Sunday, December 22, 2013

Op. 17 Beret...finally....

My dear knitters,

I hope you guys are all doing well and staying warm this winter.  Sorry that I was not able to update my blog as I got tied up by personal business.  

Today let me introduce you to my first beret design.  Yes...Beret....  Elegant it is.  Yet, the knitting pattern is not difficult at all.   It is aimed for immediate knitters.  

Here is the basic info of Op. 17:

Material: 2 Skeins of Mochi Plus Colorway #555
Tools: a set of US #7 (4.5mm) double pointed needles
            a set of US #6 (4.0mm) double pointed needles
            a cable needle in the same size of #7 needle
Size: 52 (58)cm head size  

Gauge:     20 stitches x  25rows = 10cm x 10cm (ribbing)

Besides basic knowledge of circular knitting, you will need to learn how to do C2B...AKA  Right Twist.  In the pattern, I will keep it C2B for convenience's sake.  Other than that, you may need to know how to do Pom Pom.  

See?  It's optional.   (Although many of you vote for the additional ornament on Instagram) 

I was trying to make Op. 17 as delicate as possible with limited skill set.  And here is how the ribbing looks like:

The color way I chose is called Tapestry Rainbow in text, 555 in number.  It's my beloved Mochi Plus yarn.  (The yarn I used to make Op. 12) You will need more than 1 ball.  

The pattern is now available on Ravelry.  Free feel to check this out.  At this moment, I so wanna knit instead of writing pattern up.  See you guys, stay warm and  


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Chic or Chic: Op. 16 Cowl Pattern

Hello knitters!

I'm now blogging while listening to some French children's song.  It's fun!!!  But don't get wrong, Cowl Op. 16 is absolutely for adult.    I had some difficult time deciding on what to do with the Morasol's Hasa yarn.  

The tweed of the Hasa yarn is favored by some knitter friends.  Sweet! 

Here is some info of Op. 16:

Material: 2 Skeins of Mirasol’s Hasa with Color way #2210
Tools: Circular needles US# 8 with 32” cord.
                  2 Cable needles
                  Stitch Markers (Optional)

Size: 71 (73)cm circumstances; 19 cm tall

Gauge:   18 stitches x  24 rows = 10cm x 10cm

In fact, due to the irregular spun of the yarn, it is necessary to arrange some extravagant, or I should put it, some unsubtle pattern for the cowl.  That's why I have the big cable, the "big X" designed for the center part in front.   Something 'overstated" would be a good choice.

How about the back?  I have something totally technically and graphically different for the other side of Op. 16.

Hope you like the wavy pattern as well.  It enhances the elegance of the cowl and make it more "chic".  

It was fun to do a lot of ssk (Skip, Skip, Knit) for this cowl. What a good practice!  I did it also for testing the needle tip of the Turbo Click set.   Two relevant blogs are listed here: 2 Weeks After and Finally I got the Turbo Click.  

Anyhow, I hope you all like Op. 16 cowl pattern, which is now available on Ravelry and Etsy.  


Thursday, September 26, 2013

2 Weeks After: Little Thoughts on Click Turbo

Hi knitters,

I've been using the Addi's Click Turbo set for two weeks.  So far so good. 
Here are some thoughts about it.

First of all, the needles are, as it is renowned for, super!!!!

I have no difficulties knitting at all.  I can't knit in a turbo speed as I am a slow knitter.  Therefore there's no mean to boast that I became a rocket knitter by since the day I started using this Turbo set.  But I notice that my knitting has been sped up a bit.  It's probably due to the well-polished body of the needles. That may also because the light weight of the needles.  It's not super light.  But it's not heavy at all.  I feel comfortable with them. 

It was with the US#8 needles and 32" cord that I tried out the set.  I had no trouble doing ssk and some k2tog at all, which pleased me.  The tips of the needles are not as sharp as the Lace set, but they are good enough for stitch decreasing. Well, I haven't tried k3tog, thus no comment on that.  By the way, I was making Op. 16 cowl which will be discussed in another blog.

My motto as a designer is simple: Nothing is perfect.  And so is not the Click Turbo set.  I had very high expectation on the click, which is the selling point of this product.  Well, the joints are secure.  So far no accidents happen.  The security of this set satisfy my need, which was the exact reason I bought it.  (oh my expensive...yet so far no other product beat it)  However, something surprised me in an unpleasant way.  The process of 'clicking' is not a smooth one.  I never expect that as that's not what I saw in the advertisement.  I had found out this problem when I examined the set in the yarn store, but the sales representative told me it's 'normal', which means the product was manufactured like this.  Can't say I was 100% satisfied with the answer.  And I hesitated a minute before purchasing it.  I hope that once I have them used more often, the clicking will become easier.  I hope.

One thing you guys may be curious to know: the color of the cord.  I was told that the blue cord is for the North American market.  Well, I can confirm it as I just bought one myself from a US yarn store.  The red cord, as you may have seen on eBay for sale, is actually for the Asian market, as I was told by some participants of knitting forums.  That means once you buy the set, you don't have lifetime warranty if you live in the US.  Well, there maybe no warranty at all.  I understand the cheaper cost is attempting.  However, please reconsider it before purchasing.  I once thought about that too.  There is also a set with golden cord.  Yes, GOLDEN.  Sounds nice.  I was told that it's exclusively for the market for European.  Well, the manufacturer is from Germany.  I can understand why the color for European region is more precious...a bit jealous.  Again,the information provided in this paragraph is from a forum discussion, not from any official resources.  

Anyhow that's the end of a little review.  To have it documented more precisely, I would like to note again that this review is done after two weeks of trying the Turbo Click.  Perhaps will do another one if I discover something 'frensh' that I didn't share here.

P.S. The knit shown in this blog is the coming-to-be Op.17 Beret.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Finally I got the Turbo Click!

Hi Knitters,

How's your day?  Today is exceptionally hot in San Francisco.  Unbelievable.  Everybody goes out.  Me too.

I got a call earlier from a yarn store.  The sales representative informed me that the addi Turbo Click set has been restocked!  Hurrah!!!  

I then went to the yarn shop.  After Comparing the original Turbo and the Lace sets  I made up my mind and bought the Turbo.  Why?  Because it's always out of stock.  So I guess, only guess, that the turbo performs better. And also because the needles of the Lace set are too short.  Well, you may ask me, "why didn't you get the Lace Long Tip in the other store a few days earlier?"   Hmmm...that's because I like the tip of the needles of smaller sizes better.  (US #4-7)   What do you think?  And how do you like the Click Lace Long Tip set?  

I have a cirucular turbo in US #5.  That works very well.  And I've heard a lot of compliement about Turbo Click.  Well, actually I did try to connect the cord and the needles.  I didn't hear any click from this German set.  Hahaha.  Here is the official description of the Click Turbo:

The addi Turbo® Click system provides 10 different sizes of addi Turbo® tips (3.5mm, 3.75mm, 4.0mm, 4.5mm, 5.0mm, 5.5mm, 6.0mm, 8.0mm, 9.0mm, and 10.0mm), three different lengths of our new, extremely pliable blue cord (24”, 32” and 40”), and one connector piece which helps to either store stitches or combine your cords. 

I bought this expensive set (yes, it's EXPENSIVE) also because of the lifetime warranty.  Someday I will have a chance to see how good the customer services (as I heard) is.   Will try these needles with my next project.  Then of course I will blog about it!

Enjoy your weekend and

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Among Incredible Knits: Trip to Nine Rubies in San Mateo Area

Hi Knitters,

It's now Fall.  And winter is coming.  Ready for buying yarn without limit?  Well, I just got a few balls of yarn.  Op. 16 is gonna be something in purple.  Stay tuned if you wanna see how it will turn out.

A few days ago, I called Nine Rubies in San Mateo and asked the receptionist if they do carry Addi Turbo set.  She said yes and we drove all the way down there.  It turned out they only carried the Long Lace set.  I was 'tricked'.  To be honest with you, I was a bit pissed that I wasted some gas and couldn't get the product I was promised.   Well, maybe the receptionist was too new (As I overheard).  Anyhow, I stayed there pondering if I should just have bought that set and took a few minutes browsing around.  

I won't say their selection was hug.   But everything was displayed in good order and there were a lot of goodies.   What made Nine Rubies unique was their beautiful samples.  They are all neatly made by skillful knitters.  The gauges were even, stitches were beautiful...perfect!!!! It just made me wonder the incredibility of the knitter!!! 

Also, the tidiness of Nine Rubies made it high class and comfy.  It was designed to be a studio instead of a store.  Well thought.  And there was even a rectangular table for people to sit around and knit.  

Oh! How clean! How bourgeois! I love the setup of this store!  

At the end, I got one ball of Noro yarn.  No needles.  While I was paying, I asked the receptionist for permission to take photos.  She kindly agreed.  Thank you. 

Will I come back to Nine Rubies?  Yes.  There are many good restaurants around B street.  Will just drop in and pick  up something nice.  

Anyway, hope you find a nice local yarns store and


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Labor Day Yarn Review on Cascade's Longwood

Hi Knitters,

How's your Labor Day weekend?  Mine's quite boring.  Really hope to do something outdoor.  But before I step out of my door,  allow me to make one announcement and review on the yarn Op. 15 is made of.

Labor Day weekend special.  Everything is on sale on both Ravelry and Etsy. Price already changed for you.  No need for coupon.  Hope you find something right for you.

All right, review time.  About the Cascade Longwood.  It's a new release this year.  So soft to touch as it's made of100% superwashed merino.  And the color way #12 was exactly that i was looking for.  Longwood is made in China, and it is not cheap in terms of price.

Inspired by an outfit of Brown Eyed Girl in their MV "Kill Bill,  I originally planned to knit a poncho with four balls of it.  And I casted on two hundred something stitches.  As the label of the yarn suggested, I used US #8 needles.  I guess Longwood just doesn't get along too well with needles in that size.  The gauges doesn't look too good to me.   It should go with smaller needles.   And that's why I later switched to #6 and #7 Cubics while I did Op. 15.  

Moreover, I felt much more comfortable knitting Longwood with bamboo and wooden needles.  Perhaps it's not too slippery on those needles?  

One thing I do like to point out: you'd better not make any mistake while needle with Longwood.  I had undone the would-be-a-poncho and found it quite difficult to knit with the same yarn again.  It's not impossible.  It was just not a pleasant experience.   I always had my needles insert "inside" the yarn.  See the ply....  So loose........I mean it happens to some other yarns too.  It's just a shame: poor manufacturing with very nice material.

Anyhow, I managed to finish Op. 15 with a skein of Cascade's Longwood.  It is wonderful to wear the hat on.  Speaking as the wearer, it's  super comfy.  But Longwood is just not my favorite new yarn of this season.  I have returned the remaining three balls which I didn't use at all to the yarn shop and got some store credit refunded.  Wanna know what I got?  Stay tuned and 


Friday, August 30, 2013

Op. 15 Hat : Spelled by magic loop and cable knitting

Hi Knitters,

I have to tell you how much I love doing magic loop now.  As I mentioned in another blog, when I first tried my hands on magic loop, I was surprised that it was not as difficult as it seems. And I do feel more comfortable that I do not to worry about stitch dropping.  Relieved!   Now I don't really knit with double-pointed when I do hats.  Oh...there is no turning back once you tried on magic loop!!!!!!  And I was 'warned' by some friends on Instagram a while ago.  Thank you guys!

Back to Op. 15.  I did it mainly to test out the cable needles I bought from Daiso.  Here is what I think about them.  One word: secure.  I didn't need to worry about dropping the stitch from the hook at all.  For this reason, I highly recommend needles in this shape for first-time cable knitters.  

However, the material these needles are made of, probably plastic, as not in good quality as those of Clovers.  Well, $1.5 for three hooks, what do you expect.  But they served me well and as you see, I finished a hat with them.  Mission completed. That's good enough.

I do recommended knitting with stitch makers.   Or you may get lost easily.  This is optional.

About the Pom Pom.  Isn't it cute? I made it with Hamanaka Pom Pom makers.   May blog about this in another entry.  So many things to blog about......... good to be busy.

Back to Op. 15 Hat Pattern. Again... Here is the basic info:

Material:                One Skein of Cascade Yarn Longwood
                          Colorway #12

Tools:                US#6 double-pointed needles
                      US#7double-pointed needles
                      A cable needle
                      A Pom Pom Maker with 7cm diameter 
                      Stitch Markers (Optional)

Size:                Fits head of 40-48cm circumstances

Gauge:             20 Stitches X 27 Rows = 10cm X 10cm

Skills you need to possess are: Casting on, Knit, Purl, Knit 2 together, Purl 2 together, Make 1, Pom Pom Making, Cable knitting.

Oh please note: I knitted with #7 Knitter's pride Cubics for the body of this hat.  The the gauge is bit tighter than knitted with #7 of other brand.  

I would say Op. 15 will be good for children of 8 to 14.  Not too big.  Not too small.  Pattern is now available on both Etsy and Ravelry.  Have Fun and

Happy Knitting

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Secret weapon: tools for cable knitting

Hi knitters,

It is so good to talk about cable knitting.  Just by understanding the concept of cable knitting, you will be able to create a lot of irresistible knit.  Let's start.

First of all, let's talk about our special tool required by cable knitting.

Unlike most of the stitch you can just deal with the knitting needles, you need something extra.  And the secret weapon is called "cable needle".

The shape of Cable Needles comes in two forms.  One is symmetric one with the middle part concave a little bit.  Don't know what it's called.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

And the other one is in a J shape with one side longer and the other one shorter.  I prefer J-Hook to the other options.  As a forgetful person, I made a habit to insert the stitches from the longer side and knit the stitches from the shorter side.  This is not what everybody does.  They often do the opposite.  Just suit yourself.

Is there any way you can save money by not buying any cable needle?  Yes, there is.  If you have double-pointed needles, you can just pick one of the right size.  But do use the short double-pointed.

So basically what you need to do is to follow:

1. Separate the stitches involved into two groups.  For example, when you see a C6F, there are 6 stitches involved.  Divided them into 2 groups.  Let's call them group A and group B.  Then it will make 3 stitches belong to group A and 3 to group B.
2. Insert all the stitches of group A into the cable needle.
3. Place the cable needle either in front or back of your project.  The abbreviation will tell you.
4. Knit all the group B stitches from the left needle.
5. Knit all the group A stitches from the cable needle.

Done.  Easy?  What you need to know is what the instruction says.

To reinforce what is written above, I made a YouTube tutorial to demonstrate how to do cable knitting. You will see how simple it is.

There is one more thing I would like to share.  I usually pick a cable needle with a bit smaller than the needles I'm knitting with.  For instance, when I knit with US #8 needles, I use cable needle with something like #6 needle.

There is no size mark on cable needle. However, it is very easy to tell which one is smaller.  No need to worry about that.   

Knowing how to do cable knitting is an invaluable benefit for every knitter who wants to have more fun.  There are some knit I create that requires cable knitting skills.  Op. 4 and Op. 13 are both good exercises.  Later I will talk about other kind of cable knitting.  Excited already?  Anyhow,


Friday, August 16, 2013

Op. 14 Hat Knitting Pattern

Hi Knitter,

I'm so so happy to announced that Op. 14 Hat Knitting Pattern is finally finished.  Though the skills needed for this patterns are not difficult, writing out this complicated pattern made me dizzy...and it would be very easy to make mistake in the pattern.

Well, it does not mean that knitting Op. 14 is difficult at all.  It was the writing,  not the knitting that held me back.  Skills required are in intermediate level: Cast On, Sewing for bind off, Knit, Purl, K2tog, P2tog, Cable knitting, twisted cable knitting.  Nothing difficult.  Just follow the instruction step by step and you will be fine.

And as I mentioned, I did it in Magic Loop style.  It is not a must.  You can always do it with double-pointed needles as the pattern says, or with circular needles.  

I do encourage you to use stitch makers for this pattern.  And put marker wherever I have it "spaced out" in the written pattern.  It helps understand the structure of the pattern.

Material: On Skein of Plymouth Yarn Company 
Encore Colorspun colorway #7750

Tools: US#7 (4.5mm) double-pointed needles
US#8 (5.0mm) double-pointed needles
A cable needle
Stitch Markers (Optional)

Size:         Fits head of 50-55cm circumstances

Gauge: 17 Stitches X 25 Rows = 10cm X 10cm

Unfortunately I didn't take any pic of the yarn before I started working on Op. 14.  My fault.  This lovely yarn is made of 75% acrylic and 25 % wool.  Product of Turkey.  Like other worsted yarn, this Encore Colorspun is a little bit rough, not as soft as Uptown Worsted.  That is probably before there is wool in it.  And as you can see, it's very good for cable knitting.  The colorway is named Lime Frost.  Fresh....

And what did I put beside the left yarn?  That's a tillandsia.  Cute?

Oh, almost forgot to mention.  Op. 14 pattern is now available on both Ravelry and Etsy.  Go for it!!!

Next project will not be a hat.  It will be a project that needs more than one skein of yarn.  Stay tuned and