Jan 23, 2013

I haven’t taken this off my neck since I finished it! This is also because of our chilly weather lately.

Materials: Madelinetosh hand dyed yarn, wooden buttons, cotton embroidery floss (to sew buttons onto cowl)
Pattern: Adapted slightly from this.

This yarn is cushy soft. I even have leftover from the skein. Above are some lovely warm photos of butterflies I have on my craft table, bought during a trip to Đà Lt, Vietnam.

Jan 21, 2013

Holiday weekends mean that projects get finished – hooray! Will post photos of finished item, and in the meantime sharing this preview of it. 

Above is a swatch. Very important to do before beginning any knitting project, those swatches.

Jan 18, 2013


Hooray for the 3-day weekend!

When I first viewed Momo Wang’s collection of artful clothing, my eyes were glued to the knitted bonnet in the photo above.

Red, bold, and fun! I’ve decided to make one. Only, should I knit or weave it? 

View more of her work here.

Update, 1.21.13: I will be weaving the bulk of it, and it will be NAVY. Red may be a little too wild for my likes ;) 

Jan 15, 2013

This week is shuffling slowly along, in a good stretched way.

Once the weather is warmer, my plans are to arrange many, many different colored and shaped succulents into pots, to brighten our front entrance.

The few ones I have out front seem to do well when I don’t do anything for them.

“We can handle ourselves”  

Photos from San Francisco’s Studio Choo, That Kind Of Woman

Jan 11, 2013

Reminds me of the ocean
Textured ridges, fun to run your spoon across.

Aren’t these bowls lovely? Nope, I didn't make these. An awesome person and/or machine in Japan did.

I recently visited Tokyo Fish Market to replenish our dishes after a few broke (yes, all by themselves, after I carelessly tossed them onto the kitchen tile).

Last night, a good friend and I took a throwing class, as in throwing clay to make pottery. We’re going to return in a few weeks to paint and glaze them. We had such a good time that we bought three more classes! 

All right, here are two pieces I did make. Ready? It was much harder than it looks. Excuse the poor lighting/bad iPhone photos. 

This is a plate, thank you very much.

Fourth piece of the night, kinda getting the hang of it. A cereal bowl.

Jan 9, 2013

Seat Cushions

Quite flattened from lots of loving usage

My first sewing project on my Singer 127. 

Materials: Cotton ticking, cotton ribbon as ties
Batting: Polyester, from Joann's. Synthetic is not my favorite. 
Pattern: My own 

I'm often impetuous with projects. I did bits of research with this one, and basically winged it. Measured two squarish pieces, sewed those together, then sewed 2 inch gussets for the corners. It was quite a lesson on cutting fabric straight, among other things! It definitely allowed me to become more familiar with my vintage sewing machine. 

The tufting was a pain on my fingers to do. It's been over a year since I made these, and I kid you not, the fourth cushion remains to be tufted. I can be lazy like that. 

While imperfect, these cushions do the job just fine: keep our bottoms comfortable and warm. 

Meet the Pets – Part II


He enjoys being squished between your thighs and getting his head scratched.

Cop has wanted a dog since we moved in together. We finally visited our local shelter last spring and adopted Lucas.

Very playful

Bath time at the pet store

Ribbon Pillow

Button holes made with my buttonhole attachment!

Notice my crooked stitching? :)

Fabric: Organic cotton canvas, Kona blue 

Buttons: Tagua Nut, or "Poor man's ivory" - one of my favorite parts of this pillow!

I made the “ribbons” with my bias tape maker from the kona blue fabric.
I loved making this pillow. It was also my first execution with the buttonhole attachment; it went well! Aren't those buttons lovely? Swirly caramel mmm food is frequently on my mind, especially sweets.

The texture of raised stripes is fun to run my hands across. At the moment it's covering a goose/duck feather pillow which collapses easily. Not very practical for one's head or back. 

Made entirely with my sewing machine

Scarf on Rigid Heddle Loom

Shopping at the farmer's market in Mainz, Germany

Pattern: Simple weave 
Wove this on a rented 10" Cricket rigid heddle loom. I took a class at A Verb for Keeping Warm and loved it, highly recommend their classes and workshops.

This scarf was made in under 6 hours from my beginner hands - my more experienced knitter hands sure couldn't knit a scarf that quickly at this weight yarn!

For my past birthday, Cop bought me the 15" wide cricket loom (thanks, love). While not as compact as the 10", it's still a good size to easily move around the house and one can weave bigger pieces. Looking forward to more projects with this! 

Meet the Pets – Part I


My boyfriend is only mildly allergic to cats, with the exception of spring season, when his reactions astronomically worsen. Aside from red, watery eyes and a runny nose, his most unbearable symptom is dry and caked lips. It’s truly awful and lasts for days, sometimes taking a few weeks to disappear.

I had to say “see ya later” to my cat Gizmo, pet of five years, because she went to live with my brother in San Jose (thanks for taking her, bro!).
Of course I had to fill my acute void of cat ownership. Enter the hypoallergenic cat: SiberianForest Cat. No, this is no GMO-kitty (my friend joked). They’re actually a pretty old breed, heritage almost, like with tomatoes, y’know.

Moses, who is named after American painter Grandma Moses, cost us many pretty pennies. 
He’s everything I could ever ask of a feline: unlimited hugging, seeks affection yet can play independently, and is fluffy cute.

10 Weeks Old

No potty training required!

Wooly Wooly Tree Mittens

Fiber: scrap yarn (mostly wool with blends of nylon, cashmere) 
Pattern: Template taken from Totoro Mittens, and I used grid paper to make the designs 

I made these mittens in 2009 while working at a city tree planting organization. I wanted to showcase my love of trees! 

This is my first color work project, and it may seem intimidating but it's actually manageable, and challenging in a fun, not frustrating, way. Besides, the results are so worth it! 

Front and back
Fair isle knitting keeps hands toasty warm!

My Trusty Singer Sewing Machine

The tea canister is where I store discarded threads :)
Base with serial number

In 2011, I was shopping for a sewing machine and wanted something that could easily last an entire generation. Seems like a lot to ask for in this day and age? Definitely.

So, I went back in time and bought a “vintage” Singer model 127 – its entire construction is of wonderful heavy duty metal (e.g. primarily steel and iron).

According to its serial number and manufacture date, it turned 100 years old last year! There’s a long story behind its acquisition that I’ll share another time. I’m a deal hunter, and paid a total of $150 for the machine head and table (separate purchases).

Reasons I’ve loved this machine for the past year and a half:
  • Gorgeous decals. Mine features Egyptian motifs to commemorate the excavations  going on at that time (early 1900’s).
  • Such a simple machine that I can fix myself.
  • Such a well built machine that I probably won’t need to fix often! I keep it well oiled and frequently change needles for smooth sewing. No problems to date.
What about all those fancy stitches that computerized machines can do? I can do a bit of that, too, with the zigzagger and buttonhole attachment that I bought (both around $30 – deal hunt!). It’s become a versatile machine that’s good enough for my household usage.

I also did a couple months’ worth of hunting to find its hand crank. It may seem overkill to have foot and more hand control, but when you’re doing slow sewing, it’s very handy to have both. The hand crank is better than getting my fingers stuck in the hand wheel, which would happen too many unpleasant times.

A year and a half later of owning it, I have to say that it’s been a rewarding experience and I have plenty more to learn. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever “outgrow” this machine.
Oh, and did I mention that it doesn’t require a single volt of electricity? Hooray for pedal power! 

Bobbin winder
Boat shuttle
Spool  rack - it's collapsible! Gift from a friend

For more photos, you can visit my flickr.