Sunday, August 3, 2014

What's in My Yarn Bag

Above are some fun pictures of things I currently carry in my yarn bag (compared to my post last year). I currently carry:

Snip-its (blades are protected and don't stab me when I look for them. LOVE THESE)
Cat tape-measure
Stitch holders & Stitch markers of various sizes
Yarn Notebook for inspiration

All these things easily fit into that cute Lantern Moon pouch that allows me to transport my notions to different project bags with no hassle. So great!

What do you currently carry in your yarn bag?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crocheted Drawstring Bag

LOOK I MADE A BAG! I'm obsessed with it. I love the fact that it's made out of 100% cotton. I love the fact that it's drawstring. It's the perfect bag for summer and I have been shamelessly using it every day!  

Here are more pics of the bag details:
I accented the bag with some DMC floss just for fun.

As you can tell, the crocheted fabric has generous holes in it and I wanted the bag to hold my items, not lose them all over town or at the beach! To solve this problem I hand-sewed a Baggu zip bag on the inside to hold my smaller personal items.

Trying to determine what to use for the drawstring was the more challenging part. Initially I triple-stranded leftover blue and white cotton yarn and crocheted a bunch of chains to use as the drawstring. But this caused a lot of friction and made it hard to pull the bag closed, so I opted for another material.

I used Neon Lacing from Purl Soho and I'm happy with the result. Makes for strong straps that support the weight of the bag quite well!

Let me know what you think! What summer bags are you currently obsessed with?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Knitted Cotton Top

Here is another thing I created during my 6 month blog hiatus. I had a solid amount of leftover yarn from my blanket and thought about maybe making a crop top with the blue yarn. I pretty much made the pattern up as I went along and figured I'd try knitting this piece top-down. Everything worked out well and I'm happy with the design, but there are some setbacks. I made this top to fit exactly as I wanted it, which means that I knit the straps a certain length and did not take stretching...and sagging as cotton does over time... into account. And since my chest is quite small, the front of the piece is actually quite revealing! This is a great learning experience and I would definitely make this top again with shorter straps.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Porcupine Sweater

Have you ever seen Kristina McGowan's book More Modern Top-Down Knitting? It's filled with beautiful pictures and chic patterns that I feel are just my style. One garment that particularly caught my attention was the Porcupine Sweater, with its intriguing texture that also looked like a fun piece to knit. I had never knit top-down before so I was also excited to try a new knitting technique.

The piece starts out with provisional cast on, another new technique for me. I started this piece back in March during my blog hiatus and man, has it has been such a great learning experience! I can confidently say that I will try knitting top-down more often because it's much easier to modify to fit my body type and (best thing ever) I get to try the piece on while it's a WIP. So exciting! 

Here are my progress pics from my phone/instagram of my first ever top-down sweater! 

Yarn: Cascade Venezia
Needles: US 6 circulars

So cool. I LOVE progress pics and watching my piece come to life! I haven't made the sleeves yet because I've been distracted by many other things (blog design, current crochet projects, typical crafty things), but that's fine because the yarn I used is a wool/silk blend. No bueno for summer in the OC. I will most likely finish this baby at the end of the summer so I can remember to wear it during a more appropriate time of the year. ;]

If you've knit anything top-down I'd love to see! 


Monday, June 30, 2014

Cross Stitch Zelda iPhone 5 Case

I am SOOOO excited to share this with you today because:

1) The Legend of Zelda is one of my favorite video game series ever in existence
2) First time cross stitching (!!!)
3) Cross stitching on an iPhone case!

Super exciting! Haha. I lost that screw to the LifeProof case (RIP screw) and decided to buy one of these cases that I've been eyeing for a while. I knew I wanted to reference Zelda on my case and after scouting Pinterest, found this glorious design, fell in love and straight up made my own version! All I had to do was count the stitches and mark them on graph paper. Super easy!

This was my first time cross stitching so I'll share my experience with you. I had a general idea about what I was doing and knew I had to make a lot of x's on the front of the case. The case comes with a booklet that briefly shows you how to cross stitch, which helped out a bunch. But, the booklet didn't explain how to move down to the next row in a way that looked nice, so I just went for it. I also had to figure out how to move across the design in a way that would create the least amount of jumbled thread mess on the back of the case.

The DMC floss is made up of 6 strands, but I removed one of the strands hoping that it would make stitching a little easier. Did that help? A little. Could have removed a couple more strands. Pliers helped me pull the needle through most of the time. Oh, the needle. Let's talk about the needle! The needle that comes with the case is flimsy and cheap and actually snapped in half after using it for a couple of hours. Srsly wow. Nothing a quick visit to Michael's couldn't fix (previous statement is dangerous, I am aware)! What size needles did I need? The box or the booklet didn't leave any indication of needle size so I had to use my eyes and guess. I left with embroidery needles size 26 AND 28 just so I could feel for myself. I started out with a 26, but that ended up breaking after a while too! Not sure if it was my tenacity or just poor needle quality, but I was happy to have an extra 9 needles to continue my project. I switched to the 28's for the remainder of my project and broke an extra 3 before I ended up finishing. No words.

I started this project last Wednesday and after a few long sessions of White Collar binging and crafting, I finished it Sunday afternoon. Cross stitching took a lot longer than expected, but I was impressed at how quickly I completed this project.

Onto the next!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Crocheted Rope Clutch

So like I said in this post, I ended up making a clutch out of the rope. Unusual, right? ;) I'm into novelty, and my brain thought this project was the perfect way to explore unconventional yarn. 

Some other stuff:
US P hook
2 skeins of 100 Ft. X 3/16 In. Clothesline
skein of 100 Ft. X 1/4 In. Glow In The Dark Polypropylene Rope

Yeah, that neon rope is GLOW IN THE FRIGGIN DARK! Haha! I have another skein of clothesline (bought 3 skeins and only needed 2) that I can use for a wall hanging or something. I could even use it as a bag handle for a nautical themed bag that I either crochet or sew or something! Who knows?! What would you make with clothesline? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Craft Fair Adventures at Bust Craftacular LA

So I've started a new feature called Craft Fair Adventures (CFA because acronyms are easier). I LOVE going to craft fairs and exploring all of the goodies offered by local artisans. It's a great way to pay it forward and support my community. I'm slowly transitioning toward owning things that are handmade and have more of a personality, if you feel me. I'm tired of all of my stuff being "Made in China," tired of the disappointment faced when my cheap garment disintegrates after less than a year, and tired of the idea of outsourcing in general. 

Anyway, my sister and I ventured to Bust Craftacular LA last weekend and was fortunate to end up with a goodie bag upon entering the event! 

Along with stashing business cards from all the vendors, I ended up purchasing some delicious dairy-free chocolates (caramel-salted dark chocolate. no words.) from Les Beaux Chocolats and Pink Grapefruit Soy Melts from The Awesome Candle. Really though, the business cards are one of the best parts of attending craft fairs. You take a piece of the vendor home with you regardless if you bought something from them or not. You get to see their art on display fo' free, friends! Best deal imo. Below are some of my favorite business cards:

And last but not least, my splurge. This beaut right here, this magestic piece of hand-stitchery I have ever laid eyes on, this large knitting project bag from Slipped Stitch Studios:

Worth. Every. Penny.

Also not sure if you noticed, but the background in the above pics is the same piece of linen. I was messing around with the lighting options to try and get the best possible picture. My point-and-shoot has DSLR potential, but there's still so much I have to learn about photography, especially trying to figure out the mystery of lighting. If you have any advice, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Some more pics I took with my phone (these don't do the fair justice, sorry):

Slipped Stitch Studio's set-up.

Blarney Yarn's gorgeous hand-painted rovings among other things. 

I don't even know what's going on in the above picture, I just know I couldn't look away. 

And let us not forget the Yarnover Truck! Had to stop by here just to look at the yarn. HAD TO.

Until the next fair!