Tuesday, November 06, 2007

what I've been up to

A lot has gone on since I last posted so here is a little catch up.

I went to see the Yarn Harlot which many people have already posted about. I had a great time and she was a great speaker. One of the more amusing parts of the day was when Wen got the Yarn Harlot to look over her big signing podium to look at my shoes. She looked over to see these:

Unfortunately it also made her stick her backside up in the air. Fortunately we were at the end of the line and most cameras were far far away. It was a great day, albeit long and mostly without incident. Hooray to knitting days out.

Since then I've dusted off my old Ashford Traditional wheel, gave it a nice wax and have gone completely obsessed again with spinning. It's been quite a while since I have spun, and this time around I'm enjoying it a lot more. I think it is because I'm much more comfortable with my knitting and also more comfortable with my designing abilities. I know now, that whatever weight the yarn comes out, as long as I'm consistent, I'll be able to figure something out with it.

My big goal is to spin sock yarn, so I've been doing a lot of sampling. Back in 2002 I was part of an instant gratification dye swap. In this swap we sent 8 or 10 oz of yarn or roving that we dyed and bagged them up in 1oz increments. Then according to your group assigned, you were sent back 1 each of the contributions in your group. I had kool-aid dyed some merino and that was the first of my experiments. I aimed for a 3-ply and this is what I got:


It doesn't even feel like merino. In this sample, I learned that you need to not spin the singles quite so tight if you are going to make a 3-ply yarn. However, I did get the wpi I wanted and some practice on navajo plying.

The next experiment was a 2-ply fingering weight with another roving from this swap. I've lost the tag that came with this roving, but I know it was dyed with wash fast dyes and it feels like merino. Here is its progression:

I spun this up using the fractal stripe method. I cast-on immediately because I wanted to see how it would knit up.

After that I decided to go back for more punishment and went back to trying a 3-ply but this time with beautiful merino tencel dyed by Chasing Rainbows in Dove. I was successful this time:
I have a tad over 150 yards and I'll probably make a simple lace scarf with this.

During all this I joined Spunky Eclectic's fiber club and I'm in the midst of spinning this month's offering called Goblin Eyes and is Romney. Love the colors, but the fiber is scritchy. I think once it is spun up I'll have an idea what I'll do with it.

I also went to a spinning/weaving event and this was my haul:

1lb of mill end beast Brown Sheep roving bits
2 - 4oz bumps of blended superwash merino roving from the ranch
4oz of bamboo roving from Stick and Stone Fiber Arts
4oz of Capistrano Fiber Arts blue faced leicester

This isn't my only fiber acquisitions lately, but that's not something I will 'fess up to right now.

I've had a really good time lately spinning and also hanging out with the OOPs knitters. I think fiber and kittens have been a good way to keep sane lately.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mr. Brown's New Home

This past week I was able to visit with a college friend that lives in Philadelphia. Prior to her coming out I heard sad news that her 3 year old cat Noah had passed away suddenly.

R and her husband were devastated and having it happen with no warning made everything worse.

When they visited us and the kittens, I gently suggested that Mr. Brown would be a good fit for them. Ever since coming home from Alaska, he calmed down and became a very affectionate mellow cat. After thinking about it, R & C decided that they would like to adopt him. I was so happy to find a good home for him and with someone I know well. Selfishly too, I'll be able to see him when I visit Philadelphia and hear updates about him.

Yesterday my friends flew back to Philadelphia with Mr. Brown. I went to the airport to hand him over with toys, food and vaccine information. I did not think it would be as hard to give him up even though I know it's the perfect home for him. The whole house including torty are adjusting now to his absence. The little one was really needy yesterday, which made me cry yet again. However, I knew this is what is best, and I knew it was going to happen. I didn't think I'd be so damn emotional!

I'm taking a small break from my Broadway cardigan and started this:

This blurry bunny is from Mr. Funky's Super Wonderful Crochet. I also found this pattern for free here. I'm using Bernat CottonTots yarn in light blue. I picked up hand blown glass eyes from the Dollmakers in Monrovia. The eyes are really hard to use though, and I'm going to have to do quite a bit of fussing to get them to stay. Both eyes were on opposite sides of a wire that I cut then folded over, now I'm bending it to fit the curve of the head and trying to sew the wire down as best as I can without the wire popping out of the eye. The nose is a 9mm plastic nose with a washer that I got from Joanns. The rest of the pieces are done, I just need to sew (?!@$*) it all together. The pattern does not have a tail, so I made one myself, because how can a bunny not have a tail! I'm currently stash diving for a yarn to make her dress with.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Moving On

Although I gave notice at the two shops I teach at a little while ago, I finally had the courage to post something on my website.

I am someone that dislikes change, and it is an uncomfortable feeling knowing that I am gearing up for a new stage in my life. However, it was the right thing to do for me at this time and I am curious to see what comes next.

It is a novel feeling knowing that I can knit whatever I feel like in whatever color I choose without some work related knitting looming over my head! Right now I'm working on mystery stole 3 in Alpaca with a Twist, Fino in a light grey/blue and iridescent blue/green beads. I am also working on a cabled cardigan from Rowan Classic Cafe in a rich dark brown merino superwash yarn by Knitting Fever called Sublime.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bad Human, Bad Bear

AKA, what the Kim family does on a family vacation.

Bad Human

Bad Bear

The last time my family took a family vacation was 25 years ago to Marco Island when I was still in grade school. So we all met up in Anchorage at the beginning of July coming from Philadelphia, New Jersey, Manhattan, San Francisco, and Los Angeles for 7 straight days on a somewhat confining cruise ship. The best thing is, we all survived each other! Actually, we are a very close family and it was great to be able to spend time with all of them. Especially since the most time we seem to get the whole family together is for maybe 2 overlapping days every 2-4 years. I'll try to post more pictures of the actual trip when I have more time!

The kittens are still with me and we are still looking to find the perfect home for the little boy. Little Tortie almost didn't make it 2 weeks ago due to a possible vaccine reaction, so we're holding onto her at least through the next round of vaccines.

I'm trying to get off my butt because I want to post pictures of what I'm working on and more Alaska pictures.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Spread the Word

The kittens will be ready for a new home in a couple weeks, and I want them to go to a good home, so if you can, please spread the word around. I made a little flyer for them that I posted around town, but here is one for the 'net.

Kitten Flyer (pdf file)

Also, Marie's friend has an all black bottle baby that will be adoptable soon too and urgently needs a home.

And this ends the pleading ;)

Rusted Root is done! I hope to post pictures soon. Started a new project last night, but I'm afraid to say what it is and jinx that it'll never get finished!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Under the Wire

Annette posted a contest at Skeins Her Way and I thought I would join in.

Here are my summer knitting goals:
1. Finally finish my Rusted Root sweater. All I need is to finish the bind-off and do the ribbing on the sleeves. Here it is so far (picture courtesy of KnitDevil)

2. I want to make another summer top, and I have a couple ideas in my head for a design but I'm looking for the perfect yarn. I really should check stash first.
3. Find my papers that I wrote down most of my older stash on and figure out what I really have. However, denial is probably going to win on this one.

That's about it, I have other summer goals, but they don't involve knitting.

And I'll sign off with a shameless kitten picture that I really liked.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

who are we?

I never said who these sweeties are! They are foster bottle kittens from the local humane society. I had signed up to foster I think over a year ago specifically for bottle kittens, since I have the time to take care of them and a little prior experience helping my sister with her many fosters. I also believe that young kittens don't deserve to be euthanized because they are too young or too small, it was not their fault. Responsible pet parents should fix their animals, and for strays there are great catch and release spay/neuter options. Pasadena has a great program and an explanation of how and why it works.

I picked up three kittens on Friday when they called and needed someone immediately. The tortoiseshell little girl came with a brother, and the brown tabby had an unknown mom. The siblings also had 3 more litter mates that are being fostered by someone else. Their mom had gone dry. Unfortunately, the little boy had trouble breathing on Saturday night and ate very little, although he did purr quite a bit until he became very weak. It was very sad, but I knew going into it that they don't all make it.

None of the kittens have names, because I was trying my hardest not to become attached, just in case. However, if you have suggestions, I think they are strong enough now that they should make it. The brown tabby is very active and curious, he's also a little older. The tortoiseshell is calmer but has quite a set of lungs when she's hungry. She's learning to hold her own against her older active friend too. The little one is probably around 3-4 weeks old, and the tabby is somewhere around 4-5 weeks old. I'm trying to think of some well known or make believe couple to name them after, but the lack of sleep is starting to prevent me from rational thought. So suggestions are welcome! And no, I will not be keeping either of them. King Winston deserves to reign this household alone, as he likes it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


No knitting getting done, because I have these works in progress to take care of:

I was away for a little while and this is a preview of what went on:

Hopefully more to come!

Monday, March 26, 2007

No Comment

Still not feeling like I'm quite on the planet, but thought I would share this for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Venezia and NY

I've been so wrapped up with the holidays, traveling and teaching (my busy time just started) that I almost forgot I had a blog! This swatch is actually a pre-swatch for my Venezia Pullover by Eunny Jang. I just wanted to see if the colors I chose work. There was concern that the browns instead of the golds would be too bland. This is from the Winter 2006 Interweave Knits. I fell in love with the sweater because the construction is incredible. It has a shaped waist and fitted sleeves, and the pattern on the sleeves even match up with the body! However I didn't like the baby poo yellow and the gold just looks funny on Asians, so I changed three of the colors. The two golds are now browns and in the picture on the website/magazine the contrast with the yellow looks like a sage green, but the actual yarn is grey. So I changed it back to green. I purchased the yarn from Two Swans Yarn and the service was great. This was my Christmas present to myself. While I was in NY, my husband called me and said, "Thanks for the Xmas present!". He purchased his own gift, so I did too :)

This photo by the way is courtesy of Dim Sum Knitting. I've been far too lazy to actually find the camera and download pictures to my computer!

Since I never got back to my report on NY here's a synopsis and I'll try to be brief.

Crafting in NY is so-so. I visited 3 yarn stores. Purl was by far the most beautiful. The yarn was laid out well by type and the bins were full. What I liked is that they had plenty of each color to do a project and the store was very packed when we visited it. The yarn selection was good and it relied heavily on basics. Not a lot of novelties and if I wasn't on yarn overload I would have definitely picked something up. I did go to their sister fabric store and picked up some fabric for my secret pal and a little piece for me so my sister can make me a crochet hook case.

The Point had a completely different feel to it. Where as Purl would be a place I would buy yarn, the Point is somewhere I would hang out. The yarn selection was not quite as good, and a lot of the yarn it seemed that there wouldn't be enough for a project. However, it was a bigger space and not as cramped on the inside. It had more of a community feel to it. They had some different yarns from Purl, and since they are so close to each other it's worth it to visit both. I think this is the store my sister goes to the most. People were very nice at both stores.

The last store I visited was Gotta Knit. The yarn selection was eclectic, relying heavily on luxury fibers but it seemed like there was only 2-3 balls of each color of yarn. It had a very barren feel to it and I'm not sure if it was because of a holiday rush or that's just the way the store is. The owner was very friendly but I'm not sure if I'd go there again.

New York yarn stores really surprised me because the prices were so good. You would think since rents are high they would do the typical slight raise of price over standard retail for the cost of shipping, etc. However the prices were right at retail and for the size of the spaces Purl and the Point really maximized the usage to the feel they wanted.

As for bead shopping, I prefer LA. I visited the diamond district and went to Metalliferous and Ross Metals. Both recommended on-line for chain and findings. I found that prices were higher on some things than Los Angeles, especially chain. I was looking for gold filled chain and couldn't find the chain I wanted. The bead shopping on 37th street was better, but nothing really stood out to me. I did find the gold filled chain I wanted at a small side shop. The highlights were Toho Shoji, which actually had good bulk swarovski prices if you purchased a gross. I also want to go back to Phoenix Beads since by the time I got there I spent too much to want to hit their minimum. I walked into a lot of smaller shops, but I think next time I visit NY I won't spend much time searching for bead shops. I wish my mom had been with me though, I think she would have enjoyed it.