Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hippy Crunchy

About the new apartment ... yes, there is air conditioning here! Yay! Actually, we don't really need to use it under normal circumstances. But just in case the crazy heat wave returns, I don't have to escape to the library anymore. And no, still no pet is allowed here. :(

Since the new home is only 15 minutes away from the old one, and we had one week before the end of the lease, we left most of the clean up to be done during this last week. Yesterday, I finally finished everything there. Now, I can really devote all my time on the new home. What is left to be done is the books and magazines. Due to all these, I could seldom find time to knit or blog during the past week.

So, I can only show you an old FO. The Hippy Crunchy socks were finished during the week before the move. The packing was really not an enjoyable task. So, I packed some and knitted some ... well, honestly, packed some and knitted lots. :) I like this pair a lot ... the pattern is fun to knit, the lightweight yarn is what I like and the length of the leg is cute.


Details:
Pattern: Hippy Crunchy designed by (?) for Rockin' Sock Club of BMFA
Though the pattern doesn't show well with my skein of yarn without the pooling, I still like it a lot. It has been a fun knit ... and the fabric is really stretchy. I also like the rolled hem edge though it is a bit troublesome to knit.
About the heels. I am so comfortable using Wendy's double wrap short row heel that I haven't tried or learned other short row methods at all. The Hippy Crunchy pattern used Pricilla A. Gibson-Roberts' yarn over method. I thought it was time to try something new. That's an interesting method ... though I am not sure if I like it as much. Maybe it was my first time ...

Yarn: Socks That Rock (Lightweight) by Blue Moon Fiber Arts Col: Peaseblossom (100% Superwash Merino)
No question asked ... I definitely like the lightweight a lot better than the medium one.

Gauge and Needle: Susan Bates US1 casting on 64 sts

Start date: 08-09-2006
Finish date: 08-20-2006

While we are still on the topic of socks ... I got sock lucky last week. Yay yay yay!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday Sky

If you are reading this, thank you very much for still being around. The move was completed without any broken back, arm or leg. I am still in the process of unpacking and trying to put things into their respective places. All important utilities are in function ... including of course the internet connection. I can just have a few minutes for posting today, but I do have FO to show you before the end of the week.

The new apartment is like paradise to us. Actually, we felt so much like having a Hawaiian vacation that it was hard to believe Husband had to go back to work today. I mean, when you wake up to such a view, wouldn't you feel like going to the beach?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's official now

After much waiting, our application to another apartment complex was finally approved yesterday. Now, the most exciting part is ... we have a little more than 1 week to pack up and get ready for the move! Yes, ONE WHOLE LONG WEEK!

Before we got the approval, we already did some mental sorting. Yesterday, I started throwing out junk/trash that we are not going to take to the new home. Today I did much of the utilities service transfer and change of address. But both tasks are far from completed yet. :(

So, in the coming 2 weeks (at least), blog posts here would be sporadic ... or I should say even more sporadic? :) I may have a drive-by posting if I manage to get something visually worthy finished ... which I highly doubt. I wish you won't forget me when I return ... hehehe ...

Before I go, I want to show you the completed back piece of Lace Blouson:
I am loving this sage green colour.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Much better this time

After a much disappointing second kit, the sock club's latest kit is a much better one to me. I drew this conclusion from how fast I could finish one sock. Usually, if I could finish fast, that means the pattern is interesting enough to get me hooked. :)
Of course, it is close to being anklet ... that makes the knitting a bit faster. I bet you can't see the pattern clearly. There's nothing wrong with your eyes! It's just the pattern would show a lot better on solid colour ... or if the yarn pools more, like this. Unfortunately, my skein didn't pool this time! See if this is better:
From Lisa K's socks, you can see that the pattern is a bit of faux entrelac. While looking for some new locations to photo the sock, I discovered that the colourway was an exact match of a pot of flowers Husband bought for my birthday this year!
Just that I don't know the name of the flowers!

I have to thank everyone for your lovely comments on Glad. I am not a very fashionable person, so I just copied the various ways to wear Glad from Rowan 39. But some fashion-sensitive knitters from Knitty Coffeeshop thought of even more ways:
I quite like the tied-at-the-back-Kimono style. :)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Glad

Glad is the name of the mohair wrap cardigan I've been working on ... and glad is also how I'm feeling ... as it is finished! Yay!
This was taken when the heat returned to the area the last 2 days and I thought no way I would be able to model this for the blog. Luckily, this morning the temperature dropped a bit to a reasonable level and here you are ... model shot:
What do you think? I think I may need a shawl pin ... :D I like this wrap cardigan a lot. It is like a wrap or shawl with sleeves. I am still struggling to have a triangular shawl covering my arms (which are the body parts that get cold easily for me!). But with this cardigan, no such problem at all. I am happy that I used this stripy yarn for it ... as the stripes do add more interest to the cardi ... and make it more casual.

I have no idea what that shiny spot in the picture was! Tying a knot makes it look like a bolero ... a garment type I usually steer away from. But I think it looks quite well with Glad. :)

Details:
Pattern: Glad designed by Sarah Hatton from Rowan 39
I knitted the small size (34" bust) with just one minor modification. I used one needle size throughout. The knitting was mostly a breeze as the mohair grew fast on the needles. However, the picking up stitches along the 2 front pieces and the neck of the back piece is a huge pain ... mainly because I just dislike picking up stitches (that's why I love short row heels for socks!), no to mention picking up 367 stitches! I'd also like to mention that the sleeve caps fitted perfectly into the body ... no agonizing moment wondering if a good fit is possible. I just love this!

Yarn: Feza Kid Mohair (80% kid mohair and 20% nylon) 5 balls Col: 205 Shades of Blue
This is the same yarn I used for Birch. Love it. Mohair soft enough for a garment to be worn next to skin. I am itching to try the lovely mohair I bought from Artfibers ... but maybe I should take a break from mohair. What do you think? :D

Gauge and Needle: 22 sts to 10cm over stocking stitch using Denise US7.

Start Date: 07-09-2006
Finish Date: 08-09-2006

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge#6

Me: Monsieur, I need a favour.
Pierre de Wiessant: ...
Me: I know this is an agonizing moment of your life, but I just need 30 seconds for you to put this on and I snap a photo ... maybe even 25 seconds will do.
Pierre de Wiessant: Whatever ...

Pierre de Wiessant modelling Trellis scarf

Me: Perfect! Thanks a lot. BTW, if what I read is correct, you are not going to die ... so you can relax a bit. Bye!
Pierre de Wiessant: ...

Monday, August 07, 2006

*Whew* I've been busy

... knitting

You have to trust me ...
it's several pattern repeats longer


... and finishing

Glad on the home stretch!


... and spinning

Aren't they pretty?


... and ...

Cheers!

Monday evening already? I need more cheers!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Foolish Stubbornness

C'est moi! For some time, I thought I was not going to finish these socks! Foolish because I knew from the get-go that I didn't like this style of socks ... and stubborn because that was the sock club pattern that came with the yarn, so I should give it a try, I thought. Give it a try I did ... and proved myself right ... I don't like the socks! Mind you, the socks are cute to look at:
... but not so cute on my foot:
See that big freaking hole bursting open? I attribute this partly to the pattern design and partly to my larger-than-it-should-be ankle. Besides, I have already knitted a few more rounds before turning heel, the cuffs still feel like being eaten by the shoes when the latter is present. And the final and fatal blow is the left sock, aka the second sock by the order of knitting sequence. Since I have completed the first one and it fitted okay, I didn't try the second one on during the process of knitting ... why should I? Everything was the same, no? It turned out the second sock is tight! Tight in the way I wonder if there would be enough blood flowing into the left foot tight.

So, off to the frog pond they went! Most probably I would knit a pair of plain socks from the yarn. But I do like the really big buttons ... they are so big that it feels hilarious!

No hard feelings about the wasted time ... I had some good time knitting them anyway. :)

As I promised last time, there is new project. After finishing Shell Tank, I started the Lace Blouson (cover project of IK Summer 2004):
I love summer knitting ... very often you don't need to knit the sleeves and that means a lot faster! Here are close-up shots of the lace details:
The colour in the detail shots is truer to that in real life. I am using a cotton blend (50% cotton 50% rayon) called Sunrise. This yarn is rough to the hand ... but I like how it softens up after washing. Actually, from experience, cotton-rayon blend gets softer with every wash, so this would be a comfortable summer wear. :)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Yarntainer

If you wind a skein/hank of yarn into a yarn cake, how do you use it? I mean, do you knit from the centre end or from the outside end? I always knit from the outside because I think it is neater ... especially when I know I am not going to use up the whole cake of yarn. I don't have to rewind the leftovers.

The problem with knitting from the outside end first is that the yarn cake would bounce around when I pull new yarn from it during knitting. I don't know how or why, but the cake would bounce so vigorously that it would end up at the other end of the room. Even when I put it in a knitting bag, it would bounce out of the bag!

Here enters Yarntainer. Put the yarn inside a container, and there it stays. Good idea. But I didn't buy one. One thing is bothering me - how do I remove the project from a Yarntainer before using up the yarn, if I need to? If you have seen said gadget in person, you'll know that there is no other opening in the lid, except the hole in the middle. Besides, most of the photos of Yarntainers show you knitting needles tugged inside ... but if you pay enough attention, you'll find that those are idle needles without projects on them. Unless you have very little yarn left inside the container, my bet is there would not be enough room to put the project inside.

So, I know the concept of Yarntainer, not the gadget itself, is what I want. A thread in Knitter's Review (but I couldn't find it anymore!) solved my problem:
Yes! A Kleenex tissue box! I have been using mine for some time already and it works perfectly. I don't have to run to the other end of the room to retrieve the yarn anymore. I don't need to have one box for each project. Well, maybe not so perfectly ... I need to get a bigger one for bigger yarn cakes/balls.

Next time, I'll have new project to share with you. In the mean time, everyone stay cool. :)