2017: A Review

Well it has been a wild year. Not only did I move half way across the world, but I got some good knitting in. In 2017, I made 10 sweaters. 4 for babies, 2 cardigans, and 4 pullovers. Sprinkled in there were a lot of cowls and hats, and a few pairs of socks.

The longest project to complete was my Forever April Sweater. The gauge was very small (US size 4 needles) and by the end of the body it was hard to keep going. I think I just wanted a change from the stockinette.

My favorite sweater was the Red Leaf Top. I love the lacy yoke and the color is the perfect shade of red!

Here are the other top 9 items that I really enjoyed creating this year:

I hope your knitting year was fruitful and you can reflect back on the things you learned along the way.

Have a Happy New Year and I hope to have many new knitting adventures in 2018!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

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Beijing Yarn Shop

We had a great time in Beijing. It was super cold, but the sites were well worth it. While their I decided to try and locate a yarn shop (or two). Locating yarn shops is difficult as you can’t “google it.” First off, google doesn’t work in China without a VPN and second shop names and websites are not usually in English. However, thanks to travel forums and a helpful blog post I located a shop that was very close to our hotel!

I jumped on the metro and headed the few stops to Dengshikou (Line 5). I then took Exit A and walked right to the end of the block. I took a left on Dengshikou Street and a half block later and I was there. The store is called Wansha Fashion Boutique Wool (Apple Maps) or Wansha Cashmere Store (Yahoo search). At first, the shop looks like a clothing store, but when peeking in the windows you can see all of the glorious yarn piled up toward the ceiling.

When I entered the shop I was greeted by one of the shop keepers. She did not speak English so she began pointing and attempting to say “wool.” I shook my head yes and we went to the counter. Again all of the yarn was in boxes or plastic, but the shop lady opened what I wanted so that I could pet the yarn.

I showed her that I wanted ~1,000 meters of yarn. She nodded and began taking out more boxes of my desired color. So I used my calculator and some gestures to indicate I wanted 11 balls. She began counting and looking through boxes of yarn. She even called for support to get some yarn down from the higher shelves. Huh? Then I realized she misunderstood me. She was taking out a 1,000 grams worth of yarn! After a few exchanges we straightened things out and I ended up with 11 ball of this beautiful wine colored Merino wool.

Another shop keeper told me to go around the other counter and help myself to letting all of the yarn. She didn’t have to ask me twice. I headed for what looked like the DK and worsted weight yarn. One thing I hate about buying yarn in China is there is no real measures of the yarn weight or gauge. So I basically have to guess at everything.

All and all I got enough yarn for three sweaters (# balls) for a total of a USD$91. Not bad at all. Overall, my shopping experience was pretty good. This store had a decent selection of yarn

Knitting On The Great Wall

Greeting from Beijing! More specifically from the Great Wall of China! My mother-in-law (MIL), husband, and I are in the north of China for Christmas. It is mighty cold here, but the chill allows us to get great use out of our knitwear.

I am wearing a slouchy beanie I made a while ago. I used a swirling eyelet design that I free-styled. My MIL is wearing a Snuggly Loops Cowl that I made for her when I first published my pattern. Both of these items kept us nice and cozy.

The thing that surprised me the most about the wall was the steepness of the stairs. At one point, I had to use my arms and legs to hoist myself up. My husband pointed out we were on a wall on top of a mountain and steepness was to be expected (😬 duh!). In any event, we made it from towers 1-6 in a little less than 1.5 hours. I have to say the whole experience was quite impressive.

I did sneak in a row or two on my Chuck Sweater. I thought I would have it done by now, but time ran away from me. It would have been perfect for this freezing cold weather.

What a great day! I got to see another New 7 Wonder of the World in addition to getting some serious exercise in. Win-Win for Whit!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Newborn Knitwear

Anytime I make knitwear for babies I second guess myself. No matter if I am following the pattern exactly or if l look up the measurements myself I always wonder… β€œIs this going to fit?” This is exactly what I did with my Baby Sophisticate sweater. I wanted to make the newborn- 3 month size. The first one I made looked way too small. Even after blocking. So I changed fiber and made the next size up. This one looks a little long for a newborn, but I would much rather it be too big than too small. My result is just too cute. It reminds me of a little Mr. Rodgers sweater.

I also knit up a hat. This pattern is called Bearly Bonnet. It is a free and an easy pattern to follow. I did make some modifications to the pattern. I used US 4 needles and adjusted my gauge from there. Check out my Ravelry page for more information.

This hat is darling! I wish that the pattern pictures had the hat modeled on a baby so I can get the full cuteness effect. I am hoping the future mommy and baby will take lots of photos for me. These two items will certainly be some of my go to baby gifts for future little ones. They are quick to knit and have a lot of variation potential.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

More Magpie Fiber Knits

The two skeins of Magpie Fiber yarn I bought this past summer are really going the distance. In addition to the Pivot Cowl, I also got a hat and mittens out of the deal! πŸ™ŒπŸΎ

The beanie is the Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits. I used “Frankie Says Relax” for the whole hat. This hat was a pretty quick knit and it really let the yarn shine. I also like that this hat is slouchy. My hair takes up a lot of room and it definitely all fits in this hat.Β img_6726

The third project out of my Magpie Fiber yarn was a process knit project. I made some simple mittens. I casted on and let the design unfold. The main portion of the mitts uses “Jaded” by Magpie Fiber. I decided to include a garter stitch panel to keep all of the pieces connected by a textural element as well as color.

Believe it or not this is my first matching set of winter accessories. I won’t be able to wear them much here in Guangzhou. But, I have two winter weather vacations coming up. πŸ€— I look forward to taking pics in my new knitwear on the Great Wall of China and in the snowy mountains of Japan real soon!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-