Little Coin Purse

wallet-frontWhen I was a little girl, my father used to give me weekly allowances. They weren’t much — 50 cents here, a dollar there — and my mother gave me a little coin purse to keep all my changes in one place. It was the old-fashioned kind we Japanese call, “gamaguchi,” which loosely translates to “frog mouth,” because it opened up like a mouth of an amphibian. I loved carrying it around everywhere and although there was hardly anything in it (I was a big spender then), having it made me feel like a grown up!

I’ve always wanted to replicate the coin purse I once had as a child, but was never able to find the perfect purse frames (they were either not available or too pricey) until I visited Japan last November. Every craft and fabric stores there carried them in all sizes and colors, and I snatched up several medium-sized ones for my future sewing endeavors. I finally had the time to sit down to make the coin purse the other day, and here it is.

wallet-open1There is a pattern and a brief instruction in the package, but those of you who don’t read Japanese can find a wonderful tutorial posted on the Purl Bee blog. I ended up making my own pattern because the one included in the package seemed a little too small. I’m glad I enlarged it a little because I can now fit everything, including my cell phone, in my gamaguchi wallet. I also added a fleece batting to give it a little more durability.

I used Amy Butler’s Belle Coriander Pine fabric, with the blue-green geometric patterned one I purchased from a local fabric store. I love Amy Butler!

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Akina from Rowan Bamboo Tape Collection

akina-frontThank you so much for finding my blog!

Although this is my first post here, I’m actually not new to the blogsphere. I’ve been blogging for the last year or so at a site called, “Time for Dinner,” where I ramble on about good eats in the Los Angeles suburb. I will continue to post there although probably not regularly, as my interest now lean toward more crafty, less caloric hobbies of knitting and sewing.

I fell in love with knitting about two years ago and recently discovered the fun of sewing. I’m still novice at both but try to devote as much time as I possibly can between my day job to hone my skills. I am embarrassed to admit that I only know how to knit, purl, and k2tg, so I only select patterns that use those three methods but my goal for 2009 is to venture out of my comfort zone and try something new!

akina-backThe first completed project of 2009 is Akina from Rowan Bamboo Tape Collection. I used the Nashua Creative Focus Worsted in Copper instead of the bamboo tape because they were a little more cost effective and I wanted something really warm and cozy for the winter season. I was quite happy with the deep, rich, autumn color the yarn produced but wasn’t all that keen on the overall outcome.

I know it’s partially my fault because I inadvertently knit this couple sizes bigger than my frame but the shoulder part came out way too bulky, making me look very top heavy. I think it looks beautiful on a form but not really on me and I’m not too sure if I would wear it (maybe at home). But I really enjoyed knitting this cardigan and I look forward to knitting other cute garments from the book soon.