Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Silkroad Journey

So...it all started with one little hank of this beautiful bunch,and the ultra cute OSW pattern. See the lovely green one? That's the one I'll be talking about.

I skipped school yesterday, just being plain lazy. It wasn't such a big deal because we're done with the school exam. And, can you believe it? I was actually running out of WIP! So what a girl to do? Cast on for more, of course.
There I was, being the lazy knitter that I am, I put it around my pillow while knitting(thanks to Tanti for the advice!).
I cast on confidently, without bothering to check the gauge and everything. Then, when I was about to knit the first stitch....*here's the horror part*...the yarn BREAKS. Can you believe it? I was a little shocked, but decided that it was just a little accident, or maybe that I pulled it too hard. So I cast on again, and was knitting happily for a few rows.
The yarn was sooo....soft and smooth. And the sheen....pretty, just pretty.
Then it came...the yarn BREAKS AGAIN. AGAIN, and AGAIN and AGAIN...
When I was done with the knitting part, I got this

People, that's a total of SIX breaks, 7 if you count the beginning. I'm sure as hell I didn't tug the yarn THAT hard. In fact, after that first break, I tried to be as gentle as possible. Now, I never thought that silk would be so...weak? delicate? vulnerable? I've never break yarn by hand before, except for when I was seaming Lucky, and I did pull really hard then.
So, well...this yarn without a doubt is beautiful and unique. But please, people, BE WARNED.
I'm not about to give it up though. And I've planned to try something else for the edging, other than the simple seed stitch.
It took my hours today to weave in those ends, they're pretty tricky to conceal, you know.
Ladies(and gentlemen), may I present.....Silky OSW!!

Here it is a little dressed up. Well...maybe not for you, but for me, black means dressed up. And to think that I my wardrobe consisted of only black, white and grey few years ago.....my black piece can be counted be fingers now(1 hand!).
And a close up of the crocheted scallop edging for the arms...

I was quite unsure about this, since it's quite big, not the small nice picot I initially wanted. And yeah, the yarn breaks once more time here. That makes it 8 times.
And here it is with a more cheerful(read : bright!) colour...

Please pretend that you don't see those bulges...*blush*
I still think that the finished shrug is lovely, even though I got the gauge wrong, and the whole thing didn't fit quite as nicely as my first one. And yeah, I think I can see more OSW coming in the future....
Note : I "accidentally" won another ebay auction, so I currently got a total of 2.6 kg of yarn coming my way. Not counting the 47 skeins from Jannete that's seems to disappear into thin air. I think I'll have to start selling part of my stash, since I can't take all of them back to Indonesia with me. Anyone interested?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Ta Daaaa....!!!

I had to frog this thing twice, but it's finally done!!

Sorry for the blurry pic, I gotta get a decent digital camera soon, one that could work with my shaky hand. If you can't see clearly, there's a cable running in the centre.
I'm so glad that it's done!! Hope I'll get a chance to wear it soon, but I'll need to find those transparent bra straps first...I know I've got them somewhere.
Wanna know what I've been doing lately?

Yep, crochet!! I desperately want to make this bag from a Japanese pattern book I bought back in Jakarta.

Pretty, isn't it? I took me quite some time to understand those Japanese pattern. Now I know that I'm more of a literal than visual person. I can understand written pattern much better than charts. And I cried when I read novels much more often than movies.
Remember the scarf for my teacher that I said was waayyyy too short? Well...since all I can get here is a much finer yarn(same brand, same colour), I decided to do some crochet(again!) to add some length.

See? Instead of admitting to being stupid enough to knit something knowing that I don't have enough yarn, I can say that I've been planning to do this from the start.
I know, I know...I've been doing more crochet than knitting lately. I think crochet is great and fun, but I don't think I'll be able to crochet anything big. I'll stick to those cute little stuffs. I think I can see more crocheted flowers in the future. Anyway, I'm in love with Kim Hargreaves collection. Too bad the pattern only comes in kit, and since I'm supposed to be in yarn diet, I think I'll stay away from it for good.
And yeah, my exam ended last Friday. So I was kinda taking some rest for this weekend. Catching up with lots of much needed sleep.
How did I do? Oh well....I, just as expected, did really bad in Physics and Biology. Told ya I never like those subjects. I failed my Advance Maths too, but at least I'm not as clueless as I was with my Physics. I'm quite pleased with my Chemistry result though, I love Chemistry!! If I found out that design is not for me, I think I'd love being a cosmetic chemist.
Anyway, I got a little gift from my SP ;)

Thanks SP, those candles are really cute!!
Anyway, I just found out that my SP is from Singapore!!

Well...my next exam, a.k.a THE EXAM, is in less than 3 weeks. I really don't want to mess up with this one. My dad had been asking about my marks lately. He always has this sky high expectation in me, which is really annoying and pressuring. I hate being pressured, especially when he expects me to be the best in every thing. But since I've been using LOTS of his money, I'll try to do my best. Talk about being a good daughter.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

SP6 Questionnaire and a visit to the frog pond

This goes to my SP out there!

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
Well....I do LOVE high quality yarn, but I still want to try stuffs like Lion Brand Cotton-Ease. And I'm a fan of Knitpicks too!

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I crochet a little, and I'd love to learn to spin one day.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Hate smokes.

4. How long have you been knitting?
Um...a little more over a year.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I've got one on Amazon.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Jasmine, peach, wild rose and fruity smell, but no citrus please.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Do vegan eats vegetable?

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
Origami, paper tole, cross stitch, but all ends after I got hooked on knitting.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Hmm....classical, pop, ballads, mostly 80's. Yep, MP3 will be fine.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love colours, green, orange, pink, white, purple, anything! But I prefer bright, pastel and warm colour palletes than dull, muddy, dark colours.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
My foster family has got 6 dogs!!!

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
To be a designer(preferably knitwear!) and open a yarn store. And have a knitting room in my future home. With a yarn library.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Knitpicks, Rowan and Jaeger yarn are always my favourites. Would love to try anything else though.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Scratchy acrylic.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Sweater and cardigan.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Um...I can't choose, love everything!

17. What are you knitting right now?
A top to go with my OSW, a scarf for my teacher, and some UFOs

18. What do you think about ponchos?
Um....not practical, makes me look like a potato sack.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
They serve they own purpose, but I love circular!!

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Bamboo and wood.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Yeah, 'sock' knitter, not yet a socks knitter.

22. How did you learn to knit?
The owner of my LYS taught me.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Few months...

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Whale.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas!! and Chinese New Year, because I get money ;)

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Um...other than yarn? Origami paper, letter set, accesories, bags, books.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None. :(

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter, and lots more!!

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??
Like every pattern books and mags out there??? ;p

30. What are your foot measurements, and what kind of socks do you like?
Yikes, I have wide feet. My foot is 9" in length, and my cuff is more than 9" in circumference!! I prefer shorter socks, as I have very big legs.

There you go SP, I'm easy to please, ain't I??

And here's the one who goes to the frog pond...

I should've known that it would turn out HUGE earlier, not after I've knitted 2 skeins of yarn. And now I need to decrease at least 60 stitches.
The problem is me and my self-denial. I was worried that it'll turn out too big from the start, but I just hush the voice in my head, telling me to stop. And it's not the first time either.
Remember Orangina?(I knew it's huge). Remember Lucky?(I knew there's something wrong with the sleeves). Remember Kiri?(I knew it would be too small for me). Remember the scarf?(I knew 2 skeins won't be enough).
So what's going on here? I have a problem. At least I would admit it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Another FO? Why not?

Two Skeins Wonder

I finally did it!! This pattern had been around in my file for quite some time, and I even lost it once. Fortunately, Stephanie sent me another one immediately after I emailed her ;)
I'm quite hesitant to put up this picture, you know. Because it seems to be so focused on my....boobs(I'm feeling kinda weird saying this).
But still, I'm loving this little babe!! I think that the colours combination looks great, that I decided to knit a top to go with it!

The ribbing is knitted with Sirdar Breeze, which is surprisingly nice. My friend thought that my OSW looks so cute, so I offered to knit her one. She likes the colours combination, so I'll knit another one just like mine for her, only in much smaller size ;p.

Would you like to take a peek at what arrives in the mail today? C'mon, admit it, I know you do...now hold your breath...

Yep, they're the amazing HipKnits silk!! Aren't the colours beautiful?? Notice those sheen? The yarn feels very different to my hands, I don't think I've ever came across yarn with such crispness(now I sound like I'm talking about potato chips). See the green and baby blue single hanks? I'm planning to knit some more OSW with them ;). And the 3 pink hanks? Well....who knows what they'll be, I'll be just happy to have them sit in my stash.

May I rant now? I want to rant about....ZITS.
I used to have smooth skin, with the occasional tiny zits. People used to ask me the secret to my smooth complexion.
But NOW? These HUGE ZITS have been poping up non-stop since last month, and I have no idea why. People notice, and they make comments about it. I'm getting a little bit frustrated about this...maybe I should make a facial appointment soon.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Meme

How do you pronounce that word anyway? Is it me-me or mae-mae?
Well, I was tagged by Sara, I don't think you'd want to know more about me,but here it is anyway....

Ten Years Ago
I was 8, still living with my parents in Indonesia. Just started 3th grade and have always ranked first (that's all about to change in my 3th grade). My primary school memory was a really fond one. My mom sent me to all sorts of courses. I did ballet, English, keyboard, etc. I was my teachers favourite, being as talkative(and cute!) as I am now. I hang out with girls and boys, spent lots of time in the library reading children's book. I was also quite notorious having been in lots of fights with boys(hey, they started it first!). I had daily fights with my little bro too, needless to say, I won most of the time. My mom used to dislike me back then, but our relationship got much better after I move to Malaysia.

Five Years Ago
I was 13, on my first year of junior high, second year in Malaysia. I had lots of new friends, having lots of fun, spending lots of money on useless stuffs. I was on my early teenage years, and we had a lot of curiousity in sex. I think I can say that I knew much more than my friends did, having my cousins explained to me about the sperm and egg and all that. Really, one of my friend thought that kissing could make you pregnant. Parents in Asia rarely discuss sexuality with their kids, so we had to find out by ourselves. Two of the boys got caught for opening a porno website on my shcool library. Silly.

One Year Ago
Mi sweet seventeen!! I had my first part time job as a waitress in a coffee & tea house. It was so much fun!! I met new friends, learn to make varieties of coffees and teas. And the food was delicious!! Well..we weren't supposed to eat the food while working...but sometimes....well...you know...
I worked for four months, more than 100 hours per month. I never thought that I'd enjoy it that much, but I sure did, especially when I got my fist salary ;D
Most of my time was consumed in working and tuitions, and I hardly ever went out with friends. I didn't really matter to me anyway. I was working on my first knitting project back then, a long ribbed scarf in pink and cream stripes. I sometimes knit while working, and I even taught my friends(colleagues) to knit!!



Five Snacks
-Mars bars
-Dried prunes, guavas, dates, sour plum...
-Rice pudding(had it only once, but loves it so much)
-Starbucks oatmeal and raisin cookies
-Chocolate chip cookies

Five Songs I Know All The Words To
-Superman by Coldplay
-I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing by Aerosmith
-To Where You Are by Josh Groban
-Perfect by Simple Plan
-Superwoman by Karyn White

Five Things I'd Do With 100 Million Bucks
-Make a deposit account for my parents
-Buy houses in Indonesia, Greece, Turkey, America and England
-Travel around the world
-Open a yarn store
-Make a lot of donation

Five Places I'd Run Away To
-Buyukada Island in Turkey
-San Fransisco
-Yarn Stores
-English countryside
-Vineyard in France

Five I Would Never Wear
-Shapeless dress with all over flower prints
-Micro mini leather skirt(unless I lose 30 pounds)
-Rags
-Thigh high leather boots
-Yellow PVC boots(Phua Chu Kang style)

Five TV Shows
-Telenovela
-Ally Mc Beal
-The Oprah Winfrey Show
-Gilmore Girls
-Hong Kong and Korean drama

Five Joys
-Petting my yarns
-Yarn Shopping
-Eating(even a banana could makes me happy)
-Knitting and watching drama at the same time
-Standing on top of hills, looking down at magnificent sceneries

Five Things To Do, Just For Me, Before I Die
-Travel as much as I can
-Diving
-Knit at least an Icelandic, Aran, Fair Isle, Entrelac and lace sweaters
-Find a best friend
-Have a kid

This whole thing took me an hour!! Now...I'd like to tag:
-Van
-Laura
-Lois
-Doreen
-Peggy
Since you guys know so much about me, and I know so little about all of you. Really, I'm just being kepo(busybody). ;) No obligation here, but I'd love to know more about all of you.

Kiri = Left

Meet my beautiful Kiri....

Thanks to Polly for the great pattern. I considered this shawl and easy knit, and knitting with pattern repeats really makes you feel like you're progressing, unlike stockinette sticth.
Notice that I have a new model? It's a body mannequin like the one that's hanged on stores. I got this one for free from my auntie's friend. Yay!!
Here's another shot,

beautiful edging, no?
You might not notice, but actually the shawl is pretty small. I only did 12 repeats, which is fine for the mannequin, but not for me. I think I'll frog the edging and do a few more repeats. I like big shawls, the one that would drape and cling to my body.

I knitted this scarf for my form teacher.

Actually, she requested it months ago. So I made it a promise that I'll do it before I graduate. The pattern is from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. Do you notice that the scarf is very short? Too bad I only have two skeins of the yarn, since I got it from KL. My LYS sells the same wool, but finer. I've got no choice but to double up the yarn to add more length. I'm hoping that it'll look fine.

And guess what? I finally casted on for OSW!! Well...since I'm on my second skein now, it would be TSW.

The yarn is Katia Regata that I bought from Cara. I first intended to use Sirdar Breeze, but it's way too fine. I'm pretty much fed up with maths to want to alter the number of stitches. I considered doubling the yarn, but it's way too bulky.
Can you guys see that I started to try to take more artistic photos? I love them. But you won't have any idea how many pictures I had to take. I never knew that I have shaky hands....

Uhm....why does it seems that I'm knitting even more than usual when the exam is approaching? Gotta be the stress. I've been dealing with lots of Maths lately. I'm actually pretty good at it, my biggest problem ever is that I can never memorise the formulas. That's why I'm so depressed having to work with Trigonometry, Algebra, Calculus,...the list is still quite long, but I don't wanna give you a headache.
And I think I'll give up my Physics, since I never really get a grasp after these 3 years. Thank God I'm pretty good at Chemistry, English and Malay. For your information, I study Chinese at school. I had to learn the Shakespeare equivalent in Chinese. And trust me, I think it's much harder than English literature.
Enough academic talk, I can see you all trying to find another blog to read.

My lovely SP has revealed herself, she's Janet!! C'mon guys, drop by her blog and say hi to her. I'd like to make a public THANK YOU for spoiling me for the past months!!!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Lucky, but without much luck...

Yeah, Lucky is finally done!! All seamed, weaved and blocked. But well...there are some "little" problems....like the greyish back and left front, and that it doesn't fit.

The colour is actually much lighter when it's dry.
Do you notice the colour difference?

This is a close-up of the bottom part of the right front. The first 2" was knitted using the 'greyish' Clover circular needle, and the rest using bamboo once I realised what was happening. Ugh...the pink colour looks so nice on my computer screen, how I wish it's like that in reality.
I don't think I'll attempt to clean it up, since it fits me weird anyway. Maybe someday I'll became 'slim' enough to wear it, or maybe my mom would want it. Who knows.
Well....last Thursday I made another last-minute decision to go to KL again. I decide in the afternoon, bought the bus ticket, booked the hotel, and left at midnight. Some spontaneity, huh?
And the reason for me going? To apply for US visa. Yep, you heard me right. And guess what? I got it!! I can't believe my luck, really. The interviewer was talking as though he was going to refuse my application, but then he said, "Look, I don't want to make your life like hell, I'm going to approve your visa." I was so dumbfounded that all I could say was "Huh?" I was so ecstatic afterwards that I kept on jumping and smiling like a fool. They stare, trust me, but who cares? America, here I come!! Well, not until December, but I'm definitely going if nothing goes wrong with my dad's business. And with some more luck, I might be going to college in the UK next January!! So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that lady luck will smile at me ;). Or at least the fortune god.
Anyway, here's my latest purchase from KL. No, no yarns, but I've got some great books, and I'm sure you'll agree with me.

America Knits by Melanie Fallick, this book is amazing!! I'm really impressed with the stories of the artisans, they're living every knitters' dream (or at least mine)!! Most of the patterns are kind of intimidating, but I love the first pattern on the book, Girl's Trapezoid Jacket with Mitten Motif by Pam Allen.
Oh, and the pictures are beautiful!!
KnitLit (too) by Linda Roghar & Molly Wolf, this book, just like KnitLit, will become my loyal loo companion ;).
Then there is At Knit's End, by the ever-so-famous Yarn Harlot. I've "heard" knitters across the bloggyland rave about this book, but honestly, I never really 'get it', not until I laid my hand on one. This book is simply fabulous, I LOVE IT!!!
Anyway, did I mention that I went to KL ALONE?? For the first day, I got to spend some time with my friend, but I had to talk to myself for the rest 2 days :( I used to think that travelling alone would be great, but I think I'd rather have someone to talk to. I did have fun there though, spending hours at the book stores, walk here and there, and I even visited the newly-opened aquarium. Yeah, that's my idea of fun, now I sound like a geek.
For your information, my school's final exam(a.k.a UEC trial exam) is on 19th September. So, that leaves me about, oh, 15 days to revise EVERYTHING I've learnt for the 3 years of my senior high school life. In the science stream, no less. Then 2 weeks after that, I've got THE EXAM. Then I graduate. Time really flies, doesn't it?
Now, if you think that'll make me hold on my knitting, then you're very wrong. As I cast on this 3 days ago(midnight), just after finishing Lucky.

Can you tell what this is? It's a Kiri!! I know it doesn't look promising, but I'll trust the expert knitters who said not to judge lace before it's blocked. I had a little problem casting on, but with some tutorial from Lois, I was happily knitting along. I'm now on my 9th repeat, but it still looks very small to me. The pattern is quite easy to understand too, I can knit without looking at it now!! Not bad, eh?
The yarn is Shimmer from Knitpicks, and the "happy" colourway is called Happy Dance. Since the yarn comes in hank form, I had to wind it into a ball. By hand. Alone.
First, I put the yarn around my neck, but I almost strangled myself, ick.
Then I put it around my folded knees, and it seems to work. Took me almost an hour, but since I was watching Korean drama while doing it, it doesn't really feel that long.
Have you all seen the latest edition of MagKnits? I love Sesame and Alice!! There are so many sweaters and cardigans that I want to knit!!
Well...everyone, wish me luck, will ya? I'll need lots of it to get through this month. And next.
Have a nice weekend and happy knitting!!
Note : More than half of this post had to be written twice, and I blame it all on blogger.