Summer Update

Well we have made it through our first year in China! Woot woot! We had many ups and downs and no matter what we expected the experience has changed us forever.

The one thing I have loved about our time so far abroad is traveling. Having much of Asia less than a 5 hour flight away has been pretty awesome. Our favorite spots have been Tokyo, Singapore, and Guilin.

It has been a challenge to keep up knitting as much in China. There is a serious lack of LYS in Guangzhou that sell natural fibers. There is a lot of acrylic going on. I am making a more conscious effort to seek out yarn shops when we travel, which has made for great souvenirs. I also managed to figure out online shopping (Taobao) to purchase some of the larger name brands (Debbie Bliss, Quince and Co).

This summer we will be in California and Australia for a total of 5 weeks. I am super excited and have already started looking up yarn shops in Sydney! If you would like to read about our travels please do so at Smithberrys Abroad. Or connect with me on IG @knitsbywhitsf

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

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Gemini Top

Fist off I am in love with this color. I really love jeweled tones and this yarn was such a rich shade of teal I couldn’t resist using it twice! (See my Bankhead Hat). The yarn isn’t a natural fiber, but it passes the ‘pet test.’ Meet my newest finished garment Gemini.

This pattern features a lace yoke panel that can be worn to the front or back depending on your mood. The pattern was very straight forward and the yarn/needles size combo made for a quick knit. I worked the small size and have about 2-3″ of positive ease. I did modify the length of the body as I am petite and have a shorter torso.

Another short sleeve top to add to the stack! Since my Gemini top isn’t straight cotton it will make a good layering piece when the weather does finally cool down. I am thinking a collared shirt might look cute underneath. The endless possibilities that come with creating your own wardrobe!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Bankhead Hat

I finally got around to making the Bankhead Hat by Susie Gourlay. I originally found this hat while doing some research for a coworker. She wanted to make a basic-ish beanie that was gender neutral.

The Bankhead Hat is a great project for beginners. The pattern is well written and has a lot of photos to guide you along. Along with being free, Bankhead can be created with pretty much any yarn. I used a solid color, however, Bankhead would look lovely in striped or with variegated yarn.

I am not quite sure if I worked the crown decreases correctly. If I did then I really like the finished look. If not… I still like it (hahaha).

What is your favorite basic-ish hat/beanie pattern?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Knitting With Woolfolk

I purchased a skein of Woolfolk Tynd (Color N°14) at Knitterly in Petaluma, CA over a year ago. Sadly, this LYS is now closed 🙁. I became curious about this yarn after reading about it on some blogs. Woolfolk yarn is known for high quality and responsibly made yarn. The yarn is made to feel luxurious. In the store, the yarn definitely passed the “pet test” (aka soft and squishy).

I have held onto this yarn for awhile because just wasn’t sure what to make. Last week I realized that a friend’s daughter’s birthday was coming up. She is turning 16 and she is quite far away from her best friends. I thought that a hand-knitted item may make her feel excited on her special day.

I was feeling in a designing mood so I went to Ravelry for inspiration. My interest was captured by The Valley of the Moon Shawl. I really loved the angled eyelets. The hat ended up using a slanted eyelet pattern over 12 stitches. I made 3 rows with a total of 5 eyelets in each row. I then changed the direction of the eyelet slant by using ssk vs. k2tog. My only complaint is that the Woolfolk yarn didn’t really make my pattern pop. Tynd is a fuzzy yarn and so it made my eyelets look a little muted.

I would consider using Woolfolk yarn again if I had some extra money on hand. Maybe for a nice pullover? I can only imagine how soft and cozy it would be. 😍

Have you tried Woolfolk Yarns?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Zigzagular Socks

The Zigzagular Socks are a free knitting pattern on Ravelry. The construction is top down with a textured heel flap. Along the sides of the socks runs a basic cable pattern that moves back and forth in a zig zag pattern.

I made the smallest size using my Daruma Superwash Merino wool yarn. This is a Japanese brand. I was first attracted to this yarn as it looked super soft and cozy. I have to say I wouldn’t use this yarn for socks again. It was too loosely wound for me. I like a very smooth yarn that is tightly plied and has at least 25% nylon. I like how the nylon helps keep a tight fit on my teeny tiny feet.

The pattern for these socks was well written. I liked that there were written direction as well as charts included. I also love a pattern with lots of pictures. It helps give me a better idea of what I am going to end up with.

I will not be wearing these sock for a looooong time. It will be 90° F/30°C for pretty much everyday for the foreseeable future. So no socks required 🙁. But, if you are looking for a sock pattern to stock up on your cold weather gear during the summer months I highly suggest the Zigzagular Socks.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Timbromania Sweater

Have you all seen the Pom Pom Magazine Spring 2018 Issue? It is gorgeous! Initially, I saw the pattern Durumi on Instagram. I fell in love. I am a sucker for a simple geometric yoke. I headed to Ravelry to get more info and that is when I saw all the patterns from the  issue. I wanted to make them all!
(Photo from Pom Pom Magazine)

This was my first time purchasing Pom Pom Magazine and I have to say I am impressed. The magazine is laid out nicely and I really appreciated that they features models of somewhat average size. In this issue, the patterns were inspired by vintage stamps. Each pattern had a little backstory about the stamp and how it inspired the knitwear. Out of the 11 patterns featured, I wanted to make 7 immediately. However, let’s be practical 11 WIPs at one time is a little ridiculous. So I went through my stash and decided to make Timbromania with my pink cotton yarn that I bought in Tokyo.

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I worked the pattern as written. The only “modification” I made was how the short rows were completed. The cotton yarn I was working with wasn’t very forgiving and every time I turned the piece to make the short row it got sloppy. However, I made it work and got through the sections. I had also never used a provisional cast on. It was fairly simple to execute.

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I am happy to add Timbromania to my short sleeve top collection. I am acquiring quite the stash. It is a must though. When you live in a hot, humid, and tropical climate there isn’t much else you can knit. Shawls, scarves, hats, sweaters and/ or socks are just out of the question when it is 34 degrees C or 94 degrees F on a daily basis.

What are your favorite warm weather knits? 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Learning Tunisian Crochet

Recently, I had a lull between knitting projects. I couldn’t quite decide what to work on next. My Ravelry queue had about 30 choices, but the choices just made me more indecisive. So instead, I decided to investigate the excitement around Tunisian Crochet.

I gathered some scrap yarn and a hook and settled in front of my computer. I figured out the mechanics in about 10 minutes. If you know the basics of crochet, Tunisian Crochet isn’t that far off. The difference is you work the piece from right to left and DON’T turn the work.

I chose to work the Tunisian Knit Stitch, which to an inexperienced eye looks just like knitting. You can notice a slight difference in the back of the swatch. The look and weight of the garment is slightly thicker than knitting.

I ended up really liking the final look of the stitch. However, in order to make anything larger than a swatch I will need to invest in an Afghan hook (super long crochet hook). I don’t know if there will be much Tunisian Crochet in my future, but it was fun to try it out.

Have you tried Tunisian Crochet? What did you think about it?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-