Monday, September 29, 2008

08:20 SKA Orange Mystery Socks

Back in March when I wrote this, I really naively thought that we almost reached the bottom. Now, 6 months later, I am afraid the worst is still to come! For my whole time here in the States, I lived under the terror of Bush, who managed to have the country experience the worst terrorist attack in history under his watch, started 2 wars, drain the nation's federal reserves, leave a whole city's residents waving SOS signs on their roofs, bring down the housing market and lead the country to the brink of another Great Depression. Truth be told, I feel sick and tired of this man and his party.

Okay, enough on the rare political ranting. If I have to find one thing each day to make me happy, it would have to be this today:
Since I have put on some pounds in the mid-section, I was a bit worried that the ribbing would be a bad idea. It seems okay, though. I just did the garter ribs instead of having a 2k2p ribbing in between 2 sections of garter ribs. I like the length I am having now, so this means I can bind off and move on to the sleeves ... YAY!

And I consider myself a super lucky woman because I have another thing to make me happy:

The cuff was a stocking stitch rolled one. I love trying out new cuffs ... and I think this one is simple but pretty cute. However, I forgot how tight the bind-off could be. I ended up using a 4.5mm needle to get it loose enough for me.

Pattern: SKA Orange Mystery designed by Jeannie Cartmel (Ravelry link)
This has been a fun project, though the twist stitches made me hope that the Hiya Hiya needles were a bit more pointy. Maybe I should try KnitPicks ones.

Yarn: Louet Gems Fingering Weight (100% Merino Wool) Col: Citrus Orange 2 skeins
I am not jumping up and down for this yarn. It is reasonably soft but at time splity, which made the knitting a bit difficult at times. However, the range of colours is amazing.

Needles: Hiya Hiya Stainless Stell dpns US0, Clover Bamboo dpns 4.5mm

Cast On: 09-01-2008
Cast Off: 09-27-2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New books

I just finished the SKA Mystery Socks ... still have a couple of loose ends before I can take photos.

Last week has been a week filled with the influx of new books here. And they all don't disappoint.

I bought this and I love almost all the garments in it. Then from Fleegle's blog I saw this and bought it.

Last but not the least, you may have read reviews of Ann and Kay's new book. I simply love it! As with their first book, it is bursting with their personality, but the ladies also deliver with the lovely patterns:
And I may just start this after finishing Maude:
What? You still don't know I am a mohair (especially Rowan KSH) freak? LOL!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Unknown territory

Time really drifts by so quickly ... especially when there was a guest in the house! Last week was all-week family time here. Now my mother-in-law is back home, it's also time for me to come back here. :)

During her stay, I mainly worked on the mystery socks. The toe-up pattern with a heel flap is an unknown territory for me. Therefore, I waited until I was sure I started the heel increase at the right place to begin the second sock:
As you can see, it fits! I was pretty happy as I got the right place at the first try. However, unlike cuff-down patterns, I am still in the fog about how the heel works with toe-up ... this means if I don't have the pattern with me, I can't continue on my own. Anyway, I figure given more practice, the day would come. Right now, I am happy with my progress:

I also made quite some progress with the other project on the needle before my mother-in-law arrived:
Not sure if you can see clearly, but I am now in the body's ribbing section ... 3 more inches longer than in the photo. I tried it on this morning but not bother to take a photo, but the whole thing fits well so far. I know I first planned to make this into a long-sleeved sweater, but now I am back on the fence because I want to have it finished badly.

Oh, one more note about my mother-in-law. I think it would be time to plan for another project for her next year. She is not really a shawl person, so Birch is not used that much. But it's obvious that she loves Victorian Ruby. So I'll be looking for gorgeous red yarn and rectangular lace patterns. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Maude: Couple of Random Thoughts

Never wear dark-coloured pants or jeans or skirt when knitting lace ... if not, place a light-coloured towel on your lap or you'll never be able to see the lace pattern. Thank you for the kind fellow knitter who gave me this tip when I was making the Forest Path Stole.

The only time I like knitting in the round (except for sock knitting) is when the knitting is done. The numerous stitches makes one round seem never-ending ... and I have strangely developed a liking for seaming. Strange, huh?

Glad to tell you that I finally got to master the lace pattern, so hopefully, progress would be smoother.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life line

Everybody who has done lace knitting knows about life line, but has everybody used it? I haven't ... until now, that is.

I was unsure what size of Maude I should make. Since both sizes S and M have the same number of cast on stitches, I could delay making the decision. When it was time to divide for the body and arms, I decided to go for the small size first. So, I threaded a sock yarn through the front and back, in addition to the arm sections.

Never had I thought I would have so many troubles with the number of stitches afterwards. It took me several ripping to get things right:
The sock yarn added suddenly became my life line! Am I lucky or what?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Truly honoured!

I got this from Colettes of Lace Maven:
Thank you so much, Colettes. The award made my weekend a special one.

The rules are:
1- Post the award on your blog.
2- Add a link to the person who gave you the award. Done ... twice actually, hehehe ...
3- Nominate at least 4 other bloggers and add their links. I have quite a number of blogs I love, so this took me some time to choose. Here they are:
domesticrafts (love her cats, love her photos, and of course, love her knitting projects!) (the sisters always have some incredibly gorgeous projects to show ... the kind that makes me drool!)
Twig's (mis)Adventures in Knitting (really, twig should remove the (mis) with confidence ...)
My Longest Year (I love her perceptive insights into life as an army wife, mother ... and life in general)

4- Leave a comment at the recipients' blogs so they can pass it on.

Clue 2 of the SKA Mystery Orange Socks is out ... I'm going to be busy for a while. :)

Friday, September 05, 2008

It must be the heat

Maybe it was because of the intense heat lately, I have been seriously slacking in posting. Even with the air-conditioning on, I am sweating just sitting in the living room. I am starting to wonder if I am entering menopause. My mother suffered quite serious hot flashes ... if menopausal symptoms are genetic (are they?), there is good chance I would too! Well, I am just hoping that there would still be a couple of years before I have to go through that.

Maude is a challenge. Again maybe it was the heat, or I just haven't done any real lace for quite some time. At first glance, the pattern seemed to be pretty straight forward ... Note to self: Never underestimate any lace pattern. Progress has been slow:
But I'm definitely making this into a long-sleeved sweater ... most probably bell-sleeves. That should make the sweater of better use.

There should be one more thing I blame on the heat. I definitely don't need more sock yarn. But look at this:
I was very excited to know Lion Brand has a fingering weight sock yarn line. But when I checked the colourways on the web, I was not too impressed ... until I saw the real thing in the store. They are all so beautiful! I had a hard time choosing which one to buy ...

You may think I am complaining about the heat. No, I'm not. Actually I am enjoying it ... the days are already getting shorter and it is always during September, right before the cold weather comes, that the heat gets intense. The high pressure brings intense blue sky ... gorgeous weather. Enjoy it while it's here ... have a nice weekend. :)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Clue 1 done!

This pattern is fun to knit. Now I have time to start Maude before the next clue is out. :)