Saturday, December 19, 2009

FO: Gathered Pullover

* Gathered Pullover (the sleeves came out a bit long so I had to roll them :-( )

* Cables!

* Gathered Pullover trying to fit in with the scholarly statues at Stanford

* Another front view

* Climbing the stairs to a Stanford library

Pattern: Gathered Pullover by Hana Jason
Yarn: Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette in Quince
Needles: US 5 and 7
Amount: 6 balls
Mods: I mainly used Tweedy’s modifications on Ravelry and added some of my own.

Cast on for the 36.25” size, but decreased down to 32” for bust
Instead of a rolled hem, I did 2 repeats of the Baby Cable Rib from Backward Cabled Pullover

Added waist shaping

Longer body

Short rows and 3 needle bind-off for shoulders

Worked another inch before splitting fronts and back

Left 5 extra stitches at each shoulder to make the V less wide

Followed XS directions for the sleeves and gradually switched to S directions for the upper arms

Did one repeat of the Baby Cable Rib for the neckline in the round

I love this sweater! The yarn is perfect, and the cables in the middle pull in perfectly. This sweater also marked a milestone for me as this is the first project that I learned how to sew in sleeves. And it only took me 2 years to get over this fear! Mattress stitch, here I come!

I love it so much that I already started a second one with the same yarn but in a different color. It only occurred to me the other day that I tend to knit lots of multiples of the same sweater.

I am currently on vacation now which explains the different backgrounds for my FO pictures. They were taken at Stanford where my bf/photographer is currently studying. I love how their buildings have such history. Maybe I'll post more scenic pics when I get home.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas FO's!

And the FO parade continues...

First up, we have an Ishbel for my Mom. (I don't even know what to make my Dad yet!)

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in Colorway Pink Frost
Needles: US 6
Amount: ~ 395 yards
Mods: I decided to go for a medium-sized version with large stockinette and small lace.

* I haz wings

And a thick scarf for my bf's father...

Pattern: Shale Pleated Scarf by Kristen Hipsky
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Colorway Woodland Mix
Needles: US 9
Amount: 2 balls exactly
Mods: None

* Shale close-up

And finally a lace scarf for my bf's mother...

Pattern: Falling Water by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace in Colorway 8127
Needles: US 5
Amount: ~ 280 yards
Mods: None

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

FO: Shalom Cardigan III

No, you're not going blind. There really is another Shalom Cardigan 3.0!

* Pretending to be a Macy's model

* Yoke detail

* Close-up of the buttons

Pattern: Shalom Cardigan by Involving the Senses
Yarn: Cascade Eco+ Wool in Colorway 8450
Needles: US 9 for sleeves, US 10.5 for body
Amount: 1 ball (I had literally less than a yard left after binding off!)
Mods: Shortened yoke ribbing by 2 rows each, added 11 rows for back length, picked up 52 sts around the sleeves on smaller needles and did 10 rows of garter stitch, lengthened the front, omitted waist shaping, added 2 extra buttons

After finishing Shalom Cardigan II, I was a bit disappointed. First, I had always envisioned myself in a bright red, Shalom and also I was sad that Shalom 2.0 was a bit snug. To counter, Shalom 3.0 was knitted on larger needles (same size as Shalom 1.0) and I reverted back to no waist shaping. Ultimately, it came out slightly looser than I wanted, but I still like it. A good thing is that the armholes came out looser than the other two versions, so it fits well around there too. Hehe. Maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist. It seems like none of them will ever compare to Shalom 1.0.

As for the buttons, there is a story behind that. I've been in love with that button (it's called the Hamburg button) since I saw them in Joann's months and months ago. However, they're sold in packs of 2 and they never had more than 2 buttons in stock. Finally, I buckled down and decided to buy them online. Well, yesterday, when my photographer was down in SD (reason why I suddenly have a ton of FO pics), we went to Joann's and I found 6 buttons in stock and bought them all. I'm really thrilled since I was able to use a 40% off one item coupon too. :-D

This sweater sets the record for the fastest sweater I've ever knit. It only took me 4 days from start to finish. Of course, this might be because I was still sick/recovering from sickness. So the first day, I actually spent morning until night knitting versus the couple hours I usually spend per evening knitting. I plan to bring it home and wear it around Christmas when I visit my parents next month. In other knitting news, I decided to frog Henley Perfected. I think I got too lost with all the mods I made, and I knew a project that has been sitting around for 2 months now will probably never be picked up again. So I frogged and I have started Gathered Pullover with the yarn. Hopefully, this one will turn out better. I've also started another small, Ishbel with the Malabrigo Lace I bought a couple weeks ago in the Polar Morn colorway. I'm beginning to think Ishbel will make for great plane/travel knitting next month now that I've mastered the pattern, and it's small and portable. Is it very bad of me that I tend to cast on for projects sometimes as soon as I bind off a previous project? :-D

Sunday, November 22, 2009

FO: Shalom Cardigan II

* Introducing Shalom 2.0

* Buttons that my bf helped me pick out. This was a couple months before I bought the yarn, so it actually worked out well.

* Tight back. :-(

Pattern: Shalom Cardigan by Involving the Senses
Yarn: Cascade Eco Wool in Colorway 8087
Needles: US 10 for body, US 9 for sleeves
Amount: 1 ball
Mods: Shortened yoke ribbing by 2 rows each, added 10 rows for back length, picked up 50 sts around sleeves on smaller needles to do 10 rows of garter stitch, lengthened the front by 14 rows

I loved my first Shalom Cardigan so much that I decided to make a second one. I'm not sure if I love this one as much though. The difference is that I used smaller needles than the first, and I actually included the waist shaping in the pattern. (First one had no waist shaping.) So it came out a bit tighter and smaller, and I feel a bit self-conscious about how the back looks. But I love the natural wool color and am thrilled it's the actual color of a real, live sheep. :-D It only took one ball of Eco Wool, so it was a pretty good deal finance-wise.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas WIPs and stash enhancement

You may have noticed that I don't seem to have as many sweater FOs lately, and that is because I've been crazy busy knitting up Christmas presents. I hate how the season tends to creep up on me every year, even though I tell myself I will start early in order to get all my gift knitting done. I did finish a second Shalom Cardigan lately, but I'll get FO pics for that in 2 weeks when my photographer/bf comes to visit.

This is technically a FO, but I don't have any good, official pictures yet. It is the Falling Water Lace Scarf knitted in Misti Alpaca Lace. I'm a little disappointed in that it looks too "holey". I thought it would come out more solid like the picture in the pattern. I blocked it to be 6 inches wide, but it ended up being more around 5 inches. Should I re-block to make it narrower and perhaps scrunch it together more to reduce the holes? Hopefully, my bf's mother will still like it.

* So hard to capture the detail...:-(

* A quick picture of what it looked like hot off the needles, unblocked. This manages to capture the true color of the yarn.

I started this over last weekend for my bf's father. I always find it really hard to knit something for a man, especially somebody who isn't my dad who loves anything I knit him. Inspiration didn't strike until about a week or two ago when WEBS sent me their usual newsletter with a free pattern called the Shale Pleated Scarf. It looked simple enough to function as a no-nonsense, men's scarf so I quickly cast on and it's already over 50% completed. Thicker yarn and larger needles is making it fly by so much quicker than the Falling Water Lace Scarf. I thought about using Malabrigo, but I couldn't find manly-enough colors at the LYS, and I ended up breaking into my Ultra Alpaca stash. The yarn was supposed to be reserved for a sweater, but I figure if I've had it for over a year and it still hasn't turned into a sweater yet, I might as well break it down into gift knits.

And lastly, I went to The Needlecraft Cottage in Pacific Beach last Sunday. I love the fact that they're the only LYS around here that is open on Sundays. The owner is also much friendlier and more approachable than the owner at Knitting in La Jolla. Plus, they have a heavy-duty ball winder and swift and I was so happy she helped me set up my skeins for winding. I definitely didn't want to run into my first, 5+ hours winding Malabrigo Lace experience again. Knitting in La Jolla doesn't wind yarn for you. Anyway, I haven't been there in a year since it takes me about 50 minutes by bus, and I ended up walking out with 3 balls of Malabrigo Lace (one in Polar Morn, and two in Pink Frost). The owner gave me a great discount on the 2 pink skeins that even beats the prices online because she's had that yarn there for a year. Somehow, lace yarn doesn't sell very well in her store. I plan to make my mom an Ishbel for Christmas from one of the pink skeins, and I definitely am craving an Ishbel for myself with the grey skein. However, it might literally be next year before I'll get a chance to make myself an Ishbel. I also ended up ordering a skein of red, Cascade Eco Wool that I'll pick up hopefully by the weekend. That will go towards my third Shalom Cardigan. I never thought I would make 3 sweaters from one pattern, but I guess I love my Shaloms. :-P

Sunday, October 25, 2009

FO: Guy Next Door Cowl

* Side

* Front

* Front 2

Pattern: Guy Next Door Cowl
Yarn: Ella Rae Classic in Colorway 33
Needles: US 8
It seems like it's been forever since I've had a FO! I know I certainly haven't been knitting as quickly as I used to, but I've been so busy lately. However, I did finish a little gift today for my Dad's birthday next week. The pattern is pretty easy, and yet not boring. I loved that I was able to whip it up in 3 days. It probably would only take 2 days if I had spent more time on it yesterday.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A happy Saturday

So I decided to make pot stickers this weekend. Hehe. At the rate I'm going, I think I'm going to aim for learning a new recipe every Saturday.

I'm so excited because I've never made pot stickers from scratch. When I was a kid, I helped my mother fold pot stickers from time to time but I never paid attention to how the filling was made. Looking back, I realized my parents really made practically everything as homemade as they could. For a time, they even made their own wrappers! :-O

Here they are freshly folded. I made 52 total!

But ended up gobbling down 6 for dinner.

The recipe is from Steamy Kitchen. I love her picture tutorial that shows you how to fold them too. My mods were added chopped onions, garlic, and pepper. I made them all with pork and omitted the shrimp. I just realized I'm now talking about food as if they're FO's.

On the knitting front, I'm still letting Henley Perfected sit. But in the meantime, Shalom Cardigan II is going really quickly and hopefully it will be done in another week.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Che Dau Trang

So recently I've been getting into food blogs. It kinda just came to me one day while I was checking out knitting blogs that there must be food blogs out there too. So I decided to start with Asian food blogs and found some really good ones. Next goal is to find some good American ones. If you know any, let me know.

I have a potluck at work tomorrow, and I decided to make something a bit non-traditional.

Behold, Che Dau Trang!

I made a test batch last night, and I'm so glad I did because I was able to make tonight's official batch much better. The first batch was still good, but it was bit thick for me.

Basically, Che Dau Trang is a Vietnamese dessert. It's a thick, sweet bean pudding. This is what it looks like if you were to buy it at a Vietnamese market.

When I had posted my name on the sign-up sheet with the dish name while also putting in parentheses "Vietnamese" dessert, one of my co-workers actually had the gall to approach me and ask if there will be blood and guts in my dish. I thought she was joking, but she actually looked pretty serious. I found that highly offensive. I'm sure that if I had put up "Zucchini Bread" or "Blueberry Cobbler" nobody would have questioned whether there would be chopped guts. Besides, what practical person would mix blood in a dessert? (Okay, maybe a vampire, but I can't think of anybody else.) I held my tongue, but secretly I really wanted to ask her for a blood sample to see how she would react. Grr. Ignorant people.

If you're interested in trying this, I got the recipe here. My mods were to add more water, more sugar, and less glutinous rice. :-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

FO: Fetching

Pattern: Fetching
Yarn: Chuckanut Bay Yarns 10 Ply
Amount: probably 100 yds or so
Needles: US 6
Mods: Did an extra cable repeat at the wrist, long-tail cast on, regular bind-off

I wanted to do a photoshoot with my gloved hand in my coat pocket like the model in the Knitty picture, but it's too hot here to model with a wool coat. Therefore, my left hand will suffice. ;-)

I have had this yarn for a while now. It was a souveneir from my bf when he went home to visit his parents. See this post to refresh about our experience winding it up. He was always sad I didn't make anything from it, and that it had been languishing in my closet for a year now. (Obviously, he doesn't know how stashes work.) So I decided to make Fetching and still have enough left over for a matching hat later.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A little something that arrived in the mail today...

I had no idea Cascade Eco Wool was so huge in person. It smells sheepy, which I actually don't mind, and I can't wait to cast on for a second Shalom Cardigan. I even have the perfect buttons waiting for it. Is it wrong to start another project before I've finished Henley Perfected? My Henley is more difficult than I thought it would be, so who knows when I'll be able to finish it whereas my first Shalom only took me 2 weeks to knit. Plus, the lace scarf is going pretty slowly, but I won't worry because I still have another 2.5 months to finish it. :-D

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some of my latest WIPs...

I realized that I don't blog about my WIPs as I used to, so I thought I would whip up a couple pictures to show everybody.

Here's what I have at the moment for Henley Perfected, although I'm a bit stalled because I'm not sure how to proceed next. Instead of working flat in pieces, I did the stockinette portion in the round, and then worked back and forth for some of the lace portion. Now I'm wondering how I should shape the armholes along with the sleeves...

Since I don't like to waste time when I'm stuck on a project, I decided to cast on for the Falling Water Lace Scarf last night. Think of it as an early start on my Christmas gifts. This will go to my bf's mother. I figure I should give myself plenty of time to work on it since it's laceweight yarn. I'm feeling a bit dubious about the way it looks now, but hopefully it'll be much prettier once I block it.

Speaking of blocking, I accidentally stained my belowed Sew EZ blocking board the other night with my recently finished gloves. :-( Grrr...I really should have set the yarn with vinegar, but I forgot. Does anybody know how to remove stains from a blocking board? The spots are very faint, but still I love my board so much and I just want to keep it as clean as possible forever. :-(

Sunday, September 13, 2009


So I finally got around to photographing most of my yarn stash this weekend. I'm thinking I really should start destashing. There's nothing wrong with any of the yarns I have, except for the fact that I have too much yarn and too little time.

Please check out and let me know if you're interested in any of them.


Note: All yarns come from a pet-free, smoke-free environment. Yarns have always been stored in a ziplock bag. I can only ship within the USA.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"There's a lock on top"

After owning my tabletop swift for a year now and still having problems on how to use it, it kinda figures that my non-knitting bf figured it out before me.

There's a lock on top, he said. And little locks on the bottom.

What he meant was that knobby thing that screws down in the middle of the swift. I had always thought it was a decorative knob and had no idea it served a function.

What used to take me at least 30 minutes to 4.5 hours (in extreme cases) to wind a ball has now been shaved down to 8 minutes. Patience...

Monday, September 7, 2009

FO: Ishbel

Remember this?

After a week of furious knitting, it has transformed into...Ishbel!

* Ishbel scarf

* Wingz...I haz them

* And we have lift off!

* Oooh, lace

* And for kicks, Babushka Ishbel!

* Finally, to amuse my photographer, Ninja Ishbel!

I never thought of myself as a shawl type of person, but Ishbel has really sold me on the idea. So much so that I will probably make many more in the future for both myself and as Christmas gifts. (Shh...I already ordered the yarn.) I am a huge fan of Ysolda's Gretel and this pattern was very clear, as always. She even goes so far as to create both written and chart directions. I went with the written directions in order to avoid misreading the charts. This is the second shawl I have ever knitted (first being the Textured Shawl for my mom), and the first shawl I have ever made for myself. I plan to make another one with some Misti Alpaca Lace that I picked up recently that was deeply discounted at WEBS. Only $6.02 (that's including the shipping) for another Ishbel!

The only problem I had with this FO had to do with the yarn. I have never worked with Malabrigo before although I keep hearing all these wonderful compliments about how heavenly it is. For me, it was a nightmare. I'm not sure if I simply got stuck with a bad skein or what, but it took me and bf 4.5 hours to wind it up. Actually, it was mostly bf doing the winding and untangling of knots. The yarn literally kept knotting upon itself and was really sticky. So much so that I still have about 100 yards left in knots that I'm going to have to throw away. But once I finished knitting up Ishbel and blocking it, the yarn was so soft and light that I might actually go through torture again for another one. I wound up one of my Misti Alpaca Lace skeins the other day and magically, it only took me 30 minutes! This time I was very careful to not use my swift, but to place it carefully around 2 chair backs and locate the ties before starting. :-) But the Alpaca Lace wasn't sticky at all, so I wonder if it really was Malabrigo's fault.

Ishbel by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in Amoroso, Colorway #157
Amount: Less than a ball, probably around 330 yards
Needles: US 6
Mods: None

Size: Pre-blocked = 37" wide by 13.5" deep, Post-blocked = 43" wide by 18" deep

FO: Leaf Yoke Top II

* Angled FO

* Front

* Collar detail

* Hem close-up...they're supposed to be hearts, but don't they look like triangles?

What can I say? I loved my first Leaf Yoke Top so much that I decided to make a second one in a leafy-green color. You may recall that I knitted Green Gable last year, but I never truly liked it so I had only worn it once or twice. In order to not live with mediocrity, I decided to frog Green Gable, and voila, Leaf Yoke Top II was born! I know I'll definitely get more wear from this FO, and it's something I can wear easily to the office as well. :-)

Leaf Yoke Top from Spring/Summer 2009 Knit.1 Magazine

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Peridot
Amount: 2.5 balls
Needles: US 4 and 6
Mods: Cast on 8 sts instead of 10 sts for the armholes
Added an inch in length by doing increase rows every 6th round instead of every 5th round
Added an extra increase round for the waist
Worked to 18 inches before starting the heart lace pattern from the Vogue Knitting book
Only picked up 40 sts around the armhole (not including the 36 sts held on waste yarn)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Look what I got today!

I couldn't resist picking this up in downtown La Jolla today. I impulsively bought a pattern yesterday that I will hopefully cast on later after I wind it into a ball. Can you guess what it will be? Hint: It will only take this one ball, if not less.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

FO: Weighted Companion Cube

A Day in the Life of a Companion Cube

* 8 am: Wake up in her rocking chair

* 9 am: Head to the kitchen to start grilling breakfast

* 10 am: Play with her owner

* 11 am: Let owner goof around and wonder what life would be like if she had a square head

* 2 pm: Check out what's on TV

* 4 pm: Play a game...

* 5 pm: Maybe even some Guitar Hero

* 6 pm: Consult the latest Knit.1 magazine

* 7 pm: Work on the Leaf Yoke Top

* 9 pm: Ahh, back to bed

This has been one of my longest FOs yet because I let it sit around and procrastinated on doing the assembly and finishing. My bf is an avid fan of video games and one of his favorite games is called Portal. In this game, you go around shooting things and you get through a level with the help of your trusty friend, the Weighted Companion Cube who lets you position it as a stepping device. However, to get to the next level, you have to throw your friend into the Incinerator. So I decided to make my bf a friend who never has to be burned. He loves it so much that I kinda regret making him that scarf that he never wears. Note to self: it's a safer bet to make geeky toys for your boy than an article of clothing. :-)

I'm very bad at motivating myself to finish/sew things up, so my bf helped with most of the sewing. In fact, he probably was responsible for at least 75% of that part. He spent one night staying up until 3 am to finish sewing up all her corners. I say "her" because he has decided that the Companion Cube will be a girl and that her official name is Kubie. :-P

I loved this pattern because I think the crochet and all those individual corners make her "pop" out more than the popular knitted version that most people have made on Ravelry. She is actually pretty similar to the plush Companion Cube seen here.

Pattern: Weighted Companion Cube from Craftster by sprocketfish
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Oxford Grey (darker grey) and Grey Heather (lighter grey) and Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Pink
Amount: 3.5 balls - Oxford Grey, 3 balls - Grey Heather, and 1 ball of the pink
Hook: 4.00 mm (G)
Mods: None, except for crocheting the sides together instead of sewing to enforce stronger seams