Sunday, May 29, 2005

My MIL is coming

My MIL would be arriving from France tomorrow to stay for a week. Therefore, I spent quite some time this weekend cleaning the apartment. If you want to know how seriously I love doing housework, check my profile. I hope she is not allergic to dust ... but I have tried my best! hahaha ...

Last time she came, I made her a scarf. My mom asked me why I didn't made a pair of socks for my MIL. Well, I don't know her size! I just know she is a petite woman ... but socks have to fit well. I have been thinking of making a catnip toy for her cat. Yesterday, I tried the pattern in S&B Nation and a pattern I found on the internet. I used some Caron acrylic yarn for the try out ... and discovered that it was indeed not easy. I already knew this from my experience of making the Itty Bitty Bears. This made me appreciate Martha's works even more. She has a large collection of knitted toys and animals ... all beautifully made. Well, I'll try again ... hopefully I would be successful.

Siow Chin said she had no clue who Katie Holmes was. Well, I honestly don't know too much more than she does. I just know that she is an actress on some tv series and just starting to make it into the big screen with a Batman movie, I think. I just think she is a poor girl ... being with such a lunatic! I am sure there are better choices out there for a publicity stunt.

I am not sure how much time I would have for knitting and blogging next week. Hopefully, I can sneak some time for reading your blogs! ;)

Friday, May 27, 2005

A Quickie Post

We were supposed to be heading towards the bar ... but Husband and his friend are playing Gran Turismo 4 on the PS2 now. So I use this time to post a quick one.
Not having posted for almost a week ... Husband is on vacation, so either we were out driving around, or he used the laptop for his daily reading on the net. Therefore I had much more time working on faye. I am approaching the shoulder shaping on the back. Not much picture-worthy progress ...

Have you read or heard about the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes affair lately? I didn't watch Ophrah interviewing him in her show, but I did get a good scare watching this photoblog of the show. I apologise in advance if it scares you too!

Have a wonderful time this Memorial Day long weekend everyone!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Believe it or not

... there are really people who like Cleaves (one of the twin sisters!) so much that they actually knit up one. It is just a matter of personal preference.

After working on Rowan KidSilk Haze, I find that I love the feeling of mohair. I am indeed very lucky that I have no allergic reaction to mohair. Last week, I bought 2 skeins of Karabella Lace Mohair in charcoal. They are not as hazy as KSH ... but feel really soft. Despite the scorching sun outside the last weekend, I took the needle and swatched with them! Actually, I plan to start making Jewelled Shell after I finish faye ... would it be too crazy? Knitting a mohair shell under 80F+ (I speculate that when I finish faye, the weather would be even warmer!)? I just love the soft feeling and can't stop touching them!

An update on my mom's socks: she received the socks just the day before Mother's Day. Since we share the same size, they fit her well. When I told her I learned to knit socks some time ago, she thought I was doing them in a tube shape, without any heels. Therefore, the socks were a nice surprise to her. When I told my dad I planned to knit him a pair too, but may not be able to make it for Father's Day, he told me not to bother ... since handknitted socks are too thick for him. He said he would have to buy a new pair of shoes to wear my socks! Therefore, I plan to make a pair of gloves or mittens for his birthday, which is in October. This allows me more time for my summer knitting! Thanks Dad!

Working on "faye"

First of all, just want to tell you that both Kathy and nona have new FOs out which are of their own designs!!!! These knitters rock! What would the world be without these creative people around? ;)

For me, I am happy being an ordinary person who just love to admire creative designers' work and choose among them to knit for myself! Last week, I mainly played around with the yarns I have to see what I should start. I went back to my to-do list and examined this pattern more closely. I bought some Endless Summer Collection Lara for this and the gauge is about right. However, I felt lucky that I behaved this time and swatched on the fancy pattern ... tell me what you think of this:

... work one fancy st to the right as foll: insert crochet hook under horizontal bar before the K1tbl 2 rows below, yrh, draw up a long lp, yrh, insert hook in same place, yrh and draw up a lp, yrh and pull through 3 lps on hook, place lp on RH needle ...

Lara is like Rowan's 4-ply cotton ... but it splits! Can you imagine working the fancy stitch pattern with a splitty yarn, say, every 5 stitches? So, I quickly decided this pattern was not for me ... at least not now. I need something simple. So, I went back to the patterns I have chosen in the past and decided on faye. I got my pattern from A Treasury of Rowan Knits. Over the weekend, I've worked this much:

There are enough details to keep me interested ... the seed stitch panels, the side seams and darts shaping ... This is my first time working on a Kim Hargreaves design. So far, I think it is pretty well-written. But if you look at the seed stitch panels, there is one thing I am not particularly happy with - the holes from the M2 increases. I need to check if there is any other ways to avoid this.

Last, but definitely not the least, I want to tell you that I was just overwhelmed with your comments on the Cabled Vest. Thank you so very much! The weather has been gorgeous over the weekend here and I wore it to the mountains ... with pride! hahaha ... this is such a lovely feeling!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Blogger has eaten up my blog!

This is actually a test post to see if I can reach my blog at all! The weirdest thing is I can still post and reach the blog through the new post. However, if I just use the bookmark or type the address, I can see nothing! C'est bizarre!

After finishing the Cabled Vest, I have been swatching for future projects and also working on the existing WIPs. Hopefully, I would start Nothing But A T-shirt in these 2 days. I have 10 balls of Cascade Bulky Fixation in my stash. They came together with a pattern ... but the gauge suggested didn't seem right to me. It is a heavily cabled pattern, so I don't think I am going to try doing somehting like adjusting the pattern to my gauge ... too complicated. The gauge I like seems to fit Nothing But A T-shirt. Perfect!

UPDATE: This update is really fast! About 2 minutes I published this post, the blog was back to normal. Maybe I should have post earlier ... like when I discovered the problem last night.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Cabled Vest Finished

First and foremost, some pictures:

While taking the pictures, I suddenly felt naughty and imitated Becky's rabbit dance. I just had to move a bit because today's weather is certainly not good for wearing a cotton sleeveless tank ... it's windy and rainy and I was just freezing!

Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa Mirto Col: 11 Icy Blue
I got the yarns from Elann originally for another project ... which didn't quite work out for me. This is my first cotton project and I think I've come to understand this fiber a little bit more. Most cotton yarns split like hell ... but Diana said that Rowan 4-ply cotton doesn't split at all. I've worked with Cotton Glace and it doesn't split either. Maybe Rowan has a secret with their cotton! Also, it was a bit disheartening to find that the pieces felt so floppy after being soaked through in water. I actually wondered if I was going to wear that! However, after being dried flat, the texture of the pieces improved a lot ... even better than when they were just knitted. So, patience is a must with cotton.

Gauge and size: The gauge in the originally pattern is 24 stitches + 30 rows = 4". My gague is 26 stitches ... forgot the row gauge. So, I chose to knit the 39" bust size and the acutal sewn up bust measures 35". (Kathy was right, you have to disclose your measurements sooner or later if you keep a knitting blog!)

The Pattern: It was from VK Spring/Summer 2005 Pattern 14. I just discovered that the designer was Kathy Zimmermann ... is she related to Elizabeth Zimmermann? The pattern is basically very straightforward and easy to follow. There is a chart for the cable pattern. Given the bad reputation of VK in pattern correctness, I was lucky that there is only one minor mistake in the chart (the cable twist in Row 12 should belong to Row 11) and common sense can help.
Since the neck felt a little bit tight already before the neckband, I used the larger needle for the neckband and the smaller needle to bind off. I would like the armholes to be tighter, so I used the smaller needle to knit the armhole bands. It took me quite some time to figure out the even distribution of stitches to pick up around the neck and armholes.

I am so happy that this project is finally done. During the process, I learned a lot ... combined knitting, short row shoulder shaping, cabling without needle (BTW, I still have to look for my cable needle!) ... and the FO fits! The weather forecast says that Friday would be a sunny day ... it would be my Cabled Vest's debut day too!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Twin sisters?

This has been bugging me ever since I browsed through the pages of Loop-d-Loop in B&N. I just want to know if it is just me, or there are others out there sharing the same feeling? Don't you think these 2 designs are like twin sisters?

Maybe it is just me.

Working out and Reading ... again!

Yesterday, I finally moved my not-so-fat-yet ass to the gym again after an almost-half-a-year break. What really pushed me into action again was our Sunday night dinner at California Pizza Kitchen ... I ate so much that I felt like throwing up the rest of the night! BTW, if you haven't tried CPK, I highly recommend you give it a try ... especially their Roasted Potato & Grilled Chicken Pizza and Chocolate Souffle Cake.

When I was at the gym, I had the slight suspicion that the staff there knew in advance I would come back that day ... and so they adjusted the scale! I expected to have put on several pounds, mainly because of the (lack of) exercising and decadent feasting that have been going on. But I was actually lighter than I weighed myself last time I was there! Mysterious ... mysterious ...

Writing up the book meme also made me aware of the fact that I haven't read a book (not a knitting book) for a long time. This suddenly made me miss reading one. I decided to try audio books. So, I went to the library and checked out Anita Shreve's The Pilot's Wife. If the idea of audio books works for me, I don't have to sacrifice reading for knitting.

Yesterday, I also received my package from KnitPicks. I couldn't wait to start reading a little bit of Knitting Workshop. I love the preface by Barbara G. Walker and this summarizes the reason I love EZ's knitting books:

Her written instructions combine two qualities all too seldom met together: they teach, and they amuse, both at once.

Very often, I would find knitting instructions hard to read if they are of skills that I don't immediately need. It just feels as interesting as reading a computer software's user manual to me. However, with EZ's books, the author's sense of humor helps me go through the instructions with pleasure, even though I may not be able to understand everything at once.

Today is a BIG day ... today is Cabled Vest seaming day. So for now, I can only offer you a photo of Mystery Kit #4 from Inspirations Yarn ... which I don't know when I would start!

Monday, May 16, 2005

They are doing it for charities

Thank you all very much for the advice. While writing this, the Cabled Vest is actually 90% dry and I think tomorrow I can start the seaming.

Two knitters are working for separate charities. In case you don't know, I just try my best to help the causes a little bit. Wendy and her friend L-B are having an Inishmore Challenge and they are using this to raise money for the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Every dollar you donate would turn into a raffle and prizes will be given to the lucky ones at the end of the challenge.

Claudia and her husband will be riding their tandem bicycle on June 25-26th for 175 miles over two days to raise fund for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. There will also be a lucky draw for some yummy yarns from her fiber room!!!

So ... you are still here? Move over to their blogs and check them out!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Would you frog again?

The Cabled Vest is now in blocking mode ... not too picture-worthy, but if you really want to have a look, click here. Ever since I used the purling method of Combined Knitting, I have been pondering the possibility of the front and back pieces of various sizes. Well, I was quite sure they would be ... and the question of whether I should frog the back and knit it again had been bugging me. How about you? Would you frog again? Honestly, I've had enough of this yarn and am quite happy that the project is nearing the end. So, even though the back is really a little bit wider and longer:

I decided to go ahead with the blocking. We'll see how it eventually turns out, I think, in a few days' time ... cotton takes a long time to dry!

In the meantime, I'm playing with the Lion Brand Cotton Ease. The suggested gauge on the label is 17 stitches + 24 rows = 4" using US8. However, I am happier with the drape of 20 stitches + 28 rows using US7. If I go down to US6, I may even get a gauge of 23 - 24 stitches. I think this gives more possibilities to the yarns.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Favourite Things and Book Meme Part 2

While reading other people's 10 favourite things lists, I found that there is a second part. So, I'm adding mine here.

5 Things that I may or may not have done before that I'd like to learn or try again
To fly an airplane - I have a little bit of fear of heights, but I would really like to experience being a pilot ... exciting!

Parachuting - from time to time, we may read about the birthday present for a 90-year-old lady is parachuting ... I'd like to try that, but maybe not now ... my heart jumps a bit when thinking about it!

To be an actress - not those you see in movies, but one performing on stage in a play. Some friends of mine said that I have some talents in acting but I never have any proper training, nor any chance in exploring this side of me.

To drive Husband's car - it's in manual gear and I have never learned to drive one. I don't think he would use his car to teach me, but I sure do hope to be able to drive her some day. (BTW, she's a monster on the road!)

Rock climbing - never really tried this ... but I think it would be fun. If possible, I'd like to climb a real mountain instead of just a wall.

Husband always says I have an adventurous spirit, can't you tell?

After publishing the Book Meme, I kept beating myself for forgetting 4 other books that mean a lot to me. Yeah, 4 more ... so I think perhaps I should add one more and make it a list of 10! Here you go:

Le Petit Prince by Antoine de St-Exupéry - I've only read this in English ... but I always hope one day I can read the French version.

The Missing Piece, The Missing Piece Meets the Big O and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein - These seem to be books for kids, but I enjoy them a lot and find them very thought-provoking and inspiring. I highly recommend the official site because there are all sorts of fun stuff for kids and you can find all information on his books there.

Dream of the Red Chamber by Tsao Hsueh-Chin - This is another classic Chinese novel. I've read it 2 or 3 times and I believe it is a book which you can learn something new every time you read it. Though it seems to be a love story, I learned a lot about the intricacies of human relationships from the way the characters interact with each other. If you are interested, you can have a look at an English, shorter illustrated version of the novel.

Freedom! (well, partly)

Last month, when it was Karen's birthday, she received a load of cable needles as birthday presents. I wondered why she needed so many little cable needles. Well, I understand now! These little tools turn out to be extremely elusive ... I am actually partly responsible for this ... every time after twisting the cable, I just let it drop wherever it likes, and the 'wherever' turns out to be the various crevices of the sofa, the little space between the cushion and the chair or even the pockets of my jeans! I spent a good portion of my knitting time on looking for it! Not anymore! Thanks to Wendy, I am now largely liberated from the contraint of cable needle. Why not completely? I have yet to figure out how to work the '6-st RPC' and '6-st LPC' sans cable needle. Go here for Wendy's wonderful tutorial.

Book Meme
I was tagged by joy and erin on the book meme. I agree with erin that it is a thought provoking exercise. So, here is mine.

Total number of books in your house
Does this include magazines? Let's say we exclude magazines. Both Husband and I are transplants to the States, so we don't possess too many here, though the number has increased quite a bit in the last year or so. I would say just around or less than 100. Most are computer programming books belonging to Husband. Some are books I brought with me from Hong Kong (among them the 3 chinese books that I'm going to talk about later!) I don't have too many cookbooks ... most of them are magazines. But I do have a copy of The Great Book of French Cuisine by Henri-Paul Pellaprat.

Last book bought
I just placed an order for Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop. I am reading her Knitting Without Tears and I like her sense of humor and personality ... and of course a lot can be learned from her experiences. I once saw a copy of Knitting Workshop in a second-hand bookshop marked $50! I think that's a precious first edition. So, when I saw that KnitPicks carries this book, I placed an order immediately. It's on its way now.

Last book read
Mmm ... that would be before I took up knitting. Reading and knitting are actually competitors for my time now. I am not sure about this, but I think it is Reliquary by Douglas J. Preston and Lincoln Child. This is a sequal to The Relic, which I like better. I love reading mystery and detective thrillers.

5 (or 6) books you often read or that mean a lot to you
First I must apologize to those of you whose native language is not Chinese. Some of the following are Chinese books and I tried to offer short excerpts.

18 Springs by Eileen Chang - As suggested by the title, this is a story about love and fate, which spans over a period of 18 years. I have read this book at least 5 times and every time I ended up with teary eyes.

First Half of My Life by Yik Shu - This is not serious literature, but rather pulp fiction in Hong Kong. But I got some good education about marriage and self-improvement as a woman from this book. This is a story about a middle-age woman who suddenly found herself divorced and without any resources for earning a living, and how she learned to survive and lived much better than when she was married.

A Chance of Sunshine a.k.a. Turn Left, Turn Right by Jimmy - I am a hopelessly romantic person who would easily be attracted by hopelessly romantic stories like this. Jimmy is a famous illustrator in Taiwan and Turn Left, Turn Right is my most favourite book of his. It is a pity that his site still doesn't have English version, but if you want to have a look at his drawings, here are some I got from his site:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas - I read this book in Chinese translation when I was in high school and was fascinated by the plot of love and revenge. We may think revenge is sweet but love is always more powerful. When I was here in the States, I checked it out again from the library, this time the English version, and I still love it.

King Lear by William Shakespeare - Largely due to the guidance of my literature teacher in high school, I started to appreciate the power of Shakespeare's writings from my study of King Lear. The most impressive scene on me is Gloucester trying to end his life by jumping from the highest cliff in Dover, and later was convinced that the gods had spared his life and that he should endure his sufferings. We never know how much we love our lives until after we think we've lost them.

Tagging 3 others? Emily, Megann and Karen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

10 favourite things

I was tagged by Emily and here is my list:

1. Books - I am a super nerdy bookworm ... love reading and love collecting books. Knitters talk about yarn diet; for me, I have been on a book diet for quite some time. Since the apartment is small, I mostly check out books from the library. However, recently I have added quite some to my knitting collection!

2. Chocolate - does this really need elaboration? ;)

3. Taking a walk with Husband - because this usually means that the weather is beautiful. Though we spend all the time we can together, taking a walk is special in that there is no other distraction, like tv, online game, knitting, magazines etc, this is the time for each other.

4. Cats - my most favourite animals ... elegant, intelligent, cunning, beautiful ...

5. Driving - this is a newly acquired skill for me. Growing up in a metropolitan city (Hong Kong), I never have the chance to understand or appreciate the feeling of freedom driving can give me. However, I know very well this activity contribute to the destruction of our planet, so I try to keep a balance ... I never drive without a purpose or destination.

6. Skiing - another newly acquired skill. I love the feeling of skiing downhill. I am not a big fan of speed, but the sensation of things and people passing by quickly is thrilling.

7. Knitting - I am not a crafty person and knitting may be the only kind of handcraft that I can do well. I haven't tried spinning or handpainting/dyeing yarns ... right now I don't have a problem of not having enough things to do, therefore don't want to open another can of worms!

8. Lying in bed, not doing anything, not thinking, just breathing - this may sound easy, but really not thinking is very difficult ... but very relaxing.

9. Blogging - I love doing this because it brings out the creative side of me, the same reason that I love knitting. Though what I knit and write other people may not give a damn, that's my creation ... which is important to me. Of course, now I know there are people who are interested in my creation, and they care to tell me what they think ... that gives extra energy and encouragement to me! So, thanks to you, who are reading!

10. Being alive - I am a very primitive person in this aspect ... I love every moment I am alive and I think I have the same strong survival instinct as a single-cell creature. Husband sometimes would ask what the meaning of life is ... I don't, I just live every moment while I can!

I don't include my family, Husband and my friends in the list because they are people I love, not my favourite things. To me, that's a very big difference. ;)

I don't know if I have to tag others back ... so I just leave it here. But if you are interested, you are always welcome to give your list.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Hooray! short rows!

As you can see from my last post, I've been doing my homework on short row shoulder shaping. Most of what I found tell me how to do short rows, but I need something more specific. It turns out this article from Knitty is exactly what I need - how to change the original pattern's shoulder bind-off into short row shaping. So, I thought I should start practising ... by ripping the back piece!

I am not sure if I did everything correctly, but the most important thing is I got a slanting shoulder without rugged steps:

I left the shoulder stitches on holders because I would like to try the 3-needle bind-off as well. Besides the Knitty article, I also found this video from Knitting At KNoon Designs very useful.

erin asked if the Itty Bitty Bears were difficult to knit and sew up. Well, I have never found myself more like Edward Scissorhands than when knitting these bears! Imagine all the dpns with at most 5 stitches on them! The most challenging thing is knitting the "[k1f&b]2 times, k1 all in same st" ... I cheated and employed the help of a steel crochet hook! For sewing up, there are only 2 places to sew up and the rest is just weaving in the long tails of the limbs. But ... yes, it's been fun working on this distraction.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Have you had enough of bears?

For me, almost! I made two more much better ones, one using the merino wool from Inspirations Yarn (super soft ... I highly recommend it and the colourways are gorgeous too!) and the other Rowan's Magpie Aran.

I haven't put the eyes and noses yet. Eyes are the windows to the soul. I want them to have beautiful souls this time ... so I'll go cautiously! I am happy with them so far. The small bear will become a keychain and the bigger one will become a pin. I think these would be nice accessories for a 10-year-old.

Oh, BTW, the bears in the first picture were leaning against an article on short row shoulder shaping from Knitty. If you are a newbie to short row like me, you may want to have a look at it.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Trying something new

I love knitting cable patterns except one thing - the reverse stocking stitch background. I can say with confidence that I knit stocking stitches very evenly, but for some reasons unknown to me, my reverse stocking stitches are always the opposite. Here is proof:

Besides, the drape of the pieces in that stitch is always too floppy. So, I loathe knitting reverse stocking stitch as the right side ... and I finished the back of the cabled vest with this feeling.

As if in answer to my complaint, I stumbled upon Annie Modesitt's blog and read about her combined knitting page. The purling method is very different from mine. However, at that moment, I did not have a particular motivation to test that out ... because I knit fast enough for myself and I suffer no writst strain. It was until I read this post of Kathy's that I started to think otherwise:

If not for you, my purl rows would still be 50% bigger than my knit rows! I love to purl because of you!

I think this is some serious testimonial given to an instructor. So, I decided to try out Annie's purling method. I am now almost half way through the front of the vest and I can tell you that I am VERY satisfied with the result ... no, I can also show you:

The stitches are so obviously more even now! Besides, look at these:

The upper one is the back and the lower one the front. Feeling the 2 pieces in person, the drape of the front piece is definitely tighter and better. But the ironic thing is I knit slower and have some pain on my right upper arm (I hold the yarn using right hand). I hope the pain is only the result of my using a method I am not familiar with. I don't really mind being slower ... if I want something fast, I might as well go to the shops and buy something.

P.S. I forgot to mention this earlier. Kathy has a very comprehensive convertion table for combined knitting and video clips showing the various styles and methods of knitting. Go and check them out.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Voodoo Doll?

Last night, while watching the results show of American Idol, Husband suddenly took an interest in what I was knitting. This was because it was something very different from what I have been working on. He asked, "Are you making a voodoo doll of me?"

I wasn't finished yet at the moment and I thought, "Is it really that bad?" But when I was done, I kind of understood his concern ... and we had a good laugh out of my first knitted teddy bear:

The pattern is from IK Summer 2005 and I used some Patons Grace scraps from a gone-bad crocheted project. It does look a bit eerie!

Well, I wasn't just making this for fun. My niece's birthday is coming and I have been having difficulty crocheting the hat I planned. When I saw this pattern, I thought it would be a good gift for a little girl if made into a keychain. This one is just a practice. For the real thing, I would use the leftover from Mystery Kit #3. Wool is definitely a better choice for this tiny bear.

Wavy Sock

For those of you who love Wavy as much as I do, here is another use of the pattern:

Yes! Wavy Sock! Michaela has incorporated the Wavy pattern into a generic sock pattern. She also shared with me how to do it, which she kindly permits me to share with you. Just make sure the number of stitches is divisible by 6. Then follow the Wavy pattern - begin each round with the row pattern. That's it! Cool, huh? Are you going to try? She has also knitted some very beautiful socks. You can click on the photo to visit her Yahoo!PhotoAlbum.

Talking about Wavy, I think I have no luck in getting extra same yarn for the hat. One solution is to use another yarn of the same or similar colour. I am considering Cascade 220 Superwash. But that would have to wait.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Finished the Back

First of all, the knitters have spoken and they unanimously prefer the pink tank top ... and so it would be my choice. Well, actually I DO like it a little bit more than the other one ... your opinions only strengthened my liking. Thanks a lot.

I have finished the back of the Cabled Vest (VK SS 2005). Everything went well so far. Somehow the colour of the cotton yarn I have chosen is extremely difficult to capture. I hope the natural daylight this morning is helping ...

It is not gray nor white, but a cold icy blue. The armholes seem to be big from the picture, but I have yet to knit an armhole band.

When I was working on the previous pattern, I just felt that the yarn was difficult to work with - common cotton yarn problem ... no elasticity, easy to split ... etc. I was afraid that the problems would just be aggravated with frogging. Actually I didn't frog, I knitted from the previous piece. It is really surprising that I like working with it so much more this time. The problem of splitting has almost disappeared completely. I don't know what happened! One thing I am certain - I am a total cable addict! I just love working with cable patterns!

However, I think I must start learning how to shape the shoulder using short rows:

It is very rugged, isn't it? I am not a perfectionist in all aspect ... and this I can live with. But I would like to improve on that in later projects.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Cascading Leaves Socks

I finished the Cascading Leaves Socks over the weekend. I can send them to my mom together with some new photos of us. Hopefully, the package will reach her on time for Mother's Day. If it doesn't, she is used to my always being a bit late already!

I have made some changes to the pattern:
1. The leg part is one pattern repeat less, giving me a shorter leg part.
2. The toe decrease is 1 decrease row followed by 1 even row, from 16 stitches to 10 remaining and then close toe. However, I found that was not long enough for my size. So, I kept the 1 decrease row and 1 even row until there were only 4 stitches left. The result is much better fit as you can see here:

I didn't pay too much attention to whether the colour patterns of the 2 socks were the same. That doesn't bother me a bit. I like the colour of this Elann Esprit sock yarns ... and I hope my mom would like them too.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Questions & Answers

Karen: Where were you married? In the US or Hong Kong?

I got married in San Jose, California.

Lynette: I want to index the patterns in my IK issues but I think I'm being too ambitious. Let us know how it goes with maintaining your list.

I have just finished with my IK and VK issues. I have the most copies of these 2 magazines and I like them more than the others, so I started with them. For the other odd copies, since they are not my most favourite, I just deal with them when I have the time. Also, newly bought magazines will be treated first.

Joy: Oh, I think my heart skipped a beat at the thought of trying to fit into my wedding dress. ...Is there any other challenge out there that doesn't involve the wedding dress?

Let me share with you a secret: even before I knew about this wedding dress challenge, I did from time to time try to fit into some old clothing, like a pair of old jeans or my cheung-sam. I don't even have a scale at home. If I want to know if I have gained weight, either I go to the gym (there is an electronic scale there!) or use the fitting-into-old-clothing method. I find this a good way to remind myself not to get too far with soda, chips, ice-cream ... (and the list goes on!) So, Joy, just start by choosing a dress or pants and try to fit into it every 6 months. Forget about the wedding dress.

Mimi: What needle size is advised for this Lion yarn (Cotton-Ease)?

The needle size recommended is US8 ... but I have a feeling that I would need a smaller size. By the way, I just got 2 more colours for summer tanks ... black and soft yellow! I struggled a bit over the orange ... not my usual colour of choice, but it looks beautiful.

Claudia: I am supposing that book (French Women Don't Get Fat) has something to do with the wedding gown challenge.

This is not exactly a question ... but I have to say, well, really not. I got the book well before the challenge ... and its attraction to me is actually the recipes inside!