Saturday, February 28, 2009

09:03 Dublin Bay Socks

It is Stitches West weekend here. But I don't feel like going. So, I am staying home and playing with the Palette swatch and the keyboard instead.

The socks were finished just in time to reach my February goal. I am in a green mood lately. The Cherry Tree Hill Supersock greens/blues colourway is absolutely beautiful:
It reminds me of the Regia Canadian Socks, which I love wearing. The Dublin Bay pattern is really simple ... just a bit of lace added to the plain socks. Definitely one of the best patterns to go with this kind of colourway.

Details:
Pattern: Dublin Bay Socks (Ravel it!)
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (100% Superwash merino) in Greens/Blues
Needles: Crystal Palace bamboo dpns 2.25mm (leg); Knit Picks dpns 2.00 mm (heel & foot)
Cast On: Forgotten!
Cast Off: 02-27-2009

Also, one more GAA square done:
Man! I felt so accomplished in February!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Swatch #1

Hello. You still come here? Thank you! I'm just busy with the usual business of life here ... and am feeling great. How about you?

The weather has been great here. By "great", I mean it is getting back to the normal seasonal weather ... there have been alternate periods of rainy and sunny days, which is great because this way, harmful damages may be minimized. Yet, it seems mandatory water rationing in the coming summer would still be necessary. I am still not sure how this would affect my daily life since I don't know how water rationing works here. Luckily I am not too interested in dyeing my own yarns yet.

This year, I am determined to do more on my part to help honey bees. First in mind is to grow as many flowers they like in my little patio as I can. I hope you can help too ... go and read more. I am going to.

The Swatch #1 in the title is this:
How do you like the colour combination? I finished and blocked it last night and thought it was okay. I like the greens ... but not sure about the yellows and the green in the very centre. It is a good thing my gauge was not right ... so I get to make another swatch and play a bit more with the colours.

The Knit Picks Palette is soooo soft! Love it so far.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Progressing

Since I have set goals for February, I am making progress gradually. I feel pretty good about accomplishing all the goals except the fair isle swatch.

Right now, I am trying to figure out how to make this chain with one 40" i-cord:
Actually, I have a good idea how to make it ... just that I didn't expect to have to run the i-cord from the right side into the wrong side and back up again. The unexpected makes me pause and hesitate. Any alternative idea?

More Eye Candy for Friday:
Malabrigo Sock Yarns in Eggplant and Chocolate Amargo. I just caved in to a 20% off sale ... now I'm telling myself these are for my being good with the exercise regiment for 4 weeks! LOL!

Wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I am not a born pack leader

Recently my most favourite tv reruns are Dog Whisperer. I never had a dog before but Husband did. If conditions permit, we would like to have a dog and a cat. But after watching several episodes of the show, I start to have a certain idea that, without guidance, what kind of dog owner I would be ... the kind who would have my dog controlling me! LOL! Really, this show is very educational. Now I know some basic principles of establishing relationship with a dog. And if we really are to have a dog, first thing I do is to seek out local dog-training class.

My exercise routine is still being maintained. My next goal is to add some weight/resistance training. I am researching on the internet to work out my own circuit-training routine to be done in the gym I go. The first and foremost principle is still to keep things simple so that the motivation can be kept high.

Knitting-wise, I spent the Presidents' Day long weekend working on the Unst Lace Stole:
All 10 repeats for the center of the stole are done! The problem of putting down the project and picking it up again after a period of time is that I am more prone to making mistakes. So after finishing the 8th repeat, I decided to keep going. Honestly, I felt quite a relief to have this part done. Next would be the borders on the two ends ... but that would be the goal for March.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Eye Candy Friday

Since I still have nothing to show, why not? These are from the Spring 2009 issue of Marie-Clarie Idees.







I have a feeling that "owl" is going to be big in 2009.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Busy ... but not much to show

Last year, except the summer months when we could dip into the swimming pool, I pretty much gave up exercising. I did pick up a few pounds along the way, but that is not really the problem. What is then? I've been feeling guilty because I know I should exercise. So, I decide to really really drag myself away from the couch and tv set. To make sure I won't stop after, say just one week, I keep everything simple this time ... 30 minutes on the treadmill every time I go.

During the first week, I managed to go 3 times and basically could only walk at a snail (comparatively) speed. Last week (the 3rd week), I was able to go 4 times ... and I could slow jog (that is, at other people's walking speed) for 9 minutes during the 30-minute workout. I read somewhere that alternating the walking and the jogging would be much more beneficial. Actually, it is more satisfying too ... the jogging becomes more do-able to me and I could feel I accomplished more. Yesterday, I finished 7 laps in 30 minutes ... felt pretty good!

I started working on the colour combination of Autumn Rose. Googled a little on the web and found an interesting little tool that would be great help in colour work. It is called JDraw. The problem is it only runs on Windows. Besides, the number of grids seems to be fixed ... at least I couldn't find out how to add. So at the end, I had to return to Gimp. It's not as ready to use as JDraw, but that is not really the problem. My colour sense is. ;) A lot of work has to be done before I can get down to the actual swatch.

So, for the time being, I only have half a sock to show:
Isn't the colourway gorgeous? This was the last of Debi's gifts, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock. I first used it with Saxony Socks from A Fine Fleece. The cables would be alright, but the moss stitch and the colourway just won't get together well. So, after 3 rows into the pattern, I decided to switch. Dublin Bay is perfect. For Saxony, I think the solid Kroy in my stash would be great.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

GAA - Celeste Pinheiro Square

Forgot to post this last time. This square doesn't count as this month's goal as it was finished in January:
This is one of my favourites. The use of stitches really hit the right chord in the symbolism. However, I am still not good at embellishing ... as proved by the poor crab's legs and claws!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

February Goals

Wow! Thank you all very much for the nice comments on my Tangled Yoke Cardigan. My comment section hasn't been this crowded and spirited for a long time ... LOL! As a long time Blogger user, I am still in the process of changing the habit of not responding to comments. Halo Scan allows me to do that, but if I am short of time when I receive the comments, I am usually not able to reply ... and then eventually forget to. I am really sorry about that ... changing a habit takes time. :)

I am still in the typical chaotic period after finishing a major project ... you know, pulling all the books out, yarns and half-done swatches here and there, needles of various sizes spreading around while nothing seems to get done! Things do seem to clear out gradually. I did swatches on a new cardigan (Espresso ... love the name!) Most probably I will have it started this month.

Also, remember my plan to make the Palette Fair Isle Cardigan in 2009? Well, there will be a change of plan. After working on Tangle Yoke Cardigan, I am inevitably impressed by Eunny's pattern. Honestly, Autumn Rose Pullover would be a much more beautiful project, so I have been doing some work on choosing the colours:
Those would be my home-made Palette colour-cards. They are actually very easy to make (some punching and cutting) and a great help in the colour choosing process. I would like the main colour of my pullover to be green. A swatch will be done to see if the colours work well together.

One thing that impressed me deeply in 2008 is Dawn's monthly goal-setting. It seems that the practice helps her to achieve quite a lot. So, I am trying to do the same. It's already one week into February, which is a shorter month, so I am trying to be realistic in my February goals:

  • 1 pair of socks (just cast on but the yarn may not work out with the pattern, so may have to start over again!)
  • 1 square for GAA
  • make at least 3 repeats for the Unst Stole (I already have 5 done, so the goal would be to have a total of 8 complete, leaving 2 remaining for March)
  • make a swatch for Autumn Rose Pullover
  • work on the TKGA Basics, Basics, Basics Lesson 1 (there are 5 swatches plus questions for each to be submitted)

Monday, February 02, 2009

09:02 Tangled Yoke Cardigan

Last week, I have been busy. On Thursday, I took a private sewing lesson. The whole purpose of this lesson was to figure what was wrong with my machine. You see, I have been having similar problems like this:
Sometimes, the mess was even messier than this. I tried every movable part of the machine to no avail. It turned out when I bought some extra thread bobbins, I got the wrong type which were smaller in height. But of course, I took advantage of the lesson and asked the teacher lots of questions about sewing. I was happy that the problem that's been bugging me was finally solved.

Then on Friday, I got sucked into this fake death rumour that exploded over the weekend on Rivalry and Knitty Board. I was just reading the forum posts and development as a bystander since I didn't even know this person before her death; but I did feel sympathy for her family when I learned about her disease and death. If the rumour turned out to be true, it would be horrible ... for almost everybody involved!

And of course, I was busy finishing my first sweater of 2009 ... Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I.LOVE.IT...VERY.MUCH! Honestly, I may not be always overtly impressed by the IK under Eunny's leadership, but I do think this pattern is impeccable. It is almost flawless (there is a minor mistake in the number of stitches somewhere, I think) and the shape and fit are extremely flattering:
I just have a very good feeling wearing the cardigan. The sizing may need some adjusting. I wanted a more standard fit, somewhere between the 34" and 38" bust. If you have the same problem with the sizing, patient and generous swatching is a must. The size of my cardigan turns out to be exactly what I wanted (a great reason for anther round of happy dance):
My first yoke sweater ... and I am really impressed! The fit of the cardigan is very comfortable ... and the intricate cabling pattern running along the yoke makes the cardigan so very elegant:

However, one thing caught me by surprise -- the yarn. The Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool is very lovely in its own tweedy rugged way and the colour is gorgeous. I didn't remember reading anywhere knitters mentioning that it is scratchy! But it is ... seriously! Maybe it is just me. Last night when I tried it on, I discovered that no way can I wear this cardigan next to the skin! Too bad ... I would have second thought using this yarn again. :(


Details:
Pattern: Tangled Yoke Cardigan designed by Eunny Jang from IK Fall 2007
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (45% wool, 35% silk, 20% Nylon) Colour: Cornflower 7 skeins
Needles: Addi Circular 3.5mm and Addi Lace Circular 3.25mm (for button and buttonhole bands)
Cast On: 01-13-2009
Cast Off: 02-01-2009