Cashmere Dreamz

This summer when I purchased this yarn I had no plans for what would come of it. Cut to a week ago when I realized I brought no real cold weather clothes to China. Now that the weather is finally changing, and I have some trips planned to head north, I need to whip up some cold weather accessories.

First, I was going to make the Duotone Cowl with a matching hat. However, the colors I was using didn’t contrast enough for my personal liking. I did a little more research and found the Pivot Cowl by Purl Soho. I loved the simplicity of the pattern and knew it would let my yarn shine. The Pivot Cowl is super easy to create yet, has construction elements that keep even the advanced knitter interested. I made some modifications to the pattern that you can see here on my Ravelry page. Basically, I made the cowl shorter to fit my measurements better. I also used a variegated yarn (Magpie Fibers in Frankie Says Relax) on the front panels to give the cowl an additional dimension.

While I was knitting, I used my Knitter’s Pride Dreamz fixed circular needles. I love these needles. They are lightweight, perfectly pointed at the ends, and have good slip. The glide of the wood and the super soft yarn made this project fly off the needles. I have to say the rhythm I developed while knitting was quite addicting! On Sunday, I couldn’t put the project down. I ended up finishing my Cowl while a binge watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix.

Sadly, yesterday when I sat on the couch I pressed my hand into the cushion as well as my needles! One needle snapped clean off the joint! 😭 My beautiful needles!!! I immediately went into fix it mode. I have to save these needles. They are some of my favorites! I may be able to fix the situation with some super glue. The break was pretty clean so there may be hope!

Despite this tragic hit to my needle collection, I am super happy with my new cowl. I am loving the slight sheen and drape that the cashmere combination adds to the wool. If you have the chance (and the budget) I highly recommend picking up a skien (or two or three or five!) of Magpie Fibers’ Swanky DK.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

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Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was my first birthday in China. We rode the bus into the city and first stopped at Starbucks. I was surprised to find that the store was in Christmas mode. I guess they skip fall here… it was 85 degrees yesterday.😣 I did get to finish a little baby hat I was working on  while sipping a cappuccino. The hat was just a basic beanie with a six stitch cable up the front. 

Later in the day we headed to Liuhua Tea and Culture City in Liuhua Park. I have to say it didn’t dissapoint. The ambiance and food were quite lovely. I can’t tell you what we ate as I don’t know the names of a lot of the food. Many of the names of dishes don’t translate well so the picture menu was essential.

The park was also nice to walk around. The city has created a very relaxing space that mixes recreation and beautiful landscaping. The trees gave it some nice shade so it was somewhat comfortable to walk around in the heat. 

All and all was a great day filled with laughter, yummy food, and a wee bit of knitting. 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

FO: Chunky Grey Cardigan

Looking back at my Karl Cardigan photos made me start missing San Francisco. Karl is tucked away at my mom’s house right now as it is way too hot to wear here in Guangzhou. Right now it is a chilly 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I am thinking I need to make a lighter weight version and actually write down the pattern this time.

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Remember that project I just couldn’t put down? Well it is done! What was I creating you might ask? A chunky cardigan! Lately, I have been in the sweater mood and this project was instant gratification (It took me 2 weeks to create!).

It all started when I saw these on Pinterest…

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I loved the texture of the grey shrug (Moss Stitch). It was simple, yet added a dimension of complexity to the garment. The orange cardigan had the length I wanted for the sleeves and torso sections. Since I wanted to combine elements from both sweaters, I embarked on making a sweater from scratch. I am by no means at the level of creating my own sweater patterns so there was a lot of research as well as trial and error during the knitting process. My swatch and tape measure became my best friends.

I had concerns about how…

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Stacks Hat

Fall is here and so it the Stacks Hat! Check out the birthday discount on the pattern 🙂

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Since my birthday is approaching I am offering a 32% discount on the Stacks Hat. Buy this pattern before November 13th and enter the code: BIRTHDAYGIRL.
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I am delighted by this pattern as it represents my design style so well. I love a clean look with an added element of interest. The Stacks Hat features a classic shaped beanie/toque with an added textural surprise. Instead of using the traditional ribbed stitch, I incorporated a twisted knit stitch. By doing this, the ribbing takes on a raised three-dimensional look.

The Stacks Hat is a quick project that is sure to keep you warm during the months of cold weather. It is a one skein project and the choices of yarn to knit with are endless.


(Featured: Red Hat uses Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in Fireside; Grey Hat uses Dark Star from Crooked Kitchen Yarns)

Want the pattern? Please stop by Ravelry

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Unblocked Blaster Sweater

The Blaster Sweater by Andi Satterlund has been on my “To Knit List” for awhile now. When I first read about it I really enjoyed the backstory of the design’s creation. Andi detailed the inspiration behind the sweater on her blog:

One of the main characters on the show [Halt and Catch Fire] loves video games, and it gave me the idea for a cropped cardigan with triangle motifs at the waist that shoot up columns of eyelets, like little blasters on pixelated games. 

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As with many of Andi’s designs this is a top down sweater with a close fit. Blaster, like Zinone, is made starting with the upper back first and then progresses to the front panels. The tops sections are then joined at the underarms. I worked up the small size, but I could have made the x-small to as close of a fit as in the photo. Yet, to be honest, I prefer my cardigans to be on the looser side. IMG_6529

Since I live in an incredibly hot climate (well at least for most of the year) I opted to use a cotton blend. For the yarn, I used Drops Cotton Merino in Vanilla (Color 17), which is a 50% wool and 50% cotton combination. I have to say this yarn is very soft and has great stitch definition. I highly recommend it for adult and baby items.

I also shortened the sleeves. I decided to end the sleeves just above my elbow. I am hoping that by doing this I can wear my Blaster cardigan for more days during the year. Overall, I am pretty happy with the end result. I still need to block it and find some buttons before it is ready for its debut. I would love to find some beautiful glass buttons with a floral motif.

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Andi Satterlund continues to be one of my favorite knitwear designers. I have knitted 4 of her sweaters with Blaster now checked off the list. I am looking forward to getting started on the next sweater on my list…Chuck.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

B Is For Baby (Sweater)

Awhile ago I bought this cotton yarn from a small store in Guangzhou. I purchased royal blue with a special person in mind. Well I should say “almost person” as he hasn’t been born quite yet. One of my good friends is due to have a little boy in December. Her and her husband live in a mild climate so I opted not to use wool. I used the Baby Sophisticate cardigan pattern by Linden Down. I love shawl cardigans and the fact that this is baby size made it even more cuter.


This pattern is quite easy to follow and best of all instantly gratifying. Using size US 8 needles and worsted weight yarn made for a speedy knit. I finished the sweater in about 3 days. It looks so tiny, but the chest measurements came out to be 16 inches, which was the dimension in the pattern. I looked it up and newborn chest sizing is about 16-17 inches. I think some heavy blocking will give me an inch of wiggle room. 

I don’t  have any of my finishing  tools with me right now so you will have to imagine it with buttons. I have wooden ones picked out, but I might go to the shops to see if there is an alternate choice. 

I had about a half of a skein left of yarn so I started making a little beanie to match. This hat is pretty basic. It is 45 stitches with a garter edge. 

Hopefully, mommy and baby will like the set! 😊

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Back To Reality

Well my week of vacation is over. We enjoyed our time visiting the Phillipines. I loved that our trip had a combination of the beach and mountains. As much as I love a beach, I also love standing on top of a mountain and staring down at the world around me.

I was able to get in quite a bit of knitting during the holiday. My cardigan is measuring in at ~5.5 inches . I could have knit more, but my progress was halted as I ran out of the burgundy yarn.

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I am using an intarsia method to add a little geometric element to the cardigan. I always have the tendency to pull the floating yarn too tightly across the back. Some of the stitches look a little wonky, but I think they will get worked out when I block the final piece.  Hopefully, I will be to the armholes by the end of next week [fingers crossed]. This may be too lofty of a goal considering I have 4 parent meetings coming up this week. In any event, please check back for my progress!

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Until Next Time,
-Whit-