Nutty thins!

Mixed nut brittle

With Chinese New Year fast approaching (I have under two weeks to go!!!), I had to get cracking on some CNY goodies. While I was in a flurry of baking last year (for the open house at my mother’s place), this year, things got off to a very hazy and slow start. I couldn’t figure out if it was the soaping or just distractions in the form of spinning, lazing in front of the computer and knitting…

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Spinning well into 2015!

SS Handspun: Millefiori Lace

Wow, this blog has been quite for the longest time ever! I blame it on the soaping! Tehehehe. Anyway, I don’t ever recall spinning this much in three months, let alone a year. Somehow, during the Christmas break (and a few weeks prior to my Christmas vacation), I decided to focus on my other hobbies – spinning and knitting. The knitting didn’t fare so well but the spinning turned out to be quite fruitful. (At the rate I’m going, I may just decide to do a little spin challenge of my own…or something.) I managed to dive into my stash, decide what I wanted to focus on for the next couple of months and put my wheel to very good use…

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WIP: Wensleydale

SS Handspun Wes Skein I

Ply | Single
Yardage | 483.1 m
Fibre | Simple Scarves Wensleydale in Magical Forest
Tool | Paua & amazon rosewood turkish spindles

This is still very much a stalled or on-going (depending on how you want to look at it) spin in progress. I did try working on the wheel with this but found out after a while that my spin style gave me rather wiry than soft halo-ish yarn so it’s pretty much on the spindle.

Anyway, I’m sharing it again because I simply love looking at it…the halo is utterly divine!

I do wish I had more time to spin and knit…am seriously missing it. I doubt I’d have a chance to do much of it – I need to get started on Christmas soaps and gift packs. O’well…

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Knit: Thinking of Spring

Thinking of Spring shawl in action

Thinking of Spring
Pattern | Echo Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnson Johnen
Yarn | JulieSpins Vera Lace in Thinking of Spring
Needles | 4.5mm and 6.0mm circulars

This knit took me about a month to complete – in between managing the kids, a spin project plus soaping (and churning out balms). It’s a gorgeous pattern but not for those who hate nupps. You can replace them with beads but they don’t quite give the same impact.

Thinking of Spring shawl in action

This project is a beaded one – I used Miyuki 8/0 Opaque Khaki AB beads in the pattern repeat and true to form, I got pretty tired of it towards the 11th repeat (which is the size of my shawl – 2 short of the recommended 13 repeats for a shawl). The beads are not very obvious; I didn’t want them to stand out too much and since they have a matt appearance rather than glossy, they don’t really stand out. No biggies…it is visible up close in real life and that’s good enough for me.

Thinking of Spring shawl in action

The yarn is a Vera wool laceweight single dyed by JulieSpins; her Vera yarns are gorgeously dyed and the colours come together quite well without ever really getting muddy. The pattern would pop even more if you were to knit it in a solid-coloured yarn; I’m quite happy with the colour choice for this pattern – very refreshing.

I have casted on another shawl but this one is just garter stitch so it’s more for a “bored to death, nothing to do” knit. I might work on another lace shawl…Eva wants to play eagle with them so it looks like I’m not off the hook until I come up with something. O’well…

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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Breaking my fibre fast!

Stash: Milk protein roving Stash: Silverwater BFL-Silk from Juliespins Stash: Spring BFL-Silk from Juliespins

(Pictures above are taken from the seller.)

I broke fast a couple of weeks ago and bought three gorgeous braids from a fellow Ravelry member; she destashes often and I just love going through the stuff that she puts up for resale because it’s just ultra gorgeous! These braids are from Julie Spins and another dyer – BFL-silk blends and a new one – milk protein. I’ve been hearing a lot about how smooth and silky it spins up so will see how that goes. I might go fine as in laceweight with these three braids but am still undecided about whether to ply them or not.

In the meantime, excuse the semi-hiatus on this blog (and the rest, actually). The shop, kids and world events have been keeping me busy and inspiring me to reprioritise my life…all for the better, I feel. 🙂

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Double Layer Pillowcase Dress

Double layer pillowcase dress

Double Layer Pillowcase Dress
Size | To fit Eva (108 cm in height; 14.3 kg in weight)
Pattern details | Double Layer Pillowcase Dress from Aesthetic Nest
Fabric details | 2 x one meter fabric from Kamdar

Recently, during one of my shopping trips at Kamdar (Mum wanted to buy some fabric so I took her there), I saw the prettiest fabric ever. I reckon the texture is similar to chiffon but what attracted me was the print – little princesses in pencil-like drawing! Of course the fact that it was in a soft shade of pink mattered as my gal LOVES pink. (Her pink and princess craze even extends to underwear, toys and books!) It was just too cute to NOT purchase.

Because the material was sheer, I decided to look around for a really soft shade of pink. I didn’t want to make a bubblegum pink dress…something sweet but not sickly sweet. After several rather long minutes, I was about to give up at the lining/cotton section when suddenly I saw this roll of pale pink hiding under all the blues and greys! What luck! The shade was just perfect – it wasn’t exactly Eva’s idea of pink but I reckon she would focus more on the whole “princess” fabric and ignore this little detail.

Double layer pillowcase dress

The basic idea is to have the princess fabric as the topmost layer with the pale pink on the bottom followed by a pale pink tie. It didn’t cross my mind to make bindings for the armholes until this morning when I was putting everything together so oops, I decided to whip up some pale pink binding instead. I figured that the fabric would be a better option compared to the sheer chiffon-like material.

Now, sewing this up didn’t take me long – just a night and about an hour the next day. It was the other stuff like figuring out the pattern (how long and how wide). I based my measurements on a dress we got as a gift from my in-laws and on hindsight, I should have realized that the armholes were a little tad too big (just like with the dress I used as my template).

Also, I must admit that I LOVE French seams. They really make an outfit look so much more “cleaner”. What I did not appreciate was having to seam bind the armholes. I hate sewing curves…especially when it came to topstitching the binding. Still, it makes for a pretty dress. It’s a little wide for her but that’s good because she can grow into it. I’m actually thinking of making a tiered version but I’ll see how that goes first – need to find the right combination of colours!

Double layer pillowcase dress

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