Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Socks, flowers, soap and more yarn

I read everything I could get my hands on and found knitty's socks 101 the most helpful. This is my first attempt at socks and it is so stressful wondering how they'd turn out.

I couldn't find a pattern that is suitable for the tension I got from the Opal yarn and instead of the 2.5 mm needles recommended I decided on 2 mm. So I'm winging it with the help of these magazines. I've had the Knit & Style for ages and never gave the sock instructions a second glance and they turn out to be so good, distinct colours for different parts.

More sock yarn arrived via Mona (again) and in between her to-ing and fro-ing from the hospital, left the yarn for me to collect. The plain brown is for DH who has always insisted that sock knitting is too much trouble. But I shall prove him wrong.

As with most years, I was going to let the day slip by without any fuss until I came downstairs to find these flowers on the dining table. My favourite flowers and soaps! JS and YL had splashed out their pocket money for the surprise. Hugs!

Pek Wah and I share the same birthday and would call each other to wish ourselves a Happy Birthday every year. She suggested we no longer celebrate birthdays from now but the anniversary of our xxx (a favourable year like 30th?) birthday! That way we'd stay 30 forever. Now, isn't that much much better?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

FOs to go

Cream Jumper or chocolate chip vanilla ice cream as JS described it is finally an FO! I've enjoyed knitting the Drops Design although it is a little vague in some parts and could get an inexperienced knitter into a knot especially where the ribbing and raglan joins. It is so easy to go wrong at the decreases which could result in disjointed ribbing at the yoke.

Pattern: Drops Design 70-21

Yarn: Cleckheaton Country 8 ply Naturals
100% pure wool superwash
Skein: 14.5 x 50 gm x 105 yds (86m)
Needles: 3 mm & 4 mm

JS seems more excited over the ear warmers and mittens. He describes them as 'cool'. They were easy to make and I will probably make more as I expect them to be misplaced quite soon! I hadn't a clue how the ear warmers work out with the helmet when I saw the pattern initially. more info here Such a simple design and yet will keep the ears so warm.

Pattern: Bike helmet ear warmers

Yarn: Cleckheaton Country 8 ply
100% pure wool superwash
Skein: 2 x 50 gm x 95 m
Needles: 4 mm

Pattern:Voodoo wrist warmers

Yarn: Cleckheaton Country 8 ply
100% pure wool superwash
Skein: 1 x 50 gm x 95 m
Needles: 4 mm

My first lot of sock yarn arrived thanks to Mona and with the 2 Opals from her stash I am going to be 'socking' away for some time!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Spanish Paella and Pot Bottom Crust

To celebrate Father's Day we went to a Spanish style restaurant that serves a delicious Seafood Paella of savoury rice, tomatoes, spices, mussels, clams and prawns. When the dish arrived, its rich aroma brought back warm nostalgic memories of Jinet, my Persian room /classmate at college and our happy chatty shared dinners.

I think its a modified version of 'Tah-Cheen-e Morgh' (Pot-Bottom Crust with Chicken). She would cook the rice grains, canned tomatoes, chicken, raisins and spices in a normal rice cooker. When ready, she tips over the pot and out comes this heavenly golden mould of rice with a thick crust that needs to be cut with a knife for serving. Our local burnt rice is not palatable but THAT crust is out of this world, especially after some butter is spread on it.

Unfortunately, we drifted apart when we went to different universities and all efforts to trace her some years later came to naught.
I've often wondered how she is and whether she's migrated to the US. If you know of people with 'forever spring' for a family name, please ask if they have a Jinet in the family?

JS brought home this jumper, knitted last year in Cleckheaton 8 Ply in Fishermen's Rib stitch. It got into a 'you came too close fight' with some branches and parts of it appear as if a cat had polished its claws on it. He says it feels like an armour and I have to admit the stitch has got this 'double layer' effect and IS heavy.
I am seriously contemplating frogging the whole thing and recycling the wool into another jumper for him.

This arrived in the post from Roxysyarn where I ordered another lot of Plymouth Fantasy Naturalle Cotton. Roxanne included the 20 packets of Kool-aid when she found out I wanted to try a spot of home dyeing. Since she refused payment, we've agreed that I put some money into the Indonesian Aid fund for her.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Knitting by the beach

It didn't turn out as planned, me vegetating under the palm trees on a deckchair, knitting and reading while the kids (more like young adults now!) and DH laze around the pool for the 4 days we were vacationing in PD (Port Dickson). There were no deckchairs, it's a long story which I won't go into, anyway I settled for the couch in the living room.

The sunset from our balcony was fantastic as you can see from the picture and we took more at the beach. It's been ages since we've had a 'bonding' holiday like this and it's a good change from rushing and following tour schedules. DH and JS got into the World Cup mood with the crowd in the lounge downstairs while I knitted away with an action pack HBO movie.

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Look what I got!Choptick holders made from rattan and woven cloth for needle holders during our day trip to Malacca. The size of the hand painted wooden boxes is just perfect for my DPNs and stitch holders. The smaller one will definitely keep many stitch markers.

Aren't obsessed knitters like us a little dotty sometimes? I'm always on the lookout for something I can use for my knitting paraphernalia and luckily for the family, there aren't any LYS around!

Friday, June 02, 2006


The yarn label says 'blue' , it's lilac to my eyes, but then someone posted an orangey FO here and I thought it was yellow. I'm not sure if it's age creeping in or what , anyway here's my latest blue/lilac WIP, Office Casual 2.
It's the second in a series of semi-formal tops I plan to knit for myself after giving up on ever finding the 'just perfect' one on the many frustrating trips to the shops.

290 stitches of single rib with Bendigo 4 ply cotton on 2 mm circulars can be a challenge and I couldn't wait to move on to stockinette on the 3 mm. Well, after the non-stop 2 parts, 3.5 hrs of 'Blood of the Templars' on Star World, it's ready for the camera.
The front's got to be plain since I am not comfortable with the lacey column right down the centre.

I haven't neglected my cream jumper though. The 2nd sleeve should be done by this weekend and then the fun starts with uniting the pieces for the raglan yoke. I find this satisfying, everything coming together and soon, an FO! Oh yes! practically no seaming and all the tails are tucked in as I knit.

The Weekend Shrug

Pattern : adapted from shimmer

Yarn : Plymouth Fantasy Naturale 100% cotton
Balls : 2 x 100 gms x 140 yds
Needles : 5mm