Knitting: Nourishment for my soul

If you haven’t noticed already, this is my knitting blog — I talk about my work, my trips, and life in general, but this is mostly for my knitwear designs and other things I create.

Knitting is how I nourish my soul. When I picked up knitting again in 2007, I was looking for something fun, something I can focus on, besides school. In a way, my stressful law school days made me crave something cozy and fluffly and colorful.

When I first got published in 2011, I started seeing knitting in a different light. It was no longer just a hobby. It was love! Deep down, I knew that I would never feel alive without my knitting.

Why do I knit? you ask. After all, the world is literally littered with cheap, affordable clothing and accessories.

But handmade clothes are different.

Whenever practically possible, I use natural fibers and the possibilities are endless — any combination of: cotton, shetland, merino, cashmere, qiviut, yak, bamboo, banana, seaweed, silk… Even when I create things for children or activewear, I choose materials of high quality and NOT made in China (or any other countries with a long history of deliberately violating human rights and consumer protection laws). This is why I make a point to tell my customers where my yarn is made from on my Etsy shop, even though the U.S. law only requires me to note “Made in USA with Imported Materials.”

It’s the least I could do as a small, indie designer. Someday, I would love to scout for a mill myself and go right to the source.

Knowing that what I’m wearing is as cruelty free as possible, makes my heart sing with joy every time I walk into my closet.

Some old-fashion things never go out of style. Books will still be loved by book lovers; newspaper will still be there even though we do get news from online sources; hand-written cards will always have that special touch that emails can’t replace. In fact, my theory is, the more technologically advanced the human race becomes, the more we will crave ‘the natural way’ Handmade/handknit clothing are the same way. A piece of us ache for the warmth and uniqueness of the threads a human being stitched on carefully and expertly.

TNNA brief

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TNNA’s very first show in 2014 was in sunny San Diego. The Convention Center is located in the Historic Gaslamp District and it was a really good getaway weekend, full of knitting and chatting and shopping. Not much sleeping though.
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I hung out mostly at the Crafty Diversions booth.

Crafty Diversions Booth

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Anne was one of the designers I enjoyed working with as a sample knitter while I was in law school. A couple of her earlier works even has my pictures wearing her designs as I modeled for her too, as we live pretty close to each other in Orange County.

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When I first got there, the artist was still working on it, and I had no idea this was what she was doing. On Day 2 of the show, I finally saw the finished product and was blown away!

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This place, Lion Coffee, is a bit farther away from the Convention Center and Gaslamp District, but it was so worth it. I had to be up early for my 8 o’clock class and I didn’t know any coffee places that were open in the area. I Yelp’ed and this place came up. I got a large caramel macchiato, and an Acai Bowl, which is a delicious combination of strawberries, banana, granola, and blended frozen acai, finished with honey drizzeled all over. YUMMY~

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Shot during my Sunday morning class, “Joy of Finishing.” I was the only designer, the rest of the class were shop owners. I was a little bit disappointed as I didn’t really get to learn anything truly new. There were some tips I picked up, but the techniques themselves weren’t new to me.

By the way, the weather was really weird! You’d think: Hey, Sunny ACalifornia. But this was shot Sunday morning. It was cold and foggy.

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At least it cleared up the next day.
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I stayed at Omni Hotel and they brought me a glass of OJ and apple every morning!

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My room. I kind of really liked the room, and felt a little bit sad leaving it on Monday.

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I don’t have that many shots of the exhibit hall as this was my 3rd TNNA show and was more interested in talking to people than taking pictures of it :P

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So while hanging out with Anne in her booth, I learned to STEEK. I’ve always wanted to try it, and had seen a lot of tutorials on it but never really tried it in real life. Anne kindly took the time to explain the easiest way to do it and that’s the end result. Will I use it in my next design…??? PERHAPS.

Day 2 was very long. After the show, Anne, Stephanie (of Sunset Cat Designs), Pam (of Pam Powers Knits), and I went out for dinner/happy hour then dessert at this gelato place, Chocolat.

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All in all, it was a great show. I picked up some yarns and fibers from SweetGeorgia and Anzula, and needles from HiyaHiya, as well as some tools from other vendors.

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YarnChefSpin merino bamboo

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I have better photos, I promise-!

But remeber what I was spinning few days ago? This is 2-ply light fingering weight yarn now. 50% merino and 50% bamboo. Looks very pretty and I’m really happy how it all came out.

Spinning definitely has its learning curve. I am becoming more and more comfortable with my Kiwi wheel and I have been thinking about buying a more expensive wheel but decided over last weekend to just stay with my wheel for a while.¬† I love the simplicity of this wheel. It’s all wood, looks very lovely, spins almost anything, and c’mon, how can you part with that little sweet kiwi bird on the treadle. :-D

Spun to knit Update – singles

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I’m currently working on Yarn Chef’s 60% Merino/40% Bamboo fiber right now. The colors are gorgeous and bamboo is really pleasant to spin. I’m going to make this a 2-ply lace weight yarn for a shawlette. Question: when your flyer only came with one set/side of hooks, is there any way I can wind the yarn onto the bobbin more evenly? I decided to not get a WW for my Kiwi and instead just save the money for a Matchless later. Perhaps I should get a sliding hook flyer that was made for Kiwi 2?