Stockings, Socks and Baby Booties

Stockings for Christmas. Tried not so Christmas-y fabrics, not bad. But I think I can make them better. 

Socks for me. My favorite Wendy's basic toe-up pattern. 

Baby booties for a friend's newborn. Based on a Debbie Bliss pattern but used finer yarn (hence more stitches and rows). 

Holidays are coming, and I will keep my hands busy for more home decors, gifts and to keep myself warm!

Two Knitting Projects

Recently I completed two knitting projects. The first is a baby booties and hat gift set for one of my coworkers. Her baby will be due next month! I based the booties on a Debbie Bliss design called Beaded Moccasins featured in her Step-by-Step Knitting Workbook but substituted the beads and color knitting with simple seed stitch diamond motifs.

Ahh the booties look so cute! I blocked them by stuffing with leftover batting “rolls”. The blocked shape is so nice! It’s definitely not the case when they are just off the needles. Blocking made the whole difference! And, a little hat (my own improvisation) makes the set even cuter! Here is how I made the hat with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino:

Cast on 84 stitches with 2.75mm needles. Work on gather stitch for 10 rounds. Change to 3.25mm needles and work in stocking stitch for 3 inches. Divide stitches in 7 parts, and decrease every other round until 4 stitches left. Knit a 4 inch tail.

I think the set fits a 0-3 months old.

Next is an almost UFO – a blouse for myself that I started maybe 7 years ago. The yarn is Jaeger Trinity (Jaeger disappeared for almost 10 years I guess, but they used to produce nice yarns and elegant patterns by the the Rowan design team). Trinity has a nice fiber content: cotton, silk and viscose; but the yarn is paper-like, has no elasticity and breaks easily. Not a great pleasure to knit with but hopefully it’s good for summer wear.

The pattern is from a Japanese knitting magazine called World Knitting in the Spring/Summer 2006 issue (all decade old stuffs =P). I particularly like the front panels and the crochet border. But somehow the yarn I chose does not have very good stitch definition.  

Nevertheless getting rid of a UFO makes me feel so good. 

Soiree Purse

I just returned from my vacation in Japan, and discovered in my mail box that the latest Creative Knitting magazine, Summer 2016, is out. My purse pattern sent to the magazine last September has finally unveiled.

It features Estonian knitted lace in a silk-wool blend fingering weight yarn by Spud & Chloe, adorned with purple square beads, lined with ivory silk organza, and finished with glittery purple-grey ribbons. 

Knitting with beads was the theme requested by the editors. I used a yarn-over beading technique to fill  in all yarn-overs with translusent square beads that I got from a beads store in Queen St. West, the fashion district of Toronto. Also, the purl stitches that define each pattern repeat were fill with beads by purling with a bead into each stitch. The purse was knitted flat (in two pieces) top down. The border was knitted separately and grafted to the bottom of the purse. You can definitely knit the purse body in the round. However, I actually preferred knitting the front and back separately, and so there would be a seam on each side to "define" the body. 

I especially like the decorative cast-on ridge of the border. It's a knitted cast-on through the back loops with double strands of yarn. The bold, braid like ridge is formed by purling the first two rows (with only single strand of yarn). 

If you look closely the image feature in the magazine, it shows the "back" side of the purse, actually. The border shows the purl stitches, and the beads on the border are not quite visible. But my husband's comment was: I like the back side with the purl stitches better. So, maybe there is no back side. It all depends on your taste. 

Introducing... Norwegian Wood

I love the warm and rustic look of Norwegian Wood. It is a perfectly reversible, richly textured cowl knitted seamlessly in Half Fisherman's Rib with the Entrelac technique. Fun to make and cozy to wear, Norwegian Wood makes a perfect Christmas gift!

I used 12-stitch-wide motives in the pattern to create big and bold, interweaved blocks. Feel free to make the motives smaller. I think an 8-stitch repeat will be attractive, too.

The Half-Fisherman's Rib stitch pattern is very straightforward. Nevertheless it creates interesting textural and visual effects on the knitted fabric, with the right side and wrong side look and feel dirrent. One side looks "rough", whereas the other side is "smooth".

Since I tried to be playful with the pattern, I alternated between the rough and smooth sides to be used as the right side for my entralec cowl. If you look closer, you will see that the cream color motives has the rough side up, and the brown color motives has the smooth side up. But since the cowl is perfectly revisible, when you turn to the "wrong" side of the cowl, the pattern is actually flipped. It's the kind of subtelty that only the maker will know and appreciate, I guess.

In terms of yarn choice... I think any Aran or worsted weight yarn will work. I simply picked two natural toned, 100% wool yarn from my stash and started my experiment. The yarns are from different companies with different finishes, but it turned out that they blended well, and gave me the rustic, woody tone that I wanted.

I am ready for winter!

The pattern is now available on my site. You can also get the pattern through Ravelry. Happy knitting!


A month was skipped in my blog entry… AGAIN. That reminds me how I have been busy with life, indeed.

My parents and brother came visit us last month. I had to disassemble my cutting table and set up a twin bed in my swing room for my brother. No sewing could be done.

Fortunately, I did have some knitting accomplished.

First, a pair of mitts for myself. Custom fit, extra short. It's made with WYS Bluefaced Leicester DK in seed stitch on 3.5mm double-pointed needles. The natural, un-dyed colours and the silky, smooth feel of the fibre are just fabulous, and it was a joy to touch and knit with! I actually finished the fist mitt back in January or February, but suffered a bit from the "second-sock/mitt/glove/etc" syndrome. The mitts are so easy to make... I am not even sure if it can be justified as my own pattern.

I also had my first tryout with entralec knitting and had something that I considered construction-wise rather interesting made. It’s a cowl knitted seamlessly in the entralec way in half fisherman’s rib. I personally loved the design, so I made it into a pattern, which will be available tomorrow. 

Last but not least, I currently have another commission work going on with a magazine. It will be a lovely piece of beaded lace knitting, and the design will be unveiled next summer. Stay tuned!

A KISS Scarf for Hubby

It's so cold here in Toronto, -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) day after day! To keep my hubby warm, I made him a KISS Scarf. KISS = Keep it simple and stupid. It's a scarf in garter stitch, simple but very practical for someone living in Canada. He loved the scarf and proudly told his friends that it's handmade by his wife =)

 I think it's a great last minute present project, so here is the pattern for you:


4 to 5 skeins of Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Fine Boucle (91% Wool 9% Nylon) in Shade 00319 - Masham Stripe

I love the yarn so much! It's high quality made in the UK yarn, lightweight, wooly, and the boucle finish camouflaged all the unevenness of my knitting. The brown/greyish shade is great for men's garment, and the stripes add visual interest to the garter stitch body. I was able to get them at $6 CAD/skein plus a 25% discount (because they were bought on Dec. 27 last year at Romni Wools in downtown Toronto, their annual 25% discount everything day). So, for less than $25, I made a really nice gift for my hubby = ).  

For the length that my hubby wanted, I used about 4.2 skeins.


5mm and 5.5mm needles


With smaller needle, cast on 40 stitches. Work in garter stitch (i.e. knit every row) for about 2 inches with smaller needle. To achieve a neat selvedge, slip 1st stitch purlwise, bring yarn to the back, and knit the rest of the stitches.

Change to larger needle and continue working in garter stitch with slip stitch selvedge until scarf is 2 inches shorter than desired.

Switch back to smaller needle and knit the last 2 inches.

Bind off.

Note: working the first and last 2 inches with a smaller needle helps to prevent flaring and loose edges.