Friday, April 25, 2014

Shawl knitting and Terrarium class

This beautiful shawl is on my needles now. This is the first time for me to knit a shawl in English written pattern.
 I have not been a shawl person until last fall. I got Shingles in my left shoulder in last October. One Saturday morning I found some small blisters in my shoulder. I instinctively thought that this must be Shingles. So I went to the urgent care but I couldn't get a correct diagnosis.  After all I was diagnosed with Shingles by my own physician on Monday. Since then I almost always have miner pain from my left neck to arm. I wish I could have gotten an immediate treatment at the urgent care. If I could have, I probably have recovered completely... I mean without any pain as a hangover from Shingles. If you have some symptoms look like Shingles, just go to see your doctor immediately. Delay in treatment will cause remaining pain in your nerve long time.
Anyway! I wanted to say I started use scarves and shawls since then because I need to keep my shoulder warm to prevent the pain. The misdiagnosis was not a good experience at all but knitting a shawl for myself is very enjoyable. And the pattern is not hard to knit but very interesting!

I learned "shawl cast on" for the first time. I haven't heard of it in Japan. I wonder this is a common technique among shawl knitters.

Using cable needles. Shape the shawl body first then continuously add the edging with a pretty lace & cable braid pattern.

I am almost there! I cannot wait to finish and use it!


I took a terrarium making class at Junk Evolution. Playing with plants and soil felt good. We planted succulents in glass containers and added some ornaments like pine cones, twigs, butterflies and so on.
The process was very simple and easy. I put this on the breakfast table in my kitchen. I think I will make a couple more for a bathroom and a bedroom.

I hope you enjoyed it and please have a  great weekend. Happy Friday!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hello again! / Loom knitting

Hello again folks! I've been taking break from blogging too long. After the long long severe Winter, I decided to spend more time on cleaning and reorganizing our home this Spring. Then Spring break began soon. My husband went out of country to meet his brother in Amsterdam for about a week. So I got pretty busy to spend time with my daughter while he was gone. Finding kids' activities, taking her to play dates and having her friends come over to our place, etc. Meanwhile, the weather finally have been getting nicer and warmer. Now It's the time to start yard work. Mostly cleaning the patio and around the house yet. Soon, I will be going to start planting.

I didn't spend much time to make stuff, but you know that I cannot live so long without making something! Also I am always ready to learn something new. I started to study a new technique recently. That is "Loom knitting". This has been in my mind awhile and I've been curious about the technique and what I can do with those looms. I watched a bunch of Youtube videos of how-to loom knit. Got out the circular knitting loom set which I gave to my daughter last Christmas. Then I tried things I learned from the videos.

I was more interested in double knitting than single knitting so I ran to Michaels to get some long knitting looms.  I am not going to talk about stitches and details here today. Just tell you that Circular looms can only do single knitting and you will need Long looms to do double knitting as far as I know. This is what I purchased. Martha Stewart Crafts "Knit & Weave Loom Kit".

I will write my review about this product sometime later, but anyways, I knitted a scarf with this loom using the very basic twisted stockinet stitch.

It took me a little while to get used to stitching. But once I got the hang of it, it went so quick and was fun! The fabric it makes is fairly thick but very soft since the stitches are quite loose.

I finished this scarf in one day! Spent one ball of Lion Brand "Vanna's Choice".

I am going to make some more small items for practice with different stitches.  I have a feeling that this tool and technique have lots of possibilities. When using thick sturdy yarns it will make very firm fabric which is good for bags and home goods. With soft thinner yarns it will make nice scarves and shrugs. I found the way to make large blankets and that technique seemed very interesting. 

If you are a loom knitter and you have something to share with us, please leave a comment. If you know any good patterns for loom knitting please let me know! 

Thank you so much, and I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend!! Happy loom knitting!