Sunday, December 26, 2010

Crocheted Hotpot Holder

This weekend I saw the cutest Christmas gift made by my aunt and I just had to learn it and make one myself! It's such an easy project and it only took me an hour to make it. I must say she was a really good teacher. I really enjoyed working with The Original Sugar'n Cream yarn (100% cotton). It was my first time working with "cotton yarn" -- be sure to check out the website for more project ideas. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fruits and Nuts Biscotti

I love the idea of sharing your favorite baked goodies with others during this time of the year. My work is having a "Baked Cookie Show Down" on Monday and I am excited to bring these biscottis with me. I have to say I am convinced I make the best biscotti, I think that's because I get to customize the recipe and add whatever I wish to. I always include pistachio, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, golden raisins, and cranberries. Quite a bit of yummy nuts and fruits huh? Every bite is just do delicious! Oh and did I mention how wonderful the smell is in the kitchen?

What are you making this holiday season?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Oh My! Handmade Holidays Giveaway

I have been a reader of Bumpkins Bear and Friends for awhile and absolutely love Catherine's work. Check out her blog, she is an impressive artist in Britain. I have no idea how I initially came across her blog, but I am so happy that I found it :) She has donated many adorable items for the Oh My Handmade and I found out about this give away from her blog. I find this give away very interesting because you can nominate a charity! I was surprised by how fast I was able to come up with this list! Be sure to visit the different businesses participating from all over the world. This will be my Christmas time off activity (browsing the websites!). My two favorites are Belle & Boo and sara + abraham. I have been a loyal reader of Belle & Boo and I am so excited she is part of this give away as well. I wish I knew about sara + abraham before I got married. I think they would have made cute wedding invitations!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Is a Swatch Really Needed?

Yes! Absolutely! I didn't use to believe in the whole concept of having to knit up a swatch before you start a project, but learned the hard way after many mistakes. I am starting another Greenwood Cable Vest with some super soft alpaca yarn that I picked up on Black Friday this year. And of course, I did a little swatch and realized that my gauge was off by just 1/2"; I got 5 stitches per inch vs. 4.5 stitches per inch. My entire vest would have been off by 4.5"! Given this vest is for my mom so I called her and said "Mom, is it okay for your vest to be smaller than usual?" (Note: I have made her one before). My mom said "No, absolutely not. Please use your brain, do some math, and make sure it will fit me!" So I reluctantly did some math and decided to add 10 stitches to the pattern... See! Doing a swatch does make a BIG difference!

This project really looks amazing. I have not taken good pictures of them, but will so you can admire them with me :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Sweater for Buddy

So I have some leftover yarn from monsnter project and decided to use them up by knitting a sweater for my dog. Check it out! Same pattern, same colors... They were so cute standing next to each other!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Watch out for the Monsters!

I finished these little monsters! I have to say they were one of the most enjoyable knitting projects that I have done thus far. However, the project does require a few techniques. I took some notes to share with you:

1. Yarn: Although I enjoyed working with the Red Heart Stitch Nation yarn and think the colors are so beautiful, I don't recommend it for beginners. This yarn can split easily, so if you are new to knitting, save yourself the trouble!

2. This pattern calls for Magic Loop and I learned that the longer your circular needles, the better! I used 32", but wish I had used 40". I used the Magic Loop method to knit the mommy monster and dpn to make the baby. Here is a good tutorial on Magic Loop:

3. As you can see, this project is stripy! Here is what I learned... when you are about to switch color, make sure the old color is always on top of the new color (or the new color is always under the old color). By doing so, you are "catching" the old color as you knit along with the new color. Does this make sense?

4. So when you make something that is stripy on circular needles, you will inevitably get the "ladder" look (because you are knitting in the round so your rows are like upper spirals, therefore, when you switch color, it's obvious where you switched). Therefore, to avoid this, I use the jogless method. Here is how I did it:

First round of new color: knit all stitches
Second round of new color: slip the first stitch as to purl, then knit the rest of the stitches
Third round of new color: knit all stitches

Here is a picture of the side of momma monster where I attached the arms. See, not too bad huh?

5.  The pattern recommended three-needle bind off, here is a good tutorial:
I really like the look from three-need bind off; I used this technique to bind off the Spring Forward socks as well. I think it's much easier than "grafting." I mean "grafting?!" PLEASE!

6. I will be giving this to a 16 month old baby, so I choose to use felt for the eyes. That's it, a simple solution. I used felt glue and it worked super well. 

7.Lastly, I learned that I should have just stuck my knitting needle through the stitches to "pick up" stitches needed for the pocket vs. using a crochet hook! It was so difficult with the crochet hook, what was I thinking?!
 This would have been much easier!

Here is another picture of them playing in the backyard!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I Made a Mistake!

Spring Forward is not by Cookie A like I had previously stated! I am so sorry! Arg... it's just that Spring Forward is to similar to Cookie A's style; Spring Forward is actually made by designer Linda Welch.

This is my second time knitting this pattern and I have to say, I really like pink. Why do I make the same thing twice in the same color? I don't know, but next time I should definitely try using something else but pink! I started this project back in June of this year on my honeymoon to Europe, it's taken me a few months, but I am glad to finally get this project out of the way. I have to finish most projects that I start, are you like that too?

I am not sure I like the Cascade Heritage Sock yarn so much, I don't find this yarn very soft for socks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monster Body Parts - Done

Just wanted to post a photo of all the body parts for Daphne and Delilah the Momma and Baby Monster. I will be sure to post some notes and tips when this is all done. There are definitely some lesson learned!

Can you tell which is what?!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Little Monsters

I picked up some yarn this past weekend from Jo-Anne Fabrics and thought the colors would be perfect for Momma and Baby Monsters by Rebecca Danger. I really like the yellow and pink together; I have a recipient in mind. I really enjoyed working with this yarn; it's Red Heart - Stitch Nation (Full O' Sheep). It was about $4.50/ball of yarn, I thought that was a good deal for this toy I am making.

Colors shown here are peony (I love this color) and honeycomb. Aren't they so pretty together!?

My husband and I had breakfast in our beautiful backyard this morning, and I was able to knit for a bit. Check out how much progress I have made in just one morning! Stay tuned, I have a feeling it will only take me a few more days to finish these little monsters!

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Favorite Cardigan

It's Friday and I get to work from home! I don't know who came up with that rule, but I like it. I was going through my closet today and realized that I never took pictures of my Favorite Cardigan sweater by Knit and Tonic that I made earlier this year. You can find this pattern in the Custom Knits book by Wendy. I find her designs very easy to follow and this particular sweater was a piece of cake! It's the first sweater that I have made that actually fits me! O the frustrations of finding out that the frigging sweater doesn't fit after hours of hard work definitely didn't happen with this one! So given I was working from home, I had salad with my mom at Whole Foods and requested that she takes pictures of me wearing it!

 Say hello to my beautiful cardigan! I am so proud of it :) 

 Side view

Close up of the collar

I still can't believe a sweater I made actually fits me! Wow.... By the way, my mom said my face is as big as the pumpkin. Gotta love my mom!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Handmade Christmas Cards

I don't know about you, but I have this secret holiday card list in my head. Throughout the year, I am always adding special people to this list. So at the end of every year, I make those individuals something extra special. Here is a cute Santa Claus card I made one year. I just sketched an image and used construction papers to create this cute Santa. Hallmark is totally overrated right?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cookie A Socks

Do you know Cookie A? If not, you are really missing out on some simple, easy, and fun sock patterns. I have made two of her patterns: Monkey and Spring Forward; they are both free from How about that!? I think what makes her pattern so special is her focus on the simple math so that it's repeatable and addicting. Try it out, I guarantee you will be impressed with the outcome.

I finished one of two (of course, socks come in pairs right?!)

 I have to "graft" these stitches to finish it off, but I am too lazy to find my book on how to do this...

I made two copies of that pattern so I don't have to flip the pages back and forth. A counter is a must for this project. By the way, have you had those Hi-Chews? They are from Japan and just like this pattern, they are addicting! I can eat a whole pack by the time I am on the second pattern repeat!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Good Blogs to Share

I have come across so many good blogs on quilting lately. I find these blogs extremely inspirational and educational. Thanks to all of you bloggers out there... busy taking pictures and finding time posting them. I know I appreciate it :)

Check out the patchwork notebook cover tutorial that JCasa *handmade put together, it reminds me of Anthropologie. I also enjoy reading Hip to Piece Squares, it looks like Sarah likes to hand quilt too!

FYI, these are the Inside Out Bowl from Anthropologie. I think my mom has every pattern available. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Sewing Studio

What do you call your space where you get to do what you love? Is it your sewing room, knitting room, or just whatever room? I realized that I have got stuff everywhere! They are all neatly organized, but I just hate the fact that they are not kept together. Does it make sense? Do you feel the same way? I have decided to redo one of the "areas" at our place as my "play" area. I am reading many magazines and blogs to design how I want to store all of stuff! This including yarns, knitting needles, fabrics, construction papers and just all the tools I have. Where do you store your precious items?

I finally got my hands on the Stitches magazine that I really wanted. Here are a few pages with good ideas that I like.
Fabrics are stored by colors in these cute bins. 

This is a totally different look than the picture above. 

I thought this backpack (from the Fall issue of Stitches) was super cute! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

PIQF Again!

Visiting PIQF only once this year was just not enough, so I found time to stop by again today! It was definitely worth the trip. Check out what I purchased -

Now I just have to find time to make something out of these beautiful fabrics! FYI, I don't like going to PIQF in the rain because usually, I have to park very far and walking back with bags and bags of stuff is not fun.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tommy for Baby Sophia

I can finally show off this baby vest I made for my friend's expected baby, Sophia! I really enjoyed working with the pattern and the yarn. The patter is called Tommy from Rowan Classic Bambino Book 12. This book has many great and easy patterns for baby knits. I like this vest because of the buttons on the shoulder; it will make my friend's life easier putting it on and off the baby. Size made is six month.

 The tag idea came from the "More Last-Minute Knitted Gift" book by Joelle Hoverson.

This is a picture of how I wrapped it. I made the center piece with a punch out and some cute ribbons I had from before. 

I think my friend liked it, and I can't wait to meet Sophia in this cute vest!

Friday, October 15, 2010

PIQF 2010!

So excited to have visited PIQF today and there were over 300 booths to be looked at. There just wasn't enough time for me to look at everything.... but I did purchase a few things that I am very proud of. So many things were already sold out by the time I got off work, but I guess I will receive them in the mail soon?
Cute booth with bolts and bolts of gorgeous fabrics. 

New design by "The Vintage Spool" -- pattern is not out yet, but you can pre-order. I love the shopping bags on the motorcycle! The handles were done using embroidery. 

Here is another picture of the Vintage Spool booth. 

Now this was my favorite discovery of the year... this was drawn on the fabric using Crayons! The designer will email me instructions on how to do this, but I thought it was such a unique idea!

Are you attending PIQF this year? I highly recommend it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stitches Magazine by Interweave

I recently came across this new series of Stitches magazine by Interweave. I haven't actually bought one, but it seems like it features work from many bloggers that I like! Have you read it before? I don't know if my local bookstores carry them; I may have to order them online. There are four issues a year I think?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Out of Town Welcome Bags

Given that I had a lot of out of town guests, I made many welcome "bags" for my guests. These were placed with the hotel receptionist and were handed out when guests arrived. What was in the bag? Tons of junk food! Rice Crispy Treats, Snickers, etc.! I think it was a big hit! By the way, I got many wedding DIY ideas from WeddingBee

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How I store these embroidery threads

Well hello world! It's hard to believe that at least four months have flown by and I haven't posted anything! But I guess getting married is a good enough excuse? Anyways, this is what I found today in my closet... I am kind of a neat freak, so this is how I store my embroidery threads. I really enjoyed doing embroidery work on my finished quilts. How do you store your embroidery threads? How many colors do you have? I really love the green ones and I am not usually a "green" person. Weird huh? I get my embroidery inspiration from "Sublime Stitching" -- love this book. *A-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!*

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Little Big Planet

So my brother fell in love with Little Big Planet video and game. He has NEVER asked me to knit him ANYTHING, but this time, he did. I was sooo excited and finished this for him in two days. It just took me forever to have these picture taken and uploaded, but here you go~

Monday, February 22, 2010

Elijah Elephant

I have the cutest nephew ever and so I had to make him this adorable elephant by Ysolda Teague. Thanks to Sharon for recommending patterns by this designer. I thought the pattern was super easy to follow and there was no seaming whatsoever!! The baby broke out into a big smile when he saw it and dragged it everywhere he went!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Greenwood Cabled Vest in Green All Done!

The Greenwood Cabled Vest was so much fun to knit that I decided to make another one for my grandma. Good news is that it's being blocked! I made two vests in two weeks; one in light brown and one in the green below... by far the best vacation ever! I will take pictures of them with my mom wearing it. It looks fabulous on her.

I used the Cascade 220 Superwash yarn this time. I think I like it a lot more than the Cascade Heathers yarn that I used for the same vest in light brown. The Cascade 220 Superwash is softer and can be machine washed.

Vest ready to be blocked