December 19, 2007

Seasons Greetings

granny socks plain
Originally uploaded by O'Chica

I'm going out of town, away from my Mac for the holidays. I am not posting frequently enough as I first tried to, but, yeah, it's what I can.
Come next year, I am going to post more about my old finished items and the ones I don't have a credit to, and of course, about freshly finished projects. Like this one. It's plain green bedroom socks for my gramma.

Yarn; Patons Shetland Chunky Softest Sage
1 ball and a little more
Needles; JP 10 circular, magic loop method
Toe-up, 36sts on a round

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year for everyone!

December 09, 2007


Halloween is all about orange and black.  It is the bright color that counts, not fiber content.  That is the reason I knit this sweater with acrylic yarn I bought at WalMart. 
The balls were huge.  Leftovers made this throw and still here.
For the sweater, I got an instruction for universal EPS-based sweater (but from top down) from or somewhere on the internet.  Jack-o-lantern pattern, too. Throw is a stitch sampler. For each square, I picked one stitch from 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Calendar
by Ed Martingale.
Because I thought "Jack-0-lantern" would be too difficult to say for my then-15-months-old-daughter, I taught her to say "Boo!" when she see a pumpkin or Jack-o-lantern.  It looked she thought it was the pumpkin's name.  This year, she still said "Boo!" whenever she found a Jack-o-lantern.  I wonder she is going to teach that to her own child.

December 06, 2007

I am a knitter, not a crocheter (but I don't hate crochet)

One by one, I am going to upload my "historical" finished projects.

This is a crocheted baby blanket I made while I was pregnant.  The first project in the USA.
I had been seeing a gynecologist in Japan for infertility treatment before my husband was transferred to his company's USA affiliate and so we moved to The Woodlands, TX.  When we knew of moving, we tried just one last treatment and it wasn't successful. So, (I cried a lot and) we gave up having a baby, decided we would just enjoy the childless life together, would travel a lot.
And we came to the USA.  After three month, I realized something was going on me.... I was pregnant.  For the first time in my life, without those pills and shots, I got pregnant.

Thanks to a lot of warm support by my husband's colleagues and their family and our family in Japan, we had a happy expecting time. One day when I was shopping at Wal-Mart, I saw yarns.  They were fuzzy and soft.  I took the hand-out leaflet on the shelf, already thinking of substituting the color from purple to chic-yellow, and tossed those yarns, one white and two yellow, in the cart.   At check-out, a lady behind me asked, "Oh, is that yarn on sale or something?  How much is it?"  I didn't know the exact price.  I didn't think it was very expensive, and it wasn't  ($3 each  or so... "acrylic baby yarn price", you know), but I didn't care anyway.
It finished this blanket in 3 days.  And I found cotton yarns.  After working with them for a while, I found crochet lace yarns and made several doilies.  And.... I dug up my knitting needles from  big "things for craft" plastic container a.k.a. Pandora's Box which was kicked deep in the closet.

I learned how to crochet and knit from my mother when I was 8 or 10 years old, I don't really remember when. I was busy with other things and wasn't knitting nor crocheting after that "first contact."  
When I was 19 or 20, one day in a craft store with  my mother, I suddenly wanted to knit something warm for myself.  My mother bought me a set of straight needles and crochet hooks there for my birthday present, told me these needles and hooks are going to be a life-long friend of mine.  I chose an olive green wool yarn and a pattern book,  Mom payed for those, too.  The book was a collection of lacy summer knit, but I fell in love with one cardigan in that book.  I followed the pattern with a virgin's passion, so naturally, the finished cardigan was big, but because I knit the sleeves from shoulder down and stopped where my arms end, it was wearable and warm. I loved that cardigan and wore it out.
After that, I knit a few sweaters for myself and for my boyfriend (now husband. Curse didn't work on me.) and crocheted scarves from time to time.  When I knew I was moving to Texas and did a quick research about the temperature, I had given up knitting. I thought it would be too warm.
No.  No giving up, folks. There are a bunch of cotton yarns out there, and, sometimes, we have cold airs visit from Canada.

December 05, 2007


Socks are done.  His is loooong because I wanted it to be "fishing socks", that means it needs to be men's size 12 1/2 boots length.  I hope I didn't make it too small.  Hers required just one skein, so I have one whole skein left for other project.
.... I HAD one whole skein until my daughter asked for "red socks."  Because she likes knee-highs,  there won't be a lot of leftovers.  OK, stripy socks in beige & red? 

This is my blocking/drying device, by the way.   Under the craft (neon-colored) plastic mesh is a wood board padded with quilt paddings , covered with the biggest piece of cloth I had at the moment, glued with wood-craft glue.  When I need to pin something for blocking, I use these mesh for a guide.  I expect a little more air circulation with them, I don't know how much they are contributing.  I could put the board out on the deck for a quick dry, but usually, it sits on the dryer or here, in the guest bath room.

November 18, 2007


Blogging and registering to Ravelry looked like , at least for me, come hand in hand. This pair means you want to be "active" in knitting/crocheting world.
Anyway, I got my invitation to Ravelry.
My username there is chicain. I thought I would register under the same name as I use here, but I was a little too excited when I got the invitation that I totally forgot that. Uh-oh. I thought of re-registering with "O'chica", but that means I have to wait another month to use it to organize my knitting stuff. I am not that patient. So, I got kinda double identity in knitting world already. I managed to remember to use same picture in profile for here and Rivelry. That would help someone to recognize me enough.

November 12, 2007

42 days to..

I live in a rental house. The landlord is very nice, beautiful couple who live one mile from us and we have a very good relationship, to say at least. This year, I planned to knit a pair of socks for each of them, Mr. and Mrs. landlord. He loves fishing and she often stays up late to study (she is in a graduate school to be a school psychiatrist), what else fits them better than wool socks?
She looks to fit in any size M garment for women, but he is a tall guy. I didn't want take a risk of guessing his size and ending up too small. So, I asked their shoe size when he came to fix (well, replace) my garbage disposal in the kitchen. Thank goodness I asked! It was about one inch larger than my first guess. Problem is, now I made it official by asking their size to knit socks for them, I have to FINISH them. BEFORE we go back to Japan on holidays.
So, I chose this yarn. Nice, SPORT WEIGHT, machine washable & dryable yarn. Gems sport( 100% Merino) from louet. 100g/225 yards.

My sock pattern is pretty simple. One cable on each side (to keep track on row counting), K2P2 rib on instep and all along leg for better fit. I like to make it toe up because that's the way I made my first pair for adult, not a bootie, but after I made a few cuff down pairs, I am pretty confortable with both ways. I prefer short-row toe&heel. This time, though, I use round toe for HIS pair. (I haven't made my mind how HER pair is going to be in detail.) Usually, I use circular needles, either 2 circs or magic-loop method, to make my socks. This time, because I want to work cables in the middle of a needle, I want to start the round from somewhere between side-center and back-(or front-)center, which means starting short-row toe with provisional CO is incovenient for me. Well, I can manage but I don't like moving the beginning of a round more than a few stitches. I am not afraid of DPNs, so, using DPNs and trying round toe looks confortable.

I started HIS pair 2 weeks ago, one sock done in about 10 days. It required some trial and errors, so, second one can be done quicker. HER pair should be a breeze after HIS pair. So I hope.

November 04, 2007


After adding handle, the "overfelt" bag looks pretty good. At least, for me and for my husband. I think I can say that he is an ideal spouse for a knitter. He...
1. doesn't complain about my buying yarns / knitting books / tools. ( He has a pretty good collection of piano scores.)
2. doesn't want more socks than I can manage to knit for him.
3. enjoys bulky sweaters which has a bit too "relaxed" after washing. (I knit them before I learn to measure my swatches before and after washing)
4. can laugh with me when something goes funny. I mean, like overfelting or too-much dropping the drop spindle while learning to spin. Or, overgrown sock knit without swatching.

Of course he is picky about designs and colors of his garments, but, after all, he is just a man. I am OK to accept his tastes (I mean, narrowness of it) as long as I can knit happily.

October 27, 2007

I did it!

I am a knitter, not a sewer. (I am imagining myself as Lighting McQueen, saying " I am a racecar, not a bulldozer.") But sometimes, out of need, I sew. These are my newest ones. Yes, wizard (witch) robes.
First one is for my 3-yr old daughter. She is a bit like Hermione, bushy hairs, running around holding multiple books in her arms. We chose an angel costume for her first trick-or-treating this year, but to go with the witch hat I bought at Wal-mart ($2.49 or so) last year (and still keep), I thought she needs a robe anyway, if not for Halloween. Maybe she could wear for the Texas Renaissance Festival this weekend, or just for dress-ups.
Second one is for myself. The witch hat from Wal-mart is adult size, I bought it for me. I need a robe, too!

Anyway, as always, they look OK only in this picture. In closer look, ..... no, don't give them a closer look.
And, as always, I love them and am proud of myself making them.

October 25, 2007

First Post

Recently, I knitted golf club covers for my husband. I had quite a lot of leftover yarn and wanted to use them up, made a bag to fit a store-bought canvas bag (as a lining) when felted. And..... overfelted it.
I love it. I love its texture (firm), I love its color, all curves and lines as it turned up. But, nevertheless, after all, it is overfelted, much much more than I had planned.

That's when I decided to begin blogging about my knitting.

I am pretty confindent about my knitting. I make a swatch, get a gauge (more to modify the pattern to fit MY GAUGE than to fit my gauge to the PATTERN). And, sometimes, like this time, the product turns out .... well, not as I planned. Still, I love all my products as it turned out. I want to take a picture of them, keep the pictures so I can recall after they are worn out.

So, this is my place to keep pictures and thoughts about my knitting projects.