Upcycled PJs

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Upcycle sewing projects are so fun. This kaftan wasn’t my style but I loved the fabric. The length was perfect for pajama bottoms. I used an existing pair of PJs as a template.

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After sewing together the four pieces I put in an elastic waistband. The bottom of the pants were the bottom of the kaftan so the hem was already in place.

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They fit and feel great! Next up were PJs for Josh.

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I hemmed this fun PJ set for Josh and put in a new elastic waistband. The fabric is super soft and warm.

Next up is turning a robe into a purse. I’m on an upcycle roll!

Elf Booties

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I’ve wanted to make these booties for years. They’re a free Ravelry download and an enjoyable pattern.

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After felting I sewed non-slip suede bottoms to keep them extra warm. Now Josh and I have elf booties to keep our feet toasty this New England winter!

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One pair of booties took two wash cycles to felt while the other took three. Lamb’s Pride consistently felts well and Noro just felts up beautifully.

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Living abroad meant I had to downsize my needle collection so I didn’t have 6.5mm double pointed needles needed to make gauge. I decided to treat myself and bought these wooden metal tipped needles. They are a joy to work with.

Last month my friend Helen came to visit! She took us to an art and protest parade and we took her on a tour of Harvard. One huge perk of being Stateside again is seeing old friends.

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Name: Elf Booties
Pattern Source: Ravelry
Craft: Knitting, Felting
Yarn: Noro Kureyon, Lamb’s Pride Worsted
Needle Size: US 10.5/6.5 mm
Size: Custom

Birthday Knucks

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Josh and I have spent the summer and fall back in the States visiting friends and family. These Knucks were made for his sister’s birthday. They fit her great and now that the weather is cooler she wears them often.

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The yarn is from Josh’s wonderful gift of yarns he brought me back from Norway and Iceland. The pattern is Knucks from Knitty and may be the pattern I’ve knit most.

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Fingerless gloves make a great gift and don’t take too long to knit up.

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Name: Birthday Knucks
Pattern Source: Knucks
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Trysil Garn Labbetuss Raggegarn
Needle Size: US 4/3.5 mm
Size: Women

Lotus Flowers

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Now that we’re back in the States I have time to knit again. My long term lotus flowers project reached a milestone. I’ve completed knitting the petals and have 149. Next up will be finding a lotus leaf pattern. I may tweak an existing pattern, much like I did with the petals.

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Eventually I’ll sew these all together in various groupings and they’ll float on a blue knit afghan. But first I’m working through my knitting stash. The yarn I currently have traveled with me to and back from Taiwan! This lotus project was inspired by the beautiful lotus ponds I frequently saw there.

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One thing I missed while overseas was having a full sized oven. I’m back to gluten free baking. The above chocolate chip cherry biscottis were delicious.

Formosa Moon Year Anniversary!

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since Josh and I’s book Formosa Moon was published. Ever the faster blogger, Josh has already written up an anniversary post here.

In honor of Formosa Moon’s 1-year anniversary, we’re asking friends and readers in and out of Taiwan – to a little support behind the book, its authors, our publisher Things Asian Press, and of course, Taiwan. How can you help? Do read on!

Buy Formosa Moon:

If you haven’t already read Formosa Moon, go out and buy a copy from Amazon, Powell’s, or some other fine retailer.

Even if you’ve already read Formosa Moon, why not buy a copy for one of your pals who’s thinking of traveling abroad? It’s a great way to entice them to visit (and maybe even live in) Taiwan.

Review Formosa Moon:

If you have read Formosa Moon (or feel as if you have an intuitive grasp of the book from having followed our escapades online…who are we to judge, being as much a part of the information economy as anyone else), go and write up a review at Amazon, Powells or GoodReads (though at this point, a verified review on our Amazon page helps out the most.

Other ways to help:

Know someone who writes/reports on Taiwan/Asian news? Let them know about Formosa Moon.

Feel like introducing your favorite US Congressperson or Senator to Taiwan? Send them a copy of Formosa Moon! (Ted Cruz has a copy! Shouldn’t Bernie Sanders have one too?)

Are you a member of a book club? Suggest Formosa Moon as your next book.

Active on social media? Post a photo of yourself with Formosa Moon in front of something interesting on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #FormosaMoon #Taiwan.

Like Travel in Taiwan itself, the possibilities are endless.

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As for the authors, Josh and I recently attended Boston’s TECO anniversary party for the National Day for the Republic of China (Taiwan). A write up of the event can be read here.

Game Bags!

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Over winter break I got some much needed time with my sewing machine. Josh and I brought our game Splendor with us to Taiwan and it has been living in his razor bag. It was functional but decidedly not cute, so I decided to turn some fabric from my stash into a cute game bag.

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Since all the Splendor pieces fit so well in the razor bag I modeled the new bag off its dimensions.

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The game has a theme of trade and travel so I chose this leftover wave fabric to represent traveling across the ocean.

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My friend Colleen is awesome and sent me a care package when I was feeling particularly homesick! It was an incredible gift which included a fancy seam ripper and Chickapig, a board game popularized by my beloved Dave Matthews.

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The box design is cute but not great for travel so I decided to make more game bags. Once the board folds up it’s pretty compact. There are a lot of small pieces though so I made a couple of smaller bags and put in velcro closures to ensure nothing fell out.

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There’s enough room in the largest bag to hold the smaller two, making a great traveling case.

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The game has daisy cards which are beneficial so I chose this leftover fabric from my sewing machine cover to reflect them.