Destash Challenge

Ah, every crafter’s dilemma.

There are so many beautiful yarns to be bought and knitted with, but you have so much room in your home.

I’ve always thought I had it under control–Since May 2013, I have not purchased any yarn…until this month, when I accidentally saw 25% off total purchase coupon at Michael’s, and actually went to Michaels on my own volition, and bought 7 balls of Patons Classic Wool, and 12 balls of Patons Kroy Socks. #fail

Our home is in the (SLOW) process of re-organization and purging, in order to make room for the new HUMAN member of our family. I’m not the one to go crazy with re-decorating an entire room/house for a baby, but I know that I would still need a lot of space for the baby’s STUFF. We will be re-purposing a lot of our own furniture for the baby, like emptying out my yarn stash shelf and put it on its side so that we can store baby’s things on there, and use the top for the changing station.

And that means, that yarn stash need to go someplace else.

Along with my 3 sewing machines, and all the fabrics I have accumulated over the last 5 years, cutting boards, a cutting table, not to mention all the notions that go along with sewing and knitting.

Don’t even get me started on spinning because my spinning wheel and fiber stash found their home in the living room already.

I have decided to move the sewing station out to our Home Office area, and bought a sewing cabinet on Amazon last night (with wheels!) so that I can safely stow away pins, needles, and sharp scissors.

But here’s my situation with yarns. I have, not one, not two, but THREE 20-gallon Rubbermaid plastic container FULL of yarns + one Ikea Shelf full of yarns + 3 fabric baskets full of yarns. #sigh

SO! Here’s my Destash Plan. This will continue over the next year or two, as we will definitely be needing more space for the baby as the baby grows into the toddler years. The guest room/my studio will eventually become Logan’s room in the next 2~3 years. My goal is to bring down my yarn stash down to just 1 Rubbermaid plastic container (…until maybe we find an excuse to move into a bigger home?????? MAYBE??)

1. Knit like crazy. But only using yarns at home.

2. For every 10 skeins of yarn used, I reward myself with: 1 skein of sock yarn; OR 4 oz of spinning fiber; OR a book.

3. Keep track of this process with #DestashChallenge, starting today, 11/17/2014!

This, of course, excludes any yarns that I receive for my designs. That’s work. :P

FO: Ballet Shorts

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Title: Ballet Shorts

Pattern used: “Gorgeous” Shorties by Girly Knits

Needles: US 6

Yarn: Berroco Vintage DK in Purple/Plum colorway

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I wanted a pair of knitted shorts for my ballet classes. I bought some shorts from dancewear stores, but they’re made out of cotton blend or nylon blend, and they’re great for summer but once the temperature started cooling down a bit, and my ligaments and joints are all loosened up from the pregnancy, I knew I had to get something warmer to protect myself.

I bought this pattern a while ago, to make something I can wear around the house. But for ballet, I made some modifications in order to make it more “activewear” appropriate.

1. I got rid of the Gorgeous lettering pattern.

2. No drawstrings — Made the top of the shorts a bit longer and skipped the eyelets.

3. No ruffles – no bulk needed. I just finished the openings with 1″ 2×2 ribbing.

It took me less than 24 hours to make it! I love the finished object, and already wore them to class twice. And they’re definitely warm.

FO: Soho Smocked Dress (Maternity)

 

Pattern: Soho Smoked Dress from Modern Top-Down Knitting by Kristina McGowan

Yarn: Unknown Brand, Sport weight tweed yarn on the cone. Purchased from Dongdaemun Yarn Market in Seoul, South Korea. (It was a BARGAIN with all caps, $20 for the 2 pound of yarn). Feels like wool blend.

Needles: US 3, 5, and 7 (for the main body).

Story:

I was so sure that by the Month 6, I would be huge. In fact, I thought I would start getting huge 2 months into the pregnancy and was sad to say goodbye to my clothes. Oh boy, was I wrong. At week 20, halfway done with my pregnancy, I’m still fitting into all my regular jeans and tshirts. Under my regular clothes, I have a small bump, but only a few people who know about my pregnancy notice. SO! I knew I could take on a somewhat large of a knitting project and finish it in time for my big growing belly.

Well, this project was very fun. I made a lot of modification to fit the upper body to my normal size, and then played around with the hip width to accommodate my future baby bump. I was able to add in sleeves and edging, and still have about 180g of yarn left. Perhaps a matching cardigan for the baby boy?

The front of the bodice still came out a little too big on me. And the deep v-neck isn’t very flattering. I have large bust for my size so the deep v-neck just makes me look really wide. I might sew or crochet in a little lace panel.

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A long break.. and a big news!

For a couple of months, I took a long break from knitting. It was too hot, and I dealt with some confusing life things during this time–Confusing at first, then things felt more manageable and more exciting as time went by.

We are expecting!

I found out when it was 4th week in, because my body is like a clock-work. I took the home pregnancy test in the middle of the night, and one test was all it took. Two lines! My first reaction was just: “Oh, crap…” The next morning, I told my husband that I might be pregnant. His reaction was even funnier. He just laughed nervously!

For the next 3 days, my days were filled with tears, confusion, depression, and panic. I had been anti-baby for so long, and thought that my life was great as it is. I had been working on getting my life back together after a long battle with anorexia, and coping with my mom’s cancer, determined to get everything done before I turn 30 in November. Something in my head was shouting “MY LIFE IS OVER!” and I cried and cried. I was going to be one of those women who throw up at the table, and get sick all the time for the next 9 months! Not to mention all my past insecurities with body image. Stretch marks? Weight gain? Bloating? And what about ballet? Will I have to quit for a while? Basically a lot of negativity.  :(

Finally on the third day, I went and bought myself a sewing machine that I had been coveting since a year ago: Singer Featherweight 220. I found one on Craigslist, whose owner used to work at Nordstrom as a tailor. Her daughter was downsizing her mom’s collection of Featherweights because that’s all her mom used.

The silly thing is, the sewing machine made me feel like a new person. I loved it, and my mood just instantly got better. I was becoming more hopeful and curious to find out what the baby looked like at that point.

And at each of my doctor’s appointment, I felt better and better, being able to see the baby grow.

What really changed my mood was having NO PREGNANCY symptoms. This is my Week 17 (Month 5), and I had no nausea, no cramps, no swelling, no headache… No pregnancy symptom at all. If I didn’t go to the doctor’s regularly, I wouldn’t even know I’m pregnant. I lost some weight regardless (I blame it on the crazy metabolism), and I only gained a couple of pounds this month, and my belly is still pretty flat. The best of all is that I’m still dancing on pointe. Seriously, NOTHING has changed.

I think this is a strange way for God to show me, “see? it’s not that bad, is it? you were afraid of having babies for so long, and look, it’s really no biggie, you can handle this.”

We’re finding out the gender during the anatomy scan in about 2 weeks. We are definitely excited about that. We even planned a Babymoon trip to Korea to see my parents following the anatomy scan.

So there, expect to see some cute baby knitting in the near future!

Pattern Release: Hearts & Flowers Shawl ~ First Love Collection ~

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Pattern Page on Ravelry

Last year, I planned a collection of knitwear garments with a theme revolving around The Fifty Shades of Grey. I read the trilogy with curiosity and I had mixed feelings about it. I didn’t do any research before reading, but I instantly felt like it was written like a fan fiction. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time reading fan fiction online based on the K-pop stars. So I was familiar with the type of writing. It didn’t matter what the language it was written in. Fan fiction in general are written more based on nostalgia and admiration for the characters so they just lack structure and other literary charms. But! I have to say, I loved the characters. A

nd the characters were the inspiration for this piece.

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The two main characters were both fragile and flawed, but together they became better people. In one scene, Anastasia and Christian are arguing about the kind of relationship they need and despite Christian’s hesitance, Anastasia declares that she needs everything that a normal relationship offers–all the “hearts and flowers.”

I thought this was an important turning point for them, especially Anastasia, since before then, her character was immature, naive, and had very little experience in romantic relationships. To declare what she needs and wants from Christian showed her growth as a person.

Her multi-dimensional character really inspired this shawl, that can be worn in multiple ways, with multiple effects.

 

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Name: Hearts & Flowers Shawl
Yarn: Berroco Vintage in “Elderberry” 5 skeins
Needle: US 8 (5.0 mm)
Pattern: Hearts and Flowers Shawl by Jean Chung

 

 

Candy and Bagel doing better!

Back in March, Candy and Bagel had a big fight and Candy got hurt badly. This was her 4th time getting hurt by Bagel’s sudden lashing out, and we just didn’t know what else to do.

Bagel is a very calm, submissive dog. He never barks, never pulls on our walks, he gets walked 3 times a day, given plenty of training and games, along with treats. He never jumps on our bed or mess with our stuff. The only things that we have to be careful about is leaving out trash (he loves going through the trash).

But Bagel is very protective of his food. Never from us, we can do whatever we want with his bowl or him when he’s eating and he stays calm. But when another dog approaches him too eagerly, or comes to sniff his food, he snaps. It’s never a long fight; always very brief, and he snaps.

We tried 2 different trainers and both basically said the same thing. It’s his personality, and he is otherwise a very well trained dog. We can try to desensitize him but trying to make him socialize with strange-dogs is like putting an extremely shy kid on a stage in front of a large crowd and tell him to sing.

The good thing is that Candy is never afraid of him. She was a bit scared of him after her first fight with him, but she is a very dominant Chihuahua. She got over it after a few days and she’s ok with him. We’re very thankful that 99% of the time, They are good together.

These were taken throughout 2 days. I would like to think that my hand crochet rug is bringing them closer.

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