2022.01 Happy New Year!
Wish everyone in good spirits in another new year 🙂
My handcraft journey has been on halt for the last few months due to big changes in life. I feel grateful, however, that I was able to complete two pieces for my family, a Snowy Forest Sweater for her and Chunkeanie, a beanie for him.
2021.08-09 Decorative Lace Collar
Lace knitting is always exciting, as most of the time the lace pattern won’t be clearly revealed until you put your weeks, if not months of effort for a bath and block properly. I gave myself a challenge knitting this elegant lace collar obtained from the book Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible: 260 Exquisite Patterns by Hitomi Shida. I used 100% linen yarn from Växbo Lin in Sweden, as I would like it to be worn in hot and humid weather. This is how it looks before blocking and the finished picture is added to my Knitting Collection page.
2021.06-07 Reis Sweater
Knitting Stephen West’s Reis sweater provides me a valuable opportunity to practise colour knitting. I wasn’t thinking too much on what colour to knit next and therefore the outcome only reveals closer to completion. It’s a piece for him, but the pattern itself is gender-neutral. I used Comfy, Tibetan and Tyrrell DKs from Martin’s Lab and Drury DK of Townhouse Yarns to knit the sweater. Photos of completed sweater is added to my Knitting Collection page.
This year has been a bit bumpy so far, causing a halt in progressing some of my handcraft projects. I did, however, started to self-learn macramé. Once the high quality cotton strings from Createhoic arrived from Sweden, I made two plant hangers as gifts for my family. Both designs are from Mixed Fibre Macramé by Chantel Conlon.
Nothing can fully capture the beauty of nature, still I would like myself to make a small-scale lino print to express my pure love to sakura/cherry blossoms 🌸. I used Paint’ON Multi-Techniques paper for printing.
2021.03 Victory Jumper
Flowers starting to bloom, a good sign of spring! I’m in time to finish this classic 1945 Victory Jumper, one of the original 1940s patterns from Britain, which is now freely accessible from V&A’s website. The Irish Studio Donegal Darnie yarns (Navy, Rowan Berry and White) are good alternatives of the suggested yarns in the pattern.
2021.01 Snowy Forest
I’ve been waiting for the launch of the latest issue (no. 10) of Laine Magazine, as I’m dying to knit this beautiful Snowy Forest sweater by Midori Hirose. Every knitting stitch has been an enjoyment so far. My yarn choice is Big Merino DK and Kid Mohair Silk from Qing Fibre. So soft and squishy, and the lilac colour (Thistle) is simply stunning!
2021.01 Rising Dawn
Knitting continued after having a quiet, almost cocooning Christmas/New Year break. People say steady pace wins the race. After a month’s effort, here is Rising Dawn, the first semi-circular shawl that I’ve ever knitted. Pattern is designed by Stephen West, and yarn choice is Field, hand dyed singles from Irish mill Olann.
Picture on top left shows the shawl before blocking. I do love the ruffled edge at this stage, but I know this would be gone after blocking, which I decided to do so to make the pattern more revealed. The shawl turns out pretty lovely 🙂
2020.12 Ball Dahlia
Another year almost coming to an end. I managed to review and upload photos of my ball dahlia lino prints which I made earlier onto my Paper Art Collection page. The unique three-dimensional structure of ball dahlias always amazes me. The printing attempts were experimental on both ink colour and paper choices: I printed with a number of pink and purple tones on Fabriano Rosaspina, Fabriano Mixed Media and Paint’ON Multi-Techniques papers. The outcome was in general satisfactory.
Wish everyone a safe, healthy and hand-crafty New Year. 加油！
2020.12 Second Update
I couldn’t believe that I can have a second update this month—my knitting turbo is apparently on! I finished two Beanie Bopper hats designed by Woolly Wormhead, one for him and one for myself as early Christmas presents 🙂 Simply love knitting this age and gender neutral pattern with Big Merino Chunky yarns hand dyed by Qing Fibre in the U.K..
I also did a quick an indoor photoshoot for my Bubble cardigan designed by Siv Kristin Olsen from Ravelry. Outdoor photoshoot is yet to come due to non-stop bad weather. I knitted the cardigan with the strong undyed organic Zelazna Wool yarn from Martin’s Lab in Poland. I like the raw and rustic feel of the yarns, and the Art Deco buttons I ordered from Vintage Button Emporium match pretty well with the bubbly design.
All items are now included in my Knitting Collection page.
2020.12 Beanie Bopper
December, the peak of the festive season. As usual, I’m busy preparing heart made gifts to family and friends, including this Beanie Bopper hat by Woolly Wormhead knitted with Big Merino Chunky yarns hand dyed by Qing Fibre in the U.K..
I was planning to take some photos for my super warm Bubble Cardigan—yes, it’s finished! The dull and grey sky these days, however, doesn’t provide me with good natural lighting. Let’s hope the weather gets better.
2020.11 Bubble Cardigan & Fingerless Gloves
Another lockdown. Another knitting project starting. Bubble cardigan with undyed organic Zelazna Wool yarn from Martin’s Lab in Poland. Pattern design from Ravelry by Siv Kristin Olsen.
On the other hand, the peachy fingerless gloves are finished! I feel grateful having them to keep my fingers warm.
2020.10 Fingerless Gloves
I found a big hole on my very old pair of gloves when I was preparing to wear them! Repair is an option, but they’re so worn that I’d better knit myself a new pair. A great excuse to self-learn how to knit gloves on YouTube. Simple pattern indeed, including 2 x 2 rib, cable stitch and knit. Left hand is almost done now. I’m knitting with the peachy Drury DK of Townhouse Yarns on 3mm needles.
2020.10 Autumn Photo shoot
The achievement of this autumn month is being able to take better pictures of my first ever knitted Art Deco sweater. The autumn leaves serve as a stunning backdrop, which has the magic to make my sweater look nicer. The knitting pattern is from Art Deco Knits: Creating a Hand-knit Wardrobe Inspired by the 1920s – 1930s by Jemima Bicknell, and the yarn choice is Økologisk Sommeruld from CaMaRose.
2020.08-09 Secret Projects
There are some ongoing secret projects. They have to be in secret because the finished products will be given out as birthday/Christmas gifts to family and friends, who would visit my website from time to time. A sneak preview would be a lino print of dahlia. More to reveal 🙂
2020.07 Let’s celebrate!
This July is the month of celebration, as I finished both the Art Deco sweater and the antique diamond lace collar! Finally, after months of effort! Just poured myself a glass of rosé 🙂
2020.05-06 Victory Jumper & Knitted Baby Booties
I love vintage patterns. Very excited to start knitting this classic 1945 Victory Jumper, one of the original 1940s patterns from Britain. During the Second World War women in the country were encouraged to contribute to the war by knitting, in particular for the troops. Many patterns were given away for free. This pattern, together with some others are now freely accessible from V&A’s website. The yarns as suggested for knitting the jumper are discontinued, but I find the Irish Studio Donegal Darnie yarns good alternatives.
I’ve been spending time knitting a pair of baby booties for a new born family member. My second time knitting these booties, last time for a baby boy, and this time for a baby girl. Same choice of yarns though, which I find the variegated colours fit for both genders. Click here for more about the booties.
2020.03-04 Art Deco Sweater
Knitting this Art Deco sweater has been one of my major stay-at-home activities during the COVID-19 lockdown. The pattern is obtained from the book Art Deco Knits: Creating a Hand-knit Wardrobe Inspired by the 1920s – 1930s by Jemima Bicknell, which I bought a while ago. The yarn is Økologisk Sommeruld from CaMaRose, a summer yarn spun with organic wool and cotton fibres. My first time knitting a sweater indeed—fingers crossed!
2020.01-02 Splash Mini Scarf & Bobbin Lace – Bedfordshire Teardrop Edging
I like the idea of mini scarfs, portable yet can still keep you warm. The sophisticated scarf pattern is available at the book Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible: 260 Exquisite Patterns by Hitomi Shida. The frills at both ends are vivid, and the variegated splashes of colour help adding some fun feeling. The yarn choice is Fade St 4ply from Townhouse Yarns.
For the Bedfordshire teardrop edging, the pattern is adapted from an antique pricking by Christine Springett. The smaller the pattern the potentially more difficult to make is what I would feel in the world of bobbin lace. Having broken lots of times the fine cotton threads I manage to control the tension better.
2019.12 Parelli Shawl & Beanie for Him
I have been doing some Art Deco knits recently. I went with Parelli Shawl design from the book Art Deco Knits: Creating a Hand-knit Wardrobe Inspired by the 1920s – 1930s by Jemima Bicknell. The leafy pattern is classic and timeless. Knitting with laceweight yarn is challenging but the fineness of the completed piece worths all my time and effort. I’m working with Trinity 2ply from Townhouse Yarns for this shawl.
Another project is a beanie for him, a Christmas gift indeed. I mix and match some leftover yarns that are not enough to make something if knitted individually. I tend to go with the flow and let the remaining length of the yarns to define the design.
2019.11 Antique Diamond Lace Collar & Slovenian Lace Workshop
I started this antique diamond lace collar pattern prepared by Christine Springett a few months ago. I am excited to learn the new technique on how to make the raised tallies, which is like magic to me. This is indeed my first time handling 45 pairs of bobbins—I’d better concentrate!
I also attended a Slovenian lace workshop conducted by OIDFA. The warmth and knowledge of Simona Strgulc Krajšek, our wonderful Slovenian bobbin lace teacher simply inspired all of us. I’m thrilled to be able to make a number of beautiful Slovenian lace flowers under Simona’s guidance, and I would never underestimate the difficulties of making these flowers despite of their small size!
2019.10 Bobbin Lace Edging with Little Hearts & Knitted Baby Booties
I love black; I also like using black threads to make lace. I came across the book 100 Traditional Bobbin Lace Patterns by Geraldine Stott and Bridget Cook which showcases various lovely Bucks Point lace patterns. My first attempt was the pattern called Little Hearts with 12 pairs of bobbins and 1 single gimp.
I am as well spending time knitting a pair of baby booties for a new born of a friend of mine. I decided to go with the lovely design from prjaga.ru, where the clear instructions facilitate my knitting. My choice of yarn is the hand-dyed variegated Irish Drury DK from Townhouse Yarns bought in This Is Knit in Dublin, which comprises 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon.
2019.09 Bobbin Lace – Bedfordshire Handkerchief Edging
The more I practise making Bedfordshire lace, the more I fall in love with it. Vivid and elegant are the words that I would use to describe this style of lace. Not easy to learn with usually requiring a lot of pairs of bobbins to complete, but the satisfaction I get after completion is beyond belief. My recent piece is this edging which is perfect to be used as the edge of a handkerchief for the bride. Pattern prepared by Christine Springett. 18 pairs of bobbins are used.
2019.08 Bobbin Lace – Brooch & Sachet Edging
August has so far been busy, not for handicrafts, but for a summer vacation with my dearest family whom I enjoy spending time with. I still managed to learn a few new techniques in bobbin lace from Ann Margaret Keller, my bobbin lace teacher including spider and rose ground filling, as well as making leaves, plaits and picots in Bedfordshire lace (a style of bobbin lace).
2019.07 Bobbin Lace – Circular Torchon
July began with more bobbin lace making, this time a circular torchon designed by Ann Margaret Keller, my wonderful bobbin lace teacher. It is more difficult to see what I am doing with black cotton threads than using white or other lighter colour threads; I am therefore relying a lot on daylight to make the piece. 13 pairs of bobbins are needed for this pattern and the high-quality black threads are from Fil au Chinois available at Maison Sajou in Paris.
While I thought the most difficult part was to make the torchon, mounting the recycled, slightly stretchy recycled denim fabric on as a mat was even more challenging, which I struggled for quite a while to complete. Now I have a new mat to serve my afternoon tea.
2019.06 Bobbin Lace – Srce (Heart)
Idrija, Slovenia has unique bobbin lace making tradition. Designed by Simona Strgulc Krajšek, this beautiful heart is one of the iconic heart patterns, in which the level of difficulty is suitable for me to practise as a beginner. I used nine pair of bobbins and the high-quality Fil au Chinois cotton threads which I bought in Maison Sajou, one of my favourite shops in Paris to make the lace.
2019.06 Denim Blossom Brooch
I was reviewing my previous works while an idea popped into my mind: how about making a twist on the felt flower brooch that I made earlier with recycled denim fabric from my old and torn pair of jeans, plus a bit of stitching with colourful with DMC cotton threads?
2019.05 Willow basket for now, perhaps a handbag in the future
It was the second time that I joined the willow basket making workshop at Tinahely Farm Shop in Co. Wicklow taught by Heike. I aimed at making a smaller and more delicate basket than my last one, which I thought should be easier, but Heike told me that smaller baskets are indeed more difficult to make. What a challenge I gave to myself! I’m glad that the basket turns out to be very nice, and now I’m thinking upgrading it into a handbag. Yes, a handbag. Sounds a bit crazy but I’m exploring the possibility. See if it works.
2019.05 Rhinebeck Hat
I’m truly a fan of Woolly Wormhead; her creations are simply amazing. I bought the Rhinebeck Hat pattern and now following the instructions to knit myself another hat with yarn from Drury DK of Townhouse Yarns.
2019.04 Bobbin Lace
Lace making seems so distant from me until I joined the Guild Lace Day organized by the Guild of Irish Lacemakers and met my current bobbin lace teacher Ann Margaret Keller. It has been an amazing experience so far learning bobbin lace, and currently I’m making pincushion designed by Ann and a heart designed by Simona Strgulc Krajšek. What is bobbin lace? Click here to read the good introduction from the Guild.
2019.03 Winter Dunes
I found this beautiful rib and fan pattern at Drops Design called Winter Dunes and decided to give it a go. I’m using the hand-dyed variegated Irish Drury DK Townhouse Yarns bought in This Is Knit in Dublin. This double-knit yarn comprises 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. It’s a pity that winter is gone and I’m still in the process of knitting—can’t wait to finish and wear it.