Chiaogoo Knitting Needles

So my Karbonz Interchangable Set is worn out. I am down to one interchangeable cord. The three other cords were chucked out due to the screw cap breaking off. Secondly, many of the screw inserts became worn out. This meaning that randomly the needle would disconnect from the cord creating and explosion of loose stitches that would be nearly impossible to place back on the cord. Frustration mounted and I decided to look at my options.

Most knitting needles in China are bamboo, which I hate. I like a slick needle with a pointy tip. The yarn glides better (for me) and I can keep a faster knitting speed. I tried searching on Taobao (China’s Amazon equivalent) and I kept finding a lot of straight needles. Not that I am opposed to straight needles, but they are a lot harder to travel with and keep organized.  After some more internet research, I discovered that Chiaogoo was a Chinese brand. I ended up finding an interchangeable set with US size 2-8 needles online for 600RMB (~$87).

It took awhile to receive my package, but when I did I was ever so pleased. Included in the set were needles US size 2-8, 3 cords, the tools to attach the needles to the cords, a cord extender, end caps,  stitch markers, and a digital row counter.

So do I like the needles? Yes I really do! I love how slick the knitting needles are as the whole needle is one material. My Karbonz needles are wood and metal. The cords are awesome as well. They don’t kink and are pretty flexible. I also like that the connection join is very smooth. I don’t foresee many projects getting snagged. The only downfall is that I received less needles as I purchased the small set. However, I mostly knit with sizes 2-8 so this isn’t a huge issue. Looking forward to using these needles until they wear out 😉.

What is your favorite brand of knitting needle? 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

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Cardis for Babies

Once upon a time a parent told me that cardigans are way easier to dress their babies in than pullovers. As an adult person I tend to be more partial to a pullover. I hate when the cardigan edges flap in the breeze when I walk. However, with babies, I can see how avoiding pulling things over the baby’s head is the preferred option.

This summer I bought some Debbie Bliss Eco Baby on Taobao (China’s Amazon.com) This cotton is great. It is soft and has great stitch definition. I intended to make a cotton tank. I bought three balls thinking that would be enough (I was aiming for more of a cropped length). Boy was I wrong. It looked more like a bralette. So I frogged it and decided on a baby sweater instead.

 

This was a process knit and sorry I didn’t write down the pattern. I started with a top down raglan approach. I then added the purled rows to give the bland color a layer of complexity. Last but not least, I added the adorable rose buttons. Don’t you love the bright pop of color against the neutral tone?

I love making baby items. They are quick and oh so adorable. I am estimating that this sweater is about a 6-9 month sizing. I will keep this one in the gift reserve as there are quite a number of babies popping up around work.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Roanoke

This summer, I happened upon this great cotton yarn from Morris and Sons. It is a Pima cotton, which meant it was oh so soft. Lucky for me, I found a pattern that I knew would fit it perfectly two weeks later.

Roanoke, by Triona Murphy is a lovely short sleeve bottom-up sweater. It had my usual favorite elements- simple silhouette with a intricate yoke- so of course I fell in love. The yoke was made with a 4 row repeat of eyelets and yarn overs. It looked a simple enough, but let’s just say it took 4 froggings until the pattern clicked for me. I just could not figure out how to get the twist effect just right.

This was my first time working with Morris and Sons yarn and I really liked it. The yarn was soft and had great stitch definition. It didn’t expand too much when I wet blocked it either. The color did bleed quite a bit, but all was good because I washed it separately.

I am kind of mad at myself for only buying one sweaters worth of this yarn. However, travel restrictions didn’t allow me to buy more yarn than “needed.” Lucky for me, I get to return to Australia in October for a conference. Let’s just say I might have to bring an extra suitcase.😉

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

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-

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-

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-