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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Knit: Bluey Hat

FO: Bluey Hat

Bluey Hat
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

This was sort of a last minute project I did prior to the move to the new apartment and consequently, my delivery to a preterm Noah. I wanted a quick knit that could use up my handspun yarn since it was a waste to chuck aside those lovely blue-grey-emerald-royal blue colours that were more evident towards the tail end of the yarn. And quick it was – I finished it in under two days – on and off knitting, that is!

And was still left with some yarn…enough for another one hat or two premie hats.

As it turns out, after I delivered Noah, this hat was too big so I started on another one which was slightly smaller. Looking at both, I reckon they would serve him well for winter or when he eventually leaves the hospital.

If you’re looking for a simple, quick knit to do in front of the TV, this would be it! They make great gifts too! Okay, I’m off to finish a blanket for Noah while working on my review for prom dresses!

Continue Reading

WIP: Bluey Hat

WIP: Bluey Hat

Since I have some leftover yarn from the previous project and no access to my other needles – they are in the case heading to France via sea – I decided to dig around for a suitable project with whatever I had with me now and chanced upon this fingering-based or sock yarn project. It is a simple stockinette stitch hat with an i-cord top which I may omit; it’ll depend on my mood and how the overall hat would look prior to the i-cord top.

The only problem with this project is the very boring stockinette stitch. In this case, it’s just knit all the way as I’m working in round and with DPNs. Still, I can’t complain. I have at least another two to three projects in progress and they will last me till my stash and tools arrive.

On a completely different note, I found my weaving loom again! Just need to assemble it and off I go! KAKAKAKAKA! In the meantime, it’s knitting and the big move!

Continue Reading

Knit: Blue Skies & Sunshine

FO: Blue Skies & Sunshine Handspun Socks

Blue Skies & Sunshine
Pattern | Peace Socks by Wendy Johnson
Yarn | My own handspun yarn in Blue Skies & Sunshine (dyed by JulieSpins)
Needles | 2.75mm and 2.25mm DPNs

This is my first handspun socks and I must say that it is also one heavily modified sock to boot. Because the pattern originally called for sport-weight yarn, I had to improvise and that resulted in a couple of changes throughout the sock itself:

  • Cast on 24 stitches using Judy’s Magic Cast on (12 each on two DPNs, then split to 6 stitches per needle)
  • k1, m1 both ends until stitch per needle is 10.
  • Then, knit for entire round 1 followed by k1, m1 both ends for round 2
  • Total stitches: 62
  • 3 k, lace panel, 3 k
  • Switch from k3togtbl to SSSk after first repeat + 1st two lines from 2nd repeat (if making socks from start, sub with SSSK)
  • Gusset stitch count (56 sts); heel stitch to start and end with 31 sts.
  • Used Russian bind-off after 5 repeats on the leg and 1×1 ribbing (2 cm).

Because the two balls used were of slightly different weights and tension, the resulting pair of socks don’t really match up. The right sock is thicker and slightly longer than the left…not to mention the feel was a little on the coarse side as the tension used when plying the yarn for that particular half was tighter than the other ball. Still, it’s not too bad for a first try, especially considering that I was rushing to complete Le Tour de Fleece and pack my wheel.

Also, I made an error when working the gusset and heel for the right sock, resulting in a heel that wasn’t exactly symmetrical. It isn’t exactly noticeable especially with the colour change happening just around that area – thankgoodness for that – but still, not very perfect socks. I must admit though, I like this gusset heel construction. Definitely no issues with holes unlike the short row wrap style.

Having said that, I wonder if I need to make the leg portion larger as I had some issues trying to get it over my heel – I never really had this problem with other socks I made. Perhaps it’s the fiber – the others were merino-nylon which had lots of stretch to it while this was just superwash merino. Or could it be the pattern itself (lack of cables means lack of stretch, etc)? Hm, must ask my sock guru friends and see what they have to say about it. Nil thinks it’s alright as over time and with use, it should stretch plus he feels that socks should be fitting.

Anyway, I have about a good amount of yarn left – mostly shades of blue – so am thinking of working on a quick newborn hat for Noah. I don’t have any needles or yarn on me at the moment apart from what is attached to my project so need to make do with them until we move proper to our new place (which has yet to be confirmed). Can’t wait to settle in even though I don’t look forward to the unpacking (it’s enough to act as appetite suppressants!)!

FO: Blue Skies & Sunshine Handspun Socks

Continue Reading

WIP: Blue Skies & Sunshine (Update)

WIP: Blue Skies & Sunshine

I like to think that for someone with SSS (Second Sock Syndrome), I’m doing quite well with this project. The foot and heel portion is now done for both sides of the socks and with the right side, I’m beginning to see the colour transition from golden yellow to a lovely shade of blue. There are a few booboos with this project tho but I’ll go into that when I’m done with it.

I must say tho, I’m loving the way the gusset heel turned out – far better than short-row wrap heels which leave a lot of holes especially when it’s time to join up with the front portion of the sock. This time around, I didn’t have to worry about holes and the heel portion looks pretty nicely done (except for the booboo on the right sock)! Definitely a keeper-construction method, if you ask me!

Y’know, I’m falling in love with sock knitting so much so that I succumbed and asked a friend to order some lovely sock yarn from KnitPicks for Christmas/Socktober knits. I must maintain the stamina tho despite juggling life with a toddler and writing assignments (diet pills anyone?)…MUST MUST MUST!

WIP: Blue Skies & Sunshine

Continue Reading