Beautiful Istanbul

While en-route to China we decided to layover in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey has always been one of those places on my “must see” list. The culture has always intrigued me. However, in the last 1.5 years, Turkey has had a lot going on politically. Things appeared calmer than they were this time last year so we worked it into our itinerary. We flew Turkish Airlines, which is a lovely airline, and landed in Istanbul at about 4:00 pm. By the time we made it through customs we had about 6 hours to explore the city. Knowing this time was VERY limited we made the most of it by heading to some of the famous sites and grabbing some yummy food.

Our first stop was Hagia Sophia. This beautiful and very old structure was quite an interesting sight. It began as a church and then was eventually turned into a mosque. Due to this, mosaics of Christ are positioned in roughly the same area as Islamic scriptures.


We decided to not enter the Blue Mosque as it was super crowded, but we did sit in the courtyard and take in the beauty of the architecture.

Our next stop was the waterfront. We followed the sidewalk along the Golden Horn and took in views of the Galata Tower in the distance. We ended up sitting in a square eating a fish sandwich (balık-ekmek) from this really cool looking boat. What great people watching. We then ended up at another restaurant by the water where we got some cold beers and watched the sunset over a local mosque. Talk about picturesque.


I was bummed because I forgot to try some Turkish ice cream (as per a friend’s suggestion). However, I felt I got a good sense of the city. I most certainly hope to go back and have a more comprehensive view of the city and Turkey in general.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Life From The 20th Floor

Well, we made it to China in one piece…and with all our luggage! I have to say I am so thankful that our company did such a great job helping us get adjusted. I do not read or speak Chinese at all. Therefore, simple things like turning on the AC have been extremely difficult.

 And take this bottle. What do you think this is?

If you guessed dish detergent you are correct! Why there is a baby on the dish detergent beats me.

It is really quite weird living on the 20th floor. I feel so high up and it is a little scary looking down from our balcony. However, the views are fantastic! I started a pair of toe- up socks last week to keep myself occupied. We have a lot of orientation sessions and bus rides to endure.  I am using my favorite yarn Cascade Heritage Prints in Baltimore. My stripes won’t line up as nicely has my husband’s pair did, but I am not as picky as he is. I am still deciding on the heel method I am going to make as I would like to spice things up and try a heel I haven’t made. Check back to see what I decided on.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

It’s Here!

The day has finally arrived! My husband and I are moving to Guangzhou, China! As I sit here in the airport I am all types of nervous, excited, and curious. I am moving, sight unseen, to a far off place that will be WAAAAY different than anything I have ever experienced. So many questions and thoughts are running through my head, but I keep deep breathing and telling myself at least I have a partner in crime. 
Wish me luck and check back for how life is progressing! ✈️🇨🇳

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Amazonite Tank

A couple of months ago I saw the Amazonite Tank by Kerri Blumer on Instagram. I knew I had to make it. The pattern incorporated on of my favorite stitches: the seed stitch. But that wasn’t even the best part. Drum roll please… The pattern includes 5 different neckline options! Yes, you read that right 5! Talk about the possibilities.😀

For my tank,  I decided on the Peter Pan collar. I love this style of neckline. It is the right combination of vintage and feminine. For yarn, I used Rowan Summerlite DK in Cantaloupe (100% cotton). Wow, do I love this yarn. It is soft and has a lovely sheen to it. Plus you won’t break the bank :).

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I started this top back in May. Everything was going perfectly until I realized I misjudged the amount of yarn I needed. So this project was put on the back burner until new supplies arrived. I used the very trusty yarn.com. This site is great for popular brands and they tend to carry a great color selection. 

My Amazonite Tank came out pretty darn good. I am in love with the changing texture at the bottom of the tank. I like how it starts very dense and then slowly fades. I will say this tank looks a little boxy on me. When I make it again (and I sure will) I think I will make the smaller size. I did make one modification in that I crocheted a single chain along the neckline edge to make it look cleaner.

So far I am at 3 new cotton tops added to my knitwear collection. I have one more on the blocking mat so check back soon for the finished photos.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

FO: Red Leaf Top

The series of simple summer cotton tops continues! I discovered the Leaf Top on Ravelry on day in June and knew I had to make it. It was simple with with some intricate details. 

The Leaf Top is a seamless top- down piece. The yoke was pretty easy to work despite others (as per online reviews) finding it tricky. I will say the yoke did come out a little big. The eyelets fall a little low on my chest so I have to wear a tank top underneath. I defiantly could have gone a needle size smaller.

This pattern calls for worsted weight yarn so it made for a super quick knit. I used Rico Creative Cotton in Red. I bought this yarn from the Love Knitting website. It was super affordable and had lots of colors to choose from.  This cotton was pretty soft when knitting, however it was quite loosely spun. I had to frog back to some sections where I didn’t catch all of the fibers in one swoop. 

I plan on rocking this top quite a bit as it has been SO HOT and humid here on the east coast. I like that this top is versatile enough to wear casually (with jean shorts) or with something a little more dressed up.

Until Next Time

-Whit-

WIP: The Calais Shawl

For the last few months, I have been on a little bit of a yarn buying binge. Half of the reason is that I cleaned out my stash before I moved. Out with the old and in with the new right?  The other half of the reason is my having a little bit of a fear of not having yarn right away in China. Yes, I know China will have yarn, but I wanted to be prepared until I found a reliable retailer.

Lucky for me locating yarn on my travels has not been an issue at all. Just the other day I was walking down the street in Vineyard Haven, MA (I am back in Martha’s Vineyard) and saw some yarn in the window. Well, I took a detour to just check it out and ended up with two pretty balls of Crystal Palace Sausalito in Mediterranean. I was very much drawn to the two tone ply and I loved the colors. Plus this yarn was super soft and squishy (80% Merino Wool/20% Nylon).

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At first, I thought I would craft a pair of sock for myself. Then I remembered the Calais Shawl . This shawl has been on my to-make list for a long long while. I have to say I was a little nervous to use this yarn as it has a lot of color going on and the pattern is predominantly lace. However, a Ravelry search inspired me to go with it as several others have used variegated yarn and their shawls look amazing.

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Everything is looking good so far. Knitting anything lace is always deceptive as it bunches up quite a bit as you knit. Have you ever went against your “editing eye” and taken a knitting risk?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Great Pattern, Not So Great Yarn

In May,  I was asked to test knit a sweater for Life is Cozy. I just happened to have 5 skeins of hot pink alpaca yarn (from my trip in Ecuador) that needed to be knitted up, so I said yes. I have test knit for this designer before and love her designs. They are simple constructions with interesting and delicate details. The Forever April Sweater was no exception. The design elements that caught my eye were the shaped waistline and the off the shoulder neckline.

The Forever April Sweater is a top down raglan sweater with bell shaped sleeves. I did bump up a needle size (US size 2 and 4) as my yarn was a little thicker than the recommended yarn. I didn’t want the piece to be too dense. The only other modification I made was to shorten the length of the sweater as the recipient is on the petite side. I ended up keeping all of the waist shaping increases and decreases and just began the ribbing 3 inches before my desired end length. 

So why does my title contain the words “not so good yarn”? Well this yarn was by far the worst yarn I have ever worked with. It shed EVERYWHERE! Anytime I worked on this sweater I would end up having a layer of hot pink fuzz covering me. This yarn was was also not very tightly wound. I have a pretty tight knitting tension so at one point I broke the yarn 4 times in one row 😫. To make matters worse I tried it on and it was SO itchy. Ugh! This “not so good yarn” made finishing this project a pain. 

Despite my dislike for the yarn, the sweater came out quite lovely. I made sure to give it a long soak and it doesn’t seem as itchy.  Buster (my “fur brother”) seemed to approve.

I am a little bummed that my yarn choice was a let down, however, The Forever April Sweater is a great pattern. It makes a lovely sweater for the spring or chilly summer nights. I highly recommend you head to Life is Cozy and download this free pattern.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-