Category Archives: general

Festivus Spoils

One of the knitting groups I'm in on Ravelry meets locally, and beentsy and yarnpiggy organised a Festivus swap (secret Santa). I was lucky to get beentsy to knit for, and even luckier that damselfly drew me to spoil. Which she did.

The scarf is knitted from her own hand-spun, with beads on the end. The colour is more blue-gray, like in the top left photo. One of the chocolate bars has chili pepper and cinnamon, the other coconut macadamia curry (yep, really). Four types of tea: lavender, winter fruit spice, vanilla, and rose congou. Hand-made stitch markers. And, to top it off, a pattern for Sivia Harding's Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl. I feel blessed and very lucky!

Coming to Terms

My mother died on Wednesday night. My step-father, who was with her, said it seemed she had decided it was time to go. She had dementia, and the last couple of months were one trip into hospital after another until she'd had enough. I miss her awfully. May she rest in peace.

Yarn Stores in Hong Kong

My husband had a business trip to Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I'd tag along, having never been there. I had fun walking around, soaking in the atmosphere, even though it was only a couple of days. (Yes, flew out on Tuesday and back home on Saturday, doesn't leave much time after you take away the time spent in airports and airplanes). More about the trip is on my main blog, under the title Hong Kong Impressions.

I did manage to get to three yarn stores, which is hardly representative, but fun anyway. I looked them up on the Hong Kong Knitters Ravelry group and picked what looked like a couple of interesting ones, Cheer Wool and Tailor & Alteration.

This is what Tailor & Alteration looked like inside:

Tailor and Alteration aisle   Tailor and Alteration - yet another aisle

The aisles were so crowded I couldn't get down some of them without knocking stuff off the shelves. It was fun! I went in the morning and browsed around, picked out some yarn that I haven't seen in Vancouver, and added to my stash of patterns. This time in Japanese, so that will be an interesting learning experience. They had some lovely Japanese silk and linen yarn that almost insisted on coming home with me, but I managed to resist. I did, however, get their lifetime membership card which gave a decent-sized discount on everything, and the woman who runs the store made a point of telling me that they ship world-wide... They also carry supplies for other crafts, such as beading, quilting, and needlepoint/cross-stitch.

The store itself is on the 14th floor of a building, with no signage on the street except for that advertising dentists, most of whom trained in some other country. I guess this not only tells people they should be good, but also says that they will understand English, not a small point in a country where many people do not.


CheerWool was less interesting; the yarns were fairly standard, and the store had much more room to move around in. It was also easier to find, and being on the ground floor in a popular sales district, was more expensive. As seems usual in Hong Kong, much of the yarn was wrapped in plastic bags, but none of it called out to me to be unwrapped.

The last store I went to was mui tong. It was only up one flight of stairs, a small store with all the yarn wrapped in plastic bags. I was looking at one of the bags when the owner came over with a lovely vest she had knitted in that yarn, to show me how it knitted up. I ended up buying some of it, it was much nicer knitted up than it looked through the plastic bag. I guess they just want to keep the yarn clean.

Most of the yarns I saw in all the stores were Japanese or European; lots of Italian wools with the fine merino. Japanese bamboo knitting needles seem very popular, along with the Aero needles and Addi needles. I didn't see any Chinese knitting needles such as Hiya Hiya, which surprised me a little, although I also didn't ask for them. The Japanese pattern books are popular, together with Rowan. I did my bit for the local economy without going over the import limit for travellers returning to Canada; now I just have to figure out what to knit with the yarn and which pattern from the book to tackle first.

More Knitting Time

After leaving Sun on Thursday, I did quite a lot of knitting over the weekend. There's something meditative about the stitches gliding off the needles, even if I did have a few false starts on the pattern. I've discovered that doing Japanese short rows on purls is a little tricky, so I need to think about that a bit more. The reason for the short rows? The sweater has a combination of stitch patterns across the back, including a brioche section in the centre. Brioche has a smaller row gauge, so I need more rows of brioche to make sure the back hemline is even when it's finished. In total I need to keep track of how many rows I've knitted, the waist shaping, the short-row repeat, and the pattern repeat. I'm starting to think a better row counter is in my future.


It's Saturday, and the boy is reading, the toddler amusing herself with this and that, and just maybe I'll have time to finish this post.

Somewhat later, after responding to toddler demands for a second breakfast...

I've finished the main knitting on the Baby Ull roses cardigan. I want to soak and block the body before cutting the armhole steeks, to see how much of the "embossing" effect I can get rid of. And at the moment I don't have the energy for all that and then the finishing, so it's resting. In the meantime I cast on for the Niebling Yahoo group KAL, the birch catkins doily. It's reasonably easy to knit so far (mind you, I'm only up to round 31); all the hints the group had have helped with that. I find I'm getting into the "one more round" trap of wanting to keep knitting, just to watch it grow. I can see why knitting Niebling doilies seems to be addictive, judging by the people on the list. Ours is not really a doily house, so I have no idea what to do with it once I have it finished. I guess that makes me a process knitter, at least for these.

Susanna Hansson is coming to town at the end of September, and I've signed up for the workshop. It calls for "Knitters with experience making mittens and doing complex colour work"; given I've only done the one stranded piece and never knitted mittens, I guess I should knit a pair before then! I'm thinking of the endpaper mitts, or maybe the new ones from Knitting Daily, depending on what I have in my stash.