Monday, June 22, 2009

Fathom starts his long distance swim to Tennessee

Whew, I'm finished! I couldn't decide whether or not to paint/color his lips, but in the end, I decided not to. Here's the Flicker set of all the photos a snapped if you're interested. And here's just a few if you're not:

Close up of his creepy eyes:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Amazing Parade of Mermaids...

Zan of Wild at Heart Art organized a wonderful doll swap called Under the Sea Swap. Today she posted the Finished works of those participants that sent her images of their completed works. Although mine isn't quite finished, it's prettty darn close, so I snapped and sent her a poorly shot photo from my mobile phone. Take a look at the dolls, they're all so different, but all so very well done.

Sign ups for this swap were a while ago and for some reason (uh, doi's called LIFE) I was waiting for that crafting inspiration to hit me and would allow me to hit the ground running with this swap. Well, it didn't hit until a few nights ago and so, this weekend I'll be putting those final OCD touches on Cynjon's merman. I think I'll name him, Fathom. What do you think of him so far?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


He's got his mention on Boing Boing!

You can obsessively watch ALL of his antics on YouTube.

Here's a little tidbit to get you hooked:

How can you resist his cute little hind legs poking out of the box? i RUV Maru!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

yep, genetic predisposition to all things cute

surfing the craft blogs the other day i came across alleluja's work and then went to her etsy shop to purchase this uterly adorable porcelain cat with a pin stuck in its heart (cute and sick at the same time). gotta love it. she sent me an email that the kitty was sent it off from tokyo japan today. check her work out. it's totally great!

Two more birds have landed in Berkeley

OhThat & Lukenlarry's & birds have joined Avesthel & Amaryllisroze's birds in relocating to Berkeley, California. All four birds are enjoying the temperate climate here and are aquainting themselves with each other.
Thanks gals! I'm waiting for one more bird...

Sabine is OFF hold. Hoping to finish it this weekend!

I'm on the last few rows of the right sleeve on Sabine. I have to review my notes and figure out where I am on the body. It seems long enough when I tried it on, but I don't recall where I am on the pattern with respect to it's increases and decreases. It seems there are more people showing/discussing their issues with the pattern on Ravelry. Maybe theyv'e been there all along, but I'm just noticing them now. View the peeps in process/have completed Sabine for an idea of how varied the results can be on this 'little' sweater. I would have preferred to see the author of the pattern show her garment on a person as opposed to the mannequin. It may show quite a different story.

As fellow Raveler, Susan points out, there seems to be a "new math" with this sweater. I too had/have similar experiences as Susan knitting this up. Although I was getting row gauge the length was all wonky and too short. My fix was to add several rows to lengthen the body and sleeves. Most others are getting or purposely knitting to 3/4 sleeve lengths. I prefer a little below the wrist and added enough to the length to achieve this. I also added stitches so the circumference of the sleeve was a bit bigger as well as omitted the decreases that come before the cuff portion of the pattern. The result is a sleeve that does not bell out as much.

The pattern uses Filatura di Crosa’s Superior (70% cashmere, 30% silk). I find that this yarn results in a fabric that is way too "sticky" to put on. You have to re-adjust and be careful not to pull or break the lace fabric when putting on the sweater. This is just too fussy for me to deal with. I like sweaters one can just throw on and not spend 10 minutes each time adjusting the sleeves and body because it's sticking to the t-shirt underneath. It's not a kind of sweater that can go without something underneath as it's so sheer and lacy. I'm not even sure if I'll wear this when all is said and done. Sure looks good on it's hanger though.

I've been notating my pattern mods and comments in the project notes section on Ravelry and will continue to update it as I finally approach getting this baby off 'er needles!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Birds coming in from all points to roost in Berkeley

I've received two of the five birds so far from my swap partners in the Craftster Handmade Bird Swap I'm currently participating in.

Here's #1 from avesthel (Florida):

Here's #2 from amaryllisroze (StL, Mo):

Thank you both! The birds are wonderful and I've placed them on a display shelf in my living room for all to see.

The next swap

So I decided on my next's the Underwater Sea Swap hosted  by WildAtHeartArt. There are a bunch of amazing artists participating in this swap. To be honest, I'm a bit intimidated and hope I didn't get in over my head, nor will disappoint my swap partner, which is yet to be determined. I believe sign ups are until May 8th, so there's still a few days yet for you to sign up!

Check out the participant's blogs and websites in the righthand column of WildAtHeartArt's site. You will not be disappointed!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Managed to finish ONE knitting project...Almeara Gloves is finally FINISHED!

Well, they're finally done. The knit-a-long group that I did the Jared Flood Almeara Gloves with finished theirs long ago, but I didn't get the right glove finished until last night. Oh well. I'm fairly happy with the way they turned out. I kind of want to rip out the thumbs and do them over as they are a little big around the thumbprint area and the cables look a little wonky for some reason. I modified the palm and instead of garter stitch as the pattern called for, I did stockinette. I prefer the stockinette. I also swapped around some right cables for left and/or vice versa to make the cables have a mirror effect from the left to the right. Now, to change my in progress status to finished in Ravelry!

The birdies have flown the coup

All five birds set off in flight to their various destinations (1-california, 2-ohio, 1-texas & 1-finland) yesterday, April 30. My favorite of the 5 turned out to be Erdos (above). He was the first one I completed too. He's headed on a long flight to Finland! I hope he makes it there OK. All of my swappees received the "green" light, so I got clearance to shoo the birds out of their nest all at the same time. Now that I've successfully completed my first Crafter Swap what should I do next??? I looked on swapdex and found these two swaps that piqued my curiosity:
  1. Under the Sea Swap
  2. Secret Monkey Swap
What do you think? Under the Sea looks a bit intimidating, but I'm up for the challenge. Take a look at all the fabulous participants/artisits that are joining the swap! Whew! The Monkey Swap looks totally fun too. All these swaps are seriously putting a dent in my knitting time...

Friday, April 24, 2009

and then there were five...

I finally finished the five birds for the Handmade Bird Swap I signed up for through Craftster. I made four of them a while ago and for some reason the fifth one took me a few extra weeks to complete. I pretty much used the pattern/tutOWLrial I found online by Moonstitches, but added a few of my own mods like a little pouch/pocket in front of each owl and made a different base for each owl as well. I tried to take in consideration each recipient's likes and dislikes based on the questionaires we were all asked to fill out. Each one was made with different recycled/upcycled materials, different buttons and styles of eyes and wings. The stuffing used is made of bamboo. Initially I was going to construct little softie tree logs to house them in, but then stumbled across bamboo boxes below made by Numi the tea company. The company must have donated them to the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse as they had hundreds of them. I decided to go the easier route and use them instead. I figure my recipients can think of creative reuses for them as well!

Here's hoping my recipients like the birdies and bird stuffs I'm sending along with them. Bye bye birdies! <:

Mindful knitting with the Dalai Lama

Well, I just picked up my three "freebie" tix for two friends and myself from another friend to go see the Dalai Lama tomorrow at UC Berkeley's Greek Theatre. I was planning on bringing my Jared Flood Almeara glove project along, but upon reading the security info on the UC site, I'm not sure if it's such a good idea. I wouldn't want my knitting to be "perceived as weapons" and I'd be pretty bummed if I had to give up my right glove to gain entrance to the event. Here's a pic of the right.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Italy earthquake: 98 year old woman knitted as she waited for rescue

This story has hit every knitting/crochet blog out there, but in case you haven't seen or heard about it here it is a few more times...

There's some question as to whether she was knitting or crocheting and some say a bit of both. It doesn't really matter, I just think it's a great story.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

spoiler alert for handmade bird swapees...don't peek if you want to be surprised

here are four of the five birds i'm sending to my swap pals for the craftster handmade bird swap. each one was created using their color and fiber preferences. hopefully, they'll be happy with what i've made. i added little pocketses and plan on putting little tidbits in each one. we've got until the end of the month and i could keep on obsessing on the additional things i'd like to add to each one, but i really want to send them off asap and not wait until the 11th hour.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

oldie but goodie, the cuppycake song

You're my Honeybunch, Sugarplum
Pumpy-umpy-umpkin, You're my Sweetie Pie
You're my Cuppycake, Gumdrop
Snoogums-Boogums, You're the Apple of my Eye
And I love you so and I want you to know
That I'll always be right here
And I love to sing sweet songs to you
Because you are so dear

I first heard this little girl's voice on an animation of a kitty that looks like a loaf of bread on The domain is no longer but you can find it on YouTube.

Latest haul from the The Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire

I try to make the The Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire held every first Sunday of the month. I just call it the Alameda Flea Market. I've been going on and off for several years now and have found some wonderful things for my home, art/craft supplies, etc. Here's my latest find:

According to this website, it's a 1938 Underwood Universal:
Billed as the new Typemaster portable, the Universal/
Champion line was a popular portable that embodies the latest development in personal writing machines of the late 1930s. Noticeable improvements of the new line include Sealed Action Frame, Champion Keyboard, Dual Touch Tuning as well as an array of features that one would expect to find only in higher priced portable. Available in Charcoal gray or tan matte finish. The early version had metal ring key tops while the later version had improved plastic key tops. (A carrying case with folding stand was also offered at the time as an optional accessory for the line).

Mine has the carrying case and folding stand. It's in excellent shape, but I think I'll still bring it in to Berkeley Typewriter for a tune-up. Isn't she a beaut? I also picked up some vintage french fabrics that I'll use for some of my bird softies. Ok, off to work...


Well, I should be finishing up my Jared Flood gloves, but instead I've started playing around on the old singer sewing machine figuring out what kind of bird(s) to make for the Handmade Bird Swap. I stumbled across Soto Softies blog where she points out a few wonderful bird softie makers in an old post: Ann Wood, Abby Glassenberg (while she naps), and a familiar site...Stephanie Congdon Barnes (little birds).

Wow, do I have a lot to learn regarding construction of softies, let alone creating original works and getting my own style down. I don't wanna go to work...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

when crafters go bad...

on ocassion, i peruse the best of on craigslist. this one had me cracking up:

Lost small crocheted robot

Date: 2009-02-06, 1:23PM PST

I have lost a good friend due to alcohol abuse.

I got blackout drunk at the commodore last weekend (Fri Jan 30) and misplaced a small crocheted robot with a lot of sentimental value.

I need this back.

If you see this doll either laying around or in a crackhead's shopping cart please alert me because I need dexter back.

See the below picture, please hook a sister up.

Text 778.239.6844 if you have any information regarding the whereabouts of dexter.

das vadanya from mr. b :(

Looks like Coraline's Mr. Bobinsky's blog posts have come to an end. He's gone back to Russia with his mice and posted a farewell message. Heavy sigh...:(

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

whimsical little knits arrives in berkeley

Ysolda's hot off the press booklet of patterns arrived from Edinburgh in my mailbox today. Pretty darn fast shipping as I ordered it last week. Thank you Ysolda! I love every pattern in this book and would like to start off by knitting the little slippers pictured first. I discovered her fabulous patterns where else, but on Ravelry and there's even a Ysolda group on Ravelry too.

Friday, March 27, 2009

picture is worth a thousand words

I'm knittin' up Jared Flood's Almeara gloves and on row 31, it calls for p2tog tbl:

Love it. So easy to see what I'm supposed to do! The pattern mentioned that Vogue had an area on their website "Techinique & Abbreviations", but I searched to no avail and don't like to lug around my stitch dictionaries in my library collection. So, I ended up using the trusty dusty Google to come up with the above. Now, onward march...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

knit happenings in berkeley this weekend

with knitsonya in da house and next door a wonderful bakery, sweet adeline !

Monday, March 23, 2009

From Coraline to the Birds

Well that didn't take me long...I found myself another swap-a-roo to join and help me continue on my eternal procrastination quest! It's named the Handmade Bird Swap - Sweat Shoppe Style and it's being hosted by dragonmama on Craftster. Dragonmama noted that this swap was based on one that Creative Kismet hosted back in January of this year. It was called the "Birds of Change Exchange"and like CK's ideas and meaning behind it. Creative Kismet just so happened to be part of the Coraline Mystery Box Swap I'm a part of too. Her box was and is AMAZING, definitely one of my favorites of the lot.

So in this swap we are supposed to make birds in flocks of 5 or 10. I opted for the smaller sized flock which will allow me to spend more time on each bird than if I were to try to crank out 10 of them, sweatshop style. So now I'll be changing my obsession from Coraline to Bird plush/stuffies. Maybe I'll sneak in a Coraline reference or two! 
( : : ) ( : : )

Spring has sprung and it's time for the secret gardens of the east bay tour again...

It's been a few years since I've last gone on this tour, so maybe I'll scrounge up the dough to make it on their self guided tour for 2009. They even have a version of the tour that's on bicycles, called Pedals to Petals. That sounds even better!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Creepy Cute Crocheted Coraline (C^4)

I got my mystery box yesterday. I wasn't able to get my paws on it until well after work. It came from Evalana aka the Rabbit Hutch. Inside the #29, tin box was:

Very cool Evalana. I'd love to put her on the dash of my Matrix, but the sun will likely do a number on her. Maybe I'll put velcro on her bottom and have her on the dash only when I'm driving. Same goes for the little mouse.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Coraline Mystery Swap Box in da house!

I just got off the phone checking in with my SO this afternoon and he mentioned taking in a package delivered to my door. He described to me over the phone and I suspect it's my swap box package. He mentioned it has a sticker or writing that says something like "here we go..." and comes from Connecticut. He knows I've been waiting for a box and has witnessed the evolution of my contribution to the swap since the get go. He's been very supportive of my obsessive crafting endeavors, which is great, especially since I want to do a round 2 if it materializes! :)

On the same note, seems the package I sent has arrived at my pal's local post office and is out for delivery...
Label/Receipt Number: 0306 1070 0004 8319 XXXX
Arrival at Unit-->Status: Arrival at UnitYour item arrived at 8:35 AM on March 18, 2009 in SOMECITY, SOMESTATE.
Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later.

-later-Status: Delivered

Your item was delivered at 1:10 PM on March 18, 2009 in SOMECITY, SOMESTATE.

I've still got a few hours until I'll able to open the box. Very excited though...stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Swap Withdrawal

I'm still mourning over the the loss of my Coraline...well, not really, I am eagerly awaiting my recipients reaction to her box. I do however feel some sort of loss. I guess, what I am jonesin' for is to find another crafty venture that will give me the same buzz as this one did . I found this new-ish blog called Swap Dex and seems to be a pretty comprehensive listing of swaps. I perused the current swap listings, but nothing really grabbed me. When I stumbled across the Coraline Mystery Box Swap, it was a no brainer, I HAD to join this swap. I even signed up within the first minute my little mochi was accepting requests to join!

When posting my competed Coraline doll to the site, I discovered something called poppets. OMG! these dolls are amazing and seem to be the brainchild of ghilie. Check out a few of the poppets that have been made by craftsters since 2007. These have become quite the phenomenon over at Craftster. This just may be the next swap I was looking for! nezbutt, just hosted (still in progress) a poppet swap, but sign ups were in January. Here's hoping there will be an I love my poppet swap round 4! Check out her amazing dolls on her blog as well as the steampunk one (above) she sent to her uber lucky swap pal!!! I guess it's true...Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. I am now a "friend of craftster" and have PM'd and have received ghilie's poppet pattern. Thank you ghilie!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Let the recipients posting to the Coraline Mystery Box Swap group begin!

Like many other participants, I sent off my box to my Coraline Mystery Box Swap pal today (the deadline). I started this project as soon as I was accepted, but for some reason, the last bits and pieces didn't get finished until yesterday. I stood in a short line for a very long time. In classic post office inefficiency, the clerk seemed to have difficulty operating the machine that kicks out the postage and/or count stamps for those ahead of me and basically move at a snails pace. Good thing I wasn't in a rush, but boy oh boy, he did annoy most others waiting in line. By the time it was my turn, I figured it would take him at least 10 minutes to process my package. After requesting it be sent PRIORITY and was told the postage came to $8.75, I handed him a $10. The poor guy had to use a handheld calculator to figure out how much change he had to give me! Anyways, it's OFF. My box is on it's way across the United States. It should arrive in _______, _______ in two days. I sure do hope you like your box my Coraline Mystery Box Pal!!!

This swap was/is so much fun. I have never participated in something like this before. The only other swap I have participated in, consisted of assembling Altoid-like tins and some schwag for a Ravelry group, but this was so much more creative and fun! I loved making my version of the Coraline doll and learned quite a bit about constructing such things. This was my first attempt at making a doll/stuffie/plush from scratch. Participants got to post their works in progress on a Coraline Mystery Box Swap group on Flickr and it was so exciting to see others participants works. Wow, there are some amazingly talented people in this group. As a result, I went in and out of feeling quite happy about my project to very inadequate and self conscious with regards to my crafting skills. I know I should just let it go, but I guess that's just the way I am. Anyways, I am very excited to see what others post on the group site now. I've been visiting it several times a day just to see what new photos have been uploaded. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

I think I frickin' won a pair of Custom Coraline Nike Dunks!

I entered the Coraline Nike Dunks Giveaway (click on the red-orange drawer underneath the squid in the right corner of the room) and totally forgot about it until I opened this email in my inbox. Here's hoping it's not a hoax/spam.

Dear xxxx xxx,
Congratulations! You have been selected to receive a prize in the Coraline Nike Dunks Giveaway, administered by ePrize.

You have been selected as the winner of one (1) pair of Custom Coraline Nike Dunk tennis shoes (size determined by shoe size requested during entry or random drawing )! Please see the Official Rules for further prize details and eligibility requirements. Your win has been recorded and is subject to verification. Once we have verified your eligibility, you will receive your prize 8-10 weeks after promotion conclusion. It will be sent to the address you provided. The promotion ends on March 01, 2009.

No further action is required on your part. Should we need additional information from you, we will contact you at this email address.

For a complete set of Rules for this promotion, please click here.
Please refer to them for any questions you may have. Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Prize Fulfillment Services by replying to this email. Please be sure to keep the original subject line.

Congratulations again.
Prize Fulfillment Services

addison studio sale

I LOVE these people and their store!

Addison Studio Sale all sorts of vintage and antique craft materials you can go bonkers over! See you there?!

WIP: Coraline doll (she's done!)

WIP: Coraline doll (she's done!)
Originally uploaded by purlgurl

I've finally finished my first doll-plush-stuffie from scratch. I've made ones in the past but generally started out with a sock. Her head, body, arms and legs were all fashioned separately. I did this to have a floppy doll look and originally, her legs were going to be "buttoned" on similar to the arms, but I ended up stitching them in in the end.

The details on her face were embroidered (if you can call it that) and the lips and rosey cheeks with acrylic paints. Her hair is individual strands of yarn that were placed one by one and then trimmed. She has a dragon fly hair clip that was fashioned out of a button and I used part of her hair that I wanted to tie back to make the Coraline hair swoop happen. I finished off the dragon fly with some rhinestones to mimic the one from the film.

Coraline's sweater is hand knit using Cascade 220 wool and size 1 needles. Her skirt was fashioned from some silk like black fabric with an elastic waste. Her raincoat and boots are constructed from XL size yellow rubber gloves with clasp fastener for the front attached with yellow buttons. The boots were formed by using the fingers of the yellow rubber gloves.

I sure hope my swap pal likes it. :) I certainly do.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

HANDMADE NATION debuts in SF tomorrow night

and I want to go! Anyone else game? Doors @ Mezzanine opens at 7pm, show is at 7:30. We can go by BART and get off at the Powell Street station. Here's the link to the movie's site

WIP: coraline mystery box swap box #35

WIP: coraline mystery box swap box #35
Originally uploaded by purlgurl

Coming to the end of the Coraline Mystery Swap. I'll be able to concentrate on my other crafty endeavors again, including finally finishing Sabine. This swap has inspired me to do more swaps and get into making softies. I just stumbled across this one and it was so damn inviting I had to join. Seems I'm late in the joining the bandwagon as usual as it appears to be quite a phenomena. Soon I'll just be able to kick back and view the works that the other swappers have put together. Many have not uploaded any of their WIPs. I'm wondering if I should have held back a few images and left it to the surprise of my recipient. Oh, well...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Almost finished with my Coraline Mystery Box Swap project

I'm very pleased with the Coraline doll I'm making for the swap and all her clothing and have posted several of the WIP pics at the group's flickr site. I will be hard pressed to send the box and it's contents off, but very excited to see how it's received by it's OTHER owner. I'll likely send it off on Friday or Monday (the deadline) next week.

I'm documenting my process, but I'm going to hold back a few details so the recipient can be "slightly" surprised as to the contents of the box.

Things to do:
  • finishing details on the box (off to ace hardware for some bits and pieces) DONE

  • shoe laces on coraline's yellow boots

  • button(s) on raincoat

  • documentation as per swap specifications DONE

  • send her off to _________________ in ______________

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

cool things to do with the silk hankies i picked up at stitches west

initially i planned on just pulling apart the hankies i got from stitches west this past weekend and knit off the drafted silk without spinning it first, since i do not own a spinning wheel. but upon doing some searches, i found instructions on knitty on spinning hankies using a drop spindle.

i also found this site about silkworms and shows the process of making a silk hankie. apparently each hankie is made from ONE cocoon! it's kinda gross, but totally amazing at the same time. here's an image from worm spit's site showing a cocoon being opened and the bug being prepped for removal.

so beautiful, i couldn't resist...besides, it's been raining like crazy around here

a few weeks ago, i saw a woman walking up solano avenue with one of these beautiful umbrellas. we both stopped at a crosswalk and i asked her where she got it. she said atomic garden. it just so happened that i needed to be in the hood later that week as i had a triathlon meeting to go to on college. it turned out that they pretty much sold out of these umbrellas. they had one left, but no price tag on it. the store keeper was going to call me back with the info later on that weekend. in the meantime, i got one online and for quite a bit less too. i kinda wish i held out for their spring line. they've got one for rain or shine now.

Monday, March 2, 2009

stitch 'n ride to stitches west

my friend and i walked from my house to the berkeley (near 4th street) train station. the train was to arrive at 9:22, but it was after 10am before we were on the train. according to the director of the capitol corridor service, there were about 500 stitchers on the train. up by a few hundred from last year! wowzers. we got a bag full of coupons for vendors and various adverts along with the shwag items pictured here. when we arrived at the station, there were several buses waiting to take the stitchers to stitches west, but we weren't able to catch the first run of buses and decided to walk the 10 minute walk to the convention center. the weather was beautiful, so i didn't mind it at all. we did however, take the bus back as we were pretty tired after 3 hours of walking around the market shopping.

as it was my 4th year going, i decided not to buy any yarn. my first stop was to pick up my copy of handknit heroes and to get it signed by stephanie. woot woot!, she was signing away when i arrived at booth #97. i love it stephanie, i'll be signing up for a subscription now too!

i later picked up these hanks/hankys(not sure of the terminology) of unspun silk that can be teased apart and knitted together. i plan on making a lace scarf with it. on the search for an apropriate lace pattern. i purchased them from royale hare. i also got two cocoons that are generally unwound and the threads are then turned into the silk hanks like the ones here, dyed and turned into yarn/woven fabric. a search online brought me to to this site, and now i kind of wish i didn't buy it. :( i guess if i really wanted to be good, i wouldn't even knit at all eh? <>.
at some point in the blur of stitches west, i discovered the beautiful works of marion, in which the artist, self describes her work as "a blend of fiber techniques and jewelry technology." Check out her site, her stuff is beautiful. i picked up one of her kumuhimo boards to make small lanyards. fancy friendship bracelets. she completely sold out of her kits by saturday, but she sells the supplies and kits on her website too. i thought it would be fun to give it a try.

one of my last stops before popping back on the bus to return to the station was the button lady's stall. she had a wonderful english victorian antique belt for sale. i ended up getting it along with a few shell buttons and a shell belt buckle.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

on my way out the door to catch the stitch 'n ride train to stitches west!

woot! woot! i'm hoping to pick up a copy of Handknit Hereos a graphic novel about knitting by Mortaine. it would be great if i could get her to sign it too. here i go...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

my lil' old singer machine

this singer sewing machine was purchased off craigslist a few years ago. i bought it off a japanese american family in the Sunset area of San Francisco selling their mother's things as they moved her into a care facility. the mother sewed all of her children's clothing on this machine and had it since it was new in the mid-1950s. her kids were now well into their 50s. i felt a little bad that i was getting something with so much history, but i did let the woman know that i planned on taking very good care of the machine and appreciated that it had been well used and cared for.

i recalled that you could look up info on the Singer site if you had the serial number of your machine. mine is AL622481 and has "15-" printed on the base of the unit. It sits in it's own wooden stand/table with a pull out drawer for bobbins and such and even came with a stool in which the top comes off to store larger items, e.g. button hole making attachments.

Machine Serial No: AL622481
Year of Issue: 1953
Prefix Manufacture Locations: AA to AT - Elizabeth, New Jersey USA

I also clicked on their PDF to find out more: AL- 575941 625940 15 50000 November 20 1953

50k represents "amount alotted" and "15" represents the "model number". Seems that my model is not as rare as some of the others. Oh well, it's a work horse and I still love it and it's helping me create my coraline button eyed doll for it's sewing debut.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

making progress on the coraline button eyed doll

i've been going to tomopop's post on the mystery box he rec'd. it consists of THE coraline button eyed doll. i've been going through all the pics to get inspiration and guidance on what to include on the one i'm making. the hair is slowly being added to the head. one strand at a time. i thought of using needle noodle's technique of attaching hair, but later decided to go back to my 'ol one strand (really two, because i double it) at a time method. it's a cool technique though and i'll definitely try to use it on another project. hopefully i can make the rubber gloves into a workable rain slicker. the prototype i sewed up this evening is too small, but it showed me that it can work. i just get a kick out of fact that i'd be making them out of yellow rubber gloves. i'm hoping to make the yellow rain boots out of them too. we shall see...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

had a productive crafting weekend

  • finished one knitted cap for the chemo cap drive next weekend.
  • got well into the project i'm making for the coraline mystery box swap. i'll post the pics tomorrow. i'm very pleased with the way it's turning out. i'm going to have a hard time letting go of it and actually send it to the person i've been assigned to. i do hope she likes LOVES it.
  • used my old singer (new to me) for the first time. i bought it off craigslist a while back.

well, off to bed...i'm knackered.

just back from seeing the 10am show of coraline [again]

i almost got back on BART to go see the art of coraline exhibit again too! the show ends today. only 4 more hours and then it's gone...[sigh] that film is just too amazing. i wanted to see it again with a friend, who otherwise wouldn't have gone to see the movie. she was blown away and i had fun telling her all the little bits of info that i've discovered about the film, book, etc over the past few months. it has consumed just a bit too much of my time these days ;)

i got a few more ideas on what i'm going to make for my swap match up over at my little mochi

so far, i've got

  • the box. i've had this vintage box for years that will be perfect for the project. it's wood and the top slides back and forth. i'm thinking it may be from japan as i have two others, one with japanese characters on it. this one does not.
  • i picked up a round metal disk that has a "c" painted on it to use somewhere on the box. maybe i'll put the "c" in the middle and paint the scroll work on each side of it to mimick the one in the movie. it's a toybox found in coraline's "other" bedroom at the base of her bed.
  • i plan on writing up Wybie's note that was attached to the wrapped up doll of Coraline, but change " Hey Jonesie" to "Hey [swap match participant's name]" and the rest of the note: Look what I found in Gramma's trunk, look familar? WybiE [maybe insert PurlgurL instead].

now, i better get crackin' there's only 2 or so weeks before it needs to be sent in the mail to my recipient!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

putting sabine on hold...

i can't believe we're already almost finished with this month! i had planned in finishing sabine long ago, but with yarn breakage issues, altering the pattern, know how that goes. in any case, i want to be able to knit up atleast one cap for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society cap drive during the stitch 'n ride event next saturday. the train is headed to stitches west 2009. i have signed up for classes in the past, but this time i decided i'd just do the market and for the first time, take the amtrak train designated for stitches west goers only as far as i can tell. i'm picking up the train in berkeley, near 4th street and plan on walking there from my home nearby.

tahoe or craft

i was planning on hitting tahoe this weekend, since we've had such an abundance of rain down here and snow up there. another storm is coming in tomorrow. alas, it didn't happen, so i'm planning on filling it up with craft projects planned and unfinished.

i was just assigned my pal from a totally cool coraline mystery box swap. i'm not sure if we're allowed to blog on the process before we ship our goods to our assigned pal, so i've emailed the organizer asking if it's ok to do so.

ok, i'm now running on reserve power, so i'm going to hit "publish post" and get ready to start my crafting weekend! woot!

Monday, February 16, 2009

this is what happens when you're frustrated with your knitting project...

you move onto another craft!

24g sterling 1/2 hard wire wrapped necklace with aquamarine facetted rondels 16" long. i bought a strand of these at baubles and beads during their 30% off pearls and stones sale. i still thought it was a bit spendy at $50 for the strand, but now realize that i can make 4-5 more just like this one, so the cost per piece isn't so bad. sorry for the out of focus shots. my camera doesn't zoom up close.

another great coraline site

I found this site at some point and it's got to be the best resource for all things Coraline that I have found to date. I'm hoping to add myself to the Coraline Mystery Box Swap that My Little Mochi is organizing. I've already started making little notes in my craft journal with ideas and sketching ideas for the swap. i'll have to switch my crafting gear from knitting to...??? :)

So I guess I'll be movin' my posts over to pgk2

i've been trying to get ravelry to pick up my rss feed from for almost a year now. it appears that their interface doesn't like underscores. i worked with different ravelry support and they just kept pointing me to the rss url i needed to embed in my profile. i told them that i had tried the atom feed one:
as well as the the usual rss one: and neither worked in ravelry. i asked their chat support if it might be due to the underscore in my url. she said that it could, but they hadn't tested for it.

excerpt from chat session:

We've run across a few here and there that have never worked and Casey doesn't have an explanation as to why

do they have underscores in their blog url?

he doesn't understand why it's not worked for some folks either
that might be a possible glitch
tho we've never tested that theory to prove or disprove

yeah i was going to set up another blog to test

LEt us know if it makes a difference if you do

Well it does...the feed is working now. I'm just bummed that purlgurlknits was already taken, but purlgurlknits2 has it's own little nuances that i'm pretty pleased with :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

yay! i'm going to see coraline on this dreary rainy day!!!

Coraline in 3D 7:30 show at the local AMC. I'll be sportin' my Coraline button skeleton key too! Unlike bibliogrl's find on the side of an abandoned building in Chicago, I opted for the quick, gotta have it now option...eBay. Seems their campaign included stapling, hanging, attaching these wonderful keys in cities like SF, Chicago and New York. So cool!

Here's a close up of the key similar to the one I got

I'm going to see the Art of Coraline at the Cartoon Art Museum in SF on Friday too. I just arranged to have the day off. Woot!

Here's some pics that someone took of the exhibit on flickr.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

excuse me while i obsess with all things coraline for the moment

koumpounphobe, huh, now that's a new word for me. i suspect i'll develop become one after seeing coraline. their website is awesome. i tried to see the movie this past weekend, but the show that i came for and the next showing were already sold out by the time i got there.

initially when i visited the site a few months ago, you had to put in secret codes that you'd find posted on various blogs/sites to view the gorgeous flash shorts that they made to promote the film. now you can just hunt around the site and discover/wander to all these very cool areas of their site. i've already spent hours there, having my tea leaves read, putting button eyes on myself and my cat...

a few months back, these "mystery boxes" started arriving at various bloggers doorsteps. once again, i spent hours and hours stumbling about the web searching each site to view the contents of each box. oh, wow, each one is such a prize! several of the knitting blogs and sites i frequent received mystery boxes of their own (wendy knits,, ravelry! a few recipients and other bloggers have tried to "round up" and post info/images about each box that has surfaced. from what i can tell, ASIFA-Hollywood's, Animation Archive is the most complete.

these guys are not only amazing artists and visionaries, but their marketing is genius! they've got viral marketing down to a "V" or however the saying goes.

i absolutely love the fact that this film is full of handcrafted work and talent and that there is even teeny tiny hand knitted goods adorning the characters by none other than Althea Crome.

so now i'm planning on skipping a day of work to go to the last few days of "the art of coraline exhibit" at the Cartoon Art Museum in SF. i stumbled across it as a result of going to all these blogs/sites that had any sort of mention of "coraline". the exhibit's last day is sunday the 15th.