Joy Luck Club.. Fifty Shades…

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I’m commuting to LA everyday for work these days. It’s about an hour on the Metrolink train, and since my work lets me come in whenever I want, I choose to take the earliest train possible and work 8 hours, and leave work by 3pm. I get on the M601 train to LA and M602 back to Irvine so HOLLA if you see a young knitter on the train, usually working on a sock since I’ve found that working with a pair of metal Addi circular needles in size 8 can seem a bit threatening in a very crowded train…. Size 1 or 2 magic loop on a sock is a much less imposing project..

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I love my job! There’s a guy (single, if you’re interested) who sits next me and 2 other married women, and according to him, our conversations sound like something straight out of Joy Luck Club. Isn’t that awesome? Perhaps we are all sharing too much…? :P

Anyhow! I’ve been working really hard since Day 1 of the new year, and am planning several designs. One big collection I’m working on right now is a collection based on Fifty Shades Trilogy.

They are badly written (even the names were pretty… bad) books, with lovable characters with so much potentials.. I love the characters in the books, and quite honestly, I was thinking about what they would be wearing the whole time, if the books were to be made into a movie.

I’m also planning some kidswear, some shawls… and of course more sweaters. I love knitting sweaters.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

FO: The Orchid Thief Shawlette

This is the 6TH of the WIPs Challenge List!

W00t!!!

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It’s quite satisfying to work on all these old WIPs and finishing them.

 

Pattern: The Orchid Thief Shawl by Ysolda Teague.

Yarn: a random yarn on the cone from Newton’s Yarn Country.

Needles: US 3

 

Things were all good until Chart 3. There is errata available on Ysolda Teague’s website: Errata

And also the first row of Chart 4 is a little off. See here: Chart 4 Help

Other than that, I am completely happy with the finished product. I love the way the leaves open up.

I love the drape of the fabric, and the warmth. I think I’m going to keep this one, but make many more for gifts.

4 out of 14 done!

Lingonberry Shawl

I can’t believe this is already the 4th FO in my UFO/WIP pile.

Pattern:  Lingonberry Shawl (Rav Link)
Yarn: Giovanna Imperia Yarns 5 strands “River” and 1 strand “Cocco” held together.
Needle: US Size 3

This was a sample knitting commissioned by Giovanna Imperia Yarns (website). Per request by the company, I chose few free patterns of shawlettes.

First two shawls were done within few weeks. This one however, took MONTHS.

From knitting the second shawl which uses the same line of yarn, but less strands held together and in a different color, I knew that I would have easier time if I held more strands together. The yarn on the cone as is is thinner than cobweb, and kind of “sticky” because of mohair mixed in it. The yarn is very inelastic due to linen and silk. Multiple strands and a little bit of twist gave a bit of elasticity and allowed me to use bigger needles.

Shawl on a white couch

Linen/mohair/wool/silk blend yarn made a very lightweight but summer appropriate shawl. I loved the texture of the fabric after blocking. It was crisp but not rough. It was hairy but not itchy. And the pink. It was divine.

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I don’t know if the yarn will be commercially available for knitters.. I’m not sure. I do know that the company goes to tradeshows like TNNA and Stitches. In fact, the first two shawls I made were for the Stitches West earlier this year (2011).

This one will also be at another trade show soon.

 

4th project done! I am now working on a summer tee that I designed, and Auburn Sweater. Updates soon!

FO::Sugar is Sweet shawl

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This is the third project I’ve worked with designer Rose Beck, aka RosyPosy. With my traveling and the yarn almost running out, the sample knitting took longer than expected. The knitting time actually wasn’t that long. I knit mostly on the plane, and few rows everyday while I was traveling. If I just sat down and knit, probably within a week time?

Pattern: Sugar is Sweet (Rav Link)  (Designer’s Blog)

Photos: All of the photos with the model are done by Catrina (Rav ID: CatReading)

Needles: US 3

Yarns: Madelinetosh Pashimina in “Rose” and “Posy.”

The yarn is absolutely pleasant to work with and the pattern is simple enough for it to be more mobile knitting (taking on your commute, etc). But the overall effect of the knit-and-purl pattern repeat at the end and the garter body, as well as clever YO border is very beautiful. I would love to make this again. :)

(closeup before blocking)

Torrance Fiber Festival & an Update

Nov 7!
My 26th BIRTHDAY!
In fact, I’ve been celebrating my birthday all week. My hubby was so sweet to get me an early bday present this year. And made this week so full of surprises!

1. KINDLE!

A KINDLE!!!!!!

I’ve been saving up for this slowly but hubby beat me to it. It’s all so lovely.

I uploaded all my ebooks there and started reading! It’s actually taking away my knitting time! =D

It’s Free Wifi + 3G one so I can get online anytime! I’m in love with this. OMG.

 

2. Sumi Jo’s Concert

so sure, this wasn’t a surprise. When I saw the poster for Sumi Jo’s concert few days ago, I shrieked and told hubby that I MUST GO! I grew up listening to Sumi Jo, my parents always took my sister and me to her concert every time she was in Korea. I had to share this with my hubby! I booked the cheapest tickets and got the seats behind the orchestra (chorale terrace?). I loved watching the orchestra up so close, it brought back wonderful memories of my days in the youth orchestra. And, Sumi Jo was, as I always remember, the pure perfection.

Here’s the surprise part: Hubby actually enjoyed it! He’s never really been to that many classical concerts but he kept asking questions and read the program from cover to cover. And yesterday he started listening to the classical music radio station!

I was sooo glad he enjoyed it as much as I did. =)

 

3.  Surprise Party

I’ve never had a surprise party for myself! Thank you hubby for organizing this, AND friends who came to celebrate at Plush Karaoke! LOVED it! The songs, the Apple Beer (more like Appletini Juice), and the cake! YUMMO.

 

4. The Fiber Festival

 

Yes, it’s all a part of my birthday. This year’s Torrance Fiber Festival decided to fall on my Birthday. Yay!

 

Like last year, there were soooo many booths with gorgeous yarns and rovings and stitch markers, and other accessories. I stopped at this indie dyer’s booth called RedFish Dye Works. They literally had silk yarns dyed in all the colors of the spectrum. I couldn’t leave the place without buying anything. So, I got 2 hanks of 100% silk yarn in 20/2 lace weight:

Purple one is colorway P3d; charcoal BGb14d ($14.50 per 50g; 450yd)

 

Then a bit later, I stumbled upon a booth that was going out of business. They even had their fixtures on sale. I scored 4 cakes of yarn in lace weight (I’m addicted to making shawls!) in earth color.

$3.50 per cake! $14 total.

 

 

As for the Holiday Challenge…. I’m like 2 days behind now. No biggie, but still have to make some changes to my initial plan…

New Schedule:

EZ’s seamless hybrid sweater

11/7~10 Body

11/11~12 Sleeves

11/13 Saddle

11/14 Finish. Swatch for Mom’s sweater

ChicKnits Basic Pulli

11/15~16 Body

11/17 Sleeves

11/18 Finish; Swatch for Sister’s sweater vest

Laretto Vest

11/19~21 Body

11/22 Finish; Swatch for Chanel’s sweater

11/23~25 Chanellette (During road trip to San Jose)

11/26~12/1 Neighborly

12/1 Swatch for Marty’s Men’s Cable Cardigan; Start Button Tunic

12/2~12/4 Button Tunic

12/5~12/8 Marty’s cardigan body

12/8~10 Sleeves

12/12 Finish

12/12~13 Fingerless mitts

12/14~15 Fingerless mitts

12/16~18 Destroyed Cowl

12/19~12/23 Shawl

So far, I’m on schedule! =D At this rate, I should be done with this sweater on time or a day early.

FO: Summer Flies

Officially, summer ended about 2 weeks ago. But in So Cal, it just did. Last week, the temperature during the daytime was around 105+ degrees everyday. It’s never been this bad in Irvine.

It’s more normal today, around 83 degrees, BUT it DID rain for 5 minutes this morning…. accompanied with a loud thunder.

Fall just started here.

So, it’s seemingly appropriate to post about this shawl, which I made for my knitting/crochet friend, Sunnie. It was her birthday last Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), which ironically was on the “Beginning of Autumn.”

Pattern: Summer Flies (Ravelry Link) (my project page)

Yarn: Emu Superwash DK

This pattern calls for worsted weight yarn; but I decided to go with this DK weight yarn for 2 reasons: 1) I like LACY, loosely-knit fabric for shawl designs, and 2) superwash yarns stretch SOOO MUCH after getting fully wet and blocked.

And as I correctly anticipated, the yarn stretched and the shawl grew to a full size shawl after being wet blocked.

This project took 2 days to knit, and 1.5 days to block. I totally made the deadline, because the knitting group met up to celebrate Sunnie’s birthday on last Saturday. I’m so glad she liked it! She loves deep red, so the color looks really good on her. Isn’t it kind of odd that we knitters often find knitted presents more exciting than the yarns gifts?

FO: Swallowtail Shawl

Oh wow, it’s finally a FO post. I haven’t completed any project in a while that I can post about! The thing about sample knitting is, you can take pictures of the finished product, but can’t post it anywhere until the pattern is released. So I haven’t been posting a lot of things..

Swallowtail.

In Malabrigo Lace Merino Wool 1 skein.

Color? Pink Frost.

This took about 5 days to finish, but really should’ve been 3~4 days. The main body lace part is a bit too addicting and I ended up going 2 more repeats than the pattern, so I ended up tinking back one stitch at a time because this knitter didn’t use a lifeline. Lifeline is a contrast yarn you would run through the stitches every few rows, so in case you must rip it out, you can take your needles out and just rip back to that row, and put the stitches back onto the needles. I know so well about them, but I didn’t use it. Why? Because I didn’t think I would mess up!

I am quite arrogant in thinking that I don’t make mistakes in knitting but it’s a bit true. My gauges are almost always right, the way I imagine the yarn + pattern combination is almost always correct. Lace? I never skip YOs or k2togs.

In life I’m also quite arrogant. I always think that I have a plan, and rarely mess up the plan. To really think back to the past, there’s only 1 time, things really didn’t go as I planned. All the other times, things pretty much went along with my plans. Lifelines? I never had backup plans, but only improvised when some things needed tweaking. No need for any “lifelines” to fall back on.

Isn’t that pretty arrogant of me or what? Or could it be that I rarely get startled by a change of plans or a little tweaking along the way. For this shawl, for instance, I never stopped to count the stitches, which is why I knitted more than I should’ve in the first place. For Citron, another popular lace-weight shawllette, I did NOT count any stitches for sure, because it didn’t matter whether you have the correct # of stitches for that shawlette! I knew a lot of people got frustrated with the pattern because there are just A LOT of stitches after a bunch of t1kbl’s. There’s no real pattern on this shawlette, so why stop and count them? Will 1 or 2 extra stitches matter all that much?

Plans are great because you have a general concept or theme, and then you just run with it. I still don’t think I’ll ever use a lifeline, unless I do some crazy lace shawl pattern–which I doubt because I’m just not that kind of knitter. Or a person. But I just know in the end, it’ll all work out, lifeline or not.