Tuesday, December 21, 2004

100 things you may or may not want to know about me.

It's my last day of work this year and I am facing a whole night of last minute packing before the movers come in tomorrow. Also DH and I had this insane idea that we'd host the Christmas dinner this year for both our families. And we just decided this last weekend! It's been a mad rush to arrange the turkey and the ham, enough tables and chairs and drinks of course. The fridge and curtains will arrive on the 23rd as well the cable guy.

I just decided I'd jump on the bandwagon on the 100 things that you may have been reading on other knitting blogs. But try as I might, I can only come up with 20 for now. I'll probably update more next week.

1. There are three passions in my life - Craft, films and books ( in no particular order). Oh and my husband
2. I love reading fantasy and historical fiction. In fact thery're almost the only type of books I read nowadays.
3. When I like a book I can re read it over and over again ad nauseam. And cry at the same places too.
4. My husband loves books almost as much I do. He's not too hot on the knitting though.
5. I occasionally write film reviews for my local newspaper. I just got an invitation to attend the Bangkok Film Festival next year.
6. I started out my working career as a family lawyer. I got out of that within 18 months.
7. I would have stayed on if our country's laws regarding the family were not so archaic.
8. I met my husband at my next place of work - a bank.
9. I didn't like him at all at first.
10. He became one of the main reasons I got out of bed to go to work. We were best friends then and one day the thought of not seeing him every other day filled me with horror.
11.I have trouble finishing anything I do. I absolutely love starting something new.
12. I like going to the same familiar restaurant and ordering the same dish each time
13. I like watching Sex and the City, CSI and West Wing
14. I absolutely love "The Lord of the Rings" books and try to reread them at least once a year. I have been doing this since I first read them at 13.
15. When I first went to New Zealand at 18, no one understood what I was saying and I didn't understand what everyone else was saying. We were all supposedly speaking English.
16. I miss New Zealand so badly I sometimes can imagine the smell of fresh air and my sister's kitchen.
17. A New Zealand boy broke my heart for the very first time, and the song playing at the time was "A Groovy kind of Love" the Phil Collins version. It took me 1 year to get over him.
18. I was 60 pound lighter then than I am now.
19. I learned to knit in New Zealand and once sold 4 hand knitted Sweaters on consignment at a craft market.
20. The friends I made in University are still among the closest friends I have today.

The latest at the knitting front, I've finished the back of the Butterfly and have started the left front. I hope to pick it up again after Christmas.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Axelle's Atropos

If you're looking for my list of Clapotis Alternatives, click here.

Yes I am still not sick of Clapotis yet.
I've added a few more yarn alternatives to the list

Kristine using Inspirations Yarn

Margene - Horstia Maulbeerseide-Schurwolle - unpronouncable name for a gloriously silky sleek and solid coloured Clapotis.

Axelle has some of her own hand dyed yarn which looks really beautiful. Check out her own Cashmere Clapotis. Speaking of Axelle's yarn - I am in love with this colour way # Atropos

..Well maybe next year...

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Fluff Stuff and Excess Stash

Not much to update since I hit a speedbump with my Butterfly.

Don't you hate it when you finish a ball of yarn just an inch or two before you're suppose to cast off? I just hate joining yarn right at the end of a piece.
Worst, the other balls of Noro are now in a box at the new house.
That's what happened to my Butterfly. I now have to wait for Saturday before I can unpack and knit the last inch and bind off for the shoulders.*see note below*
Assuming I will have enough time to between packing and unpacking boxes that is.

To while away my time until I can get to the rest of the Noro, I have been frogging this

to make this

I didn't think the striping was working so I just stranded the two yarns together to knit a garter scarf with a ( what's the name of stitch where you wind the yarn twice around the needle and knit into it the next row?). I'm frantically trying to finish this tonight so it can go into the Christmas parcel to NZ tomorrow. Another couple of hours should do the trick.

The packing goes slowly. The worst thing about packing after being in one place for more than 6 years is deciding what to throw away.
Some stuff is just pure sentimental, like wedding invitation cards, birthday cards etc. Some are just waste paper - bills from 1995 which DH insists may be important records one day. *rolls eyes*.
Some are books you have read once and are quite ready to give away.

For me the worst decisions are about excess crafty stash I've accumulated during the years. Things like
- siggie squares and 2.5 inch charms from the Millenium Quilt Craze in 1999- 2000
- blocks from block swaps that will never get made into quilts - at least not in my house
- Books and magazines that don't seem to sell on eBay
- rotary cutters, walking foots, rulers and various other tools of the trade.

I mean I don't think I will be quilting real soon but maybe one day ... you know???
Anyway.. I've decided to sell some of my 2.5 inch charms - they'd make good watercolour quilt stash. I'll start to post them for sale in my destashing site in the next couple of days. So if anyone is interested - you know what to do.

* If you're wondering why I can't get to my new house and just get the balls out of the box- it's because I am camping out at my Mom's half the week. Actually DH and I have been camping out at my Mum's since my son was born. He stays there while we're working and we take him back during weekends. It's a long complicated story that I am sure I'll get to one day.*

Friday, December 10, 2004

The Lure of the Butterfly

I have finally received the Jane Ellison book. Jessica kindly got me one to replace the one "lost in the mail". I am never going to buy from that ebay seller again.

Anyway who could resist such a beautiful knit?? I was dying to see how the Noro would knit up so I casted on last Friday. By Monday I had realised that I used larger size needles (5.5mm instead 5.0mm) and the back looked kind of HUGE. Measured it and yeap sure enough, the back was 30 inches in width!

So off to the frog pond I go. I recasted on correct sizes and here's my progress as of today.

Noro Silk Garden Colourway # 37
Click here for a closer look

I am about 2 inches away from the armhole shaping and just finishing my 2nd ball. I have shortened it by 4 inches - just enough at the back to cover my butt. So I am hoping to get away with 10- 12 balls to finish this project.

I can't wait to finish the back, as the other projects are clamouring for my attention but who could resist such luscious colours?

The Curtain person is coming today to install the tracks (woo- hoo)and I hope to get some curtains up by the end of the day. Problem is DH wants light green curtains but I think that will clash with the yellow and rose walls. I want khaki!! Khaki or a darker sage green - not light pastel apple green! Some people just have no sense of colour.

We're ready to move in now but I can't handle the packing at the moment. I don't even want to think about it. Excuse me while I go back to my Butterfly.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Everything's Rosey

I've started a Clapotis of sorts.

When Lyn and I went shopping last week, I got more of the Sirdar Country Style in a rosey colourway and am using it for Clapotis no 1. It's not variegated, more of tweedy type yarn but it's looking really cool except that it needs severe blocking.

Click here for a more detailed look
I also did not make it as wide as the original but hey I'd probably be sweating buckets in this anyway.

For this Clapotis is Mine! All Mine! Well unless I find that the Cherry Tree Worsted Pot Luck yarn I won on eBay is even better.

I have another link for Clapotis

Froggy - Artyarn Supermerino (gosh it looks gorgeous)

and some more possibilities

Axelle has some of her own hand dyed yarn which looks really beautiful

Martheme has lovely colourways with great prices.

I swear every yarn I look at now has Clapotis possibilities.

Thanks for all the comments and I'll be putting a list in a file at the side bar for all these possible substitutions for Clapotis soon.

Other knitting news -
I've finished the back of the ASC Lacy Cardigan , it's on the blocking board - well half of it is. Because of the fact the sleeves are cast on from the sides and not knitted separately makes it really tedious to finish and too huge for my teensy weensy blocking board. It's going to be one heavy cardigan... BUT a quick knit.

Now to finish of the Mossy Cable scarf and send it off with others to my sis in NZ.

p.s. Don't know if I should say this but I think Lyn started a new job yesterday. Do wish her all the best.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Clapotis Calling

I haven't been knitting much last weekend as DH & I was supervising the light fittings at our new house. It's a stressful affair, I tell you. Each time we go through the house there's always some little detail still wrong with it. Deciding where to place the bathroom cabinets and towel rails for our miniscule bathroom took too much time and DH is a stickler for perfect alignment. Even after placing the correct lights under the correct wires, we came back yesterday to find that

1. One light was placed in a different socket
2. One switch controlled 3 lights and two other switches were not connected to any lights at all
3. One light in our bedroom was higher than the other.
4. The sink in one bathroom was placed too close to one door so that it could not open fully (grr! grr!)
5. Two switches controlled one light and one did not have a switch control at all.

I've never been so stressed out in my life! Must do some knitting tonight to calm down.

Clapotis is calling out its siren call again and I've looking round for an alternative to the recommended Lorna’s Laces Lion and Lamb. Somehow I can imagine spending the equivalent of 450 Malaysian Ringgit on a scarf. As a little comparison, RM 450 was enough to pay for my flight and accommodation to Bangkok. And I am sorry I don't really think I love Clapotis that much.

So with the trusty Google, I looked for all the other substitute yarns knitters around the world have used for Clapotis.

Phil Phil - Alchemy Synchronicity

Maggi -Mystical Creation Fibers

Jo - Lush - not sure what this yarn is but it looks Yummy!

Hapagirl - Lion Brand Kool aid dyed yarn which looks funky

This Blogger ( not sure what her name is) - Fleece Artist Silken

Ladybean - Koigu Kersti

Rachel - Serendipity in South America

Pure Laine - a rayon boucle that doesn't look half bad – I have a cone of rayon boucle cone still unused in my stash hmmm ....

Liz - Interlacements Merino Superwash

Karen - Cherry Tree Hill Silk Merino

Someone also recommended Peace Fleece which is a definite possibility.

From my own stash possibilities include:-

1. Continuing with the 100 % cotton Patons Bumblebee – but the gauge is too small and the colour is too pastel for my liking.
2. Rayon/cotton boucle from
3. Sirdar Fine Chenille - which I think would be nice except it's a solid colour and Clapotis cries out for a variegated or handpainted yarn.

Anyone has any other suggestions??

Friday, November 19, 2004

Cables and Moss

At our local Stitch and Bitch last night, Consomme and I both casted new projects. I'll let Consomme tell you about her project. All I'll say is that she's using that yummy Phildar Aviso yarn.

I wanted to do something a little more organic than the Irish Hiking scarf, something where the cables twine and intertwined in more than just rings. So Consomme and I poured over her "New Knitting Stitch Library" by Lesley Stanfield and settled on this pattern:-

The sad thing is that the photo does not justice to the cable pattern AND this lovely mossy type yarn of moss green with brown flecks.

All in all I am pretty happy with the result and the yarn is knitting up fast. It's surprisingly soft, some would say it's a little too soft for real aran knits. I wouldn't knit a whole Aran sweater from the yarn, as it is probably not warm enough for really cold winters. But my sister and her family live in Auckland, where the winters are generally pretty mild so this little scarfie should do the trick.

Hope he likes it. I certainly do, and I think that this one is going to be hard to part with.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Scarf-(et) Fever

I did resist the lure of the socks - for now. I do want to finish at least a couple of my projects first. With that in mind I have almost finished the back of the ASC Lacy Jacket when I ran out of yarn. Most of my stash is at my mum's place in storage until I move to my new house in December. I kept a couple of balls with the project but the ASC went so fast. I've now just finished my 4th ball. Same thing happened with my Trinity Lacy Tunic. SO what is a girl to do!

Just when I resigned myself to sitting down and figuring out a sock - I realise that I had packed my dpns in the same box as all the yarn.

This is what I did last weekend instead

Click here for a more detailed view
Yarn:- Schachenmayr Apollo 100% acrylic
Pattern:French Crinkly Scarf from Un Journal de Marie
For some reason, mine doesn't look as crinkly as hers, probably because I use repetitions of 10 and not 6.

I just realised that I do have 5 scarves to make for Christmas and here's the yarn for the next one :-

Proposed pattern : Irish Hiking scarf or a similar cabled scarf

Also in my head is a Multi directional scarf from one of those infernal sock yarns.

All scarves are going off to NZ for my sister and her family for christmas so I better get them out by the beginning of December.

Friday, November 12, 2004

To Sock or not to Sock

I received some sock yarn today. I bought it about 6 weeks ago to make Devan . I bought 3 colourways because it was cheap.

Now I am thinking I should use one pair to knit some socks. I don't wear socks, the weather here is too hot except for the teenie sportsocks for sneakers. My husband wears only the very thin fine egyption cotton / wool ones for work.

But the knitter in me just wants to try it out- it's this mesmerising itch at the back of my mind, whispering, "one day I'll try to do socks"...or ... " wonder what it's like knitting with 3 DPNS" and ..."wow those colours are intriguing, wonder how the self striping turns out" .. and just lately.. "I've finally found my 2.5 mm dpns that was lost for 2 years, maybe this is a sign!!!"

Oh what the hell, it's going to be a slow day at the office - most people have taken leave to take advantage of a very long weekend ( it's the Muslim holiday of Eidh on Sunday) and I am all alone in my section.

Let's just cast on and see how it goes.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Swatching Inky-Dinky Spider

I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew - The Inky Dinky spider stole has lace stitches on EVERY row and not just alternate rows. Still I am determined to give it a try. I was really excited on Friday night, couldn't wait to get home to wind up all the yarn into balls and then start my swatch.

Instead I got stuck in a 2 hour jam - and didn't get in until 9.30 pm. And winding 200m is a breeze compared 800+ m of lace weight yarn. Although I must say I enjoyed looking at the colours as I wound the balls.

I didn't finish winding until almost midnight, but still determined to start my swatch. I started with 3mm needles as recommended and found the swatch to be tiny - I had to go up to 4.5mm needles before the swatch is satisfactory to at least 5", about a half inch smaller the gauge stated. By this time - about 2.00 am, I was too tired to care and am pretty sure there are some major mistakes in the lace because heck, the swatch looks nothing like the picture in the pattern.

I am determined to give it another try tonight with bamboo needles this time. I understand now the value of bamboo needles when lace knitting - the stupid stitches kept slipping and sliding all over the place with the metal needles. I couldn't quite understand the meaning of "losing yarn overs" until I did this swatch.
If I don't get it right the second time around- I might just switch to the lacy lattice stole - which looks like a simpler pattern to work on.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Quilt books for sale

Just to add a note that I have put some Quilt books in my destash site. Yes I do have some other hobbies, although have not indulged much since I started knitting again.
I will be starting to pack for the big move soon and want to get rid of as much old stash as I can.

These books are gently used and are great references at a fraction of the price. I'll be listing some Quilt fabrics and Block of the months soon as well.

So let all your quilting friends know.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Look what the Postman brought

My Laceweight merino from lotusblossom on eBay and cashmere laceweight yarn from Nandia Cashmere. My lace adventure is about to begin.

This is what I will be using for the Inky Dinky stole for the Fiddlesticks Knit along. Just waiting on the pattern now.

I love Rowan

I've finished the back of the lacy green top.

Click here for a closer look at the lacy pattern.
I think it looks huge but I laid on of my t shirts on top of it and it seems to be the right size... sigh!

Now that I finished the back of this top, Consomme, my yarn counsellor gave permission to cast on another project. It was between the Dive Cottone Egitto in charcoal or Rowan ASC (All Season's Cotton) in Safari. This is the ASC originally bought for the Rebecca Apricot Cardigan that everyone was raving about last summer. I decided against doing the Cardi cos - well I don't think it will look very flattering on me although it looks absolutely gorgeous on Fluffa and Froggy.

Because I was dying to do something that was little more chunky than the usual DK/sportweight cotton I've been knitting on lately, the ASC won - and I have decided on this pattern

but with shorter sleeves.

and my progress - 6 inches of the back -

(does anyone know how to make those circular needles less curly?)

ASC is such a welcome change from the tough cotton yarns I've been knitting on, so soft and springy. Consomme had a look at the yarn yesterday and is now convinced she must get some. And I have to say I will probably snap up more of this whenever there is a sale.

The Noro and The Butterfly
Now I have a very big decision to make about the Noro and the Butterfly. I love the Butterfly pattern - but I have not enough Noro to do the Butterfly unless I make it a vest instead. I could get more Noro or for the same price, use a Cherry Tree Hill handpainted worsted weight lot I got from eBay to use for the Butterfly. I can save the Noro for another project.

To complicated matters, I have been waiting for more than 6 weeks and the book has yet to turn up. It's sooo frustrating but I am resigned to never receiving it . I have found another Japanese Pattern which is similar - with the chevron stitch - although not a Cardigan but a sweater. However I need to make some major adjustments in gauge as the pattern calls of DK weight and the Noro is worsted weight.

The problem is , if the Butterfly ever arrives , it will be two chevron stitch projects and I 'm a bit of an attention deficit type personality as in I don't like doing the same pattern twice.

You see my dilemma? Someone please make a decision for me . Use the Noro for the Japanese pattern now ? Wait for the Butterfly?

Help .. please..

Sunday, October 31, 2004

A new look!

"Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog."

Apparently ... but I don't see the Haloscan template - it's really weird because I normally see the new template with the Haloscan thing for a bout a minute and then when I refresh it - it's gone!!!

* welcome to the Blog Twilight zone....*

Oh I hope you like the new look - Consomme helped me make a title banner - isn't it absolutely fantastic ?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Busy, busy, busy!

I have been quite productive knitwise yesterday. Despite coming home at 9.00 pm after dinner with friends, I managed to -
1. Wind this

into this.

It's the Butterfly SuUper 10 Cotton which I hear is sold as Tahki Cotton Classic in the US. I have decided that Anouk will be Lilac and cream, instead of Cream and pink.

2. Finish seaming Cute Patootie - all ready for the crochet edging tonight

3. Start on a mini Clapotis with leftover Patons bumblebee. The ladder stitches in Clapotis had intrigued me and I just felt like I had to try it out. I made it narrower than the original.

Click here for a closer look.
My fear is that this has to be severely blocked 'cos some major curling is happening at the edges.

What started out this buzz of activity is the lunchtime yarn shopping with Consomme . We just thought we'd "check" out this yarn store that was in a shopping all near my office.

Well! We sure checked it out. We were pulling bags and bags of yarn off her shelves and piling it on her table. I ended up buying more cotton - a Japanese brand with a nice gold sheen and 3 balls of Katia Mississippi for my next Clapotis.

This bag of yarn is still hiding in my car - I'm starting to hide yarn - not only from DH but from myself too. I am afraid if I put it in the stash room with the yarn - it becomes a legitimate purchase.

So I think it will stay in my car until Friday (Payday!) so I can say that I bought it next month. Yes - mixed tenses - but hey I am already bordering on obsession so who cares!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Lazy Weekend

We took our son Gregory down to his Grandparents place this weekend and he's staying there for two weeks. Mummy is not happy :( !! but Daddy thinks he should spend as much time with both sets of grandparents as posssible.

He actually enjoys being at his Kong Kong and Mama's place but the first few days are really tough for me.

Here's Greg just up from his nap in the playpen before we left - he always has this really funny sleepy and grumpy look when he just gets up and he totters around for a minute or two until he gets his bearings.

It was a cool-ish day - about 25 degrees Celcius and the trees look especially green and shady.

It got colder and rainier as the day went on and the hills were misty with low lying clouds.

We got to Melaka which is about 150kms away from where we live - without any mishaps and Greg settled right in with his beloved Kong-kong (grandfather in Chinese), although he did wake up crying for Mummy and Daddy once during the night.

While Daddy was watching the soccer game - Mummy was busy seaming up the Cute Patootie.

I didn't get the sleeves absolutely aligned so I have to rip that out again - currently the back is longer than the front.
Using the mattress stitch recommended by Consomme and Froggy , seaming was a breeze. Thanks gals for your helpful tips.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Lacy Tunic Progress

I was about 4 cm away from the start of the lace pattern at the back when Consomme convinced me that it was quite long enough. And about time too! I was sooo sick of the never ending stocking stitch.

So this the progress of the lacy tunic just before the lacy panel starts- about midway down my back.

Here's a belated photo of my book stash I got from Bangkok.

I had forgotten that I got the Adorable Knits for Tots - I love this book cos there are a lot of summery patterns for kids more suitable for this climate. And the colours are just so beautiful.

Consomme also gave me a bunch of acrylic yarn she didn't like anymore. I am thinking of making some simple baby afghans made out of 8" by 8" squares - a good way to practice my swatching and experimenting with stitches. If all goes well, we can sell these baby afghans at our local charity fairs.

I should be finishing Cute Patootie tonight and next on the needles is --- Anouk . I've decided to do it in pink and cream - somehow the red and green of the original doesn't appeal to me. But I can't decided whether I should make the bodice in pink and the border in cream or the other way around.

Projects in Waiting

Clapotis after I finish the Madeira Cascade Lace Scarf , I am either going to use the same yarn as the Madeira Scrarf or use Sugar nCream ( yarn snobs will yell but it's soooo expensive to get Lorna's Laces!"

Inky Dinky Stole from Fiddlesticks - with Lotusblossom's hand dyed lace weight merino - Lagoon

Jane Ellison's Butterfly with Noro Silk Garden

I am still not sure about the Apricot Cardigan from Rebecca - will keep you posted on that.

Yikes!! So many projects , so little time - and just not enough yarn.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Bangkok Jam

NB If you're wondering where all the comments went, I've just changed my commenting application to Haloscan. NB

Is Bangkok a great city or what!! My DH calls it a very large small town and that is precisely what is it. It's a jumble of hot and dusty narrow streets with plenty of tall modern buildings on the side. It's a city that hardly sleeps, with plenty of sights, sounds and smells. The people are friendly and the food is delicious although if you're not from this part of the world and don't have a cast iron stomach - avoid the sidestreet stalls and go for the airconditioned food courts in the shopping centers.

I haven't yet uploaded all my photos but will briefly let you have


First stop is the Emporium Shopping Center - it's the closest to our hotel and boast the most upmarket designer label stores. It also houses the exclusive Emporium Department store which has a fairly large craft section at on the 4th floor. Crossstitch fans will find a Pinn Stitch outlet at one end and some acrylic yarns on the other end of the 4th floor.

There were a few wool and some cotton but the brands were not ones I am familiar with. BUT they had a rack full of Japanese craft magazines and some expensive treasures at the counter behind the glass case namely - A ball winder for around US$35.00 ( which I didn't get) and The Boyes Interchangeable Needle Set for US $120.00 ( which I didn't get either).

To get to the Emporium by BTS ( Bangkok Transport System) or better known as the Skytrain - stop at Phrom Phong Station on the Sukhumvit line - You can access the Emporium shopping center from the station.

The next place I went to was Central Department Store at Chidlom ( same line on the BTS - also with an entrance from the station) on the 2nd Floor. Now this section is almost entirely for knitting. There was even a couple of customers knitting away with some very chunky yarn ( heaven knows when winter starts in Bangkok?). For a tropical country like Thailand, there's hardly any cotton to speak off. Most of the ladies were knitting in Wool. Central carries a number of Bernat and Red Heart yarn - TLC Amore being one I can remember. Schachenmeyer Nomotto Catania and Jazz were the only cotton or cotton mix yarns available. And surprise! Surprise! They had Gedifra!! mostly novelty yarn but still Gedifra.

I was very tempted to get some Schachenmeyer Merino wool in a grape colour - looked absolutely delightful at $5.50 per 50gm ball. BUT I didn't. I wanted to get the same colour in Jazz - cotton/acrylic mix BUT they didn't have enough.
So I ended up just buying an Inspiration magazine, the Japanese Let's Knit series Spring 2003 and 2 balls each of blue and pink cotton for some baby knits I have planned.

There's something about being on holiday - I am too afraid to spend on yarn cos what if I run out of money for food. At least that was what DH was saying ...( NOTE - never bring your DH yarn shopping with you - he was quite horrified at the prices and came back eyeing my stash very suspiciously.)

That's as far as my knitting adventures in Bangkok went. I'll post a little about the off-knitting adventures once I get most my pictures up.

Back from Bangkok!!

Just a quick not to say that a full update is coming.
Keep checking in.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Lacey Passion

I have decided that next month's stash will be devoted to lace.
I know it's only the middle of the month but once I come back from Bangkok I don't think I will spending on anything except for the bread and water I have to eat everyday.

I have Cherry Tree's lace yarn on my Watch list on eBay for the longest time and now I have found some nice handpainted lace yarn from eBay sellers Lotus blossom and Serendipity. Plus a source for handpainted Zephyr Jaggerspun. So watch out, November, it's lacey time.

I've finish one panel of the Madeira Cascade Lace shawl - 36" long. I plan to join another 36" panel to make the shawl a 72" stole. I thought of adding 2 more panels to the side to make it broader but have decided I like the width the way it is.

It's turning out to be such a unique peice of work, very very soft and the yarn has a nice sheen to it.

Tonight I shall decided which project to bring to Bangkok with me - the Cute Patootie or the Lacy top. I'll try to report from bangkok if I find a nearby Internet cafe.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Noro! Noro! Noro!

It's here! It's arrived! It's beyoootiful!

I haven't even taken it out of the package because I am too afraid to spoil it.

This is Noro Silk Garden in colourway no 37.

Siow Chin from HK helped enabled me. Noro Silk Garden costs less than US$10.00 in Hong Kong and the postage is half of what I would have to pay if I get it from UK or US.

Still it is the most expensive yarn purchase I have made to date.

Now if only my Jane Ellison book will get here so I can start on Butterfly.

Last night I was still too disheartened to knit for myself so I started Cute Patootie using the Paton's Bumblebee I got for my son's project. This knit is going to my friend Jean's little boy. I have finished the back and am starting the front tonight.

As for my son... I have decided to knit him Knitty's Devan sweater with some sock yarn I am expecting in the mail.

I'll be in Bangkok for 4 days over the weekend and will be checking out the yarn and craft stores there. I got a few leads courtesy of Bangkok Mom who is not a knitter but has kindly given some directions to several possibilities. SO expect a full update next week.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

First Finished Object other than a scarf for 15 years

The Shapely Tee is done!!
But I am not doing a happy dance yet. First I have to tell myself that it is the 1st project I have done in 15 years that's not a scarf.
2nd it's the first time I am doing short row shaping for the bust.

By the above reaction, you may have guessed that I am far from happy with it. It is completely my fault, though. I guess I thought I was knitting for me 15 years ago.

Lessons learnt form the Shapely Tee
1. MOST Important, acknowledge how much weight one can put on in 15 years especially after marriage and one kid.
2. Be honest about your bust size.
3. Short rowing is supposed to be done just below the binding off for the armhole. Now if your bust do not... um.. " peak" at the armhole then I think the short rowing should be several cms lower than the armhole.
4. If you are self conscious about rolls of fat around your waist - don't knit a fitting top.
5. I suck at seaming

I'll post a pic of of the Shapely Tee once I am braver.

I wonder if ribbing is slimming ......

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Top Ten Reasons to Buy Yarn

Just saw this on Knitting Review forums

The Wool Bin's Top Ten Reasons to Buy Yarn

- 10 -
It's not illegal, immoral or fattening. It calms the nerves and gratifies the soul.

- 9 -
I must buy it before my husband retires and goes with me on shopping trips.

- 8 -
When the big earthquake comes, all the yarn stores will be swallowed into the ground and never seen again.

- 7 -
I need the weight in the trunk of my car for traction on slippery roads.

- 6 -
It keeps without refrigeration. You never have to cook it, feed, change, walk it or wipe its nose.

- 5 -
I'm participating in a contest — she who dies with the most yarn wins.

- 4 -
It's on sale.

- 3 -
It’s less expensive and more fun than psychotherapy.

- 2 -
It helps keep the economy going.

- 1 -
It insulates the closet where it's kept.


I have two more to add

11. It was cheaper than the original yarn required by the pattern

and then

12. The yarn I thought would be a perfect substitution was not so perfect after all.

Yes yes yes I have been a naughty girl. I broke down and ordered a pack of Rowan's All Seasons Cotton in the colour Sahara (a nice greeny khaki or khaki green) from CucumberPatch UK's eBay shop.
She has some really good Rowan steals.
So I am all set for Ribbed Cardigan from Rebecca Magazine.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Blocking Board

You never know what you can find at your local Tesco's supermarket. I went on Monday to get the fortnightly stock of diapers and cream - and stopped at a small section for sewing items. I found row markers, stainless steel pins, and several INOX knitting needles.

In other parts of the supermarket (or hypermarket as they are called here) I found very cheap towels and foam core board. And voila, I have a blocking board.

Okay so it doesn't have any measurements but it's good for the first try. I'll have to look out for gingham next time I pass by a fabric store.

Thanks goodness for Tesco's.

Oh and I didn't get the diapers I wanted because they were having this freaking contest where one had to buy TWO large packs of 72 to enter to win RM 1000 shopping vouchers. Apprently there was a bit of a run on the diapers ( pun NOT intended) and they're out of stock for the day!!!
So I had to buy a more expensive brand instead!! GRRR!

So hopefully all pieces of the Shapely Tank will be blocked in time for the Seaming Party with Consomme tomorrow night.

After last night blocking, I thought to take a break from the green lacy top and took out what Consomme and I call the "funny yarn". I like the colours and the texture but it is a bitch to knit on 4 mm needles cos there are so many strands to keep track of. So I thought I'd try making a lacy scarf with 6.5mm needles,using Madeira Cascade Lace Scarf free pattern from Crystal Palace.

4 panels of this and I have a lacey stole.

Seriously the yarn is super soft and silky, if you can get over the multiple strands.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Saturday Out

Oh I had a great time on Saturday with Consomme . Hubby was on a treasure hunt to Penang and my son stayed home with my aunt so I had the whole day to natter about with Consomme.

We first visited another yarn store in the vicinity but I didn't see anything I liked there Except for a Katia 100% wool aran weight yarn which would be lovely for the Rebecca Cardigan. The colour was nice but I was hesitant because of the wool content. So I decided not to get it.

Then after a bite to eat, we went to Brenda's to check out her new Online Sandy and Japanese Half Cotton yarn. I was dying to start this pattern- and after much deliberation, I chose Mark & Kittens Bianca in a fresh mint green. Needless to say, I had to start right away. So we sat at Brenda's for a good part of 2 hours to knit away and chat.

Here's my progress after two days:-

And here's a more detailed look at the lace pattern.

I am just crazy over this project and I can't wait to finish and wear it.

We decided to have a coffee so we went off to the nearby Starbucks to have a coffee and another hour of knitting before we went our separate ways.

What a satisfying Saturday it was. There's nothing like another knitter to encourage and enable, especially in the yarn department.

My mum came back on Sunday with a little suitcase full of yarn for my sis's 2 cardigans. I'll take some pics of that later tonight.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

More Blogging Blues

My entire photobucket album is empty!!

Why??? Why??? Why???

Update Monday morning 4th October 2004 - I had to re submit all my pics again. Luckily I still had them in my hard drive.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Blogging Blues

Today is not a good day for this blog. PhotoBucket seems to be down and I realised this morning that I messed up the codes when changing the template. There was no way one could post a comment.
I also had to fixed the Refferes list which pushed out the right column too wide.

Once I fixed that, I thought I would have some nifty progress bars. What seemed a simple thing took so long because I could not figure out the Hex codes (for colours). Then I realised that I don't have to include '#' in the code... DuH!

Anyway I hope that you like my new templates in my favourite colours of Rose and Olive. I want to decorate my new house with this scheme in mind, we already have the beige walls.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Harvest Festival

Polly blogged about the Harvest Moon Festival and I said I'd look for a pic to place in my blog. So here's one-

Some years ago, the company I work for published a small information site on the Harvest Moon festival so feel free to surf around the site for more information on the festival and how it is celebrated in Malaysia. For some reason it is known as the Mid Autumn Festival here, which is weird considering we have no seasons in Malaysia.
Mid Autumn Festival

Every year the mooncakes come in all sorts of packaging, boxs or tins and the packaging is sometimes more popular than the contents.
Have a look at my favourite for this year -

And when you open it, here's where the mooncake is placed -


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Charm Yarn for sale

I tried to swatch the charm yarn for the lacy ladder top ( see previous post) but I realised that even if I could bear to knit a whole top with this scratchy yarn,. I don't think I would want to wear it. This yarn is probably not suitable for apparel but I can see that it would be really nice in a fluffy type scarf or bag as a glitsy accent. Or even with larger needles.

So - I am putting it up for sale. I only need 2 for a scarf, leaving 6 balls for sale.
Check out my destashing page more the detailed info.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Japanese pattern book find

I was browsing in a not-so-LYS on Friday, ( she only deals with Sirdar yarn and nothing else so I don't go there very often) when I happened to see this book in her pile of 20 year old charts.

I grabbed because

1. It had lots of light lacy pullovers

2. It had a number of pullovers made of ladder yarn

I am no expert in reading Japanese patterns but I noticed the ladder yarn sweater had a gauge of 22st to 28 rows for 10 cms - that's like double knit.? I was under the impression that ladder yarn was knitted on larger needles.
I wonder if my stash of charm yarn will do instead of ladder yarn. I have to do a swatch tonight to see.

Oh and while I was there I got some 2.5mm dpns and 3 mm needles, so that I shall be ready once I have decided if I want to start on socks first or on a lacy scarf with my cotton colori sock it to me sock yarn .

Friday, September 24, 2004

It's Fantastic!

Before I go any further - here's the first look of Ioan Gruffudd as Mr Fantastic

Read the full article plus pics of the other members of Fantastic Four, Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) and The Thing (Michael Chiklis). I must say Jessica Alba looks very 'de-lish' as a blonde.
Way to go Ioan!!!

Ok Back to knitting - The tunic-along button is up and more information can be found at Consomme's. This is my first Knit- a-long and I am not sure how to proceed so do contact Consomme and she'll set you on the right path.

Pattern: No. 42 Tunic with Lace Pattern
Source: Rebecca #27
Recommended Yarn: GGH Safari
Gauge (10cm square): 20sts x 30rows
Completion Date: no time limit!

This is my progress so far

Such a nice Tweedy violet. The yarn is not the smoothest but I love the finish as the tweed does forgive a lot of imperfection.

Consomme showed how to knit continental style and I have been alternating between two as I do find my hands getting very tired after a while knitting english. Continental seems to be less taxing so I am determined to keep at it until I come up to a reasonable speed.

We had a great SnB at Starbucks. It was a quiet night so we had a nice cosy corner with two big comfy armchairs. A little 5 year old girl kept coming up to watch us but she ran away when Consomme asked if she wanted to learn.

Next week we are contemplating changing locations so Doreen, another KL knitter can join us. AND getting her to join our Tunic along.

Monday, September 20, 2004

SnB Kuala Lumpur is about to be born!

I promised pics of my stash purchases this month.

From top left - DiVe Cotton in Charcoal, Unusual Yarns blend, and Jaeger Trinity in Violet.

I met up with Consomme and poured over her Rebecca magazine to see if any of the yarns would suit the Apricot Jacket. Alas I need an aran or worsted weight yarn instead of double knit. So I went trawling along the web today to look for a good deal on either Rowan's All Seasons Cotton or GGH Java. Alternatively Elann has Jo Sharps Desert Cotton which seems to be the right weight but I didn't like the colours in stock. In any case I must restrain myself from buying anything until payday end of the month.

Anyway Consomme and I have decided to start up a SnB with just us two every Thursday and we're going to knit in our local Starbucks. Who knows we might garner some more knitting enthusiasts that way. We've decided to start a knit-a-long ( yes with just us two, as well) - to knit the Lacy Tunic from the same Rebecca magazine.

I'll be using the Jaeger Trinity for this AND (being ambitious here) we're going to shorten the tunic at least 20 cm. I'm only 5 feet and the 80 cm length stated in the pattern would reach to below my knees.

The question is - do we start off with the same number of cast on stitches and figure out the rate of decrease to get to the same number of stitches in the pattern after the decreases or do we figure out the number of stitches from where we want to start and continue to do the decreases in the same rate as stated in the pattern?

So wish us luck while we try to figure out the pattern and the dimensions and hope to God we don't botch things up.

I've finished both the back and front of the Shapely Tank. I had to frog the arm holes decrease once cos it didn't match the front. Let this be a lesson - Never watch the Malaysian Idol results show while knitting.

Once it's blocked I'll post a pic. Silly me, I didn't realise that I could do the sleeves as well and make it a Shapely T. So will be casting on for the sleeves tonight.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Stash and Free yarn ( got you to look, didn't I?)

I haven't my camera with me and have been away from the 'puter for two days so here's a quick update on what's been happening knit wise.

I finally met Consomme on Friday by chance. Well I knew she was going to our local LYS so I dropped in at about 8.00 pm just to see if she was still there... and she was! Brenda - the owner, has been a sort of go-between for the previous weeks and was quite please with herself that we finally got together in the store at the same time. I got to see her project with the lovely Online yarn - oohhhh subtle variagation, chunky with a brush of mohair. It's going to turn out real nice, Consomme.

We chatted about Noro and the difficulty in bringing it in to Malaysia - Brenda would have to make a very expensive order, and she isn't so sure she can distribute the stock profitably. I should have told her there'd be tons of knitters in the US who would gladly take it off her hands if the price was good enough. I might do that the next time I am there.

There's nothing like stashing up with another knitter. Consomme persuaded me (didn't take much effort!) to start a project for my 18 month old son. So I got some Patons Bumblebee to make a little cardigan after I've finished with the Shapely Tank.

We're making plans for a more regular meet up and on the prowl for other like-minded knitters in the vicinity.

I finished the front of the shapely tank and am starting the decreases for the back.

The Jaeger Trinity arrived from Polly at the same time as the DiVe Cotton from Elann. Now my yarn stash is beginning to look respectable. I can't decide which to use for the Apricot Jacket from Rebecca. I love that pattern but I am not sure if it would suit my body shape being more on ...errr.. on the fluffy side. The Trinity is a nice violet and the DiVe cotton is charcoal grey. I fancy the Apricot Jacket would look divine in both colours --- decision... decisions!

Today my mum flew off to New Zealand to visit my sister who has strict instructions to stash up for me. What's even better is that my sis also asked if I could knit her some sweaters if she got all the yarn for me. She used to knit too, but has since given up because of her bad back.

I think there's nothing better to knit stuff and fondle stash without having paying for the yarn, don't you?
Will be posting pics of the new stash and the Shapely Tank progress when I get my camera back from my sister-in-law.

Friday, September 10, 2004

More on Ioan Gruffudd

I have had a couple of comments on Ioan Gruffudd so I thouht I'd share a little bit more about him. For those who are not familiar with British Television, you may have seen him as Lancelot in the movie King Arthur.

He plays the dashing devilish second in command to Clive Owen's Arthur, foremost of his band of Sarmatian knights.

The movie was so-so but Ioan was excellent. He's not as serious as in Hornblower, has a wicked little glint in his eyes and is an absolute charmer.

Now for the obligatory "knit" blah - this is what I have been staring at for the last 1 hour.

Now excuse me while I go wipe the drool off my keyboard.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Lust, desire, envy - and that's just about Yarn

That's it!
I have got to stop scouring eBay for yarn deals and blogs for swaps.
I am consumed by this obsession for self striping / variegated/ jewel coloured yarn like Noro, Cherry Tree Hill, and Koigu. I have spent too much money, if I keep on going my baby boy's not going to get any milk for six months!

I've even resorted to de-stashing some of my scarf yarn cos you know, there's only one or two scarves with the same yarn without just getting really sick of it.

Currently, I have 2 packs of 10 balls coming from ebay - and... *deep breath*.. 1 pack of DiVe Cotton from Elann and one pack of Jaeger Trinity from Polly at All Tangled Up.

You'd think this is enough for one month right?
I've just manage to convince myself I can wait till next month to get the Noro Silk Garden. But I have just heard ...... the company I work for has announce a little bonus this month!!
*faint* - I must resist buying more yarn!!

So help me please!


Oooh! one of the ebay yarn has arrived and I must say it's Unusual, alright

Take a look :-

I am not sure what to make of it. The auction description said that it was a mix of cotton and silk fibers and I was a little surprised to see that it was stranded together and not spun.

Here's a closer look -

OK so I have a few tanks lined up for this. I think I will go with a simple v-neck cap sleeves ribbed tank that I saw in a Keidotama ( Japanese) Magazine. If I can figure out the japanese chart pattern first. But first to swatch.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Frogging the Tank

I decided to frog the shapely tank and start again with a size 38.
Happily knitting along to "Malaysian Idol" and starting the decrease for the waist when I realise I had cast on 10 less stitches.

So I had frog the whole thing and start again.
A friend lent me his colletion of "Hornblower" DVDs and I must say it was a better accompaniment to my knitting.

And because I do like Ioan Gruffudd so much, I'll invite you to check this wonderful site "Horny!" dedicated to this wonderful series of men, their honour and their uniforms.