Posts Tagged ‘purses’

Excuse my recent absence from blogging. For the past 6 weeks, I’ve had a variety of visiting relatives from out of town, including in-laws from overseas. So, I’ve been playing the nice dutiful daughter-hostess. I haven’t done much knitting during this time, and I only managed to sneak off to my knitting group once. I was getting serious withdrawals from not seeing my knitting friends. Having some sort of routine is actually refreshing, especially when it involves a wonderful hobby like knitting, and good people like the folks in my knitting group. Also, seeing my knitting friends always cheer me up, even when sometimes I feel so down that I don’t want to leave the house or go. It’s especially helpful this time of year, when I am reminded by my mother’s passing and the passing of my childhood best friend, who died very tragically shortly after her birthday and right before Christmas when we were in 9th grade.

Anyway, my relatives have left and I can now resume my weekly knitting group meetings. Yay! And, I can work on my crafty things! Well, I was not totally devoid of crafty activities during these few weeks, I’ve been doing stuff like preparing for me and Aubrey’s business ventures like ordering yarn (yay! how exciting!) and writing business operations policies (okay, not as fun). I will post some photos and share with y’all all the yummy yarns that have come in fairly soon.
For some time now, I have been talking about a pattern that I had submitted to Magknits, to which the editor had emailed me and said that she wanted to publish it in February or March 2007. When it didn’t publish, I emailed the editor, who said that she was going to publish it in April. April, May and June came and went. After that I emailed the editor 2-3 more times — all those emails were ignored and I received no response. I have no idea why she did not respond, and I certainly understand her perogative to change her mind about publishing my pattern, but all I wanted to know was whether Magknits had changed its mind and/or when my pattern was going to be published. Anyway…I think I will self-publish this pattern. I already formatted it and everything, but I think I want to test it on a different yarn. Here are photos of the lantern purse. I call it “Fu” for the character depicted on the lantern. Fu means fortune or luck in Mandarin Chinese.


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My apologies to my swap pals for being a little slow to post the goodies I’ve been receiving. I received this earthy-color themed package from my Secret Pal 10 swap pal a couple of weeks ago. I absolutely love the fancy fabric, and the colors of the cashmere yarn! The chocolate is also to die for — I actually bought and ate a couple bars of this chocolate when hubby and I went to Belgium for the Soccer World Cup last summer.
From my Dye-No-Mite swap pal, I received an adorable and thoughtful card with cute and furry sheep on it.

Since Aubrey’s wedding is fast approaching (this Saturday!!), I’ve been helping her with wedding sweatshop (photos here) and other wedding things. I just finished making her chapel length veil, made of silk chiffon trimmed with a rat tail lace at the bottom and a pearl and rat tail trim to match her fancy lace dress. Aubrey hired my friend Linh, who’s staying with me, as the florist, so we’ve been running flower-related errands as well. The wedding is days away, and I still have yet to alter my bridesmaids dress. I have to shorten the straps and take it in near my armpits. Luckily, the empire waist means that I don’t have to take in the rib/waist as well. I had to buy a size larger to accommodate my abnormally endowed bosom, which my friend Tedd claims that I stole from all the other Asian girls we knew in college.

As far as my other crafty activities, I’m trying to be an overachiever and spinning lace weight alpaca as my 3rd spinning project. Needless to say, the yarn keeps breaking on me — I keep underspinning or overspinning and somehow failing to spin somewhere in between. This spinning project is testing my patience and tolerance! I don’t think I have more than 15 yards on the spool at this point, and I started about a week ago.

I’ve also been dyeing the past two weekends. Last weekend, I painted some yarn and rovings for by of my swap pals in the Dye-No-Mite swap and Secret Pal 10 swaps. I also handpainted and listed this in my shop:

Then, this past Sunday, I hosted my 5th Wine, Dye and Knit party. No one got drunk, but my klutzy talents did not fail me — I spilled half a bottle of red dye on my blonde bamboo floors and all over Robert’s (from my knitting group) shoe. Oops! Luckily, I didn’t spill on anyone else — I guess it was a good lesson on what not to do for the 3 dye virgins that came. I’m fortunate that only one tiny spot on the floor turned a little pink, but it’s barely noticeable. I’m actually pretty proud of myself because this is only my first major dye accident.

And last but not least, I finally remembered to photograph the purse I made for Aubrey’s bridal shower gift.

The inside has 2 pockets, 2 magnetic snaps and a key ring hook.

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Zona had sent me this posting from someone who’s looking for people to make an evening bag out of recycled, sustainable or thrifted materials. Totally up my alley. As busy as work and life has been, I can’t really turn down a craft challenge. The problem is, I know I can do it, but I don’t have good pics of similar stuff that I’ve done. I’ve done nice purses and bags, but that was my pre-blogging days, so I don’t really have pics. Anyway, I quickly emailed some ideas and sent pics of stuff that I have done — at least it’s better than nothing. So despite a really busy weekend with visitors and other stuff I needed to get done, I managed to whip up a simple clutch. It’s made out of a sari silk top that I found at my local thrift store. (I found more saris in a blue and a purple too!) It’s 100% silk on the outside. The rouched part has some padding underneath to give it some more body . The inside is 100% cotton from some fabric I already had, and the trim is some leftover Indonesian batik that my in-laws brought me. I lined it with really thick interfacing to give it structure. Given the time and my own rush to try to get out a sample, I would certainly say this is not my best work by far, but it’s decent I guess. And given it’s already past midnight, I can’t really take great photos with natural light.

I also made a more casual purse on Saturday. My godmother, who was visiting saw my crafty things and asked me to make her casual fun bag, so I whipped one up that evening using a pair of unwanted jeans. We went with one of the fun fabric remnants that I had and chose a retro-ish tech/space print. The flower was the easiest — leftover scraps from the Shelly Tortoise project cut out and then put on a pin.

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"Kimono" Bag

Here it is! I still have close-up photos that I have not uploaded and formated, but I figure these will do. I hope Rhi likes her bag! I haven’t seen her since I have missed 2 knitting group meetings since her graduation.

I made this huge bag so that both of the main sides would be beautiful and look like a totally different bag, and so that it would fit all sorts of yarn, books or anything else!

1. I made this to resemble a Japanese kimono. The flowery fabric and the deep red “obi” are leftovers from fabric I purchased 2 years ago to make my curtains. The trim and the orange fabrics are just scraps.
2. This side is made from a recycled and felted sweater. I made and added the flower and blue petals to coordinate with the fabric on the other side. THe orange flower and the blue petals are also from felted sweaters.
3. See all the pockets in the front?
4. & 5. Showing the sides of the bag. I also worked in a pen/pencil pocket.
6. & 7. Just comparing the size of the bag to a magazine.
4 5
6 7

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"Lavender" Purse

Well, I was thinking of lavender plants when I dyed the yarn for the purse, and for a lack of a better name, I am calling it “Lavender.” This took a while to complete, partly due to the many steps and partly due to lack of time. So, here’s the photo pictorial from beginning to end (to get a better view, click on the pictures):

(1) First, it started out ast a Goodwill sweater and then I unraveled it and got tons o’ yarn (below):

(2) Then I mixed various shades of green and lavender dye and hand-painted the yarns. I blogged the results in a previous post.

(3) Then I knitted the hand-painted yarn from a pattern of my own design, and made it so that I wouldn’t have to sew ear flaps to make the bottom gusset of the bag.

(4) After I finished knitting the bag, I felted it in my washing machine. The flower on the front is a knitted flower, also my own pattern, with a few seed beads in the center. The yarn I used for the flower is leftover from the cashmere/merino seafoam stitch scarf I knitted for Kim.

(5) The lining was attached by hand-sewing and I added a magnetic closure. It’s pretty roomy on the inside – I love the light green accent fabric. I also cut out a plastic canvas to fit into the bottom of the purse so that it will sit without falling over, and to give it more stability when in use.

(6) Here’s the another picture of the finished product and a close-up of the embellishment. As mentioned earlier, the flower was hand-knitted. The little swirls and balls were needle-felted.

I have not decided if I’m going to give this away or sell it. I don’t even know if people would be able to pay all the thought and labor!

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Argh. It’s only Tuesday and I’ve aleady had a looong busy and draining week at work. I haven’t had much down time, except ripping out a project. (Although I did buy a pair of lovely Via Spigas 🙂 while running errands today.) I’m making time now and updating my blog and photos. I just uploaded the photos of some purses I made for donation recently. This one is my favorites, which I called Wild Poppies – inspired by wild poppies (go figure). It’s of my own pattern and design. Hand dyed & painted using yarn I recycled from a sweater. Top darker colored section is felted. Lower half is knitted with purl ridges. Bottom of purse sits flat – knitted that way, no extra sewing. The tag says Sugar Apple Creations, which I had asked my talented and artistic sister to design for me. Isn’t that cool? I have that website, but I haven’t learned how to create a site yet. Learning to do this blog was challenge enough!

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