NEW: Snowflake Shawl

 

 

Snowflake ShawlDSC04645

As promised yesterday, I just released this new shawl/cape pattern on Ravelry and Craftsy.

DSC04646

Last year, I really wanted to design a cool cape design that still embodies the inspiration I got from Downton Abbey. Plus, California was uncharacteristically cold and wet; perhaps I was up earlier than most people going to work at 3 am.

I sketched and drafted this pattern on the metrolink, while commuting to work. I knitted a prototype/test sample in aran weight yarn but was not happy with the yarn choice or the finished product. I knew I wanted the general design to be still feminine and romantic but wanted the fabric to be slightly more dense and heavier.

Up close and personal:

DSC04647

C’mon. I know that you have this yarn somewhere in your stash!

It’s none other than Bernat Natural Alpaca Blend in Natural. I know, an acrylic blend? I knew that if I wore this outside, I would get it dirty somehow. I also wanted it to be easily washed in the washing machine. Then I added a laceweight mohair/acrylic blend yarn from Universal Yarns, and held the two yarns together for this marled effect.

DSC04650DSC04653 DSC04652DSC04654

I also re-did the collar 3 times in the first prototype to get it right. At first, I wanted it to be asymmetric and with a button closure. It didn’t fit right.

So I frogged and did it in 1×1 rib but it didn’t look right either. It was kind of soft and drapey, which didn’t look right with the look I was going for in my head.

I made the collar in double thickness, so that it will stand right and hold the overall heavy/dense look.

Now, I didn’t really know what to call this. I had a choice between a CAPE and a Shawl, and went with a Shawl since I wanted it to be something you just grab and throw on for a quick walk with your doggies or a lunch date. SHAWL with a COLLAR. =)

So there you go people. I published this pattern on Ravelry as well as Craftsy.

craftsy

Craftsy, take me to Snowflake Shawl page.

snowflake

Ravelry, take me to Snowflake Shawl page.

Preview: Snowflake Shawl

I just finished the draft of my first pattern of 2014!

I’m very excited, and this is something I designed a year ago but finding the right yarns and gauge took some time. Then it got too warm to publish it so just this month, I finally finished the draft of the pattern.

I’ll be publishing it on Monday morning, but here is a PREVIEW.

Snowflake Shawl

Snowflake Shawl

 

 

Knitting? What Knitting?

Seriously.

I haven’t had a chance to blog about knitting… because I haven’t been knitting.

*GASPS!!!*

How could that be? I’m a knitter. Is there a knitting who doesn’t knit?! WHAT’S HAPPENING TO MEEEEEEE~~

It all started since I came back from Korea. I didn’t even knit on the plane ride back from Korea. I just got all tired, didn’t want to do anything, didn’t want to eat anything — > I think I was super depressed.

Since I got back to work, I think it has gotten a bit better, but nothing much has happened in terms of knitting. I am designing a sweater right now so maybe I’ll have more to talk about!

But I didn’t want to leave my blog so cold without no new updates.

So here are some photos to show you that I’m still alive and well:

DSC04286

Husband’s parents came to visit for a week, so we ate out every single night and had very awesome brunches both Saturday and Sunday. This one is at Larchmont Bungalow in LA.

DSC04296

After the brunch, we took our parents to the Farmer’s Market at The Grove.

 

DSC04298

 

Which isn’t really “farmer’s market” anymore, but still cute and has awesome snacks and food.

 

DSC04314

 

On Sunday, we took them to  Orange Hill Restaurant, which is like 10 minutes away from home but is up on the hill so you get a nice view of Orange County and LA. Not much to see, but it’s very cozy and fun (I mean unlimited champagne with your buffet breakfast?).

They left just this week, early on Monday and the doggies were sad. Even Candy, who just met my mother in law for the first time!

Maybe it just takes time. TIME. to recover from a long trip and such a fulfilling experience with family.

 

Wellmade clothing

image

This top was a gift from my aunt about 7 years ago. I wore this at least 200 times since then and I still wear it almost once every week. It’s lace, has ribbons and sparkles. And it is holding up. Still looks like I bought it last week.

Well-made clothing is hard to find these days. Even expensive labels, when you actually look closely, their seams and fit aren’t like they used to be.

Trust me, I just spent a lot of money on my new work clothes and shoes last week. At least I was satisfied with the quality of the things I bought.

But it’s true, when there are shops in every corner that advertise “blouse for $15! Denim $30!” it’s hard to resist deals like that.

I’ve been guilty of buying clothes from those type of shops too. Quantify over quality, eh?

Every time I wear this top, or other things I bought over the years that I came to treasure, I am reminded of how, as a person who loves fashion, I should be more mindful of shopping habits. And be an advocate of fine clothing. :)

I’m not trying to sound snobbish or look down on those shops. If anything, I think most of their practices are unethical. But aside from their business practices, just looking at fashion alone, if you truly love fashion (and not just trends), you have to see that that $10 top with stitch ends still hanging out and off-grain tshirts (not on purpose) don’t have any “fashion value.”

I think fashion walks a fine line between art and function. That’s why when I design my knitwear, I don’t automatically turn to the most expensive yarn available or sacrifice wearability over interesting fashion details. You have to find that balance. I could make a really interesting pullover with 3 headholes and 4 armholes, but who’s gonna put in the time to KNIT it and then WEAR it in public? I could also make a really well-fitted sweater with all over St st but who’s gonna be able to finish that piece without getting bored?

In preparation for the TNNA this weekend, I am inspired and also have many thoughts on my designs…