Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Password safety ... and Twitter

Since I am still in the process of knitting the second sleeve, and haven't been able to start a new pair of socks successfully, I think I might do some public service. Remember my email account being hacked a while back? There is a very good post on password safety here. I decided to bookmark it and read it from time to time ... just as a reminder. :)

Also, on the top of my sidebar, there is a new item ... Twitter. I have joined for a couple of days and am starting to have more people following my feed. It is kind of fun ... different from blogging because I can only type 140 characters each time ... and it can be anything, like "Good morning, everybody!" Interested? Come and join me ... just click the "follow me on Twitter" link.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Got to knit the second one

It was not blocked yet. If it just grows a little bit, the length seems to be alright.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Important benchmark

I think I was bitten by the Cleaning Fairy today ... I cleaned ALL the windows of the apartment this morning! When you really do the housework seriously, it can be exhausting! Whew! ;)

I set for myself the goal of reaching a certain benchmark before I would pick up Diva again. Last night, I finished more than 50% of the crochet afghan! 33 squares complete! This is big for me ... as I have stalled this project for quite a long time. Finally, earlier this year, I seemed to have made a mental breakthrough and felt that I could see the end soon. I don't want this aspiration to finish suffer a relapse. 8 more squares were added to the set ... and still, in my opinion, crocheted bobbles beat the ass of knitted bobbles in terms of ease to make and cuteness:

Have you seen the preview of IK 2008 Summer? Michelle expressed exactly how I felt! Well, most probably it's just not our cup of tea. Anyway, have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

08:08 Child's First Socks (or Got my camera back, Wo-Ho!)

Yep, I got it back yesterday thanks to the friendly and efficient folks of Kamera Korner. This short separation certainly makes me miss it dearly! The thought of going photoless for a week is really something. Not being very chatty in person, I've been wracking my brain what I can write about for today besides the fact that I didn't knit much. :)

Actually, I can tell you that I have started to learn typing Chinese characters using the Cangjie input method. Though feeling a bit embarrassed, I have to admit that I never know how to type Chinese characters, no matter what method, due to the lack of need to use. I took a formal typing lessons (for English) during the last summer vacation of elementary school. I remember I enjoyed the process very much and took up the skill in no time. Most probably because I was young. Very different story now. I don't have all day just devoted to the learning ... even if I had the time, I would choose to do some knitting than just memorizing the Cangjie keys. Besides, I am an old lady now ... but really, learning a new skill is fun. :)

Or I can tell you how bored I am with this season's American Idol ... which used to be one of my favourite shows. Besides the usual nuisance Ryan Seacrest, this year Paula Abdul's rambling comments seem to drag on much unbearably longer. Then, I have fallen out of love with almost all the contestants quite early on. So now I am just waiting for the end of the season so that I can move on to So You Think You Can Dance.

But of course, with the camera back, I should go back to knitting. So, I was busy taking pictures of my new socks this afternoon:
I haven't taken pictures of socks
in use on carpet for a long time!

I have already taken out all my summer socks and would be putting the woolly ones away soon. It's great to have a new pair for the right season. The colour of this new pair is just like the lighter summer version of the Granny Smith Fancy Socks, which, I have to report sadly, have felted a little bit during the last wash. I have no idea what happend ... cold water wash cycle, hand dry ... it's the same with all my socks. I love that pair and it was really sad. :(

Pattern: Child's First Socks in Shell Pattern designed by Nancy Bush from Knitting Vintage Socks
Definitely a gorgeous pattern ... I just love it ... love the shell pattern:
I didn't attempt to mirror image the shell directions ... is it really important? Not for me! However the reduction of 7 stitches for the heel flap made the flap too narrow and tight for me. So I just got rid of the stitch reduction ... aha, much better! Besides, I used my favourite heel:

Yarn: SWTC Tofutsies (50% Superwash Wool, 25% SOYSILK brand fiber, 22.5% Cotton, 2.5% Chitin) Col: 805
Content-wise, this is a very complicated yarn, so is my feeling towards it. It's soft, yes; but it also seems not to have too much a memory. I would consider it a true sock/fingering weight yarn ... but the knitting experience with it wasn't a complete pleasure ... it is really splitty. Yet, I certainly love this colourway. Do I love the yarn? I can't tell you yet.

Needles: Crystal Palace bamboo dpns US1

Cast On
: 04-03-2008
Cast Off: 04-19-2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Random Monday

There can be lots of reasons to have a random post, perhaps being Monday is one that requires little explanation / justification ... LOL! But today I have an additional one to add ... my camera was sent to the shop for repair. They said it would probably take a week ... so I may have to go pictureless for a whole week ... OMG!

My socks for April were done during the weekend, but of course I would like to wait until the camera is back to post on them. And then, not much was done ... it seems like I am taking things real easy. The sudden return of gusty and cold weather should help me work on Diva, only that it is not going to last very long. But I think I would pick myself up and work on it ... I don't want to leave the project rotting in the basket.

I am still doing catching up with the Bloglines. Reading through your posts suddenly made me realize one thing ... I haven't done a lace project in 2008 yet! I very much want to ... when would be the best time to start? After finishing Diva? Right now? I don't know ... but if I am to do so, the choice is going to be the Unst Stole. The yarn was wound long ago ...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm back ... and really exhausted!

The major purpose of this trip is to settle an emergency legal matter back in Hong Kong, and the dates of the trip were around the time of Ching Ming Festival ... therefore, besides running back and forth between home and the attorney's office, I also paid a visit to my grandfather's grave. Plus the long flights, the one-week trip left me feeling extremely exhausted.

But still, I managed to do a little bit of shopping:
Each spool contains 500 yards of 100% polyester sewing threads ... and these here costed me $2.5! Yeah, you read it right, less than $3 for all! And I also looted my mom's stash:
Since she mainly sewed tailor-made suits, most of her threads are of very conservative colours. But surprisingly, she also had some DMC embroidery threads. These are all mine now ... hehehe ...

Bookstore is always another stop one shouldn't do without, no matter how little time one has, because there is always something special:
A crafting magazine from Taiwan, whose style and taste are very close to Japanese ones, but with the added advantage of being printed in Chinese language:

See? Complete step-by-step illustrations of how to make these very cute home slippers.

Not much of these are related to knitting since I always feel that I have had more than enough yarns, patterns and knitting books! But I squeezed enough time to have one Child's First Sock done:
I seriously think a portable light is needed next time I want to knit on a long flight ... the lights on the plane never worked in the right direction, and most people don't like having lights when they want to sleep.

I'm still taking time to recover from the jet lag and the accumulated housework and laundry. So, most probably see you again next week. :)

Monday, April 07, 2008

New projects, old projects and finished projects

Sorry for being MIA for a while. I only have time for a really quick post ... so just briefly go through what I've been working on.

New sock on the needles:

I love the gorgeous colour of this Tofutsies and the sock has been sailing quite smoothly ... up to the heel. This I knitted according to the pattern, and the heel was too tight for me ... so I am going to rip back.

Both sleeve cuffs for Diva were finished:
I used one needle size smaller than that for the body, hoping that the sleeves won't get too long. But I have to put this down for a while since I am going away for a break and won't be taking Diva with me.

I love the little drawstring back Tuulia made for me very much, and have been using it since. However, the bag is a bit too small if I am using a large skein of sock yarn. So, I made my own from this pattern (which is very very easy to make):
The orange one was my first attempt ... the width was right but it turned out too short. The second attempt was a success ... exactly what I wanted:

Oh, and I finished a fabric shopping bag I've been stalling for quite a while ... finishing always makes me happy:

I'll be leaving in about 2 hours ... and I still have a couple of things to pack. So, au revoir. See you next week.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Hi-ho, Kermit the Frog here!


I was not allowed to watch too much tv when I was a kid, so I didn't grow up with the Muppet Shows. But a friend of mine loves Kermit the Frog. I am not much into knitting toys and lace doesn't seem to be her thing. So, I think I'll make her a book cover using Kermit the Frog fabric, which by the way was not easy to find! Mine was from an eBay seller.

I got the idea of how to make the book cover from a plastic one my friend sent me (mainly for the measurements and structure) and a Japanese magazine (リネン&コットンと暮らす。vol.3 ISBN978-4-529-04473-8):

I like the idea of having a bookmark, so I made a book thong to go with the cover:
Recognize the green dots fabric? Yeah, the same one I used for my crochet hook holder ... I love this simple pattern a lot. The strap was made by sewing a length of ribbon with the wrong sides facing ... it adds a little blink blink to the project:
This ribbon was a steal from Big Lots! ... 88 cents for 3 yards!

Now, Kermit the Book Cover in action: