Mystery KAL aka “PLEASE MAKE SURE I FINISH MY HUSBAND’S SWEATER KAL”

I just wanted to see who would be interested in doing something like this.

So here’s my story: when we first adopted Bagel from Taiwan, he was just about 1 year old, and was making a lot of trouble at home with his chewing behavior. He chewed through Marty’s Havaianas, his own collar which was handmade jewelry from his foster mom, a PS3 controller, etc. One day I went to check on him because he was being really quiet, and I knew that he was up to no good! 

He was in his crate; but I also found Marty’s favorite sweater inside the crate. At first I thought, aw how cute, he wanted to smell his daddy~! Then when I lifted it up to fold it up, I saw a huge hole.

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The left shoulder was completely eaten. 100% wool fiber, inside Bagel’s stomach. 

 

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And apparently a part of the zipper too.

 

I can’t tell what brand it is, because the tag was irritating and Marty had cut it out before. But I can tell that it’s a decent quality wool yarn. Other tags like washing instructions are all written in English only, and the hand of the fabric is soft. Not soft like Merino, but definitely not harsh. 

 

 

 

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And guess what this knitter had said, to the disappointed then-boyfriend?

“OH DON’T WORRY; I WILL MAKE YOU ONE JUST LIKE IT!”

Fast forward almost 5 years. We had gotten married, and I finally found the yarn that looked similar to the original yarn. 

Still haven’t started it.

August 20 is our official 4th wedding anniversary. And I decided to finally sit down and write up the pattern. Sure, I could have made this a secret project, but I needed something to keep me on track, so I don’t finish it on our 10th anniversary or anything! (And trust me, I do have few 5+ year-old project somewhere in the house).

 

So I wrote the pattern and cast on but thought that I would make the pattern as a free pattern only until the day after our wedding anniversary, August 21, and share the pattern with people who are interested in men’s sweater pattern. This pattern involves a little bit of steeking and installing a zipper. I’m also thinking about attaching elbow patches, and give an option for a vest for those of you who would rather not knit the sleeves. (WHO DOES?). If steeking scares you, even with my instruction, I think I might include another option for the neckline.

 

ANOTHER OPTION: If you actually have another pattern design in mind for your significant other, male or female, you can still join our KAL! I will still send you the finalized pattern through Ravelry if you post it on your blog or Instagram and tag me (@candyandbagel on Instagram)

 

What’s in it for you? Again, the pattern, or rather a draft of the pattern, will be available for free only until August 21, 2014. After that date, it will be temporarily unavailable, and then will be for sale. And for people who complete the sweater with me by August 31, 2014, I will send you a copy of a complete, tech-edited, finalized pattern (value of $7).

And I will randomly pick 3 of you, and send each of you a small gift from my Candy & Bagel shop. This could be handdyed roving, handspun yarn, handmade items, or cute notions!

 

 IF you’re interested, either… 1) comment below this post; or 2) PM me on Ravelry (ID: JeanChungDesigns); or 3) Tweet me at candybagel or 4) email me at jean (at) jdknitter (dot) com by May 30, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

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The yarn I chose was Colourmart DK weight cashmere/silk/viscose/merino blend yarn in MF Tweed colorway. Colourmart is great but I remember shipping was very slow via Royal Mail. I think for the finalized version of the pattern, I will have to test with more US-market friendly yarn. 

Again:

IF you’re interested, either… 1) comment below this post; or 2) PM me on Ravelry (ID: JeanChungDesigns); or 3) Tweet me at candybagel or 4) email me at jean (at) jdknitter (dot) com by May 30, 2014.

Good night!

#knitting #accountabilityKAL

TNNA Review

This past weekend, I made the trip out to Indianapolis for TNNA show. TNNA is always exhausting but fun and productive, since it’s specifically geared towards the vendors, yarn companies, designers, and other professionals in the field, rather than a retail marketplace.

Instead of giving a day-to-day recap of the event, just because SO MANY THINGS happened in the 2.5 days I stayed, and I am sure other people would write about it so much on their blogs, I decided to do reviews of some vendors and other people I’ve met at the show.

LadyDyeYarns. Boston, MA.

5 years ago, Boston became a special place for me. My then boyfriend/now husband went to a bar association convention in Boston, spent 4 days before I found out that I passed the CA bar!! So whenever I meet people from Boston area, I’m excited!

Well, that is not the only reason why I was excited to finally meet Lady Diane from LadyDye I’ve been following (stalking) her on Twitter and Instagram for about a couple of weeks before the show, oagling at all her beautifully crafted yarns. As a designer, sometimes I am drawn to the texture, sometimes colors, sometimes the construction of the yarn. It really depends on what strikes me at the moment. When I first saw a photo of LadyDye’s yarn on Instagram, without even knowing any background of her company or what she does, I immediately thought of spray paint cans.

Which totally made sense after I found out that she does a lot of yarn bombing and street arts in general. I have been doing a lot of classic, simplistic style for my designs ever since I started designing, and I’ve been feeling that I should do at least one design that is totally out of my comfort zone. Neon colors? Unconventional shaping? Non-garment projects?

That’s why I have a new design coming up in Holla Knits Home collection. I have never much home accessories before and thought I had to give it at least one try.

HOLLA KNITS

Which brings me to Holla Knits. I loved the process of designing and knitting something I’ve never done. Home accessories, I thought, hey, it’ll be simple. It’s not like it has to FIT anyone. But then I realized I had that much more room to be more creative, and try something NEW. Stay tuned, because I definitely tried something that I have never ever done, even in my own personal knitting time. Anyways, on Sunday, some of the designers who designed for Holla Knits got together for breakfast.

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(see more pics on my Instagram!)
There is DEFINITELY more I want to share about TNNA but I think they deserve their own posts. So COMING SOON. :)

Overall, this was the most fun I had at TNNA and I’m sure it’ll just get better and better every year. I was so tired, between the time difference and my crazy schedule the week before leading up to TNNA, so when I came back to California, all I could do was sleep.

I am totally impressed with people who already blogged about TNNA recap already.

Vancouver recap

Vancouver!

My husband and I traveled to Vancouver, BC for his birthday! We had so much fun, and doggies, especially Candy, had a marvelous time themselves at their boarding places.

<Day 1>
Headed for the John Wayne airport by 5am for our 7:30am flight. Got on the plane and then was held up at the gate for 2 hours due to a mechanical problem which turned out to be nothing. Missed our connecting flight by 3 minutes because the SFO gate agent closed the door earlier. Was on Standby for the next flight and luckily got on it.
Arrived in Vancouver. Vancouver Airport was probably the most beautiful airport I have ever seen. There were waterfalls, totem poles, and trees. Took the Canada Line Skytrain to Downtown Vancouver. We stayed at the Sutton Place Hotel on Burrard street but didn’t want to change station so we got off at the City Centre (note: Marty and I kept making fool out of ourselves saying “hey they spelled ____ wrong!”) and just walked over to the hotel via Robson.

The rest of the day was a smooth sailing. The very first thing we did was to get a hot dog at the Japadog stand, which was RIGHT in front of our hotel. Literally, same block. It was amazing. (NOTE: during this trip, I decided to try eating gluten again. I took Pepcid AC religiously to control any kind of stomach symptoms I might get. Other than some bloating issue and exhaustion, I didn’t feel sick! But yes, now I’m fully back on gluten free mode again).

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We found some great restaurants on Robson, walked to the Pacific Centre shopping mall and looked around, took some pictures of the scenery, bought some snacks at London Drugs, then walked over to the west sideof the Robson for some Asian food.

We were originallly looking for Benkei Ramen but I guess it’s gone now because we couldn’t find it. Instead, we found Dinesty Chinese Restaurant, which from the outside reminded us of Din Tai Fung in Taiwan. We weren’t disappointed. Well, I was–because I realized how much fun I have been missing out, having to be on a gluten free diet! :D

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We were pretty exhausted after dinner so we just walked back to the hotel and immediately fell asleep. I for one had an amazing night of sleep, I slept through the night, and woke up aroung 6:30am without the alarm.

 

<Day 2>
We woke up pretty early around 6:30, slowly got ready for a day of fun. We decided to stay at the West Side of the city, and check out Granville Island.

After we got coffee at Cafe Artiggiano, we got some chocolate cake and liquid chocolate at Thierry’s, then we walked on Burrard and Hornby towards the Island, took the Aquabus to the Grandville Island ($5.50 per person for a roundtrip).

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We looked aroundn the Public Market, then slowly walked over to the Kitsilano Beach area which was a beautiful walk! We passed by the Marine Museum, and took so many photos there. It was a relaxing walk and seeing so many dogs around the beach neighborhood made us miss Candy & Bagel. But we knew they were being taken care of–Bagel is loved by everyone at the animal hospital and we know that Candy was having an awesome time at the Bone Adventure because we were watching her on the webcam every few hours. :D

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We walked around the Kits Beach neighborhood, then walked back to the Island. We had lunch at Go Fish. I got 2 cods & chips, while Marty tried their Oyster Poboy. The ordering was pretty quick but the wait for the food was about 30~40 minutes. But it was worth the wait! Totally recommend that place if anyone is going to hang out near the Grandville Island.

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The Island itself was fun too–we looked at so many cool arts and crafts, I even bought some silk rovings from the Silk Weaving Studio.

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We came back to the hotel and got dinner at Sushi Mart and a Belgian waffle at Nero on Robson (Again, this area on Robson had so many good Asian food choices).

Marty fell asleep around 10, but I stayed up until 1AM to work on my lace shawl. Totally failed to finish it on the trip, but will be available soon! :D

<Day 3>:
We woke up again around 7 am. The plan was to check out Chinatown and Gastown, and Yaletown. We took the train to the Science Centre-Main Street station (The Skytrain doesn’t stop there anymore; you have to take Train2Main or something like that). I thought we were gonna walk on Main all the way to Chinatown from there, but Marty just wanted to take pictures of the Pacific Centre Station. So we walked around there for 5 minutes, then took the same train back to Waterfront.

We had our morning coffee at Revolver in Gastown, walked to Sun Yat-Sen Garden, looked around there, walked through Chinatown and randomly walked into the busiest Chinese food cafe called “Newtown” to get some buns, egg tart, and sesame ball. DELISH! I think the food here is better than in LA. Food in LA, even at really good restaurants, food tastes “cheap” compared to food in Vancouver. The LA food tastes like Costco food!!!

Then we walked back to Gastown, stopped at a restaurant called Tuc, and got some beautiful waffles with blueberries and cream cheese. Marty got a Lamb & Egg skillet which he said was great.

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So this is how crazy Vancouver food is. When Marty has good food, he says “it’s not bad,” tilts his head to one side and nods a couple times. During our past 7 years together, Marty only had GREAT food maybe 10 times total. When he has really great food, he would first close his eyes then breathes in deeply as if he just had a heart attack. On this trip, he did that twice. Once at Dinesty, and then again at Tuc. At other places, he still said the food was really good. Never once he has said, “not bad” and nodded twice.DSC05087

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We walked back to the Waterfront Station and decided to walk to Stanley Park. We overestimated our fitness level and underestimated the size of this “PARK” because everything else in Vancouver was so close. We barely made it to the Totem Pole, turned around for “The Girl in Wet Suit” or something, took the pedestrian trail back to the info center. FAIL.

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But on the way back from Stanley Park back to the hotel was a great one. The weather was perfect and the cherry blossom trees were everywhere. This was exactly why we took the trip to Vancouver, and were worried about the bad weather but it was perfect all 2.5 days!

It has been a week since we got back and we’re still talking about how great the food was and how much we wanna visit again (a bit of honesty here, we actually looked into moving there!).