Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Few weeks ago, on our way back from Lassen National Park, I made Paul pulled over to the side of the highway so I could take a picture of the full rainbow.  As I was getting back into the car, a police car pulled up behind us.  I was slightly nervous, but not worried.  I smiled and said, "Just wanted to take a picture of the rainbow."   The police smiled and said, "Take your time, just want to check if everything is OK."  He was very nice and left us alone.

The thing was, not for one second was I worried.  That was my right, knowing I did nothing wrong. But, but, in this country, this country I love more than the country I was born in, That is not always the case for everyone.  I once read in an article, as a black man the writer had to teach his son before his driving lesson, when he gets stop by a cop, make sure to put both of hands on steering wheel. No one ever taught me that.  I never felt the need to do that.  Paul said, as a white man, he was never taught that either.

No matter what one thinks what really happened at Ferguson, one cannot deny it is a sad reality that many minorities in this country are automatically assumed to be a criminal by law enforcement, even, even if the person was just walking down the streets of San Francisco minding his own business.  It happened to my friend, a Filipino with very dark skin, he was made to sit at the sidewalk for an hour when he was just walking home from work. If it was you, would you be outraged? what about if it happens to you again and again?

A Fair Isle Hat

I have been slacking here.
I made this hat.  It was done 2 weeks ago.  I posted it on Ravelry, and Instagram (something new for me and I'm really enjoying following few knitting friends, as well as some dogs, I'm like a doggie stalker on Instagram :)

Lately, I've been on a Fair Isle kick.  I did the Colors for a Cloudy Day, this hat, and I have another cardigan that uses a little Fair Isle too on my needles, but that is currently being interrupted by a little holiday knitting.

Really, I will do my best to keep up the blog.  The semester is almost over.  Even though I feel like I'm clawing my way to the finish line, there is light at the end of the tunnel. And next semester I'm back to teaching my usual number of classes.  So, I shouldn't be so exhausted all time soon, knock on wood.

This hat was knitted with mostly natural dyed, fingering weight yarn.  I gave it to Paul.  Hat is his thing. He definitely wears hat way more than I do.  It's a bit slouchy style, which he usually doesn't like it much because he said he's no hipster.  But he likes this one and sometimes he wears it with ribbing folded up. It's now his new favorite. It's funny that he wears things I knitted for him far more than I ever wear my own.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Stones and Tides

MC - Doodles in String MCN Fingering, color sweetness, 
CC - Undyed Natural yarn Fingering Weight.
Needles:  US #5 

Yay!  I have a finished project.
This time, not a pattern. Well, there will be one to come for this shawl, but not yet.
I really feel bad when my blog is just announcing patterns.Yet, I'm also terrible at taking work in progress photos.  I'm actually a bit embarrassed by my WIPs. My stitches are not super even (love blocking). I prefer cheap, plastic stitch markers. My house (aka backdrop for the photo) is in constant mess. Not that any of these should matter at all, 'cause obviously they don't matter to me. But they certainly don't inspire photo shoots. And I find just writing about of knitting in progress without photos seems a bit pointless.

However, I'm super excited about this new project. I used my favorite yarn in stash, Doodle in String MCN Fingering. I bought it on Etsy when the shop opened 2 years ago.  Chris is a very talented dyer, The color is so beautiful (my camera had a hard time capturing the tinge of yellow in the blue.)  It' has enough variation of tones as hand dyed yarn so the knitting is not flat in color. At the same time, it's not super variegated that I often find difficult to work with.  I actually had this yarn in mind when I designed "Thinking of Waves."  It inspired the wave theme. But my swatch kinda turned into the shawl itself back then. Part of me also felt so precious with this yarn that I wanted a even more dear pattern for it.

For over a year, I had this idea of using felted rocks for a shawl. The rocks in the shawl were felted over a year ago, To make the rocks, not wanting to buy colored fiber, I experimented a bit with feltable yarn and I used some Elann Highland Wool yarn from my stash.  I was ready to knit a shawl with the rocks using this lovely yarn, but for all reasons I still cannot explain, I was sidetracked. Three weeks ago, I finally came back to this idea and began the shawl.

I designed it as I knitted, very free-form, my favorite way to knit and design.  I  kinda knew I wanted the rocks to be closer to the border, but I didn't decide on the position until I got to the row before it. The rocks were also secured onto the shawl during the knitting part, so finishing stage was easy.

I'm in love with this shawl. It turned out better than I thought it would. OK, during the free form process of knitting, stitches were uneven, everything was bunched up on the short length of the needle cable.  I wasn't so sure if it would turn out as I sort of envisioned.  Alas, it did not disappoint.

The rocks reminded me the time Paul and I were at Syuhai (Mudanwan) in southeast Taiwan. Cold, winter day on a beautiful pebbly beach.  It was completely deserted besides us two.  We both wanted to visit it again sometime.  One of those moments and places in traveling when everything just seemed so right.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Nevada Woods

Another one that I didn't get a chance to show you when it was done.  Actually two things. They were simple hats with cables and eyelets.

Back when the semester just started in early September, I really, really wanted some instant gratifications. Plunged into the exhausting schedule, all I ever wanted to do was vege out in front of TV on my spare time.  So I knitted these hats, one in sport weight yarn, and one in worsted weight. The cable patterns were very simple and I added eyelet for a little variety.  How I love knitting cables. There is always something so magical at the row that I get to knit cables.

After sitting around for 2 months, I finally dusted off the pattern and sent it out to get tech edited. And here is the new pattern for a quick knit.

It is called Nevada Woods.  It's a place at Heavenly Ski Resort. One of my favorite off trail, tree boarding area.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Second Chance

A new shawl pattern is up.
It's called Second Chance, available via my Ravelry shop.

I'd been fairly swamped with work and life to blog about this finished project when it was done over a month ago. I didn't really mean for it to be a secret.

The test knit was done by the most wonderful wonderful Vaida, Virginia, and Tatjana. I'm blowing air kisses to the girls :)

The design used both cable and lace for this crescent shaped shawl, my favorite combo. It was worked top-down with cables/lace only worked on RS of knitting.

It's named Second Chance because few things in my life right now feels like blessed with second chances. My job situation is getting so much better this year.  I was so ready to walk away, but few personnel changes had made it much more normal that it felt like a second chance was given. That and a few other little things that I won't bore you with.

The yarn was Sunshine Yarns Ultraluxe Light in the color Zephyr.  It's such a luxurious yarn.  I initially knitted another shawl with this yarn, but alas I had to rip it so reluctantly because of yarn choice didn't work out.  I swear it was so beautiful in this yarn, and it was sad for me to rip it.  So I'm just ecstatic that it has a nice second chance.  Perhaps this shawl worked out even better than the first one.