Thursday, June 28, 2012

Braids, Parties, and Stoles

The bits and pieces of my Quinn Cabled Bag

I learned a new skill today: how to braid with 4 strands. The bag I’m making calls for a 4-strand, braided, i-cord strap. So... I did what every knitter does when faced with a skill she (or he) doesn’t know how to do yet: I surfed YouTube. How did people craft before YouTube? Never mind. That was a rhetorical question. Anyway, my Quinn bag and strap are completed and just need a Eucalan bath and finishing touches, like lining. The Quinn Cabled Bag by Yvonne Kao is a free pattern. You can link to pattern details here: Ravelry.

4 strands of i-cord before and during braiding.
Oh and here’s a link to the video on braiding 4 strands: YouTube. The video is very clear and easy to understand. Plus the narrator has a cute accent. 

This past Saturday, we threw a successful graduation party for my youngest, Shelby. It was successful in that the weather was perfect, the rented tables and chairs showed up on time, we had plenty of food and drink, the couture cupcakes were a hit, and most importantly we got to visit with family and friends.
Shelby - the happy graduate

Make your own nacho bar: a big hit!

Lemon raspberry mini cupcakes. Yum!
Did I mention she's going to Michigan State?

Lastly, I inherited a mink stole from my great aunt, Charlotte. It’s gorgeous and in perfect condition. Her initials are even embroidered inside and there’s a cell phone pocket. Okay, I’m fairly certain that originally the pocket was not intended for a cell phone. Then again, maybe, just maybe, Aunt Charlotte was a visionary.

Aunt Margaret and me modeling our gorgeous furs!

Happy summer to you. Thanks for reading! ~ Christina

Friday, June 22, 2012


While I should have been cleaning, I played around with knitting needles I inherited from both of my Grandmas...

I love the blue Mason jars. They came with our house. I hope you had time to play when you should have been working ;)  ~ Christina

Monday, June 18, 2012


Well I recently finished the most adorable thing I’ve knit so far. I made a blanket buddy for my dear friend’s first baby who will be born on Friday. A blanket buddy is part blanket and part stuffed animal. I’ve never made anything stuffed before. Likewise, I have never assembled stuffed parts or embroidered. The project also gave me the opportunity to play with intarsia (a technique for knitting with colors for you non-knitters). I think it turned out great and stretched my skills as a knitter. Though I did sew the ears on upside down. So, the project also helped me grow in my practice of humility. Knitting does have a way of humbling a person. Click here for pattern info. All this adorableness from a $3 pattern. Can't wait to give it to baby CJ!

Check out that stellar arm attachment and the ear seams!
For my next trick, or project, I began a cabled purse and am almost halfway finished. One tip about cabling - check your work after each cabled round or row, so if you, ahem, cable the wrong way you catch it right away. I only had to rip 3 rounds so far - not too bad. “Rip” - a knitting term involving pulling a project off the needles and unraveling. My family doesn’t like the color. They say it’s “old lady pink,” whatever that is. I didn’t realize colors had ages, so call me an “old lady,” but I love this shade of pink. The yarn is called Remix by Berroco. It’s been great to knit with. This is a free pattern. You can get info here: Ravelry.

The actual color is a little less salmon-y. I was getting fancy with Instagram (see below).
I also recently finished a book titled “Forgotten Country” by Catherine Chung. It  was a journey for me in both history and family relationships. The book is rich in Korean history and culture. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about both. The book also inspired me to reflect upon the complex nuances of family relationships. Oftentimes, family interactions are shaped by role expectations established early in life, but, people evolve and change. And, then factor in misconceptions and misunderstandings - a sticky web indeed. Right. Back to the book. Although I enjoyed learning about Korean history and culture, I did not feel connected to the main character, Janie. She was flat and lacked personality. Her sister Hannah was also difficult to feel invested in, but I did relate to her more than Janie. Oddly, I felt most invested in their father, a complex and unconventionally conventional man. I liked the book but did not love it. If you are interested in the non-Western world and enjoy reading about family relationships, I'd say give it a go.
Finally, I’m preparing for my youngest daughter’s graduation open house this Saturday. Tables and chairs are ordered. The flower beds are weeded, sort of, and need a fresh layer of bark. We just need to finalize the cupcake flavors, buy the food, pray for a gorgeous rain-free day, and deep clean the house just in case...
Oh and before I go, I’m also now on Instagram thanks to said daughter. You can follow me as christinapurls. Hope all of your projects are going well. Do share details. Thanks for reading. ~ Christina

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Finishing, Starting, and Busy in Between

First the finishings...  My youngest daughter, Shelby, graduated with honors from high school Thursday night. We are very, very proud of her. And, I think we were all ready for this chapter of her life to come to an end. She’s ready to move on to college, Michigan State University, and I was ready to be done with school. My girls are 4 years apart, so I’ve been in high school for 8 years. Definitely time to close that book of fond memories, vigilance, lunch money, dances, swim meets, soccer games, choir concerts, etc.
Here's a picture of the happy graduate and me.
As for knitting, I finished my Oaklet Shawl. Click here for pattern details: RAVELRY. I’m very happy with the finished product, both the yarn and the knitting. It was my first experience blocking points out on wires, and I learned much through trial and error. Isn’t that usually the best way? Anyway, if you look closely, you can see some of the loops made when I fed the wire through the lace. I need to feed and pin those better next time around. One cool thing about working with yarn is that I can fix the loops by getting it wet and re-blocking. Right, I’ll get on that in my spare time.

Here’s a picture of my shawl on blocking wires.
Lucky for me the weather turned chilly so I could wear my shawl right away. I think I’ve covered Michigan’s crazy weather in a previous post. Anyway, it really is not a huge exaggeration to say you can be in a swimsuit one day and a snowsuit the next. So, below is a picture of me wearing my shawl and long sleeves on June 2, which happens to be hubby’s and my 12th wedding anniversary. No need for a shawl 12 years ago in Las Vegas where we were married. Lest you think the worst of me, we planned to get married there. It was not a drunken-regret-it-the-morning-after-affair. We had a lovely chapel wedding, a minister called Rob, and I wore a shimmery pale pink dress that still fits!

Sorry. I’m getting off track. Now for the in between. Finished my shawl on Tuesday or Wednesday, blocked it, and cast on another project. Shelby graduated Thursday, my 29th (again) birthday was Friday, and our anniversary was Saturday. 

Which brings me to starting. I began a blanket buddy for my dear friend who’s expecting her first child, Calvin James, the end of this month. This is the same friend I knit the booties and mitts for in April. A blanket buddy is part stuffed animal and part blanket. I found this adorable elephant/blanket pattern for 3 bucks - and, well, did not even try to resist. Click here for pattern details: RAVELRY. This has got to be the most adorable thing I’ve knit yet. Although I think I’ve said that about every baby project.
Here are the pieces so far.
Adorable, right? Thanks so much for reading. Hope your week wasn't too busy and you had time to enjoy something just for you :) ~ Christina