Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's time for some gloves!

Christmas is approaching ... the mercury is dropping ... sharply. Last night was the coldest night so far. Sweaters and jackets take a long time to finish, so I think some accessories would be nice.

I have knitted lots of socks ... but just one pair of gloves for myself. So I grabbed the kit (the Siren's Heart Fingerless Gloves) I got last year and started. Very satisfying knitting indeed. Just a few hours and I could get most of one glove done:

This was the first time I did colourwork since the Old Tiles Jacket ... and oh how I love doing this with wool so much more! This was also my first time doing fair isle knitting ... and not surprisingly, I didn't fare too well! The problem? Tension, tension, tension! On close examination of the glove, I did not too bad, not perfect though, with the main pattern:
But you can see below that I do have great problem with narrow stripes:

Well, this is going to be a practice session ... I am going to do it all over again using slightly larger needles. But I can really see how some of you are so addicted to colourworks! It's fascinating.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Marble Arches & more

When my brother and I grew up, ice-cream was a rare treat that we didn't get to have very often. Besides, choices of flavours then were limited. Therefore, it always seemed a good deal to be able to have 3 flavours at one time ... we always loved to have the tri-colour combo ... vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. This is what the new socks remind me of ... tri-colour combo ice-cream ... YUM!


Details:
Pattern: Marble Arches designes by Sandi for STR sock club
You should have noticed the beautiful ruffled cuffs of the socks! Aren't they unusual and lovely? Well, I think so. And it is just very easy to make. You cast on double the number of stitches for your cuff size, knit one round, and then k2tog and p2tog around and knit the ribbed cuff.
And ... you should also notice that the legs of the socks are slanting ... because of the faux cable pattern.
Mmm ... do you notice that I love this pair of socks? ;)

Yarn: Socks That Rock (100% Superwash Merino) Medium weight Colour: Pink Granite
Who doesn't love colours that resemble yummy ice-cream?

Needles: CP bamboo dpns US1 for the leg and US1.5 for the heel and foot

Start date: 11-05-2006
Finish date: 11-26-2006

Now, about the "more" in the post title. Since you can get 2 (or even 3) dish towels for $2.99, it would be really hard to only buy one bundle, right? Everyone agrees? Added to the temptation, SUNFLOWERS!

This time, I added a little bit of shaping to the bib portion to get a better coverage. And I did some better sewing this time. So, I really really love this apron a lot more. :D

Thursday, November 23, 2006

First sewing project

Ms Knitter was right. Getting your hands into small projects is really helpful ... not like just fooling around with scrap fabrics ... and you would end up with something useful.

So, with $2.99 (plus tax, I think) and a couple hours, I got myself a new apron:


Mmm ... looks like simple sewing ... but I got to practice more straight line sewing (which is really not that easy ... hahaha). The pattern said to use twill tape for the neck tie and waist ties. But since I got some fabrics from trimming the bib piece, why not use them for the waist ties, I think? I didn't have enough for the neck tie ... so I bought some 1" cotton belt.

I think I can use one more apron. ;)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lace Swatching

I have decided. I am going to make both Unst Lace Stole and Forest Path Stole. Since Debi(Pumpkin's mom) is also interested in working on Forest Path Stole, we would knit along together on this project. And if there are more of you interested in this, we may even start a KAL. But all that would have to wait until after the holidays seasons.

That means for the time being, I can play around with Unst Lace Stole. To show you how serious I am in treating this heirloom lace project, I hereby present you a swatch (Woo! my first ever swatch for lace project):


This is by far the thinnest yarn I've ever used ... I figure it must be cobweb weight. It is called "Heaven" ... 45% Tencel 55% Merino Wool. It was unfortunate that at the time of composing this post, the Yarn Place page wasn't working properly. You may try again later ... that's the place where I got this yarn. I used KnitPicks Classic Circular US1 for the swatch. What do you think? Before this, I used US3 and swatched on the Forest Path patterns ... with not so impressive results. I think US1, or even US0, should be the better needle size.

As for my sewing adventures, I did finish my first project using the sewing machine. Well, not really a project ... just mending a split seam on Husband's pj pants! :D I tried doing that with hand sewing before ... but the frayed edges were just too discouraging for hand sewing! With the machine, 10 seconds and boom! Mission accomplished! I also found a fantastic project here. Isn't that a clever idea? (Okay, I admit ... I am a secret admirer of MS ... even though some of her personality traits are not that adorable. :P) So, I am off to TJMaxx this afternoon.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday Sky

It was a lot more beautiful when you saw it in person. ;)

Not too much knitting was done in the past few days because I got a new toy! I managed to get the machine start working and simple stitch a straight line. And of course, I have been searching for simple projects which I can practice more ... but for the time being, simple stitch and tension. ;)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ene's Scarf

Well, perhaps I need to clarify ... I don't and haven't knitted in my sleep! :D Actually, I started this project way back at the end of September ... worked half of Chart 1 (about 10 rows) and then it was put aside until around the time I first post about it.

But it is true that I can sometimes get carried away and knit really fast with lace projects. It is the feeling that you just can't stop ... can't put the needles down. I always had the misconception that Ene's Scarf is one difficult project and I was prepared to spend months on it. Surprisingly, it turned out to be quite a TV-watching project ... once you enter Chart 3, that is.

Does anyone of you know why Ene's Scarf was called a "scarf"? I mean, if you look at the pictures from the book, it is a huge shawl ... enough to wrap around the model. Well, mine turned out to be on the very small side ... but I still find it hard to call it a scarf. ;)



Details:
Pattern: Ene's Scarf designed by Nancy Bush from Scarf Style
Lovely pattern ... lovely design ... and well-written too. I think there is no mistake at all ... at least I didn't check for errata, but everything worked out fine. As I told you before, I love the clustered lace pattern which makes up the main body of the shawl.
The pattern states that the shawl should measure 40" along the side, unblocked. But mine measures 35" blocked. Once again, I knit tightly!

Yarn: Handpaintedyarn.com's Merino Lace (100% merino) 1 skein Colour: Sunset
Lovely handpaint merino ... very soft and warm. Husband doesn't like this colourway too much ... to earthy for him (he likes more jolly bright colours). But it is fine with me ... especially when the trees are turning yellow and red now ... ;) One skein is enough for the whole project ... this is a plus since there is no need for splicing.

Needles: Susan Bates circulars US6

Start date: 09-28-2006
Finish date: 11-11-2006

Now I am contemplating a new lace project. This time, I'd really like to attempt something more challenging. I have 2 ideas in mind: Forest Path Stole and Unst Lace Stole. Not decided yet.

P.S. I have added comments moderation because yesterday I received the first really outrageous spam comment ever ... which of course has been deleted. I think the moderation would not affect those who really want to comment ... and I hope it would stop any further spam. ::Fingers crossed::

Monday, November 13, 2006

I think I need more time

... all because of this bad weather, the blocking takes time:
But Ene's Scarf will see you soon! ;)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New lace on the needles

I have been really generous. I gave away TWO of my most favourite projects.

The Alpaca Cloud makes a very warm fabric. So, the Sampler Stole is now with my mom to keep her warm from the insanely cold air-conditioned places in Hong Kong.

My 4-year roommate in university years is the first person I ever know who would wear bright orange (and I always suspect she would be good friends with Claudia! hahaha ... ). When I made Birch, I was definitely having her in mind. Plus ... she is NOT allergic to mohair! So, naturally, the shawl is now in the new home.

I think I have every good reason to start a new lace project.


I have set my mind on Ene's Scarf for a long time because I like the clusters of the main pattern. The yarn is Handpaintedyarn.com's Merino Lace. I used their wool lace before and like it, but I have to say the merino lace is definitely the better choice ... it is a lot softer. The colour of the yarn in skein or cake is not really that appealling ... kind of earthy yellow. But I like it a lot better when knitted. I am up to first repeat of Chart 3 ... 4 more to go and then Chart 4 ... and the scarf would be done ... yay!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Titania's Revenge ... or the rediscovery of the heel flaps

Okay, before I talk about the new FO, I just want to tell you that I finally got a tripod for my camera. But since it is quite impossible to take picture of my camera on the tripod, I think I'll just link you to the tripod's page. Isn't it a cute one? With it, I can have more fun taking pictures:
No more need to flip the pictures ... WOO HOO!


Details:
Pattern: Titania's Revenge designed by Cookie A. for Rocking Sock Club
Another fun sock pattern by Cookie. I believe she is on her way of becoming another sock queen! Titania's Revenge has a special pattern structure on the foot ... the lace pattern is gradually receding, giving way to the faux cable pattern. My first concern was whether I could change the heel flap into short row heel ... and no, I couldn't. So, I had to knit the heel flap again. I used to dread the picking up of stitches along the flap sides. But I have to admit that I am feeling a lot better in doing that now ... and socks with heel flaps are comfortable in their own ways. :)

Yarn: Sock That Rock (light weight) by Blue Moon Fibre Art Colour: Titania
Have I told you I love this colourway? ;)

Needles and Gauge: Casting on 72 stithes using CP bamboo dpns US1.5

1st Start date: 10-05-2006
2nd Start date: 10-29-2006
Finish date: 11-03-2006

I have been knitting quite some socks for myself, so I think it is time for a little something for Husband. New sock projects come:
One for him ... and another for me again! hahaha ...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Socktoberfest 2006 Roundup

Since quite a lot of Socktoberfesters have been doing roundup, I think perhaps I should too ... though there isn't really too much to round up! :) But before that, let's have a look at my Halloween bucket:
As it turned out, only 1 pair of little brothers came knocking on the door. So I still have a full bucketful of candies. But that's a lot better than lots of kids come knocking when I only have cough-drops in the house (which DID happen to me!)! And this is why I always make sure the candies I buy are ones that I love to eat. ;)

Now, the Socktoberfest round-up. This is my pathetic achievement:
Just a sneak peek ... since I could only finish one sock. But I really like the rich colourway.