Kid’s Raglan Pullover

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I have so many unfinished, armless sweaters tucked away in the corner of my room. What typically happens is by the time I complete the front and the back, I lose interest in the project and move on to a new one. And the cycle starts all over again … and again .. .and again (talk about craft ADD). The irony of it all is that my latest deserted project is a raglan – a sleeve pattern first designed to fit the armless.

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I started this kid’s stripe raglan pullover sweater when my friend K’s baby bun was still in her oven. It’s been several weeks since the bundle of joy became the member of this world. I’m happy that I started knitting a sweater for a boy instead of an infant because by the time I finish it, he will already be walking, talking, or going off to college!

The pattern is very easy to follow and I like the playfulness of the color and design. My biggest nightmare, however, is all the weaving I have to do at the end. I love the stripe pattern but my goodness, weaving in all these yarns is going to be a pain! eek

Well, my friend K, your baby sweater will be coming to you shortly.

Get Out of My House!

I stumbled upon this blog called Prior Fat Girl and have been reading Jen’s posts nonstop for the last several hours, as if I’m reading a Pulitzer-winning novel.  She totally motivates me to live a healthy lifestyle!  Check out one of her entries – a letter she once wrote to … fat!  It’s pretty funny and completely right on.

I think it’s finally time for my fat to vacate the premises too.

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Carb Loading at Pizzeria Mozza

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I stopped watching MTV circa 1993 (around the time I graduated high school) when music videos vanished, only to be replaced by silly reality shows. There is, however, one program that I still enjoy watching once in a while called Made, a show that helps “make” one lucky teen’s dream a reality every week. I wish a Made Coach can storm into my life too and make me into a 10k runner in the next several weeks. I am running / walking the Santa Monica 10k and while I signed up for the race a month ago, I am still shamefully out of shape and utterly unprepared.  I’m getting a bit panicked now that the race date is so near … but I guess the only thing I can do now is to get serious and start training, even without the luxury of having a coach. I hope these teens know how lucky they are to have all the support in the world to realize their dreams!

Well, if I’m going to run a race, I would need to load up on the carbohydrate and what better way to do it than by enjoying the best pizza in town at Pizzeria Mozza on Highland and Melrose. Believe all the hype you hear about the place because they are all true. I’ll blog about the experience in my food blog a little later but in the meantime, enjoy the photos on top.  And yes, I am aware that eating carb without actually running is like taking a pay advance on the work you haven’t yet performed, thank you very much.

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As for the craft, I made a memo pad cover and gave it to my sister this afternoon when we met up for lunch. Her blue one matches the one I have in pink.  Cheers to the sister power.

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(A little update:  I did it! I ran the race and had a blast!)

Baby Blanket

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Babies are everywhere now. I know of at least five friends that recently welcomed the bundle of joy to the world, and there are at least a few more on the way. I wonder if there were no good movies showing nine months ago that couples were forced to stay home … or maybe it’s just that I’m reaching that certain age were it is natural for couples to start a family. Nonetheless, it’s a real blissful time! Now, if I can get caught up on all the baby gifts …

At least I got one out of the way for the baby shower next Sunday – a real simple, off white baby blanket. I don’t even know the name of the stitch I used but it’s the one where you *K1, P1, repeat from * to end on the first row, K all the way across the second row, and repeat these two rows until the blanket is big enough (I told you I don’t like patterns). I can’t wait to meet the baby, and I hope she will like the gift.

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In Search of Perfect Potholders

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My craft obsession invaded the kitchen today with handmade potholders. They are still a work in progress, as I’m making few different styles and shapes to see what works best.  Here are the photos of one of the several potholders I made this afternoon.

Since they are intended to be a functional potholder, I wanted to make sure that they actually stood up to the heat of a piping casserole coming out of the oven or rotating the baking sheet in a 375 degree oven. I sandwiched the cotton fabrics between the cotton batting and Insul-Bright to make them truly heat safe, and machine quilted to make it easier for gripping. I think having the batting and the insulated material was sufficient, as I was able to hold on to the hot iron without the heat penetrating the potholder.

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I want to come up with the perfect pattern since I think these potholders make wonderful housewarming and birthday gifts for cooks! I’ll keep you posted!

Pin Cushion

pincushionI’ve had many random hobbies – candle making, jewelry making, and even dabbling into handmade skincare (making facial toners, lip balms, body scrubs, etc.) – but the ones that stuck with me are knitting and sewing. I think my first and real love is still knitting. There’s really nothing more relaxing than submerging in a mindless, repetitive act like knitting, although that can quickly change into a nightmare when you have a complicated pattern or if you drop a stitch. Compared to knitting, however, sewing is fast and I think that’s what attracts me to the craft. It takes days and even weeks to knit a tote bag but it takes a mere few hours to sew one up!

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing lately but it was only recently that I realized I don’t own a pin cushion!  I know I can go to a craft store and pick up one of those tomato-shaped ones but decided to make one instead. My philosophy is always, why spend money on something that I can make at home? I got the inspiration from Paper, String, Cloth blog, and as for the button in the center, I’ll put it on as soon as I find one.

Pincushions are a great way to use us leftover fabrics!

Pin Cushion
Fabric: Amy Butler Belle Coriander Pine and Seagreen, and Fresh Aire Sprigs Green by B.J. Lantz
Recipient: Me

Journal Cover

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I was looking through my old photo albums the other day and realized that it was four yeas ago next month that I traveled to Europe! I had decided to go on the trip solo because I really needed to do some soul searching at that time in my life, and felt that the only way I could do that was to face fear, uncertainty, joy and all the world’s unknowns on my own. The trip was truly one of the most exciting and valuable journeys of my life.

Aside from stuffing my face with some of the best-tasting feasts in the world, I found joy in discovering cute little cafés in every city to relax and write for hours. Instead of hauling my PC everywhere, I wrote the old-fashioned way – with a journal and a pen. I carried the journal my friend gave me as a bon voyage gift and documented every taste, smell and sound that rushed into my soul.

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It was then that I discovered Kraft refill journals from Barnes and Noble and their true awesomeness (my favorite is size 3, which is 5″ x 7″)! Their sturdy cardboard front and back covers keep the shape well and the smooth paper surface allows the pen to glide effortlessly. They are so amazing I haven’t used any other journals since. (Note: And the journal goes very well with pens from Muji, hands down the best writing utinsils in the world.)

The journal design is, however, pretty bare, without those fancy leather journal covers (they are, afterall, a refill). Since I’m not that big of a leather person, I decided to make one myself with a lovely fabric to jazz it up a bit!

The fabric I had ordered from Purl Soho arrived this week and decided to turn this lovely pink-and-blue animal print fabric into the cover. I’m so in love with this design that I was eager to turn it into something … anything!

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This is relatively a quick and easy project but the challenge was, for me, to ensure that the cover fit the book perfectly. I have a tendency to want to make things slightly larger to give a little wiggle room but I resisted the urge this time and cut the fabric exactly to the dimensions that I had measured before starting the project. The effort paid off and the cover fit like a glove!

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(I put my label on the inside cover)

Journal Cover
Fabric: Magenta Menagerie Damask from Etsuko Furuya’s Eshino collections
Pattern: My own
Recipient: Secret