Knit: Thinking of Spring

Thinking of Spring shawl in action

Thinking of Spring
Pattern | Echo Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnson Johnen
Yarn | JulieSpins Vera Lace in Thinking of Spring
Needles | 4.5mm and 6.0mm circulars

This knit took me about a month to complete – in between managing the kids, a spin project plus soaping (and churning out balms). It’s a gorgeous pattern but not for those who hate nupps. You can replace them with beads but they don’t quite give the same impact.

Thinking of Spring shawl in action

This project is a beaded one – I used Miyuki 8/0 Opaque Khaki AB beads in the pattern repeat and true to form, I got pretty tired of it towards the 11th repeat (which is the size of my shawl – 2 short of the recommended 13 repeats for a shawl). The beads are not very obvious; I didn’t want them to stand out too much and since they have a matt appearance rather than glossy, they don’t really stand out. No biggies…it is visible up close in real life and that’s good enough for me.

Thinking of Spring shawl in action

The yarn is a Vera wool laceweight single dyed by JulieSpins; her Vera yarns are gorgeously dyed and the colours come together quite well without ever really getting muddy. The pattern would pop even more if you were to knit it in a solid-coloured yarn; I’m quite happy with the colour choice for this pattern – very refreshing.

I have casted on another shawl but this one is just garter stitch so it’s more for a “bored to death, nothing to do” knit. I might work on another lace shawl…Eva wants to play eagle with them so it looks like I’m not off the hook until I come up with something. O’well…

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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Breaking my fibre fast!

Stash: Milk protein roving Stash: Silverwater BFL-Silk from Juliespins Stash: Spring BFL-Silk from Juliespins

(Pictures above are taken from the seller.)

I broke fast a couple of weeks ago and bought three gorgeous braids from a fellow Ravelry member; she destashes often and I just love going through the stuff that she puts up for resale because it’s just ultra gorgeous! These braids are from Julie Spins and another dyer – BFL-silk blends and a new one – milk protein. I’ve been hearing a lot about how smooth and silky it spins up so will see how that goes. I might go fine as in laceweight with these three braids but am still undecided about whether to ply them or not.

In the meantime, excuse the semi-hiatus on this blog (and the rest, actually). The shop, kids and world events have been keeping me busy and inspiring me to reprioritise my life…all for the better, I feel. 🙂

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Double Layer Pillowcase Dress

Double layer pillowcase dress

Double Layer Pillowcase Dress
Size | To fit Eva (108 cm in height; 14.3 kg in weight)
Pattern details | Double Layer Pillowcase Dress from Aesthetic Nest
Fabric details | 2 x one meter fabric from Kamdar

Recently, during one of my shopping trips at Kamdar (Mum wanted to buy some fabric so I took her there), I saw the prettiest fabric ever. I reckon the texture is similar to chiffon but what attracted me was the print – little princesses in pencil-like drawing! Of course the fact that it was in a soft shade of pink mattered as my gal LOVES pink. (Her pink and princess craze even extends to underwear, toys and books!) It was just too cute to NOT purchase.

Because the material was sheer, I decided to look around for a really soft shade of pink. I didn’t want to make a bubblegum pink dress…something sweet but not sickly sweet. After several rather long minutes, I was about to give up at the lining/cotton section when suddenly I saw this roll of pale pink hiding under all the blues and greys! What luck! The shade was just perfect – it wasn’t exactly Eva’s idea of pink but I reckon she would focus more on the whole “princess” fabric and ignore this little detail.

Double layer pillowcase dress

The basic idea is to have the princess fabric as the topmost layer with the pale pink on the bottom followed by a pale pink tie. It didn’t cross my mind to make bindings for the armholes until this morning when I was putting everything together so oops, I decided to whip up some pale pink binding instead. I figured that the fabric would be a better option compared to the sheer chiffon-like material.

Now, sewing this up didn’t take me long – just a night and about an hour the next day. It was the other stuff like figuring out the pattern (how long and how wide). I based my measurements on a dress we got as a gift from my in-laws and on hindsight, I should have realized that the armholes were a little tad too big (just like with the dress I used as my template).

Also, I must admit that I LOVE French seams. They really make an outfit look so much more “cleaner”. What I did not appreciate was having to seam bind the armholes. I hate sewing curves…especially when it came to topstitching the binding. Still, it makes for a pretty dress. It’s a little wide for her but that’s good because she can grow into it. I’m actually thinking of making a tiered version but I’ll see how that goes first – need to find the right combination of colours!

Double layer pillowcase dress

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Knit: Fraise

FO: Fraise

Fraise
Pattern | Liliiflora Shawlette by Lily Go
Yarn | Wollmeise “Pure” 100% Merino Superwash in WD Babe
Needles | 4.5mm and 6.0mm circulars

Yay, another completed shawl!

The pattern is another gem by Lily Go and a joy to knit with. It is – as usual – well written and easy to follow. The starting was a bit of a bother as I had to cast on 300 over stitches and I had a false start with my choice of yarn.

The original choice was the same yarn I used for my Narnia shawl – an alpaca yarn I bought from France in a gorgeous shade of raspberry pink. But the yarn gave me a horrible itch and I decided to take a look at my precious Wollmeise stash to see if I could find a suitable colour for this pattern. I wanted something girly yet nothing too “froo-froo” and thus, ended up with this lovely crescent shawl.

I’m enjoying the idea of knitting shawls with fingering weight yarn. The resulting texture makes the pattern really pop, especially things like nupps and cables. And the size is just nice – 19 repeats in order to make full use of the yarn. I finished the shawl with only 10% of the original 150gm skein left to spare which isn’t all that bad. (I’m rather tired of keeping odds and ends, scraps of yarn here and there.)

And yes, while this was on the block, I started another knitting project…which probably explains why it’s been forever since I last updated this blog (or any of my other blogs)!

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

FO: Fraise

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Mother’s Day Packs!

I’ve been busy churning out gift packs for the store for Mother’s Day and am glad to say that they are now available!!!!

Gift Packs! Gift Packs! Gift Packs! Gift Packs!

Some of the new things included are salt polish made using Dead Sea salt and aloe butter as well as, yes, perfume sticks. As usual, all limited edition items in the packs won’t be available for regular sale for at least six months…some may not even make its appearance on our shelves at all!

For more details on the items and prices, please refer to the Facebook album here.

**cross-posted on the store blog**

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Knit: Spring Things Shawl

Spring Things Shawl on the block!

Spring Things Shawl
Pattern | Spring Things by Susan Lawrence
Yarn | Zauberwiese silk lace 600m in Nessie
Needles | 3.75mm circulars

With all the distractions and the shop keeping me occupied, it took me longer than usual to finish this project – but I still manage to finish it! I didn’t have time to take some really decent pictures – maybe I should – so it’s hard to imagine the sheen from the yarn.

I increased the number of repeats in the first part (Chart A) to get as much as I could out of my yarn and luckily too. The shawl didn’t seem all that big after blocking and if I am making this again, I’ll probably add another increase. The nupps were not all that difficult, or maybe I’m getting used to it again. I was actually tempted to replace the nupps with beads but after thinking, beads with kids don’t get along so well…especially SMALL beads. Maybe another time?

The colour is slightly variegated so the pattern didn’t really pop but it still makes for a nice knit. If you can, go for long repeat colourways or semi-solid colours – the pattern would really come through. All in all, a nice knit and nothing to hard on the memory either.

I seem to have caught the lace shawl bug again and after finishing this, I’ve started a new one. More on that another time!

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

Spring Things Shawl on the block!

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Orange Jasmine in bloom!

Orange Jasmine in bloom - March 2014

This isn’t exactly a typical dirt-to-dish post since you can’t really eat flowers but who’s keeping tabs?

After a really heavy-hand of pruning (I stripped the entire tree of all its leaves), our orange jasmine is finally blooming and wonderfully at that! For nearly two to three full days, the entire apartment was lightly scented with the perfume from these gorgeous flowers. Also, it now has branches coming out from the base of the main stem. All this thanks to regular watering and fertilising with organic manure, vermicompost as well as epsom salt.

To make the tree look a little neater, I’ve actually trimmed all leaves & stems from the bottom 5 inches of the tree. Hopefully, this will allow the tree to focus on giving out more leaves and flowers from the top instead of the bottom. Another reason for this pruning is because there isn’t much space on the balcony; I had to move my other jasmine tree to the landing area to make room for this one since it’s doing oh-so-well (it is now taller than my soon-to-be 5 year old!).

I was tempted to harvest this round of buds for an oil infusion but seeing that the tree had just gone through a rather dry spell last month (and especially more so when I was away for a week), I decided to leave the buds intact and on the tree. I might harvest the upcoming round of buds but it all depends on if the tree will give me a huge amount to begin with.

Orange Jasmine in bloom - March 2014

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