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January 30, 2006

cardigans for both

thank you so very much for liking my new home. i am so aspired to keep bringing you my knitting adventures in this new space.

so the romantic thoughts of moving to a new city are gone, now we are left with the practical aspects of relocation. it can be anxious and exciting all at the same time, no? but fear not, i am still knitting.

it may be a while before i have more exciting pictures to show. we have left our camera at a friend's house over the weekend. friends live in another city. so i may have to document my knitting with words until the camera is back. hey, but you will still visit, right? i know that you come here for my writing and pictures are just bonus. (please say yes!!)

cobalt blue without the front

cobalt blue cardi is almost done. i have two front pieces to knit, then, assemble, sew buttons, done. i have enjoyed working on this project a lot. rowanspun is a great tweed yarn to work with, just like many bloggers had already mentioned. i do have one complaint about this pattern/yarn: very difficult to adjust tensions from one stitch pattern to the next. i am hoping a trip to the bath would resolve this issue.

for my neice, i settled for this classic style in the end. i think she will get more wear out of it than a teeny coat.

another baby cardi in the color of lavender

this project is really simple, though i have massively adjusted the gauge (which i hope it would work out!). the initial progress is slow as it calls for so many stitches for lower part of the cardi, even after the gauge adjustment. it is a lovely pretty thing, nonetheless.

i imagine rowan yarn classic's cashsoft is very similar to debbie bliss's cashmerino collection. the yarn is very soft, very easy to work with and gives a lovely stitch definition. if you ever consider trying, here is my input for you.

January 25, 2006

a year in whispering pine

peter mayle's a year in provence is so charming, i can only hope that the year in whispering pine had brought you half as much fun and light hearted pleasures. knitting pleasures, that is.

in three days, i will be blogging about my knitting for one year. this year, compared to many years of my life in the past, is definitely one of the best ones; knitting or not. if my world is like a cake, knitting, blogging about knitting and shopping for yarns are definitely the cream and cherries of the cake, the best part.

i have learned how to spend my time carefully as it will become a valuable commodity as i grow old. i have chosen to spend my time with knitting, and i think i will continue to do so for the years to come. why? because knitting and friends of this knitting world have brought me so much joy and friendship, just two steps shy from the love i got from my husband and cats.

as such, i think my journal deserves a better home. so here i am, i have bought a piece of property in the cyberspace. i now have my new, independent blog.

thank you, diana, for enabling me a fabulous space here. i love the tree. and i am adding on a new one annually. it may grow into a forest. who knows?

my dear readers, you shall know how to find me, i don't want you losing your way in the forest.

happy knitting.

January 18, 2006

would i keep knitting?

i often feel that hobbies are activities you do to complement the unhappiness in your life. hobbies are things you enjoy doing and feel passionate about. furstration and displeasure that generally associated with chores or jobs are not part of what hobbies offer. therefore, i think, a person's hobbies are a rough reflection of what she/he is seeking in life.

would i keep knitting if i win the lottery? i know i would quit my job instantly because my life would be better without this job. i would keep my husband, cats and families because i know life is not anything without them. but, would i quit knitting?

would you?

i crave having a creative environment. living in one and working with people with similar minds. unfortunately, i am in a profession which creativity is forbidden. rules and theories and data are what dictate my day. but i have knitting. when i knit, i create, i learn and i follow no rules of what is right or wrong. i do what pleases myself and those qualities are darn attractive to me.

winning a lottery puts you in a totally different world from the rest of the common working class. you have an abundance of money to allow for instant gratification. no more budgets. if i want to fill my house with lorna's laces sock yarn, i can. if i want to work with only cashmere fiber, i can hire farmers and have a cashmere goat farm set up. i will not need to have patience. i may even cease to have desire as all of them will be fulfilled.

if that is the case, will i have the endurance to knit a pair of socks? an aran sweater, or an alice starmore fair isle cardigan? will i still find yarns attractive, spinners amazing or artists beautiful?

is it better to live a life knowing that you do not have everything and still have hopes knowing that one day you will?

yikes. no, i did not win no lottery. and i still have my job. and i am still knitting.

but we are moving. in a few months, we are moving closer to our dreams.

January 10, 2006

more on blog and buttons

soon, i will abandon this blog and move my journal to movable type. if you notice anything weird or had already secretly discovered my new domain name, please browse it in silence. the new site is up but it is still a mess. which i dare not to put my readers through it just yet.

soon, i hope. you shall love my new home in the blogland.

my nephew is in the phase of animal imitation, as my sister had informed me. he pictured himself as a dog at the moment. he barks, licks and pants. had i known that earlier, i would have knit him a dog suit. a blues clues t shirt. or maybe his fascination with dogs will end soon. perhaps rabbits next.

and yes, monkeysuit is next. in fact, i had started that last night. surprisingly i did not care for the pattern so much now. double seed stitches are looking a bit too granny like. i am considering another pattern. i'm thinking the yoked cardi i had made earlier but with casharan and a bigger gauge. large amounts of pattern modification will have to happen. i can do it, i think so.

now are you ready for some cute buttons? they are the long awaited tagua buttons. how precious! they look like little donuts.

tagua buttons in rusty red matching my alpakka sweater

can you see the beautiful grain?

also, mari is kind enough to scout out some horn buttons for my blue cobalt cardi, which is about half way done. the best part, it comes with a box of chocolate. now just how many times in the blog land you actually see chocolate made it into the pictures? and no, i still have plenty to savor. hmm...

buttons and chocolate with my blue cardi

January 08, 2006

the complete rabbit tank

the back of the tank top is the highlight. why? i modified it for the better! ...and the boring front.

knit project: debbie bliss's the baby knits book - rabbit tank top
difficulty (1-5): 1.5
size: chest 60cm
yarn: brown sheep's cotton fleece in willow leaf, nymph and rue
knitting specs: US 5 and 6 cir.

like i said earlier, this is a quickie project. though it took me a good amount of time fixing the neckline (this kid has a big head) and weaving in ends.

this is a simple knit so not too much to share, i followed debbie bliss's decreases around the arm holes and neckline, aside from that, all the measurements were tailored to my nephew. one of the things i'd like to get better at in knitting is the finishing techniques. i am so good at overlooking this (and possibly the most important) area of knitting. but, i aspire to be a good knitter, a non sloppy knitter. so i had tried to pay particular attention on finishing techniques for this project.

however, i am still no elizabeth zimmermann or becky the skinny rabbit. more practice is still needed. patience, too.

i also wanted to show off the little rabbit button at the back opening by utilizing a darker shade of blue (remnants of wave skirt stash) and the light blue. i think it adds some visual interest.

love the rabbit button (but please excuse that cat paw, never pay attention to a cat who is trying to bite your knits)

pumpkin! bad cat. stay out of my room!!

January 04, 2006

blog and a rabbit tank top

thank you for the overwhelming words of my elfine. it is so warm here today but i am waiting for a perfect day to wear them. which will be the happy day for my feet.

this and the following couple posts will be about my 2006 aspirations, mostly knitting, little on life. but first and being the foremost, my blog. i am considering switching my current platform to movable type. a year of blogging has proven to me (and my husband) that this activity will be part of my life for a while, so i am ready to invest in my hobby now. hopefully i will be able to gather enough information in the next couple weeks to enable this transition. while keeping in mind that my html knowledge is like two sentences long, i welcome all advice, suggestions and help.

so blogging. bigger and better. aim: quality posts for self and leave meaningful comments for others. continue to knit with love and passion to enable good blogging. keep seeking inspirations from the talented and be kind to all knitters alike.

aside from the blog, january is going to be taken up by a couple baby knits. at least for the first part.

rabbit tank top (baby knits book)

i am making nephew E a tank top based on the baby knits book by debbie bliss. nephew E lives in singapore, he is 2.5 years old, active as any other baby boys. he loves toy cars and chunky monkey smoothies (the banana strawberry smoothie from fuzion cafe). for an active, bobbling boy, my version of tank top for him will be in the color of willow leaf, garnished with the color of sea waves, a soft shade of blue. a mind calming color combo will hopefully send a state of tranquility to his parents. i am also adding an opening at the back, that will be addressed with buttons of robert rabbit and co. i am collecting my own creative version from here and here.

cotton fleece, the yarn i am using for the second time, gives such beautiful and crisp stitch definition. i will make an effort to use this yarn more frequently in the future. also, this yarn is perfect for tubular cast on, see? it can almost passed as a machine knit garment.

i am loving how fast this project goes. one more reason to knit for nieces and nephews before they all grow up.

monkeysuit for my baby niece is also coming. i am exercising the "first come, first serve" rule, as such, nephew's tank top first, niece's jacket is currently holding a number.

January 01, 2006

new year, 2006

elfine feels at home in the woods

knit project: amelia raitte - elfine
difficulty (1-5): 1.7
size: one size (24 stitches, toe up turkish method)
yarn: handspun bluefaced leicester by pesky mac (400 yd)
knitting specs: US 1 magic loop

the year starts off with a finished project completely enabled by knit bloggers, an adorable community that i became a part of; world wide knitters whom have enriched my life and most importantly, my knitting.

elfine, my new socks. a beautiful design by anna in london, an even more precious handspun yarn gifted to me by mac in philadephia. the colors are beautiful, soft against my feet, radiant under the sun.

a ray of sunlight on a beautiful new year's morning

accompanied by the nose of a nosy cat

i tried to capture the first morning ray of 2006, beneath the pile of woods i found my cat whom stealthily had tried to be in (or avoid) the picture. she was totally spooked by last night's fireworks. today, she is trying to find a comfort place in her favorite spot. so cute.

elfine is also comfortable in my room and on my feet

elfine fits wonderfully, i used turkish cast on (best method for toe up socks), yarn over short row heels and cast off very loosely. they probably will not stay on but the sloughy look of elfine is just as pretty.

have a wonderful year, my beloved knitting friends. i have many aspirations for my knitting and life, which i shall share in the coming days. also, it has been almost one year since the inception of whispering pine. soon, you will find out the story behind the name of this knitting blog.