Wednesday, December 20, 2006

From Batt to Bobbin

I was just finishing up this spin project last night when I remembered I had not taken a pic of the batt itself so here it is :-

From Batt to Bobbin to Yarn. The batt is from Crosspatch Creations that I found on ebay many moons ago. Have a look at more Crosspatch Creations batts at The Bellweather and drool over the lucious colours.

Crosspatch Creation batts are a mixture of many fibers ,wool as well as some silk noil and it produce a nubby type yarn with lots of interesting textures.

Click for a larger image
I used a flash in this pic to show the reflection of little silky bits.

I split each batt lengthwise into four and just pre drafted a little before spinning. The result is a two plied aran weight yarn - I haven't measure the wpi yet.

I'm thinking making this into a nice bag maybe the RYC Belt bag with some co-ordinating yarn.

And now for a quick look at the dye-pot.

More updates on that later.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Knit from your Stash 2007

I've not been kniting much in the last week - Christmas has snuck up on me again and the nights and weekends have been mostly taken by Christms shopping and placating an excited almost-4 year old who wants to buy the whole toy shop.

The next few nights will be taken up by Carolling. It was one of our informal agreements before DH and I got married that we would continue both our families' tradition of carolling so we joined our neighbourhood carollers for 3 nights of door to door singing the Chistmas blues away.

This little challenge on Wendy's blog caught my eye and it's really something I'd like to try. Those of you who have been to my house would know about my enormous stash.I have been quite good in last 3 months limiting the stash buying to one lot a month but I feel that I really need to use up what I have as well as finish up on some of the UFOs.

Here are the rules ( with a couple of comments from be in bold):-

Knit From Your Stash 2007: Guidelines for L-B and Wendy

1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.

2. We will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:

2.a. Sock yarn does not count. What? You think we are made of stone? I do have enough sock yarn to last me a while so no worries there.

2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, we may buy yarn to knit that gift. I truly have no yarn for many many things that could be gifts for someone else :)

2.c. If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project. Hooray!!

2.d. We each get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- we are each allowed to fall off the wagon one time. My personal pledge is that I will only use this Get out of Jail card in May.

3. We are allowed to receive gifts of yarn. hint hint hint!!! Say does this mean we can swap for yarn too??

4. Spinning fiber of any sort is exempt. Thank God!! cos I am in a spinning mood lately. And spinning means - more yarn!

The downside is that - now I have the urge to buy lots and lots of yarn before 1st January. Ling will be coming down in January and has offered to bring back more Rowan if I want it! How can I resist??

Friday, December 15, 2006

Back in the spin

I was inspired by Eunny Jang's post on blocking her handspun shawl. See the yarn was spun out from merino tencel roving and it just so happened I had about 2 oz in my spinning stash of merino tencel roving I got about a year ago.

So I decided to spin it up to the thinnest I could and this is what I got

Beach merino tencel

The colourway is called Beach and it's from Kendig Cottage. It spins like a dream, it's soft and shiny but not as tough to draft as silk. I know that there are many hand painted rovings on offer on the 'net but I seem to like all of Vicki's colourways and her service has always been top notch.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This is roughly fingering weight and it's not very even BUT I think it's the best I've spun so far.

Now I need another 4 oz to get a decent yardage of a shoulder scarf.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Must-have yarn in your stash

When I first started knitting years ago, as a student, I didn't have much disposable income - so I would only buy enough yarn for one project at a time. In fact I sometimes had to use a layby - where I buy about 4 balls to start off and got the LYS to keep the rest of the pack for me to get later.

Whne I started knitting again about 2 and half years ago, I fell victim to the joys of unlimited credit ( well to a point, even I have a limit to how much I can spend on yarn) and started to buy everything on sale in sight.

Lucky for me, stash is almost always recyclable and as the years go by, one gets a knack for what type of yarns one really likes and learn to be a bit more selective when buying yarn. That is not to say I am not tempted by a bargain or two every once in a while.

I've noticed lately I have some definite must-have in my stast. What's a must-have yarn? A must-have yarn is normally:

1. ... a yarn that is soo precious you must keep in your stash at all times.
2. ... you probably almost never use it and if you do, you have to buy a second lot to replace what you used as soon as you can.
3. ... you probably have about 2 bags of 10 for each colour that you buy or you will forever regret it becuase 1 bag of 10 may not be enough for the one project that would be perfect for the yarn.
4... you probably have it on one of your favourite searches on ebay.
5. If, God forbid, it is ever discontinued - you have the overwhelming urge to screw themortgage and start buying up as many bags you can.

My list of Must-have yarn includes:-

1. Rowan Calmer
2. Rowan All Seasons Cotton
3. Cascade 220
4. Jaggerspun Zephyr
5. Socks that Rock
6. Koigu

What's your must have yarn??

BTW I am selling some of my not-so must-have yarn to make room for the other.
Check my destash blog for details

And just so it won't be a pic- less blog - here's my latest spinning

Grape cormo 2-ply
roughly DK weight and slightly underplied

Yes I am spinning a little. That's a story I'll leave for another post.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I always hate modeling my knits - I never catch the hubby in time to take a pic in the morning rush for work and I am always not in the best attire during weekends. (read braless and messy hair).

And when I do find someone in the office to take a pic, this in itself is a nervewrecking experience cos there's always someone or other coming round to investigate the flash of the camera. There there are family, friends and collegues not really clear on the concept of "focus on the knit" and take a full mug shot as well as the messy desk in the background, or never bother to get you sit or stand properly to show off the knit.

Anyways I tried my best and here we go :-

The one in the mirror at home.

The one in the office with the misaligned neckline.

I am due for a destashing soon - some Rowan ASC as well as some DK yarns - I have to take the pics and should be able to upload tomorrow.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Bianca's minor surgery

I had thought the dropped stitches on Bianca meant major surgery and so I put it off until I had a bit more time to myself. It turned out to be not as bad as I thought.

I got myself a small tripod today and decided to test it out on some super close ups.

It's not a very good picture but if you kind of squint you can see the two dropped stitches hanging out.

Luckily it's close to the neckline and also on the last lace repeat - so I didn't have to undo any more stitches to reknit the section. I only used a crochet hook to hook up the stitches for a few rows.

Since I had already crocheted the scallop edging I coundn't hook the stitches all the way to the top. So I cheated...

I pulled the stitch to the wrong side and secured it with a few double crochets in to the purl ridges.

Do you think the operation is succesful?

For Sally's benefit, here's a picture of the neckline

And a better pic of the whole project.

As for my modeling Bianca - I have to wait for DH to come back from his outstation trip this weekend as I have to confess I haven't worked out the timer on the camera yet.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

So this is Bianca

Cotton Ease - Just over 6 balls

I will update with a few more pics and details later. I just discovered a huge hole where I dropped two stitches!! Major surgery will be performed tonight.

I miscounted the top a little and decreased more than I should for my size. Although the neckline still fits, it's not quiet as wide as I would have liked it to be.
I crocheted scallops around the edges which I think worked very well for this knit and eliminate the needs for buttons. I can still put them in if I want but I'm planning on just wearing it open with a brooch at the neck.

I'll just leave you with one knitting success - Chris' lovely blouse (her BF calls it the pink christmad tree, the silly man) which she wore to our mini meet on Sat.

Look at all that detail!!
And see! It suits her perfectly

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Shedir Skull Cap

Quick update on a quick project I did in the weekend.

I have never done a cap before and I wanted to practice so that I can gear up to making some chemo caps in a charity project some of us Malaysian knitters are still discussing.

Shedir from the
Sirdar Rio Cotton Rich 50 gm ball x 1
3.75 mm size needles

I used needles a size too big and found that out quickly so had to reduce the number of repeats at the brim. The result is a Shedir skull cap for a very big head.

But I love the top motif and I enjoyed the cabling practice instead of all that lace.
That's all for now folks

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Lace capers

I was going to try to finish Bianca's Jacket in one week because I was going up to Cameron Highlands again to stay in this lovely little bungalow. Look at that welcoming door..

Unfortunately I managed to finish one sleeve before I got distracted with my Lacevember project.

There's so many thing to say about this project. I used the laceweight handspun from in the color Red Pagoda. Ok this is not merino laceweight so it isn't as soft or buttery but it has an excellent spongy texture in the garter stitch section that surprised me. Still this hank seemed to be more on the wiry side. The other hank of laceweight I am using for Madlis' Shawl is softer.

The pattern is really easy to follow. It's ingeniously shaped as a horeshoe by some simple short rows, then an edging is attached.

I am about half way through the edging and already I am thinking I'd definitely do this again with a different edging.

As for where I am with Bianca's Jacket?? Still on the second sleeve...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Lacevember Questions

The knitting questions, or the usual suspects

How long have you been knitting? Ohh maybe 16- 18 years but I took a long break and started again about 2 years ago

How did you learn to knit? At school

Favorite thing about knitting? I love how fast a project can grow with just 2 hours of knitting.

How long have you been knitting lace? About as long as I have been knitting

Favorite thing about knitting lace. The delicate lace always turns heads and well, it's never boring.

The yarn questions, or flash your stash

Favorite lace yarn? Hmm I would have to say Jaggerspun Zephyr or any merino lace type yarn

variegated or solids for shawls? Can do both-

Favorite lace color? I am trying to steer away from blues and greens and I am doing red at the moment.

Technique, or show us your skillz

Circs or straights? Circs

Favorite lace knitting trick? For the longest time I never brought the yarn to the front of the needle for a yarnover.

Lifelines? If so with what? Sometimes but not often – I use quilting thread – stash leftover from my quilting days.

Fancy blocking wires, or just sewing pins stuck in your carpet? Sewing pins stuck on a mattress we have lying around for extra guests

Pattern, or can you follow directions

shawls or lacey items? Shawls and tops but I want to branch out to doilies and tablecloths

triangle, rectangle, or circular shawls? All except the circular shawls – don't like the circular cast on. I can do it, but not very well and I tend to skip over patterns that have it.

Charts or printed instructions? Charts, Charts, Charts

Favorite lace you've knit? Just finished the Mountain Peaks Shawl and that's my favourite for now.

Favorite lace you want to knit? Hm Rose of England one day? Or Frostflowers and Leaves.

Just Fun, yup that right, just for fun

Favorite jelly belly flavor? Err what's that?? I'll eat if it's purple.

Tell me everything you know about Eric the Red..... You mean Eric the Viking right? Well he's the viking who doesn’t like to rape and pillage played by … Susan Sarandon's partner ( Tim something)

Coke, classic or with lime? Coke classic

Holiday carols, sing along, or wish they would be banned from all public airwaves? Love the holidays carols and can't get enough of them on Malaysian airwaves.

What is the definition of irony? "10000 spoons when all you need is a knife, meeting the man of your dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife"

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? Ok sorry tootsie umm

Why is my cat always puking in front of my son's bedroom door? No cat

What is your superhero power? 8 arms and all of them doing different crafts.

If the laundry is 9 foot by 11 foot (just dreaming, that' a big laundry room), and the walls are 8 feet tall, and you are going to tile the entire room in tiles that are 3 inches by 5 inches, what color should those tiles be? Blue… it's aways blue

What's for dinner tonight? Going home to mom's cooking

What is clogging my children's bathtub drain? My hair

Friday, November 03, 2006

Mountain Peaks blocking

I notice different bloggers have different ways of showing off their FO. Some wait for it to be fully blocked and then take beautifully modelled shots. Some like me who can't just keep posting in spurts the finishing process. I take about 3 posts to do the just off the needles, blocking and then maybe a modeled shot if there's good daylight and someone to model it for me.

Anyways here's a shot of the Mountain Peaks shawl blocking

Click on the pic for a bigger sized photo.

I was in a hurry to block so I didn't use the threading method to get a straight edge at the top. I didn't stretch it too much and still it turned out to be a good size shawl, about 50" across. Not bad for 650 yds.

Here's a look at the botton pointed edge

I just noticed as I took this pic that I had blocked the purlside facing up. I don't think that makes a difference does it?
As you can see it's a little wonky on the right side of the center leaf BUT nothing I can't live with.

As for Bianca's Jacket - one sleeve done.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I have been so busy at work that I have had no time to update the blog but I have been knitting like crazy. Finally after the whole stitch knitted bodice fiasco - I slaved and slaved and got this done.

Mountain Peaks Shawl from Mimknits
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr in Elderberry
Amount used: Just over 2 oz - 650yds.
Needles size : 3.75 mm
Time taken: 1 month to the day

I was so annoyed when my 2 oz ball ran out just inches from the finish line. Talk about yarnus interuptus!

It's unblocked and I am not to happy with the short row edging at the sharp mid point. It's a little scrunched up so I hope it will block out fine.

Stay tuned for pics of the blocked shawl.

My current challenge is to finish Bianca's Jacket in 1 week.

Don't ask - I will explain more later in a couple of days.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fichu Thinking

I was completely swamped at work and just realised I didn't update the pics I took at the last meet-up on the 7th.

Jackie came along with her latest project - an incredible cable and lace afghan.

You have to take a closer look to fully appreciate the enormity of this project.

She's going to tell you more about it when she gets round to updating her blog.

Sally came along with her well fitted Green Gables

Mira and Rain were there too, knitting on some very luxurious looking tape yarn and Doreen popped by a little later.

Everyone agreed that my SKB needs to be sent to the frog pond so it has been chucked into my death bin ever since.

Over at the Knitters Review forum, there was a discussion a couple of weeks ago about a lace fichu pattern selling on ebay.

As far as I can make out a Fichu is a smaller version of a triangular shawl, draped over the shoulders for a decorative purpose more than for warmth, which, to me,makes more sense to me in these tropical climes.

I love knitting lace shawls but I sometimes balk when I think of whether I will ever use the FOs. With a fichu I can pair it up with a simple blouse without looking too OTT. God knows I have too much laceweight that I really need to stashbust.

Anyways have a look at these gorgeous little fichus.

Ethereal Fichu from HeartStrings Fiber Arts

Lace Fichu

Smaller triangular shawls would also work as a fichu

Swallowtail Shawl

Everyone's Favourite Flower Basket Shawl ( my version)

Diamond Fantasy Shawl. Doreen brought hers to show during the meet- up but I didn't get a pic.

Anyone else has any other suggestions?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Grey's Anatomy

I'm hooked on this show.
We're only on season Two in Malaysia and I am just waiting for my set of DVD's of the whole season to arrive so I can have a marathon. In fact it was very much on my brain when I went over to Singapore for a day trip. So I got this gorgeous colour of Jaeger Roma called mineral

If it knits up well I am gonna get more!!

By the way anyone who is going to Golden Dragon in Singapore please take note that it is in People's Park Center and not in People's Park shopping complex. I think I took an hour just walking around looking for it.

I was very much tempted by the Japanese yarn there as well but the price was..... err ...a little scary. They didn't have any RYC Cashsoft DK, only 4 ply and Aran and now thinking back I should have gotten some Aran. But I didn't want to lug too much back with me on the bus to Johore.

I am doing a mini craft challenge together with some of Malaysian stitchers, where we try to finish 5 mini finishes of any craft by year end.

So here is my first

Don't you think the colour difference is so strange? Just by taking a different angles

You can get the pattern here. It's really easy but extremely fiddly - especially when you're doing 320 single crochet into one small space.

I finished mine in about 2 hours so this would make good quick gifts. I might do a couple more for the charity too.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Quick shots

I am down south on work and have limited internet access so I thought I should do a very very quick update.

Progress of my bodice

It's not a bodice now it's a sloppy sweatshirt. I overestimated the size this time and it's huge. Anyways I will definitely make a slimmer version in the future.

When I am too upset too work on the bodice I did do this

It's round 1 of a doily from (don't have the url handy but will post it later).

And last night in my very lonely and very big hotel bed, I casted on this

This is my second attempt at the Mountain Peaks Shawl from Mimknits, I had to frog my 1st attempt when I put it down for a while and forgot which row I was at and when I was trying to figure it out, I dropped a YO stitch that unravelled a few rows.This time I have a notepad and pen ready for counting rows and lifelines.

Ok hoping to go over the Causeway in to Singapore for a flying LYS visit on Monday. Not that I need more stash but who can resist RYC???

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Purple Goodness

I finally received my lace swap parcel after it languished around in snail mail territory for a while.

Open the box and what do I see?

Purple tissue and a lovely little note book- just a hint of what's to come.

The next layer is the Field of Flowers pattern from Fibertrends and a huge skein of hand dyed cotton rayon blend. I love this pattern and have been eyeing it for a while and the cotton rayon blend is an excellent laceweight for the Malaysian tropical weather.
But it doesn't stop there!

Under that layer is Size 5 Addi Turbos ( my favourite needles) and a center pull ball of Skacel Merino Lacewight which was hand dyed by Laura herself!!!

And then ...*drum roll*

A lovely hand made project bag made out of gorgeous purple batik - I love it!!!!
and a little box for with stitch markers and needle caps.

There was some maple candy and boston baked beans but my boy has already swiped that by the time I could take the pictures (which are too dark, I know,but there hasn't been any decent sunlight these days)

My swap partner was Laura and she has been more than generous. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Meanwhile I have been busy with this

Just taking a very short knitting break which will continue again tonight.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

At Last An FO

Ok Plaza is soooo doone. Out of here. Hitting the Road. All the way to NZ and out of my sight.

You can see the body is really short, shorter than I expected.

Here's a look at the curly wurly details at the collar. That darn thing is soo heavy I think the collar might stretch out loads from the weight

The collar is still a little small I think.

Anyway on to my next project - I still haven't gotten round to getting the extra yarn for my Stitchi Diva bodice So I might just start a new project - hmmm, we'll see.

Meanwhile I met up with some Knitters last weekend - I did manage to engineer it so my in-laws would go shopping at Bangsar Village where the meet up was.


Here's Sally and I. We're sitting by the wndow and it was really storming so the photo got kind of dark.

From left- Doreen, Rain, Mira, Chooi Wah (she of the gorgeous blog), and Sally.

Doreen is wearing her latest FO, she always looks good in her knits.

I have to be back at work tomorrow, sadly, but I have bought myself a spa package to last 6 months, so I have to remind myself to take some "me" time every month before work gets on top of me.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Burnt Out

I'm having a bit of a crafty burn out at the moment.Add the immense workload at the office at the moment - I can't seem to concentrate on any one project.

It's not that I haven't done much knitting but too much on too many different projects.

I worked on the Plaza edging until I ran out of yarn and I haven't been back at my other stash cupboard at my mum's for the extra two balls I have left. BTW, Vanessa, I remember you said you weren't sure how this edging was going to go? I have to say it's pretty basic crochet, so you wouldn't have a problem.

I worked on Stitchdiva's Knitted Bodice until I ran out of the accent yarn I have been using for the lacy parts. So I have trot along to that local LYS that I hate because of the outrageous pricing and get me another of that outrageously priced metallic chain mail yarn.

I finished one heels and toe sock and am having second sock syndrome for the next one because I am not so sure I have enough of the Koigu I used for the main colour.

I started Pomatomus with this sock yarn I dyed but a bit of the dye is rubbing off my fingers so I am not sure if I want to keep on knitting or rip it out and soak it in vinegar.

I picked up my Madli's shawl and feel like puking cos I am just not feeling the love anymore -at 13 repeats I'm not sure if I should rip it out or not.

Talk about a comedy of errors.

Next week I am going on leave and I gonna get every inch of my body pummelled and kneaded by a masseuse, every inch of my face scrubbed and polished. And then knit till the cows come home. And since there are no cows in this part of the world - that's like --- heh -- forever.

Well at least until I go bak to work.

Hope for better crafty inspiration next week.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Light at the end of the Plaza

so after one year of slogging intermittently on this project I can finally say that the knit part of it is done. And all I have to do is crochet the bobbly bits of the collar.

This is a sneak preview only - more pics will arrive once I have done the crocheted bobbly bits which is probably the only interesting feature of this knit.

This is the only pattern in this book that doesn't have a full length picture. And I had to choose this one to do for my sister. Be warned the body is very short - almost bolero short and the collars do not seem to be as big as in the picture.

This will be the 1st and last time I'll be working with Cleakheaton Country 8 ply. It's very "country"- it's already pilling.

BUT I'm soooooo glad this one's done.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Albany Bodice

As you might know the Stitch Diva Knitted Bodice calls for a mucho expensive 100% silk yarn from Tilli Tomas. As usual, there are plenty of discussion over the Net, particularly in the Knitty and in Craftster on various yarn substitutes.

Now to me the beauty of this pattern has to be in the yarn - the subtle colours and slight nubby texture helps to bring out what is essentially a simple but stylish cut. I did do my share of surfing around to find a reasonably priced sub until I looked into my wallet. Then I had a look at my yarn cabinet and found .....
Jaeger Albany.

It's a discontinued cotton tape yarn from Jaeger and it was the just right gauge.

And here what it looks knitted up -

Or if you want to look closer

It's NOT the most perfect of subs BUT it works for me.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

More Weaving

Just a quick post to show you the second weaving project off the loom.

It's supposed to be enough for two cushion covers but I underestimated the width. it's a funny piece, enough for one funny shape oblong pillow (and I have to make up the pillow myself) or two tiny tiny cushions (I have to make that up myself too). I haven't decided - I might just line it and just leave it as a table runner.

As you can see the selvedges are still pretty messy but improving.

Tonight I'll be using my mum's dining table to warp my next project - yes another table runner. This time in novelty threads. And then after that, I intend to pick up some some pick-up techniques and do something different.

Have a look at what sweetgeorgia is doing! Giving me all kinds of ideas tsk tsk tsk.

There has been some knitting going on - truly! Just don't have any FO pics to show. I'm almost at the finish line with RYC Plaza - having one half of a collar to do. Notice my sis has come and gone - but she took Samus as compensation - so she can't complain.

Also almost to the cuff with Heels and Toes and still some lace on the side.

And... and started this new project too.

I really need to sleep less.