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June 29, 2005

koigu love


"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for all of Paris is a moveable feast."
Ernest Hemingway - moveable feast

i don't know how this quote is relevant to this post, but when i spotted those beautiful koigu at my local yarn shop the other day, hemingway's quote was all i can think about.

nothing is more exciting to a knitter than a skein of beautiful yarn. i have heard and read so much about koigu, and that day, at the local yarn shop, marked my first contact with this famous yarn. it had made me realized how powerful that excitement was, almost ecstatic, fainting, and at the same time, i just wanted to put all the stock in my hands and took all of them home with me.

i did not take all of them home (although all koigu yarns were 50% off...), despite how much i would have loved to do that. it really took a lot of self discipline from me to just select a few of my favorite shades and to immediately leave the shop. believe it or not, i have yet to make a pair of socks for myself. so, i feel the need to keep those yarns to my desperate feet!

and, not all i bought was koigu sock yarns, the pinky ones were koigu kersti will be this beautiful scarf and probably some gloves? sometimes it's kind of fun to find a pattern for a limited amount of yarn.

so, do you remember when was the first time a skein of yarn that made you appreciate knitting? what kind of yarn is so precious and soft that you don't even want to unravel it? many yarns had left impressions on my mind, and i know that there will be many more to come. and koigu, was definitely one of those moments.

June 28, 2005

sockapal-2-za update: making decisions

after going through numerous sock patterns and browsing through various brands of sock yarns- never crossed my mind that socks can be this complicated - i have decided to make the "friday harbor" lace socks in deep forest kroy yarns for my secret sock pal. friday harbor, the pattern from the wonderful "knitting on the road", involves some lace pattern, some ribbing and this knits to a calf length. all these are preferences stated by my sock pal. not to mention that *green* is her favorite color!

friday harbor sock is quite a popular one in the knitblog land, i found deb had made a pair, as well as beatknits! theirs all turned out so lovely.

okay. i think i'm ready to cast on.

friday harbor from "knitting on the road"

June 26, 2005

sorbet skirt in every direction

"your skirt is lovely", so my husband tells me.

knit project: interweave spring 2005 - wave skirt
difficulty (1-5): 2.3
size: 27 in
yarn: brown sheep's cotton fleece in assorted colors
knitting specs: US 5 & 6 cir.

my husband has always been a great supporter for my knitting, he always praises my work. however, he is particularly happy with this one and he's inspired to take many pictures for me during the sunset of this warm alabama sunday!

so, i have to say that my worries for knitting a skirt is completely gone by the end of this project. kat coyle is a genius for designing this figure flattering skirt. though a lot of kamikaze knitting went on this past couple weeks, i still think that this is a very quick and straight forward knit, though don't let all the weaving ins scare you off. cotton fleece can not have enough compliments from me, also, i learned how to bind off in beautiful lacey edges which is always a thumbs-up from me when i get to learn new techniques from a project!

i only lightly blocked this by pinning the edgings and spraying some water to let it dry. i will wash this after i wear this to work tomorrow! i'm all for integrating my knittings in with my daily wardrobe. hey, less shopping for commercially made clothes for me!

"she's equally flattering in every direction", husband adds.

what a finishing weekend! no more excitement for a while, my friends.

classic yoked baby cardigan

classic yoked cardigan from erika knight's "knitting for two"

knit project: knitting for two - classic yoked cardigan
difficulty (1-5): 2
size: 3-6 mo
yarn: dale of norway's baby ull in cream
knitting specs: US 5 cir.

sometimes, it takes more time to complete a project for babies than for adults and this project is definitely an example of that. i picked this cardigan to make for our friends coleman and kerri for its style is timeless and classic. also, it looks equally beautiful on a baby boy or girl. having said that, i am somehow secretly hoping that they are going to have a little girl. so i made the shawl collar version with pearl buttons. the result is quite satisfying.

for the most part, this is a pretty straight forward project and it goes pretty quickly after the never ending stockinette stitches. i used four balls of dale of norway's baby ull and i think the yarn is perfect for this cardigan. baby ull is very soft and springy, it is also machine washable, a definite plus for parents!

what i'd do differently the next time (if there's a next time!) would be knitting the upper front bands together with the front pieces than making them separately and sewing on later. the only thing i'll need to figure out first is the buttonhole positions!

a cream baby cardigan waiting to be worn!
details of the pearl button, shawl collar, waist gathering and my whispering pine label!!

June 24, 2005

almost done!

she's all striped now!

June 23, 2005

should the butterfly be pink?

original cream (love it)
so, in order to make myself all tangled up in multiple projects, i'm thinking of starting a new project in a few weeks: the butterfly from rowan37. i bought some KSH wannabe yarns in taipei a few months ago and i chose these two soft pastels to come home with me. but i have not been able to decide which is a better color for butterfly. it's always tough to pick a color to knit. i tend to gravitate towards my favorite colors and this is typically fine until one day the whole wardrobe consists of only one color palette. so, is it gonna be green or pink? what's your thought?
but i only have green and pink?

June 21, 2005

sockapal-2-za update: choice of yarn

i'm starting this secret sock exchange by thinking about what kind of yarns i'm going to spoil my sock pal with. tough part of the knitting process, in my mind. my sock pal has a pretty detailed description of what kind of yarns she likes, with color preference, too. and, just so happens that i have two skeins of paton's kroy socks yarn in deep forest green (her favorite color is green)!

so, what is the problem here? well, the problem is that i'm also thinking of some beautiful koigu, lorna's laces and handpainted opal. that's my problem. i have a planned trip to the LYS this thursday so i'm still holding the final verdict in the air until then.

however, i'm also aware that sometimes you can really make a beautiful pair of socks out of some seemingly ordinary looking yarns (ie, paton's kroy socks).

here's my somewhat lame update of the sockapal-2-za this week. i'll try to have a weekly update for this knitalong/secret exchange.

June 18, 2005

she is just a mini-skirt

for now, that is!

saturday afternoon, florida weather. you know if you stay out for a couple hours, you might get a tan, and nobody would know if the tan was from florida or your back deck. so, there i was, pretending to be under the florida sun, clicking my sorbet skirt away.

i know i had plans to finish off the baby cardigan (hey, i still have sunday to do it!), but i was having too much fun making all these lovely stripes! maybe too much fun that i had forgotten to put on sunscreen. i am feeling a little sunburn right now. oops!

sunblock, sorbet stripes, stripey weave ins and mini skirt were what i was thinking about during this sunny afternoon!

June 17, 2005

feels like christmas!

first, my secret pal sent over a sock themed package!

first contact with home spun yarn, for me and the curious pumpkin!

zoe, too. though she is also into the lovely whipstick lip balm (chocolate flavor!)

second, dani cured my stitch marker envy by sending over some cutest stitch markers! with cats and mice, too!

real cats were wondering why there are cats on the stitch markers, but more importantly, why it's them that get to go outside?

thank you so much, secret pal and dani! i love them all! so excited with the home made yarn! i can't wait to make some beautiful socks with them. i looked through the "folk socks" book, i can tell already that i'll be making some socks from there. and you know what, my WIPs will now be dressed with beautiful stitch markers!

quick and sorbety

you will be pleased to know that my sorbet skirt is now entering the stripey zone. oh, the cotton fleece is just lovely; stockinette stitches produce an even, shiny, cottony fabric. light, to my surprise, and very soft! sometimes, you really just need to give praises to the american made yarns. i also put the skirt on to see the fit, and i'm happy with the fit! excellent!

so, anyone who is interested in seeing a finished wave skirt, go here. anyone who is interested in making a knitted skirt, don't hesitate anymore! get yourself some cotton fleece and start stitching.

more later with pictures.

June 15, 2005

all those secrets...

first, the secret pal, second, the secret sock pal. oh! can i just yell out at the cyberspace - who are you?

no, not yet! i don't want to spoil the fun.

the secret pal. she has been great (i think it's a she), she writes me often (nice, funny letters), and she is sending me something this week (absolutely, the best part). actually, i'm not sure what she is going to surprise me with, but my knitter's instinct tells me that it's going to be something wonderful!

so, am i a good secret pal to this person? i hope so. i write her on occasions (i know it's a her), i sent her a card (she liked it), and i just bought something for her from her wishlist (that can't be bad)! and i am getting ready to send her something (and i hope she will like them).

now for my secret sock pal, it is a little different for you are not sending out presents, you are sending out your knitted projects, in this case, a pair of socks with tailored instructions from the recipient.

this makes me a little nervous (well, a lot nervous). why? first, i feel like my knitting skill is going to be examined and possibly scrutinized but the recipient. second, i am not sure if my taste and selection of yarn is meeting the expectation of the recipient's. third, i want to do something a little bit fancier than just plain stockinette stitches but the risk of messing it up will be somewhat proportional to how difficult the pattern rates. lastly, and the most terrifying fear: what if it just does not fit? oh! i can see myself doing the edvard munch scream.

okay, perhaps my melodramatic descriptions deemed unnecessary, but those aforementioned concerns do exist on a lesser scale in my heart. so, what do i do? i ran out and bought this.

yes, a book. a sock knitting book! i heard many good things about this book so i'm going to pick a pattern from it and work on it. i'm a sock knitter with skills stuck between beginner and intermediate, so, i hope my sock pal will not die laughing at my crude attempt on a pretty pattern. yes, i have insecurities and they are particularly prominent in sock knitting.

thanks to all the lovely comments on my gallery! they are truly appreciated.

June 13, 2005

blog improvement

i've gotten my act together and put up a gallery of my FOs of 2005 (see side bar). blogger does not have the fancy albums as seen in typepad, so this is the best i can do. i'm still ignorant about html stuff, maybe it will eventually get better! who knows.

shall we get it finished?

the past weekend was one of those you felt like you were knitting like crazy but there was nothing to show, or at least nothing exciting to show.

so, i was trying to tidy up all the projects i started back in the spring, i had hopes that i'd finish the baby cardigan, but due to several ripping and reknitting, it is still waiting to be sewn together. also, due to excessive/obsessive blocking, i may have flatten the ruffling a bit too much! so, i took it off the blocking board and let it sit and regain its ruffling shape before constructing it into a proper garment. knitting is such a forever learning experience, isn't it?

almost there!
i am also knitting along the skirt but have nothing to show. i'm hoping by the end of this week, i will be able to finish all the increases and begin the fun part - stripes of summery sorbet colors!

once i've finished the baby cardigan and the socks for my dad, i am thinking of starting this halter top with GGH capri i bought earlier this year. what do you think? i know i can not wear the halter top to work, but at least i can wear them during weekends, so i'm not just knitting something that i'll never wear. i'm all for practical knitting!

rebecca24 halter top in capri
i hope this week will pass quickly so i can get back to my knitting. i came across an amazing piece of design by anna this weekend! whew! i was totally blown away by such ingenious style and completely fashion forward! i hope she will decide to share or publish this pattern because i will be there buying it!

June 07, 2005

managing disasters

first, i would like to express my appreciation to all the generous compliments on the fluffy cami! they are precious to me and my blog! so, thank you.

last night, i casted on (for the second time) the sorbet skirt and i'm about 6 or 7 rows from the beginning. it's not dramatic enough to justify a picture so i'm saving that till later. i have been reading and stealthing knitting blogs for a few months and have yet to come across a knitted skirt, when i did, it usually ended up being loathed by the creator. hmm... this makes me worry for i chose this project based on the fact that i'd be able to wear it to work, and the color of the skirt should be quite complementing to an array of tops i own. so, what if the skirt turned out to be a colossal disaster? then, all my expectation and fantasy for this piece will be vanished instantly. do i want to carry on a project bearing such fear? but, if kat coyle can pulled it off, i hope i can, too.

to minimize the risk of creating a disastrous knitwear, i made a couple modifications to the original pattern: given that the smallest size was still too big for me, i will knit in US5 all the way until the fan feather pattern in hope that the upper part of the skirt will at least be fitted to my petite frame. i will use US6 instead of US7 for the lower part of the skirt, and eliminate some repeat sequences so the length of the skirt will be some what appropriate for my height. now, should i make the lace edging? oh, i'll make that decision when i come to that.

and, i will also try on this piece as early and frequently as possible, if at some point i feel that the skirt will invariably be a failure, i will, without any reservation, frog. thank goodness i'm using brown sheep's cotton fleece. i love this yarn. versatile and soft!

whew! what a stressful entry.

aside from the skirt, i made some great progress on my dad's socks! i am on to the second sock now. however, i had just realized that in australia, father's day is not until september 4th. here i'm knitting my hearts out thinking june 19th is the d-day, and had verbally prepped my dad for a surprising gift, oh well, who to blame?

gotta love the one-size-fits-all ribbing sock

June 05, 2005

weekend knitting

remember this project that i have been knitting and blogging about for the past few months? well, it's finally done! i'm so glad!! she is a pretty piece of work! light and fluffy!

i used the yarn the pattern calls for, rowan's kidsilk haze, except the color showed in the pattern was no longer available, so, i chose color trance in hope that it will be close to the picture. now that i look at it, trance is more green than blue. if i had to do it again, i would probably choose the color heavenly for this project.

for the cotton thread, i picked up three skeins of DMC cotton perle from the local sewing store, they have so many colors that i was glad that i brought along the yarn to get a close match. it all turned out rather nicely!

i don't think this was a difficult project, just time consuming! but in all honestly, i wasn't working on this continuously for the past three months. though the lace pattern may appeared to be intimidating at first, once you've knitted a few rows, it was pretty much a breeze for it had minimal shapings until the armholes. i made the smallest size and used just under two balls of KSH. rowan's KSH is so soft and fluffy, a dream to work with... that is if you don't drop stitches! i did made a couple mistakes here and there but i hope it was not too visible.

i was going to prep myself up for a photo session, me drinking english tea with a set of "blue" english bone china, all elegant and airy... however, it was freaking 90F outside this afternoon, i had little desire to wear mohair out in the sun, so, after the sun had set, we went out and took this!

presenting fluffy camisole in the woods next to the ancient plow device

knit project: weekend knitting - fluffy camisole and cowl
difficulty (1-5): 3
size: 38 in
yarn: rowan's kid silk haze in trance
knitting specs: US 9.5 cir. for cami; 10.5 cir. for cowl

June 03, 2005

should we feel guilty?

why do we always feel guilty when we purchase yarns? do you feel guilty when you need to buy, say, a pair of socks? i often wonder about that. is guilt a feeling that emerges when you do something that you consciously know that you shouldn't? is yarn buying a sinful activity for knitters?

how much money do you spend on yarn buying every month? how many of those yarns actually turn into functional garments? do you feel more guilty if your number of FO is far less than your yarn stash?

why in the world am i asking all these somewhat rhetorical questions? well, that's because i've just spent helluva lot of money in just under 10 minutes to get me some yarn.

this all happened when my lovely husband (affectionate adjective to describe husband is necessary as he may read my blog and find out my splurge one day) brought me an envelope sent from rowan last night, in it was a list of yarns that are on sale; in it, i found some rowan calmer and some jaeger ex. fine merino all 50% off. i've heard way too many good things about these yarns and i think if i'm going to get them, i should get them NOW!

and, of course, i did.

so, what will these yarns turn into? the beautiful audrey from rowan35 (one that owns by all knitters!) and this classic polo shirt from jaeger classic knit.

that's it. no more yarns for me. except...

this fall, eton and audrey are coming to my wardrobe!

June 02, 2005

can i go out?

no, you don't need to be going outside from the second floor window!

our cats, unlike other domesticated cats, LOVE to go outside. but sometimes, they would try everything to let you know that that's what they want, like this silly furball here sniffing the window while i'm knitting! oh, my cats are funny!

i have successfully signed up for the sockapaltwoza! more socks to make! i'm slowly turning myself into a sock knitter and i love it!

knitting goal this week: finish the fluffy camisole and cowl. i have finished the cowl, it's light, warm and fuzzy! the other day i found out that craftster had a knitalong for this project and soknitpicky had posted a beautifully done camisole and cowl!