Wednesday, April 29, 2009

09:06 Milo Socks

At the time of writing, WHO has already raised the alert to Level 5. Two schools here in the Bay Area are to be shut down for a week because of students suspected of suffering from the Swine Flu. It does seem the situation is going to worsen ... to what extent I don't know. But it doesn't hurt to be careful. When the news first broke, I already called my mom and asked her about preventive measures during SARS. In times of advice, always turn to mom! :)

Anyway, I hope you all exercise common sense and stay healthy.

And of course, I finished my socks for this month. I chose Milo because of its name. The first thing that came to mind when I saw the name "Mile" is a cat ... Jessie's cat. I watched this cat grow up (by reading Jessie's blog, of course) ever since he was a baby ... One good thing about adopting others' cats on the internet is that you get to enjoy all their loveliness without suffering their evilness. :) So, once I saw the Milo pattern, I decided to make it if I could find the yarn to match it in my stash. I found Panda Silk:
I'm wondering ... what colour did you see? Blue? Grey? I felt confused too when knitting ... most of the time I saw grey. But despite the colour, I love the feel of this yarn while knitting. Silky soft and smooth. 52% bamboo makes it a bit splitty. That was expected ... but really, not so serious as can be called a problem.

Milo is a lovely pattern. What I love most is the XOXO running along the heel:
Actually, the front pattern is XOXO too ... just in a larger scale:
Can you see the sheen in the photo? It is lovely, isn't it? I am hoping Panda Silk would be another choice of summer sock yarn for me after TOFUtsies. Though there is 43% of merino wool, the yarn is of true fingering weight and feels cool on the hand. However it still has to be tested in the real warm weather and in the washer. Will keep you posted.
Details:
Pattern: Milo by Cookie A from Sock Innovation (Love this book ... love this book ... )
Yarn: Crystal Palace Panda Silk (52% bamboo; 43% Machine washable Merino wool; 5% combed silk) in Colour Pearl Blue
Needles: Crystal Palace bamboo dpns 2.0mm
Cast On: 04-01-2009
Cast Off: 04-27-2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hibernating

I've been hibernating from the blog this last week ... not from knitting though. I'll be back next week.

Oh, and I just got my first star in my President's Challenge! YAY!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Almost a half circle

Almost but not yet:
This project would really need serious blocking. As you know usually with circular knitting, the center of the circle would pop out naturally:
I don't want to walk around wearing this looking like upright standing tortoise.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Random Wednesday

I am currently working on 3 projects - the Botanica Medallion Cardigan, the Milo Socks, and the Unst Lace Stole. I love working on the lace stole during the weekends when I can have a longer stretch of uninterrupted time to focus on the complicated lace. And usually this would allow me to have good progress. For the BM Cardigan, I am now at about 20° of the circular outer band ... quite a long way to go. In a word, knitting-wise, there is nothing visually new to show you. :)

I am very happy to report that I've been doing very well in my exercising goal. This week, I started trying to step on the treadmill every day for 30 minutes. I also explored the different programmes of the treadmill. I like the Alpine Pass the most ... the elevation makes the workout more intense, which is great. I also bought new items for my own home gym:
The lightest dumbbells in the gym are 10 lbs ... way too heavy for me. The 3 lbs ones I have are too light for some exercises.

I used to read my paperback when walking on the treadmill. But when I am on the jogging speed, reading is not possible. Now, I turn the tv to Food Network channel and watch it during the whole 30 minutes. I don't know how watching people cook while exercising would affect the effectivenss of the workout, but at least I picked up some recipes I'd like to try. This morning I made the celery root bisque and substituted the sauteed lobster with mixed seafoods ... yummy!

Besides exercising, I also changed a long-time bad habit. Besides coffee, I am having cereals/museli and fresh fruits (usually banana) for breakfast; or sometimes I would have whole-grain toast and yoghurt. This is really great because it really helps to curb some of my guilty pleasures, such as ice-cream, candies and Thomas Kemper Black Cherry Soda.

I made a smart investment a few weeks ago:
This is a Progressive Herb Keeper. It really works. The thymes and rosemary inside are at least 3 weeks old ... but they are still fresh and green. I am thinking of getting a second one for parsley.

I have never been a follower of Fashion, never dye my hair and haven't used make-up for years, but still find this article inspiring. Jenny Joseph's Warning has been one of my favourite poems a long long time ago. And I did wear purple sometimes ... :D

Friday, April 10, 2009

Still waiting for VK

... to get back to me. But I am pretty sure I had figured out the errors in the Botanica Medallion Cardigan pattern correctly. In case you want to make it too, maybe these would save you some time:

Botanica Medallion
Row 2 [K, yo, k] in the next stitch 6 times -- 18 sts.

Row 10 [K1, ssk, p1, yo, k1, yo, p1, k2tog, k1] 6 times.

Outer Band
Row 3 K2, [sl 1 wyif, k1] 5 times, k2, p6, k26, ...

Row 4 K18(24), *[k1, yo, k1] in next st, k3tog; rep from * 5 times more, p2, k2, 4-st LC, p2, k12.

The outer band is absolutely gorgeous:
Especially the outermost the Indian Cross Stitch:
But this is going to take long ...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The search for the best summer sock yarns

Well, at least that was the planned post title yesterday ... before I was sucked into the beautiful cover project of the latest VK (they finally put the preview up!):
Knowing my track record of making garments like these, I suppose you won't be too surprised. But you must admit ... this is gorgeous!

However, before everyone gets too excited, just remember this is a VK pattern. ;) First error appears in Row 2! But wait ... there are more. Myra has already ranted about that here. I immediately emailed to VK asking to clarify the errors, and specifically stated that I wanted to work on the project ASAP, so I hoped they would get back to me soon. I'm still waiting. Luckily it's not that complicated and I actually sorted them out myself.

The center medallion is super fast:
However, I may need to redo the bind off using a larger needle.

So, the search for the best summer sock yarns will have to wait! LOL!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

How did I do in March?

It's the beginning of a month again ... the time to examine my goals in March.

Knitting:
  • 1 pair of socks (for the moment I have chosen to make Cat Bordhi's Spring Thaw Socks) DONE
  • 2 GAA squares (I started the first one already) HALF-DONE (I could only manage to make one)
  • at least one border for the Unst Lace Stole DONE
  • 2 baby knits (Hooded Carrying Bag & Changing Mat Bag) for a friend HALF-DONE (but I finally decided that the Changing Mat Bag was not really a good idea)
  • cast on Autumn Rose Pullover FAILED (I think putting this to September would be better, since once started, I need to finish it ASAP ... the weather is just not right for any wool project now)
  • swatch for Seamless Hybrid FAILED (since this is also going be a wool project, so it would also be moved to a later time)
  • get the written part of lesson 1 done and have it mailed DONE
Sewing:
  • 2 Crazy Quilt Bookcovers (promised to make for 2 friends ages ago ... it's time to work on them!) COMPLETELY FAILED!
Non-Crafting related:
  • Get the taxes done! (this is always a headache!) DONE
Though I completely failed in my sweater goals, I still feel good because I know that the March goals were a bit aggressive. But I did feel bad about my sewing goal. So, I have decided to hide all my knitting stuff away tomorrow so that I would free myself for the sewing! LOL! Seriously!

For April, I'll keep things simple.

Knitting:
  • 1 pair of socks (Cookie A's Milo from her new book)
  • finish the Unst Lace Stole (this means the second border plus the edging)
  • 1 GAA square (I am getting really close to finishing all the squares ... have to pace up)
  • cast on for one summer garment project (I'm still looking around ... but the 17th century Undershirt from Piecework March/April 2009 is strangely attractive to me)
  • I expect to receive my work on Lesson 1 plus materials for Lesson 2 from the instructor soon. This time, I would like to work faster on Lesson 2.
Sewing:
  • the same as for March ... and I will start working on that tomorrow
Exercising:
  • I hope to increase the days for exercising from 3 to 4 a week