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Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung

handsomefibers

Review: Knitter's Pride Magma Pattern Holder

ReviewsJean ChungComment
Knitting away on my Aidez using the pattern holder. I don't know how I lived without it until now.

Knitting away on my Aidez using the pattern holder. I don't know how I lived without it until now.

You can start learning to knit with relatively small investment (cheap yarn and appropriately sized needles), but once you start getting into it, you realize there are a lot of places to spend your money on. 

And I'm not just talking about fancy needles or super expensive yarn, but even with accessories like yarn bowls, needle holders, bags, row counters... the possibilities are endless!

Out of the packaging. Nice and shiny.

Out of the packaging. Nice and shiny.

A couple of weeks ago during the Black Friday sales, I ordered this Knitter's Pride Magma Pattern Holder, after wanting one of these for ages. There are several other options, like Knit Picks, or more handmade ones from Etsy, but I wasn't sure how much I would actually get to use a chart holder, so I wanted to get a relatively low-end cost one first. After all, I lasted all these years with just post-it notes and pens. 

KPMagma3

When opened, the pattern holder is pretty simple. It has 3 small magnets and 1 long magnet strip, along with a pen. The three metal magnets are super strong, and they can hold through pages and pages of patterns pretty well.

Strap can be useful if you're using the chart holder in the upright position.

Strap can be useful if you're using the chart holder in the upright position.

If I decide to order another one, I'm going to look for a bigger chart holder. Considering most charts are printed in the portrait format, I found the most comfortable way to use it was to lay it down on the table instead of propping it up in the upright position. I first thought that the pattern holder will stay up by itself, but as time went by it slowly flattened. I figured out a quick fix by propping it up with a big eraser behind the holder. 

KPMagma6

I started on this Aidez cardigan project a couple of days ago, and this pattern holder has been a lifesaver! Aidez has a repeating cable pattern, and although it is pretty intuitive after a while, it definitely helps to mark where I am in the chart. Stopping in the middle of the pattern repeat and coming back to it after a break has been NO PROBLEM because the magnet strip does not budge. I have used post-it notes before but they lose their stickiness after a while and tend to fall away if I wasn't careful. But this way I know I can let the project hibernate for few days without forgetting where I was in the pattern repeat.

The complimentary pen.

The complimentary pen.

Oh and the pen! You might think it's weird for me to do a review on a complimentary pen, but I was really surprised when I first used it. I was in a coffee shop when I realized I forgot to bring a pen to make notes on my pattern. Then I spotted this pen in the pattern holder and thought, what the heck, better than nothing. But this pen has very thin tip, which I LOVE, and it's a gel ink type that writes really really smoothly. The outside appearance looks a little cheap but don't be fooled by its cover!

KPMagma8

 

I paid about $16 ($19.99 on Handsome Fibers, with Black Friday special coupon) which was very reasonable. I hope you give it a try if you've been thinking about getting one like me, or need something to give to your favorite knitter friend. :)

Disclaimer: I personally purchased this product myself. I was not paid, compensated, contracted, or otherwise obligated to write this review.

Life Things: Black Friday Haul & Last Trimester!

Life ThingsJean ChungComment

So finally, the 3rd and the LAST trimester is starting.

I'm doing really well! So far, I don't have any leg cramps, no backache, no swelling, no other real symptoms to speak of.. My energy level is a little lower than pre-pregnancy now but I can still do 1-hour ballet class with no problem. 

In the last week or so, my belly finally started growing! I'm still at the same weight since Wk 24~25, and those jeans are still the same J Brand jeans I bought 2 weeks before I found out I was pregnant. Because my belly is growing higher up in the belly button area, I can still comfortably wear my jeans. 

I am feeling very smug about that. And half seriously and half jokingly telling myself that I'm saving money for more sock yarns by not needing to buy maternity clothes :P

Speaking of which, BLACK FRIDAY HAUL.

We just had Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago in the U.S., and throughout the week, a lot of stores, including small businesses and indie dyers had a lot of good Thanksgiving sale deals.

My first #DestashChallenge reward: Yarn Ink's Sock yarn in "Love in an Elevator" colorway.

My first #DestashChallenge reward: Yarn Ink's Sock yarn in "Love in an Elevator" colorway.

This beauty is from Yarn Ink on Etsy, based in Calgary, Canada. I love all of the colorways Elysia dyes up for her shop. It finally arrived yesterday! I say finally only because I have been waiting since the day I ordered it. It took just 6 business days from Order to Receive. 

New tote bag from the Plucky Knitter!

New tote bag from the Plucky Knitter!

I have a few skeins of yarns from the Plucky Knitter and follow her works.. For Thanksgiving, the blog had some shop updates, but what really grabbed my shopping antenna was this tote with their new logo! 

California just passed the law that bans the use of plastic bags from the grocery markets, so I have been collecting any tote bags for grocery shopping lately. So a lot of spare ones that I used to use as my project bags have gone to the shopping purposes. This one is definitely going to be my favorite project bag! It's quite roomy and I love the lightness of it.

3 sets of Knitter's Pride Dreamz DPNs in Szs 0, 1, and 1.5; and Knitter's Pride Magma Pattern Holder

3 sets of Knitter's Pride Dreamz DPNs in Szs 0, 1, and 1.5; and Knitter's Pride Magma Pattern Holder

 

I have talked about Handsome Fibers several times now on this blog. They also had a Thanksgiving sale, so I stayed up at midnight to order these. I recently discovered the beauty of working with DPNs without breaking them, so I ordered more! 

Then I saw this pattern holder. I never needed one but recently I have been knitting more in public again, and felt like I needed something to carry my charts and patterns. This also kind of hides my knitting from curious lookers so I don't get asked too many questions in public. :P I don't mind knitting in public; I just dislike it when people ask too many questions and comment on my knitting. I just want to be in peace!

The last thing I ordered was from Woolery. Their Black Friday started on Friday midnight, but they are on the Central Time zone, so I didn't have to stay up too late. I needed an extra bobbin for my Ladybug wheel, and as one of the first 100 customers, I also got a free bottle of Fiber Rinse! 

Because of my current #DestashChallenge, I didn't go too crazy with all the irresistible holiday sales but still scored some nice deals on the things I really love. 

In My Shopping Cart: Black Friday deals from Yarny Vendors

In My Shopping CartJean ChungComment

The Woolery

I bought my first spinning wheel from The Woolery, so obviously I love them and I always try to see what they have in stock. They're having Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals on gift certificates and first 100 visitors on Friday are getting a fiber wash!

Craftsy

Craftsy is a great online tool to learn a new craft or pick up new tricks and skills. Once you purchase a class, you can repeat taking the class forever, and they have really famous designers and teachers that you probably have heard of already. They're having sales on classes and craft supplies this Friday!

Knit Picks

Knit Picks is always a great place to stock up on your stash during the holiday season because they always have good sales on books and yarns as well as knitting tools. 

An exciting news is that for just this season, they're bringing back Felici self-striping sock yarn! 

Handsome Fibers

One of my favorite online knitting shops is having a Thanksgiving sale! They haven't revealed the details yet so sign up for their newsletter

Jimmy Beans Wool

Another great online LYS :) JBW has put together 2014 Thanksgiving Feast Gift Box

MarlyBird List

A lot of independent designers and Etsy shop owners are doing Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, and MarlyBird has put together a guide! Some of my favorite designers are having sales so be sure to check it out. The list is being updated on an ongoing basis until Friday. 

Interweave Sale (My patterns too!)

Everything in the Interweave Store is on 50% sale now! This means my Lost Garden Tee, Beverly Tee, and Austin Tee are all on sale!

Patchwork Santa Ana: November 30, in Downtown Santa Ana. 2nd Street x Sycamore.

This is a popular craft fair, I think just in California. They do shows in Oakland, Long Beach, and Santa Ana twice a year. I don't usually buy a lot from the show but it's a great place to be inspired and get some small gifts for Christmas. :)