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May 31, 2005

beautiful yarns from norway

du store alpakka!
a dear friend of mine gave me a bag of beautiful yarns from her recent visit to norway this memorial weekend, and i am obligated to show my readers such lovely colors blended in fibers of alpaca and silk! i'm in love with them immediately! my friend obvious knows me well for she picked such beautiful assortments of colors.

so, what should i make? a pair of gloves? a short sleeved sweater incorporated those colors as stripes? a chevron stitched scarf with matching hat? any ideas? i want to use all five balls in a project as these colors look so harmoniously together. i would not want to separate them at all!

thank you for the lovely yarns, hege!

what are you knitting this week?

last day of may! summer will officially be here tomorrow. what did i do on the memorial weekend? i started a second pair of socks!

long tail cast on, 2X2 ribbing, nice and stretchy!

when i selected this particular yarn, i envisioned that this colorway would be more suitable for men, like my dad. and it did, such pretty blue, beige, grey and hints of purple. even i liked it! so a sequence of rationalization was initiated on my side as to perhaps i need to keep the socks to myself... (very bad)! my husband of course kept reminding me that it is going to be a pair of socks for my father. i am coming to grip of that fact now.

who won't love such beautiful array of colors?

since it will be summer soon (like tomorrow) and i have yet to make any decent progress on the sherbet skirt, i casted on that project last week, too! but after i have knitted a few rows, i was not too happy with the tension... so i ripped it off to start again when i attain a calmer mindset. i don't like to start a project when i'm in a haste.

uneven stitches everywhere. albeit the pretty color, you're going to be frogged!

also, remember the fluffy camisole? it's actually very close to finish! a picture to show you the DMC thread i'll use to crochet the edge. rowan's kid silk haze is really a soft and fluffy yarn. i love it!

DMC cotton perle bathed in the sun!

i'm also making slow progress on the baby cardigan, two more inches till the decrease for yoke! friend's baby won't be here until august, so i still have plenty of time! dale of norway's baby ull is a beauty to work with!

half way there!

so, the secret pal program is starting (so exciting), it feels like christmas! better than christmas actually, as you have no idea when and what the presents will be here! and you know someone else is feeling the same way, awaiting the presents you will be sending.

guess what i also found out this morning? alison at the blue blog is hosting sockapal-2-zers (another sock exchange progam)! you bet i'll be sending her my info tomorrow when the gate opens!

May 24, 2005

SP5, this is for you!

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?
sort of, well, yes! i do prefer high quality and natural fibers basically because i feel that if i’m going to invest my time into making something, i’d rather want to work with the yarn that i love. then again, there are some nice novelty yarns there that i may try one day, depending on the project! bottom line is, i don’t like yarns you can find at walmart!

2. do you spin? crochet?
i don’t spin (though i’d like to one day), and i crochet minimally (ie, if a project requires a crocheted edge, i would then crochet!)

3. do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
i don’t like smoke. i don’t like strong perfume of any sort. i am allergic to pollen (not fun).

4. how long have you been knitting?
i learned how to knit in 96, but i only started knitting seriously a couple years ago.

5. do you have an amazon or other online wish list?
i have a wish list with amazon containing mostly knitting books!

6. what's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
hmm… as a victim of believing in quality life, i’m kind to my body (read: i like scents that are not synthetic). i’m very particular as to where i purchase my scented products from. i like lavender, floral scents from aveda, and the lovely shea butter (or anything) scents from l’occitane. (yes, i’m spoiled! my husband knows that).

7. do you have a sweet tooth?
actually, no. i don’t like chocolate, candies or even cakes (exception to crème brulee). i don’t snack. but, i’m an epicurean! i believe in good food.

8. what other crafts or do-it-yourself things do you like to do?
none, really! knitting is basically it!

9. what kind of music do you like? can your computer/stereo play mp3s?
not really into music, (you must think i’m whacked!!), actually, let me rephrase, i don’t like pop-music and i don’t really listen to music much. however, i like jazz, musicals and cello (big yo-yo ma fan). music to me is a very personal thing, it’s hard for me to categorize as to what kind i like. i know it when i hear it.

10. what's your favorite color? or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? any colors you just can't stand?
creamy white, the whole spectrum of whites (beige, ivory, taupe, soft grey (maybe a bit stretching here). i also like other colors, such as deep reds, soft yellows, olives, blues and pinks. i’m not too crazy with the teal or purple-ish. then again, it really depends on the project.

11. what is your family situation? do you have any pets?
a great loving husband and three wild calico cats.

12. what are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, i know)
depending on the day! all knitters want to have their own yarn shops so that was mine at some point! i’d love to have a job that allows me to travel all the time, to wear fabulous clothes and to take lots of vacations! but i think at the end i just want to be content to what i have, healthy and happy!

13. what is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
hmm… so far, anything rowan (i’m a rowan junkie). i like alpaca/wool blend a lot. i have not yet tried cashmere but i think i’d love that, too.

14. what fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
100% acrylic, nylon or synthetic froufrou sparkling fur yarn!! i’m not into itchy scratchy yarns either, doesn’t matter if it’s wool. come to think of it, i don’t like single ply wool yarns that felts too easily.

15. what is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
cotton yarns! i would love to make cotton tops for the summer. i have yet to do that! rowan calmer is my current fascination!

16. what is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

oh, so many! cardigans, sweaters (not tunic, though), summer tops. i recently started sock knitting! love that! sock yarns are so deliciously beautiful!

17. what are you knitting right now?
will be starting the sherbert (wave) skirt from ik spring, couple unfinished projects including a baby cardigan for a friend and a pair of socks for my dad.

18. what do you think about ponchos?
i can’t say i do. i’m quite petite so ponchos may make me to like a walking umbrella. then again, i can always make one to my liking.

19. do you prefer straight or circular needles?
both, depending on the project.

20. bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
i like bamboo needles, been dying to get some lantern moon needles (sp5, are you listening?!). i don’t like plastic, but i do like the denise interchangeables. i am neutral towards the aluminum ones

21. are you a sock knitter?

22. how did you learn to knit?
my mum taught me!

23. how old is your oldest ufo?
several months! i don’t like to keep a project hanging.

24. what is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
betty boop! she is so cute!

25. what is your favorite holiday?
christmas and i love it for santa claus, not for religious reasons!

26. is there anything that you collect?
not really. if you must, i love yarns (surprise!). actually, i am starting a collection of knitting magazines and books.

27. what knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
i have rowan and interweave.

28. any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
loop d loop by teva durham! i would love to have the tendances magazine, noro and jaeger! and i would love to get a classic pattern book jm08 from jaeger so i can work on highgate (inspired by sweetgeorgia)!

are you in?

when i started blogging few months ago, i've noticed that knitting bloggers would sporadically show off presents they had received from the "secret pal". i felt a bit left out for not being part ot the whole secret pal thing. i know, it's lame! so, since then i have been watching closely for the next "secret pal" thing and voila! it's here! so, new bloggers, go over there and sign up immediately so you can love and be loved by a fellow knitter (and put a lovely button on your blog!)

May 23, 2005

choose your labels wisely

thanks for all the compliments and support for my socks and label (respectively)! i appreciate them all! i have to say, the place where i ordered my labels from is really nice, they give you a pretty realistic expectation as to when you will get them. if you are unsure of the color combination, you may want to call and chat with them first (that, was something i did not do).

so, have at it!

May 22, 2005

a pair of socks!

finally, an FO! making this pair of socks is like pulling teeth! especially the motivation to start the second one. but i'm glad it's all done! it'll be on its way to brisbane next week, i hope my mum will like it!

i may want to try my next pair with long-tail cast on. i like the tubular cast on, but one of the socks feels like it's a bit tight so i'm going to experiment with other cast on methods to see which ones i like the best.

so, what next? i am having the urge to finish off all the half down projects (the fluffy camisole and baby sweater), however, i think i need to start the sorbet skirt now!

what to do with the left over yarns? a pair of baby socks?

do you think the right one has more dark shades?

knit project: socks for mother's day
difficulty (1-5): 2
size: woman's medium (64 stitches, tubular cast on)
yarn: brown sheep's wildfoote luxury sock yarn in geranium (08)
knitting specs: 2 X US 2 cir.

May 21, 2005

label and trade

i ordered some labels a while back and just received them today. i'm quite disappointed. why? because honestly can you make out what the heck it reads? oh well. this is going to be the constant reminder of my own stupidity. sparkling thread! nice.

if you squint your eyes, it should read " hand knit by blossom from whispering pine"

i do, however, got something exciting this week from my successful rowan trade with ninja kitten! two issues of knit 1 and skeins of berroco glace! love trading! now i need to find a project to show off this beautiful yarn. any thoughts?

my first pair of socks is almost done! whew! so close to start another new project!

May 16, 2005

belated update on my sock adventure

i knew at the the back of my head that i needed to show some evidence that my sock knitting is not just a virtual blah. so, i'm catching the wave of the picture posting madness today to provide pictorial evidence of my sock knitting as of late.

this pile of yarn is my current sock yarn stash. they are enough for four pairs of socks. the variegated red is for my mum, greyish black is for my dad. i will own the red flaky self patterned and husband will have the most beautiful green/grey self patterned.

i started off my first attempt with my mum's socks (reason being i had the wild dream that i would finish the socks in time for mother's day). well, i finished one sock before mother's day. the second sock is still in progress.

sock knitting has been fun. i must say. since i am using two circulars to knit socks, i will cast on two socks at the same time for my next pair to avoid the setbacks.

these yummy looking yarn has been in my possession for two weeks now, they are for the wave skirt of IK spring. since the yarn looks more like delicious sorbet, this project will now be called "the sorbet skirt" in my blog.

i am so eager to start this project! but, due to the number of WIPs is too high for my taste at this moment, i will not start until one of the projects is done. thus, i'm knitting away the socks like mad!

delicious yarn for my sorbet skirt!

knitting in the rain

it is currently sunny outside my office window and i'm feeling kind of weird for creating an entry with this title. but really, it will all make sense with what i am about to share:

this past weekend i spectated the first race of the season - a duathlon at callaway garden, GA. my husband was a participant, me, a former participant, wimped out this year due to lack of training.

last year, the weather was too beautiful to mention. this year, there was nothing but rain, rain, rain!

bikes are soaked in the rain.

husband biking in the rain, too fast for a clear image!

last year, i was regretting for not packing a bathing suit for sunbathing next to the lovely lake after race, this year, i brought my straw hat, bathing suit, sunscreen and even a sarong. well, they never left our car!

this is the would be beautiful lake to sunbath near if there's no rain.

however, last year, i was not possessed by the knitting god. this year, i brought my knitting and i was happily knitted away in the car!

the second sock in working. the towel was actually functional (to wipe the rain off my legs and hands)!

nonetheless, it was a fun weekend. we got to see friends, and my husband got to experience some near-death experience when biking in the rain! and i finally started on the second sock, it's all good!

he's my warrior!

May 12, 2005

rowan for trade

i somehow ended up with two copies of rowan 37, and i'm wondering if anyone is up for trade? just leave me your email in the comment and we can discuss details from there.

i'll take yarn, magazine, accessories of equal value. whom i'd like to trade with is entirely up to me. however preference will be given to regular readers.


May 07, 2005

for the love of books... a book meme

a rabbit and a snake resting on our bookshelf. why? take a guess!

domesticat tagged me for a book meme...

total number of books in your house ... my husband and i are both book lovers. we buy books on regular basis so there are books everywhere in this house. not just books, magazines, too! i also have a habit of requesting catalogues from all over the place and look at them whenever i need inspiration for whatever obsessions i have at the time.

there are basically two types of books in this household. one belongs to my husband and these basically are fantasy novels of elves, hobbits, dragons, wizards... "lord of the ring"-ish type of books. another type belongs to me and these are of various topics. they can be biographies of famous or not so famous people, novels of mystery, romance, controversial topics, cookbooks of various style, light humors, comics books (actually, my husband owns those), resource tools etc.

in addition, i also have a collection of books in chinese. i prefer to read in chinese from time to time as i feel the essence of a story can sometimes lost during the translation, the oomph and the magic of a language is difficult to convert.

and of course, i have lately started a collection of knitting related books. they have the most of my love right now. my husband told me once that he feels like he needs to wash hands first before he touches my rowan magazines!

The last book you bought was ...
the snow fox: a novel by susan fromberg schaeffer
the accidental connoisseur : an irreverent journey through the wine world by lawrence osborne
postcards from the edge by carrie fisher

i bought these books to read on the plane for my earlier trip. i only got through a few pages of the first one and have not picked it back up yet as other things were taking up my time (ie, knitting).

The last book you read was ...
shopaholic & sister by sophie kinsella
oh, i love the shopaholic series. it's kind of lame, i know, but i really like light british novels! this may have something to do with my times spent in london. the humor and the use of words just so attractive to me. actually, my sister gave me this book, we share similar tastes in some books.

5 (or 6) books you often read or that mean a lot to you ...
hmm... memoirs of a geisha by arthur golden. i love novels about the east, especially in english. this book is very well written and very well plotted. i can see myself reading it over and over again.

the royal game & other stories by stefan zweig. i read one of the stories "a letter from an unknown woman" when i was about fourteen. i read it in chinese. since then i read it many times and every time i am amazed by his description of such poweful infatuation. it's a beautifully written story about a young woman felt in love and she bared such love to her death. i have yet to read it in english. i may feel differently about the story after i do.

a year in provence by peter mayle. this book, along with many other mayle's books, introduced me to the beautiful provence and made me felt in love with that place before i ever get a chance to visit there. all those lavender fields, french country cooking, southern french hospitality and sunday markets... don't you just feel the urge to immediately reserve a summer house and fly over there to experience it all? i do. all the time. mayle is a great writer, his light english humor and persuasive words are very attractive to me.

cooking for mr. latte by amanda hesser. i not only love the story between hesser and mr. latte, i also love how she integrated the stories with so many wonderful recipes. yes, it has great recipes! as an epicurean, i appreciate reading books about foodies!

garden of eden by ernest hemingway. books of hemingway often give a perception of being too literary and hard to follow. i don't think it should apply to this one (or a moveable feast). this is a story about triangular loves between man and woman. hemingway uses a simple story line to discuss intricate loves of human, though simple in plot, there is an abundance of beautifully described scene to make it a worth read.

what? no knitting books on the list? well, i read all the knitting books all the time so that in itself should deserve its own meme...

who are you going to pass this on to and why ...
erika (winter garden)
dani (knitting sunshines)
kris (s t r i k k e r)

*sorry if you are tagged twice, i should have followed your blog more closely*

why? i love their blogs, i may love their books, too.

May 05, 2005

mindless knitting into summer

it feels like summer already in the south, and i have entered a phase of mindless knitting.

i have completed a sock as of this wednesday. so far i am pleased with the result but afraid that i will not have enough patience to finish the pair, which conveniently reminds me why i never liked making socks. the whole "have to make a pair" thing just deflates my motivation. funny this does not apply to sleeves.

aside from socks, two other projects, the baby cardigan and fluffy camisole/cowl, are moving along at a steady pace. i had set some reachable daily knitting goals for each project (like 10 rows per day, etc) to comfort myself from the mundane stockinette stitches and the repetitive lace pattern. so far, it works for my easily fooled mind.

last week, i received the yarn for the wave skirt of interweave spring. i am so tempted to start but it really needs to wait until i either finish off the socks (for my mum), or complete all the stockinette stitches for the baby sweater. in the meantime, i'm just trying to see if i need some cute tops to go with this currently non-existent skirt of mine.

so, it's going to be summer soon, what a great time to look forward to!

this is what summer is for me