Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A New Winter Scarf for Me!

After I completed dad's scarf, I made one for myself in a bright, cheery, holiday red.  This is a free pattern from Red Heart designed by Kimberly McAlindin.  You can find the pattern here

Here's the photo from Red Heart's website.  I liked the way it goes over her shoulder so next time I will make mine using a larger hook.

LW2286 Shimmer Cowl

I did use Red Heart's Shimmer yarn in red.  Took up 1.5 skeins.  (Available at Joann)  Love the feel of the yarn. Personally, I found the pattern difficult to understand.  But, largely because I am a beginner.  I just started learning how to crochet this summer and all I've really made are scarves and hats.  I got the measurements pretty close to what the pattern indicates.  However, I didn't get the top part as narrow as the pattern's.  I guess I could have done more decreases for a more narrow opening.  But, I didn't want to lose the scallop pattern on the top edge.  It was too complicated for me to figure out.

I wore this last Friday to a Christmas party with a black shirt underneath and a black blazer. Glad I was able to wear it before the 81 degree heatwave we had in Southern California on Christmas Day.

Hope y'all had a wonderful holiday!  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Winter Scarf for Dad

Over the summer, I learned how to crochet and I've been working on a few hats and scarves for this winter.  Dad wanted a  white scarf but definitely not in wool (because of the itch factor). So, I found this interesting scarf on Ravelry and made it with Red Heart Soft Baby Steps yarn in White.

The pattern itself is not difficult but it can get confusing because you are starting with a front post double crochet and back post double crochet alternating in every other row.  So, you definitely need to  keep track of which row you are on to ensure that the basket weave pattern is correct.  A bit time consuming but the pattern is really unique- not something you can just buy off the shelf.

The scarf ended up to be quite thick, soft and cozy.  You can find a tutorial on the basket weave stitch here.  The blog even has a video so you can follow along.  I used up about 2 1/2 skeins and made 166 rows.

And here is dad modeling his new scarf.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Taking a Stroll Down Sonya's Garden

Wow!  It's been over 2 months since my last blog entry.  Anyone still out there?  If you are, thanks for your patience or indifference, whichever the case may be :-)

So, I took a mini break and flew to the Philippines for a 2 week vacation.  Nothing crafty to report.  The Philippines isn't a big crafting mecca (unlike Japan or Korea) but don't feel too sorry for me.  I ate so much and had spa treatments and even had some time to work a little bit on my Redwork.

But, I wanted to share some photos of my travels. It is called Sonya's Garden and it is a restaurant/ bed and breakfast/day spa located about 1 1/2 hours outside of Manila.  

The restaurant serves a buffet (one set menu daily) highlighting the vegetables grown in the premises.

Some of the beautiful china.

It is a tranquil (no unruly children allowed) and calm oasis where you can get away and just unwind, enjoy a spa treatment,  maybe do some embroidery or learn the art of doing absolutely nothing!

Sonia's Garden reminds me of life around the turn of the century- when people ate foods from their garden served on fine china, take siestas outdoors under a canopy or shady tree, play cards or do some embroidery and listen to the vitrola record player at dusk and enjoy a sangria and dance an the evening lit by fireflies, candles and the moonlight.

If a picture paints a thousand words, then I will just allow them to do all the talking.  

Here are a few of the daybeds located around the garden for a quick nap or Tete-a-tete.

Here's one of the little cabins for overnight visitors.  Sliding windows are made of Capiz (windowpane oyster) shells.

Back in Manila, I spied a kalesa (horse drawn carriage) in the old district of Manila.  When I was little, my mom and I would take a kalesa ride from my dad's office in the textile district called Divisoria to Chinatown for lunch and a movie.  

You could fit 2 adults in the carriage.  The little seat upfront is for the kutsero or driver.  Some of the kalesas are brightly and beautifully decorated and they definitely all have a waste sack so the horse does not leave a mess around the streets.  Not a lot of kalesas are around anymore.  Like any big city, people are in a rush and riding a horse carriage isn't the most time efficient.