books & mags

August 17, 2006

craft book excerpt

right to left: isbn 4579110250, 4579110439, 4579110544 & 4309280463

more japanese craft books to share. this round of collection is for sewing, ranging from clean designs using cotton and linen for adult and children, to reconstruction of existing garments. i love most of them.

excerpts from these books:

Continue reading "craft book excerpt" »

May 30, 2006

ruffles shoulder bag

remember this bag i talked about a while back?

i made my version this weekend...
... with some modifications- size, from super big to moderate; material, from linen to denim. and, i also added lining to the bag, as well as a magnetic snap.

pattern: shoulder bag from japanese magazine 4860670973
difficulty (1-5): 2
pattern size: one size
fabric: 1/2 yd of denim yarn and vintage fabric from chloe's closet for lining

bags are so great to make, not only they are functional but also with endless possibilities of style. make one for each outfit, each day of the week; make one for summer in dupioni silk, cashmere tartan for fall and winter. but oddly, as much as a fashion slave that i am, i own very few bags.

i was quite taken by the fact that bags should be leather, ideally you should spend money on a good bag and use it for the rest of your life. like, louis vuitton and prada bags fall into this category. with fashion trends moving faster than wind, i want more than just one good bag. and honestly, making it from scratch is more fun than buying one from the store.

now all i need is inspirations. i turn to zakka and several cutest japanese magazines i bought from yesasia.

counterclock-wise from top: isbn 4579109988, 483472235X & 483472316X

what i never thought possible had suddenly appeared in front of my eyes. i'm overwhelmed but more than ever excited about making bags.

here are some of my "must have" bags:

this is for summer, hawaiian print, quilt stitching, leather handles... just perfect

whimsical polka dots with matching case, i love the red, white and black. so primary in color, so cozy for the winter!

April 12, 2006

i heart routine

only yesterday i had the chance to finally unpack my craft from boxes. weeks of no knitting/sewing had been difficult... but i had sort of lost the urge to knit or sew like i used to. which was sad, i think. but yesterday i found myself thinking about knitting and wanting to finish some projects, start some new ones and share them with all of you.

i am eager to get back to my routine. really.

and, joujouka, a lovely japanese crafter, had sent along the greatest package this week. we had gotten to know each other through the sewalong. she knows my fascination of japanese craft and we did a little swap.


these are the most delicate supplies of knitting and sewing: two cones of yarns, one 100% linen and one 30/70 silk and linen. a book filled with the most beautiful sewing projects, and, some gorgeous linen and cotton fabrics from linnet and checks & stripes. i feel like in a crafter's heaven.

close up of the gorgeous yarns... they make great summer shawls and lacey tops!

i have great respect for japanese craft books, especially the newer, more comteporary ones. they are just incredibly beautiful to look at. in the end, these seemingly unnecessary lifestyle items became a "must have". also, all the projects are simple and i think i will be able to follow just by reading through the diagrams. this is inspiration to its purest form.

these are some of my favorites:

shoulder bag with a bit of ruffles. it complements so well with a handknit hat and top...

a dust bag. why would you ever need a dust bag, but i want one...

i want to look like the model, so wispy and delicate in this apron dress, it makes crafting so much more posh and trendy...

finishing off the projects with cross-stitching monograms...

ah... i can't wait to start. i think my dining room can use some handsewn table napkins, place mats, table runners... and i certainly need an apron for that.

March 01, 2006

more knitting inspirations

the center picture is the cover, the rest is the content. so rowan, so beautiful!

my sister bought me three japanese knitting magazines, one for women (me!), one for babies and one for accessories. i love all of them and i am showing you the one for women today. it is surprisingly beautiful. i'm loving all of the projects above and can see myself knitting one this coming winter.

later, i'll show you the accessories book. that one is also full of beautiful knits. if you think that i have been leading you on with many empty promises... i apologize. we have finally secured a place to stay in the new city and i am quitting my current job in a couple weeks. i am hoping to have a few weeks in between jobs so we can move and be able to catch up on knitting and sewing! for sewing... i went crazy with hancock fabrics' $1 per pattern last weekend and had also bought way too much fabric.

spring is here.

p.s. i deleted the old whispering pine blog today. if you are still linking me with the old address (i know some of you still do), it is now invalid.

December 19, 2005

more on japanese knitting books

book cover and its content
we all know that there are many beautiful knitting books in japan but they are not very searchable. well, until now. i have discovered a taiwanese online bookstore, where they show an inside preview of many japanese knitting books; some with enlarged pictures. with this link, you can go check it out yourselves! behind those beautiful covers, you will find a pair of cozy socks (i really really need one!), the most beautiful fair isle mittens, and many more.

if mandarin is not your language, you can still navigate. just click on the pictures, and scroll to the bottom to nagivate between pages (where you shall see numerical numbers).

no need to judge a book by its cover anymore!

December 02, 2005

greedy but necessary

so you are standing right in the middle of the most fabulous yarn shop in the world with all those luxurious yarns and you were told to only pick out one sweater worth of yarns and that's it. now how long do you think that selection process is going to take? long. very, very long. why? because we are all greedy knitters.

i feel that was the situation i have put amilia in. she is a knitter, believe it or not, but she does not knit. this singaporean girl claims that the tropical weather has really limited her knitting. what? i think she is just being funny. but anyway, i am going to make iris for her. but i know she wants more than just the plain looking iris, she wants something else. something lacey and unique. and you know what, i will make not one, but two shrugs/boleros for her. let the pattern search begins!

japanese knitting books, beautiful and tempting!

amilia is so sweet, she has offered to indulge me in this greedy collection of japanese knitting books (after seeing li's growing colletion, i feel i need some, too!). she will shipped them to me on a batch basis and in return, i will make some little shrugs for her, send her some beading magazines (she makes gorgeous jewelry) and classic american shirts from A&F.

wow, head is spinning. knitting is, all of a sudden, a global activity.

yes, i am still knitting. thank you for liking my socks and scarves. husband is thrilled. he wants more socks (of course!) but november has ended so i am moving on from just knitting accessories. over the weekend, i will show you my progress of cobalt blue cardi and highgate (one is more significant than other). i will also pick up the needles again for the long forgotten alpakka sweater. also, a new baby project for my brother and his wife who are expecting a girl.

October 01, 2005

sockapal-2-za socks

sockapal-2-za socks from kathy
this pair of gorgeous socks is one of the many things i got this week. wow!! these socks are so beautiful, not to mention they fit perfectly! kathy is my sockpal and she did an incredible job!

these socks are not your typical toe-up or top-down socks; they are constructed sideways. thus, the vertical lines of stitches give the variegated colors an interesting presentation. i also love how the heels and toes are knitted. i did not expect such unique pair of socks and the yarn, cherry tree hill, feels wonderful against my feet! thank you so much, kathy!! i love my socks and i will be wearing them a lot this winter for sure!

heel and toe of a sideway sock!
kathy not only just gave me a pair of socks, she also dig through her grandmother's old knitting stash and found a vintage pattern book and gave it to me! i am totally flattered with this kind gesture. she knows i love vintage fashion! and i do!! look at those pictures! not just the knits, but the hair, make-up... they were totally genuine 1960's high fashion! i think the blue lace cardi may be a cute item to knit. hmmm... decisions, decisions!
spinnery pattern book, year 1963

September 22, 2005

never say never

my LYS has moved to a bigger and better location and i went by the new store yesterday and was so excited to find rowan yarns and patterns!! not only that, the LYS lady also carries some beautiful amy butler fabrics! oh i so want to learn how to sew.

perhaps i have expressed my premature opinions on rowan 38 a while back, well, i guess i was wrong! rowan 38 is indeed a very lovely magazine, patterns are interesting, colors are vibrant, and i can not love that gorgeous cover model more! in fact, i'm seriously thinking of making wallis! that thing is definitely a fashion statement!!

wallis from rowan 38
what i have also discovered this week was that i still can not figure the html thing out! i was trying to not have to format my font style every time i create a post by setting the master template, well, turns out that i had messed up something and had to reload the whole template again. as a result, you may now find some posts have smaller fonts and this completely bugs me. hopefully that will be fixed soon. hopefully!!

so i have sent off the sockpal socks mid last week, my sock pal should have gotten that by late last week but still i have not gotten any feedback from her. maybe she hates my socks. or her dog/cat ate them? and i have not received any socks either.**

though i love my secret pals (past and present) but i have also discovered that i don't like this whole secret swap/exchange thing, too much weirdness. though never say never.

but i love SYNO, you know exactly who you are dealing with.

**update: i have heard from both of my sock pals after this entry was posted. now, all is well. i'm relieved, and i can go to sleep now. lesson learned: be a patient knitter.

August 08, 2005

stashing knitting books

so i finally ordered a copy of teva durham's loop d loop!! bliss! i totally love this book. she is one of the greatest knitwear designers in my world, and i'm so happy to see all the inspirational, whimsical designs that would totally make non-knitters envied with drools! here are a couple that will definitely on my knit list:

beautiful princess seam jacket! how elegant and modern is that?

whimsical fair-isle sweater, a must have!!

i have lately become interested in fair-isle and intarsia knitting. i know they are not the most relaxing techniques to work with, but all those shetland knittings are just too beautiful to ignore. felicia's recent posts had certainly add to my growing desire to learn this technique as well. unfortunately i don't have few hundred dollars to spare me some alice starmore's collection. but why are these books so ungodly expensive is completely beyond me. nonetheless, one of these days, i'd love to own this cardigan by jade starmore.

glenalbyn by jade starmore, how pretty!!
i also bought the latest book by nicky epstein, "knitting over the edge". i have not look into it in detail, but it seems to be a great reference book. i am especially interested in the "color" section. she has some great designs and ideas which will be helpful for sure! i have also heard some good things about her earlier book "knitting on the edge", i don't think these two books exhibited much redundancy, so, i may have to add that one to my library on a later date.
reference book from nicky epstein

August 01, 2005

this fall

have you seen the newest rowan magazine? please go take a look and share your thoughts.

why do i feel that without the presence of ms. hargreaves, rowan is becoming a bit weird. well, given that it's monday morning and i'm not caffeine-induced, not exactly the best moment to share one's opinion on a new season's fashion. but, just read it for a laugh!

waited with high anticipation, i was a bit, say, disappointed with the newest rowan. i was hoping to see the patterns and had "wow, what a great idea!" or "that looks just totally fabulous" thoughts in my head, instead of "hmm, haven't i seen this somewhere already" or "this is anthropolgie wannabe". i know at the end of the day, there are only so many ways you can make a sweater, but for a leading magazine, we all expect them to be the bottleneck breaker, eh?

nevertheless, there are still a few designs i'd like to make. mostly from kaffe fassett. brocade, is probably the only design that had caught my attention!! can someone tell me where's the knitwear in this design? i can't see it. i think rowan should also sell the clothes modeled in the magazine, they are sometimes more interesting than the knitwear.

along with this new magazine, RYC also releases their new books for the season. still, above comments can equally applied to these, too. but a tad better. maybe i won't shed off too much moolah to rowan this season. that, my friend, is a good thing.

i may have to start paying more attention to debbie bliss, she might have something interesting this season. or, noro for a change?

May 12, 2005

rowan for trade

i somehow ended up with two copies of rowan 37, and i'm wondering if anyone is up for trade? just leave me your email in the comment and we can discuss details from there.

i'll take yarn, magazine, accessories of equal value. whom i'd like to trade with is entirely up to me. however preference will be given to regular readers.