Thursday, December 28, 2006

I still knit!!

Ok, I don't have much time to knit, but I was able to finish the fair isle mittens for my mother in law, and I have also started another project, a pair of thick socks for my aunt. Technically these are all Christmas gifts, but I don't think people will mind if they are a little bit late. I used the pattern for Eunny's Endpaper Mitts and modified them slightly to be mittens. I used Louet Gems Pearl fingering weight yarn. I also started a new project, some thick socks for my aunt, made with Mission Falls Wool on size 5 dpns. I'm using a pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. And in case you guys were dying for more Robby pictures, here is a good one of his eyes open!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Thanks everyone!

Hi everyone, I wanted to say thanks to everybody for all the encouraging comments, as you all know, it's been kind of crazy around here. I actually got 4 hours of sleep last night straight through and I feel great! I have been able to do a little knitting, I'm almost finished with one fair isle mitten and have been working on Robby's little jeans. Thanks to my sister for being at our house everyday after work to help me with laundry and cleaning the house, and cooking dinner. Also, thanks to my friends who brought me food, and to my mother in law who helped during the labor. Rob is a great dad, very involved and can swaddle Robby and change a cloth diaper like a pro. He is also teaching Robby the fine art of shaking your groove thang.

Cloth diapers are working out well, I never believed people when they said your own baby's poo wouldn't bother you, but I think it's true. For those of you who are interested in the cloth diaper thing, some things I would change for the next batch I sew. I think I will have to use a different type of fabric for the inner soaker pad. The woven cotton terry doesn't absorb very well, so even the diapers with the three layer soaker pad, Robby still soaks through. Another thing is for the layer that touches his skin, I need to use a fabric that will wick the moisture away from his skin. He doesn't always cry when he wets his diaper and with the flannel, the wetness just kind of sits on his skin. So, maybe with the next batch, I will try a fleece type fabric that will pull the wetness away from his skin. Another thing is, I need to find a fabric that has greater absorbency so I don't need to use so many layers for the soaker pad. While the cloth diapers are cute, those things can get bulky really quick. I can't dry them completely in the dryer, so I have to hang them up to dry overnight to get them completely dry. I also would like to try an AIO because it does get to be a pain with the cover and the inner part of the diaper. And I would also like to try other options for waterproofing the covers besides PUL, maybe felted wool, or fleece, I'm not sure. I have a tiny washing machine so I'm doing laundry everyday, and I have an emergency stash of disposables for those times where I'm going to go crazy and the thought of dealing with a cloth diaper is just too much, usually around 3am in the morning, when I've been up for 2 hours feeding.

That's what I'm learning about being a mom, I have all these grand schemes for cloth diapering, breastfeeding, etc., but sometimes, to keep yourself sane you have to compromise and take it easy on yourself for the good of the baby and for the mom. I don't have any knitty pictures to show, but I will leave you guys with a picture I took of Robby when we were still in the hospital.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Robby's First Bath and his thoughts....

While Mommy and Auntie Kathy were sponging me off, I wasn't too happy, although I did like the feel of her hemp washcloths. Mommy washed my hair too, who knew it had so much body? I thought it would always just stick to my head. Now I'm all snuggly in my socks and cloth diaper! Much better feeling against me bum than those disposables. I like to be swaddled up real tight.I sneezed all over Auntie Kathy!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Helloooo Nurse

Hey everyone, this is Rob. Bea wanted me to put the official announcement up about Robby. Bea is doing great and so is the baby.

He was born on December 4th at 10:02 PM. He was 8 lbs 14 oz and 21 ¾ inches. This is him a few hours later.

The birth was difficult and there were some concerns, but after a while we heard from the staff that he was doing just fine. He appears generally happy and he likes to open his eyes when he hears a new voice. However, when he does this the light makes him sneeze. It’s pretty funny.

Here is another picture with "robear". We are going to post more pictures on Bea’s family website, but that might be a few days.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Fair isle in the round on's hard! Normally with knitting, I can be doing multiple things at once, not so in this case. This is the first of my Christmas knitting, Rob was really impressed. He actually said, "I would like some socks like that, but in different colors." Oy vey, for those size 12 feet?! But, how can I deny the man socks when he compliments my knitting! The pattern is from See Eunny Knit's blog. This girl is amazing. I'm modifying the pattern for actual mittens. The yarn is Louet Gems Pearl, a very lovely fingering weight merino yarn. Here is a shot of the inside.I'm about halfway through the first mitten. This project has been a challenge to say the least, learning tubular cast on for 1x1 rib, doing fair isle in the round and learning how to hold the yarns, just so, but it is really fun, and a good counterpoint to the endless rows of stockinette for Rob's BR sweater. Only 6 days till Robby's due date! Rob, the doctor, and I all think he is going to be a little late, but that's ok, Rob will be done with school in a week or so, thank the Lord.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Daddy Pouch is done!!!

I've been working on getting a daddy pouch for Rob made. Sorry about the poor picture quality, no sunlight... The pouch has been one of the things that I have been needing to get finished before Robby makes his arrival. In less than two weeks, we will have an actual baby instead of stuffed animals I can model all of my sewn/knitted objects on. Robby doesn't know what's coming! All I have left after the pouch is hemp washcloths I want to sew up with a few yards of hemp french terry I got in the mail last week. Our Thanksgiving went great, LOTS of food and great family time. Here is the latest belly shot, can you tell Robby has dropped?He is now at station -3. I've been making good progress on Rob's BR sweater, I won't bore you guys with endless rows of stockinette, but I did finish the front and am halfway finished with the back. I also started those denim jeans I found in Knitty, did you know the dark colored Rowan Denim yarn will stain your fingers and your needles? I'm making them the 6-12 month size because everything I read says the baby will be that size before you know it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Here are some progress shots on the BR sweater. I'm really excited because my calculations are correct and it's actually knitting up like the BR sweater!The sweater is a size M, so if anyone is interested, I will write up a pattern when I'm done, I doubt I will have the energy to figure the numbers for other sizes, but if the man you want to knit it for is a M you are in luck!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Endless Baby Blanket Finished!

Finally! I started this blanket about a month after I found out we were pregnant, and it's taken me this long to get through 7 strips and endless rows of garter stitch and endless yarn tails to sew in. I'm very happy with the results, it looks and feels great! I used Mission Falls Superwash Wool, I don't even know how many balls I've used...and I don't think I want to know.The back looks ok too, I may sew a fleece back onto it, like the yarn ladies did for the blanket they made for me.But for now, I think I will just enjoy the fact I finished a knitting project, lately it seems like I just start things and never finish them. I have a secret project for a friend I need to finish, and I have some more sewing I need to do, including a daddy sling for Rob to hold Robby in. Only 3 weeks left till Robby's official due date. I'm looking forward to lots of yummy food for Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nesting Induced Breakdown and the Cure

Yesterday I got a fire under my butt to start getting our office ready for Robby's arrival. About halfway into the process, with dust everywhere, dirty dishes in the sink, books up to my ears, yarn, fabric scraps and other items, all over the place I kind of freaked out. Well, after I got everything cleaned up, I got ready to go to my Monday Night knit night at my LYS for some yarn group therapy and knitting. I walked in, and the ladies had planned a surprise baby shower for me! I was so surprised and moved, they went through a ton of effort and made me the most beautiful blanket. Each lady knitted a special square and sewed it together and put a soft fleece back on it. Needless to say, I about started bawling again because I was so amazed by the thoughtfulness of the gift. I also got some other very useful lovely items that I've really been needing, but the blanket was the centerpiece (along with the chocolate/vanilla cake :)). Robear and Pooh love the blankie and are patiently waiting to keep Robby company on it. When I first met all the ladies at the yarn shop, I never knew I would end up having so many good friends and experience so much love, laughter, and friendship. Thanks so much to all my friends at the yarn store from me, Rob, and Robby!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Totally Tubular Dude

I'm designing a sweater for Rob! I'm modeling it off of his favorite Banana Republic sweater and knitting it with Rowanspun DK. The ribbing is 2x2 and the body is all stockinette and it has a nice standup collar. You can't really see the sleeves in the picture, but you get the idea. This is my first real attempt at designing a sweater, so we will see how it goes. I'm making pretty good progress, I've got 12in done on the body and I learned how to do a tubular cast on for the bottom ribbing.
I also finally have pictures of the Rebecca sweater, I've been working on FOREVER. I already have one in white, and decided to do one in black when my LYS had a great sale on the black Muench GOA. I love the sweater, it's an acrylic/cotton blend so I can wash and dry it. I modified the pattern slightly to lengthen the body. Aren't the cables pretty? In the process of knitting this sweater, I also learned how to do cable stitches without a cable needle which helped speed it up a bit. I have the back and front done so far, and I'm a few inches along on the sleeve.

Only 4 weeks to go until Robby makes his arrival! I'm really excited and sewing up diaper covers today like a madwoman. I'll post pictures of those when I'm finished with them.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Baby Blues

Ok, I just had to do a quickie post. I just found this pattern online. How cute is that!!! I love it!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sling it to me!

Here are some pictures of the baby sling I made. Sorry about the poor quality, they are very awkward pictures to take unless you are 8 feet tall.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I'm back!

I know all of you have been breathlessly waiting for my next post (just kidding). My camera took a trip to New Mexico so I have been unable to keep you all posted on all my crafty things. Lots of knitting has been happening, mostly the endless baby blanket, Rebecca sweater (pictures later), but the main focus has been sewing things for Robby. The deadline is fast approaching! Only 5 weeks left, eep! I've also discovered a new hobby, (I need another hobby like a hole in the head). First, this is the stash of cloth diapers I've sewn up so far. See the little T-shaped thingy? That is a Snappi. It's what I will use to hold the diaper closed, which eliminates the need for pins. I have 9 more I'm working on for a total of 24 fitted diapers, then I'm going to order some prefolds online. I also am waiting for a fabric order, polyurethane laminate fabric, which is basically fabric with a plastic coating on one side to make a waterproof barrier. I'm going to take that, line it with some of this cute fabric, sew foldover elastic binding around the edges, and velcro tabs to make diaper covers! Those covers will go over the fitted cloth diapers I made to prevent leaks. I also finished a baby sling made out of this beautiful black linen, but I can't seem to find it to take a picture of it. I'll post that later. And finally, I have discovered beading! I made a bunch of earrings to bring to a shower some good friends were throwing for me, and I had a few leftover (darn!). I'm tossing around the idea of making a bunch of them and maybe selling them online on an Etsy shop or something. They wouldn't be expensive, maybr $5-$20 dollars a pair depending on the types of beads used. I found a great online bead supplier that sells natural stones like opal, citrine, tigereye, turquoise, freshwater pearls, some really beautiful stuff. What do you guys think? I checked out a bunch of books on the library on beading to improve my technique. Is buying earrings online something you guys would be interested in? Or is the market too saturated already? Does the price range sound reasonable? I know you can get earrings at Wal-Mart or Claire's and shops like that, do you guys typically buy earrings from big chains or local suppliers? Feel free to comment, this is my market research.

Friday, October 27, 2006

WARNING: Awesome Shoes Ahead

Ok this is a non-knitting post, but I'm really excited about this. It was my birthday on Wednesday, and I've REALLY been wanting this special pair of boots. I've wanted them for about two years, and lately, as Rob and I visit our family's land where we will eventually build our dream house, I have visions of me planting our garden, building stone walls, hanging laundry in the sun, hiking through the woods in fall, all of this with Robby slung on my back and Rob walking beside me, with these boots on. These are the kind of shoes that will last years and years. Ok, enough about that, here they are. They were on sale from 240 dollars to 168 dollars here. So, if you like them too, snatch them up before they are all gone!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Update on EZ Sweater

Here are some progress photos on Rob's Seamless Hybrid. I had some gauge issues, so I started a few different times, then I cast on for the sweater, and after getting about 10 rows in, read about a much cleaner technique for doing the hem on the sweater, so I ripped out and started again, but now I'm chugging along. The problem with knitting with my own handspun is my gauge was varying from between 4.5 sts/in to 5 sts/in. I first cast on 200, but that ended being way too big, then tried 180, that was still too big, then finally cast on 170. I pulled it off the needles after knitting a few rows to check the size, and I think this will work. I figured if it's slightly small circumference-wise, I can block it and the wool has enough stretch where it should give. I hope! Any thoughts on this? Besides my gauge and hem woes, I'm really happy with the way it's coming along and Rob was pretty stoked about it too, he's really excited about wearing it and is really hoping he can wear it this winter, I'm going to try my darndest to accomplish that. I love this wool, and I love it more and more as I knit with it. The bits of leaves from the sheep that I just spun into the yarn make it look a little tweedy in some spots, and there is this really pretty halo to the sweater. Something about knitting with my own handspun, while a daunting task, is very satisfying, and the fact that I'm knitting it for Rob, and that he really likes it, until this point, I've only made him hats, and one sweater that I just kind of made up as I went (it doesn't fit very well, I'm going to rip it out someday), I REALLY want to finish this for him. His b-day is coming up, as well as, he's going to be a daddy in about 7 weeks, and I'm sure being a new mommy will take over knitting time :) So, I'm knitting like a madwoman!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Y is for Yoyo and Yarn

Robear was a hit with my sister's ESL class. I had to keep him in the Ziploc bag for the visit so he wouldn't get lots of germies. My sister teaches ESL at a local school and has been asking me for weeks to do a yoyo demonstration, I finally caved and went today to show the little kids some yoyo tricks and give them a spinning demo. The kids were SO cute and very entertaining. They were so hyper too! Climbing all over each other, asking questions, and requesting for me to "walk the dog" and "rock the baby." I have a new respect for elementary school teachers, it takes some serious patience to keep the kids inline and focused! I also showed them samples of my BFL wool top and my BL top, they thought the brown wool smelled like chocolate :) I also showed them how they spun yarn back in the 'ol days. They all thought he was so cute and were very excited about the baby in my belly. As I was leaving, they all gave me hugs. It was amazing how open these little boys and girls were, and how they were unashamed to be excited or give hugs. I work in a male-dominated environment and am not around kids very much at all, so this was a really fun experience. I asked my sister about one of the kids who seemed really needy for love and affection, and apparently he doesn't have a good home life. It really got me thinking about how hard it must be for teachers to try to meet the needs of children in their classes who are struggling with difficult situations at home and how heartbreaking it must be at times to balance the desire to help as much as you can, but still maintain a balance between your own things you have to deal with. Anyway, when my kids are in school, my goal is to really try to support the teachers I come in contact with and help them out if I can. They have a huge job!

Now Presenting...Robear!

I've been putting off finishing Robear because I find finishing work to be somewhat tedious. But seeing as Robby Cubed's arrival is only 7 weeks away, I thought I better get on it. So, I began, sewing up his body, and it turns out, it was actually really fun finishing him! It was cool watching his body come together. Here he is pre-stuffing. When Rob saw that Robear was ready to stuff, he got interested and wanted to help. Robear was very patient and did not cry or fuss during the stuffing. He actually seemed quite happy to finally have a body and be free of the Ziploc bag. I then sewed his head to his body.Tada! He is all done. Now he is ready to be a friend to little Robby Cubed.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Four Things

Well, Crazy Aunt Purl, technically tagged me for this questionnaire, so I will participate. So, whoever reads this post, consider yourself tagged and answer these questions!

Four Jobs I've Had
A yoyo cart in a mall named Yo Mamma (I'm not kidding)
Sandwich artist at Subway
Yoyo and kite store on the Huntington Beach Pier
Electrical Design Engineer for a company that builds submarines (I'm not kidding about that one either)

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over
The Hustler
The Motorcycle Diaries
The Princess Bride

Four Places I Have Lived
Bronx, NY
Huntington Beach, CA
Hixson, TN
Fayetteville, AR

Four Television Shows I Love to Watch
CSI: Las Vegas
I Love Lucy

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation
Costa Rica
Istanbul, Turkey
Yamaranguila, Honduras
Mystic, CT

Four of My Favorite Dishes
hard tacos with ground beef sauteed with taco seasoning, tomatoes, guacomole, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, refried beans, and salsa
Stuffed Pasta Shells
any kind of sushi

Four Websites I Visit Daily
my bloglines, which includes all the knitting, spinning, and crafty blogs I visit
my email

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now
at home with my husband
at my LYS
at my mother-in-law's house talking, drinking spiced tea, and watching the birds in her huge catawba tree
at my aunt's house in Georgia, pigging out on korean food

Four Bloggers I Am Tagging
i'm a little shy about tagging all my favorite bloggers, so anyone who reads this, feel free to answer the questions, and leave a comment letting me know, so i can read your responses!

Friday, October 13, 2006


Update on MHH. He decided that instead of a hoodie, he would like just a plain sweater in my BL handspun that looks like this. So, we were flipping through Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Without Tears that I FINALLY got from the library, and we came across a picture of EZ's Tomten Jacket. Here is a link to a completed jacket on a little kid. He exclaimed, "Why don't you make me that? That's perfect, exactly what I was picturing for my hoodie." As I'm always excited when Rob gets into my handknit item's for himself, I compromised and said I would do his Tomten jacket out of plain ol' storebought yarn, in a dark gray I think. I did a gauge swatch with my handspun last night, and began casting on for the body of the Seamless Hybrid, more pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Twisted Knitters

Ok, I'm taking the knitting and spinning thing to the next level. No, I'm not getting a wheel, darn it! But I am joining my first knit-a-long. I am now officially a Twisted Knitter! My twisted knitting project is going to be My Husband's Hoodie or MHH for short. So please, comment and encourage me as I spin my way to 1000+ yds!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ode to my Local Yarn Store

Well, I thought I would give all of you people in Bloglandia some info on a very important place in my life. My local yarn store. It's in the lovely town of Fayetteville, Arkansas and is relatively new. I think it's only been open for a couple of years. In college, when I would buy yarn for various projects my only sources for yarn were Hobby Lobby and Walmart. Blecch! I was so excited when this yarn store opened. At the time, I wasn't working, so I worked there one day out of the week as a trade for yarn, whoo hoo! Then, I started teaching crochet classes. I also went to the awesome Monday night Knit Night otherwise known as the Monday Night Tear Out, where many glasses of wine were consumed and lots of laughs were to be had. The past year I've been so busy with remodeling, pregnancy, and working I haven't been able to spend as much time as I would like at the shop, but I try to make it at least a couple times a month. SO, if you are in the Northwest Arkansas Area, check it out! Colleen and Joy are the owners of the shop and very knowledgeable, helpful, and fun. And on any given day, you may catch any of the other LYS regulars. The customer service is great and there is a coffee shop across the street if you want to stay and chat for a while. Here are some pictures of the shop.
Here is the main yarn goodies area.More yarn goodies and our yarn table.And because no yarn shop is complete without a shop cat, here she is, Queen Sasha. You can also find Handheld Knitting online here.

North Korea - Children of the Secret State

North Korea - Children of the Secret State

Watch this video, and if you are interested in finding out more, check out the following sites:
Amnesty International
Liberty in North Korea
North Korea Freedom Coalition

The sad thing for me is that because North Korea's government is so closed, it's impossible to directly help the people with food, adopting children, etc.. Right now, it's down to hoping the government is replaced and the country opens up. I don't know much about the history, but I'm trying to educate myself to see what the historical context is for the current situation. I've got a really good book that I started reading on the topic. As a first generation Korean American living in the US, I'm so thankful and blessed with family, friends, and prosperity. I know my grandma and my parents had to live through the Japanese occupation and the Korean War, thank goodness they are here in the US and have been able to make a good life for themselves.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

We interrupt our regular scheduled programming to bring you....

I sewed my first two diapers today, and I think I actually did alright! They are newborn size that I will keep closed with a Snappi. I had a good time figuring out how to do this. I used two layers of flannel with two layers of terry cloth in the middle, all 100% cotton. The first diaper I used a straight stitch to sew the right sides together then turned it inside out, the second diaper, I figured out how to use the overcast stitch on my sewing machine so I could eliminate a step. The edges are a little more wavy with the second method, I think because the fabric has some stretch to it and as I sewed, I was stretching the fabric causing it to give it that funky edge. Oh well. I didn't have a baby on hand to try the diaper on, so I drafted my 25 yr old bear, Peachy. He was very embarassed that he had to wear a diaper, being that he IS 25 years old, but he just kept his mouth shut and indulged my whims. Ignore the sewing pins I used to hold the diaper closed, obviously I won't be using those on Robby :)Note the sweater Peachy is wearing, I think I knitted that thing for him 15 years ago. Awwwwwwww...

Chocolate-y Goodness

I wanted to post some pictures of some of the BL fiber I have spun on the spindle for Rob's monk sweater. 116 yds spun, only 1000+ to go!!! Yikes! This stuff is amazing, it's so soft and fluffy. I spin it into relatively thin singles, but when I ply it, it blooms and makes the softest, cushiest yarn.
I got some great advice from Hello Yarn. Thanks Adrian! I wound the singles off onto toilet paper tubes and mounted them on a spare shoe box and stood across the room to even out the twist.

I also used Marnie's tips on achieving balanced yarn on a spindle, and when I finished plying, I had a beautiful perfectly balanced skein of yarn.
Isn't it pretty, the color is such a rich, chocolate-y brown. And, there is very minimal shedding. Excuse the leg in the background, I really need to get a Swift Model #GLI-222.

For those of you who like the cooking portion of this blog, I made "Bea's Famous Chicken Curry". Not the salad, but curry. Actually, it's not my recipe, it's Maya Kaimal's Chandran's Chicken Curry. The only thing I change is she sauteed zucchini and squash with basically the same spices she uses in the curry with the addition of mustard seeds and serves that as a side dish. To minimize on time and dirty dishes, I just add my veggies to the curry and it turns out pretty well. I served it with jasmine rice, if you haven't cooked jasmine rice before, it really complements the taste of this curry and has the best smell when cooking. Here is a picture of the finished product.
You can check out the pictures I took of the cooking process HERE.