Friday, December 29, 2006

My Tilli Tomas P&S is here! Yeah!

I just placed the order with kpixie on 12/26 afternoon, and it's here today! Yeah!! Very happy, no complaints, no complaints at all. This is for Stitch Diva's Sahara. Love in first sight! My sister and I are planning to knit this one together, a mini two-person knit-along. Actually we both tried to sign up for the supposedly "official" KAL for this sweater, but it doesn't seem to be in operation, for whatever reason... Anyway. I guess we can always start whenever we want.

Tracy, wanna start on the first day of the new year?

12/26 下午才跟 kpixie 訂的線, 今天就收到了. 實在是太棒了! 這組線是要用來織 Stitch Diva 的 Sahara. 這件我第一眼就愛上啦! 跟約好要一起來織這件. 其實我們兩個都有報名參加 Sahara 的群編, 可是遲遲都未收到回音. 那個網頁也一直沒有更新, 不知道在幹麼... 反正想織就織, 不用等別人啦!

Tracy, 一月一號開打如何?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Illusions Cable Scarf Progress TKA夢幻麻花圍巾進度 II

Thought I should report the progress on my Illusions Cable Scarf. I am about half way done. I bought 4 balls of Rowan Cashsoft DK, I just started the 3rd ball last night. So far so good. I still couldn't memorize the pattern, and had to put it in front of me as I knit (I guess I am getting old, memory power is not as good...) But a quick glance is all I need to start the next row.

嗯... 該來報告一下我的夢幻麻花圍巾進度. 現在已經過半長. 準備了四球線, 昨晚剛開始用第三球. 織來還算順利. 織了這麼長, 圖樣還是記不太住. 老是沒有信心, 怕自己記錯, 每織一段還是看一下圖樣再進行(覺得自己越來越老了, 記憶力變得好差...) 不過只要喵一下也就可以啦!

A bit too much flash in this picture, shows too much blue.

這張照片裡閃光燈太強, 太過偏藍.

This picture is closer to the true color - a very soft lavender.

這張比較接近原色 - 很柔的淡紫色.

Oh, and thank you for your suggestions on possibly using double strands of Ultramerino 4 to knit this scarf. I pondered over it for a while, but decided that it may break the bank (you see, I already bought 4 skeins to make the scarf. If I am to get another 4 skeins (at $11 per skein), this will be a very expensive scarf! So I decided to switch. Plus, this gives me the perfect opportunity to use the lovely Ultramerino 4 for my very first pair of socks!

哦, 還有謝謝大家的建議. 我也考慮了一下用雙線織(妳們沒提, 我還沒想到呢! 腦筋實在是不太靈活...) 最後還是決定換線. 因為那粉橘的細線實在是蠻貴的. 本來預計要用四綑. 如用雙線的話, 可能還要再買四綑. 每綑美金11元... 哇! 破產啦! 不過實在是很喜歡那組細線, 哈! 現在就有機會來試試看織襪子嘍!

台灣恆春大地震, 希望台灣的朋友們一切安好.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Hello! After being gone for more than one week, I am back. We just got in last night from Maui, a pre-Christmas vacation. Although I had a good night sleep, I still feel a bit tired from the trip. I'll share some pictures after I get a chance to go through them.

我回來啦!去茂宜島玩了一個星期, 昨晚剛到家. 連行李都來不及打開, 先睡一覺再說. 雖是睡了一個好覺, 今天還是覺得有點累. 等照片整理出來再和大家分享.

Before I went on the trip, I sent out my beloved Tiger Eye Scarf and Cable Clutch Bag to my friends so that they would receive the packages before Christmas. I also added Soak Wool Wash, body cream, and candies/chocolates.

為了讓包裹在聖誕節前寄到, 出門前就把虎眼圍巾麻花包包這兩樣禮物寄出去了. 隨包裹附上Soak羊毛冷洗精, 身體乳霜, 和一盒蜂蜜糖果/巧克力.

I also dug out my rubber stamping supplies and made two cards.

還把我的橡皮圖章找出來, 自己作了兩張卡片.

I miss rubber stamping! It used to be all I do during my free time before the baby came. And now, it is just not as convenient as knitting. To actually be able to make anything, I need to bring out all these supplies (and these are just "some" of the things I have...) As you can see, it takes both space and time (to make cards and to clean up too.) Knitting can be done anywhere, and any time, be it 10 minutes in the car or 2 hours watching TV - more doable with a baby around. I am happy though to find out that my ink pads did not dry out - yeah! I haven't touched them for at least a year and half now...

已經好久沒有機會玩橡皮圖章了... 在生baby之前, 有空就會自己作卡片. 現在呢, 實在是沒有時間和空間. 你看我做這兩張卡片就需要這麼多東西(這些還是基本的), 和一張大桌子. 做完後還要花時間收拾. 所以啦, 現在比較專心織毛線. 毛線到處隨時都可以打, 在車上, 在家裡, 在飛機上, 就算只有10分鐘, 還是可以打. 也不需要搬這麼多東西出來. 不過還是希望等baby大一點後(不會跟媽咪搶"玩具"), 可以重拾這個嗜好.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ashley Cable Clutch Bag

Yarn: Jaeger Cashmere 4 Ply (90% cashmere and 10% polyamide), #0116 light grey, 1 ball (107 yd [98m] / 25g)
Pattern: My own (inspired by this)
Needles: Clover US size 3 (3.25 mm) bamboo straight needles, cable needles, crochet hook
Notions: 7" zipper, matching thread, 1/4 yard of lining fabric, silver-lined crystal beads (about 80-100)
Size: 7" x 5.5"
Start: December 6, 2006
Finish: December 13, 2006

線材: Jaeger Cashmere 4 Ply (90% 開絲米爾 and 10% polyamide), #0116 淺灰, 1 球 (107 yd [98m] / 25g)
圖樣: 自己想的 (靈感源處)
針號: 3.25 mm 棒針, 麻花針, 鈎針
其他材料: 拉鍊, 縫線, 裡布, 珠珠 (約80-100)
尺寸: 7 吋寬 5.5 吋長
開始: 2006/12/06
完成: 2006/12/13

This bag is for a dear friend of mine, I am naming the bag after her. I wanted to knit her something for this Christmas, but couldn't decide on what to make for a long time. Scarf being the obvious choice, is the first option being ruled out. Ashley doesn't like to wrap things around her neck, so much so that she doesn't even wear turtlenecks. So, scarves are out. Gloves - well, one rarely needs to use gloves in the comparatively mild winters of San Francisco (and I don't know how either... haha...) I thought about socks, but didn't want her to be my first guinea pig as I have never made socks before. Maybe it's time to start my sock adventure.... Anyway. So I decided on a cable clutch bag/purse, seeing that cables are on everything this winter. The cable patterns I picked are rather basic. They are from Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. The bag itself is very simple, two identical rectangles sewed together. Add a lining, a zipper, some beads, done! Add more beads or sequins and you can use it as an evening bag.

這個小麻花包包是要送給一位好友的, 就以她的名字來命名. 一直在想今年聖誕要織個東西送她, 卻無法決定要織什麼. 這位小姐呢, 不喜歡在脖子上圍東西, 連套頭的衣服都不穿. 所以呢, 不能送圍巾. 舊金山的冬天也很少需要用到手套 (我也不會織, 哈哈...) 其實送襪子應該也不錯, 可惜我也沒織過 (嗯... 可以來研究研究...) 於是便決定做個小包包. 麻花的圖樣是自己看找的, 應該算是蠻基本的麻花. 包包本身很簡單, 織兩片一模一樣的長方型, 縫裡布, 裝拉鍊, 全部縫合, 就好了. 如果想增加點華麗感, 可在麻花交叉的地方再縫上珠珠亮片, 可當宴會包喔! (我的沒有縫太多珠珠, 因為想到收禮人不太用過多珠珠亮片的東西, 所以就"收斂"一點...)

I have never bought yarn that are enclosed in individual cases, looks quite precious...

從沒買過這種每一球毛線還用一個小盒子裝, 看起來好珍貴的樣子 (其實價錢還真是有點貴...)


Gauge: 28 sts & 36 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch using 3.25 mm needles

cn: cable needle
RC: Right Cable
LC: Left Cable
CC: Center Cable
RS: Right Side (public side)
WS: Wrong Side

Right Cable (twist to the right) - 4 row repeat
Rows 1, 3 (WS) - p1, k2, p4, k2, p1.
Row 2 (RS) - k1, p2, k4, p2, k1.
Row 4 (RS) - k1, p2, sl 2 sts to cn, hold in back, k2, k2 from cn, p2, k1.

Left Cable (twist to the left) - 4 row repeat
Basically the same as Right Cable, except the cable needle is held in front in row 4.
Rows 1, 3 (WS) - p1, k2, p4, k2, p1.
Row 2 (RS) - k1, p2, k4, p2, k1.
Row 4 (RS) - k1, p2, sl 2 sts to cn, hold in front, k2, k2 from cn, p2, k1.

Center Cable (Horseshoe Cable) - 10 row repeat
Rows 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 (WS) - k3, p12, k3.
Row 2 (RS) - p3, sl next 3 sts to cn and hold in back, k3, then k3 from cn; sl next 3 sts to cn and hold in front, k3, then k3 from cn.
Rows 4, 6, 8, and 10 (RS) - p3, k12, p3.


CO 52 sts.

Set-up rows:
Row 1 (WS) - P4, k3, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k3, p12, k3, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k3, p4.
Row 2 (RS) - Knit the knit st, purl the purl st - k4, p3, k1, p2, k4, p2, k1, p3, k12, p3, k1, p2, k4, p2, k1, p3, k4. These two rows are the set-up rows. The greens are for RC and LC, the blues are CC.

Pattern rows:
(WS) - P4, k3, RC, CC, LC, k3, p4.
(RS) - k4, p3, RC, CC, LC, p3, k4.

Continue until desired length or in this case, total of 42 rows. Work 3 set-up rows ending with WS. BO all sts. Work two identical pieces. Block and sew up. I used crochet to add edging along the top rim - 1 row sc and 1 row rev sc. Sew beads in during assembling if desired.

Before and After Blocking

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tempting II - Finally a FO

Yarn: Rowan Calmer (75% cotton and 25% acrylic/microfibre), #485 kiwi, 5 balls
Needles: Addi Turbo US size 8 (5 mm) / 24" (60 cm) circular
US size 8 double pointed needles
Size: Chest circumference 32"
Start: August 9, 2006
Finish: December 2, 2006

線材: Rowan Calmer (75% 棉 and 25% 壓克力纖維), #485 奇異果綠, 5 球
圖樣: 網路免費圖樣 from
針號: 5 mm / 60 cm 輪針和棒針
尺寸: 胸圍 32 吋
開始: 2006/08/09
完成: 2006/12/02

After I finished the Tiger Eye Scarf, I was in such a good mood, I dug out Tempting II from the corner of my closet and decided to give it another chance. It was not quite as painful as the first time around. I followed my sister's modification:

* k2tog all around the yoke, instead of (k2tog, k1) per pattern - although I felt the decrease was probably a bit too much, after I finished the sweater. I would try this next time (if there's a next time, haha!) - (k2tog, k2tog, k1) repeat.
* Join the neckband to the yoke on every row (ssk on RS, p2tog tbl on WS) instead of every other row

This cut down the number of stitches to be joined to the neckband and also the number of rows for the neckband. I like it!

織完虎眼圍巾後心情實在是不錯, 決定把被我打入冷宮的Tempting II拿出來修理修理, 照顧照顧(台語)一下. 這次織起來倒是沒那麼痛苦, 因為老姊已經織好了一件, 就照她的改就對啦! 她的領口是這樣改的:

* 減針時所有針目都做 k2tog (原圖樣是 k2tog, k1) - 其實織好後覺得好像減針減太多了, 有一點點"泡泡"的感覺, 也許(k2tog, k2tog, k1) repeat 就夠了.
* 帶子和領口每一段都做連接 (原圖樣是每隔一段), 正面做ssk, 反面做p2tog tbl

這樣針數和段數都減少了許多, 織起來快多了!

I also did the neckband as a 9-st k1-p1 ribbing. It's a bit too narrow for my taste, but the only buckle I could find was not wide enough for a 11-st width. Oh well... I have spent enough time looking for the buckle (time I'd rather spent knitting), this will just have to do. Since the stitch and row counts were much smaller this time, the neckband did not take long. I was thinking - if it still doesn't work out this time, I will just frog the whole thing and make it into something else since I have reworked this neckband "3 TIMES"!!!

領口那條帶子我也把它從11針寬改成9針. 覺得有點太窄, 可是找不到更大的buckle. 為了找這個buckle, 我跑了好多地方, 找了半天, 只找到這一個. 就醬子吧, 懶得再找了. 這個領口已經拆拆打打了三次, 如果這次再不成功, 真的火大就把它全拆了, 織別的!

Anyhoo. I wouldn't call it a satisfying knit. The sleeves are a bit too long to my liking - should have knit only 2.5" instead of 3" per pattern. The k1-p1 ribbing was just DULL. I don't really like the way the neckband join looks - not very neat. I also regret that I didn't pick a darker color, as the unevenness of the stitches are so obvious in this light green. Is it this yarn? The stitches on my other FOs did not have so many unevenness... Well. It's done. And I do like the shape of the garment. But I can probably only wear it if I can manage to somehow keep pounds off me... haha!

說實在的, 這件織起來不太滿意. 袖子有點太長. 一上一下的ribbing織得我快睡著. 領口接合的地方也不太好看, 覺得不太整齊. 不曉得是不是毛線本身的關係, 織起來針目不太均勻. 奇怪ㄌㄟ, 我其他的東西不會這樣哩? 當初應該像這件毛衣的設計師一樣, 織深色的. 針目不均看不出來, 而且還有視覺上瘦削的效果. 像這個蘋果綠穿起來有點膨脹的感覺...

This picture is closest to the true color. Took me several days to get these pictures. Somehow they just wouldn't come out right...

這張顏色最接近原色. 老覺得這件衣服跟我有仇, 織的時候不順利, 連織好了要照相都費我一番功夫. 室內室外, 不是光線不對, 就是照出來糢糊, 連續試了好幾天, 才勉強挑了這幾張出來...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Maybe It Was a Bad Idea... TKA 夢幻麻花圍巾進度

I finished about 7" of Illusions Cable Scarf (one of the TKA projects, designed by Black Dog), kind of thinking about aborting it... The stitch pattern is beautiful, the yarn is a pleasure to knit with, but... it is too fine! I wanted three cables when I first saw the pattern, but I didn't want a wide scarf, thus I picked a light-weight yarn. So light weight, that it is "sock" weight - Artyarns Ultramerino 4. The color is beautiful. But the knitted fabric is a bit too light for a scarf, I came to realize. It doesn't have the "warmth" that a scarf is supposed to have, although it is 100% merino... Anyways. I am debating if I should switch... Maybe it was a bad idea to use sock yarns for a scarf...

How about Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK? You think it'll work?

夢幻麻花圍巾織了七吋長了, 卻有一點點想放棄... 不是花樣不美, 也不是線不好, 而是這線實在是太細啦! 當初想織三條麻花, 又不想要太寬的圍巾, 所以就挑了細線. 這個Ultramerino的線織起來感覺真的不錯, 顏色染的也很漂亮. 可是用來織圍巾好像太單薄了, 沒有圍巾應有溫暖的感覺. 雖然這線是100%美麗諾, 但是我現在這個織片摸起來感覺就是不夠暖. 那個麻花也沒有TKA裡大家織好的麻花那麼"有營養" - 我這個看起來瘦巴巴的... 有點想換線...

你們覺得Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK 看起來如何?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Not a Happy Camper... 非常不爽中...

I got my package today. I was quite happy, as it was supposed to arrive tomorrow and now it arrived one day early. Then I opened it. They sent me the wrong yarn! I ordered Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, they sent me Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk! Not happy. Not happy at all... Where did I order it from? It's the one that offers 20% off with $60 yarn purchase and 25% off with $120 purchase. I have only ordered from them twice, and had problems both times. Feeling very grumpy right now...

訂的毛線今天收到了! 本來還很高興, 包裹早了一天到. 結果打開一看, 有一組線寄錯了, 真是氣人! 我訂的是Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, 他給我寄Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. ㄟ, 差很多耶! 這是那一家呢? 就是訂滿$60打8折, 滿$120打75折的那一家! 才跟他訂過兩次, 兩次都出錯. 真是受不了! 效率也太差了吧!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

TKA Tiger Eye Scarf Finished 虎眼圍巾完成

Yarn: Karabella Margrite (80% extrafine merino wool and 20% cashmere), #13 deep red, a little more than 2 balls
Pattern: From Stitchin Girl / TKA Project
Needles: Addi Turbo US size 6 (4 mm) / 24" (60 cm) circular
Measurement: Pre-Block 5.5" x 58" Post-Block 6.5" x 70"
Start: November 17, 2006
Finish: November 28, 2006

線材: Karabella Margrite (80% 美麗諾 and 20% 開絲米爾), #13 深紅, 2 球多一點
圖樣: 網路免費圖樣 from Stitchin Girl / TKA Project
針號: 4 mm / 60 cm 輪針
尺寸: 定型前 14 cm x 148 cm 定型後 16.5 cm x 178 cm
開始: 2006/11/17
完成: 2006/11/28

I LOVE this scarf! I have always thought a 7" wide scarf would be too wide. But this, this lace is just beautiful. I knitted two pieces separately from each end and grafted them together at the center. There are 15 pattern repeats for each half. Strange thing is, I had just enough yarn left for grafting when I finished the first half with one ball of yarn. And I ran out of yarn on the second half, and had to use a 3rd ball for the last 9 rows. I was saving two balls to make another one. I guess I will just have to settle for a shorter scarf.

哇!愛死這條圍巾了! 本來想7吋太寬, 織起來後覺得其實剛好. 這個蕾絲花樣真是太美啦!我是從圍巾兩端分兩片織起, 中間縫合. 每一片有15個花樣重複. 奇怪的是, 我織第一片時用了一球毛線還有剩, 剛好夠做縫合用. 織第二片最後九段時線卻不夠用, 害我要用到第三球. 本來是留著要再織一條的, 看來下一條只好織短一點了.

If you looked closely, you would probably see that it looks a bit different from the pattern. Yup! I changed it a little - decided not to do garter stitch edging. Just feels like every scarf is garter-stitch edged. Happened to see the slip-stitch double-knit border on Backyard Leaves Scarf in Scarf Style, thought it looked lovely, decided to give it a try. And I just love how it came out. There are 3 stitches on left and right edges and here is what you do:

有沒有看出來這條跟pattern不太一樣?哈!我小小給它改了一下. 因為覺得每條圍巾都是用garter stitch(正反面下針)來做邊, 有點無趣. 剛好看到Scarf Style這本書裡Backyard Leaves Scarf的邊蠻好看的, 而且不會捲, 就來給它試試看嘍!個人覺得效果還不錯哩. 左右各留三針做邊, 針法如下 (ㄟ, 歹勢, 這個針法中文不知叫啥…):

RS 正面- k1, sl1 wyif, k1
WS 反面 - sl1 wyif, k1, sl1 wyif

I also changed the 3 garter stitch rows on the two ends of the scarf, to k1-p1 ribbing. Not really wanting the elastic feature of the ribbing, I stretched it out during blocking. And I was pretty relieved that it did not shrink back after I took it off the blocking board. Just the way I wanted it. COOL!

兩端的三段garter stitch我也給它改成一上一下的ribbing. 覺得比較好看. 定型時特地把它拉開到一樣的寬度, 乾了後它也沒再縮回去, 太好啦!

Another thing I learned is from the book A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker (where this lace pattern was documented.) To knit "k3tog" so that it is the exact opposite of "sl1 - k2tog - psso" (works well when you have a pair in the same row, although the difference is very subtle):

k3tog = ssk, slip the stitch back to left needle, pass the next stitch over and off the left needle, then slip the stitch back to right needle (also known as right slanting double decrease)

This is much easier than trying to twist the three stitches and knit them together, I think.

還有就是從 Barbara G. Walker 的 A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns 這本書看到的撇步. 在同一段如有成對的”k3tog”和”sl1 - k2tog - psso”時, “k3tog” 可以這樣織(會比較對稱, 可是不仔細看也看不出來):

左針上第一和第二針做ssk(右下二併針), 然後滑回左針, 用右針把左針上下一針挑起套過剛剛ssk的那一針, 然後再滑到右針

我是覺得這樣比較好織, 不用在那邊扭那三個下針.

My sister was right, it is hard to give away this scarf. But it is for a very good friend, and I know she will cherish it. I guess I'll have motivation to make another one since I love it so much...

P.S. This Tiger Eye has got eye lashes…

說這條圍巾織好我會捨不得送出去, 還真的被她說對了. 不過這是要送給一位好友的, 我知道她會好好珍惜. 織了半天, 自己沒得圍, 趕快再來織一條吧!

ㄟ, 這個虎眼有睫毛耶!還是眼屎…. 哈哈…

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Not Much Knitting Done

No, I did not cook this feast. I was never a good cook. And with a toddler to care for (not much time left to do anything else), we decided to let Whole Foods do the cooking. This was one of the Thanksgiving meals available for ordering. We ordered it once a couple years ago and was pretty impressed by the quality, thus this year we decided to order from them again. The food was actually quite tasty. Usually the turkey breasts would come out dry, but this one was pretty good. I only needed to reheat and put the food on the plates. Couldn't be easier than that. Although I didn't have to cook, cleaning up the house and preparing the meal still took me a few hours. This year only my in-laws came over for dinner. The meal package was for 4 people. We had 4 adults, but still left with tons of leftovers. Connor had a great time riding on daddy's shoulders...

哈! 這不是我煮的啦! 那這麼厲害! 現在帶個小孩也沒什麼心情時間煮飯(尤其我煮飯動作很慢), 所以今年感恩節決定跟Whole Foods超市訂火雞大餐. 兩年前訂過一次, 覺得還不錯. 火雞肉很容易就烤過頭, 變的又老又澀. Whole Foods訂的這個就還不會. 食物拿回家後, 只須放到烤箱裡加熱, 然後裝盤, 就上桌了. 雖然不用自己煮, 但是還是花了幾個小時來整理家裡, 準備餐具. 今年只有公婆過來吃大餐, 一共只有四個大人. 訂的是四人份, 卻還是剩下一大堆菜. 看來, 要連續吃好幾天的火雞了. 照片是Connor騎在爸爸肩上玩 (老公只肯讓我post這種看不到臉的...)

We then spent Friday and Saturday in the wine country. I brought my knitting bag along, but still couldn't get much done. I only had time to knit in the car, and Tiger Eye Scarf isn't exactly the right project for knitting in cars. We haven't visited Napa and Sonoma for a while. This time we were hoping that Connor would let mommy and daddy do some tasting. It turned out wine tasting is still too boring for a toddler (ummm... no kidding!) We basically had to take turns - one person tasting per winery only. The other person had to take Connor, walked around, and tried to keep him entertained. Still, we bought quite a few bottles of wine. The weather wasn't too bad - cold but sunny. Here is a picture taken in the garden of the hotel we stayed at.

週五週六去了酒鄉. 本來希望能替虎眼圍巾增加一點進度, 結果根本沒有時間. 唯一能織毛線的時候只有在車上, 可是虎眼在車上實在是不太好織. 光是車子晃動邊看圖樣邊織就看的眼睛脫窗差點暈車, 還有織錯的危險! 其實好久沒去Napa和Sonoma嚐酒了. 帶個小小孩其實也不太方便, 一次只能一個人作wine tasting, 另一個人就得帶Connor出去閒逛, 免得他在tasting room裡無聊到大聲尖叫. 雖是這樣, 酒還是買了好幾瓶. 那兩天天氣都不錯, 雖然有點冷, 但是都有出太陽. 這張照片是在hotel的花園裡照的, 覺得這個花開的還蠻美的.

But next time, we probably shouldn't visit the wine country during a holiday weekend. The traffic was so bad on our way back, it took us two and a half hours (it should have only taken 1.5 hours.) One of the winery staffs said that January and February is usually the slow time, maybe we will plan another trip then?!

不過下次不會再挑這種假日週末去wine country. 回來時光塞車就塞到話不敢. 一位酒廠員工說一二月其實是比較slow的時候, 遊客較少. Maybe到時再去一次?! 哇, 會不會太酒鬼啦?! ^o^

Monday, November 20, 2006

TKA Tiger Eye Scarf Progress 虎眼圍巾進度

I started the Tiger Eye Scarf last Friday. I almost forgot how good it feels to work with cashmere blend yarn. So soft, light, and warm. I just want to wrap it around my fingers...

虎眼圍巾開打囉! 上禮拜五開始打. 這個毛線有混cashmere, 摸起來好柔軟好舒服! 織得我都不想放下了...

This lace pattern is not difficult, but I do have to stay focused on where I am at. Made a few mistakes along the way, but luckily I realized early enough and was able to unravel and fix them within 1-2 rows. The truth is, the number of stitches changes from row to row. If I made a mistake in row 8, most likely I'd realize it by row 10 cause the number of stitches wouldn't match with the pattern. It is looking good so far. I've got 17 inches right now. The plan is to make it 60". Hoping to finish it by end of this week.

這個蕾絲花樣並不難, 只是要很專心. 有幾次有打錯, 還好都很快就發現, 馬上就改過來. 其實是, 有錯的話會打不下去. 因為不是每段針數都一樣, 如果那裡少打了一個掛針, 大概過一兩段就會發現, 針數錯了, 打不下去啦! 現在已經有43 cm了, 打算打到150 cm. 希望到這個禮拜天可以打好.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ribwarmer in Durango

Yarn: South West Trading Company Karaoke (50%wool and 50% soy silk), #277 durango, 3 balls
Pattern: Vogue Knitting Fall 2006 Design #28
Needles: Addi Turbo US size 6 (4 mm) / 24" (60 cm) circular
Addi Turbo US size 7 (4.5 mm) / 24" (60 cm) circular
US size 8 (5 mm) for binding-off
Size: Small (14" across the back)
Start: November 1, 2006
Finish: November 14, 2006

線材: South West Trading Company Karaoke (50%羊毛 and 50% soy silk), #277 durango, 3 球
圖樣: Vogue Knitting 2006 秋季號 作品#28
針號: 4 mm/60 cm 輪針織身體, 4.5 mm/60 cm 輪針織邊, 5 mm 收針用
尺寸: Small (36 cm 背寬)
開始: 2006/11/1
完成: 2006/11/14

Knitting this ribwarmer feels like knitting a scarf - long and lean. It's kind of fun, though. Seeing how it has taken shape. This is my first time knitting with variegated yarn. And I didn't think of the obvious fact that knitting together different sections of yarn will create color lines. Duh! Anyway. I talked about it in my previous post, so not gonna repeat here. After my last post about this ribwarmer, I put it aside for two days and tried not to think about it too much. But every time I looked at it, my eyes were drawn to that ugly line at the right shoulder, staring back at me... Fine! I'll re-do it! How bad can it be?!

織這件像在織一條圍巾一樣, 細細長長的. 不過很有意思, 因為這件的組合方式蠻特別的. 這是我第一次用段染線來織. 算是經驗不夠吧? 照著pattern織, 右肩織好再織右背, 接合的地方正好顏色不一樣. 那時懶得重織, 心想, 大概沒關係吧? 結果, 一路織下來, 我每次看到那顏色不一樣, 就覺得有點後悔, 還是懶得拆. 一直到要縫合了, 覺得實在是不好看. 放在一旁看了兩天, 越看越不順眼, 終於決定, 重做!

Knitting the right shoulder is actually quite fast, 16 stitches for 24 rows. It's the grafting part I felt dreaded about. I picked a section of yarn with closer color variation. re-knit the right shoulder, and then grafted it onto the main piece. I have no idea where I did wrong, I ended up with a small hole in the middle. I think I might have missed threading one of the legs on one of the stitches. Too lazy to go back - more like I don't think I can re-do it again without dropping any stitches - I just patched it up from the back side. The color is so dark anyway, no one will see it.

織那一小塊右肩很快, 16針24段而已. 是要把它graft上去比較麻煩. 我挑了一段顏色比較接近的線, 把右肩重織, 然後再縫上去. 縫的時候不知道那裡出錯, 居然中間有個小洞. 懶得重縫, 拿線從反面補一補就算了. 反正線顏色深, 也看不出來.

The before (left photo) and after (right photo) of the right shoulder.
The front and back of this garment laid flat:
This ribwarmer is actually a bit too tight. When I first saw the measurement in the pattern, I thought, 14" across the back is more like a XS (the pattern has it as a size small). But my last few projects have all ended up a little too big on me, so I thought, maybe I should just follow the pattern. But this, this is really tight. Erh? A ribwarmer? Umm... it doesn't exactly cover my ribs... ^o^

這件穿起來有點緊. 當初看pattern的尺寸就很懷疑. 可是一連織了幾件上衣都有一點點大, 想說就照pattern織最小號的就是啦! 結果, 果然是太小. 不管了, 勉強能穿就好啦!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In English and In Chinese 中英文的部落格

I have been wanting to try posting in Chinese. I even thought about having a Chinese blog and an English blog. But having postings in two different places and maintaining both will be a challenge. Then I saw Wakana's blog. She is writing in both English and Japanese. And I thought her blog looks fabulous. Thus this is my attempt to do the same...

一直想看看中文在這裏post出來是什麼樣子... 甚至還想過中英文部落格各開一個. 可是如果文章分兩邊又太麻煩. 後來看到Wakana的部落格, 覺得用兩種語言來寫也不錯. 就來試試看吧!

With Chinese being my mother tongue, sometimes I feel only using Chinese can accurately describe my thoughts. But sometimes using English has its advantages (such as knitting patterns...), it's quicker and shorter.

中文是我的母語. 有的時候覺得用中文實在是比較貼切. 有的時候用英文反而快. 像寫編織pattern的時候, 覺得用英文比較快又簡單. 不過最主要還是看心情吧!

I finished the ribwarmer yesterday but haven’t had a chance to organize the photos, thus I don’t have new pictures to post today. Thought I’ll share a little bit of fall with you. This is a picture of a small Japanese maple tree in front of my old house.

Ribwarmer 已經織好了, 但照片還沒整理出來. 這張是在以前舊家照的, 門前的一棵小楓樹. 想現在也應該早已經變紅了吧?!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ribwarmer - Should I Re-do the Right Shoulder?

Well, I started sewing up the Ribwarmer. And the one thing that I worried about the most, happened. There is a distinct color difference at the connection of the right shoulder and the right back/front part - you can see it in the second picture below near the top right corner. When I was knitting that part, I had thought about cutting a section of yarn with closer color variations and re-do the right shoulder. Then the lazy part of me said - well, maybe it is "on" the shoulder, you know, as a rectangle that may just look like a shoulder pad. And I would be okay with that.

But as I tried it on (with lots of pins holding it together, I almost poked myself...), that line created by the color changes is right next to my neck - very visible. Sorry about the photo qualities, I tried to take pictures of myself in a mirror, and it is hard! I know that if I don't re-do it, I would be so conscious everytime I wear it. But fixing it is not exactly a piece of cake. I will probably need to graft the new piece onto the main body. I hate grafting, but it's only 16 stitches... Should I re-do it or not?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Velvet Grapes & Pawpaw

I am just in love with my recent yarn purchases. Last week I went to Knitting Arts in Saratoga to shop for yarn choices for Phildar Swing Jacket. I ended up buying two skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in color "Velvet Grapes". I have been eyeing it ever since I saw it here. But both Pureknits and WEBS are out of stock on this color. Thus as soon as I saw it on the shelves, I put them right into my basket. What am I going to make with it? Not sure yet. Maybe another Tiger Eye Scarf for myself, although I doubt the gauge will work out. No matter, I am sure I'll find a good project for it.

This is Kaalund Expressions (100% Kid Mohair) in colorway "Pawpaw". I found it at Imagiknit this week, when I went to look for yarn for Philar Swing Jacket (again...) You see how much this jacket is already costing me and I haven't even picked out the yarn for it yet?! Well, I am planning to make my first Swallow Tail Shawl in this yarn. Misti Alpaca Lace in lavender just got bumped into second place.

Although the colors are not as clear in this picture, I love how it turned out.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dayflower Scarf - Test Knit

Last week, I finished one pattern repeat of the Dayflower Scarf. And I realized, you know, I don't really like the way it looks. I mean, it's a pretty lace pattern, but I am bothered by the wavy edges it creates. I know it is one of the characteristics of this pattern. But, people who are not familiar with knitting are going to think that I either did a poor job knitting it or I skimped on blocking. I think it will look beautiful with more repeats in a larger panel, as a shawl or a stole. Since this is going to be a gift, I decided to switch patterns.

I will probably switch to Tiger Eye Scarf. I really love this lace pattern, but I thought the scarf may be too wide with this yarn gauge (20sts=4"). It may knit up to be 7-8" wide. I'll try and see how it goes.
BTW, I learned of both scarves from TKA. Hmmm... maybe I should join them...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Blocking Ribwarmer

I finished the main body of the ribwarmer last night, and put it on the blocking board - well, it was too long for my self-made blocking board so I had to borrow my son's playmats. I used all of my T-pins, plus some small ball-point pins. This is the first time I tried to block a real cable pattern (the last time was a one-stitch cable which was easy), and I had to really stretch out the fabric to get the measurement. As of now (15 hours later), it is still a bit damp. Hopefully I can take it off the blocking board tonight, and start sewing it up. And then just the outer band and the armhole bands, it'll be done!

This ribwarmer (really a cropped vest) has very unique construction. I didn't quite understand how to put it all together when I first started reading the pattern. Now that it is taking shape, I think it will be interesting to sew it up and see what it will look like.

This is the right back (the bottom rectangle) and the right shoulder (the small rectangle on the top.)
This is the left back and the left shoulder.
This is just me playing with different camera angle...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ribwarmer Progress

You know, I am liking this project. The surface area is small. Heavier yarn. Larger needles. I have only spent a few hours, and now it's already about 35% done. If I get to put in another 2 hours before bed tonight, it may be 60% done. After taking on several (comparatively) larger projects - which took forever, this feels pretty cool.

As I knit more with SWTC Karaoke, I am a bit annoyed by this yarn. It is "twisty". It kept getting tangled between my fingers. The color variation does knit up beautifully though, I think.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

VK Fall 06 Ribwarmer Started

I finished the gauge swatch for the ribwarmer this past Sunday in the car to/back-from San Francisco Zoo. It was cold, but we all had a great time. Connor loved the ducks so much, he almost decided to join them.

I casted on the ribwarmer late last night. I am liking the feel of SWTC Karaoke in my hands. It feels warm and not as coarse (as I first thought that it would be.) Maybe it's because the weather is cold, handling a wool-blend yarn just warms my hands.

In case you are wondering, I am benching Tempting II right now. I am making it sit in the corner of my closet, thinking about what it has done...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Yellow Orangina

Yarn: Rowan 4-ply Cotton #140 Honey Dew, 4 balls
Pattern: At Glampyre Knits by Stefanie Japel
Needles: Addi Turbo US size 4 (3.5mm) / 24" (60cm) circular
Gauge: 31 sts = 4.5" and 32 rows = 4" over lace pattern
Start: October 8, 2006
Finish: October 28, 2006

Orangina is done. I stayed up Friday night till 4 AM to finish it and actually wore it all day yesterday. It's a little big, to my surprise. I tried it on before blocking, it was perfect. After I blocked it, now it's a little big. Too long, actually. Before blocking, it measured 16" wide and 19.5" long. After blocking, it measured 16.5" across the chest and 21" long.

These are the details and modifications I made to the pattern (for size XS - 34"):
  • First of all, I could not get the 24 sts and 24 rows per 4" square gauge as suggested by the pattern. I made 3 gauge swatches - with US sizes 3, 4, and 5 needles, none matched the suggested gauge. I eventually decided on size 4, it would produce a 32" bust circumference which I felt is closer to my size. I also blocked my gauge swatches, really pull the lace apart and made sure I stretched it out. All the swatches shrank back to their pre-block size after I took them off the blocking board. So I thought, okay, this yarn has no give (it's 100% cotton after all). I shouldn't have to worry about any stretching. I guess I was wrong...
  • Lace pattern - 15.5" long (120 rows) and ribbing - 4" long (32 rows). Armhole was 6 3/4" before blocking. And now it is 7 1/2" long.
  • At the join of front and back panels, I did k2tog. The total number of stitches for the 3x3 ribbing is 204.
  • Shoulder seams - I sewed up two scallops for each shoulder. It seems to look better.
Although it is a little big, I like it nonetheless. The lace pattern is very pretty. It is very comfortable to wear. Rowan 4-ply cotton is a pleasure to knit with. I would definitely make this top again, with the following modifications:
  • Make the lace pattern 14" long and the ribbing 4" long per pattern.
  • Use US size 3 needles for the lace and size 2 needles for the ribbing.
I wonder, if I throw it in the dryer, will it shrink? Do I dare to try?...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Orangina Making Progress

Not wanting to work on Tempting II any more, I re-focus my energy on Orangina. It has made good progress. I have only got about another 1 1/4 inches of ribbing to do before bind-off. And then seaming and blocking. I am hoping to finish it by tomorrow. This is probably the last warm weekend of the year. The forecast is a comfy 78 degrees for tomorrow, and then goes downhill from there. I want to be able to wear my Orangina this weekend, before the cold weather comes.

I also joined my first KAL yesterday - Phildar Swing Jacket. It is such a cute jacket, and the shape of the season. I am really looking forward to this. I was going to order the pattern and yarn yesterday, but got busy with Orangina. I will definitely place an order this weekend, right after I get to wear my Orangina!