Friday, September 30, 2005

Two FO

First to answer some of the comments

Felicia - the Concord mernio silk was from another eBay seller Mountain Shadow Ranch. Great service. I've finished spinning and plying this yarn and it's sitting on the bobbins relaxing for a day or two. I'd be skeining and measuring next week and then decide what I want to do with it- probably a Lacy Scarf.

Speaking of scarfs - I've finished my scarf for Celia's scarf exchange

Scarf Exchange

It's a long skinny number with a little of Paton's Boa in it - just a hint - not too much so it won't be classified as a fugly scarf, I hope.

To Secret Pal - The Pagoda is like Deep red with warm undertones - it's not a burgundy, more like a deep chilli red. Not much variegation in any of the colours I received, more of a dappling. I'm tempted to use this yarn for Madli's shawl instead of the Knit Picks Shimmer in Turquoise Splendour.

And speaking of Madli's Shawl, here's the just finished, unblocked, ends not weaved in Lacy Lattice shawl modeled by a passing colleague.

Lacy Lattice by the window

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Home Run

It's exciting when a project is near the finishing line. I don't feel like sleeping or working. In fact I worked on Lacy Lattice last night until I nearly nodded off and poked myself in the eye with my needles.

The best part is the the end of the project is a technique that I have not done before ie - knitting an edging sideways AND not having to graft or sew it back on to the main body of the stole.

Knitted edging

Basically when you get to the end of the body, you cast on more stitches for the edging and then knit the last stitch of every other row with the first live stitch of the main body. And magically you get a nice knitted edging with no seam lines :).

Look Ma! No seams.

Although I have to do something about casting-on part. See that funny top left corner? I really hope it can be fixed by blocking. I think I need to cast on a little tighter there.

Stay tuned for an F.O.

Friday, September 23, 2005

But first a rant....

You know I had a great morning today - got in to work fairly early and settling in when I got a message for a family member asking if I could ... .wait for it... patch some rotten old towels for her dogs.

I'm Like WTF!!!

When I was less than enthusiastic ( but of course can't really say no since it's family), she had the nerve to say " Oh but I thought you like sewing??"

Again WTF!

There's only so many hours in a day and with piles of piles of things to do around the house, husband away this weekend and one rambunctious 2 and half year old, you think I'd be jumping for joy to patch some old rags for your dogs!

When I, um, expressed the above in the best possible way, she said she'd take it to a seamstress to do. Well good luck to her!

The worst thing is, she succeeded in making me feel guilty about it.

Life's the pits, aint it?

And I was all cheered up by the arrival of my long awaited Malabrigo laceweight.

You'd think this would make a serious dent into my current lace kick, right? Riiiigggght.

After the incident above, I think I'm going on a serious lace buying frenzy.

From the top :- Flirtation, Pagoda and Damask Rose.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Stole Story

I need to finish this stole. Well I need to finish a lot of things but I need to finish this stole because I shouldn't start another stole project (Madli's) until I'm done with this one.

It's not that I hate it or anything. I love its airy softness. I adore the seweet blue. The mohair gets in my eyes a bit but I like the lovely lacy halo effect.

Lacy Lattice Stole
THIS STOLE IS MADE FOR BLOCKING - Lacy Lattice Stole from Fiddlesticks Designs

It's that repeating middle section that kills me. I was supposed to do 18 repeats but I caved in and did 10. It's almost fingertip to fingertip for me anyway. With the border section and the edging to do, another 8 repeats would probably make it a sarong.

It drapes nicely over my office chair

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Almost Ab Fab Throw

Sometime at the beginning of the year I was quiet obsessed over the Colinette Ab Fab Throw Kit. I didn't think I could afford the kit but I patiently but slowly collected single skeins of what I thought would be a great individual colourway. I have but two more to go and then I just lost the passion. Killed cold or hot as the case may be.
It's just toooo hot here to have a wooly and snuggly throw like the Ab Fab throw.

Maybe it's because of the horrible heat wave we've been having lately, or because I did some housekeeping with my stash and was horrified. I'm in the process of getting some shelving for the craft room ( which is currently a room with a pile of boxes on the floor) and I am ruthlessly throwing out stuff that really needed to go, recycled or sold.

So my loss is your gain. Have a look at my destash page for a good deal on an almost Colinette Ab Fab throw. You need only two more skeins.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Secret Pal Six

Ooohooh I have a secret pal :). Heeeelllooooo Secret Pal.

So before I go off this weekend, here's my updated Q&A.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high- a nd/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

Not really fussed - yarn selection here is so dismal that I am sure anything from US/UK/Canada is wonderful.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

As you can see from the previous posts, I am kind of obsessed with spinning lately. I crochet but not lately though I do some Granny Squares once in a while.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

Not that I know of.

4. How long have you been knitting?

ohh maybe 20 years or so but I took a break for about 12 years and started again last August.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

My Amazon wishlist

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

Lavender and violets

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

prefer savoury

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

Rubber stamping, cross stitch , hardanger, tatting ( also learning)

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like quite a variety ranging from Swing, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Maroon 5, Linkin Park ( no kidding) and the soundtrack to all the Lord of the Rings movies.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?

I like anything except the blues and green. Have too much of them already.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Married, one 2 and half year old son and no pets

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

More time to knit. I know I can never have my own craft store but would like to do some teaching.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Ohhh - I love handpainted yarn - because I live in a tropical country, the yarns I use and mostly lightweight - cotton or cotton blends. I'd like to get my hands on some Rowan Calmer.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I had some mohair in my stash but have decided that it is too too hot . Although this doesn't include any of the laceweight mohair like Kid Silk Haze or Kid Seta.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

Gathering of Lace shawls, designing my own pattern

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Lace and more lace

17. What are you knitting right now?

err - Plain Opal Socks, Bad Penny Cardigan, Kerry Blue Shawl

18. What do you think about ponchos?

don't think I'll ever wear them

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? I can do both

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

no bamboos - for some reason I can handle the squeeking as they rub together

21. Are you a sock knitter?

I'm a beginner. I have done one and a half pairs of socks.

22. How did you learn to knit?

A teacher in boarding school taught me how to contruct a sweater - before that I just knew the basic rib- purl straight rectangular type of knitting.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

Must I tell?? maybe about 1 year or so?

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

Boo - from Monsters Inc and I like cats

25. What is your favorite holiday?


26. Is there anything that you collect?

Koigu. Any type of Lace weight yarn

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

None, but I occasionally get Interweave and Vogue knitting - especially the spring and summer issues.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Books on spinning techniques, knitting on the edge and beyong the edge, Barbara walkers books, german lace magazines

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??

Tina shawl from Fiddlesticks - juts haven't finished with my current bunch of fiddlesticks patterns so I haven't got around with another order.

30. What are your foot measurements, and what kind of socks do you like?

European 37 US 5 UK 4.5 - any type of socks.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Ply Please

Ok here's another ongoing post on my plying experiments. I got more pics with a little better detail although they are a little dark.

First up - Plying from two bobbins without regard to colourways

Self Ply

I decided to go random on this one and there were some stunning duotone results.

Navajo Ply - The Cool Cabled Composition

Navajo ply

This keeps the colourway intact but oh what a bitch to do. It already takes enough of my attention to keep the wheel going without having to make chains as well. The number of times I got my hand stuck in a ever enclosing loop of yarn, resulting in panicked attempts to ensure blood circulation is not cut off - Countless!


But look at how the yarn is all snugly plied against each other. Sweet!

Lastly the Shimmering Madness


My favourite - I got to get more metallic thread.

Shimmer closer

I repeat, I have to get more metallic thread :)

So I have about 250 yds of roughly worsted weight yarn and I've already ordered a contrasting colour - grape- from Vicky at Kendig Cottage. I think I might attempt a shrug when I finish spinning the grape up.

What's on the bobbin now.

Concord merino silk

This luscious merino silk in Concord colourway, it's mostly black but the flash brings out the blue purple tone in it. I'm spinning it fine - almost fingering weight. This is like the roving that never ends. I haven't even used half and look how much I have on the bobbin.

How will I ply this? Not sure. Maybe I need to get more metallic thread :)!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Circular Beginnings

I've always wanted to start The Kerry Blue Shawl from Martha Waterman's Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls. But I've put it off because of that dratted circular cast on.

Thanks to my new Gathering of Lace book I followed the instructions for one of the cast-on methods where you do knits and yo into a loop. ( don't have my book handy but I'll post more details next time)

Still I had to modify further because my silly dpns kept falling out. So I decided to knit back and forth for about 4 rows before joining the stitches on circulars and knitting using the Magic Loop method.

Circular cast on
Kerry Blue Shawl 4.0mm needles using Sirdar Snuggly 3 ply

After a few rows you pull the loop and it closes nicely with no funny hole in the middle of the work. There is little gap between the first 4 rows but nothing a bit of seaming won't fix.

I'm getting right into the groove of this square shawl. Take a look at Polly's finished shawl. I always seem to need to see another finished project before I find the motivation to start my own.

This little shawl is going to one of my very best friend's new poppet, Caitlin, in Hong Kong. Caitlin's mummy and I went to university together and she's one those friends that I have no trouble picking up the threads with each time we meet, which is not very often. She's also one of the few friends I knitted for in varsity and she's always talked nostalgically about her favourite knitted sweater (now long departed) with that yarn I got on sale from the local department store.

It will take too long to knit something for Caitlin's mum, so Caitlin gets a nice blankie instead.

NB I know I promised more pics of the Iris Garden yarn but it was a hectic weekend with my in-laws visiting. Will try to get more pics in sunlight tomorrow.

Friday, September 09, 2005


I promised a pic of the Iris Garden plied.
Well I have one but the pic is not as nice as I thought it would be. I'll be taking more this weekend in natural light.

Iris plied

From the top
Plied with one band of metallic thread.
Navajo plied ( 3 ply)
2 ply from both ends of the bobbin.

My favourite is the metallic ply - its shimmery airiness gives a little novelty to my roughly spun single ply. I'm getting better at going thinner now and that's why my second favourite is the 2 ply .
I plied for each end of the bobbin meaning I did not keep the colour ways intact so I got a real nice barbershop duo-tone effect on some parts of the yarn. Plus since I'm spinning thinner , so it's not as bulky as the Navajo plied. I need more practice before I think I can produce Navajo plied yarn to my satisfaction .

So there we are - now what to knit with the yarn.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

*I hab a gold*

I'm not in a good mood. My son gave me this terrible cold. Well, he had a slight fever for two days, I get stuck with the full works of stuffy nose, cough and sore throat.

And on top of that I'm pissed with this Opal sock

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Yeah. It looks so sweet right? Such cute colours, nicely shaped and all that. Well, looks are deceiving.

Image hosted by

See? Can you see the problem? It doesn't fit! I started the heel too soon and now it's an inch too short. And because of that the ribbing has ridden down and starts in the thickest part of my ankle, the one place that really shouldn't have any type of ribbing near it. It's fat enough.

And all because *I hab a gold* and was grumpy and impatient, I wanted to do the short row heels and finish this sock already.

Anyway this came in today

Book stash

I think I won't be in to work tomorrow. *I hab a gold*. I deserve to stay home and drool.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Iris Garden

It was our version of Independance Day yesterday, we call it " Merdeka Day". when we Malaysian celebrated the day we declared our Independance from British Rule.

Which means parades, and the obligatory morning shower ( I don't know why but it happens almost every year), lots of lolling around and watching TV.

I spent the whole day spinning up my Iris Garden Corriedale Roving from Kendig Cottage.
I 've spun up most of the yarn but in order to free up my bobbins , I had to start plying immediately ( OK this just means I have to get some extra bobbins). So I decided to try 3 ways of plying.

First up, for those of you who would like to find out the best way to spin up multicoloured roving check out The Keyboard Biologist's post on how she handled multi coloured roving she dyed herself - gorgeous colour!!

Another great article is in Sara Bradberry's Southern Cross Knitting article - Spinning Handpainted Roving

First method of plying I tried was to ply with a metallic thread as a binder - which resulted in this pretty skein of yarn

Iris Garden 1
86 yds of Iris Garden yarn waiting for its bath in the kitchen sink
<Closer look>
Take a closer look at the pretty shimmery metallic binding fluffy pastel yarn

Second method of plying I tried was Andean Plying - which created a 3 ply cable of ropy type yarn which is probably sturdier but did not capture the ethereal beauty of this colourway. I tried to get a pic but my camera batteries died on me. so stay tuned for updated pics soon.

I intend to try another method of plying - ie - plying a bobbin back on itself after winding on to a center pull ball. The result may be either a muddied up yarn of all colours, or a lovely heathering of these pastels.

That's the fun about spinning - we'll just have to see what happens.