Sunday, September 21, 2014

Plum Rain

It has been a month since I showed a single finished project.  Now I have 2 sweaters to show.
They were from the same pattern I wrote up.

I'd been showing the first one with photos in progress.  Originally I had the color of beige or sand in mind. Somehow when I looked into my stash, I grabbed the bright, Grasshopper of Madelinetosh Tosh Sport. I knew 3 skeins would not be enough to finish the sweater, but that didn't stop me.

I had 2 choices, buy more and pray the new one would miraculously match these skeins that sat in my possession for 4 years.  Or, I could just add another color to it.

I added Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in dusty pink to complete the body.  The result?  kinda funky but kinda awesome. If I'd seriously planned out my color choices, these two might not be the logical combo. And I love good surprises.

Paul said the dusty pink color was close to skin tone that I looked like wearing a cropped top.  O...K.....  But the body length is actually shorter than my usual designs at 13" from underarm.

I'd mentioned before, I'm not used to hand dyed yarn for sweaters.  So the striation in Tosh Sport seemed a bit much for what I had in mind.  So I decided to knit another in solid color with slightly longer body as well.

There must be something about careful planning and selecting colors that just doesn't jive with me. I picked pale baby pink! I hate wearing baby pink!  Dusty pink is fine, but not baby pink. The yarn was Needful Cara. It's a rather nice yarn, just a terrible color on me, no wonder it sat there in the drawers for 6 years.  And here I was, knitting a whole sweater with the color that would be ghastly on me. My reasoning was I could over dye it.  There was also something crazy going on, I was actually curios about how bad would this baby pink look since I couldn't even remember the last time I wore it.

Yes, it was bad. I simply hated it. It looked like pajamas. Nothing against pajamas, I always lounged around in PJs as soon as I get home. In fact, I have a set of pink old PJs, But it's not for a sweater going outside of the house. So I continued on with over-dyeing. It was a mixture of all Bs, Brown, Black, Blue and Burgundy. It came out not super even, but I absolutely loved it!  It looked like faded, distressed tee shirt. Totally my color!

The style was boat neck, raglan sleeves pullover, with twisted stitches along the sleeves and cable/lace motif that I made up at the cuffs, gentle short rows along the hem to make it slightly longer on the back.

Did I mention how much I love the over-dyed color?

Friday, September 19, 2014


Yesterday, I sent Paul to pick up my package at the post office when he was heading that way.

He came home with the cone of yarn I ordered from Catnip Yarns.

Paul told me the conversation he had with the guy at the post office. It went like something this:

Guy, looking at the package: Hmmm.. from Catnip Yarn.
Paul: Yeah, she knits.
Guy: I sure wouldn't want a sweater made of catnip.  I'd have cats all over me.
Paul: Neither would I.  But with all the cats, it may be really warm.

That's what you get when 2 men who don't knit talk about yarn.  

This morning I woke up from a dream of many cats, many catnip, and many sweaters.  So I just had to draw the guy wearing a catnip sweater.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Welcome, September

Today 2 new patterns: Welcome, September, and September Hat are up.

The prototype were knitted last year, test knit was done in spring, tech editing was done in mid summer.  But they're finally here, just in time for the season change.

I also finished the 2 color sweater I've been showing you.  Just need to take pictures.  I'm quite liking its oddness :)  will post them soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Things Coming Up and Going On

I have some exciting happenings about my designs to report. First, there will be a Soyokaze KAL going on the Amirisu group on Ravelry. It's will start on September 27th.  I will co-host it with Japanese moderator Miyoko. I wish I can speak Japanese, but alas, years of watching Japanese cartoon as a kid did not help. Miyoko will answer Japanese questions, and I'll do my best to answer the English ones.

I'm a bit nervous since I'd never participated in a KAL, let alone hosting one. But I'll do my best to be a good host.

photo from Amirisu magazine

Also, earlier this summer I was contacted by Danielle about a trunk show at Gather DTLA, a local yarn store in downton Los Angeles. This is also another first for me!! The trunk show is up and continues until the end of September. I'm bummed that I'm extra busy at work this semester that I won't have a chance to visit L.A. before the end of the month. But if you happened to be in the area, drop in and check it out. It's a trunk show highlighting my colorwork designs.

To be honest, I feel giddy as well as nervous about both events. I feel like my knitting/design journey is taking me to new places and experiences that I never anticipated, and that is always exciting, like hiking up a new trails.

Friday, September 12, 2014


(photos from Amirisu)

Soyokaze is here, via both Amirisu and Ravelry.
This is the first time I worked with a publisher.

I was simply over the moon when I found out my design proposal would be included in the Fall issue.
I love the direction the magazine is going.  Over a year ago, Megan, (aka thewittyknitter on Ravelry, and a fabulous designer) told me to check out this new online bilingual Japanese/English magazine.  I immediately fell in love with it.

Finally I gathered up courage and submitted my design, and here it is, Soyokaze, it means breeze in Japanese.
A raglan style sweater, with a drapey short cowl neck, graduated cables on front, a small cable on the back waist, and open hem.

I don't know what it is, I simply love cowl neck and funnel neck sweaters.  I wasn't sure if I should've gone with longer and slightly wider neck like Quilting Stitch Pullover or not. I settled with shorter and narrower version than the Quilting Stitch Pullover to match the proportion of this sweater.

The yarn was Cascade Eco Alpaca. It was such a wonderful to work with, soft and adds the drape.

I'm totally honored to be in this issue with so many beautiful designs. If only I have the time, I'd love to knit them all. Check them out here on Ravelry.

Many thanks to my  testers, Mona (Monatraix), Maeve (maeveknits) and Donna (Donner) who so generously helped me with test knit, my tech editor Judy (judyka), and all the sweetest and wonderful people at Amirisu.

Now I just have to knit one for myself in my size.  The sample was knitted one size smaller than my size.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

on my needles, second week of september

added the second color, kinda silly, but why not? 

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Fine Tuesday ... I Know..Today is Monday.

Last Tuesday I published 2 new patterns "A Fine Tuesday" and "Tuesday Hat. They are now both available, at my Ravelry store.

I didn't have a chance to announce the patterns here because it was the first week of school. I was so exhausted from teaching.
On Monday, I came home, ate, and went straight to bed. Tuesday, I published the pattern before I went to work and after I got home, I went straight to bed again.  By Wednesday, I was better.  I actually had a little energy left to stay up for an hour before I went to bed.

Yes, I was super tired, but it was the good kind of tired.  I was exhausted purely from teaching. The Positive Thoughts shawl worked!  (That was my secret plan, to knit coupla shawls and send the positive energy to myself.)  This year, everything is much brighter. Things took a semi-surprising turn few weeks before school began.  For the first time in a very long time at work, I feel there is hope of getting back to normalcy and just concentrate on what I'm supposed to do - teaching.

This weekend I even cast on for a new project. It's gonna be a pullover.
I'm still very undecided on the yarn choice. I think I'd said this before, I prefer solid color over hand dyed yarn for sweaters.  This time I'm using Tosh Sport in grasshopper. It's a bright, and a beautiful color.  I'm just not sure if I like the uneveness of dye that distracts from the stitch design.

The crazy part is I don't have enough yarn for a whole sweater.  The concept is single, solid color for the simplicity of the sweater.  But now I'm using this yarn, and I'm so cheap that I don't really want to buy more, so I'm thinking adding a different color to the bottom of the sweater.  This could be quite a hilarious turnout, we shall see...