shawls

Commission Announcement

Just a few of the many items you can commission from me!

Just a few of the many items you can commission from me!

I just finished another commission and have several more on the way for the upcoming Christmas season. As I've been getting the majority of my commission requests from people contacting me via email or my FB page, I've decided to close my Etsy store. I have a lot more flexibility with yarn options and easier communication with the client when it's through my site or FB.

That now said, it's soon time to begin thinking about holidays gifts for your family and friends! Because of how long it takes to ship items, if you want your order to arrive before Christmas, make your order before December 13th. If timing doesn't matter, I'm open all year round!

I can obviously knit any of my patterns to order but I can also design hats, shawls, cowls, scarfs and other accessories just for you (prices will vary). If you're looking for something more simple I can knit the "basic" versions of almost anything you wish (no textures, no lace, no cables, just ribbing and stockinette stitch). Feel free to contact me with any questions you have! There is currently a waiting list but the sooner you get your order in, the better chance you have of getting it in before the winter holiday season!

Japanese Yarn Shopping

I've arrived safe and sound in Japan and already I have accumulated a large yarn stash. The day I landed, my husband immediately took me to yarn shops so I could browse the selection of yarn. Also before arriving in Japan, I had ordered some yarn from an online Japanese yarn distributor so I could determine whether or not I liked the company and its yarn for my knitting projects and commissions (answer: yes, I do). 

From the online distributor. I bought three balls of this yarn which I will use to knit an updated version of the Honey Comb Cowl.

From the online distributor. I bought three balls of this yarn which I will use to knit an updated version of the Honey Comb Cowl.

The Pure Wool is, as written, 100% wool. This came in a packet of 10 so it will provide enough yarn for me to knit a sweater that I am in the middle of designing! This one was bought while I was in town. The red yarn will be used to knit a variation of the Cherry Blossom Shawl. This one was bought online too.

I just really like this picture.

Also bought in town, this ball has the same yarn content as the yellow Pure Wool but in a heavier yarn weight. I plan on using this to knit a sweater for my husband.

Alpaca blend (wool/alpaca). I'm currently using this to knit an eyelet/cable beanie! Bought in town!

Not Japanese yarn! I bought this ball in Austin right before I left. My last US purchase. I'm going to use this to knit a shawl that I'm designing.

The transition of moving from the US to Japan has been a bit bumpy. Almost everything I've been used to has been flipped upside down (city to village, living with parents to living with husband, English to Japanese, you get the picture). But one thing that has helped my calm down and give me a sense of "home" has been knitting. I'm so glad I was able to pick this up as a hobby before I moved here or else my husband would be in for a rough time.

Shout out to my husband for helping me take these photos! 

Swatching and Designing

I've discovered that I really like knitting shawls. I find the construction and the technique to be a good challenge and the possibilities for different designs are endless. Knitting lace has proven to be a lot of fun too. 

After I finished my Lovely Leaves shawl, I wanted to move as quickly as I could to begin knitting my next shawl. I have learnt that this is not the best idea, especially when trying new patterns. Patience is key. One lesson I've learnt from wanting to design my own shawls is: always make a swatch of the pattern first! While gauge is also important, I've found making a swatch of pattern to be most helpful to me. From that swatch, I can learn if the pattern I'm using has any mistakes, how the stitches fit and assemble together. It saves time, pain and precious yarn! I learnt my lesson a little too frustratingly late, after I had undone my shawl for the fourth time, upon discovering 7 rows in that the pattern was completely messed up (for reference, there were more than 300 stitches in each row). Re-using yarn over and over again wears it down. It is a good idea to keep scrap yarn (usually acrylic) nearby to test out any ideas before moving onto your nicer yarn. The same pattern will come out differently on different yarns of course, but at least you will be able to work out the kinks in the pattern. 

I like to do quite a bit of research on the type of shawl I want to knit so I can understand the anatomy. Once you understand the skeleton, you will be able to create almost anything you want! I use a combination of the internet and my reference books to help me get my ideas off the ground.

My reference books. I like stitchionaries a lot.

My reference books. I like stitchionaries a lot.

Taking the time to think out and go slow on a new design saves heartache and frustration. I think I should also buy a sketch book so I can draw out my ideas (like real designers!).

Also update on my patterns on Raverly! I've decided to make two of my patterns free. The Very Berry Beanie and the Vines Cable Cowl.