Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WIP Wednesday #6

When I started this WIP Wednesday theme back in November, I wrote that I was working on a Meredith dress for my friend's daughter. Sadly, this project has been neglected because I had other projects I wanted to finish by certain times. Well, I'm happy to report that I can finally get around to work on this dress and have been making some progress. Now I've finished the yoke, the lace pattern of which was pretty fun to knit, and am onto the body. This is going to be one beautiful dress!

I'm using Bernat Softee Baby in Mint color. The needles are US 5 (3.75mm) to achieve the suggested gauge. This is going to be a 4-5 years old size.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kimono Sweater Finished!

Having cast on in early November last year, I finally finished LO's baby sachiko kimono sweater. I started to get worried that I wouldn't be able to finish before the winter ends, so I made this project my priority. I'm so glad I finished it because 1) LO wouldn't be able to fit into this next year and 2) this winter is super extra cold!!

Instead of making the ties with yarn, I used a bias tape. I used a 1/2" wide bias tape, made two 10.5" long ones, sewn the open side and attached to the bottom of the slants. I'm not a fan of the look of knitted/crocheted ties. Fabric ones look cleaner and neater, imho.

Having said that, I used crochet ties inside of the sweater. I found that the bias tape tie would've been too bulky.
Rather than leaving the sides open as in the original pattern, I sewn the seams as you can see from the above photo. I love the sweater. It looks warm and comfy. And I think it looks great on Little Guy too :)
(yeah. Modern babies know how to use apps already)

Yarn used: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, Lime & Almond
Needles: 5mm
Gauge 4 sts per inch
Size modification
I wanted to make this a 24 month old size but the pattern goes only up to 18 month, so I made the following modification.
Cast on 52 stitches. For the front, started to decrease when the piece measures 5" to 18 sts. The total length is 11.5". In retrospect, I might have wanted to make it half an inch longer.
I made the sleeves as the 18 month old size, except I added 2 rows at the beginning.

Right now he's only 14 month old, who was as tall as 18 month old at the 12 month checkup. So I'm not perfectly sure if this measurements will fit actual 24 month old children but it looks just the right size for him - not too big but seems to last till spring.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Toy Box

We bought this chest so our little guy can store his toys. It's so cute to see him taking toys in and out :)
But of course, before he was able to use it, somebody had to claim it.
"Whaaat? Are you going to use this to store toys? What a waste of space!"

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday #5 starting a wavy blanket

My kimono sweater now just needs to be stitched up, and I needed a more or less mindless project to work on while watching downton abbey (don't you just love that show?), so I've started this "wavy stripes beach blanket" from a Crochet Today! magazine. The original pattern is for a full size blanket but since I wanted to make this for LO, I'm making only 12 wavy repeats (as opposed to 15). I'm just using red heart super saver from my stash that was meant to make amigurumis and cat blankets. I hope there's enough to make a blanket. I might run out the sky blue but we'll see.

Actually there's some story behind making a wavy blanket. My husband's late-grandmother was an avid crocheter (so I was told) and made this beautiful wavy blanket with different hues of blue for him. It's for a king size bed so you can see how much time she spent on the blanket. I was so impressed and fascinated that I wanted to continue this "wavy blanket tradition" in our family. So I've made myself a wavy throw. And now our little one needs one too! I could've used the same pattern but thought a little change wouldn't hurt. I hope this will become his "blankie" and he'll cherish it for a long time :)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy 2014!

I hope the new year's been treating you well so far. The weather hasn't been great here, more snow on the way (oh I hope those of you who are affected by the snow storms are ok!). But I've been enjoying the feeling of starting anew. I feel like everything is possible. Well I'm gonna make everything possible! :)

New Year's celebrations center around counting down on the new year's eve to the new year's day (and possibly being hungover in the morning, hahaha) in western countries. In Japan, however, they consist of reflecting the year that's going to pass on the eve and celebrating a fresh new start on the first 3 days of the new year with families, relatives and friends. THREE days! (And if weekends are included, it'll be five days this year)

We may not have been able to enjoy long holidays like that, but we celebrated our new year's in Japanese style.

It's a Japanese tradition to eat noodles called toshikoshi soba on new year's eve. This year, though, our son is still avoiding buckwheat (it's a high allergy food) so we instead had udon noodles (although I doubt this was real udon).
I served the noodles in tsukimi style (literally means viewing the moon) with egg, mochi rice cake, shiitake mushrooms and green onions in kelp dashi soup. It's called tsukimi probably because the egg looks like the moon.

I found a great tutorial on how to make dashi soup with kelp (kombu) here by the way.
We also had vegan "duck" I found at a local Chinese grocery store. I just fried it but it tasted pretty good. I served it with hot sauce and lettuce to make lettuce wraps. yum.

And here's our Japanese style new year's meal.
On the top is mashed sweet potato called kinton, vegetable stew called chikuzen-ni, and tempura. The bottom right is zoni soup and the bottom left is agar. The traditional Japanese new year's meal is called osechi which includes several kinds of food. I just made two of those this year. I tried something different and threw in some apple in my mashed sweet potato, which turned out great. Our son couldn't have enough of it :) Kinton represents money. Hope this will bring some good luck in our finance this year!

I made the agar cake in white and red because the combination of the colors red and white is thought to be celebratory in Japan. I used milk for the white and cherry juice for the red. I got some of these ideas from Japanese cooking sites.

I hope you all have a successful year in your chosen field, whatever you do. I'll continue to share more handmade fun so hope you'll stick around!