Falling in love with crochet

Hi all, I just wanted to share this lovely find I came across while browsing the web recently.

Although I'm more of a knitter than a crocheter, it was love at first sight when I came across this book preview for "Crochet with One Sheepish Girl". Take a peek below and you'll see what I'm talking about!


Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

I just realized that I haven't updated this blog since October. I'm so sorry about that. Usually the end of year is my busiest season as a knitter and knitwear designer, and time just flew by. I've also been working full-time at a startup, and that also kept me quite busy getting towards the end of the year.

However, I must say that 2013 ended very well. I took part in the Bazaar Bizarre Fair again, this time with my own booth instead of sharing, and thanks to the cold spell we had in the Bay Area, I sold quite a lot of the Procragratification Infinity Scarves.

I am so thankful to all of you, my friends, fans, readers, customers and supporters, and I hope we can make 2014 as exciting and interesting as 2013, if not more.

Here's to 2014, and thank you all so much!


PS: Just for fun, here's a coupon code for 20% off all items in the NiseyKnits shop: WELCOME2014

The code will be active till 11:59pm PST on Sunday, Jan 5th, 2014. :)

Source: http://www.niseyknits.com/wp-content/uploa...

Happy Birthday my little poopoola!

Today is my son's birthday! I can't believe it's been a few years already. This boy is now talking, singing, dancing and sharing his opinions, likes and dislikes, and even throwing tantrums for good measure! Now I've not knitted many things for him (poor boy!), but what I have knitted for him are hats. I think most of the hats I've knit belong to him. The first hat was the Simple Baby Hat by Alison Williams. I worked a 2x2 rib for the brim, but as you can see, that hat was too big for him. I hadn't yet understood what gauge was for, and didn't even think to check for it. Anyway, I thought he would grow into it so I made him wear it anyway. :P

For his second hat, I chose the Presto! Preemie Hat by Katherine Vaughan because it looked fun and quick. I had also gotten some mystery funky blue yarn from my manager Anna at FVPF (now Futures without Violence), so I whipped this hat up quickly for him. It was pretty tight on him. I still hadn't learned my lesson about gauge. :P

But, you know how quickly little kids grow. Since the Funky Andy hat was small to begin with, he outgrew it pretty quickly and I needed a new hat for him. I turned to the Aviatrix baby hat by Justine Turner. This has got to be one of my favorite hat patterns. It is simple, intuitive, and the finished product is just stunning. For this hat, I actually paid attention to gauge and it fit him much better compared to the other ones.

He wore the Aviatrix hat until he was almost 2 years old, and that got too small for him. It was winter time so I thought he needed a thicker hat. I cast on for the Chunky Dean Street Hat by Nina Machlin Dayton. I forgot all the gauge issues I had had with the first two hats and cast on for this one without checking gauge. Big mistake! Huge! As in, the hat was huge enough to fit my head. LOL! It was still cute, and he got a lot of attention whenever he wore it. Sadly, this hat is almost at the end of it's life too. I have to find a new hat pattern to knit for this fast-growing boy.

I've learnt one thing from all my no-gauge-taking hat-knitting travails - when it comes to knitting in the round, I'm such a loose knitter that I need to go two needles smaller than the recommended size on the pattern. That seems to work well for me. Hopefully I'll have another hat finished for this little one. He told me that he wants a purple and yellow hat. Maybe I'll try the Turn-A-Square hat by Jared Flood?

Or maybe it's time for me to try out a fair isle or intarsia pattern? There are so many to choose from though! The Sheep & Wool hat by Emily Spence is pretty tempting...

as is the Cheesehead hat by Julia Mueller.

Or should I go to a different way and try the Howlcat by Alex Tinsley? It can be a hat or a cowl!

Aaaarghhh!! So many choices, so little time.  Happy Birthday my little love. May you grow up to become a man of integrity with a kind and generous heart. I love you!

Wishing you a lovely Valentine's Day

This week's blog post is a quick one to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day. Wherever you may be, please know that I appreciate your support and I'm grateful to you. I hope you have a wonderful day (and rest of the week).

Sincerely, Denise

PS: The 30% off Valentine's Day sale ends today at 11:59pm PST, in case you were looking for a lovely handknit item for you or your loved ones. Please spread the word. :) Thank you!

My PomPom Saturday

I was originally going to title this post "What to do when you are at home sick and have lots of yarn scraps", but it was too long and sounded like I was still high from all the cold medication I've been taking. :) But really, this past Saturday, I was at home with a stuffy nose and watery eyes and could barely focus on any knitting project. My son was also sick with the same symptoms, so we were all cooped up at home feeling miserable and wanting to do something fun. My son saw a few pieces of leftover yarn I had from a recent project and asked me to make a braid for him (I had made a few braids for him in the past). I was getting ready to do so when I remembered that I had lots more scrap yarn, and could make something super fun out of them - POMPOMS! He was super excited because he's usually not allowed to touch my yarn, and PomPoms sounded new and fun! (Oh to be 2 years old again! Everything new is exciting!).

I had a lot of yarn scraps..really, quite a bit. In December, I bought a $2 glass jar from Goodwill to store them and add to my display for the Bazaar Bizarre Fair.

For my pompoms, I used the Clover Pompom Maker (see picture below). I got mine from Joann but you can also find it online on Amazon.  

I had a lot of fun making my pompoms. Are you ready for the pompom explosion? Here we go!!

You don't need to buy a pompom maker to make your own pompoms though. Before I knew there were pompom makers, I used to hack my own little cardboard pieces together. I thought I'd share a bit of my process with you.

  Supplies and tools needed   Yarn scraps

  Old piece(s) of cardboard (I used an old Kleenex box)

  A pen

  A pair of scissors

  A large bowl/mug

  A smaller bowl/mug (or in my case, a spice bottle)


First, gather your pieces of scrap yarn together. You don't need them to be of the same color. You can group them by color family, yarn thickness, or how you are feeling today. :) I sort of went with the flow when making my pompoms. For this tutorial, I picked a teal and muted orange yarn scraps for my pompoms.

Next place your larger bowl/mug on the cardboard and draw a large circle. Use the spice jar/smaller mug to draw a smaller circle inside the larger one.



Cut the drawing out to get just a large round circle (with the inner circle still intact). Now fold the circle into two and cut out the inner circle. Once that is done, cut the cardboard into 2 so you have two moon pieces (see pictures below).


Get an 8 to 10-inch piece from the yarn scraps you'll be using for the pompom, and insert it between the two halves of the cardboard, holding them pretty tightly together. Then start wrapping the yarn around the two cardboard pieces. I held the two yarns together so they would be distributed evenly. If you wrap one color first, then the next, you'll get more of a striped or color -block/blob effect.


Once you are done wrapping all the yarn, hold the piece tightly, and tie a loose knot with the 8-inch piece you previously inserted between the cardboard pieces. Open the two cardboard pieces slightly so you can insert your scissors.

Cut the strands along the circular edge of the cardboard pieces.  Once you are done cutting, tighten the knot you made so the pompom puffs out.

Remove the cardboard halves (if they haven't fallen out by now) and tie around the pompom again to secure the knot. (I wrap and tie multiple times to use up as much of the 8-inches as I possibly can).


Once you've tied the pompom up pretty well, fluff it up a bit and voila! A fluffy, puffy pompom!!


I liked the pompom so much that I made another one in purple and brown.





Oh look! It's a pompom cup! Hahahhaha!!

I hope this helped those who want to have fun playing with pompoms. Making them is so addictive. Have a great week everyone.

Welcome to my new home

Hello everyone, Welcome to the new home of NiseyKnits, where you can find my designs, as well as my already knitted items for sale. I had the idea for this website a long time ago, and even bought the domain name more than a year ago. It just took a while to get things started and to meet the right team. I'm so glad that I waited though, and got to work with Sierra and Mike of Atmosphere Websites.

Feel free to explore the website and let me know what you think. And once again, thank you for taking this journey with me.



Hooray for Stitches West 2012!! - Part 2

Where was I? Oh, I had just finished my visit with Roxanne of Zen Yarn Gardens. It was now 5:30pm so I had to dash out of the conference center and drive as fast as I legally could to get to my son's daycare before 6pm. I was so happy with my loot, and excited for my Sunday class. I almost forgot! I bumped into a friend from Dartmouth, Katharine Velleman, who is also a knitter, and lives in San Francisco. We are 45mins away from each other and have yet to still meet up. Among the thousands of knitters, crocheters and fiber enthusiasts at Stitches West, we bumped into each other! It was nice to catch up for a few minutes!

So come Sunday afternoon, I was a little tired after my weekend schedule and feeling sick with a sore throat, but I knew I had to go for my class. I made it to the conference center at 1pm, and headed straight for the market because I had seen Kauni at one of the booths and just had to have a ball. I've been looking for Kauni Effektgarn in the EU colorway for a while now, so I was pretty excited to get my hands on one ball, as well as on the EJ colorway.


I also got myself a beautiful ball of yarn from Zauberball.

I was about to head towards the Bobbin's Nest Studio booth when I realized I had less than 5 minutes to get to my class. I didn't even know where the class was located!! LOL! I dashed to the registration desk, where the kind lady gently asked me to look at the back of my badge. There it was! She gave me directions to my class, and I walked as quickly as I could into the class, Sneaky Short Row Shaping by Gwen Bortner. It was a very informative class, and I enjoyed learning a bit more about short row shaping. Below is the handout from the class, and the swatch I made with the four different short row shaping techniques we learnt. I used KnitPicks Swish DK in the Doe and Cornmeal colorways for the swatch.

During a 20min break from the class, I rushed back to the market to pick up this delicious skein of Duet 50/50 mohair and wool from Brooks Farm, a yarn farm based in Texas. The yarn is so soft that I knew I had to have a skein for myself!

I can't wait to knit up all these goodies! So what did I learn from Stitches West? I learnt that I wish we lived in the magical world of Harry Potter so I could use the nifty time turner thingy that Hermione had in Prisoner of Azkaban, so I could go back in time and take ALL the classes I wanted to at Stitches, AND visit all the booths I wanted to in the market. I had such a great time! Hopefully next year I would have made enough money from knitting to pay for the whole package and attend all the days of the conference. Rock on Stitches West, Rock on!!