WIP: Mint Edie

I love the Little Edie Top I made earlier this summer. It is a super easy to wear summer top that can easily go from the beach to the office. This pattern (and FO) were too good to not make another one.

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So far everything is going well. I am using a cotton yarn that I bought at my local Chinese yarn store. The yarn is a two tone twist of mint and white so the knitted piece looks marled. I am planning on making this top to the full length and adding a pocket to the front.

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Check back to see how things are going!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

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Growing Yarn Stash

Is it me or is a large portion of the knitting community working on something with amazing colorwork? All over Instagram and the blogs I keep seeing a rainbow of color in everyone’s knitwear. It got me thinking it has been a hot minute since I have knit anything that wasn’t a solid color.

What to make? What to make? Well the first thing that popped into my mind was the Blue Snowdrop Sweater by Life is Cozy. The yoke looked challenging enough, but not too tough and I loved that the sweater fits snugly through the torso. So I headed to my LYS to procure some wool goodies.

From Life is Cozy website

One of the LYS I go to in Guangzhou is a little hole in the wall shop inside of a fabrics market (Highsun (Haiyin) Fabrics Market- Donghu stop Exit D). They sell mainly Chinese brands and are pretty affordable. My biggest qualm with going to this store is all of the yarn is in plastic and stacked from floor to ceiling. However, the sales lady is really nice and tries to be as helpful as possible considering she speaks very little English.

So what did I get? Well too much really. My colorwork sweater will be grey (main color) with navy, hunter green, and white. I can’t decide on the fourth color. I am between the fuchsia and the pink. I also found this lovely cotton yarn (green and white yarn) that I think I will use to make another Edie top. I also found bulky yarn! This can be pretty rare in China. I don’t know what I will do with it but I just loved the color so I had to have it.

All and all I am happy with my purchases. I spent 410RMB or $61USD. All of the yarn is predominantly wool. Not bad right? I CANNOT buy yarn for the rest of the year. I am not one to keep a lot in her stash and I have about 4 sweaters worth of yarn in addition to other random yarn that I need to handle. I better get knitting!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Work, Work, Work

Today is my last official day of summer vacation ( I don’t count the weekend) and I decided to sit in my pajamas, watch old episodes of Project Runway, and knit. It was wonderful. I know that on Monday there is going to be a lot going on so I needed to get my rest in while I could.

In June, I started the Vita de Vie sweater from Pom Pom Magazine’s Issue 24. This is a really interesting sweater pattern. It is worked by starting at the sleeve cuff and knitting in toward the middle. I have never done this before and was really intrigued by the process. So far I have the right side completed and 2/3 of the left sleeve.

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I also am working on Roanoke which is a short sleeve top with a really pretty neckline. The lace detail is worked using a mock cable pattern. This top is taking a really long time as I keep messing up the neckline. It took me about 4 tries to finally get it looking right. Now I am having problems with the sleeves. The edge where I picked up the stitches is looking way to loose and sloppy. I am going to try and wet block it to see if anything changes. Otherwise, I am going to have to frog it.

What are you working on right now? 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

If you would like to read more about our summer vacation in Australia please visit Smithberrys Abroad.

Little Edie

Isabell Kraemer designs fantastically! I love how she designs wardrobe staples that are effortless to wear. Edie is no exception. Continuing my love of making summer tops, I finished Edie prior to my summer trip. It looked like the perfect casual piece to add to my wardrobe.

I used Quince & Co Sparrow in Surf. I purchased the yarn online thinking it was blue. Turns out it is a blue color that was intertwined with a beige/ sandy color. The mix is very subtle to the eye. This was my first time working with Quince & Co yarn and I really loved the linen/ flax blend. I especially appreciated how the top has washed up. I have washed it several times and the color has stayed vibrant and the integrity of the yarn has upheld.

I made the XS size which does not allow the 2″ of positive ease at the bust line as stated in the pattern. I also did not complete the optional final edging around the neck. I slipped one stitch at the beginning of every row which kept everything looking neat. The biggest modification I made was to shorten the top significantly. I didn’t want a crop top, but more of a shorter top that just hit my hips. My smaller torso get lost in a lot of fabric.

So here I am in the Whitsundays (Australia) hanging on the beach in my Edie top! The linen is so light and airy to wear on the beach. I will most certainly be working with this material again.

What are your thought on knitting with linen?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Yarn Shopping in Katoomba, Australia

Katoomba, Australia is about 2 hours by train from downtown Sydney. As you saw in my last post we visited the Blue Mountains and Katoomba is one of the easiest ways to get access to the mountains. Since our adventures in Sydney have kept us busy I hadn’t been able go to a yarn shop. On a whim, I googled ‘yarn shops in Katoomba’ and to my luck one popped up! The yarn gods were smiling upon me.

The Granny Square is a cute shop about 400m from the Katoomba Train Station. It is situated right across from the Street Art Walk. When I entered the shop I noted that there was a winter sale! Woot woot! My goal was to find either some cotton yarn (for a future top) or some great sock yarn.

The sales associate was friendly and she let you do your shopping independently. Several customers had questions and she was more than happy to help. The store stocked mostly Morris and Co Yarns. This is a company that started in Sydney as a needlework business and then in the 2000s added yarn sales. The Granny Square also stocked quite a bit of Manos de Uruguay as well as Rowan yarn. The sock yarn selection was decent (German wools), but to my surprise the husband turned down picking out yarn for a hand knit pair! 😱 No worries! More yarn for me! The cotton selection was pretty limited, but I did manage to score 4 of these pretties.

They are 100% Pima Cotton and feel oh so soft. Plus they were really affordable ($27AUD for 4 skeins). A tank top or short sleeve top is in the foreseeable future.

The Granny Square was a cute shop. They stocked basic accessories, pattern books, and lots of wool to keep you happy. The sales associate was friendly and accessible. The shop prices were overall affordable, but the selection was a bit limited. If you are ever in Katoomba or the surrounding area I suggest you stop by for a peek in the shop!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Blue Mountain Cowl

Recently, I picked up my yarn and needles and let my hands dictate the design that unfolded. This process knit resulted in a gorgeous cowl.

I decided on the name Blue Mountain Cowl as it got some use on the trails of the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney, Australia. Australia is in the middle of winter right now so the temps in the mountain were a bit chilly. We started the day with it being 1°C and I think it got up to 13°C in direct sun with no wind. The cozy Merino/cashmere blend felt like a little piece of heaven.Originally, I had socks in mind, however, the yarn didn’t have enough nylon content for me. I kept ending up with really baggy socks, which were a no go. I have suffered too many years with baggy sock. The curse of tiny feet! 😫

The yarn is String Theory Caper Sock in Stella Blue (merino wool/cashmere/nylon), which I purchased in Burlington, Vermont last summer. I love the subtle color variegation in this yarn. The yarn was also soooooo soft to work with. To be honest, I was a little sad for the project to end.

The Blue Mountain Cowl was worked over 4 DPNs. I wanted a texture panel, so I worked a modified seed stitch over the first needle. The remaining stitches were purely stockinette. I was aiming for one big tube, but then I remembered this cowl from PurlSoho. I loved how the front panel draped lower than the back. What a great idea! Don’t you hate tugging your neckwear down to seal the cold out of the front of your jacket? Inspired, I added about 1.5″ to the front section only.

Well here I am in my Blue Mountain Cowl in the Blue Mountains! It was a pretty spectacular day. The sun was shining and the cool air kept us somewhat temperature controlled during our 8 miles of hiking. It was good to be out in some crisp. I think my body is happiest in cooler weather.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Places You Can Knit

Since being out of China I have really had the chance to catch up on Instagram (IG) and my blog reading. Due to the internet restrictions, it can be really difficult to load pictures or really any internet content that isn’t Chinese. Social media, such as IG, is such an inspiration for me. I love to see what people are making/ creating as well as catching up on the latest pattern releases.

All this inspiration lead me to start thinking about how I express my passions in life. So I am starting a series of posts via Instagram (@knitsbywhitsf) about knitting while traveling Australia this summer. If you would like to join in spreading knitting love use the hashtag #knitwhiletraveling2018.

I look forward to seeing where you love to knit!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-