Grape Galore

SS Handspun - Grape Galore

Ply | Three
Yardage | 236.22 m
WPI | Thin fingering
Fibre | SW Merino-Tencel
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

I had initially intended for this to be available at the store for socks or even a nice smallish shawl/scarf but due to some “accident” with my spinning, I ended up losing quite a bit of yardage on this while plying it. Gah. So in the end, the resulting yardage was too little for anything else but one skein projects.

Note to self – 50-50 merino-tencel blends can be fiddly to spin, especially for someone who has been out of the spinning shape for a longggg time! Over nine months, mind you, and with all the running around, Jack Georges reviews and a baby…gah. I am actually quite surprised that I managed to squeeze in some spinning time before the babysitter showed up!

But hey, at least I managed to get this done. The resulting yarn is utterly yummy and shiny; it’s just a pity that the yardage is soooo little. Hai.

SS Handspun - Grape Galore

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Heathered Pink

SS Handspun - Heathered Pink

Ply | Three
Yardage | 330.7 m
WPI | NA (Fingering)
Fibre | 50/50 alpaca/superwash merino
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

This is actually one of my own self-blends – I didn’t want to spin up alpaca on its own so I settled for blending it with some unddyed superwash merino. The result was some candy-striped and heathered yarn that is subtle in colour but still very yummy!

I’m still undecided about putting this up for sale because it wasn’t done as well as I would have liked it and if I have my doubts about it, chances are, it won’t see the store shelves any time soon. Still, no problem. I can always use this for some ankle socks…or something. *grin*

In the meantime, I’m awfully tempted to rebrand my store but that would involve an overhaul on EVERYTHING, from name cards to site banners, names, labels, etc. Talk about finding cheap online printing services! So nah, I guess the name is for keeps for real. XD

SS Handspun - Heathered Pink

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Buying a property in Singapore – Part II

As of today, we are officially property owners! The 4% of the property price that is due at the expiry of the Option To Purchase came through yesterday thanks to my parents and as such, our lawyer has decided to exercise the Option today.

An Option To Purchase (OTP) is a document that is issued by the seller or the seller’s agent, stating the intent on purchasing the property with the payment of 1% of the property price. The OTP is also known as Earnest Monies in countries abroad and it basically means that you have the intention of buying this property, so the seller will push away all potential offers. However, OTPs here have a lifespan of two weeks and by the end of the two weeks, the buyer has to sign the document and provide 4% of the purchase price in order to exercise it. Otherwise, the buyer forfeits the 1%.

In our case, that 1% is a lot of money – nearly two months’ salary – so we had quite a stressful time this week ensuring that our 4% would come in while juggling dyeing, working on bpi training assignments and so forth. It didn’t. No thanks to the volcano eruption and subsequent closure of European airports, the bank couldn’t facilitate the transfer in time so we had to look somewhere else to help us make the payment. We have the money; it just wasn’t coming in fast enough!!! Luckily, my parents had the cash and they did a telegraphic transfer which cleared yesterday – just in time for the lawyer to exercise the option.

So in future to all you peeps who are staying abroad and wish to buy a property where you are – don’t be like Nil and myself, and wait till you lay down the Option to transfer down some money. Start the transfer at least two-three weeks BEFORE you go house-hunting lest Murphy’s law does hit you right smack in the arse!

Anyway, after having said all that…we are now property owners!!!! w00t!

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Yahoo for spinning!

Singles waiting to be plied up!

I’m definitely on a spinning roll now! It’s been a week or so since I last churned out my previous plied yarn – pictures to come soon – and I’m onto my third braid of fiber now! Talk about getting relaxed AND worked out at the same time – all that feet action beats the heck out of a Lipofuze!

Above is the result of the second braid that I had worked on and finished yesterday, both spinning into singles and then plying into a nice fingering weight yarn. This is one of my handdyed fibers and somehow I couldn’t bear to part with it so I kept it. Of course, the fact that it was the only merino-silk braid I order in the initial stages of starting off my shop helped. *grins* The sheen and colour transition is just amazing so much so that I’m quite tempted to make this part of my shop’s fiber inventory!

I wonder though if I’d be able to continue spinning at this rate once I start work…or work on my other hobbies like knitting and sewing, which has taken a backseat. The price of having to juggle so many hobbies on top of caring for a home, husband and baby. I have about a week to go before my first day and I can’t say that I’m looking forward to it. It’s still quite mixed considering that I don’t really have a suitable wardrobe in place and I foresee my plate getting even more full by the minute.

Still, one thing is for sure – I’m looking forward to the day I move into our new place and incorporate some gym/pool laps into my exercise routine. At the moment, I’ve been active but not as active as I would like to be. Still have those pregnancy kilos to get rid of and while many people have assured me that going back to work helps, I can’t be sure. Yes, yours truly here is one of the few women out there who can put on weight during times of stress. Hai.

But that aside, I’m glad to announce. My spinning days are here again!

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9 months old!

"Bang bang blocks! Who cares if I'm such a boy. Blocks are funnnn."

A little birdie today told me that someone is already 9 months old!

🙂

She spent the same amount of time in my womb, swimming, kicking, gurgling and just being her little self and upon her delivery, has changed a lot before my eyes. From a sleepy and half-babbling baby to a now active, mobile, playful yet cheerful little one…Eva certainly has changed A LOT.

Well, almost everything about her has changed except for that crop of hair. It’s still as fine and “minimal” as always, which makes her look boyish…until she smiles at least. Few people get it right the first time and almost everyone gleefully announce to me that she must be a boy. Of course it doesn’t help that I dress her up in blue sometimes. But hey, what can I say? She looks good in blue! LOL!

Anyway, for a look at some of the moments captured on video, click herehttp://www.youtube.com/eleraine! Coming soon – more updates, reviews and stories on the baby blog!

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Buying a property in Singapore – Part II

After the mad rush of papers, contacting people left and right (while sourcing around for best acne treatment), we got some very good news!

Our housing loan has been approved – thank you God – despite the fact that I’m only starting work in May and am without a payslip for now. The bank has kindly used my employment contract instead and one of the requirements for the loan is that Nil and myself refurbish them with an payslip for April (him) and May (myself). But otherwise, everything is ready to go, monetarily, that is.

The housing loans here do not work on a fixed interest rate but instead the bank we picked use what is called a SIBOR or interbank interest rate whereby the interest fluctuates or better know in common terms as a floating rate. For now and in Singapore, according to the banker, floating rates are better for the current housing market as they are about 25% lower than fixed interest rates. This may differ hugely from France and Malaysia whereby floating interest rates are steep compared to fixed ones. One thing good about our loan package is that it is not locked. This is to say that if we feel that the current SIBOR rates are not compatible, we can change to a fixed interest rate package and vice-versa again. There are no penalties and no hidden charges.

The bank we picked also has a reducing interest rate on top of the SIBOR which is quite different from other banks. This is a good thing, especially now when the SIBOR rates are around 0.6%. Based on the banker’s rough calculations (sans a financial calculator at hand), we’re looking at a mortgage of $1.6K per month which is just perfect for us as it’s still within our budget. Of course we’ll be paying back Nil’s dad and my parents for some part of the down payment but it’s still quite affordable.

Now that the loan has been settled, it’s off to the lawyer’s office to prepare the other necessaries. My next concern will be facilitating the payment of the 7% of the purchase price (3% stamp duty – to the goverment – and 4% to the seller via the lawyer). Hopefully, it’ll be ready come middle of next week! *keeps finger crossed*

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My dyeing mojo is back!

Going back to some dyeing!

Before we moved to Singapore, I remember going through my shop stock and putting some aside so that I could continue the trade after Eva was born. But things got sidetracked (a lot, I’d say) when she came. Suddenly I was not just swamped with running errands and housechores but tackling a newborn and later an infant. Despite my crazy schedule and breastfeeding, I wasn’t on a quick weight loss diet at all.

So my undyed fiber and yarns sat in its box, waiting to be unpacked. Until today…

I finally got my arse moving and spent some time sorting the store stash before deciding on dyeing up about 900gms of undyed superwash merino. It was a little tough trying to get started, especially with the colour combinations and mixtures but once that was settled, I discovered that dyeing can be quite fun although time-consuming and utterly tiring. It made me feel like a little kid again, playing with all those colours and imagining things again after months of routine and schedules with a child.

As the fibers sit on the clothes dryer, water dripping from its dyed ends, I’m awfully tempted to open up my handdyed fiber and yarn store again. But that’s just the keyword “awfully tempted”. I don’t know if I’ll have the stamina to do this regularly once I start work. Hm. We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime, I’m happy – my dyeing mojo is back!!!

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It’s official.

After months of sending out resumes, job-hunting and what-not…or to be exact, months of soul-searching and deciding if I want to go back to work, it’s now official.

I’m part of the foreign workforce here in Singapore.

On Monday, I went to the Workpass Division of the Ministry of Manpower here at Riverwalk to exchange my Dependent Pass (DP) for a spanking new Employment Pass (EP). The only difference between the two is that my EP has more information – my employer, position – and a new expiry date. Of course the major difference is that I’ll be back on the 9-5 wagon (in my case, it’s 8:30am to 5:30pm) in less than two weeks, earning a comfortable (not exactly cushy but it caters to what I need to maintain a family-work-life balance) and well, just being surrounded by adults and not just a little baby. Not that I would mind.

Still, at least now we’ll be able to afford a place of our own and while, we won’t have to fight over money as compared to before. Crappiest thing now is that only NOW I’m getting my dyeing mojo back and am awfully tempted to stock up the store with handdyed fibers and yarns again. GAHHHHH!

Just goes to show that you can’t have it all! :p

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