back from Korea

just came back from korea about 2 weeks ago and now i finally have some time to update!

To recap, Here are some photos:






basically, it was lots of shopping, eating, and spending time with family.

For those who care, my mom survived Stage 2 breast cancer 2 years ago, and just recently was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastized breast cancer again. So I had to make this trip, to see her and to soend more time with her. As I left home when I was 17, I havent had a lot of time with my family. Everything was good. Mom is doing very well, with the combination of acupuncture and the newest drugs in breast cancer treatment. It makes her very tired but she says it’s better than chemo.

So, now I am back. The trip has worn me out and I’m slowly getting back in the flow of the routine. I will come back with more!

Jeju Island – Part II

Now that I’m back in the US, I had a chance to look over the photos from my trip. :)

Jeju Island – Part I

i just spent three days in Jeju Island, right after spending 3 days in Maui. I really loved Jeju. There’s something cool and poetic about this place. if Maui was about the heat and fun, Jeju is about sweetness and loneliness. It was perfectly autumn-y as well. Thinkingnthat this island would be like Maui was a big mistake. it was warm during the lunchtime but otherwise, it was super windy and cold at times. Well, it was cold for me because I am used to the 90-deg weather at home in Irvine.











I am small.

Short Me


By small, I don’t mean figuratively, I’m not small hearted or small voiced or anything like that.

By small, I mean my size.

I’m not bony or skinny, but my average Korean body in this everything-must-be-big-America often result in interesting shopping experiences.

I’d go for a dress shopping for a really romantic dinner date, and I’d find myself trying on 10 different silhouettes. One is too long for my height. One is too short for my height. One is too high-waist for my figure, and one is too low waist for my figure. One would be too “va boom” for my figure and one would be too simple to be anything special. And so on.

I am 5’4″ and my “waist to knee” is 20″ while the average American size for my size is 23 3/8″. And my hip size is about 2.5″ smaller than what an “average American” at my dress size would be.

All this came to me because I started sewing. Sewing pattern sizes haven’t changed since 1970s and unlike the “vanity sizing” you see in stores (when you say you wear size 6, please know that you’re actually size 12 or 14 in the “real” size; Marilyn Monroe was a size 10, and she was not big) which clothing companies arbitrarily adopted to make the consumers feel better about themselves and buy their clothes over other stores’ clothes.

I started paying more attention to body sizes. You hear this all the time “shopping clothes for me is not really fun because I don’t look good in anything.” Or “women come in many different sizes!” There are plus size clothing stores for people who are bigger than average people, so why isn’t there a petite shop? Why do short people have to face the humiliation of shopping in the junior section or worse, wear something that doesn’t fit right?

Although in knitting, when you’re looking at different sizes to knit, you can pick the bust size that’s closest to your size and you’re good to go because unless you’re REALLY different from most people, the stretchiness of knitted fabric makes it easy to make something fit you. But sometimes it’s about the proportion than the fit.

You can see in many of my designs that I like to knit sweaters little bit longer, sleeves are little shorter, etc. I think I was subconsciously knitting for my people, i.e. short and petite people.

So lately, I’ve been thinking about “designing for petite people.” I know the general trend of knitting designers going all the way up to 52″ bust but I think I want to focus on people in the 28″~38″ bust sizes. I don’t want to pretend to know how my garments will fit on a person with 52″ bust, because I don’t. If I take my design and just increase the stitches, I don’t know if it’ll be flattering on that person. What designers usually work with is STANDARD (is there really any standard in body sizing?) size charts and those assume that you’re 5’7″~5’8″. I don’t know about you but I’ve seen people who have 48″ bust and 5’4″. This person will most likely be unhappy with the way my design fits on her body because I worked from the standard chart and she is not standard size.

There are many designers who cater to plus size/women’s size people and I don’t believe there’s a place there for me as a designer. Maybe someday I’ll have the luxury of doing an expansive survey of women of different sizes and be able to make my designs in bigger sizes.

Of course, for my designs in many publications will still be available in bigger sizes because that’s what most editors specifically want, but for my self published patterns, I will be focusing on the audience I want to cater to: short, petite size people.

I understand that my decision may be an unpopular one. But after carefully reviewing some of the feedback I got from my customers and my own view of fashion, I realized that many of my designs are considered “young” and many of my customers told me that they were knitting my designs for the younger women in their lives like their granddaughter or younger friends. I want to be the designer that these people remember when they get requests from their daughters for a new sweater or from their school friends for a shawl.

Because, let’s face it. Your 17-year-old daughter isn’t going to much appreciate a huge circle lace shawl. It just doesn’t belong in their closet.

Another reason why I’m doing this is just general promotion of healthy life. I know that plus size people can have a healthy life… It’s just that most plus size people don’t. And I’m not going to pretend that I’m okay with this new notion of  “we should cater to everyone, even the unhealthy ones, because that way we appeal to more people who are overweight and we can sell more designs and we’ll make more money!”

If you looked at my patterns and thought you wanted to make one for yourself but it doesn’t come in your size because you are 5’3″ and have 48″ bust-48″ waist-52″ hip… Well…. That’s really your personal problem and not mine. You can always buy the pattern and hopefully you know how to make a swatch and take the gauge and re-calculate. I don’t have to design anything to please people who are already overindulging themselves to the point to near-death.

A little harsh? I think so too. But hopefully this means that I can really concentrate on my audience (really, there aren’t that many young knitters OR designs in the knitting community) and offer something unique.


By the way, I am perfectly medium and average in my home country, South Korea.


Moving on with life..

Just finished watching the latest episode on Project Runway (“PR”) —– spoiler alert!



Seriously, I was pretty upset that Gunnar was sent home. Gunnar, Chris, and Sonjia are now my favorite designers on Season 10 and I seriously watch just to see their work. Yes, Gunnar has been on the bottom for the last few challenges but he’s so fun to watch! He talks, he engages, he gets frustrated over stuff but is never ruthlessly mean or hostile (ahem,, like Elena or Ven…)

Anyhow, I look forward to seeing his work in the future. I like seeing and supporting PR designers like Carol Hannah, and Althea.

Moving on…

My life is moving quite fast these days. A week ago, Marty and I signed the purchase agreement for our first home! Because this is a new home, actually hasn’t even been built yet, and sold directly by the Irvine Compay (the company that owns the majority of the city of Irvine), there were no offers, no praying that our offer will go through, etc. But because it’s a new community, the competition was a bit tough and we had to move very fast.


Hopefully, if everything goes well, we’ll be moving in April next year.

And I’m taking another trip in less than 3 weeks! Hello, Maui! then KOREA again!

Marty and I have a friend who is having a destination wedding in Maui. Neither of us has ever been to Hawaii so we are really excited.

What am I doing to prep for the trip?

Sewing and knitting like crazy! I figured that I wanted to pack as many handmade items as possible on this trip. I’m planning a lot of dresses, pants, and basic pieces. It’s interesting because while Hawaii will be still pretty warm and humid, Korea will be pretty chilly. I have to pack both bikinis and thick fall jacket.


FO::Modish Cowl


W00t, all the FO postings at time.


Pattern: Modish Cowl by Stephen West (Rav Link)

Needles: US 10

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky (in Walnut and Spice)

I am so glad I made this for Marty before we left for Taiwan/Korea. Taiwan was really windy, though the temperature was on the higher side. Then in Korea, even this thick cowl wasn’t enough to keep the cold out (negative 10 degrees celcius everyday!)

Although the cowl is made up of garter stitches entirely, I still loved working on it. The color changes and how it turns out in the end all made it interesting. And the yarn was chunkier than the gauge the pattern calls for but compared to the worsted weight version of Wool-Ease, Chunky weight version is easier to work with (less plastic-y, especially the red color).

Depending on which angle you look at the cowl, it looks different.



Do you see how thick it is? At first I was a bit worried it was TOO heavy and thick. Then when I borrowed it while we were in Asia, I was really glad I made it this thick. I might make a less chunky version of this to use here. That is…. if I ever feel like doing 100-something rows of garter stitches again.