Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekends are fun

Last Saturday, we attended the baptism of my friend's baby daughter, Summer (cute name!).

I wasn't able to buy a gift for her last week, but luckily, there was an arts and crafts fair last Saturday (where my friend Mansy and Hey Kessy had a booth) and Marc and I were able to put together a cute little present before heading to the baptism.

Cute handbag!

We bought a hand-painted handbag from Stars for Dreams and filled it with two other goodies from other stores: We included a pretty little felt headband from Felt It! and a cute little keychain monster from Artist Madhouse. I'm quite sure that Summer herself wouldn't be able to use these things just yet, so I made sure her mom (my friend) would like the things we gave too!

We didn't wrap the handbag itself and decided to just make a nice card/tag for the zipper. I cut out a card and stamped my elephant on it and wrote our message on the back. Mom couldn't resist drawing on the elephant to add to the design ^^. Oh, and I bought a couple of rolls of washi tape from Hey Kessy, which we used on the card as well. I'm glad my friend loved our present :)

Here are some photos from the reception:

Summer with Tita Ninang!

After the reception, we headed on over to the parents' house for an afterparty hangout where beer was drunk and hair was braided:

I did a crown braid on Arianne!

And a fishtail braid on Kim:

And a headband braid on Katty:

Works well with her bleached hair right?

PS: I couldn't resist getting myself a keychain monster from the arts and crafts fair! Surprise, surprise.

PPS: Oh, and another goodie to show:

Yes. Russ gave me his distortion pedal! For free! The Universe loves me...

PPS: What's on my needles? Another prototype of the Lily of the Valley hat and some prototypes for a headband design.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

FO: Honoré cowl + Hat.

It is done! My first ever KAL! :D
This is a hat that can be converted into a cowl. It's knit in a tube, widening a little towards the top. Eyelets are a few rounds before the end, so that an i-cord drawstring can be weaved through.

I had a few minor problems with this project, but I pulled through and voilà:

As a hat...

As a cowl... Excuse the pale face, the lighting really made everything look blah.
And you know me, I'd post anything :p

I actually ran out of color B, so I had to use up a few little bits of blue yarn from my stash:

Ran out of the dark blue, so I had to use other shades of blue from yarn from my stash.

But it still looks OK, right? (I hope). I'm happy I got to use up some of my extra blue yarn. Those lighter bits are leftover from my other projects like the Indecisive socks, the Lily of the Valley Hat, and the hat I made for my friend who flew to Spain. Cool eh?

In which I talk a little bit about shoes.

Yesterday, the sandals I wore to the office gave up. I've had them since 2010, but I never really used them often cos I remember they started talking (you know, when the sole starts gaping open up front) just a few weeks after buying them. I had them repaired and they lasted a few more wears. But yeah, they gave up last night, so I had to ask Marc to pick me up from work.

He drove me to Riverbanks in Marikina so we could get me a new pair of shoes (I was thinking flats, not sandals for this time around). Marikina is called the Shoe Capital of our country because most of the shoe production in the Philippines is done here. Marikina-made shoes are known to be sturdy (matibay in Filipino) and of course, it's always great to support locally-made products.

What also made us decide to buy from Riverbanks was something our friend Pen's dad (who is a shoemaker) told us the last time we went to their house in Marikina. We were having a few bottles of beer together after work, and I mentioned that the shoes I was wearing then weren't in good condition anymore. Now, I've been making do with my crappy shoes because I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't buy new shoes or clothes unless I really needed to. I want to learn to be less spend-y and more save-y.

Anyway, to go back to the story, Pen's dad asked if he could see my shoe. Of course, I begged him not to look at it cos I was ashamed of its condition, but he insisted. I thought he'd take a look at it and maybe tell me something interesting about its make, or maybe pinpoint why it broke down easily or something, but instead, he threw it all the way across the room!!! HAHAHA. Then he told us that he was annoyed at people who hang on to shoes that were worn or broken, or people who constantly have their shoes repaired over and over again. It'ss not good for business, he said. And it's a bit of an insult to shoemakers.

Well, after the initial laughter, I asked Marc to please get my shoe back for me, and then I thought about what Pen's dad said. He's right. If a shoe is broke, it's broke. Get a new pair and support shoemakers. But then again, I got that particular pair of shoes from the mall; it was mass-produced, so maybe I was less guilty about having them repaired?

But anyway, I also realized that I've been buying cheap (around 300-600 pesos a pair, or $7-$14) shoes that were mass-produced and maybe that's why my shoes give up so easily on me. I don't walk daintily, so I really abuse my shoes. Maybe now I should start supporting sturdy, locally-made shoes!

So yeah, Marc and I went on over to Riverbanks (it's a shopping center in Marikina, by the way. It's situated, well, at the riverbanks of the Marikina river). We found a store that we'd never seen before, called Mobi & Red and we asked the salesladies if their shoes were Marikina-made.

After being assured that they were, we took a look at their selection. I easily found a few pairs that looked like something I would really wear. So I chose a few and asked for my sizes in them. While I was choosing a pair, Marc looked around at the clothes that they were selling and found that their men's shirts were actually simple and nice-looking. He easily found a few that he liked. This is awesome. We found a store that we both liked!

Here's a photo of a shoe from the pair I decided on:

 A really simple black pair of flats. (560 pesos, or around $13)

I find it difficult to find flats that are simple, not shiny, and do not have any bling on them. This is perfect!

Also, I saw another pair that I wanted. But they didn't have it in my size then, so guess who's going back to the store on Saturday? :) And Marc chose a really nice shirt too. And the purchase of two items gave us two stamps on the promo card that they gave me! When you reach nine stamps (meaning after buying nine items) on the card, you get a tenth item for free. Cool.

I've always loved trying on shoes in stores, even when I'm not buying anything. So while waiting for the lady to get the shoes in my size, I tried on some other pairs just for fun, just to see how they looked. Here's a nice red pair of stilettos, which I didn't buy of course:

You can also see the battered sandals in the photo there.

Happy with my new pair of shoes! They fit perfectly, and they also seem to be so sturdy. I won't have to worry about the soles breaking in half (like with my old pair of black flats which Pen's dad threw across the room LOL) cos they're very flexible. Yay.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lost and Found

The other day, I blogged about losing one of my Size 9 tips from my Denise Interchangeable knitting needle set. Well guess what?!

Let us welcome back the prodigal needle tip! Jenny found it yesterday under the cushions of one our backyard chairs. Whew. THANK YOU!

Anyway, finding the needle inspired me to continue knitting my Honore Cowl + Hat. I just finished binding off the actual hat, I just have to knit the i-cord for the drawstring. Yay.

More on things that are Lost and Found, a pretty little bird was found lounging about our backyard the other day. Jenny climbed up the wall to get it and bring it in to safety. We were worried that one of our cats would kill it or something. Also, it looks like someone's pet! We posted a notice at our village's announcements board, in case one of our neighbors owned it.

Pretty little bird.

We don't own any birds as pets; we only have cats. So initially, we had to feed it some broken flakes of cat food. I know, it sounds weird, but we tried feeding it rice and some fruit, but it wouldn't take it. I don't think the bird should be eating cat food (duh), so I bought a kilo of bird seed for it after leaving the office yesterday.

Seed-eating expert.

It was a bit fascinating just watching it eat the bird seed. It could easily crack open the seed and eat the soft part inside it, just using its beak! Pretty awesome. It's so cute, it likes strutting around Manang Bel's bed. It even chirps whenever our phone rings.

We're kinda hoping no one comes to claim it... Especially Manang Bel who's fallen in love with it! She even gave it a name: Margie. Of course, we'll give it over to the real owners, should they contact us, but ma and I agreed that I'll have to buy another bird for Manang Bel if that should happen. We don't want to her to feel sad about losing a pet, what with the drama she's been having with her favorite nephew lately.

I realize that this last bird photo looks almost exactly like the first one, but I can't help posting it.

By the way, we're unsure about what kind of bird this is. Anyone know?

ETA: I think it's a whiteface cockatiel!


Yesterday morning, when I was braiding my hair the usual way, I decided to use French braids instead of Dutch braids and ended up with a different look!

It's just braids going down along each side of my head, and then pinning the ends into a pretzel like shape at the back. Photo is crappy, but that's how it is! C'est la vie :p

Monday, October 22, 2012 other knitting news

I've been knitting, actually. But I haven't been feeling inspired by it all. :(

What I have on my needles right now are:

1. Another pair of socks, for some fulfilling stash-busting.

2. My KAL project for my Project-a-Month KAL group on Ravelry. Honore Cowl + Hat:

There's some slip-stitching involved, to play around with the colors.

I'm not feeling inspired by these two projects at the moment. Boo. I guess I'm finally getting a bit tired of socks (gasp), and this hat + cowl is posing a lot of problems for me. Since I'm not allowing myself to buy any new yarn til next year, I have to make do with my very limited, and slowly shrinking stash.

Firstly, I'm using yarn that is so different from what is asked for in the pattern.
I had to move up needle sizes to compensate (I'm using sizes 8, 9, 10 instead of 7, 8, 9).
AND, I just lost one of my 9mm Denise interchangeable needles!!! This deserves a lot of exclamation points!!!! It's part of a set, how am I going to have it replaced?!!!

SIGH. I did look online about having one needle replaced, but I don't think I could have that one needle replaced and shipped to me here in the Philippines. I ordered mine online and had had it shipped to my cousin's place in Canada, right before they moved back here. So there, I am at a loss for what to do now. My Denise Interchangeable Knitting needle set looks like it's missing a tooth. And I feel bad.

No rest for this weekend

This past weekend was full of birthday parties and get togethers and man, am I tired:

1. Saturday morning: My ex-colleague threw a Cars-themed birthday party for her 3-year old son in Pizza Hut.

- We met an American couple who are staying in the country until April. The wife met my ex-colleague in yoga class. The husband is doing research on pop music in the SouthEast Asia in the 1920s. They were really nice and we just talked and talked while the kiddies were participating in the parlor games.
- Heard the song Gangnam Style 10,000,000 times in two hours.
- Saw kids dancing and singing along:

Yes, this photo is blurry. They were very hyper.

- Pigged out on spaghetti, pizza and chicken wings.
- Got to wear a birthday hat:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hey Kessy's Messy Washi Party!

Mansy of Hey Kessy is holding a Messy Washi Party next month at Pipino in Teacher's Village!

Basically, it's going to be a fun get-together where crafty and creative people get to make "simple and fun projects with washi tape, baker's twine, and other craft materials". Everyone is encouraged to make their own projects, and the best one will even receive a prize from the organizers.

For a fee, you get to receive tons of crafting goodies, and 8 rolls of washi tape! Check out the Hey Kessy blog for all the details, it's all totally worth it! And as with all crafternoons at Pipino, the participants will be served free snacks and drinks too.

I really wanna join, but I have another event to go to that day (which I'm hoping to postpone for another day haha). I feel really sore for not being able to join in the fun -- and partake of all those goodies too! Slots are limited, so if you don't want to feel bad like me, you should definitely register as soon as you can!

**poster taken from the Hey Kessy blog

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Playing with my hair

I've been trying to grow my hair out after I had it cut into a pixie 'do last October:

But the above photo is from December last year. So my hair had grown out a bit by that time, I just can't seem to find pics from when I first had it cut.

Anyway, I've been growing it out cos I wanna play with different braided hairstyles. The thing is, I don't like putting product in my hair, so it's been a bit of a struggle keeping the ends in. I blame myself, don't worry.

So far, I've been able to make...

...A simple twisty, cascade braid-like braid.

...The classic French braid (though this is a photo of my first attempt. I'm hoping I've gotten better at it).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


We took our nephew and nieces out last Saturday to let them join our friends' event at the tea place in our village. It was an on-the-spot painting contest for kids aged 7-16. The theme was "Love the ocean", and the event was to help promote awareness of how important the ocean is.

My niece Nona won in her category!!!

Here are some photos from Saturday afternoon:

We had lunch at our favorite restaurant in the village first: FRIULI!

Bo, always debating with everyone as usual...

Then we made our way over to the tea place and got the kids ready for the painting session:

FO: Mobius scarf/shawl

I crocheted a mobius scarf last year using a 10mm crochet hook and some more gray Ex991 yarn. I really love this yarn and it's pretty obvious with all my projects.

I could make it look like a cowl, but really, it didn't even cover the back of my head.
Ca. 2010

It was just a simple scarf: double crochet rounds using a big hook and thin yarn makes for lacey fabric. It was wide enough to be a simple scarf but too narrow to be a shawl.

As with most crochet projects, this used up a LOT of yarn. More than I was comfortable with. I think this took about two and a half balls of it?

Version 1

I tried making a colorful version using red and purple cos I had a ball of each color:

But as you can see in the above photo, the finished product was too narrow to be much of anything. So, I decided to frog that colorful one and use the red to add to the gray.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

FO and Free Pattern: Turtle Track hat

Hey guys!

Imagine that... I ended up with an FO last night after posting a bit about the project's progress!

Voilà! My Turtle Track Hat!

After some obstacles, namely the yarn shortage and the complicated decrease issues, it is finally done! I even managed to squeeze out the pattern from my brain earlier today, so here it is! FREE PATTERN!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WIP: Turtle Track hat

I started my Turtle Track Hat last July but I had to put it on hold cos I ran out of yarn. I was supposed to complete this next year, when I allow myself to buy new yarn, but since Marc and I passed by Glorietta last week for my eye tests, we I decided to just go ahead and buy a skein. [We were in the area! Who can blame me for being practical?! Hitting two birds with one stone is always good, right?]

Do they look like turtle tracks?

When last I knit this hat, I had only done one full repeat of the pattern ('one repeat'? Sounds awkward, but I don't know any way else to describe it). And now I'm at the decreases for the crown!

I think this shows the "tracks" better.

I started this project using my 3.75mm Denise Interchangeables and it felt like such slow going. I thought the yarn was just "sticky" or difficult to slide on the needles, but then I realized that it was probably cause the cables for the Denise interchangeables are almost the same width as their 3.75mm needles... Making it more difficult to move the stitches around.

The white part is the needle, the pink part is the cable. The black part is what joins the two together.

^^ That join even looks thicker than the needle itself! Hmm. It was a bit frustrating cos it wasn't something I could change myself. And then it hit me -- I bought a whole slew of circulars from co-Raveller Bheng just a few days after I started this project! I might have a pair of circulars that are just the right size and length to use for making hats!

...It was too good to be true, but I immediately checked my Ravelry Notebook. Lo and behold, I do have a pair of 3.75mm circular needles with a length of 16 inches!!! How lucky is that?!?!?! (Sorry for the exclamation marks, I really couldn't believe it at first.) As soon as I got home, I went through my ziplock full of circulars and found the pair. I transferred the stitches to the new needles as I knit the next round.

It's sooo much easier now. The stitches just slide so easily, I practically am 80% done with the project.

The magical, too-good-to-be-true circulars!
The blue part is the needle, the clear plastic is the cable.

^^See the difference in width? The fact that the needle is aluminum also helps the stitch-sliding factor too.

Well, that's one less thing to worry about this project. Now on to what's really driving me crazy -- decreasing!

The stitch pattern for this project is very distinct. It really makes it hard to plan out the decreases, but I think I've figured out a good enough system for it. And I have the good sense this time around to write down notes about it so I can publish it with the pattern once it's done.

I asked Marc last night if I could use his head to check how much further I have to knit before decreasing:

This was while he was eating a plate of Jollibee Palabok.
I love how uninterested he is... No need to worry about bothering him.

I'm almost done! It's looking sooo nice too. :D Knitting hats with magical needles is amazing. And I think it's the perfect gauge for my fave Excel yarns... This may mean more hat-knitting for me :D So excited to make new designs.