Saturday, May 31, 2008

Handknits for a New Nephew and New Niece

After waiting for nearly two months for my package to arrive in HK, my new nephew and niece have finally received their Baby Yoda jackets with matching hats. I love this kimono style cardigan for babies. They're easy to put on and such a great cover-up for short sleeved onesies. This great pattern by Cari Luna can be found here. I did make a few mods by lengthening the cardigan by an inch to get longer wear from it, by widening the sleeve at the bottom by just a tad, so that it wouldn't be tight for the baby to slip through, and by dropping the kimono ties for a simple and neater button closure. I also added a small snap button on the inside of the jacket to keep the cardigan front pieces in their places. I knit with Cotton-Ease, so that the cardis are machine-washable, which I'm sure the parents of twins will appreciate. Overall, I'm very happy with the way the Baby Yoda jackets turned out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Finally Trying a Zimmerman Design

Lately, I've had this need to start a new project, one that is more easy going, more relaxing than the Endpaper Mitts, which has been a little slow going due to the chart reading and constant untwisting of my two balls of fingering yarn from colorwork stranding. So, out came my Royal ballwinder to prep some Noro Kureyon (with a little help from R). I got my hands on a copy of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop and came across her very cool Baby Surprise Jacket pattern, a very popular project that's been all over blogland and Ravelry. Of all the Baby Surprise Jackets that I have viewed online, I loved the ones that were either knit in variegated yarn like Noro or hand-dyed, handspun the most, so since I didn't have enough yardage in my own handspun, I chose to use up some of my leftover Noro Kureyon that I had used to make M's earflap felted hat and my sister's Maine Morning Mitts. Here's what I have so far from just a little over one skein of knitting...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Highlights of Long Weekend Sunday

The long awaited weekend for me (two days off!) arrived along with beautiful hot sunny weather, and I did my best to fill it up with some fun activities for both myself and the boys. Sunday started off with a pancake breakfast at home and a good sweaty workout at the gym. After coming home to shower up, we got the boys ready to go to our current favourite dim sum restaurant on Main and 30 something where the seafood dumplings are super plump and delicious.

D loves these dumplings and has been asking for them for over a week. It's just hilarious that he likes only the dumpling wrapper and passes the filling along to me or his "Papa". After a late lunch, we headed over to the eclectic Ruby Dog Arts to poke around as it was only up the street. Nothing new in the store, but D and R came home with a new blank book and some glass "treasures".

Next was a trip to Granville Island where it was opening weekend for the water park. D had a blast, made many friends and got out some cooped-up energy running around the entire water park area. Too bad R needed a nap at the time, but he did wake up to some "sliding" time at the playground. R could've gone to the water park too, but he just wasn't into getting wet, which just goes to show how different the two boys can be. It took some coaxing to leave the playground, but we did it, and by that time, we were way too tired to even drag our crew into the market for dinner ideas. So that was our jam-packed, no-time-for knitting-or-crafting Sunday!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ordering Japanese Craft Books

With the city in bloom with beautiful flowers, like my favorite bleeding heart plant above, I've been thinking of ordering some new Japanese magazines. Besides, I've been good. I think it's been a year since I've ordered, and I recently discovered how to view some of the latest titles. If you love Japanese craft books as much as I do, not only for their awesome styling and photography, but for their inspiring projects, then YesAsia is a definite site to check out. It's a much easier site to navigate than Amazon Japan, even when translated into English. For the most direct route to the new Japanese craft books, go to my sidebar on the right, click on YesAsia. You will be taken to the page with the latest Japanese book releases. In order to go to the new Japanese craft book releases, look on the left sidebar under the "Browse" category: Hobby/Lifestyle/Culture. Click on it and then once you are on a new page, look under the "Browse" category again and click on "Lifestyle" to filter into the latest Japanese craft book pages. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot of English info about each book title other than its cover, author, ISBN, price and release date once you click on each interested title, but it's more info than you can glean from Amazon Japan. Also, as a bonus, shipping is free if you order $25US as a US resident and $39US as a Canadian resident with YesAsia. I hope these instructions demystify any confusion you had about ordering these beautiful craft books. I've ordered more than a couple of times from YesAsia and it has always been a good experience. Go to this post for a look into some of the books that I have purchased in the past.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ready to Ride a Two-Wheeler

D finally agreed to take off the training wheels of his bike to practise riding on two wheels this past weekend. It only took several tries with his papa holding him at first and then letting him go down the gravel path or grassy areas of Trout Lake. In no time, he was cycling around the lake without any help at all. Me, I stayed with R, who played in the playground and then pedalled to the beach in his tricycle. We all met up a little later at the beach where R insisted on hamming it up for the camera every time I wanted a more serious brotherly shot of the two of them. Good on ya' for finally letting go of those training wheels, D!!! We celebrated with some ice-cream afterwards.