Knit: Koolhaas

FO: Koolhaas

Koolhaas
Pattern | Koolhaas by Jared Flood
Yarn | Manos del Uruguay in Bramble
Needles | 4.5mm & 5mm circular needles

This was a surprisingly quick knit and although the pattern took a while to memorize – I knit standing up on the train every morning and evening, mind you – it is a joy to work on! The resulting finished object is very stretchy so don’t be fooled by its less-than-your average number of cast on stitches. Modelled by Nil here, it’ll be heading off to my brother who will then in turn be gifting it to someone.

The hat took slightly less than a skein to knit up so I’ll be using the remainder and another skein for a matching scarf to make it a complete set. I’d mind working on another hat based on this pattern – it looks perfect on Nil so will probably make one in blue or a bright colour (like my rainbow colourway for the store).

In the meantime, it’s back to more knitting and research on hair loss treatments – I hope I don’t lose any more hair than I already do!!!

Knit: Knotty but Nice

FO: Knotty but Nice

Knotty but Nice
Pattern | Knotty but Nice by Natalie Larson
Yarn | Handpaintedyarn.com Colonia 140
Needles | 4.5mm circular needles

This is my first knitted FO for the year 2011 and I’m glad my brother’s commissioned piece kicked me back into the knitting groove. I must say that I really miss knitting in front of the TV at night. Still it requires some form of juggling – squeezing knitting into my schedule has resulted in my other hobby – sewing – taking a backseat. So no toys for now.

The pattern was easy and quick to knit up; I took it with me on board MRT rides to and fro the office but on hindsight, I should have made the ribbing on a smaller needle. For those of you who are looking for a stash buster for those lone skeins of yarns, this pattern is perfect. I made an extra large hat (enough to cover the ears as well) and still had some yarn left (although barely enough for pom poms).

There is still some bit of yarn left to weave in and then it’ll go into the machine for a nice wash before I package it up to put aside until I finish the other projects that my brother wanted. I can’t stop saying it – it feels good to be knitting again!!!! Got me to even adding more future projects to my queue and they include lacework! I miss knitting shawls and socks.

So here’s to a good start to 2011 knit-wise…now to move onto my next piece and waterproof cameras!

My army of piggies!

One of my piggie plushies, aka Winnie

Army of Piggies
Fabric | 100% cotton (remnants)
Pattern | Lenny the Guinea Pig from Bit of Whimsy Dolls

These are actually made for the give-away which I held recently for the shop. Three will be going out to the winners together with some booties which I’ve been struggling to crochet up (it’ll be a month since the draw OMG) because of my crazy schedule – me falling ill (and am still recovering – I got hit by a double dose of flu back-to-back) didn’t help at all. The fourth piggie – seen above and called Winnie – will be heading off to a lovely home in Lyon to Nil’s friend who just recently became a dad to a very cute baby boy.

I’m actually thinking of including some soft toys into the inventory and phasing our baby bibs & burpies for the store – a few people have asked if I’d like to sell these. I’ve always felt that sewing is way more faster in terms of product gratification so it’s left to be seen if I’d like to continue on with the booties. Apart from guinea pigs, I’m thinking of adding the usual repertoire of creatures like the dog, cat and lamb to the list and a newbie – the hedgehog for that added twist of texture.

Trouble now is that I just need some extra time to squeeze in the sewing on top of the stuff that I’ll be doing and oh, the move. Yes, did I mention that we’ll be moving to our new place at the end of this month? Talk coping with a crazy schedule! ARGH!

My army of piggie plushies (L-R: Babe, Winnie, Cora, Alfred) - to be given away to (I hope) good homes!

Crochet: Miao

Crochet: Miao

Miao
Pattern | Amineko Crocheted Cat by Nekoyama
Yarn | Coop Maxima in Pale Yellow
Needles | 3.5mm crochet hook

Yes, this is another toy I knitted up while watching Murder, She Wrote seasons 3 and 4 as well as looking up info on all sorts of things, eg nursing bras, breast pumps, Pleasanton motorcycle accident attorney and such. (It’s interesting how there are such things as attorneys specialising in motorcycle accidents…we definitely more of those back in Malaysia!!!).

Anyway, this is what people would call an amigurumi toy – a Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small creatures or items like plants and such. It’s usually made up of a few pieces which are stuffed separately and then joined together by handstitching the parts together. In Miao’s case, I had to make two arms, two legs, one tail, one torso, the head, two ears and the piece for the mouth. Looking at the list, it may seem tedious but it is quick and almost mindless work during to the nature of how it is crochet – spiral.

Instead of plastic pellets to give it some weight in the arms, legs and torse, I settled on filling instead to make it squishable. And yes, as you can see, I even gave Miao an attitude to boot! Now to see if Eva will like it…

Crochet: The Grey Whale

Crochet: The Grey Whale

The Grey Whale
Pattern | Sludgie the Whale by Carrie Melago
Yarn | Coop Maxima in Grey
Needles | 3.5mm crochet hook

Since I’ve been waiting for a while to get some dye-fixer solution in the mail (thus resulting in a halt in my sewing), I wanted to work on something while I catch up on Murder, She Wrote (Season 3). I just can’t stand not doing something with my fingers while I’m watching something. It’s been a habit of mine for the past one or two years – so I thought, why not work on a toy? It’s fast and well, hardly complicated. And we do need a toy or two to keep Eva occupied while she’s in the crib/bassinet and such.

I had read that babies have not much colour sense in the first six months and thus are attracted only to contrast – black & white plus solid patterns like stripes, circles and so forth (think barcodes! ^^). So I thought why not crochet up a toy in some grey yarn that I have lying around? Hence the birth of The Grey Whale as seen in pics above and below. I made some changes, choosing to omit the removable water spout and replacing the plastic eyes with embroidered eyes instead for safety purposes. The stuffing is leftover polyfill which I had used in my previous toy project.

While the original whale looks a little bit more happy with a smile and softer, I like my toys firmer and squishable – hence why the “stiff” and morose look. Still, Nil thinks it’s quite cute and personally, for me, it’ll do as a simple toy. I have a couple more toys queued up in my projects list over on Ravelry and I might be just tempted to do a “soft” one like a bear or something. We’ll see how it goes…

Crochet: The Grey Whale

Quilt #3: Blocks & Squares

Quilt #3: Fresh from the oven

Quilt #3: Blocks & Squares
Width | Approx 127 cm
Length | Approx 183 cm
Pattern details | Cotton squares & strips from fabric from Mondial Tissue & other sources, alternate colour schematics
Batting | None
Backing | 100% wide width cotton fabric from Textile Ambience
Binding | Single fold tape from leftover fabric used in blocks

Yes, my blankets are getting bigger and bigger… :)

I love how this turned out – we picked a dark blue border material for the backing as well as the border. For a moment I was apprehensive because of how the red tone seemed more prominent than blue, but after putting on the border strips, everything just fell into place. Add that with the binding – I chose the red multi-coloured fabric my mother-in-law gave me and made the binding with the aid of a binding tape maker – and it turned out just right.

Instead of folding this and using it only as a lap or sofa blanket (I tried napping with this as a blanket and it’s warm enough…so luckily I didn’t put in any batting otherwise I would be steaming underneath it!), Nil thought that we would cover our sofa bed with this, and as you can see, it added plenty of colour and interest to a dull computer room. His inspiration? My mother-in-law. She does this with ALL the patchwork blankets and quilts that she has – covers sofas and chairs with them.

Anyway, now that this is done, I’ll back to cutting up strips for my next quilt. Hopefully I’ll be able to complete the squares before the birth. I plan to finish the whole blanket in Singapore but who knows? If I work fast, I might just be finished with it earlier! 8)

Quilt #3: Doubling as a couch "cover"

Quilt #2: Autumn Heaven

Quilt #2: Showing off the binding and backing

Quilt #2: Autumn Heaven
Width | Approx 68 cm
Length | Approx 92 cm
Pattern details | 3″ 100% cotton squares from Ebay, cross arrangement, alternate colour schematics
Batting | None
Backing | 80-20% cotton-polyester fabric from Textile Ambience
Binding | Single fold 100% cotton tape in cream-yellow from Textile Ambience

This turned out surprisingly well even though it was slightly smaller than the first blanket I made and with a number of errors (lets go through them one by one).

For starters, the pattern this time isn’t random. The cotton squares I purchased come in several designs and each design has about 20 pieces cut down to size (3 inches). So I decided to rotate several colour pairs by way of inversion and such. To top off the pattern, I put an all-brown border, again repeating some colours, and then finally an all-white border. After sewing together the pieces, I discovered right towards the end when all of the squares were pieced that one of the cross in the patterns is off and the white border on one end has been switched around. Aiii…talk about something not matching its twin.

Then of course there is still the matter of getting the seams of each of the squares to match. Somehow I screwed up on piecing them properly. At one time while fiddling with the machine, I nearly sewed over a pin so the resulting line wasn’t straight with ended up with more fabric “eaten” to compensate for the seam. So some squares were quite off but again, thankfully, it’s just some. Again, definitely more work on the accuracy and such is needed.

Then there was the matter of sewing the bias. I can’t seem to find double fold bias tapes and somehow despite pinning this, I ran into some issues halfway while sewing this – I didn’t sew down a smallish portion of the tape so I had to run through the whole blanket twice and the offending section four times. ARGH! Luckily the thread is the same colour as the tape, otherwise I would be kicking myself!

Anyway, the finished piece is still very lovely and I am utterly tempted to keep this for myself but Nil said no. So off it’ll go as originally intended. I hope the recipient will like it as much as we do. 8)

Quilt #2: Fresh from the oven