurumi with the disproportionately large head and undersized extremities!
Many Japanese girls were wearing these oversized floppy bows and they looked incredibly kawaii! I ended up buying this light pink polkadot bow headband (the bow is detachable) and sparkly red bow scrunchie to wear for future Disney trips. I wasn’t sure if they were selling them in the American theme parks, so I thought I might as well pick these up as my Tokyo Disney souvenirs!
Tokyo Disneyland also had a baby gift store in Fantasyland and I saw this cute pajama dress that was very fitting since I was 21 weeks pregnant when we visited the parks in early June! I didn’t end up buying it, but my parents bought an adorable Winnie the Pooh outfit for our baby :) Even though I wasn’t able to go on some of the “high thrill” attractions because of my pregnancy, I still had a very fun time in Tokyo Disneyland with the yummy snacks, fun attractions and great shows. I would love to visit again…if only it weren’t so far away!
The neighbouring park Tokyo DisneySea was VERY unique and unlike any Disney park we had visited before. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate when we visited this park the next day as it rained the whole time. I can do a separate blog post on that park if anyone is interested! We have many many photos from our Tokyo trip so perhaps I can do more travel blog posts in the future…
I hope you enjoyed this long post showing you how to crochet your own Minnie Mouse Ears Headband as well as our experiences in Tokyo Disneyland! It’s neat being able to put your own touch on the iconic Mickey/Minnie Mouse Ears, and many people definitely did a double take when they saw me wearing this headband walking around the park. It felt very special since I was the only one wearing these! You can easily adapt this pattern to make different ears (e.g. yellow yarn for Winnie the Pooh, make triangle shapes for cat ears). Try making these for your next Disney trip or even as a part of your Halloween costume! Let me know how it goes, and I would love to see pictures :)
I know there are other big Disney fans out there! What are some of your favourite Disney rides and snacks? I love “Peter Pan’s Flight”, “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Indiana Jones Adventure”, and some of my all-time favourite snacks are the Dole Whip Float, honey-roasted almonds and blue raspberry slush! Let me know in the comments below :) You can follow me on facebook, twitter and instagram (@AllAboutAmi) for more updates as well! Have a magical time making these ^-^
Back in October, I was perusing Facebook when I noticed a picture that my fashionable friend Erika posted of herself wearing a crocheted earwarmer/headband. She is studying overseas in the UK, and she told me that she purchased this headband from Topshop for 10 British pounds, or about $15. I thought her headband was so cute and chic, and I immediately wanted to try making one, especially since hers was crocheted and looked so simple to make!
I had seen some other knitted and crocheted headbands on-line through Craftgawker and on Etsy, and they were definitely very popular as stores such as Aldo and Urban Outfitters were also selling them. Below is my friend Erika wearing her Topshop earwarmer, and below her is a similar headband I found from ASOS. This earwarmer/headband is also commonly referred to as a turband (knotted look of turban + headband), and knitted/crocheted turbands as well as silk/fabric turbands have been spotted on many celebrities as part of the boho chic trend.
What I loved about these headbands in particular were the horizontal rows vs. the vertical rows. Working with horizontal rows can be more challenging off the get-go as you need to start with the appropriate length (you don’t want your headband to be too big or too small!). When working with vertical rows, you keep crocheting row upon row until you get your desired length. Both have different looks, but I decided to go with the horizontal rows to make my Topshop and ASOS-inspired knotted headband!
I started off by crocheting a series of 70 chain stitches. To tell you the truth, I actually started off crocheting too many chain stitches and my headband turned out too long! I had to undo my work as I wanted my headband to stretch a bit, and not be too oversized!
I used double crochets for more height, and it appeared that the Topshop headband also consisted of double crochets.
Once I finished six rows of double crochets, I was done the headband portion! This is a very quick project :)
Next I folded the crocheted piece in half and sewed the ends together…
I wanted my headband to be very ruched (pinched edges) around the knot just like the Topshop earwarmer, so I pinched the middle rows of my headband together (approximately Rows 2-5) and then sewed them together. I pinched the middle rows where the edges of the headband were sewn together as I wanted this seam to be concealed later on.
This is what my crocheted headband looked like from the front with the ruching.
Next up, I created the narrow strip that serves as the knot! Once again, I worked with horizontal rows to make it consistent with the rest of the headband.
Once I was finished making the strip, I wrapped it around the ruched part where the ends came together.
I sewed the edges of the knot together and hid the loose ends within the knot. You can’t see any more seams with this clean finish!
Here is my finished knotted headband! I actually used the same taupe yarn that I used to make my brother’s slouchy beanie for my headband…
I also made my sister a knotted headband using the same mustard colour yarn I used for my own slouchy beanie. It’s nice being able to use up that yarn that’s been lying around!
Here is the very simple pattern I made up for this Knotted Headband, perfect for beginners:
Chain 70, or until 20”/50 cm long [keep in mind that head sizes vary, so please check your piece along the way to make sure it will fit your own head]
R1: Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each chain across (68 dc) [my piece now measured 18”/46 cm across]
R2-6: Chain 2. Turn. Dc in 4th chain from hook and in each chain across (68 dc)
My piece was 3.4”/8.6 cm wide after six rows. Fold the crocheted piece in half and sew the edges together. To emphasize the ruching, pinch the middle rows of the headband (approximately Rows 2-5) and sew them together (about 3”/7.6 cm across). Be sure to pinch the middle rows where the ends of the headband were sewn together to conceal the seam.
R1: Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each chain across (8 dc)
R2-8: Chain 2. Turn. Dc in 4th chain from hook and in each chain across (8 dc)
My piece was 4.6”/11.7 cm long after eight rows. Wrap this crocheted strip around the pinched portion of the headband. Sew the ends together and hide any loose ends in the knot.
Here are some ideas of how you can make your own variations of this Knotted Headband:
I was so excited to wear my new crocheted Topshop and ASOS-inspired Knotted Headband!
I think this Knotted Headband looks great worn with your hair both up and down, so I took my sister Ashley with me so we could model our headbands!
These headbands make great statements in your winter outfits!
When worn with your hair up, I personally think it looks great with some extra poof or volume at the crown!
It was a brisk day when we shot these photos, but we had some good laughs and fun posing in the snow! Our purses below were both great finds from our recent travels. We picked up this bag for Ashley from a cute little boutique in Montmartre, Paris called “Anoki”. I found this gorgeous Deux Lux bag from a fun store called “Alice in Hulaland" in the hippie surfer town of Paia in Maui. I love these souvenirs since they remind us of our recent adventures!
[On Ashley, Scarf: Next, Jacket: Zara, Jeans: Citizens of Humanity, Boots: Sterling, Purse: Anoki. On me, Parka: Aritzia, Cowl Sweater: Costa Blanca; Jeans: Rock and Republic; Boots: Aldo, Purse: Deux Lux]
If you’re interested in this knotted headband/turban look, Kaley of “Let’s Make It Up" has a great video tutorial on "How to Tie and Style a Turban" using bandanas and scarves here, and she also shows you how to style your hair around it. She has some really great hair tutorials on her channel!
I wanted to post these crocheted Knotted Headbands earlier, but things got so busy with the Teddy Ornaments, the Dragon for Chinese New Year, and the Sweetheart Bunny for Valentine’s Day, along with all our recent travels. It’s probably warmed up in many places by now and clothings companies have definitely started rolling out their Spring collections, but here’s a fashionable way to stay warm and look chic during this last month of winter before Spring officially comes! I’m sure I’ll be revisiting this pattern in the fall and whipping up a few more of these in different colours since they’re so easy to make! Is it still pretty cold where you live? Will you be trying out this knotted headband? It’s a great project for beginners or for people who have been wanting to learn how to crochet! I’d love to see your pics on my facebook page or twitter! Happy crocheting :)