Friday, January 31, 2014

Spring 春天; Happy Chinese New Year

Project:  Spring 春天
Pattern Ascalon by Christelle Nihoul (Ravelry free download)
Yarn:  Twisted Sisters Zazu Hand Paints, 100% Merino
Yardage:  1170 yards in stash
Needles: Size 6
Cast on: December 31, 2013
Notes: The twisted stitches and small cables make this shawl a delicate and fun knit. The yarn is very soft, and the colors are so vibrant. The row of double yarn overs on the edge seem to beg some sparkly dangly things. Is it possible to add "after thought" beads or pearls?

Despite the snowy and super cold long winter everywhere else in US, we are having a very dry warm winter. There has not been any significant rain all season. But look, spring is here (before dry leaves from the fall are done falling!). Today is Chinese New Year, the year of the galloping horse (signifies strength, movement, adventure). For those who celebrate, have a wonderful year of horse, may you and your family happy and healthy!

Happy Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog, and leave me a comment!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Finale: Candle Flame 烛光

This is closer to the true color.

Project:  Candle Flame 烛光
Pattern Candle Flame Scarf by Doris Formby (free Ravelry download)
Yarn:  Dax Alpaca, DK weight 100% alpaca
Yardage:  250 yards (2 balls), used every inch
Needles: Size 9
Cast on: December 26, 2013
Cast off: December 31, 2013
Cost: About $25

Notes: I used size 9 needles for this DK weight yarn to give the scarf more loft, and to stretch out the limited yardage because I really wanted a scarf. It still turned out a bit short so I sewed the ends together and turned it into a cowl. This was knitted during my post holiday Downton Abbey marathon (I watched all three seasons on Amazon Prime in about a week). This cowl will always remind me of Lady Mary or Anna.

Happy Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blogTami's blog, and leave me a comment!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cathy's Visit; Tilly Finale

Last weekend was the much anticipated visit from Cathy and her family, which had been in talks for weeks if not months. Cathy, who blogs at Cat's Tale, and I met on Ravelry and became fast friends through Ravelry groups, Facebook and blogging. It felt like a miracle that we finally met in person! And she even had gifts for everyone in the family.

Cathy spun this merino/silk blend, perfect for cables

Gorgeous crochet shawl from Cathy!

Love this stitch pattern
We spent a wonderful day together exploring bookstore and yarn shops in Santa Cruz.

Sock yarns from Golden Fleece

Arm load of Tosh from Swift Stitch
I wished we had more time together, there are still so many things I'd like to show Cathy and her guys. Or maybe we'll one day meet up in Hawaii as we joked, it's somewhat in the middle, right?

I gave Cathy one of my finished scarves in her gift package so I'll include its FO report here:

The color is much darker, close to navy blue.
You can see it on Cathy in the lunch picture.
Project:  Tilly 娣丽
Pattern Tilly, by Lisa Lloyd, published in A Fine Fleece
Yarn:  Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, 2 skeins
Yardage:  384 yards, used every inch of it
Needles: Size 6
Cast on: May 26, 2013
Cast off: December 26, 2013
Cost: About $20
Previous entries: cast on
Notes: This was an in-between-project project, so I worked on it on and off until during the holidays when I decided to finish it off for good. It will fly away to the Land of Oz with Cathy, hope they will have some cool weather next winter!

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog, and leave me a comment!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Retreat, Stripe Two

Winner for last week's eBook giveaway is Andria who blogs at McGreen Experience. Andria, Denise will get in touch with you on Ravelry about the eBook.

Last weekend was my knitting group's annual knitting retreat. This year we are trying out a new venue, St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista. My friend Carol, who blogs at And All That Yarn, organized the retreat and wrote up a nice recap about the event on her blog. Here are a few pictures I took, more on Facebook and Ravelry: 

Encountered this deer on my walk, he was not scared at all.

My friend Jocelyn, who blogs at Fiber Dev, gave us a mini course of making your own stitch markers. I have a lot of old jewelry that I don't use any more, and I'd like to take them apart and turn them into stitch markers. I made the ones with amber and pearls in this picture below, the other ones are my trades with Jocelyn and Cathy (My Breast Cancer Journey). 

Got this huge skein of lace yarn in gift exchange, and it took me a good part of two hours to hand wind it into a nice large ball. It will be great for a full size shawl.

Finished another stripy scarf using odd balls, call it my Stripe Two. Gave it to my friend Fae, it's perfect for her color palette!

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog, and leave me a comment!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year Pattern Review and Giveaway

My knitting blogging friend Denise Voie de Vie has a new ebook out, Romantique, and asked me to review it. Denise specializes in useful, technical, artful crochet designs, and her books are always full of wonderful photographs to go along with the patterns.

Romantique, as the name suggests, focuses on feminine, soft, romantic designs, with warm colors, classic shaping, and decorative details. Denise wanted me to choose my favorite design from the book, and coordinate an outfit. I'm a sweater knitter, so of course I set my eyes on this lovely shawl collared sweater.

You can wear it as your every day around town sweater, with jeans, boots and a big purse to carry around your knitting, books, cell phone, wallet, keys, gums, chapstick, hand lotion, spare change, day old cookies, and whatnot.

Or dress it up for the evening, with a fancy skirt, jeweled hand bag, and nice heels. 
Or wear it to work with black and neutrals, to make the sweater stand out.
What's your favorite outfit to go with the sweater? Comment on this post and have a chance to win a free Romantique ebook. (click on the link to see all the patterns on Ravelry). One entry per person, entry ends next Thursday, January 9th, noon PST.

Happy New Year and Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog, and leave me a comment!