Friday, April 25, 2008

My New Knitting/Crocheting Bag

Where I work, there are daily booths downstairs where people come to sell stuff. Today, I noticed a lady selling really pretty, printed tote bags. So I went in and browsed and it turns out the lady sews the handbags herself. She even brought a sewing machine so she could add velcro onto the bags at the customer's request. Well, I've been meaning to get a knitting/crocheting bag for my projects, and I thought what better bag than one that is handmade? (Man, if you ever want to sell me something, just tell me it is handmade and I am sold! Sigh.)

There were two prints that caught my eye. One had little kittens playing with yarn balls (how perfect for knitting!), and the other was a black and red floral print. The bag with the kittens was a bit bigger than what I wanted and pricier. Unfortunately, while I was being slow in my perusal, another shopper had snatched up the red floral bag which was smaller and more portable. However, after sifting through Disney themed bags, Disney princess bags, Betty Boop, SpongeBob, tapestry, country, the other shopper gave me the bag back because the owner couldn't get her credit card to run through. Yay for cash!
And here I present to you, my new knitting/crocheting bag!

Inside lining with zippered pocket

Inside lining with the other open pocket


As promised, here's the deal on my Macy's trip. I have been feeling a bit blah-ish fashion-wise lately. Most of the stuff I wear to work is a bit casual and some of my winter clothing I've been sporting lately goes back to sophomore year of college. So I went on a shopping trip to Macy's last night just to "look around".

And what did you know? I ended up buying two really nice I.N.C. sweaters. One is a babydoll cardigan that looks like a beautiful handknit that I knew I had to buy once I tried it on. The price was $69, but it was on sale for $41.40. And I usually don't spend that much on one single sweater, but I couldn't resist the handknit look so I went for the plunge.

Upon bringing it to the register, the girl there told me that there was a pre-sale going on. I am like huh, what's a pre-sale? (And frankly, what's the point of having a "sale" if there is a pre-sale?) But apparently, this ultra-secret Family and Friends pre-sale means that a lot of regular price and sale price stuff at Macy's is 10-20% off. (In my case, 20% off.) The only catch is I had to pay for it up front and wait until next Wednesday to go pick them up. This made me so happy I went back and grabbed a second sweater I had tried on (I.N.C. in a gorgeous peachy pinkish shade). So in the end, my first sweater went from $69 to $41 to $33 (before tax), and my second sweater went from $49 to $29 to $24. Amazing deals, right? :-)

FO: Short 'N Sweet in Cream

Technically, this was finished in February with all the ends woven in and everything blocked. But I never got around to buying the button for it until last month and I didn't actually sew the button and a loop for it until last night when I was inspired by my trip to Macy's. (Tell you more later.) Yes, I am very bad when it comes to procrastinating the small details. Truth was, I didn't truly love this bolero until the button was all sewn in and I realized how it truly made the garment.

Pattern: Short 'N Sweet from SnB: The Happy Hooker
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool in Aran
Amount: 3 balls ~ 660 yards
Hook: size H

With a sweet spring cami...

Laying flat...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

FO: Newsboy Cap

I didn't have the heart to frog my babydoll's sleeve so I whipped this up in about 1.50 hours tonight.

Channeling my inner serenity.

I'm sexy and I know it.

Wannabe model look

Pattern: Etsy
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool in Black
Amount: 2 balls
Hooks: L and J


This past weekend, I went up to Cardiff for the first time to volunteer for this diabetes fundraiser called Tour de Cure. It is a bike ride to raise money for diabetes research. I spent about 5 hours there in a thin hoodie and open-toe sandals. And I was freezing cold for the entire time, not to mention hungry because the event had promised us lunch but then didn't provide enough meal passes for everybody in my group. Hardly, any people came to the event other than the people involved with the ride. So that was quite boring and dreary, but I had a good time chatting with my co-workers and chilling (no pun intended). I even got a free, insulated lunch bag from the casino booth next door which was really cool. I had always meant to buy an insulated bag ever since I started working, but never could find the right one. :-)

Afterwards, bf and I drove up to Encinitas area to explore the shops there. I got to go to the Encinitas Michael's where I picked up a couple balls of Patons Wool and two pairs of Clover needles. It was pretty convenient that it was located right next to Circuit City where he could finally get that last (or second to last) PS2 game he has always been hankering after. After a bit more driving around, we randomly discovered we were in Carlsbad! And better yet, we went into this cool looking strip mall with lots of upscale shops! And there it was! Anthropologie! I had always wanted to go to one since I love drooling over their cute clothes on their website, and now I have finally seen their stuff in person. It's a pity their prices are so expensive because a lot of their stuff is my style. Feminine, classic, and conservative. Sigh.

Look at this sweater I saw there that caught my eye. It is knit, but it really reminds me of Robyn Chachula's Comfy Cardi from the Crochet Me book.

Comfy Cardi by Robyn Chachula

So when I was in the store (and even yesterday online), the price for it was $78, which I would never spend on a little sweater. But today, it wasn't on the Anthropologie website and I was like, oh no, they sold out that quickly!? But it turns out it is now in the Sale section and half off at $39.95!!! Man, I am so tempted to get it in the Emerald color. I am kicking myself for not trying it on Saturday so I could have known which size fits me best. :-( So what should I do now?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Babydoll frogged and redone

I never got around to making the newsboy cap last night because I decided to give the dress another whirl before completely frogging. And I am glad I did. After using a H hook and rethinking the set-up single crochet (crochet in every single stitch vs. crochet in every other stitch), I finally got it to fit me!

Updated progress picture:

Yay! No flare, or can't-even-fit-over-head syndrome!

And my WEBS order finally arrived today! I came home from work and checked the mail, but no luck. I live in an apartment complex, and quite often packages can get stolen which left me fretting. That is, until I noticed a UPS truck located a building away from me. Wasting no time, I dashed upstairs, printed out a copy of package tracking record, and leaped back down the stairs to the UPS truck. I showed the guy my sheet and lo, and behold, HE HAD THE PACKAGE!!!! Whew! I was so relieved! Last Christmas, my friend Christine sent me Friends Season 6 and it was delivered to my door, but ended up stolen. Thank god, I was there to safely rescue my $100 order of yarn. (Hey, it was on sale!)

Pictures of my new yarn. Is it weird I held them up to my cheeks, cuddled them, and whispered sweet nothings into their...strands? :-D

And a side view...

Sorry I am not a very good photographer. I own a Canon PowerShot SD550, but I have yet to learn the cool intricacies of my camera.
The list...
2 skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Woodland Mix (for a Irish Hiking Scarf or Newsboy Hat)
5 skeins of Cascade 220 in Burgundy (for a Bluebell Boatneck)
5 skeins of Cascade 220 in Olive Heather (for a Bluebell Boatneck)
3 skeins of Cascade 220 in Dark Plum (for a Back to School U-neck Vest)
3 skeins of Cascade 220 in Straw (for a Back to School U-neck Vest).
Now that I have actually seen and fondled Cascade 220, I am sorely tempted to go back and buy more next month. (What has happened to the frugal girl I once was?!) This is the best sale of the year for Cascade 220. They were only $4.89 per skein. Hopefully, it will last me about 6-9 months worth of projects?
Well, I'm off to do more work on my babydoll. Ciao!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Babydoll progress

I spent most of the past weekend working on my Babydoll dress. Of course, there might have been a short expedition to downtown La Jolla where I might have "accidentally" bought two back issues of Interweave Knits (Winter 2005 and Winter 2006). The Winter 2006 had at least 5 patterns that I really love. "Love" is the keyword. I don't think I'm nowhere near that level to create them yet, but one can always hope. And I also "accidentally" bought another bottle of Soak (this time in the Flora scent) because the salesgirl seemed genuinely nice and helpful. Okay, okay. It was not an accident. I can't seem to help myself when it comes to knitting/crochet related materials. The good news is that the back issues were only $2 each. :-)

Back to the topic, the lovely Babydoll dress. Unfortunately, my dress is not coming out quite so lovely. I finished assembling the bodice and actually wove in all the ends (to prevent future laziness in finishing the dress). However, the lace section started coming out too small. Therefore, I frogged and tried again. I didn't want to frog the ribbing section or else I would be basically starting over from scratch. After adding a round of increases and doing a couple inches of lace, it was coming out flared and too big! Gah! So I frogged again and did another couple inches. Still too small. I frogged all the lace last night and now I am seriously considering to rip out the ribbing section and start anew.
Frogged section (note the wide flare):

What do you think? When I try on the bodice section, it comes out very close-fitting. (Plus, if you look closely, one of the shoulder straps is longer than the other one and one of the bodice halves is wider than the other.)

I think I will let it sit tonight, and work on something quick and easy. Last month, I bought this Etsy pattern and yesterday my Joann's order of Clover circular needles and that truly hard-to-find size L crochet hook arrived. Tomorrow, my order from WEBS consisting of Cascade 220 and Berroco Ultra Alpaca will be arriving. I never thought I would actually say this, but I think I might have to turn to knitting to take a break from this dress.
Speaking of knitting, I love seeing how knit and crochet fashions are becoming trendy in stores. I was cruising the Bloomingdale's website earlier and I found this sweater.

Isn't it pretty? It's on sale for $82.99, down from $139. (Which to me, still isn't a sale!)

And I found this American Eagle Babydoll Cardigan on Ravelry...

It's on sale for $34.95 at the AE website, but I haven't seen it in stores.

And look, crochet sweaters are becoming popular! I am so happy for crochet! Although I knit too, my first love will always be crochet and I feel sad whenever I hear/see knitters dissing crochet.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Interweave Crochet

My Interweave Crochet magazine for Spring 2008 arrived yesterday!!! I am so happy!!! Now I can't wait to break open the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece I ordered last month to start working on that baby doll dress.

That top on the cover looks rather tempting too. It is the China Doll top patterned after a traditional Chinese dress.

Also, this Butterscotch Cardigan looks amazing...

And another peek at the China Doll Top...

With back view...
Sigh. So many gorgeous projects!

This was also included in the mag, but I'm not sure if I would consider making it. It is a bit different from stuff I usually wear.

The Geometry Dress...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Scarves Galore

I know...I's been way too long since I last updated. But not to worry! I am still crocheting/knitting. Recently, I've been leaning towards knitting more after I discovered the Irish Hiking Scarf pattern online. I love that pattern so much I am working on my 3rd scarf. Usually, I get bored by a pattern after one time, but surprisingly I find this pattern to be comforting yet still interesting.

Projects made:

First Irish Hiking Scarf - Used 2 skeins of Patons Classic Merino Wool in Dark Grey Mix. This even included thick, fluffy fringe. It was the first time I ever made fringe, and I gotta say, I love it! It really feminizes the scarf and makes it so much prettier! (Pictures to follow soon, I promise!)

Second Irish Hiking Scarf - Used 2 skeins of Patons Classic Merino Wool in Chestnut Brown. Again, same pattern. I will gift it to my co-worker Debbie for her birthday next week. It's a bit sad that is beginning to get warmer here in San Diego, but I suppose she can always use it when fall comes around again.

Third Irish Hiking Scarf - Used a little less than 2 skeins of Patons Classic Merino Wool in New Denim. For my father. I think it will be a perfect match for his blue Dallas Cowsboys jacket. However, I will leave off the fringe in hopes of making it a more "manlier" scarf. I only have a little bit of yarn left, and I'm afraid it won't come out to 60" as I had hoped. The other two scarves were about 57" before adding 3" fringe to both ends.

In other news, I finally trekked down to downtown La Jolla two weeks ago and bought a bottle of Soak Wash from Neroli in La Jolla. It is a upscale lingerie boutique. It's a rather strange place to buy something intended for my handknits/handcrocheteds. The LYS nearby, Knitting in La Jolla, only carried Eucalan, but the bottle she offered me looked really old and disgusting. Sure, it was $5 for about 14 oz. but I decided to fork over the $15 for the better quality and better smelling Soak from Neroli. In the end, I bought the Limited Edition scent called Celebration. It is a heavenly smell. The best part is that you just mix one teaspoon of it with 1 gallon of water. Put in your clothing and let it soak. Then you just pour the water out and roll in a towel to squeeze out the water. And dry! No rinsing! Makes handwashing stuff much more enjoyable! :-)

Speaking of washing, it also led me to buy this sweater drying rack from Bed Bath and Beyond this weekend. I bought two so they can stack on top of each other to save space. It works better than the pop-up dryer I bought from Linens and Things. Unfortunately, that one wouldn't fit on top of my dryer, and when popped up, it couldn't seem to support the weight of a water-laden sweater without tipping over. But hopefully these ones will work out! I also got a fabric shaver from Target and spent an hour shaving my favorite red shrug last night. Am I a dork to love these laundry inventions?
In crochet news, my bf got me a pattern booklet at my LYS in Mission Valley. It is for making amigurumi Pooh & Friends characters. For amigurumi, it looks amazingly like the real Pooh! Luckily, I know I have some gold and red Patons wool in my stash that will be perfect for making Pooh.

A preview...

He also spoiled me with this Candyland Winnie the Pooh edition board game yesterday. When I was in 2nd grade, it was my favorite board game. And childhood dream to one day own it! Hehe.

So that's what I have been doing lately. That, and browsing Ravelry like a mad woman. Man, do I love that site! So many things to learn and read about!