Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December Class

I have been lazy not updating this blog - so sorry!

We are going to have knitting classes here in December in the following dates:

Thursday, December 4th from 9:30am to 11:30am

Thursday, December 18th from 9:30am to 11:30am

If you are interested, send me an email at lienraknit at gmail dot com.

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Finally Published - Color Block Tee

Thanks to many test knitters, I was able to publish my pattern again! This time, I wanted to make a loose fitting tee that I can wear with jeans and summer pants:

The front looks like normal tee but the back has two different colors and textures:

This turned out to be my favorite! I even made a matching piece for my daughter:

I hope you like the piece - please try!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Looking for Testers

I finished designing this summer top - two different yarns with different gauge. The front (and back top) is using sport weight cotton/linen yarn, elann Camila (discontinued...) and the back is fingering weight tape yarn, Hamanaka Sarasa (linen blend). The back linen part is knitted with larger needle, making it a bit translucent. I wanted to play with different textures, and I really liked the finished product.

I am currently writing a pattern and I am looking for test knitters for this. If you are interested in, please contact me via revelry or you can drop a line to my email address:

Thank you!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Some Finished Items

My students have been finishing their knitting projects - I haven't updated for a while... sorry! Here are some of their finished projects:

Chevron - Stripe Scarf - beautiful color combination!

Cable Hat - Cowl - hard to capture, but this is grayish purple and it came out nice!

She wanted to practice cables, so we decided to work on lots of cables - it came out very squishy and soft.

I have more of my students' projects - it is always nice to see them work very hard every week.

If you are interested in joining, please email me at

Currently, I am offering a class on Wednesday from 9am.

Thank you!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fresh Idea on Yarn Combination

One of the things that fascinates me most is unexpected ways of combining different types of yarn in a single project - and at the last knitting class, I encountered a fresh combination of yarns - Hamanaka  Fuuga and Sublime Organic Merino DK.

I have never thought about using these two yarns together - my student told me she wanted to make a scarf for her niece using a soft color yarn. So, we picked up the Fuuga (left). This is a 100% wool variegated yarn and it is pretty soft and light - this color number (3) has a collection of spring color, so I thought it would be nice to make a little girl's scarf.

Then, she told me that her niece likes purple - so I grabbed Sublime Organic Merino, as it was one of a few yarns that has a shade of purple. She immediately liked it, and told me that she wanted to knit these two yarns together.

I thought that to be very fascinating, as I never came up to the idea of knitting these two together.

After browsing many knitting books, we chose to work on feather and fan pattern, and here is the beginning of this project:

Looks so cute! I can't wait to see the finished project!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lots of Cowls!

My students keep making cowls so much that there are already 5 cowls done in less than a month! Yay!! It is so nice to see a variety of cowls in one place.

Here are the pictures of how they look on them:

I thought it nice to have a range of colors to add a splash of color in your wardrobe - gray + gray is chic and nice but gray + yellow or gray+ turquoise is also nice for a fresh look.

I have so many "gray" cowls and scarfs but I don't have any accent color ones. May I should make some to brighten up my look as well!

Now it is already March and I  have to think hard for my spring/summer collection in my etsy shop... I know I have to move on to cotton/linen yarns, but I just love the scrumptiously soft touch of wools and cannot stop knitting them.

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Student's First Finished Project

One of my students finished her first project today - she started to hold needles just a week ago and now she finished two cowls - amazing!! She made one for herself and another for her son. She chose mustard yellow color and it looked really nice on her.

The one she made for her son is a natural light beige/tan color, and this was nice as well. Looks a bit more sophisticated, sort of. I really like to play with different colors and every time when I see my students picking up some colors that are unusual to me, it gives me an opportunity to realize and learn  that there are many variety of colors that exist in the world. 

She already started her third project - another cowl for her another son. This was a green color, and she told me her son likes the green color and that's the reason why she picked up that green color. But she does not like the yarn itself - it was Paton's classic worsted, a very standard yarn for knitters. Her cowl and the other boy's scarf was made with Paton's classic roving yarn, and this was softer and more squishy.

I do love roving yarns because they represents true beauty of the fiber itself - the softness, the squishiness,  the sheen, etc... multi-ply yarns are usually a bit more harsh and just less interesting to me,

But these days, I started to fond more and more of multi-ply yarns over single ply roving yarns - because rovings are so delicate and weak with rubbings, and they tend to stretch and don't bounce back that much while multi-ply yarns are sturdier and retain shape better.

It is always a pleasure to see other people knitting their own projects. They truly represents their own personality and I really enjoy observing everyone's works.

We still have some spots available for knitting class, so if you are interested, please contact me by email. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New Pattern Release - Practice Shawl

I finally released my new pattern - Practice Shawl. I first wrote this pattern back in 2010 when I was teaching a knitting class in Manhattan - this shawl was designed to learn basic stitches including knit & purl, lace, wrap stitches, ribbing and cables - my students loved it back then.

Since then, I had no time editing/checking to see if the pattern works fine, but one of my knitting friends did an enormous amount of test knitting - and here it is! I am so happy I didn't give up on releasing this pattern.

I have been using this shawl for almost 5 years now and it doesn't look worn at all - habu linen XS-21 is a pretty strong yarn with beautiful behavior. It is not too hard to knit with this yarn (some of Habu's yarns are so beautiful but pretty hard to knit with); linen is not as stretchy as some wool yarns, so it may be a bit uncomfortable for those who never used linen before, but other than that, it is a nice crisp yarn to work with.

I would like to see this in many different yarns - maybe wool, alpaca, cotton, silk, etc.... and heavier weight or double width. There are so many possibilities for this shawl.

Most of sections have only 12-16 rows, so before you start to get bored of repeating a same pattern, you will move on to the next pattern. I made it so that my student won't get too tired of repeating a same thing - especially for those who just started knitting, too much repetition sometimes turns them off from knitting, and I designed in a way so that people won't get too tired from repetition.

Hope to see many practice shawls around!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My First Class at Home

I just finished teaching my first class in knitting - too bad my phone is dead and I was unable to take photos.  I am very happy that I was able to have a class here - there are so many things to show.

One of my students started to make a cowl for herself - she chose Paton's Classic Wool Roving in Mustard Yellow - that is something I would not pick up, but it is a beautiful yellow color and I was very thrilled to see that color in my house.

I tend to pick up same type of neutral color and those vivid yellow color is something very refreshing.

That's one of the reason why it is nice to have a class here to see a variety of projects.

Another student is working on a loose fitting sweater in giza cotton. This is going to be a big project and I hope she will complete the project by spring so she gets to wear it a lot!

I am looking forward to the next class, and hopefully next time I can take some pictures to show the progress of everyone's project.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My New Product

This is my new line of product - matching bonnet and mittens. They are just so adorable! Made out of quality organic merino wool yarn, these are my favorite right now! I am thinking about making a matching scarf/cowl that goes with them.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

lienra amimono knitting class

I am starting knitting classes here at my home.  It is going to be fun! We are going to have a variety of knitters with different skills and techniques. It is very important to have fellow knitters to enjoy chatting while knitting. You also have a chance to see other knitters's project. That's why it is important to come and join the class!

Anyone interested in coming? Any questions? Please send an email to: gwakana (at)

lienra amimono knitting studio
                                                                                                 by Wakana Gates

Are you interested in knitting? At lienra we are working on a variety of knitting projects constantly. If you are curious about what is going on in knitting world, come join us in our classroom to acquire basic techniques or to bring your own project to work on with other knitters. I will assist every student in different levels. Children are welcome to take classes, too.

Date:          Tuesday               9:30 – 11:30am
                                             12:00 – 2:00pm

                  Wednesday           9:30 – 11:30am
                                             12:00 – 2:00pm

                  Thursday             12:00 – 2:00pm
                                                           3:00 – 5:00pm

Location:    Silver Lake neighborhood in Staten Island
                  (address will be provided by email)

Please reserve the seat by 1 day before the class by sending an email to:             gwakana (at)

     ・on the title line, please write “lienra amimono knitting workshop”
     ・please specify the date and time
     ・you are welcome to attend two consecutive sessions in one day.
     ・no minimum attendance required to join our knitting studio
     ・for the first time only, please briefly introduce yourself
         (including your knitting experience)

       Looking forward to seeing you all at our studio. Enjoy knitting!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!

I wanted to write this posting on New Year's Day and it is already January 6th... As always, there are so many things I need to do around the house - my errands never end! Anyway, I wanted to have a little bit of traditional Japanese food for the first day of the year, and I managed to make some simple dishes to celebrate.

I always make ozoni (rice cake soup) and chikuzennni (kimono - chicken stew with taro, carrots, burdock, etc..). These are typical New Year dish in Japan, but unfortunately, non of my children like them.

I also picked up some osechi, a collection of New Year food that was ready made from a Japanaese supermarket. Each food has its own meaning and it is important to eat them all.

My husband's favorite was sashimi salad - I used to make this all the time when I was in Japan, and I somehow forgot to make this here in US. I enjoyed this very much as well! I would make this again and again from now on.

It's so easy - you just have to add some sashimi piece, some nuts (I added crushed cashews), and fried dumpling skins on top of greens. Somehow, these combination make everything so tasty!

I always feel a little bid sad to have a New Year's day in US, because it is only one day and it is not a big celebration like the one in Japan, where most people stay home for the first three days (Jan. 1-3) and just eat, talk, watch TV, relax, and sleep! I miss those days so much!