Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Ramblings of a Scramble Egged Brains

I don't have pictures. Sorry about that. Life in general revolves around work and family affairs. Work has been hell lately. It's a rollercoaster ride. I'm beginning to feel very down and upset about it. Add that to my family unheavals and u get one very tired panda bear looking right at you now. In short, life suxs big time.


Finally got myself started on my cables project again. I think I'll call it Green Tea. Reason being, after straightening things out and applying the accelerator, I find myself obssessively knitting at night to ease my stress. Since it's green and it feels like a good cuppa, Green Tea Cables it is. I'm up 1 inch but I can't see any pattern yet. I hope my tension isn't too tight.


My bag will just have to wait until I'm convinced I'm a sucker for more punishment. I'm miserable enough as it is. Scalding my hands in hot water just don't seem like de thing right now.

What's scary is, I find myself rather reckless with yarn purchases and bids right now. Thank goodness I keep getting outbidded by equally mad hatters in ebay. I think I'd find myself even more miserable mid month when I'm stressed and reduced to eating porridge. Sigh. I'm feeling so restless I think I'll start on another project tonight as well with my recycled yarns. It's about time anyway.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Update on Kiki

Well, this is a quick update on Kiki..:) Thanks for your concern.

Diagnosis from the doctor : -

Yes, Kiki dislocated her left hind leg. She hasn't injured herself anywhere else. Her spine and everything else is intact. She is not in a lot of pain. She wasn't hit by a car. She was given pain killers.

The vet said that if she had been hit by a car, she'll be yelping away. She didn't make any noise. Chances are, she dislocated her own hind legs trying her very best to squeeze out of the gate from the side. There is a very small gap there. 8-{
And the smart little girl, knowing she is stuck outside and injured, went over to the little patch of garden outside the neighbours to hide and wait for rescue from the family. You know, I'm totally flabbergasted. I thought only human kids can get themselves into such a mess. I've never come across a puppy that can get herself into that sort of trouble. Yesterday, she kept giving us guilty looks like she knew she got herself into a mess.

All in all, she was a very brave little kid. She was quiet throughout the visit to the vet even when he was setting her hind leg. Silly kiddo. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


No longer a Sophie
I've just learnt that what I've been doing is fulling, not felting.

Definition of felting - Fabric made of unspun wool (sometimes with fur and other natural or synthetic fibers) which is matted together with moisture, heat and pressure.

Definition of fulling - A finishing process in which the woven or knitted cloth is subjected to moisture, heat and friction causing it to shrink considerably in both directions and become compact and solid. In heavily fulled fabrics both the weave and the yarn are obscured, thus giving the apprearance of felt.

Well, my fulling has barely begun. I promised pictures previously, I'm sorry it took so long. I've been really busy with work. So, here goes.

This is the bag, unfulled. I really have to get use to this term.

This was the fulling that happened after all that I did to it. I overestimated the shrinkage by quite a bit based on my swatch. Moral of the story? Knits always shrink more length wise, about 30%? And it shrinks only about 80% to 90% width wise. So now I got a 'longish' 60% fulled bag. I took it to my knit meet and was told that it probably needs more fulling. I agree. Now...to find the time and the incentive to dip my hands into scalding soapy water for that 100% fulling process.

The puppy that SW rescued, they've decided to keep. I love Kiki, yep that's her name. She is so very sweet, quiet but very mischevious and playful. She's got this wander lust at times, I guess from the time she was a stray, very street smart. Last night, she somehow managed to sneak out of the gate. I think she got hit by a car. SW's bro came back at midnight and found her sitting on the neighbours garden patch looking at him for help. A check found one of her hindlegs has been dislocated. :( We were all very upset by that. She didn't bark or whine. Just waited there. Lucky that SW's bro went out late.

Hand Winding & Recycling

For me, the word messy basically sums up my experience with hand winding. I tend to mess it up and end up untangling it for hours. So winding for me, is normally a dogged 3 hrs all the way to 4 days if I really mess it up. Recently, many bloggers have been showing their creative ways of winding their balls, a problem which I have been thinking thru and thru. My problem is a holder. I always mess up there. I sorta hit the nail now. I found a 'holder' from Ikea. *grins

Yep, my holder is a Ikea door hanger. LOL I was washing laundry the other day and I found this lying around. We got it for a rack at the laundry room but it somehow didn't get fitted into the rack, so it was lying around. And since it's not doing anything, I put it to work!

hehehe! The phone there is just for a size gauge on the ball of yarn. It works great and takes me only half an hour to wind now. What glee! Simple things in life do make it fun! The balls looks so nice now. Sorta like a Japanese Temari Ball. I like the fact that this cream yarn has a thin skein of shiny cream in the middle. And now that my white is totally winded, I can start on my reknits! Yay!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Knit Meet and Cables

Just a quick one. We had a knit meet again last Saturday. As usual, it was really fun. In fact, we had so much fun, I only managed to take a photo because I forgot all about taking a few. At least there is a picture to show. :)

Cable Project

On my cable project, I have had in mind is a blend of ideas and the end result of what I wanted. Does anyone else do that or is it just me?

Anyways, after calculating and working on the main cable pattern for the center panel for a few rounds and ripping rows in frustration. I asked and got on loan a mag from one of the knitters to whom I'm eternally grateful. You know who you are..:)

The concept I have, my pattern book and her mag was similar. Though the gauage and columns are all not the same, looking through both charts and doing comparisons, I was able to draw more light on the cables I was trying to create. Most of my drawing have errors and cancelations all over. This is the tidied up version of my 5th redraw and it's still not the end of the road.

While working it, it's hard to see the pattern at times, but I'm beginning to get the hang of it. I think I'll rework it again and make it simpler. I'm thinking that the main cables might overwhealm the side cables. Nevertheless, it has been interesting to plot it out. I can understand now why some knitters prefers charts to instructions. Granted, the main cable would probably not look all that different with or without my minor modifications, but it makes me happy to tweak it to my liking. Now I hope it all works out right. Cheers!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

On Obsessions & Diets

Obsession, obsession, obsession

Just a short one. Needed to get this off my chest. I'm just beginning to realize that knitting is a hobby that can turn into a monster left unchecked. WHooossh! It spirals out of control. Throw in a new credit card and it's a recipe for disaster and I'm trying my very best to chew off more than I can handle.....Reality check. Gulp, plain porridge (*asian version = It's plain rice boiled in water to become rice soup) for the next few weeks? Impulsive and overboard. Bad knitalicious! Bad girl! Sit and Stay! Guess I'd have to try and limit myself. I'm joining Mona on her knit and yarn diet. I'm gonna try and use her Knit Mantra. You know you are heading for disaster when you start thinking "Eating porridge for the next few weeks is not too bad, it's dieting so I'd be slimmer and healthier." *Excuse me while I go bang my head on the wall till my eyes cross over.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Wedding Garter

About Wedding Garters
Not mine if that's what you are thinking. :)
I had a conversation with a girlfriend the other day. She is getting married! So one thing lead to another and the next thing I knew, I promised to make her a wedding garter. We found a few patterns on the net and she settled for a crochet wedding garter. Have a peek! Delicious ain't it?

So after warning her that my crochet skills is elementary and I need ample of time we met up the very next night. I took her to one of my LYS so she could choose her color and ribbon and after discussion this is what we ended up buying.

Now if I do it right, it should hopefully come out half as good as that picture. I have plenty of time to perfect it since her wedding is in November. Looks like my list of must knit and crochet is growing exponentially.

Sophie Update

On another note, Sophie is driving up the wall. I knitted up the handles only to realized that they weren't attached where it was suppose to be. It was skewed. I didn't check it properly before knitting it up. Sigh. So I ripped the handles. Being too eager to start felting. I decided to leave out the handles for later.

Night 1
I alternate between hot and cold water scrub. Then I threw it in the washer, cold wash (*no hot water washing machine), poured a bit of hot water in it. Then I did it again. Finally I just dumped it in for a full wash.

Day 2
Woke up in the morning to fish it out. Mild felting. I threw it in a pail with soapy water

Night 2
Interestingly enough, the soak has felted it more. Now it looks slightly fuzzy. I dumped it into the washing machine for a full wash again. Took it out. Now this is the part that drove me crazy. Apparently, my swatch felts differently from the actual bag. The depth has shortened due to felting, but not the width! So now instead of a cute Sophie, I got a long bag. No pictures yet. Sorry. I'm sure you can understand that I was in no state to take any. I threw it in the pail of warm water and scrubbed it more, then I left it soaking overnight again.

Day 3
I didn't look at it. Now I'm wondering about tonight. Is it a record for the slowest felting for a bag? I estimate it to be 5 days at the rate I'm going. :-\ Time to go on with my cable project. I hope I can work out the schematics on my main panel change correctly. I'm hopeless at maths most times.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Recycling update

It's time for !

My unravelling are all done. Now I have to wind them up and start knitting. The knitting needles and the ball of yarn are there as a gauge of size.

My Notes

The white one was the first. It is a cotton, viscose mix. I'll be doing a simple cowl neck sleeveless top with that one. I was toying with the idea of dyeing it. The dyes we have here are of a different variety. I only found Dylon so far. But I'm not too sure how to go about it or whether the dye will stick. I need to do research. Anyone with ideas or advice?

Chenille was the second to go. It wasn't very fun to unravel. It's pretty 'fluff dust fairy' stuff. Fluff was flying everywhere! I chomped off the top part for rags because the shoulders shaping was sewed and not binded off. The chenille is due for a fitted coat and a mini skirt. I'm still looking for a pattern for the coat and skirt. I have something in mind but I need a pattern as a guide.

The black was the fastest since I had experience with the first 2 already. I'm not too sure yet. It'll have to be sleeveless, I doubt there's enough for anything else.

Saturday Meetup

Date : Saturday, 12th March
Time : 1.30 to 2ish
Venue : Local Shopping Center in PJ
Members : 5 out of 6
Description : Stitch and gossip
Details :

We all had a blast at this meetup. For one, we had a new member, Vanessa who joined us. Mona unfortunately couldn't make it. We all missed her.
The meet up was at one of the local small shopping center. Conveniently (*wink) it had (1) a LYS and (2) a starbucks to knit and chat in after. We had lunch, went to the LYS and had a whale of a time.

We adjourned to Starbucks after where we had more fun knitting and gossiping. We got weird looks but those people decided to leave us alone after looking at our wickedly sharp, dangerous knitting needles and tongue. (*grins) What fun! I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. Our next meetup would be at another local area with a LYS and a Starbucks around the corner. Can't wait for that one!

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Sophie Bag
Sophie's body is completed. I hope my measurements, based on my swatch is not way out. I'm left with the straps to complete. 2 straps of 20 inches and I'm done. Hopefully, I can felt it before Saturday. I'll take a pic tomorrow if I finish the straps and measure it well before trying felting.

Cable Project
Cable has stalled due to my feverish desire to finish Sophie first. I have so far, frogged it 3 times. Now it's at the 8th row or something. I noticed that I didn't do the edge correctly. I'm knitting the wrong side as the right side. But I'm really tired of frogging so I'll leave the Cast On stitches alone. I'm trying to change the main front panel. I don't quite like the design so I'm changing it to a simple criss cross cabling pattern from another pattern book.

Now this is quite a challenge for me because I'm spastic...*grins. Actually, I'm trying to learn a few things all at once. I'm learning cabling, I'm learning how to read the charts, I'm not knitting it in 2 panels like the chart says, I'm knitting 1 whole piece flat so I only have to seam 1 side. (*Confusing myself at the same time) I'm trying to change that pattern and I wanna add short rowing for shaping at the chest level. Yea I love to give myself a fit. Now, someone hand me a reality feed before I drown myself. hehe

Monday, March 07, 2005

Sophie bag

Weekend have been a big rush. There are a hundred and one thing that absolutely had to be done.

Siow Chin was asking what I was doing from the 1000 Sweaters...:)I've chosen but it needs tweaking. I'll post about it soon. Gimme a bit 'o time yea.

Meanwhile, since I need instant gratification. Armed with my recent mini felting experience and great tips from Celia, thank you Celia!!! I decided to go ahead with the Sophie Bag. I also found 1 ball of Patons DK 100% wool which must have been lying around for 10 yrs. Not mine, I assure you, but no one wants it anymore. So I've decided to do Sophie in 2 colors.

I must say, this is the first time I'm dealing with wool, if I thought the good quality wool from China was slightly scratchy, mind you, this China wool I was told is very good stuff and expensive to! Patons is itchy powder. It was really itchy, scratchy and coarse. I'm so glad I've used up the whole Paton ball and have gone on to my cream wool. It feel so much nicer to knit with and so soft! I really appreciate it now. Did quite a lot of progress last night. Can't wait to get back to it tonight. If this one works out well, I'm probably gonna be hooked on felting bags for a while. *Grins

The Puppy Incident

Some idiot#$%^& dumped a puppy on the wee morning of Saturday. When I said wee morning, I mean like, 4 am. SW woke up to the squealing, peeked out and saw the poor thing trying to climb out of the drain outside his house. He had to rescue the poor thing. I mean what's wrong with these ppl? This is not the way to do thing. If you can wake up at unearthly hours and drive around just to dump a puppy, what's with bringing the poor thing to PAWS or SPCA. What goes around comes around. I really hope they get what they deserve in the end.

For the first 2 days, the poor thing kept running under the car and the inside drain to hide. She looks like a mix of Labrador and beagal or something? Her paws definitly belongs to a Labrador. Very sweet and quiet unless she gets herself in a spot. Probably about 4 mths. She's very intelligent, she runs under the car and peeks at you and crawl about to follow your movements as you walk about doing your thing. Now that we are feeding her, she comes to us when she is called. She snuck out of the house to do her business last night and got stuck inbetween the gate trying to get back in. Set up a howl I was told. Very surprising that she would actually sneaked out to do it so she won't soil the front yard.

Now she's getting more confident and a little cheeky. She dragged out all of Gigi's cloth from the cage and just left it there. Probably too smelly LOL. Helping with spring cleaning. She likes to give sad eye looks.:) The pictures doesn't really show her up well. I wasn't able to get better pictures cause she was scared and huddling after a shower.

I'm in love with the dear thing but I can't keep her. I live in a condominium and she'll be a big gal. SW can't keep her either. Funny that all these animals always end up at his place..:) They have their hands full with Mimi, remember the rescued kitten? and Gigi, another rescued dog. So we are looking for a good home for this little puppy. So if you live in Malaysia and you are interested in the puppy, email me.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

My Felting Experiment

Well well well what do you know *big big grin! Remember that wool I was going to use for a Sophie bag and the list of Knit things to do? Yea, last night I tried to felt it. Yep, I did it by hands cause I don't have a washing machine with hot water.

So, for my first foray into felting, I got a bowl and squirted some dishwashing liquid into it. Poured in hot water and mixed everything up. Then I put the swatch in.

It expanded immediately and I was like "whoa!". I proceeded with a metal butter knife to stirred and agitated it. Then I took it out and run it over cool water and scrubbed it. I alternated the treatment.

For the first 5 mins, nothing much, it just got slightly fuzzy. I was thinking "Oh no, the experiment is a failure!". It wasn't until 10 mins later that it started really felting nicely. Finally, I left it soaking in hot water and got back to it 5 mins later. It was visibly felted.

Conclusion After 20 mins -

- 20 mins of fun and anticipation
- One lopsided (the sides are longer), 70% felted (stitches are still slightly visible) swatch
- One pair of tired, scalded, squeeky clean and super dry bare hands

I probably did it very inelegantly..:) But I don't know how else to do it since I don't have a hot water washing machine. Any other tips or advice from anyone else is deeply appreciated. :)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Bits and pieces of recap

Our Meet Up
The gals met up last week on Friday. This time, there were 5 of us. It was nice especially after a long, hot and busy Chinese New Year. It was a very fun time for all. Read all about it at Lyn's site. I wish we had more pixs though. Each of us learnt a little bit of something during this one. For me, it's how to cast on with a little more polish. I'm ashamed to say that my self taught method of a simple cast on is just not "it" after looking at everyone else's. The other highlight was the Zara yarn Mona whipped out. I think we all fell in love with that one. I'm eyeing it already.

Loose bits and ends
Following up on the heels of my recycling, I've finally finished ripping last night. The white espirit yarn has been washed and is taking forever to dry and the chenille is soaking. I was also busy frogging my red CNY tube and my sophie bag attempt. Lyn's and Mona took one look at my sophie bag yarn and Lyn told me she didn't think it'll felt though it's 100% wool. The label is all in Mandarin so I wasn't really sure. I guess I'll have to research more on it. I knitted swatches for the red yarn I frogged and the sophie bag yarn. I'll be testing it out this week. All done last night. Phew!

I've also been spring cleaning last weekend. Yea, it's a little late, but better than never. I added a new movable mini drawer shelf for my crafts. It's working well. With all that out of the way, tonight, I can really start my knitting guiltless.

Knitting kickstart
My bookstore called to say my book has arrived on Sunday, finally! 1000 Sweaters by Amanda Griffiths. My dear sweet SW gifted me with it. I know the reviews for this book. But I think it's very suitable for where I am cause we use mostly DK weight yarn. I'm enjoying the patterns thoroughly. I've already casted on something last night. :) When I get home today, I'll have to check on the white yarn. I hope it'll be dry. Wash and hang to dry, the chenille, soak the black yarn. Hopefully, test my 2 new swatch. And then, Knit knit knit!