Sunday, September 30, 2007

Muir is growing

I can't believe that it's the last day of September already! Originally, the weather forecast predicted there would be the possibility of rain today ... a sign of winter coming! But it turned out it was a gorgeous day. So, we took advantage of it and spent some time in the swimming pool. But I know, autumn is certainly knocking on the door ... there have been other colours popping up in the trees. Autumn is a beautiful season ... but I certainly love summer more.

Yet, good thing about the cooler season is great motivation to knit! Since I had my sewing station set up, I certainly spent much more time browsing sewing books and thinking of what I should make. But I am still knitting. Proof:The pattern has come out and isn't it lovely? Even in its unblocked state, the lace pattern is obvious to the eyes. I don't think I would ever be able to memorize the pattern, but it does get easier with the more pattern repeats I've done.

My report card on socks is zero for September! I did start the Maizy Socks for Husband, but I has just turned the heel for the first one. So, zero for socks! :D

But then, I was very excited about finishing another sewing project. I love making things that I would use and wear. I've bookmarked this project for quite some time since I have needed a holder for my crochet hooks, which were kept in a tampon vanity zipper bag (hahaha ... ). Now they are neatly organized:

I love to have the holder narrower when folded.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Finally got my corner!

Knitting can be a very mobile craft. Basically, I can knit at any corner of the apartment, carrying my yarn, needles and project around. But sewing is different. When I told my mom I got a sewing machine, the first thing she asked was, "Where are you going to put it?" I didn't have a place to put it then, just tucked away somewhere on the carpet ... and my mother predicted that I was not going to use it in that case.

Moms are always right. Before she retired (as a seamstress), the sewing machine was a constant piece of furniture in the house, like a sofa or tv. So, I know if I want to get somewhere with my sewing, I need to find a place.

I live in a spacious one-bedroom apartment. Spacious, but one bedroom. So, a crafting room is out of the question ... besides, I am not too eager to have anything more than a one-bedroom apartment, you know, all those cleaning and vacuuming. Maybe not a whole room for crafting ... but how about a corner? YES!We have been using this table to put our clothes. It's definitely a waste ... as you can see, this corner has a great view of the patio plants and good supply of daylight. So, I cleared out the pile of clothes (mmm ... where did I put them?) and got a trolley cart for the crafting supplies:This way, I can have a table surface as working area. What do you think? I love it!

You know what? The machine was immediately put into use! Did you read Grumperina's true story? I have my own problem with dpns. My needle holder is one without a flap. If I am not being careful (which means lots of the time!), the needles would just start slipping out ... scattering everywhere. So, I made these:They are just so easy to make! No more wandering dpns around the apartment. :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

My First Quilt!

That's right ... and all hand-stitched! I worked all day Saturday to finish it and am feeling damn proud of myself. It was immediately put into use, despite Husband's insistence that it was too pretty to be used (one of the zillion reasons I love him ... hehehe ... always manages to make me feel I am good at anything!):Yeah, one day's work would give you a quilt of a coaster's size! :) If I machine quilted it, it would go faster, I suppose. But I did enjoy the process of hand-stitching all the way. Starting with this small project from this translated version of a Japanese craft book, I learned the very basics of patchwork and quilting. It was pretty easy with detailed photos guiding me through the process. As you already know I have a special love for sampler afghan, so it should be no surprising that I would naturally be drawn to patchwork quilting.

As a first quilt project, I think I did a pretty decent job:

The fabrics were randomly picked fat quarters I got quite a while ago from Joanne's. The combination of the colours may not be very good ... but the fact that it is a very usable household item is pleasing. I am planning to make more ... as they don't use much fabrics and they are good exercises.

Talking about exercise, I even made my first ever bias tape:The idea of making bias tape has always been hauntingly complicated to me. But following the instructions of the book, I found that it was not that difficult. I even succeeded in matching the pattern!

Friday, September 21, 2007

How far can 350 yards go?

As promised, I have some progress and new project to show you. :) Always love the feeling of starting something new!

First of all, I seem to have more success with small hook than large ones! My Ring Around the Posy Coverlet is progressing slowly but steadily. How far can 350 yards of size 10 crochet thread go?7 motifs. Does this qualify for Friday Eye Candy? The more motifs I made and put together, the more I found them beautiful. I am able to remember most of the pattern already ... still at least 123 more to go!

New project! How do you like the latest Knitty? I don't have much impression of all the other patterns because my eyes were fixated on Muir - it's mohair; it's a large stole; it's lace! What's not to love?
See those lovely stitch markers?
Gifts from Tuulia!


I bought the yarn first intended for Aimee from Vintage Knits ... but on second thought, having a holey mohair pullover isn't really a very good idea! So, this lovely mohair from Artfibers is going to be Muir.

The pattern of Muir is not exactly an easy one. Whenever there is high concentration of YOs, I would need extra focus in order not to make mistake. That's why I could only go through half a pattern repeat so far. But really, I can't wait to have this stole done!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My Mystery Stole 3

As I've told you, I finished MS3 before my Mother-in-law arrived. When it was being blocked on the carpet, Husband commented on its strange shape. During our visit to the Filoli Mansion & Garden, I showed him how to wear it. He was amazed and thought that the "strange" shape now made sense.

It's true ... you have to wear MS3 to know that the seeming awkward wing section actually makes a beautiful wear. I use my Romi shawl pin, which goes very well with the red heather colourway:After making the Sampler Stole, I knew that I much prefer rectangular stole to triangular shawl. You can say that MS3 is a combination of the 2 shapes but tends to be a stole more than a shawl ... and I like that.


I should probably wear something more elegant ...
but just didn't have the energy today!



Details:
Pattern: Mystery Stole #3 designed by Melanie Gibson
I had great fun doing this mystery knitalong and am especially happy that I could finish the project. The theme of this stole is Swan Lake and the wing section is a unique design feature. The middle cat paw lace section was a bit boring ... however, I think this section is the most beautiful and love it!

Yarn: KnitPicks Shadow (100% Merino Wool) Colour: Sunset Heather 2 skeins
I have to thank Rebekah again for these 2 skeins of lace yarns. The colourway is very beautiful ... and I suppose you all know about this KnitPicks lace weight yarn ... very good quality for the price.
The beads I used are Mill Hill 8/0 Pony Beads I got from Stitches West this year, but I lost the package and couldn't remember the colour.

Needle: Addi Lace Circular US4

Cast On: 07-03-2007
Cast Off: 09-05-2007

Lovely summer is coming to its end ... and for this summer, I haven't made a sweater! Not that I don't want to ... actually I had plans ... just that I only have so much time! Not to mention all these mystery knitalongs that keep popping up! Ooops, I have just joined another one! LOL!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hi! I'll be back!

Mother-in-law is on her way back home. But there would be lots of vacuuming and laundry to do. Besides, I have FO as well as new project to show you. However, before doing any of those, I have to head over to my pal Debi's blog to wish her a happy birthday. See you all later.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wisp

Mother-in-law is in town, so blogging (both posting and reading) would be sporadic. But I do have time to knit. Wisp was finished just before she arrived. All the gifts were presented to her and she could guess correctly which one was intended for whom. :D That is good ... the gifts would be loved.

I have also finished MS3 ... YAY! It is now lying on the carpet ... being blocked. Husband thought the shape was unusual ... which is true. I'll see if I can find the time to post on it this week.



Details:
Pattern: Wisp designed by Cheryl Niamath from Knitty Summer 2007
Super simple pattern which gives beautiful result. I like having the stocking stitch rows in between because they kind of break up the monotony of the fish net pattern. The very good thing is ... it really doesn't matter even if you lose count! You can always say that's intended irregularity. :D I am not going to add buttons since I think this would primarily be used as a scarf.

Yarn: Feza Kid Mohair (85% Mohair, 8% Nylon, 7% Polyster) Col:201 Shades of Pink
I wonder if anyone starts questioning whether I got all the colours of this yarn! Hahaha ... no, I just got one more colour in my stash. But as you can see ... the colourway is so beautiful ... AND it's MOHAIR!

Needles: Denise US9

Measurements: 13.5" x 53"

Cast On: 09-05-2007
Cast Off: 09-09-2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

Distraction

The past week has been a draining one here ... ever since we had our first encounter on Friday night (the first ever to both me and Husband) with a black widow spider in our patio, and a second one on Labour Day morning, we have been feeling unsettled by the idea of seeing more. We have been extra careful in checking every corner of the apartment and every possible place a spider can hide, including slippers lying idle for more than 1 minute. Today, the pest control man finally came and spray the patio. ::whew::

With black widow spiders distracting my attention, I didn't have too much knitting or crocheting done. But I did get started on another gift knitting:Wisp is a super easy project ... perfect for gift because it is beautiful too. I am about halfway done ... hopefully, it would be finished by the time my mother-in-law comes next week.

Despite the spider-scare, there is promising news from my garden. I think there would be more moonflowers coming soon:The flowers would only last several hours. I wish there would be blooming when my mother-in-law is here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Crochet Resilience

Failing in big hook doesn't stop me from picking up the hook again. The small steel hook helps me to bounce back. I ran into this lovely Coats and Clark booklet in Michael's. Since I have all the supplies I need for the Ring Around the Posy Coverlet, I started right away:Just after making one motif, I know I am in love with this. I did make some mistakes with the first one but since they are not too visibly obvious, I let them be. I figure once I get familiar with the pattern, the time to make one motif would be even faster. But no matter how fast I get, it would take a long time to make this coverlet as I need to make 130 motifs! :D Since I threw away the package plastic without checking, I don't know what exact colour the crochet thread was. So, if I am not able to find the matching colour, I would make one in mixed blue and white.

Progress has also been made on the MS3. I am now halfway into Clue#6. But instead of showing you the unfinished stole, I think it would be more interesting to share with you what happened in my garden yesterday:In the morning, it was still a long flower bud. Then when I looked casually from the coach around 5 in the afternoon, I was shocked to find this dramatic blooming. It was my first time seeing a moonflower blooming, so you can imagine lots of "OMG"s!