Friday, December 26, 2008

The bells aren't jingling...

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all had a great one;)
I'm currently in Edinburgh and finding decent food on Christmas day proved to be a challenge. We were lucky to find a good pub that was open nearby though. I'm looking forward to my first boxing day sale tomorrow! Can't wait for the new year to come and for all this craziness to pass and start afresh. Sorry I don't have any pictures, will need to find out how to post pictures using an iPhone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Finally Flo

Pattern source: Flo by Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: RYS Cashsoft 4ply, Rowan KSH
Needle: 3.5mm, 2.25mm
Comment: If you remember, I started this back in summer during Ravelympics. Most of the knitting got done back then, however the finishing took so much longer than the knitting. Back when I purchased the pattern, it was only available in kit form, but now you can get it in the book. It was the first and only kit I've ever purchased, everything came beautifully wrapped and looked so special, and the pattern was perfectly written. I'm not sure why I was so attracted to this pattern, but I'm guessing it's because of the styling in the photograph. I'm such a sucker for such thing. It was like, I must have THAT cardigan, in the same colour, and maybe then I can look like the model. I'm deluded, of course, but I can't help but think that all I need is a blue corsage, ruffly shirt and blue polkadot pants.
I think it's safe to say that this is a labour of love. I've done 4ply cardigan before, but all those stockinette, not to mention the ruffles, I don't think I'll be tackling more of this sort of project anytime soon.

Not-quite-a-princess mitts
Not-quite-a-princess mitts
Pattern: Princess mitts by Jennifer Hagan from The Knitter's Book of Yarn
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft DK
Needle: 4.00mm
Comment: This is a last minute Christmas knit, done in two evenings. It's for a friend's mom who I really like. The pattern was a bit confusing for me, like how the stitch count suddenly miss out 1 stitch, and how the pattern tells you to do k2,p2 rib for the thumbs but the left thumb has k2,p1 after the increase. I guess I'm just a perfectionist when it comes to this kind of thing, it bugs me so much when a pattern is not clearly written. But all in all it's a pretty pattern, and I think the end result looks really sweet. Oh, and I changed the direction of the cables, instead of criss-crossing like in the pattern I made them mirroring each other instead.

Spinning has been going slow, since I'm trying to spin really fine.
Bohemian Rhapsody
My plan is to try out 3-ply since I heard it's supposed to make the yarn rounder. Plying shall be interesting. I'm missing the instant gratification of spinning heavier yarn, and I'm considering getting another spindle. See, monogamy in fibre craft might just not be my thing.

Anyway, Christmas holiday will be crazy, I'll have 2 cousins coming to stay with me. A 5000 words dissertation to write. And some design concepts to come up with.
Well if I don't get to blog again before next year, which might well be the case, I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and keep sane!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Spinning and procrastinating

What? Another post within less than a week? That's what happens when I'm procrastinating from doing uni work, I guess.

You guys probably have predicted that I've been bitten by the spinning bug, hard. Here's my third skein of handpun, again BFL from limegreenjelly in colourway "Something About You".
My third handspun
My main concern about building up all these one-skein-handspun is finding a project for them. Sure, they look pretty enough just so, but it'll be nice to be able knit with them as well. So the first thing that come through my mine is, of course, a beret!
Handspun Hat
One Day Beret
Pattern: One day beret by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: My own handspun, from last post
Needle: 5.00mm
Comment: This pattern is simply perfect for those one skein of precious yarns lying around in your stash. It's top down so super easy to modify. Instead of doing the decrease gradually as in the pattern, I did one row of (k1, k2tog) instead. I had about 20 cm of leftovers.
I've been trying new things with my spinning as well.
Dancing in the moonlight
Here's some low-twist singles, it is quite tricky for me to maintain the tension, so I had some thick and thin spots. I split the roving in 2 instead of 4 as usual to get longer colour sections. Wow look at me doing the spin talk!
Anyway the roving is again from limegreenjelly but this time it's merino. It was my first time spinning with merino, and oh the joy. It's soooo soft and squishy and just makes me one happy bunny. The colourway is Dancing In The Moonlight. Have you noticed that I only buy from this seller? There are a few UK based etsy seller, but somehow her colourways spoke to me the most. Guess it's my love for deep, rich colour. I still have another 3 braids of her roving in my possession, the next one up is called Bohemian Rhapsody!
I'm wishing Santa will bring me a spinning wheel this year....or I'll just have to get one for myself, we'll see...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Classy is my name

Happy Forest Shrug
Pattern: Dream In Colour shrug
Needle: 5.00mm
Yarn: Dream in colour Classy "Happy Forest"
Comment: First, I fell in love with the shrug. So when I was at Socktopus grand opening I spent quite a while trying to pick a colour. Then I wound the yarn up, and the magic began. The yarn felt soooo good sliding through my fingers. Nothing fancy, just pure soft, squishy merino. Knitting with it was also a joy and the shrug grew quickly. I cast on for it when I was on my way to Socktopus for a knit night the day before I left London, knitted it on the plane all the way home, then cast off the day after. So really the whole thing only took me 3 days to knit.
Not too shabby, right?
I bought 2 skeins of it and there were quite a bit of leftovers, so I made this.
Classy Meret
Pattern: Meret, available as Ravelry download
Needle: 5.00mm
Comment: I cast on for this last Wednesday night and did 5 rows of ribbing, took it with me the next day to uni and knitted through presentations for the whole day and basically got the whole body done. Went home and knitted the decrease and a beret was born! It was such a quick and easy pattern. Not to mention pretty. I only did 3 lace repeats for the body for fear of running out of yarn, but looking at my leftover I could've squish in an extra repeat, but I like it anyway.
Oh, those checkered bags you can see in the background is all yarn.

I'd love to wax some more poetics about this yarn, about how I want to sleep and roll nekkid on it. But I shall refrain myself and go back to doing my uni assignments. It's really hard to concentrate when you're surrounded by fibres and all you want to do is play with it. But I still need that degree, so I have to put away the knitting (Cardigan for Arwen!) on my lap and do work. Ugh.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Spinner yet?

As I said in my previous post, I went home for 2 weeks and just came back last week. I told my tutors that I was going to my sister's wedding, but in truth it was my cousin's engagement party. The wedding is this Sunday, and I could've gone to the wedding instead but I thought that I'd be too busy by now, turns out there's really no difference, ugh. But it's always nice to be home, especially if it's only for a short period so I get to skip town before everything drives me crazy. The party was great fun though, and I enjoyed meeting families and relatives. Here's me and my cousin (the bride-to-be).

The party was done with a modern oriental theme, it was really quite cool, I'm glad I didn't miss out.

Meanwhile, ever since I came back last week, other than being swamped with uni work, I've been spinning too!
My first handspun
Let me present to first hank of handspun ever!! I'm so thrilled with this it reminded me of when I finished my first knit. The fibre is some handpainted BFL I got at Ally Pally. As you can see it's still quite slubby, but I still think it looks pretty cool. As soon as I finished this, I ordered some more roving from this etsy shop. And I have this in 2 and a half days!
My second handspun
It's gorgeous if I may say so myself. The colourway is called Angel of Harlem, and I've got another one called Something About You that I can't wait to start spinning up!
And don't think that because I've been busy spinning there's no knitting done.
Bayerische socks
Bayerische Socks
Pattern: Bayerische socks by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Sheperd Socks Solid colourway "Firefly"
Needle: Addi Turbo 2.5mm
Comment: This one certainly has been a long time coming. According to my ravelry record I started it back in June. The pattern wasn't hard, but it does has LOTS of stitches, and knitting every stitches through the back loop also means it goes slower. And I couldn't for the life of me memorise the 16-rows pattern repeat (that's the fancy one at the side). It was a lot of fun though, and I think that the yarn works really well for this too. I love how "crunchy" Shepherd Sock is. And since it's incredibly stretchy it fits perfectly too.

Well, there's been more knitting done but I have some blocking and more pictures to take! Keep in tune!