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My “Yarn Ball & Crochet Hook Pin" has been featured in Issue 23 of “Simply Crochet”!  Did any of you end up trying your hand at making monkey knots for some yarn ball accessorizing?  You can find the full step-by-step tutorial HERE!  Thanks for the lovely feature, Simply Crochet!

My “Yarn Ball & Crochet Hook Pin" has been featured in Issue 23 of “Simply Crochet”!  Did any of you end up trying your hand at making monkey knots for some yarn ball accessorizing?  You can find the full step-by-step tutorial HERE!  Thanks for the lovely feature, Simply Crochet!

Toddler Cabled Slouchy Beanie

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Here is the free pattern for the “Toddler Cabled Slouchy Beanie" that I made for my daughter Myla to match the adult one that I made for myself!

***PLEASE follow along with the step-by-step post HERE as I showed how to work the cabling in detail with plenty of photos :)

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Materials:

  • 4 mm crochet hook (I used this to achieve smaller, more delicate cables compared to my adult beanie- you can choose to use either a 4 or 5 mm hook and adjust numbers as necessary)
  • Medium worsted weight yarn (I used Lion Brand’s Heartland in “Grand Canyon”, 1 skein)
  • Optional: yarn needle to seam up beanie; Clover Pom Pom Maker

Special stitches:

  • Front Post Treble Crochet (Fptc): Yarn Over (YO) twice, insert hook from front to back around post of stitch indicated. YO and pull up a loop, [YO and draw through 2 loops on hook] 3 times.
  • Back Post Double Crochet (Bpdc): YO, insert hook behind post of stitch (insert hook from back to front of stitch), YO, pull up a loop, YO, (pull through 2 loops) twice.
  • Front Post Double Crochet (Fpdc): YO, insert hook behind post of stitch (insert hook from front to back of stitch), YO, pull up a loop, YO, (pull through 2 loops) twice. 

Ribbed Band:

Chain 7

R1: In back loops only, Sc 1 in second chain from hook and in each chain across (6 sc).

R2-67: Chain 1, turn.  In back loops only, Sc 1 in second chain from hook and in each chain across (6 sc).

My ribbed band measured 16.5” or 40.5 cm.  Adjust this number based on desired size.  Fasten off and leave long end for sewing.  Sew short ends together to form ribbed band.  

Cabled Body:

***In each round, the Ch 2 does not count as a stitch.  When joining at the end of each round, join to the stitch indicated (NOT the Ch 2) to make an invisible seam.

Join yarn with sl st at any point around edge of band.

Round 1: Chain 2, work one double crochet in same st as Chain 2.  Work 65 dc as evenly as possible around edge of band.  Join with sl st to first dc (66 dc).  [If adapting the pattern, make sure your final number of dc’s is a multiple of 6.]  

R2: Chain 2, Bpdc around first dc from previous round (same dc you joined to from Round 1).  Bpdc around next st.  Work cabling: {Skip next two dc, 2 Fptc around next 2 dc.  Fptc around first skipped dc and next dc}.  *2 bpdc in next two st.  Work cabling: Sk next 2 st, 2 Fptc around next 2 st.  Fptc around first skipped st and next st.*, rep 11 times.  Join with sl st to first Bpdc.  (11 cables around with 11 sets of Bpdc’s between)

R3: Chain 2, Bpdc around first Bpdc from previous round.  Bpdc around next st.  Fpdc 4.  *Bpdc 2, Fpdc 4*, rep 11 times .  Join with sl st to first Bpdc.  (11 cables around with 11 sets of Bpdc’s between)

R4: Repeat Round 3.

With rounds 2-4, one set of cables is complete!  Keep repeating Rounds 2-4 until desired length.  

R5-7: same as Round 2-4

R8-10: same as Round 2-4

R11-13: same as Rounds 2-4

R14-16: same as Rounds 2-4

R17-19: same as Rounds 2-4

R20-22: same as Rounds 2-4

I completed 7 sets of cables with this beanie measuring 9” or 22 cm (including ribbed band).  Fasten off and leave long end for sewing.  Weave yarn through ends of last round, pull tightly and sew hole shut.  Alternatively, seam up beanie using this method HERE.

Optional: Add pom pom (I used my “Clover Pom Pom Maker”).  Attach pom pom to beanie and you are DONE!

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If you would like to adapt this pattern for a baby, child, teen, etc., please check out this very helpful post by Anne HERE that contains a chart with head circumference sizes (your ribbed band) as well as general hat height (the number of rounds or length of the beanie)! 

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This toddler version is such a cute accompaniment to my adult “Cabled Slouchy Beanie”!  Don’t forget to check out the step-by-step blog post and free pattern to the adult beanie HERE

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Enjoy matching with your mini-me’s!  These “Cabled Slouchy Beanies" are really perfect for the fall and winter and would make great gifts for mommies, daddies, and their little ones!

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I also made a “Chunky Crocheted Slouchy Beanie" for another variation using super bulky (level 6) yarn- you can find the free pattern HERE!  Keep up with all my updates on FacebookTwitter (@AllAboutAmi) & Instagram (@AllAboutAmi)!   Happy cabling!  ❤

Amazon Affiliate Links

Lion Brand Heartland Yarn Grand Canyon 

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Cabled Slouchy Beanie

I love learning new crochet techniques, whether it be “The Invisible Decrease" for amigurumi or how to create a ribbed effect for sweaters.  Last year, I discovered that the beautiful look of cabling could be achieved through crochet (not just through knitting!) when I followed Julee Reeves’ free pattern to make these gorgeous cabled wrist warmers pictured below (I blogged about them HERE).  I vowed that I would apply this new cabling technique I learned for future projects, and in last year’s blog post, I even mentioned that I might try and make a cabled hat!  Here we are today, and I am excited to show you the “Cabled Slouchy Beanie" that I designed! 

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I used Lion Brand’s “Heartland" yarn in "Grand Canyon which is a medium worsted weight (level 4) yarn.  It’s a taupe and grey blend with hints of gold that is incredibly soft with a beautiful sheen to it- so perfect for fall!  I used a 5 mm crochet hook with this yarn to make my cabled beanie.

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I started off by crocheting a ribbed band, similar to the ribbed band of the “Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanie”.  I chained 10 and then worked single crochets in the back loops only to create the ribbed effect.  The back loops are the loops that are further away from you as pictured below.

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The ribbed band is starting to build up…

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After 75 rows, my band measured about 21.5” or 54 cm.  You can measure your own head and adjust this number as necessary- keep in mind that this band will stretch over time with repeated wears!

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Next up, I sewed the short ends together to form the ribbed band!  As a warning, this pattern is not for beginners as it is more technical and uses more complicated crochet stitches.  I tried to be as detailed as possible with this next series of photos and with the pattern instructions- they may look and sound complicated, but once you get the hang of it, this project will work up quickly.  Ryan was laughing as he helped me proofread this blog post as he did not understand the next part whatsoever as it was so technical!

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I began working double crochets around the edge of the band to create Round 1 of the cabled body of the beanie.  First I chained 2 and then worked one double crochet in the same stitch.  This is important for the invisible seam we will be creating whenever we join each round!  The chain 2 does not count as a stitch in the final stitch count at the end of each round.

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After working 72 double crochets around the band, this is what I was left with.  If you are adjusting this pattern with your own numbers, you need to make sure that the total number of double crochets you are left with is a multiple of 6 (i.e. add or subtract multiples of 6).  Try to space the double crochets as evenly as possible across the band, but it’s not a big deal if some are a little more bunched or spaced apart if you are trying to attain the right number- it will even out in subsequent rounds.  

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When closing up this round, it is important that you join with a slip stitch to the first double crochet and not the Chain 2 (you just ignore the Ch 2 like it’s not there).

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Next you Chain 2…

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Then you work one back post double crochet around the same double crochet that you slip stitched to when you joined the round.  Then you do another back post double crochet around the next double crochet.

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Then the cabling begins!  You skip the next two double crochets and then work two front post treble crochets around the next two stitches.

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Then you work two front post treble crochets around the previously skipped double crochets.  They will cross over the other 2 fptc’s that you just did, which gives the cabling effect.

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Next you work two back post double crochets around the next two stitches.  You continue alternating with this pattern of doing two back post double crochets and working the cabling around the next four stitches.  This is why you must work with multiples of six (two for the bpdc’s and four for the fptc’s).

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When it is time to close up this round and subsequent rounds, make sure you slip stitch to the top of the first Bpdc, not the Chain 2.

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Round 2 is complete!

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To begin Round 3, we chain 2, then do our two bpdc’s.  These bpdc’s help push these stitches back which makes the cabling stand out even more.

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Next we work two Fpdc’s around the two stitches that are underneath the cable.  Make sure you do not accidentally do them around the wrong stitches (i.e. the ones that cross over) as this will undo your cabling!

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Then you work two Fpdc’s around the two stitches that cross over the cabling.  This step helps solidify or lock your cabling from the previous round into place!

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After continuing with this same pattern, here is what you are left with after completing Round 3.  The cabling is really taking shape!

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In Round 4, you do your 2 bpdc’s as normal and then work 4 Fpdc’s as indicated below.

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Our cabling is now complete!  Each cable is worked over three rounds (Rounds 2-4 in this case) and you keep doing this pattern until you are happy with the height of your hat (the more rounds you work, the longer your hat, and the slouchier it will be)!

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The look of cabling is so gorgeous and luxurious as it has such beautiful texture!

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Did you know that cabling could be achieved through crochet?  Once you get the hang of the pattern and how to work the different stitches, this project goes by quickly!

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Using 1 skein of yarn, I was able to go up to Round 19 which resulted in 6 cables.  My hat measured 10” or 25.5 cm including the band.  You could technically finish here if you want to only use one skein of yarn as I know sometimes it’s a hassle to buy another skein, especially if you are going to be using only a part of it.  However, I bought another skein since I wanted my beanie to be slightly longer and I wanted to add a pom pom too…

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I added another 3 rounds to make 7 cables in total, and my hat now measured 11.25” or 29 cm long.  You can keep going if you want your hat to be even slouchier!

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To seam up the top of the hat, I threaded yarn along the last round and pulled tightly to gather it together (similar to how I seamed up my “Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie”).

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After tightly pulling, I was left with a small hole, so I simply sewed it shut. 

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As an alternative, you could also seam up the beanie by pinching the edges and single crocheting them together in a star formation (see video HERE).  I completely forgot about this method until I was re-reading my old “Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanie" post!

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Here is a close-up of the invisible seam!  It blends in so nicely and you would not notice it was there unless you were looking for it!

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I wanted to add a pom pom to this cabled slouchy beanie, and I was excited to put my new Clover Pom Pom maker to use (see my review and step-by-step tutorial on how to use it HERE).  I used the larger size to make the pom pom for my beanie!

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After attaching the pom pom, my “Cabled Slouchy Beanie" was complete!  Isn’t it beautiful?

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Here is the free pattern for my “Cabled Slouchy Beanie" (adult size)!  

Be warned that it looks complicated but once you get the hang of the technique and repetition, it goes by quickly.  Hopefully the step-by-step pictures above will help make the technical pattern easier to understand as well.  With that being said, this is not a beginner’s project as some crochet experience under your belt would greatly help!

Materials:

Special stitches:

  • Front Post Treble Crochet (Fptc)Yarn Over (YO) twice, insert hook from front to back around post of stitch indicated. YO and pull up a loop, [YO and draw through 2 loops on hook] 3 times.
  • Back Post Double Crochet (Bpdc): YO, insert hook behind post of stitch (insert hook from back to front of stitch), YO, pull up a loop, YO, (pull through 2 loops) twice.
  • Front Post Double Crochet (Fpdc): YO, insert hook behind post of stitch (insert hook from front to back of stitch), YO, pull up a loop, YO, (pull through 2 loops) twice. 

Ribbed Band:

Chain 10

R1: In back loops only, Sc 1 in second chain from hook and in each chain across (9 sc).

R2-75: Chain 1, turn.  In back loops only, Sc 1 in second chain from hook and in each chain across (9 sc).

My ribbed band measured 21.5” or 54 cm.  Adjust this number based on your own head size.  Fasten off and leave long end for sewing.  Sew short ends together to form ribbed band.  

Cabled Body:

***In each round, the Ch 2 does not count as a stitch.  When joining at the end of each round, join to the stitch indicated (NOT the Ch 2) to make an invisible seam.

Join yarn with sl st at any point around edge of band.

Round 1: Chain 2, work one double crochet in same st as Chain 2.  Work 71 dc as evenly as possible around edge of band.  Join with sl st to first dc (72 dc).  [If adapting the pattern, make sure your final number of dc’s is a multiple of 6.]  

R2: Chain 2, Bpdc around first dc from previous round (same dc you joined to from Round 1).  Bpdc around next st.  Work cabling: {Skip next two dc, 2 Fptc around next 2 dc.  Fptc around first skipped dc and next dc}.  *2 bpdc in next two st.  Work cabling: Sk next 2 st, 2 Fptc around next 2 st.  Fptc around first skipped st and next st.*, rep 11 times.  Join with sl st to first Bpdc.  (12 cables around with 12 sets of Bpdc’s between)

R3: Chain 2, Bpdc around first Bpdc from previous round.  Bpdc around next st.  Fpdc 4.  *Bpdc 2, Fpdc 4*, rep 11 times .  Join with sl st to first Bpdc.  (12 cables around with 12 sets of Bpdc’s between)

R4: Repeat Round 3.

With rounds 2-4, one set of cables is complete!  Keep repeating Rounds 2-4 until desired length.  

R5-7: same as Round 2-4

R8-10: same as Round 2-4

R11-13: same as Rounds 2-4

R14-16: same as Rounds 2-4

R17-19: same as Rounds 2-4

R20-22: same as Rounds 2-4

I completed 7 sets of cables with my beanie measuring 11.25” or 29 cm (including ribbed band).  Fasten off and leave long end for sewing.  Weave yarn through ends of last round, pull tightly and sew hole shut.  Alternatively, seam up beanie using this method HERE.

Optional: Add pom pom (I used my “Clover Pom Pom Maker”).  Attach pom pom to beanie and you are DONE!

****Important NoteIf you would like to adapt this pattern for a baby, child, teen, etc., please check out this very helpful post by Anne HERE that contains a chart with head circumference sizes (your ribbed band) as well as general hat height (the number of rounds or length of the beanie)! 

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Slouchy beanies have such a cool, effortless look, and they are the perfect fall and winter accessory!

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We enjoyed capturing the beautiful colours of fall with this photoshoot!  I’ve entered my third trimester now and I practically live in leggings and sweaters :)

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[Striped Tunic: Urban Outfitters, Cape Sweater: Aritzia, Boots: Steve Madden; Purse: Coach; Cabled Beanie: Me :D; Belt: Aldo Accessories; Gold Leather Bracelet Cuff: Mahina; Watch: Michael Kors]

I actually also crocheted a “Toddler Cabled Slouchy Beanie" for Myla!  This pattern is really simple to adjust for different sizes as you simply make the ribbed band your desired length and then work the cabled body (see general sizing chart HERE)!

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I adore matching with Myla, and she always loves being able to wear the same thing that I’m wearing too.  Our pom poms look so cute from behind!

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You can find the free pattern for Myla’s “Toddler Cabled Slouchy Beanie" HERE!  

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You can really see the gorgeous cabling in this photo below.  I love how you can make this beanie as slouchy as you want by simply adding more cables and rounds!

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There’s something about the beautiful and rich colours of fall and hearing the leaves crunch below you that makes this time of year very special.  Myla and I had fun examining the leaves together!

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We also had fun throwing the leaves too!  I love her expression with her furrowed brows!

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I am so glad I was able to design a cabled hat as that was something I had always wanted to do ever since making my “Cabled Wrist Warmers" and learning this new technique last year!  Crocheting is such a fun learning process as you try out new patterns, learn new techniques, and apply them to future projects.  I feel so thankful to have this blog where I can document these experiences and projects and share them with you all.  I know that many of you have been learning right alongside with me the whole time as we all grow together and cheer each other on :)  We are constantly encouraged by your support and kind words and have so much fun sharing our projects and patterns with you!

Enjoy learning this new technique and have fun making your own “Cabled Slouchy Beanies”!  The “Toddler Cabled Slouchy Beanie" can be found HERE so you can make matching beanies for your mini-me’s :)  I also actually worked up a “Chunky Cabled Slouchy Beanie" pictured below using super bulky (level 6) yarn, and you can now find the free pattern HERE!  Follow me on Facebook, Twitter (@AllAboutAmi) & Instagram (@AllAboutAmi) to get all my updates!  Enjoy this beautiful fall season 

Amazon Affiliate Links

Lion Brand Heartland Yarn Grand Canyon

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Sneak peek of upcoming new design: Cabled Slouchy Beanies (matching mommy and toddler set)!!!

Step-by-step blog post and free patterns coming next week!

I used the pom poms made with my “Clover Pom Pom Maker" for these beanies!  For those who want to get a head start, I used Lion Brand's Heartland yarn in “Grand Canyon" (1 skein for toddler hat, about 1 1/4 skeins for adult hat)!

Clover Pom Pom Maker

I’ve done my fair share of yarn pom pom making in the past as I love adding pom poms to hats (see my “Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie" HERE) and we hung yarn pom poms from manzanita trees as decor for our baby shower two years ago (see HERE)!  We cut out two doughnut shapes out of cardboard to serve as our pom pom makers, and they were quite effective although the cardboard started to fray and become flimsy over time.  

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I was always intrigued by the plastic pom pom makers I had heard about and seen on-line, and I was delighted when I saw the Clover pom pom maker being sold at my local Michaels!  I’ve loved using my Clover Amour crochet hooks as well as my Clover stitch markers, so I was excited to try this particular Clover tool.  I waited for a 50% off coupon and managed to snatch the last pom pom maker two weekends ago- it’s about $10 regular price, so it was only $5 with the coupon.  Since you get two different sizes in one package, each pom pom maker came out to be only $2.50 which I thought was a great deal!  

I purchased the Large set seen below which makes pom poms with diameters of 2 1/2 inches/65 mm & 3 3/8 inches/85 mm.  The Small set makes pom poms with diameters of 1 3/8 inches/35 mm & 1 5/8 inches/45 mm.  On the package it says that “actual size will vary depending on type of yarn used and thickness”.  I knew the Large set was more appropriate for me since I would mostly be making poms poms for hats!

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The back of the package includes some instructions on how to use the pom pom maker, but I did not find them very comprehensive or thorough.  I later discovered that there are more in-depth instructions on the inside of this package, but by then I had already found out how to use the Clover pom pom maker by finding a very helpful video on-line (I’ll link to it at the end of this blog post)!  I thought I would show you some step-by-step photos of how to use this pom pom maker as you might be interested in how it works too :)

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These are the two pom pom makers that come inside the package.  I love the bright, vibrant colours!

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The two arches of the pom pom maker can swing apart like so…

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You begin winding the yarn around one arch starting from the left side and moving towards the right.

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Be sure to hold the arches tightly together so that they’re aligned (both top and bottom arches are comprised of two separate arches that are side-by-side).  

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When you’re winding the yarn, you want to make sure that absolutely no colour is visible (i.e. the blue of the arches).  How much yarn you wind around the arches will determine the thickness and fullness of your pom pom!  Once I hit the right side, I actually wind more yarn by going towards the left side and then go back towards the right side again (going across arch three times).

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After all the yarn winding, you want to end with the strand pointing towards the right side…

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You then feed the yarn through the gap between the two top arches and two bottom arches.  

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Next you begin winding the yarn around the two bottom arches.  This little piece of yarn that is connecting the top and bottom arches will be cut later on!

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Time for some more winding!

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Once you’ve wound enough yarn on the bottom arches (I also did it three times), you can cut off the yarn.

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You push the arches together and then get a pair of sharp scissors ready!

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You place your scissors in the gap between the arches and begin cutting…

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This cutting is a very smooth process as the groove between the arches helps guide your scissors and the yarn begins to splay towards each side.

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Once your scissors have made its way around the entire circle, you are left with this!

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Here is a picture showing the top view and the groove that your scissors are supposed to follow.  This picture made me think of a macaron…random I know…

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Next you cut a long piece of yarn and thread it through the groove.  You will be using this strand to tie a knot to secure your pom pom.  I always make this strand extra long since I use it to attach the pom pom to my hats as well!

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Be sure to tie your knots very tightly as you do not want your pom pom to fall part!  I tie a double knot on one side, then swing the ends towards the opposite end and tie a double knot on the other side as well.  

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Then you are ready to take the top and bottom parts apart to release your pom pom!

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Almost there!

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Then you fluff and shape your pom pom to its desired shape.  You trim the long pieces with a pair of scissors.  I find that with using this pom pom maker, not much trimming and shaping is needed (especially compared to my previous cardboard template method).

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Here is my finished product!  I kind of wish that I had done more winding to make an even fuller pom pom. This was only my third pom pom made using this Clover pom pom maker, so I am still learning.  When in doubt, just wind some more as a fuller pom pom is better than a limp pom pom!

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Here are the two pom poms I made using the two sizes included in the “Large Clover Pom Pom Maker" package.  If you’re wondering what this beautiful yarn is, it’s Lion Brand’s "Heartland" yarn in "Grand Canyon”.  This yarn is incredibly soft and this particular colour is gorgeous as it has a beautiful sheen to it with hints of browns, greys and golds in it.  I will actually be blogging about a new design I made using this yarn shortly, and it includes these two pom poms!  Be on the look out for a sneak peek of it later this week!

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Here is a comparison of using a medium (level 4) yarn versus a super bulky (level 6) yarn with the largest pom pom maker!  The finished pom pom definitely depends on the type and thickness of the yarn.  

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This is the helpful video that I followed when I was learning how to use my new Clover pom pom maker!  Watch it below to see all this in action!

Here are some other beautiful ways in which you can use yarn pom poms besides attaching them to hats!  Liz of “Say Yes" made this gorgeous pom pom rug that looks so fluffy and soft on the feet!  Check out her tutorial on how to make this HERE.  Michelle of “MollyMoo" made these adorable pom pom hedgehogs using the large Clover pom pom maker with different yarn colours and some clever trimming, shaping and felt.  Check out her tutorial HERE.

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I had a lot of fun learning how to use my new pom pom maker and I am so glad that I made this purchase.  It was a great deal, and I know that I will be putting this to good use in the future!  I shared my purchase on Instagram and was delighted to hear that many of you have also had great experiences with the Clover Pom Pom Maker and were very enthusiastic about it too!  It’s a great tool that helps facilitate the pom pom making process, and I would definitely recommend it to other crafters.  You can actually purchase the Clover Pom Pom Maker on Amazon (Large set on sale for $5.41 HERE and Small set on sale for $6.82 HERE)! I hope you found this blog post informative and helpful, and I wish you happy pom pom making!

Amazon affiliate linksClover Large Pom Pom Maker

Easy Chunky Crochet Sweater

I’ve always wanted to try crocheting some sort of clothing piece that I could wear as I’ve previously made a lot of accessories such as cowls and hats.  I dabbled in sweater-making with Myla’s “Arbor Baby Sweater" but up till now, I could not find a crocheted sweater pattern for adults that I absolutely loved.  Furthermore, I didn’t feel confident enough to try making my own design since I had no previous experience working on an adult sweater.  

Much to my delight, I saw a picture of a gorgeous sweater that draped beautifully on-line, and it turned out to be a free crochet pattern on the Lion Brand Yarns website called the “Simple Crochet Shrug" (see HERE).  When I quickly read through the pattern, I was blown away by its simplicity as the construction was simply one massive rectangle folded in half and then seamed along the sides while leaving arm holes- no other attachments were necessary!  It was a very popular pattern as over 600 people had made this project on Ravelry, and I couldn’t wait to give this sweater a try!

Picking out the colour and yarn I wanted for my sweater was tricky, but eventually we decided upon Bernat’s Softee Chunky in “Grey Ragg”.  It is a very soft yarn that does not fuzz up too easily and I absolutely loved the light grey and white variegation that I knew would give my sweater a beautiful look.  It’s a super bulky (level 6) yarn that has a net weight of 100 g/3.5 oz and approximately 99 m/108 yds.  In total, I used five skeins of this yarn.  Each skein regularly costs $4.99 (Canadian) and with the Michael’s 40% off coupon, each skein came out to $2.99, so the cost of materials for this sweater was very affordable.  You can also find this yarn on Amazon HERE for only $2.74!

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I read through almost all the Ravelry entries of this project to see how other people’s sweaters turned out depending on how many chains they started with, what yarn they used and any other modifications they made.  It was a challenge determining the size as some people’s sweaters turned out too long or too short, and it was hard to judge how tall these people were in their photos.  I wanted to make my sweater oversized and long enough to cover my rear, and I actually ended up making my sweater WAYY too big on the first try.  Sweaters stretch a lot and I decided to frog my work and start over so that I could try and make it the perfect size on the second try!  

I chained 76 using my 10 mm crochet hook.  It is VERY important to note that this initial series of chain stitches will be the LENGTH of your sweater, so determining this initial length is key as you will not be able to change it later on (unless you add some edging at the end).  The rows worked later on will be the width of your sweater.  Do keep in mind that your sweater can stretch later on as you pull it downwards too.  For reference, I am about 5’ 6” tall.  

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To achieve the beautiful ribbing of this sweater, you work single crochets in the back loops only.  As a reminder, the back loops are the loops further away from you while the front loops are the ones closer to you when you’re crocheting.

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You crochet row by row in the back loops only, turning your work as you go.  How simple can this pattern be?  It’s the perfect project to work on when you’re watching tv or having a conversation since you don’t need to keep the count and it works up so quickly since you’re using chunky yarn and such a large crochet hook.  Doesn’t the ribbing give such beautiful texture?

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You keep adding rows until you are happy with the width of your sweater.  In the end, I ended up with 56 rows measuring 31”/79 cm across.  Lengthwise, my rectangle was 38.5”/98 cm (remember that this is capable of stretching quite a bit too).

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Next, you fold the rectangle in half.  It is very important that you fold your rectangle in half so that the rows are running vertically!  I noticed that quite a few people on Ravelry were folding their rectangles the wrong way as their rows were running horizontally.  This meant that their resulting sweaters were very wide and short!

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To create the arm holes, you seam up the sides.

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I seamed up 11”/28 cm and left 8”/20 cm for the arm hole on each side.

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This is how you wear the piece- now it’s looking more sweater-like :)  You’ll notice that the the rows now run horizontally in the front but vertically in the back.  When I was working on this piece and periodically measuring it to my body to check for size, it seemed as though it might end up being too short.  However, we learned from our first experience, and we knew that it was capable of stretching a lot later on.  Thus, don’t be too worried if you think your sweater seems it might be a tad short…

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I wanted to add my own modification to this sweater pattern by adding a special ribbed collar.  To do so, I located the midline of the sweater and attached a stitch marker (you can’t see it too well in the picture below, but there is a peach stitch marker where the midline arrow is pointing to).  Next, I wore the sweater and determined where I wanted the collar to start. I placed a green stitch marker 12 rows below the arm seam on either side (this will vary depending on your height and where you want your own collar to start).  In case you’re interested, I have been using my “Clover Lock Ring Markers" a lot for all my recent projects, and none of them have broken on me (buy them HERE)!

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Starting from the green stitch marker on the left side (when you’re looking at the sweater) and crocheting upwards towards the peach marker, I worked some slip stitches, single crochets, half double crochets and then double crochets in Row 1.  This helped to slowly build up the collar and make it taper towards the ends.  I did the exact same pattern back downwards to the other green stitch marker once I reached the midline at the top to make it symmetrical.  I used a smaller 8 mm crochet hook for this collar part to get tighter, smaller stitches compared to those of the body.  I also tried to pick up stitches quite close together so that there were no gaps in the collar.

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Row 1 is complete!

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Next I alternated front post double crochets with back post double crochets in Row 2 to begin creating a ribbed effect.  

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I did the same thing for Rows 3 and 4 to really emphasize the ribbing.

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The ribbed collar is complete!

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You can fold the collar up…

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And the ribbing is on the other side too :)  I think this ribbed collar is a really nice addition, don’t you?  I’m really happy with how it turned out!

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Here is the pattern for the collar that I added in case you’re interested in crocheting one for your sweater too!

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To access the free Lion Brand pattern for their “Simple Crochet Shrug”, click HERE.  They have also written up patterns for the same shrug using different weights of yarn (e.g. worsted, bulky, super bulky), so see a list of them HERE towards the bottom under “Also available in other Lion Brand yarns" to get an idea of what numbers you should use for your particular yarn.

In summary for my own sweater, I chained 76 initially and did 56 rows of single crochets.  I used a 10 mm crochet hook for the body of the sweater and 5 skeins of yarn.  Keep in mind that these numbers will vary for yourself depending on how long and wide you want your sweater to be (and depending on your height), what hook size and yarn you use (worsted, bulky, super bulky) and how tightly you crochet (smaller, tighter stitches will result in your sweater stretching less while loose stitches will result in more stretching).

Collar Pattern:

- Tag upper midline with stitch marker.

- Tag sides with stitch markers indicating where you want your collar to begin and end (12 rows below arm seam for mine).

{Sl st = slip stitch, Sc = single crochet, Hdc = half double crochet, Fpdc = front post double crochet, Bpdc = back post double crochet (learn how to do Fpdc’s HERE and Bpdc’s HERE)}

Using 8 mm hook,

R1: Sl st 2, Sc 2, Hdc 2, Dc 57 (or however many it takes for you to reach stitch marker at upper midline- space your stitches close together so that there are no gaps). Dc at stitch marker.  Repeat exact same pattern down the other way to your stitch marker: Dc 57, Hdc 2, Sc 2, Sl st 2.  Slip stitch to next stitch, turn. 

R2: Sl st 2, Sc 2, Hdc 2, alternate fpdc and bpdc around (i.e. start with fpdc, bpdc, fpdc, bpdc, etc) until 6 stitches left.  Hdc 2, sc 2, sl st 2. Slip stitch to next stitch, turn.

R3: Same as R2 but alternate bpdc with fpdc (i.e. start with bpdc, fpdc, bpdc, fpdc, etc) to ensure that ribbing is building up.

R4: Same as R2.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

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I was incredibly excited to try on my new sweater and we took advantage of the last days of summer weather to do a photoshoot before the snow comes!  This sweater is so versatile as it looks cute over a dress, and I can see myself wearing this in the winter with leggings and tall boots too!

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I’ll be able to wear this as my pregnant belly continues to grow as I enter my third trimester soon- oversized cardigans and sweaters are a must as winter and sweater weather rolls around!  I practically lived in my nursing tank tops with blazers and cardigans over top when I was nursing Myla (see my Maternity Fashion HERE and my Nursing Fashion HERE), so I know I’ll be wearing this sweater a lot post partum, especially since we’re having a winter baby.

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I’m really happy with how the sizing of the sweater turned out as the length is not too long or too short.  The ginormous sweater I made on my first try (I chained 100 and did 68 rows) made me look like I was being engulfed in a blanket as it extended down towards my calves!  

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The vertical ribbing looks beautiful from behind.  This sweater is so incredibly luxurious and romantic…

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This sweater does tend to bunch around the bum area a bit due to its construction, but it’s not a big deal…

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Popping up my ribbed collar!  If you don’t want to add this special collar or you think it might be too difficult, you could always simply crochet more rows when working on your big rectangle to increase its width.  The piece will naturally fold to give a collar if it’s wide enough.  

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You could also add some buttons to this sweater if you wanted some closure!  I myself love how it hangs and drapes naturally when I wear it. Another modification you could try is adding sleeves by crocheting around the armholes too!

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[Dress: Urban Outfitters, Boots: Steve Madden; Purse: Coach; Sweater: Me :D; Bracelet: Mikaylove; Necklace: Mahina; Watch: Michael Kors]

I know people tend to whip out their crochet hooks as temperatures drop and fall and winter begin, so this is the perfect project to work on!  Sweater weather will soon be upon us, and it is actually currently snowing where I live as I write this post (ahh, the fleeting days of summer).  This sweater is so incredibly simple to crochet and the results are gorgeous, like something you would see in a high end fashion boutique.  It’s a great beginner’s project, and it’s such an amazing feeling being able to wear something you created with your own two hands from scratch (I love seeing the looks on people’s faces when they discover that I made my crocheted pieces)!  Let me know what you think of this sweater in the comments below, if you’ll be trying out this design, and if you’ve come across any other sweater patterns that you’ve loved.  If you do end up making your own sweater, I think it’d be really helpful to leave a comment below letting us know what yarn you used and how many chains and rows you ended up going with too :)

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Here are some of my previous winter crochet projects in case you’re interested in crocheting some hats and cowls while you’re at it!  From left to right and top to bottom we have the Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie, Knotted Headband, Puff Stitch Cowl, Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl, Long Double Crochet Cowl, and Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanie.  The “Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie" has a similar construction to this sweater and is a great beginner’s project!  Don’t forget to keep up with me on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as I’m putting the final touches on a lot of new designs and projects.  I’ve been on a crocheting frenzy as I try and bring to life all the designs swirling in my mind before Baby #2 comes and life gets extremely busy!  Enjoy making your own beautiful sweaters and let me know how it goes!

DIY Yarn Storage

Thank you so much for all the love and encouragement you’ve shown us since we announced that our family is growing!  We are truly touched by each and every comment we received through the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, and we are so excited that we can share these special moments with you!

This blog has not only been a portofolio of my crochet projects, but also a journal documenting things that I love and what I’ve experienced.  In addition to my crochet projects, I’ve also blogged about my love of food and travel, and also topics such as maternity and nursing fashion since becoming a mom.  I created a special tab in the navigation bar called “OTHER" to help document these blog posts and to organize them a bit better so that they don’t simply get lost in the Archive!  To access ALL my previous posts, click the "ARCHIVE" tab where they are organized chronologically by month and year.  

The new “OTHER" tab has the following sections:

  • Food: I’ve blogged about some of my favourite recipes I’ve found on-line (e.g. the Red Velvet Cake pictured above) as well as some of our own recipes!  My Lychee Frozen Yogurt and Layered Fingered Jello seem to be pretty popular :)
  • Travel: We love visiting new places, and it’s been fun sharing our favourite restaurants and sites from destinations all over the world (e.g. the Black Sand Beach in Maui above).
  • Maternity/Nursing/Family: On my journey to becoming a mom, I’ve adapted my style to accommodate my growing pregnant belly and need to nurse a baby (e.g. nursing tank above)!
  • Cosplay & Craft Tutorials: We love making our own costumes and blogging about other crafting projects we’ve worked on (e.g. our DIY Yarn Storage).
  • Reviews: I’ve enjoyed blogging about shops and products that I love (e.g. Clover Amour Crochet Hooks) and hosting giveaways as well!

Check out this “OTHER" tab in my navigation bar to see some previous posts that you may have missed before!

"Attack on Titan" Toddler Cosplay

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.

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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!

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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.

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And now for the modifications!  We severely cropped the trench by cutting along the black line…

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Ta da!  This is quite the cute cropped trench, is it not?

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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! 

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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.  

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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!

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Making Mikasa’s burgundy scarf was simple as we purchased some material, hemmed the edges and cut some fringe along one side!

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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.

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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!

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The finished 3D maneuver gear, all spray painted beautifully and ready to be attached onto Myla’s costume!

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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!

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We hoped that she would be just as happy to wear it in Los Angeles!  

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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 :)

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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! 

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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 :)

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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.

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Myla got a little hungry so she started munching on a croissant as she happily posed for people…

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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!

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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!

Cover of Dragon Feature

Hello my crafty friends!  As you all know, I love amigurumi, and it was my pleasure being featured in a wonderful amigurumi article found in Issue 20 of “Simply Crochet" magazine.  "We Love Amigurumi”, written by Judy Darley of Future Publishing, is about the joys of making amigurumi toys, and I am so honoured and happy that I could be a part of it!

I was interviewed alongside fellow amigurumi artists Maike van den Dries of the Netherlands and Mei Li Lee of Malaysia.  I really enjoyed reading this delightful article, seeing all the beautiful pictures, and hearing what Maike and Mei had to say as well.  In this “We Love Amigurumi" article, we talk about why we think amigurumi stands out from other kinds of toys, advice on getting started, amigurumi challenges, and what we all love about amigurumi!  It makes me so happy to see features such as these that promote amigurumi and introduce this beautiful art to people who may have never heard of it before!  Yay for amigurumi  

I am so honoured that Dragon is the cover photo of this article and that they included pics of my “Knotted Headband”, “Spring Bunnies”, “Cotton the Lamb”, and the “Fluff Bears: Coco & Mochi”!  If you’re interested in reading this article for yourself, you can buy digital copies of Simply Crochet magazine HERE and also find hard copies in Barnes & Nobles and Chapters Indigo stores!  Let me know if you end up picking up this issue and what you think!

[Note: When I first blogged about this feature, I had initially posted the entire article, but I have now taken it down since we don’t have legal permission- sorry about that!]

Yarn Ball & Crochet Hook Pin

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!  

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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 :)

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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)!

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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)!

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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!

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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 :)

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