Knit: Heliotrope in Bloom

FO: Heliotrope in Bloom

Heliotrope in Bloom
Pattern | Jaali by Kitman Figueroa
Yarn | Simple Scarves Silk-Wool Laceweight in Heliotrope
Needles | 3.75 mm, 6.0 mm and 4.0 mm circulars

This is one crazy knit…but in a good way, I must say. I started this as part of a Knit-Along or KAL with some Malaysian knitters back in April. There was no deadline attached to it (I reckon because we are all crappy with deadlines!) and the condition was that we would use yarns made or dyed by fellow Malaysians. I chose to use my silk-wool laceweight blend and against all sane thoughts, picked the large size to knit up in order to fully use up the nearly 670 meters worth of yarn.

That was the easy part. Now came the hard part…

  • Casting on 300 over stitches (at this point, I was beating myself up for choosing the large size)
  • Ripping them out three days later because I forgot about the center stitch
  • Ripping out 25 rows of 300 over stitches because I had 14 repeats on one side and 16 on another…in the process, my yarn got tangled so I had to snip and trash a portion of it. (ARGH mode!)
  • Then I put it down and picked it up about two weeks later – bad idea to knit when you’re angry
  • Reached the second chart about a week or two later
  • Put on hold sometime around mid-May to focus on my mum’s beret
  • Picked it up again about one to two weeks later

By June, I was at Row 51 out of 165. Heh. After that, it was all quiet on the update front until September when I reached Row 79…no thanks to the move back to France. Noah’s early entrance didn’t help and this project stalled until two weeks ago when I picked it up again to add some variety into my knitting. Luckily the stitch count from this point on was getting short and shorter fast so it turned into a speedy trip to the finish line.

As I sat with the hairdryer, drying the shawl as it blocked (yes, I was that desperate to make some space in my hall and to see my finished project), I told myself never again! I love this pattern – don’t get me wrong. It is very exquisite but it is not a mindless knit-in-front-of-the-TV project (even though it’s a Samsung LCD. Nonetheless, if you do choose to knit this, you won’t regret it…I certainly don’t.

Now that this is complete, I am going back to my entrelac stole and Eva’s sweater which I seriously need to focus on otherwise she’d never get to wear it for winter!!!!

FO: Heliotrope in Bloom

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Possible Christmas projects…

KnitPicks Chromo Fingering

…if I can finish up Eva’s sweater and my Jaali shawl as well as work on my usual review assignments – one of which is the one on cheap sexy lingerie. These days, all I ever do is breastfeed (Noah is latching on for all his feeds so YAY!), pump milk (to maintain my supply), entertain Eva, do the laundry for both two kids and the adults, cook dinner…thankgoodness my parents are around to help although I will need to figure out a schedule of some sort when they have gone home.

Anyway, a while back, I ordered some Chromo Fingering yarn from Knitpicks. It is a gradient/self-striping single ply yarn which is great for socks as well as other things like scarves and even shawls (although I suspect the nylon component bit will give it a bit more stretch than I would like while blocking). Because of how the colours flow from one to another, complicated sock patterns are definitely out of the question so I reckon I’ll have to stick a simple rib and/or stockinette stitch topped off with a ribbed cuff.

As for the scarves, I intend on fixing up the weaving loom and combining this yarn with some Wollmeise or The Knittery yarn that I have in my stash. It’s about time that I stash working on reducing my stash – not so much to add more to it but just to move it around. Hm. That doesn’t sound quiet right. O’well…I reckon the scarves should just be perfect for winter and make quick gifts. Hm.

That is IF I can finish them in time. Kekekeke.

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Knit: Baby Log Cabin Blanket

Noah's Baby Log Cabin Blanket

Baby Log Cabin Blanket
Pattern | Moderne Baby Blanket by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne
Yarn | Bergère de France Barroise in purple, yellow-orange, blue-green and Bergère de France Bergerama in red
Needles | 4.5mm circulars

Can you believe that I started this project in February 2009 when I was pregnant with Eva and just out of my first trimester? Yes, it has taken me this long to finish this project. Part of the reason was the move from Switzerland to Singapore (I had unknowingly packed it in a box that I wasn’t going to ship to Singapore) but it was mostly due to lack of stamina. When I finally found the project (in between all that unpacking and 5th wheel insurance reviews), I realized that I made the mistake of not packing in the instructions as well. Oops.

What did I do? Wing it basically and just did my own pattern – so to speak. Hence why it looks nothing like the version by Gardiner and Shayne. I stopped after working on 12 different pieces of strips – more and the blanket might be too large for Noah. Because it felt too thin, Nil suggested that I added a fabric back and batting to it – I used the fleece fabric that I have in my stash and the result is a wonderfully warm blanket that is just great for a preemie baby like him.

The only problem is that I should have blocked the fabric first before sewing on the back and batting. After the wash, the knitted portion stretched (or perhaps the fabric portion shrunk) so I ended up with a not-so smooth looking blanket. O’well… I must be frank though – I still like this blanket…with all its “ugly” bits. I like it so much that I am considering knitting up a bigger version but this time, using my knitting machine! Yes, ambitious…hehehehe.

Noah's Baby Log Cabin Blanket

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Knit: Bluey Hat II

Noah @ Week 3

Bluey Hat II
Pattern | Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat by Keri McKiernan
Yarn | My own handspun yarn in Blue Skies & Sunshine (dyed by JulieSpins)
Needles | 2.75mm DPNs

Here is the model with the preemie version of Bluey Hat. This was taken nearly two weeks ago and now, he is beginning to show signs of outgrowing the hat – a good thing, if you ask me. I still have the full size version lying around but chances are, it is still too big for him. So I will most probably keep that at home for another two weeks.

Looking back, it would appear that I’m making good progress with my WIPs and I hope to finish up some really old ones that I cast one eons ago. Apart from this, I managed to finish up a baby version of the Log Blanket and am in the middle of handstitching a fleece back to it. Tough work, if you ask me, especially since I have to deal with other things like pumping milk, cooking and catching up with my TV series…not to mention other projects as well. With any luck, we should have a couple more FOs by the time the year is out.

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My latest FO…

…that isn’t about baking, cooking, knitting, dyeing, sewing or spinning.

(Phew, I sure have a lot of hobbies!)

Noah @ Week 3

Yup, that’s my son who decided to show up two months before his due date and on a very memorable date too – September 11. Never mind that he shares his birthday with hundreds of other dead people from the NY terrorist attacks (whether it was terrorists or not, I’ll leave that up to conspiracy theorists to decide). More importantly, he shares his birthday with us.

Nil and I first met on September 11 at a train station called Pasar Seni in Kuala Lumpur. It was a Saturday and now, exactly seven years laters (I think – when it comes to dates, my memory is quite fuzzy), we celebrate that day with the showing of our 32 week old!

Noah @ Week 3

Being mum to a preemie isn’t easy – you struggle with the guilt, the “emptiness” that surrounds you (you have a baby crib but no baby, you have a baby but nothing tangible to remind you of him/her like their cries, soiled diapers, etc), you have breast milk but it’s a pump that greets you and not a baby, etc) and the constant hospital trips. Sometimes it’s downright depressing but I like to keep my spirits up and focus on the positive side of things.

And these are…

He is gaining weight, he is learning to suckle and latch on and the nurses all love him because he’s such a tranquil baby.

Noah @ Week 3

So yeah, normally my FOs are always late or overdue…but this time, it came early and well, caught us by surprise. No matter…at least all is well. *grin* Now, let me go back to my reviews and assignments. I have one on Christmas Cards coming up!

More on the birth story here.

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